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Screenonline Help

We regret that we are no longer able to offer registration to new users. However, we will continue to support existing registrations and certain other circumstances. See How do I register with Screenonline? below for details.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can't I see the video clips?

Due to our agreements with rightsholders, access to Screenonline's audiovisual material is only permitted within registered UK schools, colleges, universities and public libraries. We regret that we can’t permit access from a private address or outside the UK. However, you can view BFI National Archive in many other ways. See Where can I see films from the BFI National Archive if I'm not registered?.

If you're not a registered user, you can still access all non-moving image content on Screenonline, including many thousands of stills, publicity materials, synopses, specially written analyses and biographies. Our collection of BT/BFI Screenonline 'Archive Interactives' (../archiveinteractives) is also freely available, as are the specially created resources in the 'Teaching with Film' (../education/teachingwithfilm) section, and several of the Screenonline 'Tours' (../tours).

If you're in the UK but not in education, you may be able to access Screenonline clips in your local public library. Hundreds of public libraries across the UK are registered with us: check locally if yours is one of them. If you're in or visiting London, you can access BFI Screenonline in the BFI Reuben Library: BFI Screenonline can be viewed at the BFI Reuben Library, based at BFI Southbank in London.

How do I register with Screenonline?

We regret that the BFI is no longer able to offer Screenonline registration to new users. However, we will continue to offer a service in these circumstances:

  • Institutions with an existing Screenonline registration who are experiencing problems with accessing video.
  • Institutions with an existing Screenonline registration who have changed their Internet Service Provider or whose details have otherwise changed.
  • Teachers and academics who have been using Screenonline in their teaching, but who have since moved to another UK school, college, university or other eligible educational body that is not registered.

If you meet one of these criteria, please submit details of your application through the feedback form. Please include the name and full address of your organisation, a named contact and telephone number, plus a complete list of IP (internet protocol) addresses in use within your network. You may need to contact a technical staff member, network manager or librarian to determine all of the IP addresses for your organisation (it's common for organisations to have one or more ranges of addresses). Please note that we can only register public IP addresses, not reserved internal addresses, which begin with 10, 172 or 192.

Where can I see films from the BFI National Archive if I'm not registered?

BFI Player: You can watch hundreds of films at the new BFI Player. The films are hand-picked by us, and our collection is constantly growing - from the latest cinema releases to classics from the BFI National Archive.

BFI Mediatheques: The BFI Mediatheques, at BFI Southbank in London and at eight other public locations across the UK, offer free access to a collection of over 2,500 films and television programmes.

YouTube: The BFI's YouTube channel features over 400 short films from the BFI National Archive dating back to the earliest days of British cinema. New titles are added regularly.

Research viewings: Most titles from the BFI National Archive can be viewed for research purposes through our Research Viewing Service. Viewings are made by appointment with the archive and are charged at an hourly rate.

I'm a registered user, but I'm having trouble playing video. What do I do?

Please contact us through the feedback form, giving as much information as you can about the nature of your problem.