Film Education, the industry-funded organisation developing educational materials and services around films and filmmaking, has this week announced record bookings for National Schools Film Week (NSFW) 2008.

Since booking opened at the start of the new school term, 5,700 individual bookings have secured more than 321,000 seats, cementing the event’s position as the biggest festival of its kind in the world.

During the Week, which runs from 20-24 October in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and 3-7 November in Scotland, more than 2,000 free film screenings will be hosted in over 500 different locations throughout the UK, many of those being cinemas run by CEA members.

Film Education is keen to make clear that teachers can still book seats by calling 020 7439 4880.

Films for primary pupils include: Igor, The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Golden Compass, Kung Fu Panda, WALL:E, The Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian and Dr Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! whilst older students will be attending screenings of: The Kite Runner, Persepolis, Happy Go Lucky, Juno, Son of Rambo, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging.

In addition to the screenings, a number of filmmakers will be holding Masterclasses with children including two-time BAFTA winning director Kevin McDonald (The Last King of Scotland), Stephen Frears (High Fidelity, Dirty Pretty Things), Abi Morgan (Brick Lane) and Mark Herman (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas).

Commenting on the event, filmmaker and Film Education Patron Lord Attenborough said:

“National Schools Film Week offers a wonderful range of international films which capture the imagination of young children across the UK. The films are a way of introducing serious and important issues to children through creative means.”

Film Education Director Ian Wall added:

“It’s amazing to see how National Schools Film Week has grown in just 13 years. When Film Education launched it, we didn’t dare to dream it would become this big and with this many separate events and locations. We believe passionately that film can play a pivotal role in education. For many kids across the country this will be their first magical experience of cinema.”

More details on Film Education can be found on their website