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Great films library members can stream free

From award-winning documentaries to all-time classics and Christmas movies, here are our librarians picks to enjoy over the holidays.

Are you looking for something new to watch on your next movie night or to keep the kids occupied over the school holidays? Our Beamafilm free movie streaming service for library members has you covered with a fantastic collection of films and TV series.

Featuring award-winning documentaries, independent features and festival favourites including a great line-up by Australian filmmakers, there are hundreds of titles to enjoy.

Not sure where to start? Here’s some suggestions from our City of Sydney librarians for what you can watch right now. You might also like to join our free online movie club and chat to other film buffs about different titles each month.

Royal watching

Mary Queen of Scots

Mary Queen of Scots (M) This historical drama explores the life of the doomed monarch who was torn between her devotion to her cousin Elizabeth I and her duty to her country.

A Royal Night Out (M) It’s VE Day 1945 and Europe is celebrating the end of the war. In this story of a delightful and romantic royal night out, teenage sisters Princess Margaret and Elizabeth II are allowed to join the party.

The King's Speech (M) This Academy Award-winning historical drama stars Colin Firth as the future King George V. To overcome his stammer, his wife seeks the help of a speech therapist and an extraordinary friendship develops.

A Royal Affair (M) Married off to the mentally unstable King Christian VII, a young queen embarks on a risky love affair with his personal physician. This big budget Danish historical drama set in the 18th century was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards.

Outdoor adventures

Conquest of Everest

The Snows of Kilimanjaro (PG) This 1952 adventure film is based on Ernest Hemingway’s short story of the same name. Writer Harry Street reflects on his life as he lies dying from an infection while on safari in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Conquest of Everest (G) A documentary detailing the story of the first successful ascent of Mount Everest by Edmund Hillary and Sherpa mountaineer, Tensing Norgay. The film features original footage and voice commentary from Hillary and others involved in this extraordinary expedition.

The Earthling (PG) A terminally ill man returns to his native Australia to live out his final days in the peace and quiet of the wilderness. A chance encounter with a young boy who has just lost his parents turns his world upside down.

Finding Love in Alaska (MA15+) After losing his wife, Jack escapes to his cabin in Alaska. Leaving his cabin for the first time in months, he meets Ruby, a passionate environmentalist and their friendship develops into something deeper.

Classic cinema

Mon Oncle

Dial M for Murder (PG) This Alfred Hitchcock crime mystery stars Ray Milland as the ex-tennis pro who plans to murder his wealthy and unfaithful wife, played by Grace Kelly. A nail biter right to the end.

The Little Shop of Horrors (not rated) A clumsy florist grows a giant talking plant with a taste for human flesh in this comedy horror cult film. This original version inspired the 1980s stage musical and successful 1986 remake.

House on Haunted Hill (not rated) An eccentric millionaire offers 5 strangers $10,000 each to be locked in a haunted house for the night with him and his estranged wife. This campy horror film is a true classic tale of suspense.

Mon Oncle (G) This French comedy was the 1959 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film. The story is centred around the bumbling but loveable Monsieur Hulot as he visits the technology-driven world of his sister but finds that he can’t fit into the surroundings.

Christmas around the world

Bush Christmas

Cunnamulla (M) 800 kilometres west of Brisbane, Cunnamulla is the end of the railway line. In the months leading up to a scorching Christmas in the bush, there’s a lot more going on than the annual lizard race.

Peege (M) An extremely moving short film about a family’s Christmas visit to their ageing and blind grandmother, and their sense of despair as they struggle vainly to communicate. One grandson stays behind hoping to penetrate her loneliness.

Play, Jankunu Play (M) This documentary film explores the popular ritual in the Central American Garifuna culture called wanaragua. Social and cultural identities are expressed through music, dance and costume in this 3-fold system of masked Christmas professionals commonly called Jankunu.

Bush Christmas (G) Set in outback Queensland in the early 1950s, a family struggling to save their farm from foreclosure place their hopes on a horse to win the New Year’s Cup. This is the first starring role for a young Nicole Kidman.

It’s a Wonderful Life (PG) In this 1946 Christmas classic, an angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.

Just for kids

Fast and Furriest

Too Many Tamales (not rated) Everyone is coming to Maria’s house for Christmas dinner and she and her mother are kneading the masa to make tamales. Maria tries on her mother’s ring and later realises she has kneaded it into the tamales.

The Nutcracker Sweet (PG) It’s Christmas Eve and everyone in the house is asleep except Marie. She finds herself in the middle of a great battle for power between an army of toy soldiers and a terrible team of mice.

Paper Planes (G) An imaginative film about a young Australian boy’s passion for flight and his challenge to compete in the World Paper Plane Championships in Japan.

Fast and Furriest (G) When Chuck and Woodsly venture to the Fur Ball Run, they go from spectators to being entered in the race. It turns out to the be race of their life.

Also check out our Kanopy Kids streaming service with films, TV series, animated storybooks, anime favourites and classic tales for ages 3 and over.

Not a City of Sydney Library member? We've introduced temporary online memberships for City of Sydney residents and ratepayers living in NSW, allowing you to join our library without visiting a branch. With this membership, you'll get free access to our entire digital collection including ebooks, eaudiobooks, emagazines, enewspapers, and film and music steaming services. Temporary memberships are valid until 6 January 2021.