Movie screenings are a great way to educate your community about a particular issue and provides the perfect opportunity for you and your community to get more involved through starting a larger conversation and taking action with your friends and/or community.
STEP 1: BEFORE YOU START
Choose a movie. There are several documentaries and dramas based on past and contemporary genocides and mass atrocities that you can use. Once you choose your film, email us and we can help you locate a copy. Here is a brief list of our favorites:
The Rwandan Genocide
|The Devil Came on Horseback
Sexual Violence in the DRC
|In the Land of Blood and Honey
Ethnic Cleansing in Bosnia
|Blood in the Mobile
Conflict Minerals in the DRC
Civil War in Sierra Leone
Choose your location, date and time. You can hold a movie screening at your house, your place of worship, a local school or community center. Be sure that whatever venue you choose has the proper equipment to show a film. Please note that depending on the location, you may have to make a reservation or pay a fee to use the space.
Advertise your event. There are many ways to publicize your event. Write emails to family members, friends, neighbors and community members. Ask people to RSVP for your event online via Facebook. Ask your school, place of worship, and any other organization you are a part of to help you publicize your film screening. Post flyers in your community and make announcements at community events and online through email listserves and social media to let everyone know about your event. Check out our Guide to Getting Media Coverage.
STEP 2: PREPARE FOR YOUR MOVIE SCREENING
Prepare materials. If your film is about a contemporary genocide or mass atrocity, be sure to bring fact sheets or information packets so that your guests can learn more about the current situation. Bring sign in sheets so you can keep track of who comes to your events. Decide whether or not you want to offer an advocacy action for participants to take. Email us for a list of current action opportunities.
STEP 3: SCREEN YOUR MOVIE
Prepare the location. Make sure the seating arrangements will accommodate the amount of guests you are planning to have. Set up a table with the sign-in sheet and materials you prepared so guests will see them when they arrive. It might also be helpful to have the film ready before guests arrive so all you have to do is press play.
Start the screening. Welcome guests and thank them for coming. Discuss what made you decide to host the screening and be sure to describe the context of the film you are about to screen. If you’d like, give them a couple questions to think about during the film.
Discuss the movie. Ask the audience about their initial reactions. Discuss major themes and be sure to talk about why or how the film is relevant. Brainstorm ways your friends or community can get involved. If you chose to take action, explain the petition, letter or action you’re taking to your guests and invite them to join you. Be sure to thank your guests for coming and find out who is interested in future events.
STEP 4: FOLLOW UP
Just because the screening is over doesn’t mean you’re done! Keep in touch with guests who attended the event and be sure to follow through on ideas that came out of your discussion. Evaluate the success of the event. If you weren’t able to get everyone to your first screening, hold another and be sure to invite your friends, family or community members who weren’t able to come.
Let us know how it goes!
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