Hosting a screening

Introduction

This guide is intended to show activists how to host a film screening.

 

Overview

Hosting a film screening is an effective outreach tool for any cause-based movement.

Considerations

How do I organize a screening?

Where should a screening be hosted?

How do I promote a screening?

Should I sell tickets to the screening?

How do I introduce a screening?

How do I engage the audience after the screening has concluded?

Organization

Firstly, any organization should clearly define the aims, goals, and objectives associated with hosting a screening event. Such information will prove to be useful throughout the planning process.

A host should also determine their target audience. Such insight will determine where advertising efforts should be directed, and aid in the selection of a venue.

 

Venues

There is an abundance of venues capable of hosting a screening event. Viable venues include: university campuses, community centres, local schools, etc. 

At the same time, a host may consider approaching a local cinema or theatre. Such establishments may be willing to house your screening event, at a reasonable price, on an off night.

Nevertheless, before selecting a screening location, a host should consider a venue’s accessibility for would-be attendees. Furthermore, a host must budget for possible costs associated with particular venues. For instance, a host may consider charging a small entrance fee to cover venue-based expenses.

Advertising and promotions

There are numerous ways that an organization can promote a screening event. For instance, posters can be effective advertisements on university campuses, or at the screening venue itself.

As well, it is possible that the film to-be screened has a trailer available on the web. In this case, a host should consider embedding this video on their organization’s blog or website, and circulating the link via social media channels. If the film is to be shown on university campuses, an organization should consider approaching particular departments or campus organizations to inquire about reaching interested students.

Finances

Decisions regarding financial issues should be made far in advance of the event. Firstly, a host should inform attendees of where ticket sale profits and monetary donations are going. For instance, attendees should be aware if venue-based expenses are a factor in ticket prices, etc.

At the same time, many activist groups do hold free screening events.  While monetary donations are not a requirement to attend these events, the host organization often communicates that they do appreciate financial contributions of any size.

During the event

A host should be selected to introduce the film to the audience, and to offer closing thoughts once the screening has concluded. As well, a moderator should be appointed to encourage and oversee any post-screening discussions or debate that may occur.

Post screening

Upon the conclusion of a screening, hosts should consider moderating a brief audience discussion. By affording the audience a platform for respectful discussion of the film, meaningful dialogue and debate may result. Such conversation will only reinforce the significance of your cause.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.