Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How to host a film screening

If your STAR group is looking to raise both awareness and cash, a film screening is a good bet. But how do you pull off a movie showing? Here’s everything you need to know.

Where do I get the movie?

Good Screenings offers the opportunity for groups to purchase the rights to show films on various humanitarian topics. You pay a small fee, show the movie and keep the remaining cash for STAR.

If you’re only planning to show the film to your STAR group for free, STAR National has several films that groups can borrow. Get in touch to find out more information.

Which films are suitable for STAR?

Pushing the Elephant, a powerful new film that recently debuted at the Human Rights Watch film festival in London, follows Rose Mapendo, who was separated from her daughter Nangabire during the violence which broke out in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1998. Nine of her ten children escaped with her, but her daughter Nangabire was left behind.

13 years later, she is reunited with the daughter she feared dead, and must teach her to forgive and live her life with a positive outlook, but her daughter proves to be a reluctant student. Pushing the Elephant documents Rose’s incredible story and her unshakable belief that many things may be impossible for one person alone, but if enough people unite they will have the strength to push an elephant.

In Moving to Mars two families of Karen ethnic origin flee the oppression of the Burmese military junta through a UN relocation scheme, giving fascinating insights into their first year in the city of Sheffield.

The logistics

Showing a film from Good Screenings is easy. Just go to the website, click on the title of the film you want to show and scroll down to the ‘select for screening’ button. Fill in the details for a quote. Don’t worry, you are not committing yourself to paying anything until you put your credit card details in at the end.

Tips for showing a film

Screening a film about refugees is a great way to reach a wider audience with some key facts and new insights into what it’s like to flee your home and seek protection in a foreign country. And during the winter months this is a great way to escape the grey and rainy skies!

First of all, you have to know why you are showing the film. Is it to introduce a topic in a weekly meeting, promote a campaign action, part of a society social or to raise awareness and funds? Your aims for the screening will determine what you do before, during and after the screening.

Before the screening

You need to consider not only what film you want to show and where (on or off campus), but also to what type of audience (students, staff, the public or all three), and in what format (film, video/DVD, online).

Details, details

Pick a date for your screening carefully — it is almost impossible not to clash with other events but try to avoid busy times like revision, end-of-term, etc.

Will you provide refreshments? If so, will you buy them from the local shops or from a catering service? If not, will nearby bars or cafes be open? Are you going to charge an entry fee? If so, ask people how much they would be willing to pay.

During the screening

Arrive early to set up – lighting, seating and refreshments all need to be attended to. Put up posters around the venue or have a member stand nearby to direct people. Have a couple of group members to act as stewards/ushers to open and close doors for latecomers and mind a stall with information, collection tins or just your mailing list sign-up forms.

Introduce your society and the screening and announce if there is going to be anything afterwards like a Q&A or refreshments.

Additional information

The STAR guide provides information on how to go about showing a film, so please download a copy (link) for more information. The STAR National team is also happy to help, so please get in touch if you have questions or need support.

Posted by Communications on 27/04/2011 at 10:58 AM