Film Screenings

Organizing Film Screenings

Organizing film screenings is one of the easiest ways we can inspire, radicalize & change minds of even large groups of people, especially if we make sure there are good opportunities for processing the often very emotive content of these stories.

Time to Think

For example by making sure everyone gets un-interrupted 'thinking aloud' time before sharing in the bigger group, by using Think & Listens either in pairs or small groups of 3, maximum 4 people.       This helps to avoid the common 'two or three people taking over the discussion' that often happens in groups, if they are not facilitated well, especially if people have just been exposed some disturbing / new or challenging views.   We all need time to think.  One of the best services we can provide each other is relaxed non-judgemental attention whilst we unravel our feelings & thoughts about new or difficult questions. 

It is useful to follow the Think & Listens with one or more circles (giving everyone a time to speak, in turn), where everyone is invited to briefly say what they think, but without going into a discussion.

If the film is quite long, it is useful to make breaks for these 'processing times'.

Discussion Time

A free for all discussion, if you want to have one (not necessary, especially if you want to provide as low-stress event as possible - but judge your audience) is most useful when everyone has had enough good quality thinking time  - this ensures that the discussion is more likely to be productive for everyone, and that we are less likely to have to listen at length from the emotional reactions of whoever has least fear of speaking up in a group!

Don't be afraid to interrupt people who don't seem to be aware that there are others who may well also have opinions, or who are agressive in putting their points across.   You can do this kindly by saying something like "thanks, I'd like to hear from people who haven't spoken yet".     Also you can use a more formal rule of "no-one speaks twice until everyone has spoken once",  & so on (three times until all spoken twice, etc.).

You can best facilitate in a relexed way if your honest agenda is to help raise conciousness by exposing people to new ideas, & providing safe spaces for thinking.

As a facilitator of such an event you have to be aware that this is a process that different people are at different stages of at any one time, and pushing any views at people doesn't usually help in changing consciousness.  It can also have the opposite effect.  People ultimately only committ to positions they themselves have arrived at, by doing their own thinking.

Time to Socialize

Making sure people are also welcomed well & introduced to everyone is basic 'hosting' or facilitation work.    This can be done easily by starting the meeting with a quick 'go round' and you can use even late-comers as an excuse to do the go-round again (often people won't remember lots of names just on one telling).    

You can ask that each person says just their name & where they're from + how they heard of the event.   You can ask them to add whatever they want to say about themselves, but ensure they keep it short & don't 'take over' time-wise.

Of course it's important to have breaks where people can stretch, use the toilet & get something to eat or drink (depending on the venue & your group, if you ask everyone to bring food to share it becomes more of a party!) + chat informally with others, so that people have plenty of opportunities to make new friends, also.   This is most useful after doing more formal introductions.

It's very useful to have a 'tidy ending' to the event (before socializing afterwards) by doing a 'closing circle' where you ask people to repeat their name, say something new they learned from the screening, something they liked, something that could be done better next time. 

 And take notes: that's your evaluations so you can design an even better next event!

Guide by Stella, coordinator of the Integral Permaculture Academy

The Resistance movies list is one of the compilations you can use, & there are many more videos throughout this e-book that you can choose, already selected by chapter (eg. SoilEducation, etc.), just have a search through each module.  

Let us know if you have created some selections we can share here!