Here are some tips on how to organize and host a screening in your community.
Guardians of Eternity provides teachers and community leaders and opportunity to discuss the challenges of natural resource management and the environmental problems posed by extractive industries. We charge a screening fee of $50 to not-for-profit organizations. This is to cover our costs and we will only allow you to organize a community screening if you represent a not-for-profit organization. We prefer that you host a “free” event because do not want anyone to profit off of our work. However, if you must charge to recover your costs we request that all proceeds from the event be used to support environmental awareness among youth in your community. Every community has a youth group that needs support.
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How to host a successful community screening.
- Find a place to screen the film and plan on using it for about two and a half hours. You need to set up, the film is 46 minutes long and you have to allow for introductions and a discussion at the end. If you do not know of a place, contact your local library or school to see if they have a facility you can use.
- Download the poster, fill in the details of the time and place and put them up where people will see them.
- Plan a marketing strategy that will help you build up to the event. We recommend that you:
- Watch the film at the online link we provide you with so that you know exactly what it is about and to figure out who in your community it might appeal to.
- Do a bit of homework on the Giant Mine and related issues to prepare for questions about the film screening.
- Put the posters three weeks before the event.
- Send the poster out on Facebook or in emails to people who can help you put a copies up in places you can’t get to.
- Once you have begun putting posters up it is time to contact your local media outlets to let them know about the film and why you think it is important for members of your community to see it. Ask them if you can send them some information.
- After the initial contact with the media you should hand deliver a copy of the poster along with the paragraph and the link to our award-winning trailer.(These can be found under on the main menu under Press Kit). Hand delivering might allow you an opportunity to speak to a journalist.
- Look for opportunities to make a free community announcements in your local paper or on a local radio station.
- Contact groups in your community that you think will benefit from attending the screening. What you want is people who will help you spread the word. You can ask them if they would like to “co-sponsor” the film and in exchange for getting their name on the event, they can get their members to attend. There is always room for another sponsor because there are no profits to share.
- Contact the local high school or other educational institution and invite teachers to send their students to the event. If you are a student, do not limit yourself to your school.
- If you think it will help, ask a well-known member of the community who can speak to the subject to say a few words of welcome at the beginning of the film. Every community is different, but there is always someone around who is both respected as a leader of environmental causes.
- About two weeks before the screening check back with the local media to make sure they received your package. Ask them if they would like an interview to discuss the film and the issues.
- In the week before the screening it is always a good idea to put up some new posters or check to make sure that the posters that are on bulletin boards have not been covered up with posters for another event. Even if you just move your poster around on a bulletin board it will appear to be something new and catch people’s eyes.
- As the event approaches you need to take advantage of social media. Put the trailer on Facebook along with some links to things you can easily find on the internet. (If you google “’Giant Mine’ Yellowknife” you will get nearly 20,000 hits) But, do not rely exclusively on Facebook or email to reach people you know. Make a few phone calls to friends and family and ask them to make a few calls to other people to ask them to make a few calls. This will eventually peter out, but an old fashioned phone tree is a great way to connect with people who might otherwise miss the event.
- When the big day arrives it is important to set things up early so that you can test the equipment. If possible, provide your audience with an opportunity to mingle when they first arrive. This is done by brewing some coffee and putting information out at the back of the room for people to browse through while they wait for the film to begin.
- Prepare five questions to engage your audience in the event they do not come forward on their own. We have listed some typical discussion questions under The Classroom on the menu above. You can start the discussion by simply asking the audience to comment on the film. Then, if they do not bring it up, ask them how the issues raised in the film relate to something local or currently in the news. There are always environmental news stories to discuss and your community might be sitting on its own environmental time bomb. Ideally, you will not have to ask any questions because your audience will engage and want to be heard. Let them speak as long as the like because after about 30 minutes or so everyone will be ready to leave and the discussion will die down on its own.
- End the evening by thanking people for coming out and inviting them to get involved with the group(s) that sponsored the film.