This is an easy and effective way to spread the word and teach while keeping participants, community, students engaged at the same time. You can present a movie regarding anything you’re passionate about. Let the film do the talking for you.
- Your school / college / university / community may have a space where you can show videos. An auditorium / balai raya, or even a study hall with a large screen and projector would be ideal since it seats the most people, but any classroom with a screen and projector can be just as effective (and perhaps cozier). Projectors are expensive, though, so if your school doesn’t have one, you can always use a school TV.
- Can’t screen a movie at your school? Are you affiliated with a religious organization? How about asking your religious leader for permission to use a room with video capability. Or you can also try asking your community center. Wherever you decide, ask if you can add the event to the the group’s calendar or bulletin.
- Still stuck? How about asking a local movie theater or a local cafe to donate screen time or host the film series—even in the morning or during the day for school children or religious groups.
- Just remember: If you’re showing the film in a public place, you may need to obtain screening rights. Some documentaries have special nonprofit or educational editions you can purchase that include the screening rights. If that option is unavailable, contact the producer of the film you want to screen to ask if they will donate the rights just for this day.
If the video is short, you may be able to show it during class. Just ask your teacher’s permission first and arrange for the equipment to be ready ahead of time. If the video is long, such as a feature-length film, the best time for the screening may be during lunch or after school. Either way, you should make sure the equipment is prepared ahead of time and ensure you’re allowed to use the space. It would be best to speak to a teacher to learn how to book the room so it’s guaranteed to be free for the screening.
This screening should be catered to other students, but parents and faculty should also be welcome to check it out and help supervise the event. Let your teachers and classmates know, and if this turns out to grow into a large event, flyers can be used to help advertise.
Step by step Guide
Whether you are a seasoned activist or a first-time organizer, here is a simple guide to get you started. Go through the steps one by one, and you’ll be on your way to planning a creative, engaging, and powerful action in your community.
1) Choose an movie / documentary and location!
Do let us know if you need a recommendations on movie/documentary to be screened. Whatever your movie, be sure to think about the best photo opportunity to capture your action and everyone who attends – photos are the primary way we link up actions worldwide and tell our story.
Don’t forget to register your event online — where you can login to post announcements, and others can sign up to attend your event. e.g. Facebook event page.
2) Invite People to Join You
Invite your friends, neighbors, classmates, and local organizations to assist in sponsoring and organizing the action. Think outside the box about who to reach out to – maybe the local church, mosque, synagogue, sports team, university, or arts cooperative would be interested in getting involved in the issue. This is when it gets fun!
3) Work Out the Details
Take care of logistical details as soon as you can (this is why you want friends to help you out). Important things to consider include the timing of the action, directions, transportation, bathrooms, sound system, permits for use of public spaces, sponsorships, etc.
Example of a Movie Screening Schedule
Time – Program
- 3.00pm / 7.30pm – arrival
- 3.30pm / 8.00pm – movie – introduction & screening
- 4.30pm / 9.00pm – discussion and Q&A
- 5.30pm / 10.00pm – end
example movie to be screened
- poko-poko – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvSvVvnI2wY
- Story of Stuff – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dz3tPxUFGbY
4) Invite Government Officials
If we want our actions to have as big an impact as possible, it’s essential that we reach out to our local, regional, and national leaders. Invite your city mayor, ADUN/MP, climate change negotiator, or environment minister. You never know who might be willing to show up and be a climate champion!
5) Spread the Word
Send out emails, write editorials for local newspapers, get on the local radio station, ask organizations to include the action information in newsletters and bulletins, and put up posters all over town. There are downloadable posters available, ask us.
6) Make a Banner
Each action should have a banner, or some way to communicate their support for 350ppm. Some communities will hold big 350 banners, others will spell out 350 with their participants, others still may make a mural together that says 350. We’re asking that everyone make their own banner – it will be great for each action to have its own home-made, local flavor, and yet to all have a common, unifying message. Just be sure to make it large and legible.
7) Tell the Media
It’s important to contact local, state, and national media to make sure they report on 350 actions in your area. Think about what print, radio, television, and blogs you’d want to have cover your event, and start getting in touch now!
8) Take Action
The details of your action are up to you, but at some point be sure to take a picture with everyone present with your 350 banner displayed front and center. Have a fun and meaningful day, knowing that you’re forming a very important part of a giant global movement to stop climate change!
9) Report Back
This part is very important: as soon as your action is over, be sure to select your best photo and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. You might want to designate a volunteer to help with this. This is so important because we need your picture to be able to deliver the strongest possible message to the media and to the world’s decision-makers. Video footage and written stories from your action are great too, but photos are the top priority. Thanks for being a part of this important movement for change!
A few tips
Running a meeting isn’t rocket science, but there are a few key things to keep in mind to make sure your meeting is successful:
- Have clear goals you want to achieve from the meet-up/movie screening, like getting to know new people in your community interested in climate change, or figuring out what first action you want to take together to build a powerful local climate action group.
- Design your agenda to make sure you achieve your goals in the time frame you have available.
- Delegate someone to facilitate who has some facilitation experience or is a friendly, outgoing person who is a good listener and can help direct the conversation.
- People are more willing to talk when they’re fed – think about making your meeting a community dinner or potluck!
- Having name tags and doing a round of introductions can go a long way in helping people to get to know each other.
- Set chairs up in a circle. Don’t set up your meeting where everyone is facing the front, like a classroom. If you want to build a community of leaders, set everyone up to be on equal ground to participate.
- Make it fun! This is perhaps the most important tip. Incorporate a fun element, like a game, song, dance, or art project. By making it fun, you break the ice, and hopefully make people more interested to come to the next meeting.
A Smooth Talk: How to host a discussion
So the movie is over and you’re sitting in a room full of people. What’s next? Make sure you hold a discussion about the movie where everyone voices their opinions on the topic. There’s really no point to watching a movie unless there’s time for discussion afterward!
In order to start things off, always have a list of questions prepared that relate to the movie. Watching the movie on your own beforehand or finding a summary online can give you some ideas. Here are some sample questions:
- What are the main characters’ struggles?
- What aspects of this movie relate to the cause?
- What sides of the issue does the movie focus on?
- What do you think the director/screenwriter wants the audience to take away from this movie?
- After watching this movie, how do you feel about the cause? Has your opinion changed?
- What can we do about this issue in our specific community? What resources do we have?
Also, take a moment to think about how you want your conversations to be structured. Do you want to have everyone sitting in a big circle and let people voice their opinions without a moderator? Or maybe your audience should break into smaller groups and then share with everyone else later. What would be the best format for what you’re trying to accomplish and for the size of your event?
If you feed them, they will come: Providing for a hungry audience
A good way to get people to stick around, whether in your school gym or your living room, is food! Arrange for there to be some kind of snack and drink (cookies and juice work great!) at your event. If it’s a small gathering with friends, make it a potluck where everyone brings a snack, drink or condiment for all to enjoy—that way you won’t end up dishing out too much cash.
After the credits roll: Following Up
- The movie is done and discussion has died down. Before everyone goes home for the night, give them the option to leave their name and e-mail if they’ve been inspired to do something about the cause. Hopefully you’ll end up with a list of people who are equally interested about the cause and who you can team up with for a project.
- Consider asking all attendees to take a specific action, such as signing postcards or petitions that can be sent to the UN or state or national governors to advocate for your cause.
- You may want to also provide them with a simple fact sheet on the issue. It may give them food for thought later and/or they may pass it along to someone else.