How to Host a Film Screening

Hollaback! Istanbul hosted a screening of “Miss Representation”

Hosting a film screening is one way to draw attention to street harassment and to encourage thought and discussion. Invite other organizations and community members to watch the film and then have an open discussion about how the film relates to issues you’re concerned about.

  1. Choose a film that you feel addresses street harassment or a related issue. The film can be any genre–fiction, nonfiction, biography, or documentary. (Popular films that address street harassment and gender inequality include: War Zone, The Line, Miss Representation, or 678). You may need to contact a movie screening company to obtain a license for showing the movie.
    OPTIONAL: Find a sponsor to help you pay for any screening or associated costs. The sponsor  will also help add to your audience members and publicity outreach.
  2. Choose a target audience that you would like to invite to the film screening. For example, you may decide to invite organizations that share your mission, community activists, student groups, or residents of a certain neighborhood. You might decide on a target audience of children, teens, or adults, or you might choose to invite people of all ages.
  3. Select a date and time for the film screening. Try to choose a meaningful date when people are most likely to be talking about street harassment and other issues addressed in the film. For example, it would be strategic to host the film screening during International Anti-Street Harassment Week in March.
  4. Select a venue that will be available on the date and at the time you have chosen. Popular places to hold film screenings include libraries, open theaters, and other public meeting spaces. You might also look into hosting the screening at a small, independent movie theater, or at a concert venue. Be sure to contact the venue manager and check if the venue has all the materials you need to host your screening (ex. projector, screen, etc.)

    Hollaback! Istanbul  distributing literature
    Hollaback! Istanbul tabled with flyers at their screening
  5. Create and distribute flyers a month in advance of the film screening. Make sure the flyers are eye-catching and provide key details about the film that will attract individuals who are interested in exploring the issues that you’re addressing through the screening.
  6. Promote your film screening on social networks like Twitter and Facebook to spread the word about the event to your online supporters. In advance of the screening, you can create a blog post with images from the film, a brief review of the movie, and a discussion of why the film is important. You can direct your online audience to your blog post to get them excited about the screening.
  7. Write a press release about the film screening to send to newspapers, radio shows, blogs, and other media outlets. The more people hear about your event, the more likely they are to come!
  8. Create a schedule for the event that includes a short, spoken introduction to the film and a participatory discussion after the film ends.
  9. Select a speaker who can introduce the film and lead the audience’s discussion once the film has ended. Reach out to prominent community leaders or activists who may be willing to serve as the moderator for the discussion.
  10. Draft a list of questions and concepts that you would like to be a part of the discussion after the film. Work with the discussion leader to decide on the suggested topics for the discussion. After the film, have the discussion leader ask audience members what they thought about the film and encourage audience members to give solutions for resolving the issues addressed in the film. For example, you might ask the audience about their ideas for how to combat street harassment.
  11. At the event, make sure different volunteers are assigned different tasks including:
    • Being a greeter at the table
    • Taking photos of the event
    • Handing out information about your organization after the discussion is over
    • Making sure that audience members know how to follow up and connect with you after the film screening. For example, you might ask audience members for their email addresses and add them to your email list, so that you can bring them into your community.
  12. Spread the word about your film screening through social media!  Hollaback! Istanbul hosted a film screening of the documentary, “Miss Representation.” Check out pictures from the event:

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