Organize a Community Screening

 
 A round table discussion organized by Portland Community Access followed an airing of our first film "NorthEast Passage" in February of 2003.

A round table discussion organized by Portland Community Access followed an airing of our first film "NorthEast Passage" in February of 2003.

Priced Out is best viewed in educational, professional development, and community settings, with a group that can discuss the issues and the feelings those issues evoke, as well as consider ways that audience members can do something about gentrification in their community. See more about screening discussions on OUR BLOG.

ADDITIONAL MATERIALS

Already organizing a screening? Download the slide show that accompanies "Priced Out" community screenings HERE for more ideas and resources that can help inform your actions.

The film must often charge a screening fee to cover ongoing costs, but many groups and organizations qualify for waivers. The filmmakers want to work with anyone interested in hosting a screening, so please contact us.

ORGANIZE YOUR OWN SCREENING

What follows is a simple guideline for organizing a screening. We don’t have the resources to host screenings, so all logistics are the sponsor’s responsibility. Therefore, it’s important that you review this screening guide before committing to an event.

Preview the film to make sure it’s right for your community. Gentrification dynamics are very different in different parts of the country. If you are not sure if Priced Out will be a good fit for your community, contact the filmmakers, and we can provide you a screener to view.

Build your partnerships

If you are an organization that doesn’t hold events regularly, make sure you have people and resources for a successful presentation. It's best if you can bring in partners like tenants and housing organizations, ethnic organizations, churches, and community groups that have programs and campaigns that are currently addressing these issues in your area.

Give yourself a lot of time

Depending on how many resources you have, give yourself 3–4 weeks to organize a screening. The fewer resources you have (people-hours to dedicate) the more lead time you will need.

Budget

As previously mentioned, screening fees can vary, but costs generally include venue, equipment (projector, screen and PA system), and speaking fees. Some screenings provide refreshments.

Find a venue

·      Venues can range from movie house and theater rentals, community centers, and churches to cafes, school gyms, and libraries. We find that churches make great partners as they often do not charge and are usually interested in social issues, engaging with the public, and bringing awareness of available resources, including the church itself.

·      Write down a list of possible venues and contact each of them to check rates and availability. It wastes valuable time to wait for one to respond before contacting the next one, so contact them all at once.

·      Make sure your venue has no windows or curtains and can be made dark enough for adequate projection. The venue should have an entrance that is separate from the main viewing area—you don’t want to throw light on the screen every time someone enters and leaves the room.

Get the MOU

The filmmakers have a Memorandum of Understanding that you will need to review and follow. It helps to clarify specific roles between the host and the license holder, as well as file formats and methods for displaying the film itself.

Pick a date and time

The feature-length movie is 63 minutes long. With setup and an hour discussion afterward, you'll need a venue for about three hours. We find that the best time for a community event is Monday–Thursday at 7 pm.

Ticket prices

We don’t recommend charging for the screening. Almost all community sponsors we work with have provided the film free to their communities. Some of them put out donation buckets, and others offer ticket reservations through Eventbrite to track how many people are expected to attend.

Panelists, discussion, and moderator

·      We find that speakers who are succinct and can offer new information, insight, or moving personal stories are the best. People who promote a specific organization or campaign, no matter how worthy, often come across like they are selling something, whereas people who ground their statements in their own experiences have the most power.

·      You will have to determine what you think your community will want to discuss the most. Some audiences have personal stories of displacement and might want to talk more about the emotions that often arise during screenings. Many people can feel very triggered by the film and will need some time to vent and be heard. Other audiences will be more activist or policy-focused and want to talk about local laws and regulations and what they can do to get involved.

·      In Portland, we always ask that sponsors offer a speaking fee to any of the people featured in the film they might want to invite. 

·      Consider utilizing an experienced moderator. We find the best results with the audience come from jumping into audience questions right away. In our experience, the energy in the room is highest when panelists answer audience questions rather than moderator questions. That said, we get the best results when moderators have some questions in their back pocket if things get bogged down. A good moderator can respectfully keep people on topic, can work the room, and has a feel for when people are soapboxing or when they have some deep pain that needs to be heard and healed.

Engagement, change-makers, partners, and the community

Outside of the post-screening discussion, these events are good for partners like housing organizations and community groups to engage with the audience. We recommend that these partners be separate from speakers, if possible. Partners can be called into the discussion when appropriate. Audience members who want to get involved or have further questions can be directed to these groups after the discussion. It’s important for partner organizations to strike while the iron is hot and use the screening as an opportunity to sign up new members, provide their core services, or raise funds and awareness.

Promote

·      Once you have your date, time, and guests locked down, you should promote the hell out of your screening. Getting the word out through partner email lists is very important. Email is one of the most valuable ways to reach people who are already interested in the issue.

·      Social media event listings on Facebook, Eventbrite, Meetup, and other local networks like Nextdoor and private FB groups are important. Paying for a FB promotion (say $70) with the right tagging can go a very long way.

·      You can download the movie trailer from Vimeo and use it on social media to really get people’s attention. Uploading the trailer to include with a FB promotion will produce the best engagement results.

·      Promotional and social media images and postcards can be downloaded from our website. Flyers are also available on the website for targeted placement, but we don’t recommend broad-based flyering. We find that social media, emailing, and personally inviting people through calls and texts work best and helps to promote the integrity of the production.

·      Some communities might be able to engage local news, niche blogs, and publications to promote the event. You can contact the filmmakers for tips on arranging this type of promotion.

Night of

Allow plenty of time and get extra folks to help with setup and cleanup. Pass a clipboard around to collect email addresses and find out how people heard about the event. Make sure you thoroughly test the projection and sound the day before the screening, or no less than a few hours before the start of the event. Remember to allow an additional half hour after the end of the discussion for people to mill around and leave the venue.

HAVE FUN!

Gentrification is a heavy and complex topic, but putting together a screening can be a very positive, community-building experience!