Film screenings provide an entertaining way to educate students and community members about pressing international issues. Documentaries, dramas, and student films alike can inspire action, providing great opportunities to recruit new members. However, preparing for screenings can be somewhat complicated, as you may have to work with your school’s administration to secure rights to a film. Partnering with other student organizations to promote your event can greatly boost attendance. For more information on how to partner with outside organizations, read GenUN’s partnership toolkit: http://genun.unausa.org/partnering_with_outside_organizations
Students at the University of Arkansas hosted a film screening of Sergio, a documentary based on the story of United Nations diplomat Sergio de Mello, who served the UN for more than 34 years. Several schools have hosted screenings of Girl Rising, a film about young girls’ struggles to overcome cultural and societal barriers across the world; you can contact UNA to get a copy of the Girl Rising DVD. The screenings generated attention for both the issues as well as for the efforts of involved student groups.
Do It Yourself
- Check with your school to see if you must obtain permission to screen movies on campus. Several weeks in advance of your planned event, contact administrators at your school in order to secure film rights and submit the proper documentation to avoid copyright infringement. Some schools do not regulate film screenings, so if your school falls into this category, you’re ready to go!
- Reserve a location for your event. Think about locations that are easy to access.
- Determine what technology (i.e., projectors, cords, etc.) you will need to screen the film and secure it.
- Begin advertising the screening approximately two weeks in advance. Consider selling or distributing free tickets online for easy ordering using a tool like Eventbrite.
- In the final week before the event, utilize social media to boost awareness on campus.
- Following the event, give interested students opportunities to become involved in the cause and organization. Additional examples of UN-related films include Pray the Devil Back to Hell, Red Lines, Watchers of the Sky, and A People Without a Land.