6 Steps to Host a Screening
1. Identify your objective and target audiences.
What would you like to achieve in screening the documentary in your community? You might want to simply build public awareness around elder abuse. Or you might want to spark a discussion within your community, inspire viewers to support a local issue or program, or provide a forum where audience members can discuss how this issue affects their lives.
- Choose the type of screening you want to hold (public vs. private, large vs. small, etc.)
- Identify your audience (seniors, social workers, law enforcement, families, general public, etc.)
- Decide what message you want the audience to get from the presentation
2. Choose your viewing option.
- Live stream the documentary on YouTube
- Download the video to your computer from Vimeo (see instructions)
- Purchase a DVD (limited quantities available)
3. Get the word out.
Use publicity to draw people to your screening event. In our Screening Guide, you’ll find a sample flyer, press release, and public service announcement. If publicity is new for you, partner with another organization in your community that you know has this expertise.
4. Prepare for the event.
Test your equipment.
Preview the video to make sure there are no glitches. Set up your video projector system at least 30 minutes before the audience arrives to ensure that everything is running smoothly. Remember to address the needs of people with hearing and visual limitations, especially if your target audience is older Americans.
Gather your materials.
Whether or not you plan to have a conversation with the audience, it’s a good idea to provide printed materials that they can take home. In our Screening Guide, you’ll find:
- Elder Abuse Fact Sheet
- Elder Justice Act Summary
- Summary of the Human Rights of the Aged
- Introduction to the Elder Justice Now Campaign
Plan your post-screening discussion.
The most challenging part of showing the film may be discussing it with the audience afterward. This is particularly true if you’re hosting the screening in a senior center, retirement facility, or other location where there will be older adults and their loved ones. Be prepared by having a social worker, a discussion facilitator, and crisis contact information available. Use the Discussion Guide in our Screening Guide to get started.
Check your checklist.
Double check the Event Planning Checklist in the Screening Guide to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.
5. Host the event.
Before the screening, give a brief introduction of the film and campaign, let people know there will be a post-screening discussion, and encourage the audience to participate. If you have any special guests, such as local organizers or advocates, you may want to announce them, as well.
Once the film is over, provide or distribute any materials before the discussion starts. Then lead a targeted discussion about issues in the film, in your community, and how to take action following your event. Be sure to leave enough time for discussion, as this will be your opportunity to connect the film to issues in your community.
6. Let us know how it went!
National Council on Aging (NCOA)
251 18th Street South, Suite 500
Arlington, VA 22202