The following are a few suggested guidelines to help make your screening successful:
Reach out to organizations in your community to co-host the event. A collaborative event with partner groups will help fill seats, attract press, and make local elected officials take notice. Look for local chapters of peace groups, faith groups (including churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and interfaith groups), Democratic Party clubs, unions, service clubs (Rotary/Lions clubs), and any other groups that you think will join. Look especially for groups that you or your friends and family have personal connections to. Ask them to help you organize a screening.
Work with your partner groups to find a suitable venue and location. The venue should be large enough to accommodate 40 to 50 people, but not too large that you will be unable to fill it. The location should be easily accessible, and MUST be within the boundaries of your congressional district. You can find district information by visiting your Congress Member's website.
Invite Your Congressperson
Call or write the Congressperson's district scheduler (contact information can also obtained from their website). Once you are in touch with the scheduler, tell them that you and your partner groups are setting up a screening of Rethink Afghanistan, and you want the representative to attend the screening, speak, and take questions after. Representatives are in the Capitol during the week, but many return to their districts on weekends, so it's helpful to schedule your screening on a Saturday or a Sunday. You should be prepared with a number of dates and times to accommodate scheduling. This process often requires thorough follow up. Do not just email and then hope to hear back. Call, write, and drop in until you receive an answer.
If your Congressperson absolutely cannot make it in person, don't fret: ask the scheduler if a staff representative can attend in his or her place.
As soon as you have your event scheduled and it is on your representative's calendar, contact Martha de Hoyos at Brave New Foundation (310-402-9048, firstname.lastname@example.org
). She will work with you to get local press to your event.
Turnout, turnout, turnout. This is one of the most critical steps to a successful event. Make sure your partner groups commit to bringing enough people to fill the space. Follow up as needed. Invite all of your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors, and get them each to commit to you personally that they will attend. Publicize your event with posters, social networking announcements, and organization newsletters.
For further info on the segments, check out the fact sheets on effect of war in Afghanistan on Women
and Civilian Casualties
to see and print the film's movie poster. (Adobe PDF)