Want to Start a Films For Action chapter in Your City? Join us!
 

Our city chapter platform provides a growing suite of free technical tools and resources to make creating your own robust, independent media hub for your city as easy as possible.

Our City Chapters lie at the heart of our mission to provide independent and alternative media for local communities. By networking these chapters via a single international hub, our ultimate vision is to see thousands of city chapters springing up across the world, providing a people-powered media that exists explicitly to support the movements working to change the world.

At the city scale, through a combination of public documentary film screenings, the chapter's city website, local campaigns, and other uses you can think up, our chapters aim to side-step our dependence on corporate media and correct the frequent local deficiencies in coverage of social movement building. By creating our own media channels, we won't have to rely on the local or national media to cover our stories. We can tell these stories ourselves -- providing a direct-access medium for people in our cities to stay informed, get involved and organize with others.

To accomplish this, our website features several tools to assist these efforts at the local level:

  • Decentralized and community-powered content: anyone can add local content like events, groups, or republished and original writings for the local news feed. Contributions are rated by members as well, allowing the community to decide what gets featured on the homepage. 
     
  • A calendar of events focused on promoting all of the progressive/radical activist events happening in the city's area at any given time. We encourage everyone to add events directly, allowing the calendar to be maintained by many people rather than a single person.. (Decentralized networks! Yes!)
     
  • A directory of local activist groups, united by our common vision for a better future, detailing who they are, what they do, and how those interested can get involved. Groups can post "updates" which are published on the front page of the city site, and the page also can include subscription form to make it easy for folks to sign up for the group's email Newsletter or list-serve.
     
  • Profile pages for all of the members in the community, detailing their interests, skill-share resources, and other information tailored to help foster stronger, real-world community development and support networks.
     
  • A local news feed featuring local news and articles written and contributed by local citizens (you) in the spirit of democratic, participatory journalism.
     
  • A unqiue domain url (filmsforaction.org/cityname) to allow local chapters to create a completely tailored and dedicated place for people in their city to stay informed, get involved, and network and organize with others in the area.
     
  • Film screening tool-kits for twenty of the best documentaries we've previously screened, including flyer templates with original artwork, sample press releases, and sample action guides.
     
  • Local chapters are connected to an international social change network and information library full of online films, articles and take action ideas contributed by the community.

 

Here is a list of some of the films we've screened in the past, which we have screening kits for:

The Economics of Happiness    
King Corn    
Numen: The Nature of Plants    
The Yes Men Fix the World    
Zeitgeist: Moving Forward    
Dirty Business: "Clean Coal" and the Battle for Our Energy Future    
The Next Industrial Revolution w/ Speaker Warren Brush    
Dirt! The Movie    
Within Reach    
Fierce Light: When Spirit Meets Action    
What Would Jesus Buy?    
Rethink Afghanistan    
Fabled Enemies    
Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections    
Black Gold    
Crude Impact    
War Made Easy    
What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire    
Oil, Smoke & Mirrors    
Go Organic!    
Sir! No Sir!    
The Future of Food    
The End of Suburbia    
Weapons of Mass Deception    
Wal-Mart: the high cost of low price

 

These features have been implemented to achieve several goals:

  • To make it easy for anyone and their friends to start hosting film screenings and creating their own independent news source for their city, without having to mess with all the boring technical stuff
     
  • To provide a local online news and organizing hub that is dedicated specifically to supporting movements for social justice and sustainability
     
  • To make activism more accessible to a wider demographic of people
     
  • To be an attractive and welcoming place for people new to activism to get informed, find other people in the area of like-mind, and get involved with local activist groups
     
  • To help strengthen the city's activist community, and to help it grow in both number and effectiveness
     
  • To keep people informed on important local and global issues not adequately covered by the mainstream press
     
  • To reduce the amount of promotional work groups must do to ensure a strong turn out at events
     
  • To strengthen the solidarity of all the different people and groups working together in this wide movement for a more just, democratic and sustainable future

 

 

Sounds awesome! So what's Involved in Forming a Chapter?

Creating and sustaining a chapter is a solid commitment, but it also offers one of the greatest ways you can have a positive impact on your city. And of course, you won't be doing it alone.

Here's a general run-down of chapter activities:

  • Gather your initial team. Seek out enthusiastic friends or people you know in the activist community that are interested in media issues. Keep an eye out for individuals with specific skills or experience that will be helpful, including a good writer, public speaker, graphic designer, etc.
     
  • Organize around four public film screening events per year. We would encourage six to 12 as the ideal to strive for, but you could also do weekly film screenings. It all depends on your particular situation.
     
  • Network with all of the progressive/radical activist groups in your city and encourage them to regularly post their events on the city site, as well as add their group to the group directory.
     
  • Solicit local writers to submit articles for the blog, creating a forum for local progressive voices and stories to be represented.
     
  • Promote your city website and events.

 

The point of all of these activities is to create a strong independent media center for your city - a place and a network people can trust to stay informed on the things that matter, to connect and organize with others in the community, and to build the foundation upon which a movement for change can truly flourish.

Breaking our dependence on the corporate media and informing ourselves via our own media channels is the key to breaking the stalemate that keeps our social change progress slowed to a crawl. Once this bottleneck is broken, we'll be able to rapidly accelerate our efforts for positive change in virtually every other area of the social change puzzle. From true sustainability to social justice to direct democracy - we believe a vibrant independent media is the healthy soil from which all of these aspirations can grow. 



This sounds like a project I can get behind! Anything else I need to know?

Just a few more things.

  • Films For Action chapters do not support, fund, or endorse political parties or candidates. We are a strictly non-partisan organization.
     
  • Creating a chapter is free and you keep all of the proceeds made from your Chapter's film screenings. We only expect that funds go towards supporting and growing your Chapter - to buy new films, mainly, and to cover other local FFA expenses. By charging a low admission fee for the screenings, this will be one of the main ways the chapters will generate funds to buy more films and keep the project self-sustaining.
  • These city chapters are really a big experiment to see what is possible. We have a general guide for what we envision for the chapters (outlined above), but we're excited to see what other people will bring to the project. We hope you'll take the basic premise of it and run with it, expand on it, and make your city chapter unique to the needs of your city and the passions of the members involved.
     
  • The basic framework is: decentralized, but cooperative - sharing the same basic goals and values, but letting each chapter have plenty of autonomy to grow and become what it wants to become and see what happens.
     
  • We also recommend checking out our guide to hosting film screenings for more info.

If everything sounds great so far and you're ready dive in, click the button below to

 

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