By Films For Action
Sep 27, 2012
Films For Action is a local and international organization dedicated to providing you with the information and perspectives essential to creating a more just, sustainable, and democratic society. Along these lines we are many things.
We're community film screening organizers. We're an alternative news center. We're a problem/solutions learning library. We're an international and city-focused activist hub. We're a solutions and actions incubator and instigator. But perhaps most importantly of all, we're a megaphone to amplify the under-represented voices of all the movements working to change the world. Together, all of these efforts tie into our mission to create the media infrastructure necessary to radically accelerate all of our efforts to transition to a sustainable world.
Our local city chapters aim to serve this mission at the local level. We believe an informed, well connected, and engaged local community is the first step to creating a just and sustainable society.
To achieve this end, our website includes:
A unique url (FilmsForAction.org/YourCityName) for groups to create a completely tailored and dedicated place for people in every city to stay informed, get involved, and network and organize with others in the area.
A calendar of events, dedicated to all of the activist events happening in and around the city at any given time, which anyone can submit to.
A directory of local activist groups, united by our common vision of a more just, sustainable and democratic future, detailing who they are, what they do, and how those interested can get involved. Group representatives can submit their group to the directory and use the updates feature to keep us current on recent updates.
Local news and articles written and contributed by local residents in the spirit of democratic, participatory journalism.
A constantly growing learning library full of online viewable documentaries, short films and videos hand-picked to change the world.
News headlines republished from independent and alternative news sites.
A "Take Action" section providing a wealth of practical action ideas for individuals or groups to draw inspiration from.
Community powered content allowing anyone to become a member of the site to add videos, news headlines, original articles, actions, events and groups.
It's free and easy to sign up, so we encourage you to start participating in the site today. It's your site, so join us and help this project reach its potential!
Our city chapters and organization hopes to achieve several goals:
To keep people informed on important local and global issues not adequately covered by the mainstream press
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 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
To make much of the invisible work of local groups visible to the wider community, and to other activist groups, so we can gain a better sense of our collective efforts and find areas of convergence and synergy
To launch non-partisan action campaigns or support the campaigns of other local groups that will have a positive impact
We believe we have a historic opportunity to develop the foresight and vision necessary to make our cities sustainable, just and thriving places to live. We believe that the leadership for this movement will come from the bottom up, and that the solutions necessary to make this happen already exist. Whether here, in our own local place, in Curitba, Brazil or in Samso, Sweden - solutions already exist. They are in development all over the world, by millions of people and thousands of organizations.
Indeed, we are a movement millions strong, but this movement has no name, no "ism" to tie us all together. There is no single manifesto that articulates our vision in a single language. In its place we have a thousand different ways of articulating this vision, spoken in the words of every language. However, the vision we share of a better future is common. We just need to connect the dots.
Independent media like Films For Action is not the solution itself. It is the means to help realize this vision in tangible form - here in our own city, in our own particular place. It is the compass, the binoculars, the hiking shoes, and the walking stick that will help us get there.
What To Do
Sign up for a member account and start contributing content to the site, and consider launching or joining a Films For Action chapter in your area.
Rate Member Submitted Content
Our site utilizes an open-publishing format that lets our community be the editors of the site. For this to work, we encourage you to regularly rate content you see that's been submitted by members. Enough up votes and content gets featured on the homepage and stay on content homepages by default; enough down votes and the content gets "hidden" from the main views, but is still accessible via the Sort By drop downs on each content homepage. 2-3 star content is viewable from the All Member content views.
Start a Films For Action 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.
Organize public Films For Action meetings to brainstorm and implement action-oriented campaigns, focusing on action and actual event/campaign organizing logistics as much as possible.
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 and post their group updates or newsletters to to site.
Solicit local writers to submit articles for the blog, creating a forum for local progressive voices and stories to be represented.
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.
Become a micro-independent news distro that your friends can trust. Help our learning library become the definitive community resource for social change film, news and action.
Regularly share indy media from our site and other sites to help spread the word, via Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.