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Start a Films For Action Chapter in Your City

By Films For Action / filmsforaction.org
Mar 30, 2011
5.0 ·
1
Start a Films For Action Chapter in Your City

Films For Action's City Chapter websites aim to provide a definitive web-based resource for the activist community of that city. By providing a robust set of information and communication tools geared to amplify the impact of local efforts, the website serves to build synergy and momentum to affect dramatic and radical change at a city-wide 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, the website includes:

A unique sub-domain (city.FilmsForAction.org) for each city chapter 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.

A calendar of events, detailing all of the progressive activist events happening in and around the city at any given time. A daily snapshot of the week's events is displayed prominently on the homepage, allowing awareness of our events to reach hundreds and eventually thousands of more people. 

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. Each page features associated resources, a bulletin board for people to stay current on recent updates, and a subscription form to sign up for the group's email Newsletter or list-serve. 

Member pages for all of the activist 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.

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. Accompanying each "Action" are supporting articles, how-to guides, related websites, media tools, videos, and other learning materials to help carry out the action.

Community powered content. All members of the site can add videos, news headlines, original articles, actions, events and groups. 

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.

 

Goals:

These features have been implemented to achieve several goals:

  • 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 reduce "duplicate" efforts where it improves efficiency, and to expand duplicate efforts where it increases positive change
  • 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
What To Do

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

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 independent media and want to do work that will help support the collective efforts of local progressive groups. 
  • Organize around 4 to 8 film screening events per year. You could also do weekly or monthly film screenings. It all depends on your particular situation. If there are already a few groups that do like-minded film screenings, you could focus on collaborative events where FFA could support these group's efforts as a co-sponsor. Our Lawrence chapter does a combination of both, some that we organize ourselves and some that we play a more supportive role.
  • 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.
  • Organize a street-team to hand out flyers and put up posters promoting your film events and city sub-site. 


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.

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

To get the conversation started we invite you to tell us a little about yourself, but feel free to keep it as short as you like. We'll get back to you by email or phone, answer questions you have and provide plenty of support to make sure your chapter gets off to a great start.

 

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Films For Action is a community-powered, digital library for people who want to change the world.

 

Our mission is to provide citizens with the knowledge and perspectives essential to creating a more beautiful, just, sustainable, and democratic society.

Films For Action was founded in 2006 by a few friends in Lawrence, Kansas, after realizing how essential a healthy media is to a healthy democracy.

Although we started out hosting community film screenings in the beginning and did so for many years, our digital library eventually became our primary focus. 

Today, with the help of our members (who can add content directly to our site), we've curated over 5,000 of the best documentaries, short films, and videos that can be watched for free online plus several dozen pay-per-view documentaries, sorted into 34 subjects related to changing the world.

And, since there's still so much to learn about that isn't featured in a film, we've also curated 4,000 articles.

To dive in, click the Explore button to sort content by most viewedtop-rated, or newest first, as well as filter content by languagecountry, content type, and 34 topics such as foodsustainabilityeconomicssolutions or big ideas.

 

“Independent media is dangerous because it allows people to speak for themselves. And when you hear someone speaking from their own experience - whether it's a Palestinian child or an Israeli grandmother or an uncle in Afghanistan or a refugee in the Calais refugee camp - it changes you. It breaks the sound barrier. It challenges the stereotypes and the caricatures that fuel the hate groups. You may not agree with what you hear - I mean, how often do we even agree with our family members? - but you begin to understand where they're coming from. That understanding is the beginning of peace. I really do think that the media can be the greatest force for peace on Earth. Instead, all too often, it is wielded as a weapon of war. We have to take the media back.” - Amy Goodman, Place to B at COP21