Hosting a screening


This guide is intended to show activists how to host a film screening.



Hosting a film screening is an effective outreach tool for any cause-based movement.


How do I organize a screening?

Where should a screening be hosted?

How do I promote a screening?

Should I sell tickets to the screening?

How do I introduce a screening?

How do I engage the audience after the screening has concluded?


Firstly, any organization should clearly define the aims, goals, and objectives associated with hosting a screening event. Such information will prove to be useful throughout the planning process.

A host should also determine their target audience. Such insight will determine where advertising efforts should be directed, and aid in the selection of a venue.



There is an abundance of venues capable of hosting a screening event. Viable venues include: university campuses, community centres, local schools, etc. 

At the same time, a host may consider approaching a local cinema or theatre. Such establishments may be willing to house your screening event, at a reasonable price, on an off night.

Nevertheless, before selecting a screening location, a host should consider a venue’s accessibility for would-be attendees. Furthermore, a host must budget for possible costs associated with particular venues. For instance, a host may consider charging a small entrance fee to cover venue-based expenses.

Advertising and promotions

There are numerous ways that an organization can promote a screening event. For instance, posters can be effective advertisements on university campuses, or at the screening venue itself.

As well, it is possible that the film to-be screened has a trailer available on the web. In this case, a host should consider embedding this video on their organization’s blog or website, and circulating the link via social media channels. If the film is to be shown on university campuses, an organization should consider approaching particular departments or campus organizations to inquire about reaching interested students.


Decisions regarding financial issues should be made far in advance of the event. Firstly, a host should inform attendees of where ticket sale profits and monetary donations are going. For instance, attendees should be aware if venue-based expenses are a factor in ticket prices, etc.

At the same time, many activist groups do hold free screening events.  While monetary donations are not a requirement to attend these events, the host organization often communicates that they do appreciate financial contributions of any size.

During the event

A host should be selected to introduce the film to the audience, and to offer closing thoughts once the screening has concluded. As well, a moderator should be appointed to encourage and oversee any post-screening discussions or debate that may occur.

Post screening

Upon the conclusion of a screening, hosts should consider moderating a brief audience discussion. By affording the audience a platform for respectful discussion of the film, meaningful dialogue and debate may result. Such conversation will only reinforce the significance of your cause.

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