Hosting a Screening of Love Lived on Death Row
Love Lived on Death Row can be used by non-profits, community organizations, grassroots and student groups, universities and faith based organizations that want to sponsor a free screening in their community and bring people together for discussion around issues in the film. Of course every screening situation is different and not every suggestion is applicable depending on the host, venue or attendees invited, but we hope you will find these suggestions and tips helpful for having a successful screening of Love Lived on Death Row.
COMMUNITY SCREENINGS require a community screening licensed DVD or the purchase of the Community Screening Kit that includes 100 postcards, posters and enough DVDs to sell to attendees so the screening kit cost is reimbursed. For more details about purchasing Love Lived on Death Row visit the BUY THE DVD page.
UNIVERSITY, COLLEGE or GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONAL SCREENINGS require the educational use screening licensed DVD. High School educators and Community Libraries can use the community licensed DVD. For more details go to our BUY THE DVD page.
Planning a Screening
- Identify Objectives. What outcomes do you hope come out of the screening? How can a screening and post-viewing discussion help your organization or bring awareness to the issues in the film to members of your community or school? Below are downloadable Lived on Death Row Discussion Guide PDFs that give examples of objectives and can be used to help facilitate dialogue before and after viewing the documentary Downloadable discussion guides coming soon!
- Target Audience. Will you host a free screening for just a select group of people (ie: your congregation or student organization members) or do you want to do outreach to your entire community? Inviting the community requires more outreach efforts and promotion and we suggest partnering with local issue-related organizations or advocates to help get the word out about your event. (See Develop Screening Partners below.)
- Select a Date, Location and Time. Many different spaces can serve as screening venues: an auditorium, a community center, a school or university classroom, an art center or movie theater, a place of worship, even your own home! Consider how many people you hope will attend (we recommend a space that can hold at least 50 people.) Consider time and possible date conflicts for your invitees such as student schedules, religious holidays, other community/campus events and vacation schedules. If you have an early evening screening you may want to provide free food and beverages. College students in particular appreciate if food and beverages are offered and it may increase attendance!
- Screening Equipment Needs. The venue where you are having your screening may already have all the sound and projection equipment you need. Some venues may require that an on-site technician be secured to set-up and run the equipment and some venues may require an extra fee for technical/projection assistance. If you are providing or renting your own equipment, you will need a sound system, a projector and DVD player (or projector with computer input if using a laptop with DVD player) and a movie screen. A big-screen TV and DVD player can be used too, just make sure that audience seating allows for visibility. Always test the DVD with equipment and do a sound and image check before the screening.
- Develop Screening Partners. If your school,
community or faith group is hosting a screening, organizations in your
area or state may be interested in joining you to participate, or co-sponsor
your event. These partnerships with organizations can be very valuable
for several reasons; including them will help with your event promotion
and increase attendees; they may be able to provide an expert
or key-note speaker or have referrals for a post-screening
discussion panel or a moderator; they may have advice and/or
experience to successful screening event organizing; and they can provide
materials and information about how to take action or get involved in
the issues in the film. If you are interested in having Producer/Director
Linda Booker in attendance, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Organizations and non-profits that have hosted or participated in Love Lived on Death Row screenings in the past have included: Domestic Violence agencies, Victim-Offender Reconciliation groups, Anti-Death Penalty or Death Penalty Reform organizations and Murder Victims Families groups. Some of these organizations are listed on the GET INVOLVED page and links on their websites are valuable resources to find others. Contact their community outreach coordinators to find out if there is a local member or staff that can attend your screening. It is a good idea to give panelists and moderators the option to preview the documentary before the screening.
- Invite your Guests: Email your guest list and send postcard invites (included in the Community Screening Kit). Depending on your group and screening objectives, you may want to consider inviting the following:
- local advocacy groups that work with the issues of domestic violence, child welfare, criminal justice, restorative justice, capital punishment and human rights.
- faith/spiritual communities
- family, friends and colleagues
- local film clubs or documentary enthusiasts
- students (grades 8-12) and youth groups. (Love Lived on Death Row is unrated. There is no violence, profanity or sexual content, however the themes of domestic violence, murder and the death penalty may not be suitable for children. Advise parents to review the synopsis and view trailer.
College/University Campus Screenings can implement all the partnership and outreach tools mentioned here and especially utilize social networking sights and campus publications, department newsletters and posting flyers on school, dorm and mailroom bulletin boards. Finding a faculty co-sponsor(s) and student group co-sponsors will lend to a successful event. Identify what departments the subject matter would interest most (criminal justice, law schools, social work and sociology, film and documentary, divinity schools/religion.) Ask professors to give credit for attending and mention in their classes. Have pizza, popcorn and beverages at screening! If a guest speaker such as author and activist Sister Helen Prejean (who is in the documentary) is lecturing on campus, time a screening around the time of their visit.
Posters/Flyers: 18 x 24 Posters may be ordered by contacting email@example.com. Minimum order of 3 for $15 plus $10 shipping and handling. If you order the screening kit, four posters are included as well as 100 postcards. Order the community screening kit at our BUY the DVD page.
- If you have community members as keynote speakers, panelists or moderator, or if someone from the film or filmmaker is attending, include that information in your press release. Make sure co-sponsoring organizations are mentioned as well. Here is an example of a press release (PDF).
- Find out which media outlets tend to give more coverage to grassroots advocacy or screening events. An alternative weekly may be more likely to publish your event than a city daily newspaper. If your screening is in a local theater or art center, contact their film reporters or columnists to see if they will do coverage.
- Identify which staff reporters cover the issues in the film such as the death penalty and direct the press release to them. Columnists may be interested in your event as well (ie: someone who writes about community faith issues.) Invite them to the screening.
- We advise sending press releases at least 14 days before your event and calendar submissions four weeks before. Follow-up with a phone call after sending a press release.
- Local radio programs (especially local NPR affiliates) can be a great way to talk about the event. Contact the producers and hosts with plenty of lead time and have information about participating local advocates or experts that would be willing to do an interview. Producer/Director Linda Booker is available for interviews. Visit our PRESS/CONTACT page for more.
- Mention the Love Lived on Death Row website (www.lovelivedondeathrow.com) and that a press kit is available on the press/contact page and a trailer for the film can be viewed. High resolution still images are available by contacting Linda Booker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Have a welcome table with a sign in sheet and pens. Use that table for information and handouts or have a separate table nearby for information. Ask people how they heard about the screening event or create a column on the sign-in sheet.
- You may want to do a screening program that includes: the film’s synopsis and website; information/bios about the speakers or panelists; the sponsoring group and co-sponsors; special acknowledgments or thank yous.
- Have beverages and snacks if possible for attendees. Have water available for speakers, moderator and panelists.
- Make nametags for your special guests and panelists, and if your group is small – nametags for guests.
- Designate someone to take photos during the introduction and post-screening discussion for your newsletters and outreach/networking promotion.
- Remember to test the DVD in the equipment and do a sound and image check. Pressing STOP and then PLAY may not take you back to the beginning with opening sequence and title. You may need to remove the DVD from the player and reinsert to get back to the start-up menu. Make sure projectionist hits PLAY FILM (not the trailer.)
Screening and Discussion. Please download the online discussion guide and preview before your screening. The discussion guide can be used as little or as much as is appropriate for your screening event. ie: A student or faith group may want to print out copies and spend more time before and after the screening event using the guide. A moderator may want to select some of the post-viewing questions to spark audience feedback or move the discussion along.
- Welcome and thank all participants, cosponsors and audience for
- Introduce the film and mention post-screening discussion. You may want
to introduce panelists now or wait until after the screening.
- Dim the lights and watch the film! (84 minutes)
- Facilitate discussion for 30 minutes to an hour (this will be
longer or shorter depending on your group and audience)
- Record comments about the film by attendees and/or provide a short survey
or index card for comments
- Remind attendees to take information and speak with advocates in
attendance on how they can get involved in the issues addressed in the
film. What are some action steps they can take? Create your own take
action handouts or ask cosponsors to provide. Include information
about the GET INVOLVED page at the website.
- Thank everyone for coming and pat yourselves on the back for all your organizing and hard work for a successful screening.