Step 1: Select an online screening platform
There are more options than ever for hosting a virtual film screening. For WLP's screenings, we use two hosting platforms, Zoom and MyCircle.tv. Zoom is convenient and easy to use for hosting conversations, but some viewers may have connectivity issues that disrupt the video streaming. MyCircle.tv can serve as a backup for providing consistent HD viewing where connectivity is less robust.
- Zoom allows you to use the screen share option to stream films for all participants. Some helpful tips include:
- To make sure you have sound, select "Share computer sound" when you enable your screen share.
- To avoid sharing your entire screen, which may include pop-up messages or other content you do not want to make part of the screening, choose the correct screen share option. When you select screen share in Zoom, you will be prompted to choose a share option. These will include sharing your entire screen or sharing a specific program.
- To assist with addressing technical issues and hosting the conversation, it is helpful to have a co-host to share these responsibilities.
- MyCircle.tv allows for synchronized film viewing in HD. However, it does not allow you to host a video discussion prior to and after the screening. To work around this, you will have to direct your viewers away from your Zoom meeting to link to the screening, and then direct them back after the screening. For this reason, WLP uses MyCircle.tv as a backup option for anyone experiencing technical or connectivity difficulties with the Zoom screen share.
Helpful factors to consider when choosing your platform
- Do participants have a strong internet connection?
- Having back-up viewing options is ideal for groups with varying internet connectivity.
- Does the host have a strong internet connection?
- If the host does not have a strong internet connection, screen sharing on Zoom is not ideal.
- Do you want participants to watch the video simultaneously?
- If so, you will not want to direct participants to watch on video platforms where they control the start and stop times, or can stop the video midway. On MyCircle.tv the host controls the viewing start time. If a participant joins late or pauses during viewing, once they hit play, their viewing will adjust to the same point as the rest of the group.
Step 2: Sending invitations
It is important to email your event invitations at least one week in advance so that your invitees have time to arrange their schedules. Send a second email invitation/announcement a day or two before the event as well, to serve as a reminder. Below is an example of an email invitation to the screening that you can edit to fit your circumstances.
We hope that you can join us on [DATE + TIME] for a film screening and discussion about Women Learning Partnership’s documentary, Equality: It’s All in the Family. This 26-minute film examines the root causes of laws and practices that discriminate against women and highlights the pathways reformers are taking to create a more equitable and free society.
In many countries, women are constrained by family laws that give men the power to control their right to marry or divorce, inherit property, travel without a male guardian, hold a job, choose their place of residence, or make decisions about their children’s rights. In some places, family laws based on religion or traditions go so far as to support forms of violence against women, such as wife battery, early marriage for girls, and even so called “honor” killings. These discriminatory laws are often defended by their supporters as being inseparable from tradition and culture.
Equality: It’s All in the Family shows how inequality in family law leads to inequality and injustice in society. Today, across the globe, women’s rights advocates are demanding change.
We want to hear your thoughts about the film and your ideas about the important and timely issues it raises. Following the screening, [NAME OF ORGANIZER] will host a conversation about the film.
Please RSVP by replying to this email and we will send you a link to the film and follow-up conversation.
[NAME OF ORGANIZER]
Step 3: Developing an agenda
Depending on the size of your viewing audience, it may be helpful to share an agenda for the screening. The agenda can be emailed to participants, along with a reminder about the upcoming screening, a day or two before the event or shared on the day of the event.
Step 4: Facilitate a conversation about the issues raised in the film
Below are some suggested icebreakers and questions that may help you facilitate a discussion after the film. Welcoming and non-judgmental facilitation will encourage greater participation. If the group is large, or its participants are not well-known to each other, it can be useful to set time limits on responses. Suggest to participants that they keep their answers brief, about a minute or so in length so that the group hears from as many participants as possible. Depending on the number of participants in the screening, how well they know each other, and their prior familiarity with the issues raised in the film, an icebreaker exercise may or may not be appropriate. For more extensive guidelines on facilitating, click here to read or download, “Communicating in a Workshop Setting,” excerpted from WLP’s training manual, Leading to Choices.
If your group is relatively small, with approximately 12 or fewer people, you may wish to start with “icebreakers” to get the conversation started. Here are some examples:
- Share your name and three words that best describe how the film made you feel.
- Share your name, and in one sentence, describe which issue raised in the film is most important to you.
- Share your name and the issue or concern that you feel is most pressing at this moment for you, your family, and colleagues, and how it relates to the film.
- What does the expression, “it’s a man’s world” mean to you? Do you agree that it’s a man’s world?
- The film suggests that women’s roles are constrained and defined from birth, particularly in relation to other family members. How might women’s subservient roles in the family reverberate outside the family? How might the power structure within a family be replicated outside the family?
- Why are laws relating to the family so hard to change? What are the counterforces pushing to preserve discriminatory family laws?
- In the film, a commentator suggests that throughout history, women have also participated in preserving women’s limited roles in the family. What are some examples of this in your own community and around the world?
- Where family laws deny women the ability to pass on their nationality to their children or their foreign-born spouses—what are the possible political and/or social reasons for these laws? How do such laws coerce women?
- In Morocco, the number of divorces declined after women gained more rights to divorce in 2004. Why do you think this is?
- Globally, there are approximately 250 million girls who were married before the age of 15. Why is this a human rights violation?
- How can men support equality in the family? What advantages would equality in the family bring to men? How are men also victims of patriarchy?
- Studies show that there is a connection between inequity in the family and state fragility. Why do you think there is a connection?
- In the film, a commentator says, “We have to create a vision for the future that we want together, men and women.” What are some ideas for what that might look like?
Step 5: Ending the Event
At the conclusion of your event, it can be helpful to summarize some of the key ideas that arose during the discussion. This is something that the host/facilitator can do, or you can plan for another participant to do it. If one of your objectives is to build a network of activists, you may wish to ask participants to suggest next steps for themselves and the group.
After thanking everyone, you may wish to ask participants to send you feedback via email or a survey.
Your concluding remarks can include information about projects you and/or your organization are working on, links to or information about other activities, and next steps!