An Education and Networking project of Smart Change - Network for Progressive Change
This project is in development
Smart Change is a movement-building project to enhance the effectiveness of social and ecological organizations through networking, skill training, and the development of a curriculum for systemic social transformation.
Smart Docs brings together documentary films with cutting edge activism, using films about social justice and environmental issues as catalysts for education and social change. Films chosen to represent specific issues become part of a series that is promoted for screening in a national community network.
Smart Docs links the filmmakers and their films to active, progressive non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) working on the issues represented in each film and develops campaigns and strategies which connect the film to the issue. Each film is partnered with a number of non-governmental organizations ranging from international, to national and regional organizations which are working on the issue.
Each film will have a campaign built around it utilizing the existing expertise and resource materials of the partner NGO’s.
A Network of screening hosts, including existing screening networks and members of a variety of active organizations will screen the films in locations across the country.
Screenings in alternative theatres, community centers, schools, universities, churches, union halls, offices and living rooms will be accompanied with a speaker who can facilitate discussion following the film.
The speakers are either members or representatives of one of the partner organizations linked to the issue presented in the film. In addition to facilitating discussion they will also provide a local context, information and tools that the audience can use to become active on the issue. The campaign packages will include items such as postcards, petitions, sample letters and information they can use to help explain the issue and it’s importance to family, friends, coworkers, neighbours and the larger community.
Admission + Fundraising
Admission for screenings will be on a sliding scale and no viewers will be turned away for lack of funds but the audiences will be encouraged to pay an admission that is comparable to a first run cinema or to donate a larger amount. Filmmakers will be paid a fair license fee for the screenings. All money raised through admissions and donations at screenings (in excess of expenses and license fees) will be divided to support the work of local related activist organizations or their national or international counterpart and Smart Change.
School film series
Smart Docs is also developing a film series for students at the elementary and high-school level.
Why Film Screenings?
Documentary films are a powerful tool to engage and activate audiences and can help to create and motivate social movements. Many film screenings and festivals leave audience members motivated and ready to respond but without a clear set of activities they can engage in or a network to join. People should never leave a screening feeling disempowered or impotent and with Smart Docs they never will.
Local organizers and audience members will be encouraged to purchase copies of the DVD and to promote the film by requesting that their video store, local library, public school and or university also order copies of the film with Public Performance Rights (PPR). In this way the films will be more available in the community.
Win Win Win
With Smart Docs all the participants win. The audience doesn’t just learn about an issue they learn how to deal with it as an individual and as part of their community. Filmmakers reach a wider audience through the network and get paid fairly for their work. Organizations get their message out to a wider audience and by utilizing tools and methods that activate citizens, these organizations can harness the energy generated in an audience inspired to act after the film has been screened. Funds are raised to support the cause.
Last but not least, some of the key objectives of Smart Change are also realized in this process. The Smart Docs project will help to; facilitate cooperation between non-governmental organizations at all levels who are working on similar issues or towards similar goals, build and connect community grassroots networks and connect these grassroots networks with larger organizations.
Active citizens create change.
How to get involved
If you or your organization would like to get involved with Smart Change and the Smart Docs project please visit www.smartchange.ca and join our network. When you join, there are a number of activities you can sign up for, including becoming a screening host.
There are no blogs or news.