Here are some easy ideas to help you plan your screening of RENEWAL.
The 90-minute documentary is designed for theatrical and community screenings, and for broadcast, yet each of Renewal’s eight stories also stands on its own. From the DVD Main Menu you can choose to play the entire 90-minute documentary, or you can select any individual story. The individual stories are slightly longer than the versions in the full documentary and contain additional scenes and information.
Before you announce and promote your screening, view the DVD and decide if you want to show the entire 90-minute documentary or one or more individual stories. Take into consideration:
How much time you will have. (Timings for individual stories are listed below in this Guide.)
Who will be attending the screening.
What their interests, environmental concerns, and religious affiliations are.
Whether you will meet only once, or have a series of meetings to screen and discuss the film.
What you want to have happen after the screening: will you have a discussion, initiate an action, or make plans for future work?
Decide who is absolutely vital to have at your screening of Renewal – perhaps your clergy, particularly active members of your congregation, or an existing environmental issues group. Check on what are good dates and times for them.
Publicize the screening in as many ways as possible – bulletins, posters, emails, your congregation’s calendar of events, websites, the local newspaper, radio, announcements at worship services, etc. Try to announce the screening several weeks in advance.
Be sure that someone brings the DVD. The DVD that will be used for the screening should be one that has been viewed already. (Do not open a new DVD and pop it into the player. In the extremely rare instance that a DVD has been manufactured with a problem, you want to learn that ahead of time.)
Test the DVD on the system you are going to be using. You don’t want any last-minute surprises like finding out that an old video system cannot read the DVD, or that you have picture but no sound, etc.
Be certain that the projection or screening system is working properly, that the volume can be turned up to a point where people can comfortably hear it, that the image is bright and big enough to be seen by everyone in the room.
Also be sure that someone knows where the light switches are, so the room can be darkened once the screening begins.
These are all common sense steps but if someone doesn’t take responsibility for them you run the risk of a potentially embarrassing situation.
Try to get the discussion going by calling on someone who seems to be enthusiastic about the film.
Make sure everyone who wants to speak gets an opportunity to be heard.
Anticipate any difficult issues that may arise, such as comparing religions unfavorably, or other comments that could be sensitive for some members of the audience.
If you are showing the film to an audience of people you don’t know, invite people in the audience, who may already be doing local religious-environmental work, to introduce themselves and to very briefly describe the focus of their efforts.
You may want to ask one member of your community or clergy to be prepared to wrap-up the discussion with a specific message or proposal; or you may choose to leave next steps up to members of the audience.
Remember, the DVD offers many flexible ways to use Renewal. You can watch the entire 90-minute documentary or any of its eight component stories as a short individual film.
By choosing the individual stories that are most relevant for your audience, you can create a customized screening program.
Please note, the individual stories include extra material and therefore run a little longer than the versions in the full documentary.
In the following pages of this Guide you will find descriptions of Renewal’s individual stories and their running times, along with suggested discussion topics, actions steps, and resources for follow-up activities.