HOST A SCREENING OF TRUTH BE TOLD: LEST WE FORGET
Truth Be Told: Lest We Forget is a landmark documentary that remembers and honours Indigenous involvement in the Palestine campaign during WWI. To mark the 100-year anniversary of the legendary Battle of Beersheba, four descendants journey to the Middle East and discover untold stories about their Indigenous ancestors.
Here are some tips to help make your screening of Truth Be Told: Lest We Forget safe and successful.
PLANNING THE EVENT
- Find a space: screenings can be held anywhere where there is a digital projector and speakers. Best-case scenario is a cinema, but community spaces, school halls or boardrooms can work too. Consider working with your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to see if there may be any appropriate opportunities to host an outdoor, on-Country screening – consider a twilight, ‘under the stars’ screening, for example.
- Give yourself about six weeks to plan the event.
- Get a team together to help with publicity, catering and technical logistics. Consider opportunities to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses for these purposes. Supply Nation’s Indigenous Business Direct search tool can be a great starting place for investigating these opportunities.
- Are you raising money for a charity? If so, consider negotiating sponsorships, fee reductions or other in-kind support from event partners such as your venue provider.
- Set up an online ticketing system. Here are a few suggestions: eventbrite.com.au, floktu.com, trybooking.com
- Make sure the invite sets out the running order of the event. The film runs for 56 minutes.
- Start publicising your event as soon as possible.
- Set up a Facebook event page (make sure it has the RSVP or ticketing link) and include the trailer.
- Tweet or post on Instagram using the hashtag #TruthBeToldLestWeForget
- Distribute marketing materials – send an email, put up posters in strategic areas.
- Write a press release and let your local newspaper and radio station know. Follow up with a phone call.
- Get access to a good digital projector.
- Do a sound and vision check (also called a ‘tech’ check) as soon as you receive the online link to Truth Be Told: Lest We Forget.
- Check that the aspect ratio for the projector is set correctly (the picture shouldn’t look too wide or too tall).
- Check that the colours are as they should be (the picture should not look too dark or light, or too blue, green or red).
- Check that the room or space where you are screening the film is dark.
- Sit in different seats in the audience area at your tech check – try the back row and the sides to test whether everyone can see and hear the film.
- If you don’t have time to play the whole film at the tech check, play the film at a few random scenes (beginning, middle and end). Can you understand the words and hear the music? Is the sound coming out of all speakers?
SUGGESTIONS FOR COMMUNITY OR CORPORATE SCREENING EVENTS
Hosting a screening of Truth Be Told: Lest We Forget in your community or workplace is an opportunity to engage people in a conversation about how we can all work together to build trusting and respectful race relations and include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and heritage as a proud part of a shared national identity.
- Make sure you have a skilled and informed facilitator to lead any post-screening discussion.
- If your workplace has a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) you can also use the screening as an opportunity to raise awareness and support for your RAP.
- You could use your screening event to fundraise for a local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation. If you’re hosting a fundraiser for an organisation, make sure to let them know about your screening so they can help spread the word.
- You can host an event any time that suits your calendar. However, you might consider aligning your event with a significant date such as during National Reconciliation Week, which occurs from 27 May and 3 June each year, or NAIDOC Week, held each July to celebrate the histories, cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- If you’re not part of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation, consider partnering with one to co-host your screening.
RECRUITING A SKILLED FACILITATOR
Key characteristics of a good facilitator should include:
- Active listening skills.
- Ability to acknowledge, and be responsive to the diverse experiences of people in the room.
- Ability to foster a culturally safe and respectful listening, questioning and sharing environment. Doing so includes actively recognising, and being sensitive to, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s personal and cultural prerogatives, and understanding that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples need not be expected or obliged to share details of their personal experiences and cultural knowledges.
- Ability to re-focus discussion if it goes off-topic.
- Ideally they should be provided with an opportunity to view the film prior to the screening and share background information on the issue they will speak to after the screening.
SUGGESTIONS FOR SPEAKERS
You may decide to invite a speaker or have a panel discussion following your screening:
- Speakers should have expertise in the issues raised in the film. Choose someone who is skilled at sensitively talking about the material in the film.
- Consider inviting local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and community members in the first instance.
$99 - small community organisations and screenings of less than 50 people
$250 - screenings up to 100 people
$500 - screenings up to 200 people
$750 - large screenings with more than 200 people
Please note that all revenue goes directly to the producers of this film.
This film is 58 minutes long.
Here is a suggested timeline with tips to help you plan a successful screening.
SIX WEEKS OUT
- Request a copy of the film and purchase a screening license
- Set time and date for your screening
- Decide on a venue and book it
- Pull together an invitation list
- Design marketing materials or adapt from templates in the screening kit you’ve received from us
- Get an event team together
- If you’re planning on having a Q&A book speakers and a moderator
- Decide if you are going to provide catering. If so, consider engaging an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander food supplier or catering service
FIVE WEEKS OUT
- Set up online ticketing system to collect RSVPs or purchase tickets
- Send out invites and let people know if the event will be catered or not
- Set up a Facebook event page and make sure to include a ticketing link
- Start sharing your event on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
FOUR WEEKS OUT
- Visit the venue and do a technical check. Test the DVD or digital file (see technical checklist)
- If you’re hosting a Q&A, do you need a microphone for your speakers and for audience questions?
THREE WEEKS OUT
- Distribute and put up flyers and posters
- Write a press release and send it to local media
- Keep sharing your event on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
TWO WEEKS OUT
- Follow up local news and radio by phone - media receive many press releases a day so it’s always worthwhile following up with a phone call
ONE WEEK OUT
- Send out an email/Facebook reminder of your event one week and one day before
- Follow up with local media
- Set Up
- Final tech checks (make sure everything still works!)
- Once everyone arrives, consider formally opening the event with an Acknowledgement of Country and/or Welcome to Country
THE DAY AFTER
- Thank the audience and your event team in person and on social media
- If you hosted your event as part of a fundraiser, send out an email/Facebook message to let everyone know how much funds were raised; what those funds will go towards; and what any immediate outcomes of your screening and fundraising have been
Social media makes it easy to let your community know about your screening.
CREATE A FACEBOOK EVENT
When creating a Facebook Event you can choose between setting it as a private or public. A private event is only visible to the people who are invited. You can choose to allow guests to invite their friends. A public event is visible to anyone on or off Facebook. Follow these steps:
- On the left side of your Facebook page, click on ‘Events’.
- Click on ‘Create an Event’ and fill out the form. Don’t forget to include the trailer and your ticketing website URL.
- Click ‘Create’ and you’re set. You’re now ready to invite your Facebook friends to your screening.
SENDING AN EMAIL TO YOUR NETWORKS
(NB: If doing a group invite, for privacy reasons address the email to yourself and be sure to BCC the email address list) MailChimp is an App that helps you to create email campaigns. Here is a suggested email invitation.
Subject: Invitation to a screening of Truth Be Told: Lest We Forget
Dear [insert name]
Truth Be Told: Lest We Forget is an ambitious, informative and thought-provoking film about Indigenous involvement in the Australian Imperial Forces. The film is a tool to drive change in the way that Australians view our shared history and experiences.
We invite you to a special screening of the film at [insert place] on [insert date]. The screening will be followed by a discussion with [insert speakers name if you have one].
Featuring first-hand interviews and stories from four descendants of Indigenous officers, the film pieces together a rich and powerful screen journey that gives moving insights into a time that some Australians are only now ready to hear about. While confronting and disturbing, it shines a light on aspects of Australia’s past racial politics and how they have impacted on the current lives of Indigenous Australians.
We hope you will join us to see this powerful film and talk about [insert why].
You can RSVP/purchase tickets here [insert ticketing web link to RSVP or purchase tickets or email address – be sure to let people know if any of your ticket sales are being used to fundraise for a cause]
Check out the film trailer here (hyperlink the trailer if possible).
For any questions please contact the event organisers at [insert email address].
We hope to see you at the screening.
[insert name of individual or organisation]