The reflections in this article are a result of my explorations with rethinking education and development over the past 20 years. They were part of a talk delivered in Lisbon, Portugal.
The Ecoversities Film Festival 2016 Version 1.0
We are excited that you are interested in hosting the Ecoversities Film Festival in your community. The festival currently features films of 13 alternative universities which are redefining higher education around the world. These alternative universities have emerged from indigenous movements, social justice movements, environmental movements, artist movements, conscious business movements. The Ecoversities Network has more than 50 members from around the world and hosted a gathering in Portugal in 2015 (so there will be more films added soon. Stay tuned for Version 2.0.)
You can download the Festival Brochure at the botton of this page.
We envision a lot of freedom in organizing the festival in terms of space, timing, publicity, discussion groups, film selection, etc. We want to encourage you to exercise your maximum creativity to break out of the often stuffy, over-formal and elitest nature of many official film festivals. We hope this event inspires viewers to think about higher education and learning in new ways – starting with their own lives and un/learning journeys.
Here are some tips to support your community screening of the Ecoversities Film Festival.
1. Publicizing Your Event - What are the best ways for you to publicize the film screening to people in your community? Sending emails, creating event notifications on social media, calling friends, and placing screening announcements in local newspapers and newsletters can be a good start. You are free to generate your own posters and pamplets (please share them with us so that we can share with others). Let the Ecoversities team know about your plans - we will be happy to support you in publicizing your event.
2. Forming Your Intention - What do you hope to achieve with your screening of the film? For example, your intention could be to generate a lively post-film festival discussion with your audience about the future of higher education, indigenous ways of knowing and being and/or processes of de-colonization, rites of passage, social entrepreneurship spaces for youth, or to mobilize your community to create its own localized place of learning. Or, you can simply provide an opportunity for individuals and families to watch and learn together. You may like to generate a few appreciative discussion questions in advance. Let us know if you need help with forming these.
3. Where To Host? - Consider which locations in your area would be ideal for accommodating a community film screening of the size you anticipate -- town halls, community centers, public libraries, school auditoriums, outdoor screenings at parks and playgrounds, University Departments of Education, even at your home — all have been used as venues for many successful community screenings. Plan for the event to be at least 4 hours. Its good if you can also arrange for some snacks.
4. Finding Partners - Give some thought to who is already working within your community on issues relevant to those in the films. Can they help sponsor the event? Spread the word? Speak on a panel discussion after the screening?
5. Inviting A Guest Speaker to Talk More About a Particular Project – Founders and learners from different Ecoversities may be available to appear in person or via Skype/Zoom for a Q&A. You could also think of organizing an online panel like this one - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYDivkgX6Zw
6. Let Us Know How It Went - Please visit www.shikshantar.org to tell us about your event. Where it was held? Who attended? What went well, and what was challenging? Your feedback will help others in organizing their own successful events and will energize the Ecoversities Network as a whole. You can drop us a mail at <firstname.lastname@example.org>
7. Lastly, we must make it clear that ABSOLUTELY NO MONEY can be charged for this festival. We have obtained permission from the various filmmakers and production houses to show these films in the public interest, and therefore no money can be exchanged or earned from screening the films, that is, no entry fees.
8. Have fun!
- Manish Jain, Kelly Teamey, Udi Mandel and Rowan Salim
More questions? Contact Manish <email@example.com>