Your Welcome Story
An opportunity for you to tell us your story of "Welcome", however that looked, as a veteran, a family member or close friend. Click here to tell your story.
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Screening Tool Kit

This tool kit is designed to help individuals and organizations who want to have a public screening of the documentary film, The Welcome.  Our goal is to help educate, raise awareness and promote understanding and reconnection between civilians and veterans and their families.  We see you as our partners in promoting healing on a community wide level by using this film and this tool kit, and we are more than open to suggestions to help make this experience as positive for you and your community as we can.

To Host a Screening 

1.  First, choose your date and a location where you will have the screening. (See media timeline at bottom of this list for guidelines.)

2.  Once you have chosen your date and location, please submit a completed Host a Screening Application Form.

3. When your application is approved, we will send you an email with a link so that you can make your payment and secure your event date. See the Screening Application Form for pricing.

5. Download a poster of the film to promote your screening:

11x17 poster

24x36 poster

Planning your Event

Location, Screening Venue:

In our experience, finding a location for the screening first makes all other decisions easier - it gives you a place and a time and a date, and then you can aim everything else at these.  A few options:

  • Invite family and friends to your home
  • Contact your local library or community center for a suitable space and video equipment
  • Partner with local organizations, groups or businesses to co-sponsor a screening.
  • Partner with your church or any other place of worship
  •  On campus, in dorm, library, theater or classroom
  • Local businesses or gathering spots like a pub or Senior Center
  • Local Independent Movie Theater

As you choose a location, you may want to keep in mind who you are inviting and their needs/interests, parking, public transportation, easy access and easy to find. 

You will also want to make sure that the equipment in this location is adequate for the size of the audience you are expecting.  Get there early, meet with the technician and make sure the dvd works in the equipment available.  Nothing is more frustrating than faulty equipment with an audience staring at a blank screen!  So please make sure you run through things before the crowds arrive.

Don’t be afraid to be creative - have food and refreshments, make introductions and thanks to all of the people who have helped you to put on the event, and let them know that you (or a panel you have helped to organize) will be available after the screening for questions, comments and dialogue.

It will be a good idea to specifically invite representatives from the Veteran community to participate, both as audience members and/or as panelists.  Definitely invite family members to be a  part of this, especially on the panel.  Family members are a kind of translator for civilians, living as they do between the veteran’s experience and that of civilians.  Their viewpoint is both interesting and necessary for a full conversation.  All of these invitations are best done by phone or in person - the more personal all of this is the more response you will get.

Allow enough time both before and after the film. 

 

Publicity 

Please feel free to use the Press Packet on the web site, including photographs.  These are specifically there in order to support your efforts to get the word out in your communities.

Social Media: E-mail, Facebook, Twitter, etc., are ideal for networking and getting the word out to your lists, friends and other important people.  We ask that you include a link to the film web site and the trailer (www.thewelcomethemovie.com), as well as a link to your own web site.

Make very  clear:  Date, Time, Location (with directions), Cost (if any)

Contact Local Media - Newspapers, local events magazines, radio, TV.  Perhaps tout this as a unique opportunity for the community to come together over something we can all support - the well being of veterans and their families.  Call the paper and ask who usually covers veteran’s issues, and then contact that person and invite them to come or to learn more about the movie and the event, including your organization.   Ask for the Assignment editors  or producers at local TV stations, radio or magazines and talk to them directly if you can.  If they need to pre-screen the movie please have them contact us directly: 541-821-4798.

Directly invite your core audience—Veteran’s groups, treatment specialists, family members, civic leaders, etc.  You know your community, what you are trying to accomplish, what is needed and who is important to include.  Make your invitations as personal as you can.

Have your event posted in local event calendars in your community's publications as well as on the web.

If you plan to have a panel discussion after the film, make sure that the news media knows about this and who will be on the panel (qualifications, etc.).  Also, make sure you have their commitment well in advance, and check in with them regularly.

If you would like to have one of the Veterans from the movie, or possibly the Producer and/or Director, we ask that you provide travel and lodging, as well as a reasonable (negotiable) stipend.  This is of course dependent upon availablity.  Please contact Bill McMillan about this:  mcmillan@ccountry.net

 

Co-Sponsoring Organizations

We strongly encourage you to work with co-sponsoring organizations in your community—Churches, Civic Organizations and Clubs, Veterans' groups, treatment organizations, etc.  This film is intended to bring people and groups together and bringing in co-sponsors makes this real and also increases the contacts likely to hear about the screening.  Building coalitions aimed at bringing veterans back into the community will have long lasting and very positive widespread effects on the whole community.  If appropriate, you might have a person or two volunteer to drive elderly or disabled men and women to the event and make this known, both in your invitation and in your outreach to media sources.

 

Timing

Timing is very important - Be sure and plan far enough in advance so that you can pull everything together in time to have a great screening.  You may want to strategize with your co-soponsors, how to go about keeping local media involved, when to give them materials like photographs, when to check in with your contacts, when to put fliers up and where, when to send out email blasts, when to visit the venue to make sure everything is in order, etc. 

If you are planning a panel discussion/questions after the film, be sure to get commitments from panelists early and check in with them often to encourage comfort and connection with the event.

 

The Event

Be sure to arrive very early to set up, both chairs and the screening equipment.  It is vital that you leave enough time to fix whatever glitches may occur, especially with equipment.

Document your event with pictures that you can share with your audience (and us!) on Facebook and other sources, and so that we can help get the word out about your successful screening.  Everyone has a smart phone these days, so this should be easy.

Please send around a pad where people can leave email addresses so that they can be kept abreast of events with the film and with the national effort to reconnect veterans and civilians.  You might have this on a table at the entrance.

Post screening disucssion

For specific disgussion suggestions please click here.

If you have a panel, it is often a good idea to have a moderator who can keep an eye on time, point out audience members who want to speak or to encourage specific panelists to address a question or comment.  

Consider carefully what you want to come from this part of the evening.  This will determine how you set up the post screening discussion and should reflect the interests of your organization and whoever your co-sponsors are.

After seeing the movie many in the audience will want to know what they can do - what action they can take.  Have a list of local organizations, including your own, available to give to them.  Be sure to make this a part of the post screening conversation, and make it as relevant to your particular audience as you can.  We have found that civilians really want to help, they just don’t know where to begin and you can be a vital resource for local opportunities. Here are some suggestions on

If you have offered to sell DVDs at your event, have a table set up with a volunteer(s) to assist with this and be sure and mention it before and after the show. This table could also have fliers, brochures and other information about local organizations and actions people can take after seeing the film.

Please let us know how it went!  What worked, what didn't, what could have helped, etc.  Don't be shy about making a comment on our website about the event and what happened there.  We are all in this together and the input is needed by all of us.

 

Media Timeline:

As soon as possible:

1.  Register your screening event with us so that we can publicize it. 

2.  "Like" and encourage friends to "Like" The Welcome on Facebook.

3.  Follow @thewelcomedoc on twitter and twitter about your event.

Two weeks out:

1.  Blog, or ask a friend or favorite blogger to write about your event, The Welcome, and connect this event to the issues current in your community relating to veterans, community partnerships, etc.

2.  Contact local paper or online news source and submit an op-ed to draw attention to your event and this issue.

3.  Check in with your venue to make sure everything is ready to go on your screening date.  Check in with your panel members to see if they have questions, etc.

One week out:

1.  Send a short email description or a press release to reporters and follow up with a phone call to gauge their interest in attending.  Include links to relevent websites, videos, press that The Welcome has already received, or anything else that would attract attention to your event.  This email should be very succinct - date, time, location, as well as a short and strong statement about the film and the purpose your organizations has for putting on this screening.

2.  Post on Facebook and Twitter to keep them involved and to make sure they know they are invited.  This could be an exciting update as the event date approaches.

3.  Post fliers locally.  Make personal calls to local organizations, key people you would like to attend, screening partners, etc., and ask them to spread the word to their contacts as well.

The day of:

1.  Have media representative from your organization or community on hand to answer questions.

2.  Have your press release updated and ready for reporters and/or bloggers who show up, or to email out right after the event with highlights, images and a list of the key people or speakers who attended.

3.  Make sure you have information on the speakeers, visuals, and other things needed to make your event easier to share.

4.  Contact us!  Let us know what happened, share your stories on our website:  http://www.thewelcomethemovie.com/comments/

 

Discussion Guides and information on PTSD can be found HERE