Host a Screening

We kept Bicycle Revolution to about 50 minutes run time in order to leave time for discussion. Below you can find all the resources you need to host your own community screening of Bicycle Revolution and start making change in your community. Keep scrolling or click the links below to get started.

Step 1: Contact Us
Step 2: Gather community members.
Step 3: Invite city officials.
Step 4: Host, Discuss, & make change!
Step 5: Share with the world.

Step 1: Contact Us

The first step to hosting a screening of Bicycle Revolution is to let us know that you are interested! Send an email to director Paul Steinberg or message us on Facebook or Twitter to let us know your intentions – if you simply want to preview the film, we can send you a way of doing so for free, and if you want to host a screening, we can send you the materials you need in an electronic press kit (EPK). The EPK will include directions on how and where to rent/buy the film, tips on finding a screening venue and gathering community partners, social media and digital resources for promoting your screening, sample letters for inviting political decision-makers, and discussion questions.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD ELECTRONIC PRESS KIT (.zip): Bicycle Revolution Press Kit

Step 2: Gather Community Members

You’ll first need to set a date and organize a venue for your screening.Contact local organizations that might be interested in setting up a booth at the screening or sponsoring the event via in-kind donations: snacks, drinks, printing services, or venue offerings.

Some potential ideas (all of which we used at the premiere of Bicycle Revolution in Claremont, CA) are:

  • Some sort of reward (i.e. buttons) for the first x number of people to bike to the event
  • A bike valet
  • A pop-up bike tune-up, tire filling, or repair shop
  • A raffle with donations from local bike shops, vendors, restaurants, or companies
  • Tables hosted by local cycling organizations.

Once you’ve done the above, you’re ready to begin the most important step to hosting a successful screening: gathering your audience! Create an event on Facebook and share it among those who you know care about the cause: cycling advocates, students, people interested in politics, documentary watchers, or environmentalists. Lastly, don’t discredit the most powerful tool for spreading the news: word of mouth. Tell all your friends, family, and fellow cyclists to join you for a short film and an amazing discussion.

Step 3: Invite City Officials and Cycling Advocates.

In addition to gathering interested community members, you may want to invite a small group of “Special Guest” political decision-makers and cycling advocates like those featured in the film.

 

This serves as an extra draw for audience members and is an opportunity to catalyze local conversations leading to real change.  The model we typically use is:

  • one elected official, typically a mayor or city councilperson
  • a staff person from the city who influences bicycle infrastructure decisions – typically from the planning department, community development, or engineering – or from a regional planning or transportation authority or council of governments.
  • an experienced community cycling advocate

Alternatively, you could invite candidates from different political parties during a local or state election.  If your city has very little experience with active transportation planning, consider inviting one or two experienced officials or advocates from a nearby city, along with a couple of local officials, to facilitate peer-to-peer learning.

A sample invitation letter is below, and a formatted version of the same letter is included in the EPK. Scroll down further to read our discussion questions.

Sample Invitation Letter or Email to Special Guests:

Note: It is best to send the invitation as a member of an organization, even if it is an informal group like “The students of Chavez High School” or “The citizens of the Temple Hill District.”

Susan Wong
City Council
Bikeville, TX 10000

Dear Ms. Wong:

On behalf of Citizens for a Better Bikeville, I would like to invite you to join us as a Special Guest at the community screening of the film Bicycle Revolution, taking place at Chavez High School on July 6th from 7-9 pm.

This one-hour film explores the challenges of promoting active forms of transportation, like walking and biking, as a way to keep our citizens safe while encouraging exercise and a clean environment.  The film was produced by the Claremont Colleges and has been featured in [name a couple of film festivals from the website here.]  [Mention any other Special Guests who have accepted, either here or in a follow-up email, to build excitement.  You could also say “We have also extended invitations to person x and y.”  Officials want to be part of something important, and they want to know what they are getting into.]

There will be time after the film for a discussion about the accomplishments and future of active transportation here in Bikeville.  Each of our three Special Guests will share a few thoughts for 1-2 minutes, followed by an open-ended constructive dialogue involving diverse members of the community.

If this would work with your schedule, we will send further logistical details as the date approaches.  If you have any questions, I can be reached at [phone and email].  We do hope you can make it!

Sincerely,

Awesome Bicycle Revolutionary
awesome@bicyclerevolutionary.com
(123) 456-7890

 

Step 4: Host, discuss, and make change!

On the day of the event, make sure to have volunteers ready to set up early. Donations, snacks, drinks, or other amenities discussed in Step 2 should be ready to go. After the film is over, discussion is key – invite your “Special Guests” up on stage and begin talking, using the following questions as a guide. Alternatively, you can begin an open audience Q&A about bicycle infrastructure and activism in your community. Consider sharing the discussion questions in some way (e.g. printing, posting the questions in the Facebook event, projecting the questions onto a TV or screen).

Sample Discussion Questions (Also available as a formatted PDF in the EPK):

  1. The film raises the question of whether ordinary citizens can have an impact on local government.  How easy or difficult is it for citizens to access elected officials and city staff in your community?
  2. To bring about change, advocates in the film say that it is important to have a triad of supportive staff, a push from elected officials, and energetic community participation.  To what extent are these three pieces in place in your community?
  3. A city councilperson in the film points out that she can only accomplish so much in creating a bicycle-friendly city if surrounding communities depend entirely on their cars.  What opportunities exist in your area for regional cooperation among cities to promote biking and walking?
  4. Regarding methods of mobility, men and women in the United States are equally likely to walk but men using bicycles much more often than do women.  Does this seem to be true in your community?  If so, what might be done to rectify the situation?
  5. Recreational cyclists are often the most visible advocates for bicyclists’ rights.  But there are others – including children, the elderly, and people from poor or minority communities – who depend entirely on bicycles as their mode of transportation.  How might the interests of these groups differ with respect to the type and location of bicycle infrastructure and facilities they need?
  6. Several speakers in the film argue that active transportation should not be cordoned off as a specialized, narrow concern, or bicycle infrastructure improvements may be blocked by those resisting change.  What steps can be taken to build a broad-based constituency for active transportation in your city?

Step 5: Share with the world.

Use hashtags #bicyclerevolution #bicyclerevolutionary or any other creative and catchy tags for your event to share pictures, videos, or thoughts on the screening! Privately message us or tag us on Facebook (@thebicyclerevo) or Twitter (@thebicyclerevo).

Most importantly, be sure to join our Facebook advocacy hub. This is a place where any and all bicycle advocates can share experiences, news, and more on local successes and challenges to begin the conversation on building more bike-friendly cities. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1670390003248763/