How to... Host a Film Night and Discussion

WHY HOST A FILM NIGHT AND DISCUSSION?

A film night and discussion is an engaging way to mark Holocaust Memorial Day with others. Films have the power to address challenging topics about the Holocaust, but they can also raise really important questions about how the Holocaust is represented. By hosting a film night and discussion, you can create a space where you and your audience can share thoughts on the themes raised. Do remember that whilst the films are based on the Holocaust, films are works of fiction that can truncate facts, dramatise story lines and often use artistic license to convey a set narrative.

Films are brilliant for provoking discussion and should inspire you and your audience to consider the extent to which films can be used to as a tool to educate people about the Holocaust. After your event, we hope you and your audience will be keen to engage in further research about the facts of the Holocaust.


VIEW SAMPLE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS


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  1. CHOOSE YOUR FILM AND FORMAT

    There are different ways that you can host the film night and discussion. There are hundreds of films about the Holocaust that you could use, but below we’ve recommended two films that we think fit this years’ theme, ‘Be the Light in the Darkness’ with some guidance for the discussion format.

    No matter which film you decide to use, it is worth considering the following questions before you start planning:

    • Do you want the screening and discussion to take place in the same time slot?
    • Do you want people to watch the film individually, but for you to introduce the themes before they watch so they know what questions you will be addressing?
    • Do you want people to come with their own questions and then you use those questions to start new conversations?
  2. REACH OUT

    It is likely that your university/school/workplace will be keen to mark the day, but would really value support in making it accessible and powerful for their audience. This is where your experience comes in!

    We recommend you consider the following:

    • Who do you need to speak to for room bookings at your university/school and how long in advance do you need to put in a booking form?
    • Give yourself plenty of time to make the room bookings as it will be at the start of a new term.
    • Explain that you are an Ambassador for the Holocaust Educational Trust and are keen to help mark this very important day.
    • Make sure that you are aware of all the COVID – 19 rules at your university/school when booking a room.
  3. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

    Think about how best to communicate the importance of Holocaust Memorial Day to your audience. Here are some ideas we had:

    • At school? You may want to speak to GCSE students who will be covering the Holocaust in their History classes or you could watch with the sixth form who will have an opportunity to attend the Lessons from Auschwitz Project in the future.
    • At university? Consider whether you want it to be an event for your housemates, course mates, society members or hosted by your students’ union.
    • Advertise to ensure people are aware of your opportunity. Consider what you would like the discussion to be like which may inform your choices about who you would like to be there and how many you would like to take part. For example, you may want this to be more of an intimate event – or you may wish to create an audience bringing new people together — e.g. you could create a Facebook event that you could send out to all Humanities societies.

    For all audiences, we advise you introduce yourself in as an Ambassador for the Holocaust Educational Trust and what this means to you. It is really important that you gain the interest of your audience and that they know why you are the person running the film night and discussion.

  4. SET A TIME FRAME

    We recommend getting ahead when planning your film night and discussion! Start advertising for the event as soon as you can to gain an idea of how many people you would like to come. If you are speaking either before or after the film night and discussion, we recommend the following time frame:

    • 3 weeks before – Write a draft of your speech and send this to the Ambassador Programme team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. With our expertise, we can offer you guidance and support in all engagements and projects you will encounter in your role as an Ambassador.
    • 2 weeks before – write your final draft after we have sent your first draft back to you with amends.
    • 1 week before – make time to practice your speech. Practice makes perfect.
    • The day before/on the day – Send a reminder – people often miss things without meaning to, so it is worth sending a reminder to get it to the front of people’s minds.

USEFUL ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Holocaust Educational Trust

The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust

Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust Remembrance Center

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


TOP TIP FROM AN AMBASSADOR

Test all the technology beforehand so you don’t have technical difficulties.

Flaminia Luck, Regional Ambassador


SOCIAL MEDIA

Don’t forget to share pictures of the event on social media! Tag us at:

Don't forget to use the hashtags:

#HETAmbassadors

#HMD2021

#HolocaustMemorialDay