Step-by-step: film event
Imagine the buzz and excitement of hosting your own film
premiere? Here we guide you through the requirements of running
this easy, cost-effective event which is ideal for primary and
secondary schools alike.
- Agree on a date with the school and book the hall. Discuss
potential films with committee members and teachers and decide
which film to show. Check all necessary audio-visual equipment is
working. Obtain your licence.
Read our film licensing FAQs for
- Check the school has The Music Licence to cover the film's
- Agree on the ticket cost if you're planning to charge for
admission and decide if you are going to offer refreshments.
- Promote your event with posters from PTA Print Shop. Send a letter home to parents,
announcing the date, timings, film name, synopsis and price or use
an online booking service. Make sure you get permission from
parents (with pupil's name, class and a contact number for
parents). Specify the deadline for replies and bookings. Put out a
call for volunteers.
- Create a list of children who are attending and how many have
paid. Contact any parents who have volunteered to help and let them
know when you need them. Try to enlist the help of a few teachers
or TAs, to escort younger children to the toilet and because they
are generally better at keeping fidgety pupils in check!
- If your film event runs immediately after school you will need
to have your hall set up and ready to go. Depending on the age of
pupils, decide whether to use chairs or mats - the latter are
easier to clean and put away afterwards. Take photos to share in
- Make sure any paperwork you need for your licence is in order
and return DVDs if you borrowed them. Write thank you letters to
all the parents and school staff who helped. Work out how much your
event raised and let everyone know how it will be spent.
Tips and advice for running a film event
- Copyright: To show a film outside the home you need permission
from the copyright owners. Contact Filmbankmedia or MPLC for most
- Licensing: You will not need a TEN If your event is
'not-for-profit' and is held in community premises between 8am and
11pm, provided that the audience does not exceed 500, an you get
consent from the premises' owner and ensures that you abide by age
classification ratings. You can charge for entry to cover your
costs and you may charge for, and profit from additional
activities, such as the provision of refreshments, film talks, or a
- Theme: Themed events are a popular way of bringing something
extra to a film screening. Consider a 'witches and wizards' evening
screening Harry Potter, a comic book heroes event with Spiderman or
Batman. Organise a Christmas film screening with a classic such as
Miracle on 34th Street and sell mince pies on the
night. Hiring a popcorn machine and rolling out a mock red
carpet can give your school hall a premiere-style feel.
- Boost profits: Make the most of the chance to raise more funds!
Hold a raffle, sell refreshments or run a bar (a licence will be required if selling or
Film event success story
Helen Dootson, PTA treasurer at West Park First and
Middle School in Worthing: 'The most popular film we have
ever screened was Yogi Bear: the live action version. The children
loved it and the parents' nostalgia loosened the purse strings. The
cost of the film was a percentage of box office takings - for Yogi
Bear we ended up paying just over £300, giving us a healthy profit
of £650. West Park is a first and middle school so we have to cater
for four to eight-year-olds and eight to 12-year-olds. We could
show different films as we screen the film in two halls
simultaneously, but often siblings prefer to sit together. I
generally avoid the big releases that the children might have
already seen - unless they were so big that parents wouldn't mind
paying again! Pupils bring their own healthy treat as this is much
easier for the PTA - avoiding the need for permission slips and
allergy forms. We used to allow a small bag of sweets to eat whilst
watching the film, but this was abused and we ended up with
children eating too much, too quickly, and feeling sick! Most of
our volunteers are DBS-checked, which is great as they need to
escort the little ones to the loo. Occasionally we have a child
that is worried by the dark, or the size of the characters on the
screen and they need comforting. Parents are supportive because
they get an afternoon off to enjoy some peace and quiet - and can
be guilt-free, knowing that their kids are having fun!'
The above is intended as guidance only. We
recommend that you contact the relevant organisations with specific
reference to insurance, legal, health and safety and child
protection requirements. Community Inspired Ltd cannot be held
responsible for any decisions or actions taken by a PTA, based on
the guidance provided.
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