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Planning an Educational Outreach Strategy

Planning an Educational Outreach Strategy

Posted by: San Francisco Film Society


There are many ways to contextualize a film in the educational landscape, and each project calls for a slightly different approach. It is important to identify goals and objectives for your educational program. Think about what conversations you want your audience to have after viewing the film. When they leave the theater, what issues, questions, or concerns should they carry with them? 

Identify a target audience for your educational program. Do you hope to make the film available in high school and/or middle school classrooms? Are there student advocacy groups or after school programs that might have a special interest in your subject? Would your film be relevant to a university population? If you need help identifying the appropriate age range and applicable subject areas for your film, you might watch it with a friend who is an educator or consult the What is Grade Appropriate? article in this series.

Consider how educational audiences will access your film. Perhaps you want to connect with an educational distributor, or partner with community organizations to faciliate grassroots screenings and outreach events. As you develop a distribution strategy, keep the educational marketplace in mind. Breaking your film into short subject-oriented chapters will make it easier for teachers to use the film in their classrooms. Creating curricular materials will help educators identify and teach the film's primary issues. Offering the film in a variety of formats (DVD, streaming, etc.) will enable schools and organizations with varying resources to access your materials. When you're creating a website for your film, think about how students and educators might engage with it. Can you build a section specifically for your educational materials?

To familiarize yourself with examples of successful outreach strategies, consult the Featured Outreach Strategies article in this series. 

The San Francisco Film Society's Education Department provides educational outreach consultation and assistance with curricular materials. Contact education@sffs.org for more information.

For a comprehensive list of outreach and engagement strategists and service providers, consult The Fledgling Fund's Provider Directory

For more information about educational distribution, read the Understanding the Educational Marketplace article in this guide. 

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