This morning I had conversations with a few friends about the feasibility of proceeding with a 1in7b film series this summer. I was counseled: (1) to remain sensitive to my own energy levels and (2) to be open to recruiting enthusiastic assistance from others. Good advice.
So this afternoon, as I began ruminating on all this, I returned to Films For Action's Guide to Hosting a Public Film Screening. Right there in front of me the first two sentences were, "Decide on an outcome. What do you want to accomplish with the event?" Then the page offered three or four suggestions. Well, yes! I DO want to accomplish ALL of those possible goals. Yet the question haunts me, "What do you want to accomplish?"
My first realization is that film screenings are LOCAL and my deepest goals are global. So what if thirty, or a hundred, or even a thousand (unlikely) people in Little Rock watch a documentary film? What difference will it make in the big picture? This is a crucial question. (but for that matter, what difference does it make if fifty or even several hundred read my postings on Facebook? Who knows?)
Either way, 1in7b as a Facebook page and a Website, has two goals, (1) to be a positive force globally, and (2) to be a positive force locally in Little Rock and in Arkansas. Except for promoting good films to a broader audience, the "1in7b Film Series" would contribute little to the first goal. But since film screenings are local the films could indeed contribute to the second. How would this project be helpful locally?
At this point, I want to emphasize that there are MANY groups and organizations doing outstanding work in Central Arkansas along the lines that I wish to encourage. My ONLY hope is to contribute to the wonderful work they have been doing for years. I could list many of these, but here I will only mention Just Communities of Arkansas. Believe me, there are many others.
What, then, could we hope to add to the efforts already being undertaken in the City and around the State? (1) We can support their ongoing efforts. (2) We can help raise awareness to the issues we all believe are important both here at home and around the globe. (3) We can help coordinate the efforts of disparate groups working toward the same ends. In any case, we must do the first. The second is always worthwhile, whether it involves arranging movie screenings or other activities. The third is more ambitious and clearly beyond my own personal skills (or my present calling), but worthwhile nonetheless.
There are many goals such as these we could adopt. If anyone ELSE wants to lead one of these I will happily contribute, and if anyone else has other suggestions I will gladly listen. Otherwise, I suggest that we might want to consider what it would take for Little Rock, Arkansas to become a "Compassionate City".
If we, as a city, decide to accept this goal, 1in7b would be more than happy to host screenings of documentaries to support this goal. This would include bringing to Central Arkansas films related to poverty and hunger, human rights and equality, climate and environment, and peace and non-violence.
Can we begin this summer? To be honest I see no rush, but I'm also open to moving forward. The goal of becoming a "Compassionate City" is clearly several years in the offing, but when do we start?
The bottom line is we (I) won't pursue a film series in 2014 unless I sense a ground swell of support for moving forward now. But this does not mean I have given up on the idea, not by any means. If we begin now we can (1) start this year, or (2) begin to coordinate our efforts and promote a bang-up series in 2015.
As always, I am open to the leading of Spirit. Thank you for reading, and thank you for responding.