In March 2021 we were commissioned by international charity Not1More to design, market and deliver a digital preview screening event for their short film On The Lines, created in partnership with Terrain Films.
Bound by the constraints of the UK lockdown our challenge was to create a digital event that would draw enough attention to the film in order for it to be picked up by mainstream media and bring a halt to the imminent destruction of Jones Hill Wood - the ancient woodland that inspired Roald Dahl to write Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Creating Space & Support:
We were able to bring our extensive event management, production and marketing experience to Not1More's aid to produce an event with an ever-shortening window of time.
The original production schedule was rapidly reduced from 8 weeks to 3 following notice that the Jones Hill Wood site would be evicted not on the 1st May as originally intended, but the 1st April.
We were able to engage volunteers through the Studenteer platform to help create and manage social media, build an audience and deliver the event.
The digital preview event brought together 200+ viewers on the night with an incredible in-depth panel discussion with the creative team at Terrain Films, the Not1More team and environmental defenders streaming live from Jones Hill Wood.
As a result of the preview, the film was picked up by Vice and released via their social media on 30th April 2021 and has now been viewed nearly half a million times worldwide.
Unfortunately, the coverage came too late for Jones Hill Wood with the evictions proceeding unchallenged and the demolition of the woodland taking place as planned. However, we were able to raise £230.00 in donations for Not1More's Casa de Respiro Florestal, Forest Respite House project in Brazil.
OUR KEY LEARNING:
A short timeline doesn't limit what you can achieve.
Diamonds are formed under pressure, or so the saying goes. In this case, the old adage proved to be right. The shrinking timeline to raise the profile of the film and save Jones Hill Wood allowed us to work agilely as a team and arguably helped us cut through our own limiting self-beliefs about what we could achieve.
Mobilise your audience for added value.
With a large proportion of the intended audience for the preview coming from the environmental defender community as well as mainstream media finding a balanced message became key. We were able to utilise the preview screening with added effect to help Not1More raise much-needed funds through ticket donations for their Casa de Respiro Florestal, Forest Respite House project in Brazil.
Work with passionate people and let them lead you.
Find people who are passionate about the same things that you are and work with them to amplify your voice. In this project, we learnt the huge benefit of working with engaged and impassioned students to help achieve shared outcomes fast.
Some stories worth telling don't have happy endings.
While Jones Hill Wood ultimately wasn't able to be saved we were able to shine a light on some of the abuses of police powers when dealing with protestors - especially people of colour. We will continue to work with organisations like Not1More to ensure that voices aren't silenced and that our right to protest is not eroded completely.