Newtown provides an opportunity for dialogue and discussion.
While gun control discussions may feel overwhelming or too divisive, the personal nature of the stories presented in the film opens a different way to address our epidemic of gun violence and how we, as a nation, can recognize it as a public health crisis, act to prevent further tragedies, enact protective policies, and support the survivors of violence.
“Snyder’s film argues against the forgetting, the brushing aside,
the disassociation, the drifting away of memory.
Laying bare the continued aftermath of this event is a bit like
putting a hand on a hot stove — feel this pain, get angry, don’t forget.
This film is an important historical record, and an important reminder
of an event in American history that could have changed everything,
that should have changed everything.”
– Indiewire Review
_____ Set and confirm your location.
_____ Identify your guest list and send out invitation using your own, or the sample text provided.
_____ The PBS Broadcast of Newtown lasts approximately 90min. If you have DVR you may choose to tape the broadcast to be able to return to scenes for your post-screening discussion.
ONE DAY PRIOR
_____ Send a reminder to your guests.
_____ Gather any materials you would like for your screening (e.g. nametags, refreshments)
DAY OF SCREENING
_____ Set up your room for the screening
_____ Copy discussion materials at: https://newtownfilm.com/materials
Please edit this letter to make it reflect your own priorities and ideas:
I am hosting a get-together on Monday, April 3rd at ___pm to watch the film Newtown and I hope you join me. The (location) is at (address).
Newtown explores the aftermath of the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 first-graders and six of their educators were killed on December 14, 2012. Joining the ranks of a growing club to which no one wants to belong, the Newtown families interconnect to weave an intimate story of community resilience.
- This film is important to me because…
- I want to start a dialogue in our community about gun violence and what we can do about it in terms of prevention, policy, and supporting survivors.
- I was deeply affected by the shooting at Newtown, and continue to be concerned as mass shootings are so common they begin to feel “normal.”
- I believe that the personal stories in this film will allow us to by-pass the politics of gun control and dive into deeper discussions about how to keep our communities safe.
(If applicable) I’ll provide (food and drinks) to sustain us through this rich conversation.
Please let me know by (date) if you can make it.
Consider inviting your friends or family to watch the film with you from their own homes, and host a Facebook or Twitter chat event so you can communicate during and after the film. Use the hashtag #WeAreAllNewtown to connect to the film and other viewers around the country.
Suggested format: We invite you to ask your guests/friends to introduce themselves and share their response to one of these opening questions prior to the screening:
- Why did you decide to watch Newtown?
- What do you hope to learn or discuss tonight?
Suggested format: Depending upon the size and familiarity of your living room conversation group, you may elect to have your guests turn to one another to discuss these questions or engage as a small group.
- What images, individuals or words from this film will you remember?
- Go around the circle and share one or two words that describe the emotions that came up for you during the film.
- What messages or lessons stood out for you as you watched the film? How will you describe it to your spouse/friend co-worker?
- Imagine you are engaged in a conversation about gun violence with a person who holds ideas different from your own. How might insights gained from the film influence that dialogue?
- What do you think needs to happen to make change?
- Use the Newtown film: Go to the Get Involved page
- Public Health Epidemic: Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Center of Public Health
- Gun Violence Prevention: Sandy Hook Promise
- Legislation and Policy: Brady Campaign or Everytown for Gun Safety
- Faith Communities: Odyssey, PICO, or Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence
Click on this document for more group discussion ideas.
Review this ITVS Engagement Guide for further ideas for group activities and discussion and learning resources.
Register Your Screening
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Host a Community Screening
Want to bring Newtown to your community, organization or classroom?
To learn more about how to schedule a screening and related fees, please fill out the form below
or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be in touch with you shortly with next steps.