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Global Education Week 2011 in Kraków

Project Overview

A five-day-long film festival of documentaries on consumerism, global responsibility and development issues.

Identifying the Problem

For most people, the broader implications and consequences of their purchases are not factored in to the choices they make as consumers. Yet in such an interrelated world, our consumer choices do not only affect us – they also affect the cultures, economies and living conditions of people worldwide. Struck by this reality, Artur wanted to find a way to help influence a change in consumer behaviors by educating people about global interdependencies between producers and consumers.

Creating A Solution

Believing that education is one of the most effective tools for change, Artur set off to develop a project that would provide people - youth, students and NGO activists - with food for thought and knowledge on how our consumer choices affect other peoples' lives globally. He wanted to develop a project that would create an interactive and entertaining educational environment. He decided to hold a five-day-long film festival of documentaries that focused on consumerism, global responsibility and issues relating to development. To make the film festival more interactive, each movie screening was followed by a presentation by an expert on the topic and a group discussion that challenged participants to elaborate further on the problem and devise ways in which to tackle it. 

Artur began by contacting Finka Club and requesting to use one of its rooms for five evenings of movie screenings. Once this was secured, he reached out to his personal and professional network, inviting over a dozen organizations to participate in the film festival and asking them to recommend and provide documentaries for the screenings. Artur received a broad list of recommendations, from which he chose the 10 that he found to be most interesting. He then developed a logical framework for the screening schedule. 

Once Artur had settled on the schedule for the film festival, he invited an expert to address the audience after each movie. While he was inviting experts to the festival, he was also contacting several NGOs he was affiliated with, in order to request funding for the promotion of the festival. An organization lent Artur the necessary equipment – two laptops, a projector and a sound system. With the logistics of the film festival in place, Artur began promoting the event. In addition to posting a press release online, he also sent it out to local newspapers, news portals, NGOs, NGO portals and sites promoting sustainable development. Artur also created a Facebook page, and distributed mailings and leaflets about the event. The film festival was a big success, with 10-30 people attending each evening screening. The entire event drew around 100 participants.

The speakers included Andrzej Wójcik (director of the documentary Brand New World), Katarzyna Zegadlo  (a representative of CEE Bankwatch Network), Katarzyna Jasikowska (a PhD lecturer from Jagiellonian University), Justyna Szambelan (a representative of Polish Green Net), Mikolaj Kolyszko (a fairtrade movement activist), Wojciech Wilk (a representative of The Green Institute) and Malgorzata Malochleb (a sustainable city transport campaigner).

Lessons Learned

Artur organized the entire film festival in less than a month and with a very small budget. While his own determination certainly played a significant role in the success of the planning and execution of this event, he also stresses the importance of asking others to help out. Some of Artur’s friends helped him to design and disseminate the promotional materials, and another friend offered to photograph the event.

Get Involved!

Artur plans on continuing to remain involved in organizing events during Global Education Week, which takes place each November. He encourages anyone with interesting niche movies concerning development issues, global issues or consumerism, especially created by NGOs, to please let him know. He can be contacted through his personal website or the film festival's Facebook page.

Funding

This film festival was organized entirely on a non-profit basis, and very little money was raised to fund the event. Finka Club offered free space in which to screen films for five evenings,  NGOs allowed the festival to screen movies they had produced free of charge, and leaflets, word-of mouth and internet channels were used to promote the event. Polish Forum of Young Diplomats provided grants for logistical support and to cover experts' travel costs. Artur additionally organized this project in cooperation with Humanity in Action Poland, The Green Institute, Polish Green Net and the Foundation of Economic Cooperation Poland-West Africa.

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About This Project

HIA Program:

Poland Poland 2009

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