Changing the World, One Wall at a Time
Changing the World, One Wall at a Time, a documentary feature film on Education Is Not A Crime – one of the world’s largest street art and human rights campaign, which raises awareness about education discrimination by Iran’s government against tens of thousands of Baha’is – is now available.
The film features interviews with popular artists – such as Rone from Australia, Astro from France, Marthalicia Matarrita from New York, and Elle from Los Angeles – as well as activists with experience of the Civil Rights movement, the anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa, and human rights work on behalf of Iranians of all backgrounds. Iranian Baha’is with personal experience of being denied their right to higher education also share their stories.
You can download the film at this link: https://vimeo.com/217675689
Thinking of hosting a screening? We rely on people like you to spread the message of Education Is Not A Crime – you’re doing a true service to the cause of education equality.
We have some suggestions on how to organize your screening, pitch it to newspapers as well as radio and tv stations, get attention on social media, dream up and produce complementary artistic activities, and thoughts on events for students.
Enjoy! And may the spray paint be with you.
Organizing a screening
Book a venue. A screening can be anywhere with a screen and ideally some chairs: a public library, community centre or museum, a local cinema or even your home. Bonus points to whoever holds a screening at a desert drive-in.
Do you charge for your event? Up to you! You may need to recover costs; we suggest that, if you do charge, you limit the price to whatever helps pays for the event. But if you have a budget to host the screening then there’s no price like free!
Get a copy of the film. You can download the film from us at this link; then, you need a computer that plays mp4 files, connected to a display (whether it’s a tv, a projector or a cinema system) and some electricity. (The local grid should suffice.) We unfortunately can’t currently offer DCP or Blu-ray formats of the film.
Advertize your screening. A Facebook event and Instagram posts are great for this; so are flyers in your wider local community, announcements at community events and classes, and good-old word of mouth. (You can use stills from the film for your Instagram images.) The key is to hit the target audiences: young people and students, artists, and human rights supporters are especially likely to be interested. Be sure to give yourselves at least two weeks between booking your screening and the event – ideally longer. And let us know (via email or Facebook) about your screening!
What about a Q&A after the film? Don’t feel obliged to have a Q&A; but if your local resources permit, then it’s a fun way to close the event. The Education Is Not A Crime team is unfortunately unable to join most screenings either in person or remotely – except in specific cases of major events and/or lucky timing. Email us to ask.
But you may already have everyone you need! Local artists and teachers, Iranian Baha’is who studied in the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) and are comfortable speaking publicly about their experiences, university lecturers who volunteer time to the BIHE, and human rights activists; any of these people may be suitable to talk about specific stories or broader themes addressed by the film. And try to ensure that your panel is a fair representation of your local population!
how to get publicity
Pitch your screening to local media outlets. Journalists are people, just like you; well, almost just like you. All you need to do is call the editor of your local or regional newspapers, radio stations and tv channels, and say this: “We’re showing a new film about one of the world’s largest human rights and street art campaigns and you’re welcome to join as our guest.” And if you get a chance to say more: "The film is called Changing the World, One Wall at a Time, and it’s about the Education Is Not A Crime campaign, which has created more than 40 murals around the world, most of which are in Harlem, New York City, drawing parallels between the Baha’is in Iran (who aren’t allowed to study because of their beliefs) and other communities struggling for equality in the US and other countries.” But don’t sound like you’re reading a script! Wing it and you’ll be fine. And then send the editor a press release to follow-up on your call.
Oh; you need a sample press release? No problem. Use this original press release and adapt it to your needs. Change whatever screening-specific details are relevant, add what you think is important, and try to leave the essential text intact. Keep it to one page!
what to do on social media
Remember to use the #EducationIsNotACrime hashtag in all your posts! You might be sharing a Facebook event for your screening, live tweets from the Q&A, Instagram pics from your red carpet premiere (that’s a joke; you don’t need a red carpet), or doing whatever it is people do on Snapchat; just remember the hashtag. Extra hashtags – like #streetart, #humanrights, etc – are recommended. Hashtags with a local relevance are especially smart. But keep it to five or less!
Talk to people on social media and tell them about your event. The Internet is full of people everywhere talking about everything. You can find those who are interested in education, or street art, or Iran, or human rights, or a mix of them all. Tag and talk to them: take an interest in their posts and then share with them your screening. Tell them why it’s important. Share their posts and maybe they’ll share yours! Don’t treat social media like it’s a billboard; if it is a billboard, then it’s the worst billboard in the world, because each post lasts seconds or less before new ones push it down. Social media is a conversation: get talking and someone will answer.
Share the night on all your channels. Treat your screening like it’s the Oscars: everyone is dying to see pictures from the big event! Share snaps, touching quotes, clips from the Q&A, whatever feels right; just put it out there on your personal channels, share it on the event page, and make sure you tag us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and we’ll be sure to repost/regram/retweet you to the ends of the Earth.
mixing in the arts
Paint a mural, sing a song, stage The Merchant of Venice (if you deny me higher education, do I not start an underground university in my living room?) or maybe do it all in one big show! Ok, but seriously, we’ve found that local artistic activities are a terrific complement to a screening of Changing the World, One Wall at a Time. We’d love to see communities create their own mural to celebrate the showing of this film – it doesn’t have to be big. All it needs is an artist, a beautiful idea themed on education, a spare wall that you’re allowed to use, and some paint. Avoid tall walls unless you have a tall budget. And once again: make sure your mural has the hashtag!
Include news of any arts activities in your media outreach. You may find that something like a local mural or musical performance – whatever it may be – is actually a bigger story than the screening.
But we don’t want to dictate ideas to you. If you have some exciting thoughts on how the arts can complement your screening then brainstorm up a vision. Think about what you need to make it happen. And feel free to contact us to consult! We love to hear what people come up with and we’re happy to offer feedback and help.
events for students & how to answer all those Questions
Students are the best audience for this film. If you’re a teacher, university lecturer, a student yourself, or even if you know someone who’s part of a high school or university, think about organizing a screening on campus. We’ve found that students take this film seriously and of course they love the murals. But the real value is in the questions they ask about Education Is Not A Crime and the Baha’is in Iran.
What kind of questions? Why aren’t the Baha’is allowed to go to university? What do the Baha’is even believe? Why don’t they just lie and hide their faith? How does the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education work? Who can volunteer to help it? Etc!
What if you’re asked how much the murals cost or how the campaign is funded? Easy: just say that the murals cost however much it costs to pay an artist and our small team, buy paint, rent a lift and cover other expenses. We don’t pay for walls! And so far individuals have helped pay for the campaign. We welcome support from individual contributors and grant-making organizations.
A good way to prepare for these questions is to read about Education Is Not A Crime and the denial of higher education to the Baha’is in Iran. Great news: you’re spoiled for choice. Click on to read articles at IranWire, Refinery29, Quartz, The Village Voice, Konbini, Metro, and The Uptowner, to name-drop a few.
Ballantines PR – Los Angeles
+1 (310) 454-3080