The Economics of Happiness

Francis recently posted a link to a wonderful website:


Here's just one of the amazing films from this site:

Noa's picture

Upon further inspection of  I discovered that they have a purpose beyond providing unique films online.  Their goal is to spread Films for Action by encouraging people to form local chapters to screen films in their own towns.  Sounds like a fun way to affect positive change! ~ Noa


Want to Start a Chapter in Your City? Join us!

Our City Chapters lie at the heart of our mission to provide independent and alternative media for local communities. Through a combination of public documentary film screenings, the chapter's city website, local campaigns, street team promotion and Lending Library, our chapters aim to side-step our dependence on corporate media, providing a direct-access medium for people in the city to stay informed, get involved and organize with others.

With this in mind, our new website features several new tools to assist these efforts at the local level:

  • A calendar of events focused on promoting all of the progressive/radical activist events happening in the city's area at any given time. Anyone can add events to the calender.
  • A directory of local activist groups, united by our common vision for a better future, detailing who they are, what they do, and how those interested can get involved. Groups can post "updates" which are published on the front page of the city site, and the page also can include subscription form to make it easy for folks to sign up for the group's email Newsletter or list-serve.
  • Profile pages for all of the activist members in the community, detailing their interests, skill-share resources, and other information tailored to help foster stronger, real-world community development and support networks.
  • A blog featuring local news and articles written and contributed by local citizens (you) in the spirit of democratic, participatory journalism.
  • Every City Chapter is given a unqiue sub-domain ( to allow local chapters to create a completely tailored and dedicated place for people in their city to stay informed, get involved, and network and organize with others in the area.
  • Film screening tool-kits for twenty of the best documentaries we've previously screened, including flyer templates with original artwork, sample press releases, and sample action guides.

Here is a list of some of the films we've screened in the past, which we have screening kits for:

The Economics of Happiness     King Corn     Numen: The Nature of Plants     The Yes Men Fix the World     Zeitgeist: Moving Forward     Dirty Business: "Clean Coal" and the Battle for Our Energy Future     The Next Industrial Revolution w/ Speaker Warren Brush     Dirt! The Movie     Within Reach     Fierce Light: When Spirit Meets Action     What Would Jesus Buy?     Rethink Afghanistan     Fabled Enemies     Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections     Black Gold     Crude Impact     War Made Easy     What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire     Oil, Smoke & Mirrors     Go Organic!     Sir! No Sir!     The Future of Food     The End of Suburbia     Weapons of Mass Deception     Wal-Mart: the high cost of low price


These features have been implemented to achieve several goals:

  • To provide a local online news and organizing hub that is dedicated specifically to supporting movements for social justice and sustainability
  • To make activism more accessible to a wider demographic of people
  • To be an attractive and welcoming place for people new to activism to get informed, find other people in the area of like-mind, and get involved with local activist groups
  • To help strengthen the city's activist community, and to help it grow in both number and effectiveness
  • To keep people informed on important local and global issues not adequately covered by the mainstream press
  • To reduce the amount of promotional work groups must do to ensure a strong turn out at events
  • To reduce "duplicate" efforts where it improves efficiency, and to expand duplicate efforts where it increases positive change
  • To strengthen the solidarity of all the different people and groups working together in this wide movement for a more just, democratic and sustainable future
  • To make much of the invisible work of local groups visible to the wider community, and to other activist groups, so we can gain a better sense of our collective efforts and find areas of convergence and synergy

Sounds awesome! So what's Involved in Forming a Chapter?

Creating and sustaining a chapter is a solid commitment, but it also offers one of the greatest ways you can have a positive impact on your city. And of course, you won't be doing it alone.

Here's a general run-down of chapter activities:

  • Gather your initial team. Seek out enthusiastic friends or people you know in the activist community that are interested in media issues. Keep an eye out for individuals with specific skills or experience that will be helpful, including a good writer, public speaker, graphic designer, etc.
  • Organize around four public film screening events per year. We would encourage six to 12 as the ideal to strive for, but you could also do weekly film screenings. It all depends on your particular situation.
  • Network with all of the progressive/radical activist groups in your city and encourage them to regularly post their events on the city site, as well as add their group to the group directory.
  • Solicit local writers to submit articles for the blog, creating a forum for local progressive voices and stories to be represented.
  • Organize a street-team to hand out flyers and put up posters promoting your film events and city sub-site. 
  • Make all of the documentaries you buy available to borrow from people in your city for free, and encourage people (especially high school and college teachers) to host screenings.
The point of all of these activities is to create a strong independent media center for your city - a place and a network people can trust to stay informed on the things that matter, to connect and organize with others in the community, and to build the foundation upon which a movement for change can truly flourish. Breaking our dependence on the corporate media and informing ourselves via our own media channels is the key to breaking the stalemate that keeps our social change progress slowed to a crawl. Once this bottleneck is broken, we'll be able to rapidly accellerate our efforts for positive change in virtually every other area of the social change puzzle. From true sustainability to social justice to direct democracy - we believe a vibrant independent media is the healthy soil from which all of these aspirations can grow. 

This sounds like a project I can get behind! Anything else I need to know?

Just a few more things.

  • Films For Action chapters do not support, fund, or endorse political parties or candidates. We are a strictly non-partisan organization.
  • Creating a chapter is free and you keep all of the proceeds made from your Chapter's film screenings. We only expect that funds go towards supporting and growing your Chapter - to buy new films, mainly, and to cover other local FFA expenses. By charging a low admission fee for the screenings, this will be one of the main ways the chapters will generate funds to buy more films and keep the project self-sustaining.
  • These city chapters are really a big experiment to see what is possible. We have a general guide for what we envision for the chapters (outlined above), but we're excited to see what other people will bring to the project. We hope you'll take the basic premise of it and run with it, expand on it, and make your city chapter unique to the needs of your city and the passions of the members involved.
  • The basic framework is: decentralized, but cooperative - sharing the same basic goals and values, but letting each chapter have plenty of autonomy to grow and become what it wants to become and see what happens.
  • Before we launch your city site and to ensure your chapter gets off to a great start, you'll need to have a couple things ready: 1) At least two to four people that are committed and excited about doing this. 2) Getting the details for your first screening locked down (location, date, film etc). Once you have your first event planned we'll get your site setup so you can begin promoting the event. But first, contact us below so we can answer questions and provide support during this period. We also recommend checking out our guide to hosting film screenings for further details.

If everything sounds great so far and you're ready dive in, click the button below to

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