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Pre Meeting TV and Movie Viewings

Planning Time

1 week

Group Size


Staff #


Event Date


Activity Overview:
Several affiliates have let us know that they promote viewing of selected movies, documentaries, and TV shows prior to their scheduled meetings. Watching educational films or documentaries on the topics you are planning to discuss can add a whole new element to your group dynamic. Watching and discussing films before meetings encourages your members to engage with the material being discussed afterward even if they are at first unfamiliar with it. Documentaries such as Cosmos with Carl Sagan or Neil deGrasse Tyson are often particularly salient to freethought groups, and runs in a continuous 14 part series that can be watched in parts for nearly an entire semester. Other good documentary ideas include Planet Earth, Jesus Camp, and Food Inc.

While films with a secular theme can tie in well with most discussion topics, many films that are unassociated with the movement can also facilitate debate. The movies or shows you watch don't necessarily have to be educational. Watching something fun and light such as Life of Brian or South Park can be extraordinarily easy to promote, and will bring in people who might not otherwise be interested in secular campus group activities.

Material Requirements:
Be sure your meeting room has equipment that is compatible with whatever format your movie is in. Also check with your school for requirements about screening rights. Check out the movies SSA offers, complete with screening rights, on the movie list page.

If you flyer for your events regularly, you could try splitting your flyer into two halves, one promoting the film and the other promoting the discussion. Chalking around your campus can be particularly effective in gaining attention for your group and the movie you plan on watching. For more promotion ideas, see the Group Promotion and Media Relations resource.

Movie Suggestions:
For a list of movie, documentary, and TV show suggestions, go here.

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