Revolution#116, January 20, 2008
Raising Funds Through a Movie Outing
We received the following correspondence:
At a discussion arranged by Libros Revolución in L.A. to organize efforts for the Revolution newspaper expansion and fund drive, someone raised the idea of presenting films to bring people together and raise money. This triggered one woman at the discussion to describe her experience of reading Persepolis, the graphic novel memoir by Marjane Satrapi, and then discovering the review of the new film in Revolution newspaper. Discussion built around this idea and grew into a plan to buy discount tickets from the theater chain showing the upcoming film. The way this works is that you can arrange with a theater to buy blocks of discount tickets, and then resell them as a fundraising project. So that’s what we did.
A few people collaboratively developed an email to describe the event, including links to the movie review at the Revolution website. [Editor’s note: the review is at revcom.us/a/109/awtw-persepolis-en.html] The emails were sent to the bookstore’s e-list, friends of the planners, and an e-list that goes out to the peace and justice community in L.A. We sold 58 tickets in five days during the Christmas holidays, raising $200 for the fund drive. One person, responding to the email from the general listserv, organized ten friends to join her, expressly saying that she felt it was important to support the newspaper. Another organized six of her artist friends and bought her first subscription to the paper at the event. Many people who called were new to the movement and expressed interest in learning more about the paper and bookstore. A large group of Iranian activists and their children attended as well as peace and justice activists, artists, and others interested in the film and the issues it presented.
The film is extremely beautifully presented, in hand-drawn animation that is both evocative and realistic. The modern history of Iran and the way that it impacts one family in particular are played out through the eyes of a curious, intelligent, and outspoken young girl. After the film our guests commented on the quality of the animation and the way it portrayed various elements of the story. The Iranian guests agreed that the film was true to the historical events of their country and their personal experiences as emigrants. The discussion continued at a nearby Thai restaurant where U.S. and Iranian politics were debated and related to issues that have been discussed in the paper. The film posed in a living way the question of solutions to pressing problems in our world. As one guest remarked, we are all caught in a problem where we have two sides that are “mirror images of each other,” speaking about the current ruling classes in Iran and the U.S., and wondering what would really represent another way that would be in the interest of the people. There were questions of whether communism would turn into another “religion,” and there was lively discussion in the many conversations that took place after the event about Bob Avakian’s views on the transition from socialism to communism. People expressed interest in learning more about the paper, and some people talked about continuing the discussion in future gatherings as well as doing a similar fundraising event very soon.
For those of you looking for ways to pull a quick fundraising project together to help push the Revolution newspaper fund drive over the top, contact your local theater and work out something like this right away.
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