1) An open air screening: appropriate films


One exercise we carried out for a recent sponsored film night was to select some options to be offered to offer to all employees to vote on for the screening. However given that it was an open air screening and was being held before 9pm, the selections needed to be rated Parental Guidance (“PG”) or Universal/Suitable for all (“U”).

Now I hadn’t seen this before, but it would appear that when you ask a bunch of film buffs to provide you with a list of top films they’re chomping at the bit, right up until you tell them it has to be suitable for kids, and they realise that their usual top 10 favourites rely on violence, sexual content, or profanity to create emphasis or poignancy, or to develop plot or characters.

Its actually quite hard to create good action, romance or even just a good yarn without including something inappropriate it would seem.

So what succeeds? I gave everyone three nominations, then recirculated the full list of nominations to everyone and gave them each five (non-duplicate) votes. The list of nominations consisted of 71 films (it was actually much longer, but there were a large number of films rated at levels above PG) and my handy little excel spreadsheet tallied up the votes to show that a total of 39 people voted. The top 10 results (this also happens to be a list of every film with more than 5 votes) in descending order of votes are laid out below.

Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark 


Cinema Paradiso 

Star Wars, A New Hope 

Groundhog Day 

Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring 

Some Like it Hot 

Jurassic Park 

Edward Scissorhands 

The Third Man

So quite a mix of action, classics, comedy, and the slightly bizzare. I was amazed what a following Groundhog day has…

And finally, if you remember, this whole exercise was just to choose nominations for a broader vote across our employees in London. So what was the final outcome? Well unfortunately the cinema involved could only get rights to three of these films (Cinema Paradiso, Jurassic Park and The Third Man), so the employee vote was limited to those three plus three others that the cinema already had rights to – The Queen, Superman I and Eragon. Fortunately, the voters saw the light, and Cinema Paradiso won!

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 Posted by at 10:52 pm

  2 Responses to “1) An open air screening: appropriate films”

  1. Q: How did you go about getting rights for the films?

    I did a similar thing at my firm in Bangalore, we did a sports and social club.

    films were screened on a projector on dvd, without really “asking” for permission. the dvds were original if that helps.

  2. For the ordinary Film Society screenings we got them through http://www.filmbank.co.uk/ (Filmbank PVS licence) – still has to be original UK-released DVDs though. For the open air screening, the cinema involved had rights to some of the films already, and got specific permission for the others.
    EDIT: Note that you will usually need to get an audio license as well, which is separately issued

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