Festival-in-a-Box (How to run your own Festival!)

The quick and easy way to host CLiFF where you live.


Deadline for submitting a CLiFF HOST FORM: Friday, 26 October, 2013

Be part of labour and film festival history as Canada’s first Labour International Film Festival travels to communities all over Canada in November 2013. NOVEMBER IS LABOUR FILM MONTH IN CANADA!

Most people have never thought of hosting a film festival. We want to encourage EVERYONE to take part by hosting a CLiFF location in their city, town or village. It’s very easy – anyone can do it!

As soon as you say “yes”, just open, fill out and send in the CLiFF Host form; we will contact you to answer any questions you may have.


  • We send you a template for a flyer to publicize the festival in your community
  • We send you a DVD with movies (approximately 2.5 hours in length)
  • We prepare a “talking points” document on some of the important issues discussed in the films you have watched
  • We prepare questions you can ask your audience
  • We prepare action items you may want to follow up on


  • You find a place where people can watch the videos we send you
  • Find a place large enough to accommodate the number of people you think will attend – a union hall, library, theatre, community centre, school, housing co-op or rec room
  • book a 3-hour time slot – with 2.5 hours of movies and opening and closing statements, that’s all you’ll need (you can consider adding an hour if you would like to include time for questions, answers, and discussion)
  • Choose your time – some communities are hosting matinees and evening showings; others are planning full weekends. Even one afternoon or evening would be great
  • Find a computer, or a DVD player (and possibly a data projector)
  • For the opening, find a speaker (you?) who will welcome the audience members and introduce the film festival (notes will be provided)
  • Hit the PLAY button on your computer or DVD player and watch the movies
  • Ask for audience reaction to the films
  • Ask if there is anything the audience can think of to help publicize the issue in their own community (ideas will be given based on the films in the Box)
  • Closing remarks (provided)
  • Give a quick fundraising appeal and fill out a short evaluation/contact form and ask if people will come next year


How to host a CLiFF location

A CLiFF location is anywhere labour films will be shown in partnership with the Canadian Labour International Film Festival (CLiFF).

The dates for the film screenings in Toronto will be announced soon. Other locations can choose whatever dates they like in November (November is Labour Film Month in Canada). You can have it on either day or on both days if there is enough interest. Start small. It may make it easier to organize the screening the following year.

You can start at any time and finish at any time you like. The whole point of you having your own venue is that you decide. This can be based on your own availability, or you can consult with a few people who are interested in helping out, or those who are interested in attending. Consulting others works best!

We expect most people will want to start the festival in the late afternoon (2:00 PM) or start in the evening around 5:00 PM. This lets you take care of your own business and still allow time for your film screening.

Try to find someone (you?) who will be the coordinator and contact person for the CLiFF location.

Questions? Don’t be afraid to ask.  Email us at locations@labourfilms.ca and we’ll be pleased to help.

The films can be shown anywhere you like, from your living room to the local union hall to the town theatre. Wherever you decide, please make sure you can play DVDs. We will be duplicating movies and sending them to you. Make sure you test the DVD before the actual screening.

We are setting minimums in order to qualify as a CLiFF location. We are simply asking that you organize three or four people to sit around your computer or television, or in your dining room, insert the DVD we will send you, and watch the movies.

We anticipate that you will be able to choose the movies you want to screen, but we must clear all legal obstacles by negotiating the distribution and screening costs. This is to ensure that the artists get paid for their work and paid fairly!

WHO WILL NEGOTIATE with the film makers?
The Board of Directors will be negotiating the distribution and duplication fees with the creators of the films. We are establishing a budget and a protocol.

If you book a hall or other public venue, please make sure that the venue is covered by some kind of insurance. These venues normally have that pre-arranged so this should not be an issue, but don’t forget to enquire before you finalize the booking.

Please email us at locations@labourfilms.ca