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One of the things I want to share as the Doc Bus travels across the country is the innovative hybrid event model that OPEN CINEMA has developed over the last few months. We have been amazed by how much fun it is, how effectively it engages virtual audiences on social justice issues addressed by our live film screening and discussion, and how it enhances our live events.

Read about our last couple of hybrid events here and here.

Virtual + Live = Virtual

By livestreaming the post screening discussion with our three guests and moderator on our website, it gives virtual viewers a first hand – if virtual –  taste of our community engagement on topical issues. The #opencinema tweetchat allows the virtual audience a chance to engage directly. The tweetchat is moderated by our 4 live tweeters in the room, so they’re bridging the live and virtual realms. We also project the tweetchat stream onto a wall in the room, so live viewers also have a window on what’s happening in the twittersphere.

How can we use the hybrid event model to build community?

It’s fun,  dynamic and exciting, especially when we have a reach of up to 85,000 twitter followers for each event! (according to That is a significant number of eyeballs that we feel could be leveraged in a variety of ways:

  • to increase engagement on social justice issues,
  • to develop a revenue model associated with online film streaming (with value added by being associated with a live event)
  • to facilitate connection between small and large local documentary screening programs across the country (and beyond).

As I travel across the country in the Doc Bus, I will be sharing this hybrid event model with as many people as I can, and talking about the ways we can use these, and other tools and concepts to bridge the geography that separates us, while respecting the growing value of all things ‘local’.

Documentary builds community

Documentary builds community. I want to help build a network of documentary community builders. Will you help me do that?

Tomorrow’s film is ELEMENTAL, and we’ll be talking about the costs and benefits of a life of environmental activism with guests Briony Penn, Jesse Baltutis and Caitlyn Vernon. Read all about the event here.

JOIN US #opencinema Tweetchat Wednesday April 24th at 7pm

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