Skip to Content

Tips for Organizing an Outdoor Film Festival

Everyone loves a good movie. They transport us all to a time of wonder and fantasy. It’s the ultimate form of escapism.

Enjoying a slew of movies back-to-back sounds like the perfect way to spend a summer. Bring enjoyment to movie lovers this summer and check out these tips for organizing an outdoor film festival.

Choosing a Time and Location

When’s the best time to watch a movie? Some might answer anytime.

The rules are a little different when hosting a film festival. You want to choose a time, preferably a weekend, when there’s a lull in cinema activity. Make it a two-day event where there are no big releases set to come out that weekend so that you can have a large crowd.

As for the location, there needs to be a flat surface with an accompanying parking lot. Beaches, gardens, parks, and countryside locations are great for outdoor film festivals.

Related: 8 Tips For Throwing An Outdoor Movie Party

Establishing a Budget

Depending on the scale of the event, an outdoor cinema fest could run pretty cheap. Think about how grand you want the event to be.

Decide which elements deserve the most money and spare no expense. After all, you want everyone to be comfortable and have a great time.

You’ll likely spend the most money on equipment, but you can lease or rent some equipment to keep costs down. Outline all your resources so that you can plan the scale of your event properly. You might be able to acquire sponsors or do some fundraising, so consider that as a way to keep within your budget.

Deciding on a Theme

Next, deciding on a theme will help you narrow down your target audience. Whom do you want to invite and engage with?

The type of films you choose can change each day. One day could be an indie film theme or action flick. Another could be something the entire family can enjoy.

Or maybe the span of two days will be a romantic style evening. These choices will allow you to solidify your theme and your target audience.

However, remember to obtain the rights to the movies. You can’t throw an event this size without speaking to the distributor to obtain distribution rights.

Related: Tips for Choosing the Best Projector To Show Movies

Securing the Equipment

Make a list of all the necessary equipment to facilitate an outdoor film festival. Most of the items at the top will be obvious, like a screen, projector, audio, and power to work it all. These are the main areas you need to cover.

But there are smaller factors you need to consider, too.

For starters, you need to organize and rent restrooms for everyone. Be inclusive and make sure the event includes two or more ADA-compliant porta potties. These bathrooms are beneficial for everyone, not just people with disabilities.

Finally, you need to think about refreshments and vendors because it can’t be a movie fest without buttery popcorn.

Advertising Everywhere

Get the word out on all platforms. People need to hear about this event, and they need to be excited. Use social media, create a website, and reach out to local businesses.

Start a countdown at the site to get people excited about the event. Once you obtain rights for the films, tell everyone what they can expect to watch.

If you enjoyed this list, I have a monthly membership for parents and educators that want to teach or supplement lessons with shows and movies.

“I absolutely love sharing movies with my kids as a way to teach them valuable lessons. It's like this awesome bonding experience where we all snuggle up on the couch with some popcorn, and I get to see their little faces light up with curiosity. Whether it's a classic with timeless morals or a new animated flick with hidden gems of wisdom, it's a fantastic way to impart important life lessons in a fun and engaging way. Plus, the post-movie discussions are priceless – hearing their take on the characters and the story adds a whole new dimension to our family time.” –a Homeschooling parent

With Homeschooling with Shows and Movies membership, you will get resources every month, including:

  • List of This Month’s Suggested Themes
  • List of Monthly Observances
  • List Of Movies for Unit Study
  • Unit Study Resource
  • Seasonal Activities (minimum of three)
  • (BONUSES) Resources for you, the teacher

These resources are worth it if you'd like to easily incorporate shows and movies into your homeschooling.

Grab your membership here.

If you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to organizing the best outdoor film festival.


Sharing is caring!