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UPDATED Information Regarding Broken Places, Cracked Up, Paper Tigers & Resilience: Hosting a Film Screening to Start or Grow a PACEs Initiative: How-to Guide


Note: This screening guide has also been updated and is attached in pdf format below.

Movie screenings of documentaries, such as Broken Places, Cracked Up, Invisible Scars, Paper Tigers, Portraits of Professional Caregivers, Resilience, The Human Element, The Raising of America, Whole People, and Wrestling Ghosts Invisible Scars, are popular ways to introduce communities to PACEs science and help us to understand and talk about why PACEs, trauma-informed and resilience-building frameworks matter to people, families, communities, systems, and survivors.

There is something about watching a movie together, and as a community, that is bonding, intimate and makes us all equals. As Anndee Hochman wrote in Using Film to Mobilize Action, movies can often reach reporters and community members in ways other formats and presentations do not.

  • So how does one host a movie screening?
  • How long does it take? What does it cost?
  • Where do I start? Can an PACEs Connection Facilitator help?

These are the types of questions we routinely get from those interested in hosting a screening. Here’s a short guide about what we’ve learned to make this process easier for you.

  1. Choose Movie for Public Screening
  2. Plan Event
  3. Considerations
  4. Promote Event
  5. Event
  6. Invitations, Questions & Feedback

Human Element cover

We invite you to share questions, feedback, and suggestions as well. Happy viewing!

1. Choose Movie for Public Screening

There are several PACEs-related documentaries available for screening in this guide (organized alphabetically). We will continue to add more as they become available.

The trailers are shown first, and below, please find a brief summary of the movie, including prices, screening options, and who directed and/or produced the documentary.

Movie Trailers:  

Details about Each Documentary


Filmmakers: Roger Weisberg, Writer/Producer/Director

About: Broken Places poses the complex question of why some children are permanently damaged by early adversity while others are able to thrive. To help answer this question, we dug into 40 years of our film archives to update a few of the stories of children growing up in difficult circumstances that we filmed decades ago.

Costs summarized below but detailed on documentary distributor site, here:

  • $295.00 Institutional & public viewing edition (DVD for a single location).
  • $95.00: K-12 Edition (DVD for K-12 classroom instruction only).
  • $225.00: 1-Year Streaming License (public performance rights not included).
  • $375.00: 3-Year Streaming License (public performance rights not included).
  • $475.00: 1-Year Streaming License & PPR DVD Bundle (includes 1-year. streaming license & perpetual public performance rights for a single campus)
  • $580.00: 3-Year Streaming License & PPR DVD Bundle (includes 3-year. streaming license & perpetual public performance rights for a single campus).

cracked up cover


Director & Producer: Michelle Esrick

About: In Cracked Up we witness the effects adverse childhood experiences can have across a lifetime through the incredible story of actor, comedian, master impressionist, and Saturday Night Live veteran, Darrell Hammond. Behind the scenes, Darrell suffered from debilitating flashbacks, self-injury, addiction, and misdiagnosis, until the right doctor isolated the key to unlocking the memories his brain kept locked away for over 50 years.

Costs summarized below, and available for order directly through Cracked Up online (changed when Tugg closed doorsas reported in March of 2020).

If you want to screen Cracked Up at an event, request an SSR license (single screening rental). Below are instructions to make your purchase from Michelle Esrick, director and producer of Cracked Up.

  1. Visit our storefront page here.
  2. Format: Select the [DVD or Digital] format in the format dropdown
  3. Org Type: Select the [org type] in the 'org type' dropdown
  4. Click the "Purchase" button
  5. Enter the Event Date and Event Venue when prompted, then click the "Purchase"
  6. Enter your email, then click "Continue"
  7. Enter your Shipping Address, then click "Continue"
  8. Enter your credit card information, then click "Continue"
  9. Click "Purchase" and you're all set - we'll follow up with an order confirmation and
    a separate shipping confirmation once the DVD/digital file is sent.

If you decide that you'd prefer to own the film (license purchase), you can start over at the storefront: and then choose the "Edu License" option.


Filmmakers: James Redford & Karen Pritzker

About: ”Resilience reveals, toxic stress can trigger hormones that wreak havoc on the brains and bodies of children, putting them at a greater risk for disease, homelessness, prison time, and early death. While the broader impacts of poverty worsen the risk, no segment of society is immune.

Resilience, however, also chronicles the dawn of a movement that is determined to fight back.” Paper Tigers, a documentary that “follows six students over the course of a school year as a new trauma-sensitive program is implemented.”

Costs & Ordering:

PACEs Connection recently learned that Tugg closed its doors. However, per Lynn Waymer, of KPJR Films, “TUGG is continuing to deliver Paper Tigers and Resilience to all organizations who purchased the streaming service. All questions can be forwarded to”


Filmmakers: Vic Compher (Director and Co-Producer),
Rodney Whittenberg
(Co-Producer and Composer) &
Tim Fryett (Videographer, Editor)

About: Caregivers, a documentary film based on interviews with nurses, social workers, clinical psychologists, doctors, firefighters, first responders who rescue, assist, and help to heal the injured and traumatized—and also tell their own remarkable and often painful stories. The film takes us on a journey into a world the public rarely sees, depicting emotional costs experienced by professional care providers and probing the emotional consequences of professional public service.”

Costs: based on PPR (“Public Performance Rights, which means screenings to your institution or school where no admission is charged). More details and exact pricing, payments, handling fees, and available discounts, all here but here’s a summary:

EDUCATION RATES – Adding to Library or Hosting Events

Digital for K-12/Public Library
$75.   One-rental (K-12/Public Library)
Three-year rental  (K-12/Public Library
Life of the file format

Digital for Colleges/Universities
Three-year rental
Life of the file format

Hosting an Event with Public / Disc
$175 K-12/Public Library
$225 for Colleges & Universities
Note: These prices are for Performance Rights (PPR) for one free admission screening in a room with 1-250 seats. For larger audiences or to charge admission, please fill out our Request a quote from the film distributor.


  • $250. for full feature DVD (74 minutes) OR broadcast version DVD (56 minutes).
  • $350. for full feature DVD and Blu Ray (74 minutes) OR broadcast version (56 minutes)
  • $75.00 for CAREgivers shorts (topics specific segments, 20 minutes).
    • An additional fee of $150. For a licensing fee of $150 makes it possible to do a community/public screening (and to charge admission for one year).  
  • $250. for public, private, and social service agencies for 56-minute version through Vimeo Video on Demand (VOD)
  • $13.99 for individual viewing downloads for feature-length version (74 minutes) through Vimeo for 24 hours. As of November 2018, the CAREgivers film is available for individual viewing to the general public on a rental basis for $2.99. purchases/ downloads Included is a bundle of shorts from the film (check out this new resource here.)

  • DISCOUNT of 20% for purchases of the film by agencies that want to incorporate it into their trauma-informed care (TIC) staff curricula.


Director and Producer(s): Director, Mathew Testa and Producer, Olivia Ahnemann, Co-Producer, Daniel Wright

About: ”In an arresting new documentary from the producers of RACING EXTINCTION, THE COVE and CHASING ICE, environmental photographer James Balog captures the lives of everyday Americans on the front lines of climate change. With rare compassion and heart, THE HUMAN ELEMENT inspires us to reevaluate our relationship with the natural world,” are a force of nature. At the same time, human activities alter the basic elements of life – earth, air, water, and fire – those elements change human life.”


  1. Individual Viewing: Via iTunes, the cost is $4.99 to rent the movie or $12.99 to buy.
  2. Screening: “The film is free to use for screening organizers not charging for tickets. If organizers do charge for tickets, screening fees range from $250-$500, which can be worked out with our distributor,” said Caroline Beaton, the film’s Impact Coordinator, in an email with PACEs Connection,
    1. Contact: Caroline at for more questions.
  3. Use this Google Form to make a screening request.

    Note: Here's a screening toolkit and discussion guide for this film.

five-episodes copyTHE RAISING OF AMERICA

Film Producers: Produced by California Newsreel with Vital Pictures.

About: The acclaimed five-part documentary series and companion tools illustrate how a strong start for all our kids can lead to better individual outcomes AND a healthier, safer, more prosperous and equitable America.

Questions about movies and more information about ordering can be found here.  Here’s a brief summary of pricing.

Costs for Video on Demand (Vimeo) Options:

  • $1.99 an episode (5 total episodes) for 2 days of video on demand (Vimeo) for personal viewing (available in Spanish or English).

  • $195. for a 1-year subscription for organizations of all five episodes (available in Spanish or English). Includes public performances as well as for staff training, conferences, and workshops. Available as video on demand through Vimeo.

  • $350. for unlimited access to staff, students, and faculty with classroom and public performance rights accessible through video on demand (Vimeo) in both Spanish and English (with subtitles).

  • $295. to host a video from a university server, by purchasing DVD & 3-year license. Captioning files and digital videos available upon request. This option must be ordered through Kanopy.

Costs for DVD Options for Raising of America:

  • $149. for DVD with public performance rights of all five episodes with English/Spanish audio and subtitles (this option does not include streaming or digital rights).

  • $295. for DVD and 3-year streaming license.

  • $79.95 for discounted DVDs for public libraries, community organizations and HBCU’s that qualify.

  • $29.95 per DVD if ordered in bulk (50 orders or more)

whole people 1WHOLE PEOPLE

Five-Part Online Series (Links):

Producers: Twin Cities PBS and CentraCare Health

About: Whole People Is a five-part series "spotlighting the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) through personal and community stories. It explores the long-term costs to personal well-being and our society. While much work needs to be done, there are many innovative developments to prevent and treat ACES. We all play a role in becoming a whole people." This series comes with a fairly extensive study guide to help with processing and group facilitation after watching each episode. It has questions, summary points, body-based practices as well as a few quotes.  It’s co-written by Resmaa Menakem MSW, LICSW, S.E.P. of Justice Leadership Solutions, who is the author of My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies) and Pam Beckering, MS, LPCC, of CentraCare Health.

Costs & Screening Options: Streaming, online, for free.

NOTE: Because there is no cost to the online streaming, the viewing online can be done privately or in groups. Also, because this is a series, it can be shared as part of several consecutive events, or part of a longer workshop with time for online discussion, community cafes in person, or some combination of both. More detailed information about the series as well as a study guide to use with it can be found in this post by Cissy White, as well as on PBS where the series overview is available, as well as the segments on Childhood Trauma, Healing Communities, A New Response, Family Solutions, and Healing Journeys.



Filmmaker: Ana Joanes

About: Wrestling Ghosts follows the epic journey of Kim, a young mother who, with the help of her partner Matt and the support of therapists, works to confront her traumatic childhood to build a stronger bond with her sons.

While it centers around PACEs science, featuring the work of Donna Jackson Nakazawa, author of Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology and How We Heal, it does so without jargon and is unflinching at depicting the challenges and needs of those parenting with ACEs while introducing viewers to a wide range of approaches to healing and recovery. There’s a companion website as well as dedicated to parentand survivor support. Questions about this movie and more information about ordering Wrestling Ghosts can be found here. Screening and pricing options are below.  

Costs & Screening Options

  1. $100.00K-12 & libraries
  2. $350.00Festivals & Conferences
  3. $250.00All other screenings
  4. $19.99Individual screening

“Please note that no screenings request will be turned down for lack of funds. Please fill out the form and we'll help everyone organize a successful screening!” Director, Ana Joanes

Be Creative with Screenings & Financing: Monadnock Thrives Story
Jocelyn Goldblatt and Emily Read Daniels, Community Managers of Monadnock Thrives, did a fundraiser on Facebook after their library venue filled to 80-person capacity on the first day they publicized the event. They raised enough in two days to rent a local movie theater and had a Resilience screening and a community discussion. Six weeks later, at a public event attended by 400 people, they launched their PACEs initiative and an PACEs community on PACEs Connection. Most images in this guide are from that event. The Community Managers even had enough money to get a program made for the event (right).


Planning Team: Who will help plan? Meeting times/schedule?

Audience Size: Who will be invited?

Movie Location: There are free public spaces such as schools, libraries, town halls, and community centers. Sometimes schools or offices will co-host
or permit viewings. Ask initiative and community members for help.  

Online: Some films are available online, for free, for streaming, such as
Whole People. For these films, there’s no cost to

watch in a community setting or to plan an online event for those who wish to watch together, at the same time, from anywhere and come together afterward to chat on a social network such as PACEs Connection, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

Date/s: One-time only or part of a series of events?

Event Format: How will the audience be engaged? Will there be time for questions
& discussion? Will there be a speaker or a panel? Is a world cafe or way to engage attendees?

movie 8



  • Inclusive?

    • Is it reaching all sectors? Inclusive across and within sectors? Is language on flyer accessible and inviting? Is there a wide range of panelists from all parts of the community? Is public transportation available? Is childcare available? For free screening options, such as Whole People, is there an online or private viewing option and/or an online discussion forum
      on social media for wider sharing or varied modes of participation?  

  • PACEs Connection Launch/Relaunch?

    • Some communities have a movie screening in conjunction with an PACEs Connection Community Site launch/relaunch.

  • Have Attendees Find Out Their Own ACE / Resilience Scores?

    • This is frequently debated. Should it be done and what's the best way? Whatever is decided, have a plan, communicate it and if possible, have a support person present to talk more for those who would like that.

  • Plan Your Call to Action:

    • What are the follow-up steps, if any, you want people to consider? Join a community / task force / steering group / PACEs Connection / training group? Take ACE information to others? Create an online forum on PACEs Connection or other social networks for further work, discussions, resource sharing and to start or grow an initiative?

  • Host/Sponsor/Vendors?

    • Sometimes a non-profit will help pay for flyers, popcorn, water or share a space to have a movie. Some will charge minimal amounts to cover the cost. Do you want free vendors and community information tables? Who else do you want at the event and in what role?

4. Promote Event  

Invitees: Who is the intended audience? How will you let people know of the event?

Flyers/Brochures Samples/Examples:

Publicize: Get the word out. Promote, publicize, share, advertise.

  • Online: Websites, blogs, social networking sites.Post the event on PACEs Connection (calendar and community pages, blog posts) as well as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn. You can use #hashtag campaigns or use #PACEs.

  • Word of mouth: Mention events on community and city or town or neighborhood pages, online and in person. Ask parents, schools, towns, and businesses to help.

  • In Print: In the calendar sections of newspapers, magazines, newsletters; send a press release to print, or contact a reporter who might want to cover or attend events.

  • Flyers: Hang in public spaces (libraries, public transportation, daycares, coffee shops, etc.) or share via email or online. (See above for examples.)

  • Invite Press Coverage: You can invite specific reporters from local or statewide newspapers or issue-specific publications. You can also email a press release about the screening event to newsroom to spread awareness of PACEs, spread the word about initiatives, and help gather community members.

    • If a story is published, promote widely on all social media channels to keep conversation current (use hashtag #PACEsScience when promoting on social media, and of course, share back excerpts and a link to the article on PACEsConnection.


movie 9


  • Building Open/Doors Unlocked (Emergency contacts?)

  • Signage for parking, location, movie showing?

  • Technology test run?

  • Popcorn/water (if relevant)

  • Social media/online reminders

  • Any other materials to distribute?  Any info to collect from the audience?

Reception/Greeting: Make all feel welcome. Can a few people greet/guide?

Sign-In Sheets (If also an AC community site launch has your AC Community Facilitator help get people signed into PACEs Connection and community.)

DURING: Show Movie (Most run movie straight through. Other stops to discuss)

AFTER: Consider format/activity for discussion, digesting, responding, absorbing content.

  • World Cafe? Open discussion? Speake? Panel?

    • Note: See excellent information about community cafes shared by PACEs Connection member, Robin Cogan, here.

  • Stretching or movement?

  • Reminder: People will be assessing their own ACE/Resilience scores. Consider how to address this. Share survey formally, informally, casually, clinically or with Poll Everywhere - or not at all?  

CLOSING / Call to Action

Let people know where to learn more, how to get involved. Go to go to PACEs Connection & Resources Center for handouts, surveys, PACEs flyer in (English & Spanish, Growing Resilient Communities 2.0, PACEs Science & ACEs Too High news.  

6. Invitation, Questions & Feedback

Our community members are our best resource. That’s you! Many communities have done screenings, viewings, and share blog posts and ask-the-community questions and feedback. Here are some examples.  
What We Learned at Our Resilience Screenings (SCAN)

  • To read the review of the film and a post-screening discussion between the producer and director, Michele Esrick, and PACEs Connection founder and ACEs Too High publisher, Jane Stevens, see this post by Sylvia Paul.

Please add your experiences, ideas, resources, and suggestions. Please share the lessons you and your community have learned with the wider community. We want to learn from you!


Add Comment

Comments (13)

Newest · Oldest · Popular

What a creative setting for showing the film while also cultivating a community around trauma informed care and resilience. In Philly we had a mini-film festival some time ago featuring Paper Tigers and CAREGIVERS film. 

Vic Compher 

Director and Co-Producer

Portraits of Professional Caregivers

Meharry Medical College (Nashville, TN) and Prevent Child Abuse TN held a Resilience screening followed by a World Cafe in March of 2018. Invitees were specifically recruited from organizations in and concerned with North Nashville, an historically African American section of the city, and where Meharry is located. We highly recommend using the cafe model to engage the audience, though that might be difficult with open-to-the-public events. Ours was invite based, and I think part of why it was so successful. The cafe would have been hard to manage if we were doing it for hundreds of attendees. Thanks for putting together this article!

Geoff McKenzie posted:

Might I also suggest starting your screening with the 7-minute animated short, "BRAINS: Journey to Resilience" by the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative. It is free to screen and furthermore free to share and embed in your presentations. Also: funny!



This is absolutely brilliant! I cannot wait to share this with my school nursing colleagues and the students I teach at Rutgers University! Thank you for sharing this wonderful resource.


Becky Haas posted:

Great piece Cissy!  As a developer of a Trauma-Informed System of Care community, I highly endorse using these great films for raising awareness!!

Thank you, Becky! A few people have suggested an ACEs-related film festival. I think that's a great idea, especially as the body of films expands. Cissy


Thanks very much for your informative, thoughtful and expansive post about how to use these four TIC films in building resilient communities!

As the Director of CAREGIVERS film (Portraits of Professional Caregivers: Their Passion. Their Pain) and also as a licensed clinical social worker, I provide, upon request, workshops to assist organizations in the development of staff resiliency programs. These full or half day seminars take the onus off of staff to simply engage in personal “self-care” and instead demonstrate to agencies how to better nurture workers through the development of peer (and supervisory) mechanisms of real support. 

In addition CAREGIVERS film is available for purchase at a 20% discount for agencies that wish to use it as part of their ongoing TIC curricula. 

And I have included the link to our media kit below which provides additional, relevant information and audience responses to CAREGIVERS.

I invite anyone to be in touch with me regarding questions.

With appreciation and best wishes, 


Vic Compher, MSS, LCSW

Director and Co-Producer




Clare Reidy posted:

Thanks for this guide, Cissy.  I'm going to add your article as a resource on MARC's Using Film to Mobilize Action, which was written by @Anndee Hochman and highlights how communities have used film screenings to build their local movements: 

@Anndee Hochman's post is awesome. I'll include a link in the guide and in the pdf. Thanks to bringing this to my attention. Cissy

Might I also suggest starting your screening with the 7-minute animated short, "BRAINS: Journey to Resilience" by the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative. It is free to screen and furthermore free to share and embed in your presentations. Also: funny!



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