If the group is an essential element in the constitution of a participatory video laboratory, it is based on a reference community. For this reason, a fundamental phase at the end of the workshops is that of the public screening of the films that have been made. We can derive many benefits from the public screenings since this is the moment in which the participants come out into the open and show their work to the people close to them. It is also a moment of collective reflection on issues dear to the community. It is the social nucleus in which there is a free and horizontal exchange that sees civil society as the protagonist.
“As we have dreamed of them, [free newsreels] we would like to see two hundred a year in Italy and we would like contacts, even if only informative, but precise, on how to project them, without fixed rules and everywhere – from the parish to the cell, to clandestine places “. Zavattini, film diary
From the beginning, therefore, the multiplication of basic experiences, the dissemination of video-active cells on the territory and their networking are a substantial component of the diffusion of a free cinema, of a different kind of television and diffusion on the web.
For this reason, as ZaLab we make all the movies that come out of participatory video processes available on-line and for free on our website, but furthermore, over the years we have created a civil distribution network, made up of about 500 cinemas, art-houses cinemas, social circles, cultural associations, widespread throughout Italy, which project our documentaries and become nuclei for the horizontal distribution of film format.
What can really determine the growth of democracy and justice in global society is not the bare technical and commercial capacity of new media to reach every corner of the planet, but the real spread of skills and the possibility of responsible use of communication resources that the media themselves make available – tools that allow us to believe in the transformation of the global audience of passive spectators into a future plural society of conscious narrators, or at least to work seriously in this direction.