Pair these 10 Powerful Films for Community Events with our free Film Discussion Guides to For Successful Screenings and Rousing Conversations

We recommend these ten powerful films to screen at community events, after school settings, and library groups. These award-winning documentaries and feature films speak to contemporary issues while they educate and uplift. We offer free discussion guides designed for community viewings for these films to facilitate rousing conversations that leave your participants inspired.

Thinking of starting a film club of your own? Check out this community learning article by our National Advisory Council member Piper Hendricks: Why Book Club When You Can Doc Club?

Crip Camp

shares with insight, humor, and joy the experiences of a group of disabled teenagers and their journey to adulthood and activism, and delves into the rich and powerful history of disability activism and culture. The Discussion Guide deepens the knowledge and understanding of disability and of disabled people offered in the film. Get the free Crip Camp Discussion Guide.

Gabby Gifford Won’t Back Down

Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down tells the extraordinary story of former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords: her relentless fight to recover following an assassination attempt, and her new life as one of the most effective activists in the battle against gun violence. We offer a Discussion Guide and a flexible Learning Guide for this film, which can both be useful for community film screenings. The guides explore brain injury, resilience and recovery as well as gun violence causes and solutions. Both guides are available in English and Spanish. Get free Gabby Gifford Won’t Back Down Guides.

He Named Me Malala

He Named Me Malala chronicles the events leading up to the Taliban’s attack on Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai for speaking out on girls’ education, followed by the aftermath, including her speech to the United Nations. Her survival and recovery have been little short of miraculous. Our discussion guide emphasizes the importance of education for all and explores opportunities for action. Get the free He Named Me Malala Discussion Guide.

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures highlights the determination of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, the three Black women known as “human computers” in the NASA space program of the 1960s. Our Hidden Figures Discussion Guide explores the Jim Crow south and the Civil Rights Movement, the Cold War and the Space Race, and the role of women in historical and contemporary STEM leadership. Get the free Hidden Figures Discussion Guide.


Jane explores the life and work of the renowned primatology scientist Dr. Jane Goodall, especially on her research about chimpanzees.  By patiently integrating herself into the chimpanzee community she was studying, Jane pioneered a methodology of observation and allowed a new understanding of what it means to be human and proved that women could be successful as scientists in a world previously dominated by men. Get the free Jane Discussion Guide.


Enthralling and intimate, NAVALNY unfolds with the pace of a thriller as it follows Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in his quest to identify the men who poisoned him in August 2020. Shot in Germany as the story unfolded and offering extraordinary access to the investigation, NAVALNY is a fly-on-the-wall documentary that is also a study of Navalny the man. The Oscar-winning documentary speaks to a world transformed by Russia, its war in Ukraine, and the growing and treacherous threat of authoritarianism around the world. Get the free Navalny Discussion Guide.

Queen of Katwe

Queen of Katwe is based on the inspiring true story of Phiona Mutesi, a young girl selling corn on the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess. As a result of the support she receives from her family and community, she is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion. Get the free Queen of Katwe Discussion Guide.

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind is based on the incredible true story of a thirteen-year-old boy in Malawi who finds an unconventional way to save his family and village from famine. Our free Discussion Guide explores desertification and points at opportunities for action. Get the free The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind Discussion Guide.

UNZIPPED: An Autopsy of American Inequality

UNZIPPED: An Autopsy of American Inequality explores gentrification, homelessness, poverty, and the affordable housing crisis. This intimate feature documentary explodes stereotypes and humanizes the lived experiences of people caught in the cross-fire of America’s growing housing divide. Our UNZIPPED Learning Guide includes pre-viewing questions and points at housing crisis solutions and avenues for action. Get the free UNZIPPED Learning Guide.

Youth v Gov

YOUTH v GOV tells the story of America’s youth taking on the world’s most powerful government. Armed with a wealth of evidence, twenty-one courageous leaders file a ground-breaking lawsuit against the U.S. government, asserting it has willfully acted over six decades to create the climate crisis, thus endangering their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property. If these young people are successful, they will not only make history, they will change the future. Get the free Youth v Gov Discussion Guide.

BONUS: Discussion Facilitation Guidelines

This short guide suggestions for leading productive group conversations that broaden perspectives and encourage empathy. Get free Facilitation Guidelines.

UPDATE: New Additions

We added award-winning documentary Greener Pastures to our library in 2024. Following four Midwest family farms over several years, Greener Pastures is a story of perseverance within the farming industry in the heartland. Start with family farming, then add in climate change, a worldwide pandemic, and the increasing economic uncertainty brought on by megafarms: being an independent farmer in America is a profession of survival. This is also a superb film choice for public screenings. Get the free Greener Pastures Discussion Guide.

Grid arranged movie posters, 2 across, 3 down for a total of 6 movie poster. Posters for Navalny, Unzipped, Youth v Gov, Gabby Giffords Won't Back Down, Queen of Katwe and Hidden Figures. Each of the image features prominently key figures from the films and the title of the film.