Case Study: System Crasher: How Saffron Screen moved screenings onto Facebook Live


When COVID-19 meant that Saffron Screen's plans for the FAN New Release title System Crasher were cancelled, they moved their event online including guest speakers.

Project aims

  • Continue to screen the FAN New Release title System Crasher despite the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Technical learnings as we moved from an in-cinema discussion, which we are confident in running, to a Facebook Live event (our first)

  • An interesting discussion for film-lovers and families

  • 20 attendees on the evening

  • Good interaction with and questions from our viewers

  • Keeping in touch with our audience during lockdown

  • Directing people to specialised film, including other titles beyond this (eg Styx, Perfect 10)


System Crasher

Key partnerships

We worked with Pat Kelman at 606 Distribution, who offered our customers a discount when they watched the film, and with Saffron Walden family therapist Inger Madsen. We had other people lined up or to whom we were talking for the in-cinema discussion before this was cancelled.

Budget in brief

Guests £150 (2 x £75), Adverts (on Instagram and Facebook) £25, professional Zoom £12

What worked

  • Moving to Facebook Live but at the right time - ie not too early when everyone was still in shock about lockdown, waiting until later when people are in a bit of a rhythm

  • Successful use of Facebook Live. We will try more.

  • Getting information out so that over 20 people joined which feels like a success with all the competition for people's time, energy and money at the moment.

  • Sharing the film but also offering support to parents

What has been difficult

  • Lockdown is obviously hard for everyone and working out how to communicate with audiences, when and in what ways.

  • It's a tough subject at this time.

  • Technical difficulties (one drop out of internet as two Zooms going on in my house, noisy kids in the background even in their 20s!)

  • Working out the best way to reach audiences and get their engagement.

What you would do differently if you did it again

  • Sample promoting it for a bit longer, but time lines are hard at the moment as it can be negative to launch too early or remind people how long this is going on for.

  • Encourage more questions on Facebook earlier

  • Familiarity with the technology (we will be more adept next time)

Awareness / Attitudes

This film raises awareness of how hard things can be for children who have been damaged by trauma, and that there are issues for children who have suffered mild trauma, as well as those encountered in this film. This can help people be more empathetic to young people who are struggling, and we built on that with our discussion.


This film showed issues relating to young people in care and also the struggles of her young mum.

Knowledge & Experience

It is always positive to promote a film by a female director, still sadly underrepresented, as well as such a powerful film about a young person, which can resonate with younger audiences as well as with parents.

Social Cohesion

Communities which understand the struggles of youngsters and their parents are more understanding to issues around them.


We offered support through our discussion for parents helping their children at a time of great stress for all.


This is not relevant at the moment, but it was positive to offer a free discussion for people at a difficult time.

What audiences said

  • A truly gripping and shocking film and I really appreciated listening to this critique as a single mum watching this at the time. I so wanted to reach out to her and just hold her. Heartbreaking.

  • Thank you all for this chat. It's been really interesting listening to you.

  • I love the comment about teenagers needing to move away from home. My 15-year-old has found this extremely hard.

  • Thank you - this has been fascinating.

  • Watched this chat last night and inspired us to check out other films to watch on their website and we're also going to watch Styx on Saturday night with popcorn.

What professionals, press and partners said

  • Inger Madsen - thank you so much for having me and for hosting. I thought it was fun and lovely to meet Pat.

  • Pat Kelman - happy to work with Saffron Screen on this.