Non-profit Screenings. Fees and Permissions legalfilter.
June 28, 2011 1:03 PM   Subscribe

Non-profit Screenings. Fees and Permissions legalfilter.

I do screenings to small groups of people (20-40) and we've begun to get popular and I would like to begin getting permissions from distributors. It starts to get cloudy here, which distributor do you license through for screenings? DVD, Theatrical. What happens if its a foreign DVD? Thanks for any insight.
posted by mattsweaters to Law & Government (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Swank Motion Pictures and Criterion Pictures USA (no relation to the Criterion Collection) are the two main US sources for non-theatrical* screening rights. Both of them also deal with non-theatrical rights for some old American films and some big foreign films (basically, the ones that are distributed in the States by the big studios that they represent).

The deal is that you pay them between $200 and $600 (depending on the film or maybe on your status) for the right to show a film and they send you the film on the medium that you need (DVD, 35mm, whatever) if they have it. That's it. You don't need to worry about anything else.

There are also a bunch of smaller distributors, some of whom you may have to deal with if you want to show older foreign or American films. (Janus is a big one; they control rights to stuff that's in the Criterion Collection. New Yorker, Milestone, and Kino are other big ones).

*You are almost certainly "non-theatrical" rather than "theatrical" in screening rights / film rental terms. The division between the two is kind of arcane and archaic, but basically you are "theatrical" only if you are showing films in, well, a bona fide theater. "Non-theatrical" covers everything from schools to prisons to church groups, etc. and is where most non-first-run rights fall.
posted by bubukaba at 9:35 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh, I forgot to mention - Universal films are handled directly through Universal for everyone (cite).
posted by bubukaba at 8:43 AM on June 29, 2011

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