FAQs: film licensing
The use of film offers the chance to entertain,
fundraise and engage the community. Filmbank
Distributors represents the copyright interests of many of the
major Hollywood, Bollywood and Independent film studios for
screenings outside the home or cinema. This is what you need to
Do we really need a licence to run a film event?
Yes! It is a legal requirement to obtain permission from the
copyright owners (film studios) to show films outside the home or
the cinema for entertainment. Many of the studios Filmbank
represents are members of FACT (Federation Against Copyright
Theft), an investigative body who combat counterfeiting, piracy and
the misuse of its members' products. Together with FACT, Filmbank
is committed to ensuring that such non-theatrical screenings do not
infringe the rights of the copyright owners. For more information,
please refer to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (and
other relevant legislation) or seek independent legal advice.
What licence do we need?
The STSL (Single Title Screening Licence) provides cover
for one-off or multiple planned events (ideal for fundraising)
whether commercial (paying audience) or non-commercial (free
admission). Events covered by STS Licensing can be advertised with
posters around your local community. With the exception of Grease
Sing-a-Long (available through Filmbank), please contact the
individual film studio directly for approval to run a sing-a-long
Are there any other licences we need?
You will need a PRS for Music licence to cover the soundtrack,
however if the venue where you are holding your event already has
this licence, your organisation will be covered.
Most film events are still licensable as 'regulated
entertainment', so if the venue in which you are holding your event
does not have a premises licence, a Temporary Event Notice will be
However, a TEN is not required for a 'not-for-profit' film
exhibition held in community premises between 8am and 11pm on any
day, provided that: the audience does not exceed 500; the organiser
gets consent from a person who is responsible for the premises; and
ensures that each such screening abides by age classification
ratings. The deregulation guidance further explains, "Under this
exemption, one condition is that the film entertainment is not
being provided with a view to profit. An entry charge does not of
itself make the film entertainment licensable; it is whether the
organiser intended to make a profit (that includes raising money
for charity). A charge or contribution that is made solely to cover
the costs of the film screening is consistent with 'not being
provided with a view to profit'. The 'not with a view to profit'
condition applies solely to the activity of exhibiting the film
under this exemption. A charge with a view to making a profit may
legitimately be levied for any other activity or event that is
distinct from film admission, such as the provision of
refreshments, film talks, or a social event."
How much does film licensing cost?
The cost of the STSL for each screening will be a minimum of £83
and allows you to promote your event. If you are charging for your
screening, you will be required to pay 35% of your total ticket
sales or the minimum fee of £83, whichever is greater. Do not
include the value of refreshments (where they are included in the
ticket price) when reporting your ticket sales to Filmbank.
For more information
The above is intended as guidance only. We
recommend that you contact the relevant organisations with specific
reference to insurance, legal, health and safety and child
protection requirements. Community Inspired Ltd cannot be held
responsible for any decisions or actions taken by a PTA, based on
the guidance provided.
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