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What kind of permissions can churches get to show films?


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I received this inquiry:

We're looking to launch a college ministry ... that teaches 20's how to critically view movies.

We were planning on screening movies at our church ... and then have a discussion group. We're running into legal barriers. Both MPLC.com and the CCVI licences prevent us from advertising to the public that we're screening the movies... even with the purchase of the licence.

The language states that we'd have to get permission from specific producers.

Two questions

-- are you aware of any other churches out there that we could connect with?

-- in your opinion, if we chose to approach producers individually, how possible would acquring these permissions be?

Can't say I have answers for this guy at the moment. Any of you have experience with this dilemma?

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I run a movie discussion group and my church has the cvli license.

A few months ago we ran across this in the terms:

"No specific titles, or any characters from such titles, or producers' names will be advertised or publicized to the general public unless authorized by certain producers."

Because of that, I have not advertised the name of the film to the "general public". I have however said things like - email me and I can contact you privately with the name of the movie we will be showing.

That works right? ;)

"I am quietly judging you" - Magnolia

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"No specific titles, or any characters from such titles, or producers' names will be advertised or publicized to the general public unless authorized by certain producers."

Because of that, I have not advertised the name of the film to the "general public". I have however said things like - email me and I can contact you privately with the name of the movie we will be showing.

That works right? ;)

That's my understanding of the license. It's fine to advertise the name of the movie within your church (like in newsletter or the church bulletin) but not to the general public (like in a newspaper ad or even on a sign outside the church building) When I talked to the CVLI folks, it seemed like they did say that advertising the fact that you are having a movie night is covered by the license as long as there were no titles involved.

My guess is that for a college ministry, you would be restricted from advertising specific titles outside of anyone who might be considered a part of the ministry. If you developed an email list of students who had some connection (like having attended an event) with the ministry, you could give them the details. A flyer to go up in a cafeteria would probably need to use language like Spoon uses.

I have no idea how to go about seeking permission to advertise from the producers of any particular film. I have a feeling that making some kind of personal contact (and not just finding contact info on a website) would be most effective, but difficult.

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  • 3 months later...

Only just come across this thread. I hadn't noticed that phrase about advertising in the CVLI licence. How frustrating.

CVLI is better than nothing, but I am constantly frustrated by the absence of some big players. In particular, here in the UK one of the biggest distributors of independent films is Momentum who are not signed up. It means that really useful films like Eternal Sunshine and Amazing Grace are off limits without seeking special permission.

I really don't understand why distributors make it so hard. These things promote their films!

I guess I do know why: money.

Focus: The Art and Soul of Cinema now published - www.damaris.org/focus

Damaris: www.damaris.org CultureWatch: www.culturewatch.org Personal site: www.tonywatkins.co.uk

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