How to find screenings rights holders

I was recently contacted by a film society which was organizing a film festival but was having problems finding the copyright holders for the films that they wanted to show. As every film society knows, you have to get permission from the copyright holders before you can screen a film but if the screening rights aren’t held by the two big companies (Roadshow and Amalgamated) it can be very hard to identify who to contact.

As announced in the latest InFilm, the Federation’s committee is developing a database of DVD films and their distributors. This is not aimed at films held by the big distributors but at the hard to find titles. The more information we get from members the better the database will be so please send us a list of DVD titles you have screened and their distributors.

Meanwhile I will share the advice I gave to the film society that contacted me, in the hope that it will be useful to other groups.

The people who own the screening rights are usually the distributor or the producer. The two best sources of information about who has the screening rights are:

1) To get the Australian distributor (if there is one), look at the film’s entry on the EzyDVD website

http://www.ezydvd.com.au/

2) To get the name of the producing company, you can go to the IMDB Database

http://www.imdb.com/

Update

We have been contacted by a few people regarding this post. That always makes me very happy.

Sharon from Friend’s Flix Film Society says that her first port of call when tracking down a distributor is urbancinefile.com.au

She says that it works well at least for DVD’s. you do a search for the film and it comes up with a whole range of information (including reviews) – Australian Distributor is almost always there and usually correct. If its not then it points you in the right direction and the person you contact will usually know who to pass you on to.

e.g., Search for ‘The Artist’
http://www.urbancinefile.com.au/home/view.asp?a=18669&s=DVD_Archives

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