Host a Film Screening!
Hosting a screening is made easy with our Film Kits!
Don't fancy battling bureaucracy to secure film and music rights? From 300 CHF you can host a film screening easily and more importantly, legally.
Film-Kits are available for Switzerland, Germany and Austria
Frequently Asked Questions about Film Kits
Do I always have to pay license fees when hosting a screening?
Each film can have many film distributors, according to country and language region. The distributors have the performance rights, DVD distribution rights, TV rights or download rights.
In short, films in Switzerland can be screened free of charge (that is, without having to pay a fee to the film owner) among close friends, as well as in a classroom setting. This is called "within the framework of fair use". Public screenings are subject to a fee. This is important because it helps to finance the next great film, most documentary directors are not swimming in money and make their films selflessly.
If you are hosting a film screening, even a free one, you must get in touch with the rights holder and request a license. The billing can be either a lump sum or a percentage based on attendees and is usually negotiable for NGOs, schools and non-profit events. Most companies will need a date, address, number of attendees, cover charge and mode of screening (a DVD or a digital file for the cinema). On many of our film pages you can see the rights holder listed. By booking a film kit from us, we undertake this part of the process for you.
In addition, the SUISA must pay CHF 19 for the film music. The best way to settle this is to call SUISA and contact Mr Eggenberger. More information here. Many venues will also charge a fee to play background music. This means you can play music before the film.
Films for the Earth assumes no legal responsibility for your private screening. Please study this bill, consult a lawyer or book a film kit. Please note, we too are paying the film licenses without exception. We are firmly of the mind that copyrights must be respected because filmmakers often put themselves at risk, physically or legally, while capturing the footage. We believe that their work should be at the very least financially supported. There is no automatic disclaimer of the film rights because we are a non-profit organization, even internal company screenings are paid for.
Other countries have different laws. For example, in Germany, classroom screenings are subject to the Ö license fee.
All this relating to copyright, are the subject of copyright law in the Swiss Federal Law and the use of intellectual property rights (copyright law URG), Chapter 5, Limitations of copyright law, Article 19 Use for own use.
Can I book a screening for less than 30 people?
If you want to screen a film for less than 30 people, you will be charged the minimum fee by the film distributors. This fee corresponds to a small quantity order. Therefore, 30 is the minimum amount of spectators.
Why am I not allowed to charge with film kits, but only for voluntary collections?
When you charge admission for a film screening, most film rightsowners will change the billing method. Instead of offering a fixed price, the fee is calculated as a percentage. For example, it may be that the film distributor wants 40% of all revenue and a clear run-in-revenue accounting.
Instead of charging a cover fee, we suggest putting out a collections tin. Our experience is that if an event is well executed and professional, your attendees will be happy to participate in a small donation. For large events, you may expect around CHF 3-5 donation per visitor, student of course always give less than working adults. At smaller, more personal events, you may make up to CHF 10 a head.
It helps to mention that you are collecting donations after you have screened the film and how much the event cost per person so your guests can have an idea of what they should leave.
How do you calculate the sum of your film kits?
We pay the film license fees (CHF 3-10 per person), the SUISA fee (CHF 20) plus 2 hours of administrative work (clarifying rights, clarifying SUISA, finding, preparing and sending films). Sometimes our cost is less, sometimes more, and thus is balances out.
Our film kits simplify the process and help us get more film productions through the network.
What if we have more attendees than we booked?
A few extra viewers is neither here nor there. If there really are a lot more than you expected, you should inform the film distributor who will possibly send us the bill. So please let us know!
A good way to cover the costs of your screening event is to put out a collection tin and ask for donations.
What does "among close friends" or "private" screening mean?
According to copyright law, "close friends" and "private" means your partner, best friends, pet, etc. and does not mean the whole marching band.
The venue is irrelevant as is whether you charge admission, or what legal form the venue has.
The copyright law can be read here .
Does the film-screening kit include the film?
Yes, you will receive the film from us either as a DVD, BluRay or digital file. The DVD or BluRay disk you will be allowed to keep and share, the digital file must be deleted immediately after the screening.
The process is somewhat more complicated, if you wish to screen in a cinema. The cinema requires a DCP file of over 150GB with an encoded legal protection. For this reason, we do not include cinema screenings are part of the regular film kit as it has additional fees.
How do I receive the digital file?
Either as a download link via e-mail or on a USB stick depending on the size of the file.
In the case of a cinema screening, a DCP (150GB) file needs to be carried on a hard drive. We have to charge extra to provide the hard drive (between CHF 50 and CHF 200)
Can I screen a film in a cinema with a film kit?
Yes, but there is an additional cost of CHF 200.
This additional cost is so a variety of reasons. Cinemas need highest quality film files, called DCPs. These are at least 150GB files with special legal protection and format. Sometimes the film distributor has such a file available, sometimes not. If not, we are able to produce such files with our film technician, and we could make one for you too for your choice of film. In any event, this means additional communication with the technician, the cinema, the distributor etc. We would also get charged a higher rate for the film.
Do I need a film kit for school screenings?
Film screenings in the classroom are exempt from the license under Swiss copyright law. However, if the screening is being held in a school, but is open to outside (non-pupil) visitors, the screening is considered to be public and the film fee and SUISA fee are due.
In Germany, in both cases an "Ö" license must be purchased. It is often sold together with an educational version DVD.
When booking a film kit, we will gladly take care of it all.
Can I also screen a film without a film kit?
Of course, you can. Find out who owns the rights to the film you wish to screen in your country and language. Note the logos on the DVD covers or search for the rights-holders in our database. Enquire about the screening license via e-mail and let them know the details of the event (venue, date, estimated number of visitors, invoice address, etc.)
Please contact the SUISA and ask how to settle the fights for the film music.
You will have to settle both music and film rights and deliver a report.
A screening medium can be obtained either from the film distribution company or via our Shop (if available, both are subject to a fee)
Can I give an estimate number of viewers when booking a film kit?
Yes, at the time of the booking you may give us your estimate for how many people you expect to screen the film to. We would be happy to know subsequently how many actually attended your event.
I want to screen a film. How can I see if the film is suitable?
To see if the film is suitable we recommend to visit the film page first. There you will often find more clips and information besides the trailer. You can also get inspired by our festival nominations. These are the films that we show at the festival and are of great quality.
However, if you would like to watch the film in advance, there are various providers who offer the films either free of charge or as video on demand, e.g. Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, Swisscom TV. We also have some films that you can watch for free.
Can I use an MPLC screen license for my screenings?
MPLC's almost worldwide "umbrella licence" offer covers hundreds of films from large and medium-sized film studios, i.e. with an annual fee adapted to the use, you can screen films from their repertoire as you wish, but without being allowed to advertise the film and without paying admission. In addition, it only includes films for the Earth that come from larger studios, i.e. almost none of our films (as of 2019). In addition, SUISA (CH) and GEMA (DE) fees and related sound rights still have to be paid separately in other countries.
For this reason this offer is of no use to most of our voluntary performers and if so, an annual fee for 1-2 performances could still be too expensive.
The MPLC screen license is best used for the right to display audiovisual content to the audience in public places such as shops, waiting and reception areas, bars, restaurants, coaches, recreation centers, schools, crèches, nursing homes, etc. The MPLC screen license is also used for the right to use the content in public places such as public places.