New guide for Shorts & Festival Films

Equity has produced a guide to working on short and festival circuit films with the aim to get these productions made to a professional standard. Members working on these films felt that producers were not sufficiently aware of issues such as national minimum wage legislation, risk assessments and dignity at work protocols.

A motion from the London Annual General Meeting was passed at last year’s Equity conference and staff have been working with the members involved to create this guide. Equity understands the importance of setting out clear and fair terms for members working in this area. Our members are professionals and as such it is important that everyone involved is aware of their minimum legal rights.

This Guide seeks to address these rights and cater for them in an accessible way – by way of a Template Form of Engagement and Guidelines that can be adopted, free of cost, by any short film production, or other film productions which are not subject to commercial distribution. Performers have rights under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988, which require that their creative contribution is recognised.
In order for a producer to sell or license a performance in a film it is necessary that a performer provides their consent and assigns their performer rights. This Guide deals with productions where rights are limited to non-commercial uses, such as festival screenings.

At a later date, a producer may negotiate with a performer to secure the commercial rights. At this time, the parties are encouraged to contact Equity for advice.

Download the guide here.