Equity secures minimum fees and protections for minors in new Cinema Film Agreement

Equity and PACT have concluded negotiations on a new version of the Cinema Film Agreement (CFA), with updates including minimum fees and protections for minors, a 2% annual increase on Performance Salary and improvements to policies on Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Dignity at Work.

The new version of the CFA will take effect for all films commencing principal photography on or after 6 April 2021.

Among the changes made to the previous agreement Equity has achieved, for the first time, the introduction of minimum fees and protections in relation to minors. The new version has also secured additional language for the protection of an Artist and their estate in relation to the use of their image/performance outside of the contemplation of the parties, and additional protections have been incorporated into the provision dealing with nudity and simulated sex acts.

Amy Dawson, Equity Industrial Official for Recorded Media, said: "We're incredibly proud that despite having to navigate a global pandemic, we have been able to deliver solid improvements in our members' terms and conditions in the film industry. As well as pay increases, Equity and PACT have successfully negotiated new provisions for minors, an extension on night work premium payments, additional protection for members in relation to image use and much more.

"We are hopeful that this work will play a big part in improving our members' working lives following the biggest crisis the industry has ever had to face."

A summary of the key changes made in the new version can be found below, and members can download the full agreement here.

Summary of key changes

  • Introduction of minimum fees and protections in relation to minors (defined as age 10 to school leaving age). Minors will be guaranteed a minimum of 50% of all adult minimum fees and payments and shall be entitled to Use Fees and to participate in Royalty Payments / Net Profit Share in recognition of their performer rights (note that this will not impact other Artists’ shares, since Producers previously prorated the Equity share to account for non-Equity Artists including child performers). Other terms of engagement such as hours and breaks shall continue to be governed by the applicable Local Education Authority license.
  • 2% annual increase on Performance Salary and all other fees.
  • 9% annual increase on daily holiday pay.
  • Increase on soundtrack payments from £30 per track to £50 per track.
  • Increase on consecutive 7th day payments for Artists – previously attracted additional sum equal to one half of the Artist’s negotiated daily Performance Salary; now attracts additional sum equal to the Artist’s negotiated daily Performance Salary.
  • Introduction of a time limit on fittings and travel days – previously such days attracted payment of 50% of the Artist’s negotiated daily Performance Salary regardless of length; now attracts 100% of the Artist’s negotiated daily Performance Salary (travel) or 100% of Equity minimum daily Performance Salary (fitting) if in excess of five hours.
  • Extension of premium payment for night work (additional sum equal to one half of the Artist’s negotiated daily Performance Salary) extended to cover such work at a Resident Location (previously an exception).
  • Additional language for the protection of an Artist and their estate in relation to the use of their image/performance outside of the contemplation of the parties.
  • Additional protections incorporated into the provision dealing with nudity and simulated sex acts including the requirement for a Nudity Rider.
  • Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Dignity at Work – added focus on importance of Producer policies and express reference to BFI resources to which Equity has contributed.
  • Re-allocation of Use Fee percentages – attribution of value across the markets was no longer an accurate representation. Although the overall percentages remain at 280%, the table of use fees as set out in Appendix FA now assigns an increased value to Video On Demand and a diminished value to Videogram.

While the provisions of the 2021 version of the CFA shall not apply to productions having commenced principal photography before 6 April 2021 (where the existing 2016 Agreement shall continue in force), all annual rate increases shall take immediate effect for all Cinema Film production on that date.