LICENSING FAQ


Do I really need to purchase a license to show the film?

Yes! Here the rule of thumb: if you are showing the film anywhere outside your home, you are legally obligated to purchase the appropriate package and license for your institution. We review all purchases to confirm correct licensing. So please don’t get caught cheating—it’s really embarrassing and can even get you in trouble.


What type of license do I need to purchase?

Here’s a quick breakdown of the licenses and types of organizations that qualify:

Nonprofit/Business

This license is for nonprofits, businesses, senior living communities, churches, advocacy organizations, and community groups. If you’re showing the film to any kind of public or private gathering that’s not a school, library, or educational institution, you should purchase the Nonprofit/Business license.

College/University

This license is for all higher education institutions, including public and private colleges, universities, community colleges, graduate schools, advanced degree programs, and medical education institutions. If you are a professor, librarian, or administrator at one of these institutions, you should purchase the College/University license.

Public Library/K-12

This license is for public libraries and K-12 schools. If you’re a librarian, teacher, administrator, or educator at one of these institutions, you should purchase the Public Library/K-12 license.


Are the contents of the package the same for all of the licenses?

Yes, the Screening and Education Kits contain the same materials—a two-disc DVD, discussion guide, poster, postcards, and bracelets. The difference is the license, which is based on the type of organization and usage of the film. Please see the next question for more information.


Why are there different prices for the licenses?

We offer a tiered licensing and pricing system based on the general usage for each type of organization. For example, a university may add the film to their collection and many faculty, students, and classes will check out the film over a period of time. A nonprofit may use the film for their regular programs, community outreach, fundraising, and/or marketing. A public library or school may add the film to their collection and reach a smaller number of people in their local community.

Our prices are based on industry standard rates set by leading documentary distributors such as Roco Educational, DER, Bullfrog, and New Day Films. Our goal is to make the film accessible to all types of organizations and, at the same time, generate enough revenue to keep our 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization alive and well. As independent filmmakers, we rely on your support to keep producing great documentaries and making them available to the public. All of the proceeds from our sales go directly into paying our staff, producing new content, and distributing it to you.


I’d like to show the film at multiple chapters, branches, or locations of my organization. What should I do?

The Screening Kit includes an unlimited exhibition license at one facility. This means you can show the film as many times as you’d like at one physical location, chapter, or branch. If you’d like to show the film at multiple locations, you must purchase a separate Screening Kit or Extra Facility License for each location. Please contact us about purchasing multiple kits at a discount—we offer discounts for bulk orders and even the opportunity to customize your package with your organization’s name and logo. For more information, contact Keith Ochwat at ochwat@documentaryfoundation.org or 916-456-5229 x 3.


I’m an individual and want to show the film to various organizations in my community. What should I do?

You should purchase the Screening Kit with the Nonprofit/Business license. Generally, the license is valid for one physical location, but we’ve made an exception for individuals who want to show the film to various small community organizations. So, for example, if you want to show the film to your Rotary Club and local church, you can purchase the Nonprofit/Business license and you’re good to go. Please use your honest judgement—if you work for one of those institutions, the institution must purchase a separate Screening Kit or Extra Facility License for each location.


Where is my money going?

We are the Documentary Foundation, a Northern California-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to documentary production, education, and outreach. We have produced three documentaries for PBS and run an education program for high school students. All of the proceeds from our sales go directly into paying our staff, producing new content, and distributing it to you. As independent filmmakers, we rely on your support to keep producing great documentaries and making them available to the public.