[Videolib] Government agency films: need public performance licensing?

Marilyn Huntley (mhuntley@hamilton.edu)
Thu, 03 Aug 2006 14:43:38 -0400

Hello all,
A faculty member wants to sponsor a film series that will be
advertised in conjunction with our art gallery's exhibition of
Depression-era WPA art pieces. Some of the films were produced in the
1930's by agencies of the U.S. government, and I'm trying to find out
whether such films may be freely shown, or if it's necessary to
acquire public performance licensing.

"The Plow That Broke the Plains," director Pere Lorenz, 1936,
produced by the Resettlement Administration. We own it in a DVD
collection, called "Our Daily Bread: and Other Films of the Great
Depression." It's also available for rent from Museum of Modern Art,
as a 16mm film. Can we legally advertise a showing of our DVD
version, or must we rent the film from MoMA?

"The River," director Pere Lorenz, 1937, produced by U.S. Farm
Security Administration. This, too, is in the DVD set, "Our Daily
Bread," and available as a 16mm film from MoMA. My question is the
same as for "The Plow" - our DVD or a rental from MoMA?

"The Land," director Robert Flaherty, 1942, produced by U.S. Film
Service and Agricultural Resettlement Administration. MoMA offers it
for rent as a 16mm film. That would be okay, but the professor is
hoping it exists somewhere on a DVD. Does anyone know of a DVD? And
again, I have that same question about whether we can legally show the DVD.

"Hands," director Ralph Steiner, 1934. This one was not produced by a
U.S. government agency, but by Niceville Pictures, Canada. It's
available from Amazon and Facets (and probably other sources) in a
DVD collection called "Unseen Cinema: Early American Avant Garde
Film." It's not listed in the MoMA catalog, and I haven't found it at
any other distributor who handles public performance licensing. Can
we legally show our DVD? Or, if we need a license, does anyone know
of a source?

Thanks in advance for any information you can send me.
Marilyn Huntley

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Marilyn B. Huntley, Audiovisual Assistant:
Film scheduling, rentals, licensing & previews
A-V Services, 408 C. A. Johnson Hall
Hamilton College, 198 College Hill Rd., Clinton, NY 13323
Phone 315-859-4120; Fax 315-859-4687
e-mail mhuntley@hamilton.edu

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