Q. What does access>CINEMA do?

access>CINEMA facilitates and increases access to a wider choice of cinema for all communities and audiences in Ireland.

We do this though our network, where we work with a lot of different local organisations including professional venues (e.g. arts centres), voluntary-run film societies, independent cinemas and film festivals.

Q. What services does access>CINEMA provide?

The main service we provide to the members of our network is a cultural film programming service.

Through this service we provide members with film programming advice and information and a centralised film booking and despatch facility.

We also offer the following services to members:

  • Technical advice for all screening formats
  • Client programming service
  • One-to-one surgeries
  • Curation of original touring film programmes  
  • Bealtaine Film Tour and Silver Screen programme for older audiences
  • ZOOM and children’s programmes for younger audiences
  • Preview screening Events including National Viewing Sessions
  • Training and networking events

Q. Do you need to be a member of access>CINEMA to use these services?

Yes, you need to be a member of the access>CINEMA network to be able to use these day-to-day services.

We do however provide general information to anyone who is interested in cultural cinema or wants more details on how to start screening films in their local community. We currently organise two information sessions a year that anyone can attend.

We also help facilitate test screenings for any group or organisation that is considering a regular cultural film programme.

You do not need to be a member of the access>CINEMA network to use these general services.

Please contact us on info@accesscinema.ie if you would like more details.

Q. What do you mean by ‘cultural cinema’?

Traditionally ‘cultural cinema’ referred primarily to ‘arthouse’ or world cinema.

Today, our main aim is to help organisations across Ireland give their local audiences access to as much film choice as possible.

So now a ‘cultural cinema’ programme is considered to be one which screens a more diverse programme of films, which cannot be seen at the local cinema or multiplex.

This programme may include classic films, documentaries, independent English language films and non-commercial Irish films – all alongside foreign language or world cinema films.

Q. If a film is available to buy in the shops or online can I screen it at my venue?

Films that are available to buy on DVD or Bluray are licensed for home entertainment purposes only.

If you wish to screen a particular film in a public scenario, i.e. to an audience, you will require the permission of the rights holder (which is normally the film’s distributor) to show the film publicly and will need to pay a licence fee.

Sometimes a film distributor will only have the video retail rights, whereby the film will be available to buy in shops, but unless that distributor has also acquired theatrical rights for the film, they will be unable to take bookings for screening the film in cinemas or other venues.

If a distributor has both theatrical and video retail rights, they should be able to licence a public screening of the film.

Q. I would like to start screening films in my locality. What do I need to think about?

The main things you need to think about are

What format do I want to screen from?

You will need to check what format the venue you are planning to use can screen from. This could be one of DCP, Blu-ray and DVD, or possibly even 35mm.

Most full-time cinemas currently screen using DCP (Digital Cinema Package), where the film is delivered either over a download link or physically on a hard drive as a software file. DCP has replaced 35mm as the cinema screening standard, but some cinemas have still kept their 35mm projectors.

The resolution of the image when screening using DCP or 35mm is far better than when using DVD or Blu-ray. DVD or Blu-ray are generally used for screening in smaller venues, or typically non-traditional cinema environments.

What type of licence will I need?

The type of licence you will need will depend on your proposed screening scenario.

Generally speaking if a screening intends to only allow members of an organisation to attend a film screening, then you will need a non-theatrical single title licence.

A non-theatrical single title licence does not allow the sale of tickets either at or in advance of the screening. With this type of licence you cannot advertise the details of the film screening outside of your members.

A theatrical single title licence will be required if you wish to allow anyone, both general public and members of your organisation, to attend your film screening.

A theatrical single title licence allows the exchange of money for the screening through the sale of tickets. Details of the film screening may also be advertised publicly.

Q. How much does a screening licence cost?

The cost of a screening licence can vary depending on the film’s distributor and the type of licence you will need.

Generally speaking, a non-theatrical single title licence involves paying a flat fee for the licence.

The cost of a theatrical single title licence is normally determined by the amount of monies collected at the film screening (the box office). You will need to file box office returns immediately after the screening and then pay a percentage of the box office collected to the film distributor.

access>CINEMA negotiates the cost of the film licences required by its members on an ongoing basis.

Please contact us on info@accesscinema.ie for more information.

Q. Do I need a licence even if my screening is free?

Yes, if you are screening a film in a public scenario, a licence is required regardless of whether an admission fee is charged or not.

Q. I would like to organise a film screening for charity. Do I still need to pay for a licence?

Yes, if you are screening a film in a public scenario, a licence is required regardless if the aim of the event is to raise money for charity.

Depending on the details of the proposed event, it may be possible to negotiate with the film’s distributor to reduce the screening fee for your charitable screening.