Rental Policy

THE FILM-MAKERS’ COOPERATIVE is the largest archive and distributor of independent and avant-garde films in the world. Created by artists in 1961, the Coop has more than 5,000 films and videotapes in its collection. The Cooperative is open to any filmmaker wishing to place a print on deposit for rental at a fee set by its owner. Films are accepted without any viewing or evaluation by the Cooperative. Over 60% of the profits are given back to the filmmakers. The Cooperative is nonprofit, nondiscriminating and noncontractual it owns no rights in the films listed. Operating costs are defrayed by a set percentage of the rentals collected plus assessment to renters of handling and shipping charges, and a per-reel fee to support a program of careful and detailed print inspection and maintenance.

FILM PRINT RENTALS TO INSTITUTIONS ONLY. Since 1993, in accordance with 501-3c status, the Coop can only rent film prints to institutions. Film prints are not for home projection or study use and are not to be previewed. To schedule an in-house preview, see below.

DIGITAL RENTALS AND SALES. The Coop’s digital media collection is available for rental and sale to institutions and individuals’ home-use. Please inquire with the Coop for further information.

RENTAL PRICES are subject to change by the filmmaker without notice, and are minimum fees for a single projection of the film without preview. For rental prices when screening outside the U.S., see below. Please contact the Coop for a rental, handling and shipping quote prior to booking.

MINIMUM RENTAL PER TITLE is $30, effective August 1, 2000. Each print is charged at $4 per minute on a case-by-case basis.

PLACE ORDERS as far in advance as possible. A lead time of six to eight weeks is recommended. Orders placed via institutional purchase order are payable within 21 days following the showdate. Orders placed by letter are payable in advance, prior to shipment unless confirmed by written purchase order.

ORDERS BY FAX are accepted if sent on the letterhead of the organization renting the films.

The FMC fax number is: (212) 267-5666

TELEPHONE CONFIRMATIONS may be placed by prepaid calls, subject to the requirement that written purchase order must be received no later than ten working days following the call. Final commitment and print scheduling will be made only upon our receipt of that written order.

E-MAIL may be used for confirmation, pricing and questions. No bookings are accepted via e-mail. The FMC e-mail address is:

ORDERS MUST SPECIFY the following for each program:

  • title and maker of each film to be supplied
  • the date(s) and number of showings scheduled, and the size(s) of audience
  • street or building address to which shipment is to be made
  • address to which our invoice-confirmation is to be forwarded
  • instructions as to alternative titles and/or showdates
  • current rental fee for each title, plus inspection fees ($6.00 for a single reel, or $2.00 per reel for multiple-reel orders), and an allowance for shipping and handling charges
  • for FedEx include your account number

SHIPMENT is made via United Parcel Service to a building or street address sufficiently in advance of your showdate to assure delivery at least two working days on advanceÑbased on a schedule continually reviewed and revised to reflect our experience. You are required to return films on the first working day following a scheduled showing. You must use insured United Parcel Service or priority alternative carrier as specified in out confirmation-invoice.

CANCELLATIONS must be made at least 21 days prior to showdate to permit ups to cancel invoiced charges and attempt to reschedule the cancelled film to protect the filmmaker’s limited income.

EXTENSIONS must be cleared through the office.

RUSH BOOKINGS made within 2 business days of screening incur a $25 charge in addition to rental, shipping and inspection charges.

LATE FEE FOR RETURN OF RENTALS is 1/2 rental price per day late.

LATE FEE FOR PAYMENT OF RENTALS will be charged if rental is 3 months past due. Pre-payment may be required of renters who are often late in paying rentals.

PRINT CARE AND LIABILITY is the sole responsibility of the renter. Your staff and equipment should be of top quality. Projector gate and threading mechanism should be cleaned and adjusted before use. Prints are shipped heads out, ready for projection. After each use, we inspect and compare prints with detailed use-and-condition records. Any projection difficulty or damage to prints while in your care is to be reported to us by note enclosed with prints, or by letter mail. Minimum charges will be made for repairs occasioned by your showing, unless inspection reveals extreme damage requiring replacement of a sequence or complete film. Costs for major repairs/replacements will be set by the filmmaker, whose judgment will be final. You are urged to supervise handling and projection with extreme care, such as you would afford any work of art. Never attempt to splice a print loss of individual frames my completely destroy the intent of the filmmaker’s work.

VIDEO TRANSFERS or other duplication of films or tapes by renter is a violation of Copyright Law and is forbidden. Renter will be subject to legal action under title 17 of the United States Penal Code and suspension of further rentals.

CENSORSHIP action does not in any way absolve the rental obligations of the exhibitor. We will endeavor to assist harassed exhibitors; however, sole responsibility for print loss or legal expense devolves on the exhibitor. No individual or group exercising censorship power may be permitted rental-free preview of films from the Cooperative.

PROJECTION of films listed, unless otherwise noted, is sound speed (24FPS). All prints are optical soundtrack, in color, if not listed specifically, viz.: “sound-on-tape” = separate soundtrack on 1/4-inch magnetic tape; “sound-on-cassette”; “soundtrack: magnetic” = oxide-striped filmprint requiring magnetic sound projector; “silent (16FPS)” or “silent (18FPS)” or “silent (24FPS)” = print without soundtrack (projection speed); “B&W” or “Color/B&W.” Any special instructions accompany filmprint.

SHARP FOCUS of projected image is best achieved by the projectionist’s use of inexpensive binoculars. Use of binoculars to set sharp focus considerably alleviated the difference in apparent sharpness as seen from the projector and actual sharpness at the surface of the screen. Where figured or academy-type leader has been supplied by the film-maker, sue that image for focus and lock the focusing for the duration of the film. In some cases the filmmaker has supplied special instructions on the filmcan label or hi the film’s listing herein.

STILL PHOTOGRAPHS are available for some films. Call the FMC for information and prices.

VIDEOCASSETTES OF FILMS in this catalog are available in some cases. For more information see the FMC Video Catalog.

PREVIEWING of the films in the catalog at reduced or shipping/inspection rates only, can be done only with permission of the filmmaker.

  • The FMC Study Center can be used to preview works. Please book 2 weeks in advance. In-house preview rate is $35 per hour. OR:
  • the date(s) and number of showings scheduled, and the size(s) of audience
  • Submit your request to the maker/owner directly, or though the FMC, in a letter.
  • When you receive that maker/owner’s approval, submit that letter to the FMC with a covering letter stating when you wish to preview the film(s) and a check for the agreed-on reduced rent or shipping/inspection fee. The FMC will not invoice you for this fee — it only increases our paperwork.

IF THE FILMMAKER WAIVES RENTAL COST the renter is not exempt from inspection fee.


  • All rentals must be approved and paid in advance of shipping and may be denied in the case of any rare or irreplaceable prints or at the request of the filmmaker for any reason.
  • Rental will be booked only upon agreement with the Film-Makers’ Cooperative Policy, containing the following conditions:
  • Due to travel time and lab costs, international rentals are twice the listed U.S. rental rates (ex. a $30 rental fee will be $60 for international orders).
  • Films are shipped via commercial carrier such as Federal Express, DHL, TNT… with your shipping account number
  • Transfer of prints for screenings provided by third parties is not permitted without our knowledge or permission.
  • You must state that you will be financially responsible for all damage or loss of prints. This includes any loss, fees or damage due to customs problems.
  • Prints are to be returned in the same manner in which they were delivered, directly to our office, free of customs fee and other duties.
  • Videotape transferring of films is prohibited and protected under international copyright laws.

Before a booking can be accepted, we require you to confirm that you have read this policy and accept our terms of rental. Please download the following FORM (pdf) and fax it back to us confirming your acceptance of our conditions.

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