As the business aspects of an audio-visual production company are dealt with in contracts, the business and legal sides are intertwined. Business and legal affairs can appear quite daunting, especially in the earlier stages of a career in film and TV. This programme has been designed to address this and will cover the legal framework that is required to handle all relevant aspects of a film or TV series. The course starts with the early stage development, to financing, to finally reaching your audience or, as the case may be, your customers like distributors, broadcasters or streaming services.
The course will also cover the key areas of the legal knowledge needed to create confidence in the individual when negotiating the terms and conditions of various contracts.
Who’s it for?
We would be selecting 15 participants, all of whom should have 2+ years experience and is aimed at those working in:
Producers of film and TV. It will be most beneficial to producers who are on their third or fourth feature;
Junior executives at a national or worldwide streamer or network broadcaster;
Acquisitions executives in a sales or distribution company;
Entry-level finance and legal executives in a private or public funding outfit.
The Institute is aiming for gender parity, so strongly encourages female teams. We are keen to promote equality across all its training programmes with a focus on inclusivity across gender, abilities, ethnicity and socio-economic status.
Participants will come away with practical knowledge, confidence and understanding of the various business and legal aspects of film & TV contracts and their negotiation.
It is designed to follow the lifecycle of a Film/TV project. The following areas are covered:
The Development Phase
Comprising agreements with scriptwriters, head writers and showrunners, acquisition of rights in underlying material like novels through Option and Literary Purchase Agreements as well as the clearance of life story rights for bio-pics or documentaries;
The Production Phase
Comprising cast and crew agreements, especially with directors, the dos and don’ts when negotiating with domestic and foreign agents, pay or play mechanisms, dealing with members of US guilds like SAG, DGA or WGA, as well as the aspects of right clearance, title reports and script clearance;
The Financing and Exploitation Phase
Covering the basic structures of film financing comprising single source financing for commissioned productions and production services agreements for streaming services, as well as the multi-source financing through a combination of sales and distribution agreements, pre-sales, public funding like subsidies, private equity and co-financing, until the dos and don’ts of international co-production and the relevant regulatory framework like the European Convention on Co-Production, bilateral treaties and the possibilities of supranational funding by Eurimages and the EU Media Programme. This segment covers also topics like cash flow management through discounting and loan agreements with banks, the necessities of completion bonds and collection account management structures.
Previous speakers in the first edition of the course were the following:
Andreas Pense | Lawyer & Partner at UNVERZAGT Rechtsanwälte with a focus on copyright and media law
Charlotte Lund Thompson | IP LEGAL AND POLICY COUNSEL
Christos Michaels | Head of Lee & Thompson’s film sector team
Sébastian Lachaussée | Founder of L’Avocat, focused on film, music and technology law
Karine Riahi | Spring Legal
Mark Byrne | Element Pictures
Joris van Wijk | Le Boxeur Films
Venue / Location
More information about the venue will be available when applications are open.
This course will be a 5-day in-person course in Vienna and will be mostly session driven and focused on knowledge transfer and not project driven. Participants will have approximately 3 sessions each day and the opportunity to meet presenting media lawyers from across Europe during networking lunches / dinners.
All courses that will take place on-site will follow an adequate hygiene protocol. The safety and health of everyone involved in our training is our top priority. A more detailed protocol briefing will be provided closer to the training.
The participation fee for this course is EUR 1500 (including tax) per person.
The fee will cover the 5-day training programme, full seminar catering (lunch + coffee breaks) and networking dinners. Fees do not cover travel or accommodation. A list of recommended hotels and guesthouses will be shared with successful participants within walking distance of our venue.
If you are unable to attend the International Screen Institute course due to (certified) health reasons (e.g. Covid infection), please contact our office. We will consider alternative possibilities for your participation and if no option is suitable, we will allow you to use the payment you have made against the next edition of the course. If you are unable to attend the International Screen Institute course due to any other reasons, please contact our office as soon as you become aware of your impossibility to attend. Depending on the time of your notice, and on the costs we have incurred in connection with your booking, we may not be able to refund part or all of your participation fee. Your case will be dealt with on an individual basis. We reserve the right to cancel or postpone a course if circumstances require it. In this case, your participation fee will be transferred to the rescheduled dates. If you are unable to attend rescheduled courses, you will be entitled to a full refund. If you have any questions about the programme, the application form or financial support needed to attend this course, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to Creative Europe Funding, ISI has partial scholarship support available for participants who wish to attend this course from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.
If you are not from a Low Capacity Country and can give us a good reason that you are in need of financial assistance and your national screen agency does not fund training in principle, please contact us before submitting your application to discuss whether you can apply for financial support. We have very limited funds available for a limited number of participants in genuine need.
For working parents who have childcare responsibilities, we have a childcare bursary available and a bursary for participants who need extra assistance due to disability or impairment available.
We actively encourage participants to research and apply for financial support with your national/regional funding bodies first who may have bursaries and grants to cover training and professional development.
Please ask the MEDIA Desk in your country if there are any funding opportunities available. Kindly inform us if you apply to a national or regional fund.
We are currently reviewing all the national funds available in Europe. Below are a few examples:
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or MEDIA sub-programme of Creative Europe. Neitherthe European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.