LOCAL COUNCIL LICENCES REGARDING CHILDREN IN FILMS

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Howard-Smith
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LOCAL COUNCIL LICENCES REGARDING CHILDREN IN FILMS

Post by Howard-Smith » Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:10 pm

Can anyone please clarify what the situation is with regard to the following.
I frequently have child actors in my amateur films. The mother of one of them has just sorted out a licence from her local council for her children to appear in films legally.
The lady in question says that such a licence is now a legal requirement whether the film is amateur or professional, and that councils are trawling Vimeo, Tik Tok and other film platforms to search for films and videos featuring children where a licence hasn't been issued, and that councils are fining filmmakers lots of money for filming children without a licence.
I've checked on the gov.uk website about this matter, and they appear to indicate that a licence is only needed if the child is being paid, or if people are paying money to see the production, or if the acting is on licensed premises. But the lady who told me about the licence says she's absolutely sure that the licence is required for any films & videos which are uploaded anywhere, irrespective of whether any money is involved for viewing or payment to actors.
This is certainly news to me. Can someone please provide the definitive answer to this? Do we really need to obtain local council licences for films with children where nobody is paying to watch the films and the actors aren't being paid?
Thanks.

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Jameela M Boardman
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Re: LOCAL COUNCIL LICENCES REGARDING CHILDREN IN FILMS

Post by Jameela M Boardman » Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:04 pm

Searching on our Lancashire County Council website, I have found this reference regarding Child Performance Licence.

https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/children- ... -licences/

If you scroll down, it says 'Performances that do not need a licence'.

So my thinking is this is about children as actors rather than family video posted on the web. But I am not a Lawyer!!

Jameela

Howard-Smith
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Re: LOCAL COUNCIL LICENCES REGARDING CHILDREN IN FILMS

Post by Howard-Smith » Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:22 pm

Thanks Jameela. The exemptions on the site you mention appear to apply to live performances rather than films, from what I can see. I’m still unclear about the situation regarding whether I definitely have to have a licence to have children in my films when they are not being paid and when nobody is paying to watch the films.

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Jameela M Boardman
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Re: LOCAL COUNCIL LICENCES REGARDING CHILDREN IN FILMS

Post by Jameela M Boardman » Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:01 pm

From the PDF guidance notes for that Lancashire County Council License, which I think will be the same or similar for all counties, it seems to be concerned about the well-being of the children; that their working hours and conditions are satisfactory. So whether they are paid or not is irrelevant to their well-being.

Unfortunately, our small amateur productions don't look like they are exempted. So if children in acting roles is what you do, best to go through the hassle and make it legal.

Unless someone else can show how we are exempt?

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TimStannard
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Re: LOCAL COUNCIL LICENCES REGARDING CHILDREN IN FILMS

Post by TimStannard » Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:20 pm

Elise (now 15) has performed in several stage productions with reputable local am dram groups (associated with NODA). Whilst the groups have to submit various forms and arrange chaperones (and indeed the council does turn up to spot check), we have never, as parents, had to fill in what amounts to part 2 of the application form here. We have never had to provide photos or copies of birth certificates.

Not sure that helps much, but the biggest problem I can see with submitting the application is finding a chaperone. They have to pay to be chaperones and, quite rightly, they therefore expect to be paid to chaperone. Thus it's a cost for you (and by extension, does it preclude you from entering amateur festivals as you are paying for a professional service?).

Worms, can of, opening. Arrange to suit.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

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