Guide for Film Programmers
Present your Movie in Lumina Theater
Guide for Film Programmers
Embrace the Power of Film
Lumina Theater offers you the opportunity to reach your target audience and support your educational or social goals in
an entertaining or profound way by taking advantage of the power of film.
Depending upon your goals and budget, you may choose to offer a single film screening or a series of films over the
course of a week, a month or even a semester. If you have the staffing and resources, you may consider hosting a
festival with numerous films offered consecutively over two or three days.
Your series or festival could include dramas and documentaries, feature-length and short films, contemporary and classic
cinema. Focus on single or multiple topics. Inform the audience and expose them to new ideas and facts. Challenge the
way the audience thinks about a subject. Help the audience to explore history or imagine the future.
If you plan to show experimental or particularly challenging films, encourage your audience to be open-minded.
Audiences accustomed to Hollywood cinema typically expect films to be accessible. Anticipate that some audience
members may become impatient or irritated when confronted with non-traditional or difficult representations.
Enhance the impact of a film by providing an opportunity for audience members to interact with one or two experts or even
a panel of speakers before or after the film. Invite speakers from the faculty, staff, student leaders, filmmakers, film critics
or local business leaders who can engage the audience in a vibrant discussion. The most stimulating and enlightening
dialogues often take place when opposing or controversial personalities are invited to participate in forums. If your film is
longer than 60 minutes, try to keep your introduction under 15 minutes long and your panel discussion under 30 minutes
long, as the guests tend to get restless during extended programs.
Invite guests into your event by placing printed materials or promotions about the film, topic, your office or your
organization on the two display tables under the stairs opposite the entrance to Lumina Theater, so you can interact with
people as they approach to attend your event. These tables are reserved for you as part of your Lumina Theater event.
Staff Needs
While one person can plan a single film event, two or more people can make the process easier. An event planner will
need to secure funding, reserve Lumina Theater, book the films, coordinate speakers, create advertising, manage the
promotional campaign, track the arrival of the films, and preview the films on a DVD or Blu-Ray player (not a computer).
A staff member or volunteer from your department or organization must be present at each of your film screenings to
communicate with the projectionist, greet the guest speakers, set up your display table and manage unanticipated
You must provide a staff member or volunteer to take tickets at the door and to report attendance number to the
Lumina staff. It is the programmer’s responsibility to make sure that the event attendance does not exceed the fire code
limit of 333 people.
A member of your group should introduce your organization, the film and your guest speakers. During the introduction,
please remind guests to silence their phones and put them away for the duration of the film, as the bright screens are
distracting to those watching the film. Also, please remind guests to keep their feet off the seats and to pick up their trash
before leaving the theater.
After the event, you and your volunteers will need to make sure to pick up any remaining trash, as it is your responsibility
to leave the venue tidy.
Public Performance Rights REQUIRED
If you plan to show a film, television program, internet video or other media in Lumina Theater to the UNCW community or
general public, you MUST purchase or otherwise secure public performance rights from the film distributor or the
copyright holder to avoid violating the federal Copyright Act. You will need email an invoice or letter to the Lumina
Theater Film Coordinator showing that the filmmaker or distributor has granted you the rights for your public performance.
If your group fails to provide proof that public performance rights have been secured, the Lumina Theater Film
Coordinator must cancel the event.
Present your Movie in Lumina Theater
Guide for Film Programmers
A faculty member wishing to use the face-to-face teaching exemption in Lumina Theater may show a film on DVD or VHS
from a personal collection, local video store or library, ONLY for a regularly scheduled class and the performance must
only be open to those students registered for that class. Ideally, the film should be listed on the professor’s syllabus and
Lumina Theater should be listed as an alternate location for the scheduled class. If the professor wishes to open the
performance to students outside of the scheduled class, then public performance rights must be secured.
For more information on copyright laws, please visit: .
Public Performance Rights
As most film titles are protected by the US Copyright Act, a public performance license or permission from the copyright
owner is required before the film can be presented to the public. To perform or display a work “publicly” means: To
perform or display it at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number or persons outside of a
normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered… US Code, Title 17, Section 101. Performances in
“places such as clubs, lodges, factories, summer camps and schools are public performances subject to copyright
control.” H.R. Rep. No. 94-1476, 94th Cong. 2d Sess. (1976) pg. 64. Anyone that violates the US Copyright Act subjects
him/herself to statutory damages, forfeiture of equipment and media, attorney’s fees and costs of litigation. The penalties
for copyright infringement may also include substantial fines and imprisonment.
Please understand that individual or institutional ownership or rental of a DVD/Blu-Ray does not mean that you or UNCW
has the right to show a film in public. Any attempt to deceive the Film Program Coordinator or members of the Campus
Life staff to avoid obtaining a public performance license will result in event cancellation and may jeopardize the
sponsoring organization’s ability to reserve event space.
Cost of Public Performance Rights
When planning a film program or series, expect to spend the largest part of your budget on the purchase of public
performance rights for your films. First, create a list of desirable films. Next, determine the distributors who offer these
specific films to universities. Then, contact each distributor to ask the cost of the public performance rights for a
showing of each movie in Lumina Theater at UNCW (333 seats) in Wilmington, North Carolina, during the month of your
DVD or Blu-Ray rights typically range from $150 to $600 for an older film, but may cost up to $1,200 for a new film.
Whenever possible, ask for a Blu-Ray, as it will look better on the screen than a DVD.
If you plan to book a new feature film, ask for the flat-rate rental fee. If you plan to charge admission, avoid agreements
that require you to pay a percentage of your ticket sales gross to the film distributor.
The distributor will want to know whether or not you plan to charge admission. Be aware that charging admission may
increase the cost of the performance rights. Thus, it is not a good idea to use a film as a fundraising event.
If you are presenting a series, you may want request a number of titles from the same distributor to see if you can receive
a package rate for a reduced price.
Ask for estimated shipping costs for each DVD or Blu-Ray. If you plan to show a film that must be shipped from another
country, be aware that overseas shipping may cost considerably more than domestic shipping.
Do not book the movie until you have reserved Lumina Theater and received a Campus Life Facilities Use Agreement for
your desired show date.
Film Distributors
Most of the films played at UNCW are offered through the following sources:
Swank: 1-800-876-5577. Contact: Meghan Kuryla.
Criterion: 1-800-890-9494 ex. 224. Contact: Tracy O’Brien.
Present your Movie in Lumina Theater
Guide for Film Programmers
If you cannot find the films you need through these sources, please contact the other distributors listed on the Lumina
Theater website:
For a few independent or foreign films, you may find it necessary to visit to find a contact for a film’s
distributor. Once on IMDb, search for the film title, then scroll down to the listing for “Company.”
Search for the
company’s contact information on the internet. Contact the company listed on that page to ask how to purchase public
performance rights.
If you have further questions or concerns about finding film distributors or securing film rights, please contact Sandra at
Funding a Film Event
Prepare a detailed budget before you schedule your event. Projected expenses should include: public performance rights
for the film, shipping costs, Lumina Theater equipment fees, projection staff fees, facilitator wages, guest speaker or panel
fees, advertising and promotional materials. If you need Sharky’s Box Office to sell advance tickets for your film, include
the fees for Sharky’s Box Office services in your budget.
If you wish to charge admission to cover your costs for the event, please understand that charging admission may also
raise your costs for renting Lumina Theater and using its equipment, in addition to possibly raising the cost of your public
performance rights.
Your projected revenues may include ticket income, grants, co-sponsorships or donations. To determine the maximum
ticket revenue possible per showing, multiply the ticket price times the number of seats (333). For a more realistic
estimate of your anticipated ticket revenue per show, divide that last total by six. Remember that box office income rarely
covers all of your expenses, even for a very successful show.
Find a Cosponsor
You can increase the success of your show by working with a cosponsor. Seek the assistance of a group that promotes
the ideas or goals presented in your film. You may ask the group to help fund the program, advertise the event, introduce
the film or participate in a panel discussion after the film. Also, the involvement of another group can draw a larger
audience and ensure more community involvement. In exchange for lending the group’s finances or name to the
program, you should provide the group with the opportunity to distribute literature or speak at the screening.
To make event planning and facilitation easier, develop a co-sponsorship agreement outlining each group’s
responsibilities and expectations.
Scheduling Your Movie to Draw a Large Audience
Evening films in Lumina Theater start in 7 p.m., as this time draws the largest audience. If there is a compelling reason
to start at another time, it can usually be accommodated.
Make a Reservation in Lumina Theater for Your Event:
Ask your reservation delegate to log into the Campus Reservations System at
to make your request for Lumina Theater. If you represent an off-campus business or community organization, please
Please select the “Lumina Theater Movie Package.” This package includes two skirted display tables outside of the
theater, the Lumina Theater Lectern with Microphone, the Lumina Theater DVD/Blu-Ray player and the Lumina Theater
Digital Projector.
When you submit your reservation request, please identify the format of your film. Lumina supports DVD, Blu-Ray and
some internet or computer formats. If you wish to show a film in a computer format, please check with to make sure it will play correctly on the Lumina Theater equipment. We cannot play the Digital
Cinema Package (DCP) format.
Present your Movie in Lumina Theater
Guide for Film Programmers
If your event will include a discussion facilitated by a panel of speakers, please the Lumina Theater Panel Discussion
Package. This will automatically add two skirted tables with 4 chairs on the stage. This setting will include four wired
microphones on tabletop stands to accommodate up to four guest speakers. If you need fewer than 4 wired microphones,
please note this in the comments of your request. You may also request lavaliere microphones or handheld wireless
microphones for an additional fee per microphone.
The listings above cover the most common requests for Lumina Theater, but more options are available.
If you need further assistance or information, please contact Sandra Jackson at
Once you have selected a date for your film event, you must purchase the rights for a public performance of your film, as
soon as possible.
Booking Your Films
Once you have your date confirmed in Lumina, call the distributor to book your film. Most film distributors must be
contacted at least six to eight weeks prior to a show date to ensure availability of a desired film.
Ask for the distributor to e-mail or fax you a confirmation of the title, price of the performance rights, shipping date, arrival
date and estimated shipping costs.
When you receive confirmation, please send the following information to
Distributor’s name, address, phone, fax, and contact person.
Rental cost and shipping cost.
Expected delivery date.
Title (year of release) country of origin; run time; format (DVD or Blu-Ray).
For a foreign-language film, specify the original language and whether it is dubbed or has English
subtitles. Make sure you order a REGION 1 DVD or Blu-Ray, so that the movie will play on our system.
Additionally, please include the wording you would like to use to advertise your film on the Lumina
Theater website. You may wish to list the primary actors and any awards the film has received. This
information will be used to promote your event on the Lumina Theater website and on the EMS Campus
calendar for Lumina Theater.
Shipping for Your Film
Ask the distributor to deliver a DVD or Blu-Ray to your office address at least five work days prior to the event date.
When shipping your films please allow sufficient transit time. Follow-up with the distributor two weeks prior to your
screening to ensure that the film has been shipped and will arrive on time. Films sometimes get delayed or lost, so plan to
make additional follow-up calls to the film distributor to track your package. If ordering a film from outside of the U.S.,
please allow several weeks for shipping.
After the DVD or Blu-Ray arrives, you will need to watch the complete disc on a DVD or Blu-Ray player (not a computer)
to make sure it will play correctly for your audience. If the movie does not play well, you must order or otherwise provide
a replacement disc in time for your first show. Please bring the disc to Sandra Jackson’s office, University Union 2041-G,
by 5:00 p.m. at least two business days before the event. After the event, you must ship the disc back to the distributor.
If you decide to sell advance tickets for your film, please contact Sandra Jackson at to discuss
Sharky’s Box Office options and fees.
Present your Movie in Lumina Theater
Guide for Film Programmers
Promoting Your Films
Request free promotional materials from the distributor, if available. You may be able to order official movie posters for a
small fee.
UNCW students tell us that the most powerful forms of advertising to our campus are social media, chalking and tabling.
However, please consider more traditional methods of event promotions, as well. Start developing promotional flyers,
posters, press releases and advertising handouts several weeks before your event. Provide consistency in your series
title, style and design.
Take the printed flyers to the Campus Activities and Involvement Center in the Fisher Student Center to submit a posting
request for bulletin boards in Campus Life, academic buildings and residence halls.
The Lumina Theater intern will list your event on the UNCW Master Calendar online, which feeds the Lumina Theater
If you purchase a public performance license from Swank or Criterion Pictures, your contract prohibits you from
advertising this movie in any way off-campus, regardless of whether the listing is free or charged.
If you ask the Office of University Relations to distribute a press release to the local media, make sure it does not include
titles from Swank or Criterion Pictures USA.
If you are ordering from a film distributor that allows off-campus advertising, you may wish to promote your event on the
following public calendars:
Encore Magazine:
WHQR Public Radio:
Many small, independent movie distributors will allow you to advertise their movies on and off campus.
An evaluation of your program should incorporate audience feedback along with staff and volunteer analysis. You may
want to provide audience surveys so that attendees can offer their opinions on the films or series.
Schedule a meeting with those who worked on the event. Discuss any problems or issues that arose during the event.
Congratulate your staff and volunteers on their accomplishments. Ask for their feedback. What went well? What could be
improved for the next show? Incorporate the information you receive into your event planning files.
Cultivate your relationships with filmmakers, distributors, sponsors and guest speakers by sending thank-you notes to
show appreciation for their assistance. Enclose copies of your programs and any positive reviews of the event.
Assistance Available
For further assistance in planning a film event in Lumina Theater, please contact Sandra Jackson at
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