A man holds an umbrella over a film camera positioned on railway tracks while another man holds a clapperboard

Zero Fee Licence

Zero Fee Licence

About the Zero Fee Licence (ZFL) support program

Through its collecting, storytelling and services, the NFSA promotes the powerful use of archival material in the creation of compelling factual content.

The ZFL program is designed to support independent makers of Australian factual content by providing up to three minutes of NFSA owned footage per program hour, free of usage fees (other service fees will apply).


Who can apply?

All audiovisual forms are eligible – documentary film, television, radio, podcast, web, social – provided that:

  1. the applicant is an Australian independent creator
  2. the production has confirmed funding
  3. the production has a confirmed distribution or exhibition outcome in Australia – this can include an online platform if the applicant has an account with a substantial, established following (such as YouTube subscribers or TikTok followers)

  4. the maker is an Australian emerging filmmaker or artist with appropriate credentials or qualifications.

Applicants must either: 

  • meet all of criteria 1, 2 and 3 OR
  • meet criteria 4 only. 

Material may be used for: 

  • screen-based content
  • visual arts and public art works
  • music and sound productions
  • podcasts.

Applicants must also provide supporting information about intended audiences and distribution strategies.

The following makers are not eligible:

  • corporate video producers
  • advertising agencies
  • broadcasters
  • news and current affairs producers
  • cultural and educational institutions.


Terms and conditions

Access to the ZFL program is contingent on:

  • the applicant providing proof of eligibility documentation in conjunction with the ZFL application form
  • the applicant accepting that fees will be charged at the standard NFSA Access rates for all costs not covered by the ZFL program
  • the applicant entering into a contractually binding licence agreement with the NFSA
  • the NFSA having the appropriate rights and clearances to the selected material
  • the applicant agreeing to supply the NFSA with a master copy of the completed production if they do not have Screen Australia funding
  • the applicant agreeing to provide on-screen acknowledgement of the NFSA – 'Footage supplied by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia' – or as otherwise agreed.



Fees for the following services will be charged at the standard NFSA Access rates:

  • research, handling and digitisation
  • use of footage in excess of three minutes available under ZFL
  • material selected but not available under the ZFL program.


Footage usage

Use of material supplied under ZFL will be in accordance with the standard NFSA licence agreement.



Successful applicants enter into a contractually binding licence agreement with the NFSA.

The NFSA licence agreement covers All Rights, All Media, Worldwide, In Perpetuity.

Footage is licensed on a non-exclusive basis, for one use in one production as specified in the licence agreement. Uses outside those expressed in the licence agreement require the permission of the NFSA.

NFSA Access staff will advise of any restrictions that may apply (for example, relating to copyright, talent, location, Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property rights) at the time of footage selection.


Right of refusal

The NFSA retains the right in in its absolute discretion to refuse any Zero Fee Licence application.


Apply now

Complete the application form:

Zero Fee Licence application form (Word doc)

Zero Fee Licence application form (PDF)

For enquiries, please submit an Access enquiry form.