What is the Zero Fee Licence?
Who can apply?
What productions are not eligible?
Terms and conditions
Footage usage
On-screen acknowlegement
Right of refusal
Apply now


What is the Zero Fee Licence?

The NFSA’s Zero Fee Licence offers Australian independent documentary makers up to three minutes of footage from the Film Australia Collection for a no-fee All Rights, All Media, World, In Perpetuity licence. 

A documentary is a program that is 'a creative treatment of actuality other than a news, current affairs, sports coverage, magazine, infotainment or light entertainment program' (Australian Content Standard, Australian Communications and Media Authority, 24 May 2016).


Who can apply?

The Zero Fee Licence initiative is intended for Australian independent documentary makers only and they must fulfil three of the following criteria:

  • The applicant is an Australian independent documentary producer;
  • The applicant’s production has an Australian free-to-air television and/or subscription service pre-sale;
  • The applicant’s production has received funding from Screen Australia or a state film funding agency;
  • The applicant’s production has a letter of interest from an Australian broadcaster including free-to-air and subscription services; and/or
  • The applicant is a current member of the Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) or the Australian Directors Guild (ADG).


What productions are NOT eligible?

  • advertising and promotion;
  • broadcasters’ inhouse productions;
  • drama;
  • exhibitions and live performances;
  • news and current affairs;
  • retail products;
  • corporate productions; and
  • personal productions.


Terms and conditions

Access to the Zero Fee Licence (ZFL) is contingent on:

  • an online application from an eligible documentary filmmaker including proof of criteria documents;
  • acceptance by the applicant of the NFSA’s Collection Reference rates for previews, transfers, stock and delivery including the ZFL research and handling fee;
  • the applicant entering into a contractually binding licence agreement with the NFSA; and
  • the NFSA having the appropriate rights and clearances to the selected material.



NFSA Collection Reference staff research and handling fees are charged at $275 (incl. GST) per hour (minimum one hour).

Client viewing-room facilities are charged at $275 (incl. GST) per day, in addition to any applicable research and handling charges.

Charges for previews, master transfers, stock and delivery are charged at the standard NFSA Collection Reference rates.

Footage in excess of three minutes will be charged at the standard Collection Reference rates.

An Acesss Fee (50% of Collection Reference Commercial Licence Fee) is charged for the use of non-NFSA owned footage.


Footage usage

Up to three minutes of footage from the NFSA’s Film Australia Collection (FAC) may be used per one-hour documentary without a licence fee being charged. This allowance is scaled according to the licensee’s production duration.

No more than 20% of the duration of any one FAC title is available for the ZFL.

On completion of the production, master material provided by the NFSA must be erased and a low resolution copy of the completed production supplied to the NFSA.

The applicant is liable for any damage or loss incurred to the NFSA footage whilst in their possession.



The successful applicant enters 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.

Documentary productions made primarily for a website are required to watermark all footage with the NFSA logo.

NFSA Collection Reference 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.


On-screen acknowledgement

The NFSA requires an on-screen acknowledgement 'Footage supplied by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia’s Film Australia Collection' or as otherwise agreed.


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 Licence Fee application form (Word doc)

Zero Licence Fee application form (PDF)

For enquiries, email faclibrary [at] nfsa.gov.au.