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

What is the Zero Fee Licence?
Who can apply?
What productions are not eligible?
Terms and conditions
Footage usage
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?

To be eligible for the Zero Fee Licence initiative, the applicant must meet all of the following criteria:

  • the applicant is an Australian independent documentary producer
  • the production has confirmed funding
  • the production has a confirmed distribution channel.

Note: Producer Offset and rebates (e.g. post digital and visual effects) are not considered production funding for ZFL.


What productions are NOT eligible?

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


Terms and conditions

Access to the Zero Fee Licence (ZFL) 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 initiative
  • 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’s Film Australia Collection' – or as otherwise agreed.



Fees for:

  • research and handling
  • preview materials
  • master transfers
  • stock and delivery
  • use of footage in excess of three minutes available under ZFL
  • use of non-NFSA owned footage

will be charged at the standard NFSA Access rates.


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.

Use of the footage is in accordance with the NFSA Licence Agreement.



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.

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.