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Reference > Media law & regulation > UK media laws > Cinema and film > Cinematograph Films Act 1957

UK media laws: Cinema and films

THE CINEMATOGRAPH FILMS ACT 1957

5&6 Eliz.2 c.21
An Act to provide for the imposition of a levy on exhibitors of cinema to graph films and for the making from the proceeds thereof of payments to, or for the benefit of, makers of British cinematograph films and to the Children's Film Foundation Limited; to amend the law relating to the functions and finances of the National Film Finance Corporation; to extend the period during which, under section one of the Cinematograph Films Act, 1948, the inclusion of British cinematograph films amongst registered films exhibited to the public in theatres in Great Britain is obligatory and increase the maximum amount of certain fees payable under the Cinematograph Films Act, 1938; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid

 

PART I: Provisions Relating to the Exhibitors' Levy

1.—The British Film Fund Agency.
        To be established by SI; constitution; payments to makers of British films and Children's Film Foundation.

2.—Levy on exhibitors.
        For [231* successive periods of 52 weeks, the first starting not later than 20 October 1957, levy to be collected by Commissioners of Customs & Excise. [Thus, the levy provisions ran out on 1 July 1980.]
        *Figure specified by the Films Act 1970.

3.—Payments by Agency to makers of British films.
        Board of Trade to decide which films will benefit and how.

4.—Power of Commissioners of Customs & Excise to obtain information

5.—Restriction on disclosure of information.
        Only summaries of information can normally be published; no specific disclosures without written permission of the company concerned.

PART II: Amendment of Law Relating to Functions and Finance of National Film Finance Corporation

11.—Duty of Corporation to pay their way.

12.—Power to give effect to arrangements for transfer of Corporation's assets and liabilities to person providing alternative source of finance.
   
     Buyer would have to be a British company willing to carry on the functions of the NFFC.

 SI
1957/1055     British Film Fund Agency (Appointed Day) Order [names 1 July 1957; see 2 above]
1957/1056     British Film Fund Agency Regs
1960/726       Cinematograph Films (Collection of Levy) Regs [revoked]
1960/1185     Cinematograph Films (Collection of Levy) (Amdt) Regs [revoked]
1962/2544     Cinematograph Films (Distribution of Levy) (Amdt No.2) Regs [revoked]
1963/1375     Cinematograph Films (Distribution of Levy) (Amdt No.3) Regs [revoked]
1965/1234     Cinematograph Films (Distribution of Levy).(Amdt No.4) Regs [revoked]
1967/889       Cinematograph Films (Distribution of Levy) (Amdt No.5) Regs [revoked]
1967/890       Cinematograph Films (Distribution of Levy) (Amdt No.2) Regs [revoked]
1968/1076     Cinematograph Films (Distribution of Levy) (Amdt No.3) Regs [revoked]
1968/1077     Cinematograph Films (Collection of Levy) Regs
1970/1145     Cinematograph Films (Collection of Levy) (Amdt) Regs
1970/1146     Cinematograph Films (Distribution of Levy) Regs
1971/1206     Cinematograph Films (Collection of Levy) (Amdt No.2) Regs [revoked]
1973/728       Cinematograph Films (Collection of Levy) (Amdt No.3) Regs
1975/1885     Cinematograph Films (Collection of Levy) (Amdt No.4) Regs
1977/1330     Cinematograph Films (Collection of Levy) (Amdt No.5) Regs
1978/1092     Cinematograph Films (Collection of Levy) (Amdt No.6) Regs

This Act established the British Film Fund Agency, which was to administer the proceeds of the Eady levy, paid by exhibitors on the revenue from cinema ticket sales and distributed to makers of British films under rules to be determined by the Board of Trade (in practice, in proportion to their box office takings). A grant was also to be made from the fund to the Children's Film Foundation. The levy was to be collected by the Commissioners of HM Customs & Excise for 23* consecutive periods of 52 weeks, starting not later than 20 October 1957 . [Thus, the levy provisions ran out on 1 July 1980.]
       Customs & Excise was given power to obtain information—which provided the basis for extensive data collection. Although only summaries of information could normally be published and no specific disclosures made without written permission of the company concerned, the aggregated data was a unique and unmatched source of statistical information about the British cinema and film releases.

*Figure specified by the Films Act 1970.

The Act required the National Film Finance Corporation (set up under the Cinematograph Films (Special Loans) Act 1949 to pay its way, and allowing the 'privatisation' of the NFFC by a transfer of its assets and liabilities to any British company providing an alternative source of finance and willing to carry on the functions of the NFFC.

Cinema and film laws
Alphabetical list.

 

Page created 9 March 2009
David Fisher