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Important Notes

Films are creative works protected by copyright and can only be shown at an event once copyright permission has been obtained.

Key Policies

Planning Tips

Planning Time

  • Check the OSE Planning Calendar to schedule your event around other major University events.
  • Consult with OSE and other university partners as you begin your planning, especially regarding venues, contractual agreements and noise.  OSE Interns are a good first step.
  • Planning time varies greatly but if large, outdoors or requires more funding than you have in your back account now, plan 2 months to 2 quarters in advance.


  • For public displays, VSOs will likely need to buy the rights to screen films. You cannot use personal video streaming accounts (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, etc) to show movies to the public. 
  • In order to show your film without buying the rights, your VSO would need to obtain prior written permission from the film distributor or director.
  • Film licensing organizations  (who provide those rights) are: Swank Motion Pictures, Criterion Pictures, and Motion Picture Licensing Corporation

Build a Budget

  • Your budget should be based on actual quotes for space, tech, food, lodging, travel etc.  The greatest variable can be technical costs so you will want to obtain artist requirements from the outset (e.g. a rider) and submit an Event Services request right away (if such tech is needed).
  • For additional information see sample budget on the OSE website.

Get Funding

  • Exhaust on-campus funding sources prior to off-campus sources. Remember, off-campus sources requires prior university approval and can take considerable time.
  • Funding from ASSU usually requires that your event should be free for students.
  • You must have all necessary funds in your account before your event can be approved, you can sign a contract or advertise the event.

Find a Venue

  • Start with OSE's venue sheets.  Check 25Live for availability for classroom spaces and Tresidder Union. Remember do not book space directly through 25Live.

Contracts and Agreements

  • Student orgs cannot make offers or contractual commitments over $ 500 without OSE approval.​  You can discuss but do not commit until you have funds, space, and approval.  See contract policy.
  • Consult wth OSE Interns early in the planning stages.  Then submit your request early.

Order equipment and services

  • Get estimates for your work orders very early on in your early planning.  A summary of possible equipment and services is here.
  • File all necessary work orders as early as possible, at least 3 weeks in advance for small events.  Large events with large, variable costs require 6-8 weeks.
  • Check out this helpful event supplies checklist.
  • All campus auditoria require the use of on-campus technicians and services. Inquire if you are unsure.

Advertise your event

  • If working with a film distributor, the distributor cannot take the lead in planning or advertising. The lead name of the event must be in the name of the sponsoring Stanford group, e.g. "Stanford Film Society Presents" and not "Stanford Film Studios Presents." Instead provide a tag line such as "in cooperation with" or "with support from" which should be done in a smaller case type. 
  • Ticketed events must use an approved University vendor.
  • Off-campus advertising and work with the press should be discussed with OSE early in your planning. Advertising off-campus usually necessitates the hiring of University security too.

Security and Safety

  • Security can help with crowd control, traffic and security for high-profile visitors. Ultimate security levels are determined by the Department of Public Safety and are often required for large, all-campus events, or events open to non-Stanford guests or major "sneak previews."

For Final Approval

  1. A realistic budget with quotes for tech from Events Services.
  2. Needed funds in your account. Remember to apply to ASSU funding very early.
  3. A security and noise plan.
  4. Large and complex events require planning meetings with OSE. Some will require a formal review by the Student Events Group. See OSE for details.

On occasion the university may cancel an event after approval because funds proved insufficient, work orders for required tech or security were not done or other compelling circumstances.

Final Event Checklist