Answered By: Stephanie C Gillespie Last Updated: Jun 21, 2018 Views: 3
Many educational films have the option to purchase the physical or streaming content with the public performance rights that allows showing the film in public on more than one occasion. The cost to purchase the film with public performance rights is generally several hundred dollars more that the film without public performance rights.
There are several licensing companies that have wither purchased rights or will negotiate rights and will work with colleges to license commercial films (ex. Swank and MPLC). The cost for licensing commercial films ranges from $100 to several thousand depending on the work and copyright owner.
Ask the copyright owner for permission to show the content for free or at a reduced rate. The copyright owner is most often the United States distributor of the film. You can find out who this is by going to the Internet Movie Database, searching for the film or TV show, look for the company credits page (most likely found by scrolling to the bottom), and on this page look for the USA distributors.