Distribution FAQs

Frameline Distribution

Our diverse collection has over 250 titles from over 40 years of LGBTQ cinema, covering a broad spectrum of subject matter. Frameline holds North American (U.S., Canada and Mexico) rights on the majority of its titles, and international rights on many. If you wish to purchase or rent one of our films and reside outside of North America, please contact distribution@frameline.org and we will let you know if the film is available through Frameline in your region.

Educational purchase and public performance rights

Most films are available in Digital Site License ( DSL) and DVD format for Educational distribution to Universities and Colleges, libraries, LGBTQ centers, and entities focusing on educational and social impact. Educational DSL & DVD pricing includes public performance rights for free screenings for the life of the media. Learn more about Educational purchases and what public performance rights allow in the Educational Sales section below.


Many films are also available for bookings or rental, but screening format and pricing varies for titles. If you would like to book a title to screen at an event, simply email distribution@frameline.org with basic information about your screening such as the proposed date and # of showings, venue size, if it is a free screening or carries an admission fee, and we will contact you within three days. Learn more about rentals in the Screenings & Rentals section below.

Sales to Individuals (Streaming & VOD)

Most of our films are availble to stream or download to own via Video on Demand (VOD) services such as Vimeo, Amazon, Kanopy, itunes and other similar services. Information about where to access a film can be found on it’s profile page in the Distribution Catalog.

Educational Sales

Films purchased at the educational/institutional rate include public performance and library circulation rights. Educational purchase price does not include the right to screen titles in a paid-admission setting, nor does it include digital rights, meaning that the customer is not allowed to create a digital version of the film from the DVD. Please email distribution@frameline.org to request a paid-admission screening license or if you have questions regarding digital site licensing.

Public performance rights are subject to conditions outlined in our Purchase Agreement (see below), and purchases within the state of California are subject to sales tax.

Frameline Educational Use Purchase Agreement

Please be advised that titles purchased for educational use are subject to the following conditions:

  1. Media is sold only for educational use only.
  2. Media will not be altered or copied in any manner whatsoever.
  3. Media is protected under International Copyright Law.
  4. Media will not be shown commercially (theatrically) or shown for a profit, or promoted in paid public advertising.
  5. Media will not be rented, loaned for a fee, leased, or sub-leased to others.
  6. Media will not be broadcast or televised (except for closed-circuit campus use).
  7. The purchaser will not negotiate any transaction concerning media without specific written authorization from Frameline.
  8. This educational sale does not permit use for Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC), or other online courses aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web.

Please note that your payment for constitutes acceptance of the above conditions.

How to order online

All purchases can be made directly through the Frameline Distribution online cart system, Shopify. You can start your search by visiting our Distribution Catalog, to search by genre, director, year or keyword. 

Once you are on the individual film page, look under Purchase Options at the bottom of the page, then toggle the Buy/Stream button to Buy to find the type of license you want. If you don’t see an option available from the dropdown, that option is not available for that title. Once you have added all titles you would like to purchase to your cart, hit the checkout button which will take you to our Shopify Cart system.

Here in the Shopify cart, you can finish your checkout by entering your information for a single transaction, by logging into a currently active account, or by creating an account. You will then enter shipping and financial details to complete the transaction. In the final screen, you can enter any discount codes you may have, and complete the transaction.

Payment Information

Payment through the Shopify secure cart system can be made via Paypal or credit card. There is also an option for submitting a purchase order and paying in the future. This option is available in the checkout menu, but is only for use by educational institutions.

About Frameline's DVD Formats

DVDs are sold as DVD-R format. Although Frameline does not anticipate that our customers will experience difficulty playing our media, DVDs have the potential to interact differently with different machines. Frameline recommends testing DVDs prior to use. Should you encounter problems, please contact us at distribution@frameline.org.

DVDs can scratch easily, and, if scratched, you may encounter playback problems. Please store DVDs properly in the cases provided.

All of our DVD-Rs are REGION 1 NTSC, please be advised that if you do not have a Region 1 or Multi-Region player, our discs may not be compatible with your system.

Shipping Rates

DVDs are shipped with flat rates, based on weight, but customers have the option to select different shipping types (USPS and FedEx) For film rentals and bookings, shipping rates will be determined based on the weight of the item being shipped (DCP, DVD, 16mm, etc.) and how quickly the item is needed.


Prices vary greatly depending upon the rights purchased, the length of the film (short vs. feature), the release date of the film, and other factors. The amount in the dropdown menu is accurate to each film, and subject to any discounts that may be applied through customer incentives, email promotions, or other marketing.

Using a Discount Code

While you are checking out, hit the button that says “Show order summary.” This is where you will have the opportunity to enter in a discount code you may have received from the Frameline Distribution team.

Purchasing Streaming Licenses And Digital Versions

Educational institutions wishing to access digital copies of films rather than hard DVD copies are encouraged to purchase streaming licenses through our cart system. Choose the option Digital Site License under Purchase Options- Buy. For individuals, if a film is available for VOD streaming, a link to watch the film on Vimeo, Amazon, or similar platforms will be at the bottom of the page under Purchase Options- Stream

International Sales

Frameline holds North American (U.S., Canada and Mexico) rights on the majority of its titles, and holds International rights on a number of titles. If you wish to purchase or rent one of our films and reside outside of North America, please contact distribution@frameline.org.

Sales Returns

Contact distribution@frameline.org if you have an issue with your purchase and require a refund.

Return Of Media Damaged In Transit

Frameline makes every effort to ensure the safe transport of our titles. Titles damaged in transit will be replaced provided the damaged shipment and original shipment packaging is returned to Frameline. Please save all shipping materials and contact Frameline immediately should you receive a damaged shipment.

Upgrading Out-Of-Date Media

If you have previously purchased a Frameline title on VHS and would like to upgrade to DVD or digital version, we happily provide discounts for the upgrade to new technology. Please contact us at distribution@frameline.org for a quote on specific films.


All Frameline titles are protected by international copyright law. We use an electronic system to prevent duplication. It is illegal to attempt to reproduce, duplicate or record any Frameline film or tape without written permission from the copyright holder. Purchase or rental does not include rights for subleasing, commercial distribution, television broadcast or electronic transmission of any kind, or rights to create a digital copy or alter the film or tape in whole or in part without specific written consent from Frameline.

Previewing Films

Frameline offers an institutional preview option for our educational titles. Please contact distribution@frameline.org to inquire about previewing educational titles.

How Do I Create An Account?

Once you have selected films, you will be prompted to log in to your account, or create a new account through the Shopify system.

Privacy Policy And Security

We value your privacy. Your information is NEVER sold to any other company and is kept completely private. This website is protected with SSL (secure socket layer) encryption, the highest standard in Internet security.

Contact Information

Frameline Distribution
145 Ninth Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94103-2632
Telephone: 415.703.8650 x305
Fax: 415.861.1404

Screenings & Rentals

Frameline offers a rental option for public performance use (classrooms, community screenings, film festivals, museum exhibitions, etc.). Rental rates vary depending upon the film, screening venue, if the screening is free or admission, and the screening format (DVD, digital file, DCP, 16mm, etc.). For hardcopy rentals, the customer is responsible for all fees incurred in the roundtrip shipment of rented material. Frameline may also be able to provide promotional materials ( trailer, stills, poster and other assets ) to help market your screening.

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