WHEN? - All requests should be made well in advance (applications for major projects involving multiple departments/authorizations and requiring several production days should be submitted no less than one month in advance).
HOW? - Requests should be made on official company letterhead and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
They should include:
A description of the project in detail, including its purpose and content.
A list of physical locations where shooting is desired.
Proof of commitment of transmission/publication with identification of the transmitting/publishing entity (must obtain commitment before applying) and information about any insertions of commercial advertising.
The name of the production company and the director of the project.
Any requests for interviews with Vatican representatives as well as a description of the purpose of the interview and a general idea of the questions which will be posed.
The names of all experts and historians involved.
Pertinent information regarding special shooting techniques or equipment.
Applicant’s request for rights and distribution (see norms for more information).
Final scripts should be included for review for all major projects that include audio.
Projects of particular magnitude and scale which focus on the Church and aspects of the Holy See, especially those with theological emphasis, should include a letter from the appropriate Episcopal Conference, Nunciature or Diocese.
These projects must also have an ecclesiastical consultant or expert to advise the production and should include the name of the consultant in the application. The DfC does not offer consultation services.
Any material produced must be used solely and exclusively for the type of production that has been authorized in advance by the DfC.
The material may not be sold to third parties.
Any additional use of the material garnered must be authorized in advance.
Many Vatican offices grant television rights for exclusive use for 5 years, after which the rights may be renewed through the DfC office.
Rights are never granted in perpetuity.
Material is licensed for a single specific media/format only. Any other use (including Internet use) must be submitted to and approved by the DfC.
Subsequent commercialization of the material (e.g. in DVD, Home Video, CD, etc) must be submitted for approval and rights renegotiated.
Should any dispute arise concerning the interpretation, the validity or the effect of the present agreement or in its execution that shall not be resolved in the spirit of mutual collaboration, it will be referred to the Court of the Vatican City State and the substantive and procedural law therein operating will be applied.
Before issuing a permit to allow production, all Vatican administrators directly involved must confirm in writing that they have no objections to the project being carried out in the concerned jurisdiction.
The applicant must enter into an administrative and normative contract with the concerned Vatican entities (concerning that which is the exclusive property of the Administration, in accordance with each entity’s unique terms and conditions).
A formal concession agreement must be reached between CTV and the applicant before filming can begin. CTV owns the rights for film produced in/of the Vatican and must be given a copy of all professional material produced, including related rights of exploitation (except in the case of exclusive rights, which must be limited in time and are subject to agreement on a case by case basis).
Applicants are required to supply the Vatican Film Library with a final copy of the film/audio/photographs produced produced (see Statute of the Vatican Film Library, Art. 3, b, AAS, vol. 51.1959).
Given the large number of requests received annually, DfC wishes to allow as many groups as possible the opportunity to film and so limits each organization to producing no more than two major projects per year.
For projects requesting access to the interior of Vatican-owned properties - such as the Vatican Museums, Library, Secret Archives or inside the Papal Basilicas - where it is possible to cause damage to people, property or art work, applicants must show proof of comprehensive insurance that covers injury to persons and damage to these physical locations and property, before production can begin.
The DfC does not authorize interviews or shooting with presenters or commentators in sacred places, except in special cases authorized specifically by the relevant bodies (depending on the kind of production and the nature of the sites involved). In other environments (each determined specifically according to its nature) interviews are allowed, as long as the presenter is assisted by official representatives of the institution.
Under no circumstances will approval of the filming of a movie with actors and extras or filming for advertising or for promotional purposes or tourism be taken into consideration. This rule applies also to Vatican extraterritorial properties.
- Priority is given to projects of a scientific, educational, historical, artistic, or cultural scope, and especially those for the purpose of evangelization. All projects must have as their objective to contribute to informing the public in an accurate and appropriate way on the religious and moral mission of the Holy See, also through its artistic and spiritual patrimony.
Applicants are required to show proper respect to the sacred places they visit and to wear suitable attire when visiting these places or covering religious ceremonies.