We are planning a free film series. Three films have been selected and will be introduced by faculty members. Do we need rights?
Yes. For any films shown literally outside of the classroom, even if they are for educational purposes, the sponsors must purchase performance rights. See libraryguides.etown.edu/copyright for a plethora of resources, as well as links to lists of films for which we already have secured rights. Most PBS productions, for example, come with public performance rights. It does not matter whether a faculty member introduces the films, a panel speaks before or after, etc. as far as the law is concerned. Movies shown in the classroom fall under fair use.
If this does not completely answer your question, please contact Sylvia Morra for further assistance.