[UPDATED 3/30/23 with video explainer]

If you’re making a short film, we’ve got some news for you. Effective August 1, 2018, SAG-AFTRA implemented the new Short Project Agreement. What does that mean? We’ll tell you!

The Short Project Agreement replaces the Short Film Agreement and the Low Budget New Media Agreement for non-episodic, non-animated projects. (Keep in mind, if you’re making a web series, you’ll still sign the New Media Agreement.) One big benefit of the new contract is that producers no longer have to choose whether they want to premiere their short at a festival or on a free new media platform – both are allowed!

Like the previous Short Film Agreement, the Short Project Agreement has a $50,000 budget cap, must be filmed in the U.S. and its territories, and allows a maximum runtime of 40 minutes (up from 35).

What’s new about the agreement (in addition to being allowed on free-to-consumer new media platforms) is coverage of all principal performers, coverage of the first 10 background actors in background zones, and negotiable rates.

You can see a sample of the new contract over on our Resources page, and be sure to keep an eye on the SAG-AFTRA Production Center for any forthcoming updates. If you have questions about the Short Project Agreement, SAG-AFTRA has even set up a phone line specifically for those inquiries, 323.549.6680 (open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm PT). You can also contact SAGindie or look through our FAQ page and we will do our best to answer all of your burning questions about life (and short films).


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