Posted: 02/19/2009 by Sara Hutchison
This year's IDA DocU Seminar Series Committee would like your input! What seminar subjects and/or panelists are interesting to you? Let us know here! Thanks!
I would love to see FilmLA come to the IDA community and discuss documentary film permits and Los Angeles Municipal Code 41.20. LAMC 41.20 (formerly LAMC 12.22) makes it a criminal misdemeanor to film a documentary in the City of Los Angeles without a film permit.
Each year, the City Attorney's office prosecutes several cases involving filmmakers in violation of 41.20 (or 12.22 prior to November 2009).
According to statistics I obtained from the LAPD:
In 2008, there were 4 cases reviewed, which were presented by the LAPD. Of those reviewed cases, 3 were filed with the City Attorney and 1 was rejected. There were 3 dispositions, which all pled.
In 2009, there were 4 cases reviewed. Of those reviewed, 3 were presented by the LAPD to the City Attorney. 1 was filed, 2 rejected and 1 was referred to hearings. There was 1 disposition, which pled.
In 2010, there were 30 cases reviewed. Of those reviewed cases, 14 were presented by the LAPD to the City Attorney. 7 were filed, 2 rejected and 21 referred to hearings. There were 4 dispositions, which all pled.
If any of those were instances of documentary filmmaking, the City Attorney may not be able to say. What remains is the truth that documentary filmmakers are the same as Reality TV, Music Videos, Narrative, Commercial etc, filmmaking by FilmLA, LAPD and the City Attorney's office.
"Los Angeles is a fine city...not a fine city!"
- LA Councilman Tom Labonge's location filming credo