Iran today released a new film of some of the American hostages on Christmas in which one of the women captives indicated they had been living under difficult conditions.

The 10-minute film, the fourth to be transmitted by Iran since Christmas Day, also showed the hostages questioning Algerian diplomats on when they would be freed and complaining that they were not receiving mail from home.

The Iranians appeared to censor the answers given to the hostages on the progess of the talks by Algerian Ambassador to Iran Abdel Karim Gheraieb, who is acting as a mediator in the negotiations and is now in Washington conferring with American officials.

The film showed 18 of the hostages meeting in separate groups with Algerian diplomats on Christmas Day.

All the hostages shown had been seen in the previous footage since Christmas except Charles Jones, of Detroit. Jones, 40, is a communications officer for the state Department and the only black still being held.

The other blacks present at the American Embassy when it was captured on Nov. 4, 1979, were released early in the hostage crisis, but Jones, the embassy's communications director, was kept captive.

All but 10 of the hostages have been shown either on film or photographs in the four holiday films released.

[In Washington, a spokesman for ABC television said that each of the three major commercial networks agreed last Thursday to pay the Iranians $38,000 for the total of one hour of footage on the hostages. Although the American networks believed the film would be delivered in one hour-long segment, the ABC spokesman said the four films equal nearly an hour of film. An NBC representative said the network had not been billed for the footage yet, but she refused to say how much NBC agreed to pay for it.]

[A spokesman for CBS, which arranged to transmit the film, refused to say if the network would pay for the footage.]

In today's film, Elizabeth Ann Swift of Washington, one of two women still being kept captive, spoke of "ups and downs" in what was on the whole "a frightening experience." Swift, the embassy's political officer, said the captives had been in their new location for one week.

She indicated the hostages had been moved about and held in places that were not all that comfortable.

"We've been here for one week," she told the Algerians of their new place of captivity, which had drapes, rugs, and furniture. "Things recently have been better."

Other hostages spoke of not receiving letters from home or receiving letters from family members complaining that they had received no letters from the captives.

The new film also revealed that the hostages may have been held in a hotel or large house on Christmas Day. One segment showed Col. Leland Holland, 52, of Scales, Ill., and John William Limbert Jr., 37, in a room together and the camera then panned to an adjoining bathroom, which had a tub, two sinks and a toilet with the top to the tank missing.

Gheraieb and Mohammed Bel Hossein, an Algerian Foreign Ministry official, were taken blindfolded Christmas Day to the undisclosed location where 49 of the hostages were held. They met later the same day with the three Americans held at Iran's Foreign Ministry.