If you’re a writer based in England with an exciting, bold idea – particularly if you’ve not yet teamed up with a producer – this is the fund for you.

For writers based outside England or for filmmakers looking for documentary funding opportunities, please see our Funding Finder.

‘New writers’ are people who have not yet written a feature film script that has been produced and distributed. This fund is also for producers and directors working with new writers.

The Early Development Fund is now open in England.

This fund is the first step in the BFI’s development support for live action and animated fiction projects from new feature writers. It supports people at the very beginning of their development process to produce an initial treatment and related materials. Successful applicants will receive a grant from the BFI together with oversight from a BFI NETWORK Talent Executive to support them in creating the documents. The Talent Executives provide creative input and feedback on the initial treatments and related work, and can assist projects in other ways: from connecting people with potential collaborators, to enabling them to consider how their ideas might impact with audiences. This support aims to propel your project towards its next stage of development.


The Early Development Fund is now open. Please note this is the single funding round for the year 2022/23.
March 2023 marks the end of the BFI’s current strategy period, and our plans for talent development funding beyond this period will be announced in autumn 2022, with funds set to launch from April 2023 onwards. If you would like to find out more about the BFI’s consultation on its National Lottery funding strategy from March 2023, please visit https://www.bfi.org.uk/strategy-policy/next-our-consultation-plans-develop-new-national-lottery-funding-strategy-from-2023-2033.

22/23 Round - Revised Dates

Applications open: 14th March 2022

Applications close: 2nd May 2022 at midday

Applicants informed of decision: 18th July 2022


We reserve the right to amend any of these dates where necessary.
Please direct any queries about applications/funding to bfinetwork@bfi.org.uk.


Please read the full funding guidelines before you complete the application form.


If you wish to listen to the audio guidelines for this fund, please use the link below.


We can provide assistance to applicants who are D/deaf, hard-of-hearing, Disabled or neurodiverse people, and people with sight loss, where this support is needed in order for someone to make an application to the Film Fund. Visit Access support for BFI Film Fund applicants for information.