FUNDING AVAILABLE

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Find out about the BFI NETWORK funding available in England.

SHORT FILM FUNDING

Our Short Film funding programme supports projects with directors based in England and is run in partnership with the BFI NETWORK Talent Executives who work with filmmakers on the delivery of funded projects. For directors based outside England or for filmmakers looking for documentary funding opportunities, please see our Funding Finder.

This fund supports the production costs of fiction shorts, in both live action and animation. We want to support short films that respond to our core objectives, which are to support:

  • The early careers of ambitious filmmakers;
  • Filmmaking that takes risks on talent, form and content;
  • Work that recognises the quality of difference – in perspective, in talent, in recruitment; 
  • Work with cultural relevance or progressive ideas;
  • Work from filmmakers based throughout the nation, not just in traditional industry centres.

We support standalone short films and this can include projects that have the potential, further down the line, to be developed into other forms or formats (e.g. a feature film, content in serial form). The fund is intended to stimulate new ideas and stories, so it doesn’t support adaptations of existing material. We welcome applications for amounts throughout the available budget range up to a maximum of £15,000. We are seeking applications for films of any length up to a maximum of 15 minutes. 

Our funding is accompanied by creative oversight of the short film by a BFI NETWORK Talent Executive. As well as working with filmmakers prior to and during production, the Talent Executives may be able to advise you on:

  • Finding screening opportunities regionally and further afield;
  • Ways to meet potential collaborators for your project;
  • Festival strategy for your film;
  • Other means to gain industry exposure for your work.

APPLICATION TIMELINES

We are making some changes to the way that we manage and assess applications to the Short Film fund in England. From October 2020 onwards the fund will open for two six-week application windows in the Spring and Autumn of each year. From 2021 onwards we will publish the application dates six months in advance so that filmmakers can plan their applications, polish their draft scripts and find collaborators in good time. 

The dates for the next two application windows are as follows:

Autumn 2020

Applications Open                                                             Monday 19 October 2020 12PM
Applications Close                                                             Monday 30 November 2020 12PM (noon)
Deadline for Securing Additional Finance                       Monday 22 February 2021 
Final Funding Decisions Made                                          By end of March 2021

Spring 2021

Applications Open                                                             W/C 26 April 2021
Applications Close                                                             Monday 7 June 2021
Deadline for Securing Additional Finance                       Monday 16 August 2021 
Final Funding Decisions Made                                          By end of September 2021

We reserve the right to amend any of these dates where necessary. 

GUIDELINES

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

AUDIO GUIDELINES

The Short Film Fund audio guidelines are in the process of being updated, please check back soon for the revised guidelines. 

APPLYING

Before you proceed to the application form via the link below you will be asked to create an account. Following submission of the application to the BFI, applicants will be sent a unique application reference number for their records. 

If you have already submitted an application and would like to review it at any point, you can log into your account here.

Download our budget template here.

Preview the BFI NETWORK Short Film Fund application here.

ASSISTANCE DURING THE APPLICATION PROCESS

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.

FINDING COLLABORATORS FOR YOUR PROJECT

If you are looking a writer, director or producer to work with on your project, click here for some ideas on how to do this. 

EARLY DEVELOPMENT FUNDING

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.

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.

GUIDELINES

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

AUDIO GUIDELINES

The Early Development Fund audio guidelines are in the process of being updated, please check back soon for the revised guidelines.

APPLYING

Before you proceed to the application form via the link below, please note that applicants will be asked to create an account. Following submission of the application to the BFI, applicants will be sent a unique application reference number for their records.

If you have already submitted an application and would like to review it at any point, you can log into your account here.

Preview the BFI NETWORK Early Development Fund application here

ASSISTANCE DURING THE APPLICATION PROCESS

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.