BORN DIGITAL: NEW AND EMERGING TALENT SEARCH

Born Digital is an exciting opportunity for new and emerging filmmakers to realise their first broadcast project, with grants to be awarded to fund, or partly fund, up to 12 short films.

19 September 2018

Courtesy of Annika Berg

In 2019, BBC Arts, BBC Four and the BFI will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web. Inspired by this very special birthday, Born Digital is an exciting opportunity for new and emerging filmmakers to realise their first broadcast project, with grants to be awarded to fund, or partly fund, up to 12 short films.

The deadline for applications to the Born Digital scheme has now passed.

The BBC, in partnership with the BFI, is now searching for short films to showcase the creativity and diversity of the next generation of film talent in the UK today. We are commissioning 10-12 short creative films from new and emerging filmmakers: from Artists of this Born Digital generation, and from those who remember the pre-internet period and have seen its subsequent impact on the world. If successfully selected by an expert panel you will be awarded a grant of between £3000 and £5000 towards the creation or completion of your original film. There will be the opportunity to have your film screened at BFI Southbank and for it to be broadcast on BBC Four in early Spring 2019 to mark the anniversary of the World Wide Web Foundation.

Be inspired by the World Wide Web

Over the last 30 years, a whole new generation has grown up. This is generation Born Digital, a generation who has never known a world without the Internet.

These films should reflect on, respond to and capture the experience of living in, being shaped by and sometimes resisting a digital environment. Films and filmmakers are encouraged to be innovative with the tools, techniques and visual grammar developed over the last 30 years of technological change - these approaches should manifest in the look, feel and tonality of the films created.

Watch a selection of videos below which might inspire you:

Hyper Reality (dir. Keiichi Matsuda)

Team Hurricane (dir. Annika Berg)

Cracked Screen (dir. Trim Lamba)

Goodbye Uncanny Valley (dir. Alan Warburton)

2D Run (dir. Marin Kafedjiiski)

All That is Solid (dir. Louis Henderson)

What are we looking for?

  • Creative films, between 4-12 minutes in length, that speak to pertinent themes of today’s connected world: AI, data, privacy, where lo-fi meets high tech, the real and unreal, design, isolation, community, humour, wellbeing, new language, social fragmentation, gaming and more.
  • Vibrant new and contemporary storytellers to create striking and original films.
  • Their tone could distinctive, unexpected, disruptive, warm or witty.
  • A range of genres (for example your film could be documentary, fiction, comedy, animation or cross genre) and visual styles, predominantly inspired by digital technologies, tools and the icons (or iconoclasts) of the last 30 years of digital design. This is an incredibly rich and fertile visual territory and we would expect filmmakers to exploit this in their approach.
  • These films should say something about who you are or who we are now because of, in spite of, or despite the pervasiveness of digital technology.
  • We want bold, diverse and confident approaches and opinions, from all nations and regions in the UK, though you might be a less experienced filmmaker.

So what are you waiting for?

Am I eligible to apply? 

To be eligible to apply you and if applying as a team, all team members, must be:

  • A UK resident aged 18 or over at 23:59 on 16 October 2018.
  • Either a student or a new/emerging filmmaker. You are unable to apply if you’ve received a key creative credit on a broadcast TV programme, a feature length film, or more than three professional short films.
  • For further guidance on definitions and eligibility please look at the Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions

How do I apply? 

  • View the online application form and see what supporting documents you need to supply. Please also read the Guidelines carefully.
  • You will be asked to name the figure of the grant you are asking for (up to £5,000) and supply a budget on that basis with your supporting documents. Please download Budget Template
  • Deadline is 23:59 on 16 October 2018.

How will the commissions be awarded? 

  • We plan to shortlist between approximately 20 applicants who will be invited for interview on either 14 or 15 November 2018. Successful applicants will be awarded grants and the selected films will need to be completed and delivered by 31 January 2019
  • More details about the timetable for the process and production period are available in the Guidelines and Terms and Conditions, which all applicants should read before applying.

Questions?

Application Form

https://bfiforms.wufoo.com/forms/mlvenm81b4cxoa/

Please note: Production and delivery will be managed by an Independent Production Company for BBC

 

Further reading

  • Will Massa, BFI’s Curator of Contemporary Fiction, tells us more about Born Digital here.  

The deadline for applications to the Born Digital scheme has now passed.