More Films For Freedom is back and looking for LGBTQIA+ projects!

23 February 2022


BFI NETWORK, BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival and the British Council are partnering for a third year to commission five new short films from cross-cultural teams collaborating to explore LGBTQIA+ stories. More Films For Freedom is now open for applications!  

More Films For Freedom aims to find and fund the production of urgent, creative collaborations that explore LGBTQIA+ intersectionality, global human rights, and diaspora identity. It builds on our #FiveFilmsForFreedom digital campaign, which originated in 2015 as a partnership between BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival and the British Council, and which has generated views from more than 17 million people in over 200 countries and principalities. In previous editions of the campaign, we found a gap in projects and stories originating in countries within the African continent and the Middle East. This year, we’re looking to commission new projects that will have at their heart an element of collaboration between UK-based filmmakers and filmmakers/storytellers from countries in these regions, as well as a new focus on Brazil looking for collaboration between UK and Brazil based filmmakers.

Teams that apply will need to demonstrate their collaborative international approach, and include an experienced, UK-based producer capable of delivering projects with an international component.

We are looking to commission five films which will be awarded a grant of up to £20,000 each, to cover all stages of production, delivery of materials and team travel. Projects can shoot in the UK and/or internationally, but it must be feasible to complete the films on the budget available and given possible restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, each team will work with Caragh Davison (BFI NETWORK Talent Programme Manager) who will mentor both team and project from script through to edit.

The five selected films will be profiled during next year’s BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival in March. The finished films will be able to submit to festivals upon completion, and will receive their online premiere via BFI and British Council platforms.


What are we looking for?

  • Ideas for short films up to ten minutes in length.

  • Projects that explore LGBTQIA+ themes including global human rights, intersectionality and diaspora identity.

  • Collaborations between UK filmmakers and filmmakers/storytellers from Brazil, the Middle East or Africa.

  • Films in any genre including fiction, documentary or animation, and in any language.

Am I eligible to apply?

The full eligibility criteria for making an applications are in these Guidelines , and include the following points. Your team must: 


  • had specific recognition, which you can describe in your application, for a previous short from LGBTQIA+ communities in the UK or within Brazil, the Middle East or African continent;

  • include a UK-based producer capable of delivering projects with an international component, applying via a company registered and centrally managed in the UK/EU/EEA;

  • be a genuine collaboration between UK filmmakers and filmmakers in or from Brazil, the Middle East or African continent. This may be by way of citizenship, nationality or residency status of the collaborators. For example, it could come through a co-production arrangement, or through working with a writer, director or documentary subject based partly or wholly in Brazil, the Middle East or African continent. A team may be composed of filmmakers that are now based solely in the UK, if it includes one or more individuals among the writer, director or producer who have nationality or cultural heritage from Brazil, the Middle East or African continent;

  • be seeking to tell an LGBTQIA+ story.

If you are a director and writer looking for a producer, or a producer looking for a writer and director, and you would like to make one of the More Films for Freedom but cannot currently apply due to not being a full team, we will be running an international meet up session designed to help you find those collaborators.

Date: Wednesday 16 March at 14.30 (UK time)

The meet-up will last approximately one hour. 

Sign up here


How do I apply?

  • You will need to complete an online application that presents your creative proposal, and send together with your script (or treatment for a documentary / storyboard for animation), your budget (you can download a budget template below), writer/director/producer’s bios, as well as links to previous work. Full details of the applications process are provided in the Guidelines.



  • Applications close at 5:00PM (GMT)on Monday 4th April 2022.

  • A shortlist of up to ten projects will be invited for a virtual interview with a panel of BFI and British Council staff in late April 2022

  • Each of the three selected projects will be awarded a grant of up to £20,000

  • Selected films will need to be completed and fully delivered by 6th February 2023


Please read the Guidelines carefully.

For any additional questions, please get in touch at

The deadline for applications is 5:00PM on Monday 4th April


Applications are now closed.

We look forward to receiving your application!