An update on current and future funding opportunities in England

An update on current and future funding opportunities for new and emerging filmmakers in England.

24 July 2017
As part of BFI2022 we laid out our plans for talent development in England over the next five years, designed to support a bright future for British film. 
Delivered through our UK-wide funded partners, we established the BFI NETWORK in 2013 to provide specific focus and support for talent development, and increase the number of filmmakers and projects supported outside London.
Considering the need for greater diversity in decision-making roles, we are growing the BFI NETWORK to provide a tiered talent programme with a greater number of quality access points for funding and support, and we are working with more partners UK-wide and creating stronger regional talent bases.
Where to apply for funding now
If your work has already gained some attention but you’ve not yet made a feature film, at present you will be best served by the Emerging Talent Fund, which our colleagues at Creative England will continue running until March 2018. They will take new applications for the fund until 30 September 2017.
The Emerging Talent Fund supports feature film development, including the production of proof-of-concept shorts, and you can find out more about that support here
What are we doing in the future?
The BFI NETWORK will offer more outreach and clearer progression paths for rising filmmakers, from early shorts through to feature development.
From April 2018, there will be a new role for the five English region Hubs of the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN), each housing BFI NETWORK talent executives who will identify and support filmmakers making early shorts or developing ideas for longer-form work. They will build talent and partner relationships at a regional level, ranging from the BFI Film Academies to our Vision Award producers, and take a broader approach to talent, form and platform - watch this space for further announcements.
We will continue to work with the national screen agencies in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on programmes which best mirror this approach.
The BFI NETWORK website has the potential to help us reach talent that might otherwise be limited by financial and geographical barriers, and we’re thrilled that we can now offer financial support to the most promising talent we discover via the Postroom. If you’re just getting started as a filmmaker, this might be the next step up the ladder you’re looking for. It really couldn’t be easier to connect with the BFI NETWORK - simply create an account, send us your work, and we’ll consider you for a funding award towards your next project.
Other UK-wide support includes a year-round partnership with BAFTA to support networking and professional development across the UK and online; and key moments in the BFI NETWORK calendar – such as NETWORK @ LFF and the NETWORK Weekender – for the professional development of writers, directors and producers to come together, network with peers and learn from professionals. Other partnerships and programmes - including support for documentary and new forms - will be announced later this year.
Applying to the BFI for first feature development
The BFI Film Fund will resume the direct development of first features within the Film Fund including script and proof of concept work from 1 October 2017, when we will start taking new applications.  Although Creative England will close applications for development on 30 September 2017, they will continue to develop and support successful applications up until March 2018.
To apply directly to the BFI Film Fund, you will need to have reached a certain stage of project development. We are currently preparing new, easier to use funding guidelines and application forms, which will detail this across all of our funds including development. These will contain full eligibility criteria but it is likely that you will be required to come through one of the following routes:
- Early development of the project has been supported by BFI NETWORK through one of our UK partners or FAN hubs; OR
- The project is being developed by a BFI Vision Award producer; OR
- The project is being submitted by a producer with feature production experience; OR
- You have made significant development progress to date via another channel or partner - in this case you should contact us first before making an application.
If your project is at an earlier stage of development, then we will encourage you to apply to the new BFI NETWORK Hubs for early development, from 1 April 2018.
NOTICE: With the exception of pilots and other proof of concept work, there will be no BFI Lottery funding available in England for standalone shorts between 1 October 2017 and 31 March 2018. During this period, eligible filmmakers can still seek support via the Postroom opportunity described above. 
BFI NETWORK partners in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will continue to provide funding at all stages of development. See the Funding Finder for more info. If you live in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland you should always apply to the relevant BFI NETWORK partner for support in the first instance, before seeking support from the BFI Film Fund. 
If you have any questions you can get in touch with us