Applications are now closed. The next round will open in April 2022.
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.
The Short Film Fund opens twice a year in the Spring and Autumn. 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:
21/22 | Autumn Round
Applications open: Tuesday 31 August
Applications close: Monday 27 September (midday)
Applicants informed of decision: by Friday 17 December 2021
Deadline for securing additional finance: Monday 28 February 2022
Awards Announced: by 31 March 2022
Download our Guidance on Co-finance here
Once the Talent Executives and external readers have completed their assessments, the regional Talent Executives will be in touch with shortlisted teams to discuss projects in more detail. The assessment process should be complete - with all teams receiving confirmation of the Talent Executive’s decision on whether or not they would like to support your project - by 17 December. We anticipate making funding recommendations to the Lottery Finance Committee throughout January, February and March 2022, after which applicants will be informed in writing of the final outcome.
We expect all funded teams to enter production within 5 months of receiving this formal confirmation of their award approval (i.e. we expect all live action projects in this round to shoot by 31 August 2022, and all animated projects to have started principal animation).
22/23 | Spring Round – indicative dates
Applications open: 4th April 2022
Applications close: 2nd May 2022
Applicants informed of decision: 18th July 2022
Deadline for securing additional finance: TBC
Awards Announced: by January 2023