Supporting new filmmakers is a priority for the Film Fund, and we receive a high volume of applications, so we have found it beneficial to look at these applications at the same time. We believe that a more structured approach allows us to provide successful applicants with the right level of editorial collaboration and support in raising finance. Applications are welcomed at any time but will be assessed after the relevant deadlines for submissions and according to a set process which will include meetings with film-makers.
Applications for First-time Directors should be made on the Film Fund online application form.
Please read this information to find out whether this strand of the Film Fund would be applicable to you.
Who are we looking for?
This Film Fund process is aimed for producers working with a director on their first feature. As with all applications, they must be made by the producer through a company registered in the UK or another state of the European Union or European Economic Area and registered as a branch in the UK.
You must be able to express in your application the reasons why you feel the director is ready to make their first feature film, and we would ask you to describe the experiences they bring with them.
We will assess your application alongside examples of the director’s work. This could be short films, music videos, pilots, or whatever is applicable to their previous experience and supports your reasons for applying to this strand of the Fund.
Your film must be feature length and intended for theatrical release.
We accept applications in any genre. Please note that funding for documentaries is treated differently, and you should read the separate documentary funding sheet for more information.
You will need to have a finance plan in place and if possible identify the financial partners that would be willing to invest in your feature, alongside the BFI.
See Can I apply? Section of the Film Fund guidelines for other eligibility criteria.
After each deadline applications will be read and assessed by Film Fund executives.
A number of projects will be shortlisted over the course of the next 8 weeks.
Shortlisted filmmakers will be invited to meetings at the BFI to discuss their project further.
Decisions will be made based upon the filmmaker meetings, and Letters of Intent issued in accordance with the standard process for the Film Fund. We may make an announcement after issuing those Letters.
When to apply
Applications can be made at any time but will not be assessed until the next deadline for applications has passed (this list will routinely be updated):
|Deadline for applications||Friday 6 September|
|Longlist meeting||Monday 21 October|
|Shortlist meeting||Monday 4 November|
|Filmmaker meetings||Week commencing Monday 11 November|
|Awards meeting and decisions||Week commencing Monday 18 November|
|Deadline for applications||Friday 24 January|
|Longlist meeting||Monday 10 March|
|Shortlist meeting||Monday 24 March|
|Filmmaker meetings||Week commencing Monday 24 March|
|Awards meeting and decisions||Week commencing Monday 7 April|