Please take careful note of the different funding options we offer and recent changes below before submitting an application.
Development feature funding – recent changes
As of August 2013, the Film Fund only accepts live-action, fictional feature film development applications from filmmakers who have already had a feature film produced and theatrically distributed. We still accept development funding applications for animated films and documentaries from filmmakers who have yet to make their first feature.
For emerging filmmakers seeking development funding for their live-action feature film, we have launched the BFI NET.WORK – a new UK-wide talent development programme in partnership with National Screen Agencies, helping new and emerging filmmakers to reach their full potential.
All live-action applications for development funding from emerging talent (i.e. if the writer and/or director attached to your project has yet to have a feature film produced and released) should now be made directly to the NET.WORK.
More information on the NET.WORK, and how and where to apply, is available here. This is a different application process from the Film Fund system detailed below.
All shorts funding is now managed directly through the BFI NET.WORK by the National Screen Agencies (Creative England, Northern Ireland Screen, Film Agency Wales and Creative Scotland). Film London is also running two additional schemes for London-based filmmakers. Please visit their websites to find information on current and future schemes applicable to you. The application form on this page is only for feature film funding.
Production feature funding
We make approximately 20-25 major production awards per year. We are committed to supporting a range of bold and distinctive work, from both new and established filmmakers, that enriches British film culture and showcases the diversity of the UK and its storytellers.
Production funding is split into the following strands:
- Production funding for established filmmakers
The Film Fund accepts fictional feature film applications from filmmakers who have already had a feature film produced and theatrically distributed or exhibited. We welcome work in both live-action and animation, in any genre and at a range of budget levels.
As the Film Fund is a Lottery distributor, priority is given to those projects which cannot be fully or adequately financed by the marketplace, and where there is an element of commercial or creative risk.
- First feature production funding
The Film Fund selects features from first-time directors (for production funding at budgets of under £2,000,000) at quarterly intervals. We receive a high volume of applications from new directors, and have found it beneficial to look at these applications alongside each other. We also 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 can be made at any point, but will be assessed after the quarterly deadline for submission has passed and in accordance with a specific process. See Funding for first-time directors for more details. This is for production funding only.
- Completion funding
We accept live-action, fictional, animated and documentary completion applications. Applicants must have a feature-length cut in place in order for the project to be assessed.
Documentaries will only be considered for completion funding if they have a feature-length cut in place, and must be in talks with sales agents and distributors about their strategy.
- Documentary production funding
The BFI Film Fund will now consider production applications from documentary filmmakers through twice-yearly pitching sessions in Sheffield and London with a panel of Fund executives, industry experts and peers. Any filmmakers wishing to apply for production funding for documentaries should read through our documentary funding information, in addition to the documents above, and note that their application to the Film Fund will be handled through this new process.
We cannot consider projects that have been awarded BFI development funding three months prior to applying for production funding. In such cases these projects must apply for the following pitch, in order to comply with our guidelines.
- International co-productions
We allocate some of our funds to co-production awards, to support UK co-productions where the majority of the creative input comes from one of the UK’s partner countries. Priority will be given to projects where:
- A world-class, non-British filmmaker wishes to engage with UK talent or cultural content.
- UK involvement enhances the international appeal of an exceptional project that has been originated outside of the UK.
- An international project gives an opportunity to an outstanding, emerging talent from the UK.
Applications for co-production funding are made in the usual way, as per the Film Fund’s production awards.
Feature film funding – guidelines
Please ensure you have read the full information document for our funding before you complete the application form and take careful note of the changes described above.
Applying to the Film Fund
Before you proceed to the application form below, please note that applicants who wish to apply to the Film Fund are first asked to create an account. This is requested for the applicants’ convenience in order to allow the application to be saved before submitting it.
The account also allows the British Film Institute to confirm by email that the application has been received. At this point, applicants will be sent a unique Application ID for their records. Once applicants have an account set up, future applications will be pre-populated with their contact details.
To make a new application to the Film Fund if you already have an account login, or to create an account login if you are a new applicant, please proceed to the application form below:
The applicant will be able to access all previously submitted applications, including in-progress applications, at any point by logging into their account:
Contacting us and FAQ
Please refer to our frequently asked questions before contacting the Film Fund, as these may help answer your queries.
Future funding opportunities
For more information see Film Forever, the BFI’s plan for 2012-2017.