Production and development funding FAQ

How long will it take to process my application, and how do I check the status of my current application?

Once you’ve submitted your application, you should receive a confirmation email within a week. If you are applying to for Documentary or First Features funding, these have set timetables for the consideration of applications and you might only receive your confirmation email once the next deadline has passed. For all types of funding, we will contact you within eight weeks to let you know whether your project is being considered further.

During this period of time, we may ask for additional materials to support your application. In all, it can take several months for your application to be considered and (if it is successful) to fully secure funding for your film, so please allow plenty of time before you plan to go into production.

I don’t have a producer or production company for my film. Can I still apply?

When submitting a request for Development, Production, First Feature, Documentary or Completion funding, you must have a producer attached to your project. We will not accept projects from individuals who are the sole writer, director and producer. All applications must be made through a UK or EU/EEA registered production company to qualify.

I don’t have a director. Am I still able to apply for funding?

If you’d like to apply for development funding, you do not need a director attached to your project.

If you’re submitting an application for production funding, you must have a director attached to your project. Please read the relevant funding guidelines for more information.

What sort of film projects can I seek Lottery funding for?

If your project is a feature film intended for theatrical release, and is capable of qualifying for British film certification, then it is potentially eligible for BFI Lottery funding.

I’ve got an idea for a film that I’d like to make. Can I speak to someone about funding?

Please make sure to read the relevant application guidelines first, as these may answer any questions you have. Should you need further information, you can get in touch with the Film Fund team through our contact form.

We receive a very high number of applications, so unfortunately we’re not able to discuss projects creatively outside of the application process.

I need to set up my own production company. How do I do this?

The BFI isn’t able to offer advice on setting up a company. If you need further information and advice, you could try contacting Companies House.

Can I include my treatment or script when I submit my application?

It’s not possible to attach any other documentation to your application form. Once your submission has been assessed, we may then request further details from you. This doesn’t guarantee that your application has been accepted – if we ask for additional material, such as the script or treatment, we may still choose to decline your submission.

What do I need to include in my strategic and creative proposals?

Please refer to our guidelines for detailed application information and advice on completing these sections.

What is the deadline for applications? Do you accept late submissions?

Our Production and Development funds are open access, so applications can be submitted all year round. Our First Feature and Documentary funding has set deadlines, so if you submit an application for this funding after one deadline has passed then your application will wait until the next deadline, after which we will consider it.

My application has been rejected. Why?

We make every effort to ensure that our application process is fair and as transparent as possible. Unfortunately, given the volume of applications we receive, we are not able to provide detailed feedback on projects that we have decided not to support.

Your application may have been rejected for a number of reasons. For example:

  • The project was not eligible for funding.
  • We felt the material was too ambitious for the budget.
  • We felt the material was too familiar or derivative.
  • We didn’t feel the filmmakers were experienced enough to make a feature.
  • We didn’t feel that there was sufficient appeal in the project for its target audience.
  • We didn’t feel that the project ‘needed’ Lottery support, i.e. it should be financeable by other means.

Of the 300+ applications we receive each year for production funding, we are only able to support between 25 and 30, so we have to say ‘no’ far more often than we are able to say ‘yes’.

Is there Lottery funding available for my studies?

We do not currently provide funding for any courses or training schemes. You can get more information and advice by contacting Creative Skillset.

Is funding available for short films?

We consider short films to be a vital part of the talent development process. We support short films through the BFI NET.WORK, which aims to discover and develop new and emerging voices, enabling filmmakers to realise their potential and ultimately prepare them for their first feature. Funding for short films and other activities is provided via our partners Creative England, Creative Scotland, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Northern Ireland Screen and Film London.

My short film has been accepted by a film festival, and I’d like funding to attend. Is it possible to apply for this?

For advice on applying for this kind of funding, please get in touch with the British Council – You should also look at BFI NET.WORK opportunities to see if any support is available.

My project is a music video, corporate film, or a project primarily intended for online channels or television. Am I eligible for funding?

The BFI Film Fund only offers Lottery funding for feature-length films that are intended for theatrical release. If your project is for any of the above, we are unable to accept your application.

Can I apply for funding if I’m under the age of 18?

The Film Fund only accepts Lottery funding applications from filmmakers who are over the age of 18, but the BFI Film Academy has been set up for aspiring filmmakers aged 16-19. Please visit the website to see current opportunities to take part.

What are the BFI Diversity Standards?

The Diversity Standards are a set of measures developed by the BFI to gauge the extent to which a project will contribute to creating a more diverse film industry. Applicants for project funding are asked to consider their project in relation to the Diversity Standards as part of their application. Detailed information can be found on the Diversity Standards webpage.

My question isn’t answered here. How do I contact the Film Fund?

Please make sure that you have read through all our guidelines before contacting us with any enquiries. If you still can’t find an answer to your question then please email us at or call the Film Fund on 020 7173 3232.

  • BFI Film Fund

    BFI Film Fund

    The BFI uses National Lottery funds to develop and support original UK filmmakers and films, and to increase the audiences who can enjoy them.

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