Programming Development Fund

The Programming Development Fund supports programming initiatives of cultural significance, high profile and wide reach, encouraging curatorial ambition, achieving economies of scale and bringing films to audiences across the UK in a fresh and original way.

This fund is primarily intended to operate in tandem with the BFI Film Audience Network so applications which engage with the network members may stand a greater chance of success.

Complementing the BFI’s Distribution Fund – which offers support for the release of films on a title by title basis – the Programming Development Fund is designed to help film programmers and exhibitors put together programmes of films which will be enhanced or underpinned by curation, interpretation or education activity.

How to apply

Before applying to the Programming Development Fund please carefully read the guidelines for applicants below for information about the application process, details of what you must include in your application and of how we will assess your application.

Please note that these guidelines, and related templates, supersede all previous versions. Please ensure you use the correct documents for your application.

Once you have read the Guidelines, we recommend that you contact us to discuss your project in advance of making an application. In the first instance please send a brief summary of your project (no more than 1 side A4) to We aim to contact you within five working days to discuss this.

To then make an application to the Programming Development Fund please proceed to the application form below, selecting the correct form for the strand you wish to apply for (the 3 different strands and their specific application processes are detailed in the Guidelines for Applicants). You will need to either sign in with your existing account details or create a new account login if this is your first application using our online system.

Programming Development Fund application form strand 1

Programming Development Fund application form strands 2 & 3

To continue with an in-progress application, log in to your account by clicking on the following link: account login.

You will also need to complete the following templates and include these with your application:

Strand 1 applications

Strand 2 & 3 applications

Application deadlines

The Programming Development Fund operates a rolling submissions policy. We accept applications throughout the year with no formal deadlines. We aim to notify applicants of the outcome within 12 weeks of the date they submit.

Contacting us and FAQs

Please refer to the frequently asked questions before contacting the audience team, as these may help answer your queries. If you still have a query after you have read these FAQs and all the related documents, then please contact us.

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