Film Festival Fund FAQ

Frequently asked questions about applications to the Film Festival Fund.

Can I discuss my ideas with someone before I make an application?

We strongly advise that you email us at before you make an application, providing a brief outline of your festival and what you would like the BFI to support, and attaching an indicative income and expenditure budget. We will respond within five working days.

In the first instance, please read the Film Festival Fund guidelines and these frequently asked questions.

If you are applying for Strand 2, it is part of the process that you will need to have discussed your ideas with us before making an application.


What information do I need to include in the application?

Please refer to the guidelines for advice on completing the application form.

How do I check the status of my current application?

When we have received your submission, we will send you a confirmation email. Please see the guidelines for an indicative timetable for us to process your application and get back to you. If you have any queries, please use our contact form.

How can I log in to my account?

You can log in to your account by using the account login link on the Film Festival Fund page. Logging into your account allows you to access your in-progress or submitted application. If you do not have an account you will be asked to register for one prior to starting your application.

What kinds of festivals will be funded through the Film Festival Fund?

This Fund is aimed at supporting a broad range of film festival activity in the UK as listed in the overview, from community provision through to sustaining the ambition and reach of those festivals which are of national or international significance. The Fund covers the UK and we wish to support activity right across the country.

What can awards from the Film Festival Fund support?

Funding can be used for costs associated with programming and events, including marketing, access costs and evaluation. The Fund can provide support for staffing as long as these are not core staffing costs and overheads, i.e. the fund could support a time-limited post / consultancy which will deliver specific activities for the edition of the festival for which you are seeking support. The Fund will not cover capital purchases. Please refer to section five of the guidelines for more detail on what funding can and cannot be used for.

Should I apply for Strand 1 or Strand 2?

Please refer to the guidelines.

Strand 1 supports those festivals which offer a strong cultural programme and which serve regional or local audiences, or which may have a particular specialist theme enabling them to reach audiences from further across the UK. Such festivals are usually focused on public audiences, rather than the film industry, and do not generally attract an industry delegation. New festivals can be supported under this strand as long as they demonstrate a clear cultural vision which meets a gap in provision, are based on audience analysis and need, and demonstrate financial viability. The majority of festivals fall under this strand.

Strand 2 supports festivals which have an international or UK-wide reach and profile, enhancing opportunities for the UK film industry nationally and internationally, as well as further increasing audience choice. New festivals will not be supported under this strand.

Why do applicants from festivals in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales have to supply a letter of support and additional information with their applications?

This is because in addition to funding from the BFI, applicants can access funding from partners in the nations: Northern Ireland Screen, Creative Scotland and Ffilm Cymru. The BFI Film Festival Fund will therefore prioritise festivals which are based in England but in certain circumstances, where it is clear that an allocation of funding from the BFI can give added value, we will also provide additional support for festivals based elsewhere in the UK. Such festivals will need to demonstrate support from their agency, as well as making the case for additional funding from the BFI. Please refer to the guidelines.

Some of the points in the assessment criteria are not relevant to my festival. Will my application automatically fail if I cannot address every point?

No, not all questions in the assessment criteria section will be relevant to every festival – as a basic rule the more funding you request the more questions you need to address.

Can I submit an application for funding for a new festival?

See ‘Should I apply for Strand 1 or Strand 2?’ above.

Why is funding only available until 2017?

The Film Festival Fund is part of the BFI’s Film Forever strategy which runs until the end of the financial year in 2017. The investment period for this Fund therefore is the four year period up until end March 2017.

My question has not been answered here. How do I contact you?

Please submit your query using our contact form.

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