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Digitisation Fund

The BFI’s Unlocking Film Heritage Digitisation Fund Phase Three is now open.

We are working to make our film heritage available for everyone in the UK to enjoy by investing in digitisation, preservation, interpretation and access with the ultimate goal of making all of the UK’s screen heritage accessible to the public digitally. The Digitisation Fund has up to £5m over three years to support the digitisation of films from significant public and rights holders’ collections across the UK.

By digitising our heritage we will ensure that the people of the UK, filmmakers, educationalists, researchers and other users can access and enjoy the full range of British filmmaking, regardless of where they live or where that film heritage is held. This unprecedented access will transform our understanding of the shape, history and diversity of film and TV in Britain.

Coronation Celebrations in Burgess Hill (1953)

Coronation Celebrations in Burgess Hill (1953)
Credit: Screen Archive South East

The Way We Live (1946)

The Way We Live (1946)
Credit: BFI National Archive

Our Digitisation Fund will result in a significant increase in public access to film and TV titles across the UK. To achieve this goal a total of £5 million, with £1.5 million available in the third phase, is being made available over the length of the programme for the digitising of 5,000 titles from external collections.

Heather Stewart, BFI Creative Director, Programme comments:

“Our Unlocking Film Heritage programme will result in a radical change in public access to British film and TV. We are hugely excited to be able to digitise 5,000 titles through this fund, in addition to the 5,000 from the BFI National Archive. Many of these 10,000 titles have been unknown and unseen for decades.”

The digitisation fund will support technical costs of digitisation and will prioritise material that will appeal to new and diverse audiences, and represent and relate to all areas of the UK.

The titles to be digitised must have originated on film. These will include films from 1895 onwards and comprise documentaries, amateur films, news films, films originally designed as public records, political films, sponsored and industrial films, advertisements, feature films, short fiction, animation, artists’ moving image and TV programmes.

This round of applications is open to national and regional film archives and significant screen heritage collections (see guidelines PDF below) and to rights holders and collection owners.

There are two strands of funding available:

  • Strand 1 for Commercial Rights Holders
  • Strand 2 for Significant Public Collections

How to apply

Before you apply, please read our guidelines for more details, including how we assess applications.

To make an application and create an account login, please proceed to the application form below:

The application deadline is 5pm 21 August 2015.

To access in-progress and submitted applications, you can log in to your account by clicking on the link below:

Contacting us and FAQs

Please refer to our frequently asked questions before contacting our team, as these may help answer your queries. If the FAQs do not answer your question, please use the contact form.

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  • Strategic priority three

    Strategic priority three

    Unlocking film heritage for everyone in the UK to enjoy by investing in preservation, digitisation, interpretation and access.

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  • BFI National Archive

    BFI National Archive

    We care for one of the greatest collections of film and television in the world.

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