BFI NETWORK England short film funding

For live action, animation and immersive/virtual reality.

BFI NETWORK short film fund open

This fund is open to filmmaking teams with directors based in England. It supports the production costs of standalone fiction films. These can be live action, animation or immersive/VR and must be no more than 15 minutes long. The fund is intended to stimulate new ideas and stories, so it doesn’t support adaptations of existing material, apart from of the writer’s own previous work.

If your project does not fit the criteria for this fund (for example, your director is based outside England, or your project is a documentary), use our funding finder page to find relevant opportunities.

How much you can apply for

You can apply for funds from £5,000 to £25,000.

Demand for BFI NETWORK funding

Based on previous rounds, we expect to receive a very high number of applications to this fund, and we have a limited amount of funding available. In 2023, we received 1,161 applications and were only able to offer funding to 36 of these films. 

Our detailed guidelines will help you and your team decide if this is the right funding route for your project, and give you details about how we assess applications, and the priorities that guide those difficult decisions about which projects we will support.

Working with BFI NETWORK

If your application is successful, along with the funding amount, your project will also receive support and creative oversight from a BFI NETWORK Talent Executive in the region where your director lives. 

As well as working with you before and during production, the Talent Executives may be able to advise funded filmmakers on:

  • finding screening opportunities regionally and further afield
  • ways to meet potential collaborators for your project
  • festival strategy for your project
  • other means to gain industry exposure for your work

How to apply

Applications are open from Tuesday 12 March 2024 to midday Thursday 9 May 2024.

You need to read the funding guidelines before you apply. The application link is included in the guidelines.

For more information on funding you can apply for and what support we provide, read our FAQs.

If you have any questions relating to this funding or your application, you can email

Audio guidelines

You can also listen to an audio version of the guidelines on Soundcloud.

Finding collaborators for your projects

If you are looking for a writer, director or producer to work with on your project, you can get in touch with your local BFI NETWORK team to see if they have any upcoming networking events. 

Get help with your application

We are committed to making our funding accessible to all. If you have access requirements and need some support applying for funding, see access support for BFI funding applicants.

Alternative formats to introduce BFI NETWORK Short Film Funding

The resources below will give you a summary of information about the fund. They do not supersede the main funding guidelines. If you want to apply for BFI NETWORK England Short Film Funding, you must read the full guidelines.

British Sign Language Introduction

Easy read introduction

This Easy Read Introduction is only a summary of information and does not supersede the main funding guidelines. If you want to apply for BFI NETWORK England Short Film Funding you must read the full guidelines.

Since the very first National Lottery draw in 1994, public support – raised directly through National Lottery ticket sales – has funded more than 670,000 projects, raising more than £46 billion for good causes. As a recipient, it is important to publicly acknowledge the source of this funding throughout the lifespan of the project. Effectively communicating that it is supported by BFI National Lottery funding ensures those engaging with the work recognise the value and benefit of this unique Good Cause funding. Therefore, if your application is successful, you will be responsible for prominently crediting BFI National Lottery funding and thanking National Lottery players. As such, you are encouraged to ensure that elements of your project/s which have the potential to engage a broad public audience are capitalised on, in order to communicate this message. More details will be supplied once an award has been made.