What funding is available?
BFI NETWORK supports emerging writers, directors and producers. We have two funding streams available in England: one for short film production and one for feature film treatment development. You can find out more about BFI NETWORK short film funding including our partner funds across the UK for filmmakers based outside of England on the BFI NETWORK funding finder page.
Do you fund documentary projects?
Our partners Doc Society run the Made of Truth: BFI Doc Society Fund, providing short film funding for documentary filmmakers in partnership with BFI NETWORK. If you are making, or aspiring to make, documentaries they’re a valuable resource – check out their website here.
I’m thinking of applying for funding with you, where do I start and what advice would you give me?
We’re looking for talented storytellers and unique, achievable ideas.
Anyone considering applying should thoroughly read the fund guidelines for the type of funding you are interested in. These explain who can apply and what is required for an application.
For the BFI NETWORK England short film funding we also have an easy read introduction and a BSL version on our dedicated fund page.
Please note that BFI NETWORK funding is highly competitive and unfortunately we have to turn down the majority of eligible applications we receive. Filmmakers are expected to already have a background in creating moving-image work or be able to demonstrate experience in similar disciplines. The BFI offers support for earlier career filmmakers through BFI Film Academy, find out more here.
If you still have questions once you’ve read the guidelines we’re happy to help. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
FAQs for BFI NETWORK England short film funding
If you are based in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales, or seeking to make a documentary, please see our BFI NETWORK Funding Finder page for links to our partners’ websites, where you can find their eligibility criteria.
Can I apply without a producer?
You will need a producer to apply for BFI NETWORK England short film funding. The writer and producer may be the same person.
You do not need a producer to apply to the BFI NETWORK Feature Treatment Funding (for the development of a feature film treatment) which will be re-launched in summer 2023.
Who completes the application form?
If applying for our BFI NETWORK England short film funding the producer will submit the application and be listed as the named applicant on the form. The director will need to fill in a ‘creative vision’ section, but the producer will be the main contact for the project and the named recipient of the award.
If applying for BFI NETWORK Feature Treatment Funding the writer will submit the application and be listed as the main contact and recipient of the award.
Why do I need a producer to apply for short film funding in England?
BFI NETWORK England short film funding is designed to support writers, directors and producers to take a clear next step in their career. During the complex production process, we want to ensure directors and producers can fully focus on their specific role on the project, which will help the project and the team to reach their full creative potential. The director and producer both take on a large number of different responsibilities during production and we want to ensure the people in these roles don’t have a split of focus which could lead to a detrimental experience for them, their cast, crew or impact the quality of the final film.
The producer role is an integral part of the creative process, and BFI NETWORK funding is designed to offer as many opportunities across the UK for emerging filmmakers across the roles of writer, director and producer as possible.
Our funding aims to support filmmakers to move closer to longer form work and take bigger risks in their work with form and content, and we see the collaborative nature of film as being an integral part of a filmmaker’s career development to move towards longer form.
BFI NETWORK Talent Executives have creative oversight of funded projects, but the producer is responsible for the overall delivery of a funded project, and BFI NETWORK does not actively produce or production manage funded films.
BFI NETWORK is aiming to launch a Micro short initiative during 2023-24, which will be designed to give newer talent who may not yet have been able to make a funded piece of work a more structured support process, without the need for them to secure a dedicated producer.
Your producer does not need to be based in the same region as you are and can be based anywhere in the UK.
How can I find a producer for my short film project?
There are some really useful tips on finding a producer on this webpage Finding collaborators — Film Hub Midlands and your local Hub may organise regional networking events and producer labs which can highlight exciting new producers coming through in your local area. Find your local BFI NETWORK team on our website but remember your producer does not need to be based in the same region you are and can be based anywhere in the UK.
We’re unable to offer bespoke matchmaking between filmmakers and producers due to the volume of requests we receive and the very specific nature of this relationship, but our partners run networking events and labs, so please sign up to our newsletter and follow us on social media.
Do you fund genre films?
Yes we fund a broad range of genres and styles, and welcome new perspectives. We focus on narrative storytelling, as opposed to experimental non-narrative moving image or films focused on other arts such as dance or poetry.
Can I apply to BFI NETWORK England short film funding if our budget is higher than £25,000?
We do accept applications for projects with budgets above £25,000, but please note that the additional funding should be secured or very close to being secured before your application. Please read the guidelines for full details on co-finance.
Can I apply to BFI NETWORK England Short Film Funding if our budget is less than £25,000?
Yes. The maximum amount we award is £25,000, but we accept and encourage applications under this amount. We hope to receive applications at a range of budget levels; we don’t expect to support many projects at the top end of £25,000 and would not encourage very early stage filmmakers to submit an application for the maximum amount of £25,000.
What support can you offer people who have specific access needs
We want our funds to be as inclusive and accessible as possible.
For the BFI NETWORK England short film funding, we have created a British Sign Language (BSL) video and Easy Read document that introduce the funding.
It is important you still read the full funding guidelines, which are also available in an audio version.
If you’d like support when making your application, you can find information on access support for BFI fund applicants.
You can also apply for additional access costs relating to your production, details on this are in the guidelines.
Where can I find resources for short film funding?
The Short Film Toolkit is a resource of filmed conversations featuring filmmakers, funders, festival programmers and distribution experts exploring short filmmaking in the round.