BFI NETWORK@LFF 2023

We are thrilled to announce the return of BFI NETWORK@LFF. Our prestigious talent development programme centred around the BFI London Film Festival (LFF) is now in its tenth year and better than ever!

NETWORK@LFF 2022 event

BFI NETWORK@LFF will run during the festival, from 6 October until 11 October 2023. It presents an incredible opportunity for emerging filmmakers to access the programme, hear from UK and international filmmakers premiering their work as well as connecting with peers to share industry knowledge and experience. 

Up to 15 outstanding UK-based writers, directors, and producers, who are poised to make a significant impact in the film industry, will immerse themselves in a journey of screenings, events, and personalised sessions with industry professionals. 

We are looking for filmmakers from across the UK with a significant body of short-form work that could support a move to feature films.  

Read the full guidelines to check if you are eligible for this program. 

BFI NETWORK@LFF is made possible thanks to National Lottery funding.


Making an application to BFI NETWORK@LFF

1. Overview

We expect the programme will be made up of screenings and events within the festival programme as well as networking opportunities and showcasing of participants work. 

All of the activity will take place during the first week of the festival (6 to 11 October) with scheduled sessions that all participants must attend between 6 to 9 October. It will include allocated free time for participants to engage in the festival programme and interact with each other, all taking place in London. 

Within reason, travel and accommodation requirements will be covered as part of the programme. 

Successful applicants would need to be able to commit to attending at least 6 to 9 October to attend about 10 scheduled in person events with 4 to 6 overnight stays. If you’re successful, the exact programme schedule will be provided to you. 

If you’re unable to attend the scheduled dates, you’ll have the opportunity, prior to commencement, to elect to leave the programme without financial implications (see Offer of place — Special terms and conditions for participants below). 

Events and opportunities covered during the programme are likely to include but are not restricted to: 

  • Access to the Festival and Industry programme
    • You’ll have festival accreditation allowing you full access to the festival screenings and industry events. Recommendations will be made along with allocated time to engage with the festival freely. 
  • Private Screenings + Filmmaker Q&A from the festival programme
    • A selection of work will be screened privately with filmmakers at the festival who will be invited to meet the cohort for a Q&A on their work. Previous screenings have included Pretty Red Dress (Dionne Edwards and Georgia Goggins) and Joyland (Saim Sadiq) 
  • Networking opportunities 
    • The cohort will be invited to industry events throughout the programme to meet filmmakers, commissioners and other guests in attendance. Along with a closing drinks reception hosted by BFI NETWORK there will be an opportunity to join similar events with invites historically from BFI Filmmaking Fund, BBC Films and BFI London Film Festival. 
  • Showcasing of work 
    • As part of the LFF For Free programme you’ll be invited to introduce and screen your work at a public screening hosted at BFI Southbank. 
  • Introduction to BFI Filmmaking Fund 
    • BFI Stephen Street will be the main venue throughout the festival with a dedicated space for you to meet and interact throughout the programme. As part of the introduction to the event members of the BFI Filmmaking Fund will meet with filmmakers and discuss the festival and their picks. 

 

2. Who can apply? 

We are looking for the brightest emerging filmmakers that the UK has to offer. Those who are ignited by an insatiable passion to make their voices known and push the boundaries of what audiences have come to expect from UK film. We want to hear from filmmakers who have a distinct quality to their short form work, a unique tone that sets them apart, a perspective we’ve yet to uncover. 

We welcome creatives from all backgrounds and disciplines who are looking ahead to their debut feature or long form commission. This is your chance to show us yourselves – Who do you want to be? What do you want to make? 

In order to be eligible to apply you must be able to satisfy all of the following conditions: 

  •  resident in the UK 
  •  over 18 and outside of full-time education 
  • not have written, produced or directed a feature film that has received UK distribution (this includes via online platforms) 
  • have produced, written or directed a significant body of short-form work and be looking to make the step to your first feature or long-form commission. 
    • by significant body of work, we mean a creative track record of multiple works in your field (that might include short film, music video, theatre, TV, web series) that have garnered industry recognition by way of funding or commissions, awards and festival selection, critical praise or a substantial online audience. 

If you are unsure if this programme is suitable for you or you have enough experience, email bfinetwork@bfi.org.uk.

 

3. How to apply 

    Applications are now closed.

    Competition for places will be considerable, and we can only support a small number of applicants. 

    4. What happens next? 

    Participants will be selected on the overall strength of their application, as well as their eligibility for the programme. We will also take into account: 

    • the extent to which the programme is likely to benefit your career progression as a filmmaker 
    • the strength of your work to date and your upcoming projects  
    • representation of all UK regions and nations across the cohort 
    • your demonstration of need for BFI NETWORK support. Places can only be offered to creatives who demonstrate a compelling case for National Lottery support and a clear public benefit from the activity being funded. 

    Stage 1

    Eligible applications will be read and assessed by the BFI NETWORK team and/or BFI Filmmaking Fund team. We may also use external assessors depending upon the overall number of applications that we receive. 

    Stage 2

    Following assessment, a shortlist of applicants will be invited for interview; the panel will include members of the BFI NETWORK and Film Fund team. Interviews are likely to take place week commencing 11 September 2023. Those not selected for the shortlist will be notified by email. 

      Successful applicants will be notified by 15 September.

      We regret that owing to the large number of applications we receive we are unable to provide feedback to applicants other than those called for interview. 

      We are unable to accept resubmissions or alterations of applications after the application deadline unless further information or supporting material is requested from the assessment panel. 

      This date may change, depending on the volume of applications we receive. 

       

      5. Offer of place — special terms and conditions of participation 

      If you’re selected as a participant, you’ll be asked to enter into an agreement with the BFI setting out the terms and conditions attached to your participation in the programme. In addition to the General Conditions of National Lottery Funding for successful applicants, they will include: 

      • Confirming your participation and supplying us with personal details authorising us to make arrangements in your name.
      • As a participant in the programme, you’ll be benefiting from a non-cash grant funded through the National Lottery. As such, as an award recipient, we are required to publicise information about participants including names and a brief biography. 
      • All reasonable travel and accommodation costs associated with participating in the programme will be met by the BFI provided that they are agreed with us in advance or booked directly by the BFI. We will not be providing subsistence or “per diems” but meals may be provided during sessions. 
      • We’ll also meet reasonable costs associated with any personal access needs that an individual might encounter in order to participate fully in the programme. We define such needs as specific support with an actual cash cost required by people who are disabled or have a physical or mental health condition. For example: a BSL interpreter or additional transport or accommodation costs for disabled individuals. Successful applicants are Invited to discuss this with us once they have received an offer of a place on the programme. 
      • You’ll be expected to attend all events, sessions, meetings etc. organised by the BFI, as part of the overall programme and to represent, promote and advocate for the UK screen sector. In doing so, you’re expected to act in a collegiate and collaborative manner, adhering to all relevant codes of conduct, for example, those in use by the BFI London Film Festival.
      • Following the confirmation of programme dates you’ll be given the opportunity to withdraw from the programme. If you then agree to participate, and subsequently fail to attend part or all of the programme and/or to meaningfully engage with its activities, you will be required to reimburse the associated costs incurred on your behalf (unless BFI at its sole discretion agrees otherwise). 
      • The BFI has Anti-Bullying, Harassment and Racism guidance and principles in place and is committed to providing a safe, welcoming, accessible, and inclusive work environment for all our participants, partners and organisers, in-person and online. Our expectation is that every delegate, representative, or partner attending our events or programmes, as well as every member of our team is behaving in a respectful, responsible and reasonable way towards colleagues. Any kind of discrimination, abuse, harassment, harmful behaviour or bullying, such as: use of offensive or discriminatory language; intimidating behaviour; micro-aggressions have no place on our programmes and anyone not observing these principles will be stopped from attending immediately and asked to reimburse the costs incurred by BFI by way of this non-cash grant. 
      • You’ll be required to comply with all applicable laws associated with your attendance at the programme and not act in a way which, in our reasonable opinion, might be damaging to the BFI or the National Lottery’s, reputations or goodwill whether directly, by association or otherwise. 
      • You’ll be asked to complete an evaluation form at the end of the programme.