The BFI Audience Fund awards money from the National Lottery to support audience-focused film activities, including:

  • film festivals
  • film distribution
  • multiplatform distribution proposals
  • touring and large scale film programmes

The fund aims to expand the diversity of film audiences, with a focus on 16 to 30-year-olds.

It is aimed at projects of national scale and significance. For local projects see BFI Film Audience Network.

The fund is open to new applications.

Types of funding

•    Project awards support culturally ambitious, national proposals that increase audience diversity
•    Organisational awards support experienced organisations offer activities to find new audiences to engage with film

Organisational awards are now closed to applications and no new call is planned.

Who can apply

Applicants to the fund must be legally constituted organisations that are centrally managed in the UK

They should have direct, UK-based experience of film distribution, exhibition and audience development activities, and will likely be organisations such as:

  • film distributors
  • cinemas, including chains or consortia
  • film festivals
  • film and video archives and collections
  • arts organisations with experience of film curation

Individuals cannot apply.

The level of BFI support needed should be £20,000 or more.

Applicants should have partnership support.

Our funding priorities

We want to see a longterm benefit for audience development for independent British and international film.

We prioritise proposals demonstrating:

  • a focus on increasing the diversity of audiences
  • national scale and significance
  • significant cultural ambition

If you’d like to discuss our priorities before applying, please email

What you need to provide

The application form requires:

  • details of your proposal and how it meets the fund’s objectives and priorities
  • an overview of your organisation
  • details of any partnerships
  • the level of award being requested
  • activity targets, for example admissions and box office
  • details of how your proposal will meet the BFI’s Diversity Standards

You should submit as separate documents:

Budget templates

Apply for funding

Read the BFI Audience Fund guidelines before making an application.

If you wish to see the online application form before applying, please download the application preview.

If you wish to listen to the audio guidelines for this fund, please use the link below.

Please submit the application at least 16 weeks before the proposed project start date.

We aim to let applicants know the outcome of their application within 12 weeks.

If you have any questions relating to the fund or application, please contact

We can provide assistance to applicants who have a disability, are D/deaf, have a visual or hearing impairment or are neurodiverse, where this support is needed for someone to make an application. See Access support for BFI Film Fund applicants.