Making an Application for BFI National Lottery Short Form Animation funding

This guide gives you advice and recommendations on how to write a good application for BFI National Lottery Short Form Animation funding.

1. Overview

The BFI National Lottery Short Form Animation Fund (the “Fund”) provides support for higher-budget animated short films, made by UK-based teams. The Fund supports narrative short form projects in any animated technique or genre, which are unlikely to be fully commercially financed and would therefore benefit from National Lottery support.

This Fund aims to give UK animators who have gained industry attention for their work the chance to create a project at a higher budget level. It supports short form animated work as an artform in itself, as well as a potential springboard for filmmakers to move on to longer form work. Films supported by previous rounds of the Fund have found success at film festivals, award ceremonies and through online distribution. They have allowed filmmakers to practice new approaches and animation techniques. We are looking for projects that will enable their teams to advance their creative practice, take risks and rise to a new level of ambition.

Eligible applicants can seek production funding of between £30,000 to £120,000. We have limited funds and hope to receive applications at a range of budget levels and requests. We don’t expect to provide many awards at the maximum level of £120,000 per project and may offer applicants a lower amount than the one initially requested.

2. Delivering against our National Lottery Strategy

Core priorities

We apply the following six priorities when reviewing applications. These take in the three National Lottery strategic principles as well as outcomes identified in our National Lottery strategy. You will be asked to address some of these directly in your application to us.   

1. Equity, diversity and inclusion: addressing under-representation in perspective and representation, talent and recruitment, agency and opportunities, widening the range of voices and audiences served.

2. Impact and audience: supporting projects with a strong cultural or progressive impact for audiences.

3. Talent development and progression: supporting early career filmmakers (producers, writers and directors) and projects with a reasonable proportion of early career cast and crew.

4. Risk: supporting projects that take creative risks.

5. UK-wide: increasing the number of projects and filmmakers outside London and the South East, looking at location and representation.

6. Environmental sustainability: addressing sustainability both creatively and practically.

BFI Diversity Standards

We ask applicants to address priority one – equity, diversity and inclusion – through engaging with the BFI Diversity Standards for film. You will need to demonstrate how your project meaningfully tackles under-representation in relation to disability, gender, race, age, sexual orientation and socio-economic status, while also considering the interactions of these identities and any other barriers to opportunity. 

The Fund prioritises projects that look to make a significant contribution to improving equity, diversity and inclusion within the animation community and so your application will need to make clear, specific commitments to making this change. Read further guidance on the BFI Diversity Standards.

Key Performance Indicators

The BFI will measure the success of this Fund using the following key performance indicators (KPIs). 

  • Number of projects supported per round: 5
  • Supported projects receiving BAFTA albert certification: 100%
  • Supported projects meeting a minimum of three Diversity Standards (including mandatory Standards C and E): 100%
  • Supported writers, directors and producers new to BFI National Lottery funding: 40%
  • Geographic spread of supported writers, directors and producers: 60% based outside London and the South East; 20% based in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales
  • Geographic spread of main production base for supported projects (monitored through the location of lead applicant production company): 60% based outside of London and the South East; 20% based in NI, Scotland or Wales

Inclusion targets for writers, directors and producers supported:

  • disabled (including those with a longstanding physical or mental condition and those identifying as D/deaf or neurodiverse) – 18% 
  • Black and Global Majority (London) – 40% 
  • Black and Global Majority (outside London) – 30% 
  • those identifying within the gender binary (also monitoring trans and non-binary identities) – 50:50 gender 
  • sexual identity (those identifying as LGB+) – 10% 
  • working-class background – 39%

3. Check if you’re eligible

Applicant producer

All applications for funding must be made by your producer, who must: 

  • apply through a limited company registered and centrally managed in the UK
  • be a separate person to the director or writer-director
  • have a track record in successfully delivering moving image projects. These could be feature films, short films, television, music videos, immersive projects or artists’ moving image work. We cannot accept applications from producers whose only previous work is not screen-based
  • only be attached to a maximum of three applications submitted to the Fund, per funding round, although we will only support one application per producer in each funding round
  • be seeking funding of no more than £120,000 per project
  • have secured, or have a contractual right to secure, the rights (including any underlying rights) in the idea you are proposing. This includes use of any necessary archive or biographical material. You will be required to provide proof of this, prior to any funding offer or payment of any award from the BFI
  •  either through your applicant producing company, or, if relevant, the group of companies to which your applicant producing company belongs, not have already received public funding or subsidies, labelled as “minimal funding assistance” by the relevant awarding body totalling £315,000 or more in the period covering the current financial year and the two financial years immediately preceding the current financial year. The application will also be ineligible if the amount applied for takes your applicant company or relevant group of companies over this threshold of £315,000
  • be the lead UK-based producer

Director or writer-director

  • The director or writer-director of your project can only be attached to two applications submitted to the short form animation fund, per funding round.

The director or writer-director needs to have made at least three previous pieces of animated work, one of which should have any of the following:

  • won or been nominated for an award at a ceremony listed at Appendix A
  • been screened at a festival listed at Appendix A
  • been broadcast on an Ofcom-regulated channel or platform in the UK (or on a channel/platform outside the UK with an equivalent reach) or on one of the platforms listed at Appendix A
  • received commercial online distribution, including through subscription streaming services or online commissioning platforms
  • if the previous work is in immersive media, been commissioned for public participation

The director (or writer-director) of the film must be based in the United Kingdom.


The film’s writer (or at least one co-writer) must be based in the United Kingdom.

Filmmaking team

 All teams must include, at the point of application: 

  • a writer, director (or writer-director) and producer who are all over 18 and not in full-time education. If any of these individuals are currently in full-time education, you may include them in your application provided that their course or studies will be completed within two months of the closing date of the call for applications, and that they would be available from that point to work full-time on the project


All projects must:

  • be a single, animated short film. We define an animated film as one in which animation is used throughout the majority of the film, and which features a significant number of animated major characters
  • be a stand-alone piece of narrative work, with a maximum intended running time of up to 15 minutes
  • have a fully developed script or storyboard, which will need to be submitted as part of the application. The fund is not intended for the development of projects, so the project needs to be sufficiently developed to be nearing production in order for you to make an application
  • be capable of qualifying for certification as a British film through the applicable film or animation cultural test. Read more information on British certification here. Please note that your own assessment of your project as being capable of qualifying for certification does not mean that it will necessarily pass.Should you need advice as to whether your project is capable of qualifying, please contact prior to submitting your application
  • be capable of obtaining a BBFC certificate that is no more restrictive than BBFC ‘18’.
  • clearly engage with our core priorities

While we do not require a UK Tax Credit Advance to be included in your finance plan, we expect you to apply for the UK Tax Credit and any proceeds arising from a claim to go towards any agreed over-costs (including obtaining a title report, if this cost is not assumed by a local distributor), marketing costs and any deferments and subject to approval by the BFI, thereafter to be retained by the core filmmaking team (usually, the producer, writer and/or director). To access the UK Tax Credit, you need to apply for it from a UK registered company. Further guidance on UK creative industry tax relief can be found on the UK Creative industry tax reliefs page of the BFI website.

Projects may 

  • be aimed at adult or young audiences
  • be fiction or non-fiction (documentary)

Projects must not:

  • currently be under assessment for another BFI Filmmaking Fund, including BFI NETWORK
  • have already started production, finished production or be in post-production
  • be primarily intended for broadcast television
  • be immersive, interactive, video game or participatory installation work
  • only be a medium for another art form such as literature, dance on film, poetry on film, opera or artists’ moving image

Project finance

Projects are not required to have third-party finance, as long as the project’s total costs do not exceed £120,000, If third-party finance is included in your finance plan, your application should provide details of any such finance and you should attach the terms of any finance you have been offered or have secured, and show achievable plans for raising any further funds required. We will need to approve the terms and conditions of any third-party finance attached to your project. All third-party finance will need to be formally secured before the final stage of our decision-making process, the Lottery Finance Committee

If you’re unsure if you or your project are eligible for this fund, email

4. What you can use the funding for

Your budget should be created using industry norms and market rates, and contain provision for the following: 

  • all costs you expect to incur to deliver the finished film
  • the clearance of all rights (including the music) in the project worldwide in all media in perpetuity on a full buy-out basis (save only for PRS payments for music)
  • crew payments at least equivalent to London Living Wage, with parity across grades, across departments
  • cast payments, at least in line with Equity minimum (including any cast buy-out fees)
  • repayment of any incurred development costs (if applicable). These can include the option fee for your project, previously incurred legal fees for the project and any contractually agreed fees during the development phase (e.g. writer fee, researcher, script consultant) 
  • a fee for your film’s director and writer
  • working with environmentally sustainable suppliers throughout all stages of production. When preparing your budget for submission, consider whether you need to budget for specific elements of sustainable production practice. This could include sourcing renewable energy; using different and less environmentally impactful materials; or more sustainable solutions for digital storage and post-production. You may wish to consult BAFTA albert’s list of sustainable suppliers
  • producer/production fees, proportionate to the overall proposed budget. If we decide to support the project, we will discuss these fees with you. Although there are exceptions, the combined producer fees and/or production fees/overheads are, on average, in the region of 7-8%, and not more than 10%, of the direct costs of production (meaning the production budget net of the producer fees and production fees/overheads). The BFI does not encourage deferral of any fees
  • any disability access support you require to produce the project
  • adequate legal costs for the production (including costs for any other financiers who require their legal costs to be met from the budget). We recommend that your budget includes £5,000 legal fees for external lawyers. You should not request BFI funds for costs relating to in-house lawyers. Please refer to the Documentation section to see what legal documents are required
  • all customary production insurances (including errors and omissions) on which the BFI will require to be as a named loss payee insured (for production insurance) and as a named additional insured (for errors and omissions). The insurer will require a title report in order to remove any title exclusion on the errors & omissions policy prior to exploitation in North America. The cost of obtaining this title report may either be borne by the local distributor or should come out of the UK Tax Credit proceeds
  • all the delivery materials required by the BFI including enhanced access materials (see Appendix B for a full list of BFI delivery materials)
  • a 10% contingency
  • sufficient allowance for accounting and audit costs, including those related to the final audit and your UK tax credit application
  • any other requirements of funding detailed within these guidelines

You may also include up to £500 towards the costs of festival submissions or equivalent exhibition opportunities for the completed film.

We encourage you to be economical when budgeting but we need to ensure that the projects we support are produced in accordance with all applicable UK laws, including in relation to cast and crew payments. You can include contributions ‘in kind’, such as resources or time, and these should be clearly identified as such in your budget. You will need to show that cast and crew are being fairly paid.

Costs that we cannot support, and which should not be included in your budget, include the following:

  • core costs for day-to-day running of your production company not associated with the film
  • activity that is already specifically supported by another source of funding
  • costs incurred prior to a formal offer of funding from BFI

This list is not exhaustive and we might tell you that other types of activity identified in your application may not be included in your production budget.

VAT is not payable on any Fund awards. The total grant funding supplied through the BFI award is outside the scope of VAT and the BFI award is fully inclusive of any and all taxes that may be payable in connection with the granting, receipt or use of the BFI award. Producers receiving BFI funding will need to deduct any such taxes out of the BFI award and in no circumstances will the BFI be required to pay any additional sums in respect of such taxes.

Access support costs during the production of your project

We’re committed to making our funds as open and inclusive as possible. If any members of your core team, cast and/or crew have access needs that will result in additional costs being incurred during the production of your project, you can include these in your budget. 

We define access support needs as specific help required by people who are disabled or have a physical and/or mental health diagnosis, which will result in a verifiable additional cash cost to your production budget. This might include:

  • a BSL interpreter to work with members of cast or crew; 
  • additional transport or accommodation costs for disabled team members; 
  • fee for the personal assistant of a team member who requires assistance during the production

If you’re asking for the maximum award amount, you can still apply for access costs on top of this if you need to.

Delivery materials for funded projects

A full list of the delivery materials that will be required if we fund your project is provided at Appendix B

The BFI is committed to ensuring that the cinema experience is open to all, especially to disabled audience members. It is therefore a requirement of our funding that the film is delivered with subtitles and audio description, and that the availability of these materials is publicised and they are made available in time for any UK screenings of the film. 

Environmental sustainability

All teams applying for funding need to plan their project, from development stage onwards, with the environment and the climate crisis in mind. In your application, you’ll need to tell us about how you will embed the principle of environmental sustainability into your production. This means working to reduce your carbon emissions as much as possible, and your impact on the living world; and to maximise the positive environmental benefits  your project could have. 

This will require you to think about the impact of your approach to production; where your energy comes from, in offices and (where relevant) on location; what materials you consume and how you plan for reduction, re-use and recycling; and the modes of transport you use for any project travel. We ask all applicants to share and embed sustainable values and behaviour with their collaborators and their supply chain, and promote sustainable production to colleagues across the wider industry.

All projects supported through this Fund are required to gain BAFTA albert certification which must be started in pre-production. This includes developing a carbon action plan and submitting pre- and post-production carbon footprint calculations and other information on your sustainability actions. Through an online scoring system and training in sustainable production, certification helps productions embed sustainable principles from an early stage. albert has a range of production and editorial tools, and training courses to support you and your teams to reduce the negative and increase the positive environmental impacts of your project.

We are keen to see creative responses to the climate and ecological emergency, in terms of the projects submitted to the Fund. You may be able to find inspiration in albert’s editorial resources and Doc Society’s Climate Story Lab website.

Find out more about albert certification and upcoming albert training dates.

5. How to apply 

Applications to this fund are now closed.

We can only fund projects that have been submitted to us through the online application process. This means that we cannot accept, or read, application materials submitted by any means other than the online application portal.

Summary of the information you need to provide 

Below, you can view a PDF preview of the application full form containing all of the questions you will be asked. 

As a summary only, the areas you will be asked to cover include:

  • the individual producer (the lead applicant)
  • your team
  • the creative content of your project
  • your production plans
  • your financial plans
  • your festival and market strategy

BFI Diversity Standards

You should complete each section of the BFI Diversity Standards tab within the application form (you do not need to make a separate application with this information – it is all contained within the same application form). The information provided by applicants in their Diversity Standards answers will be anonymised and used to help inform future funding decisions, research and strategy.


At the end of the form you will be asked to attach: 

  • the storyboard and/or script of your project in standard industry format, submitted as a PDF or Word doc. This needs to be dated on its front page and should be a completed script or storyboard rather than a treatment or outline
  • a detailed budget in Excel or MovieMagic format, reflecting the cost requirements in What you can use the funding for
  • a production timeline detailing all the stages of production through to final delivery
  • if applicable, a finance plan showing any secured third-party finance and
  • an optional creative pitch deck, expressing your ideas for the project you are seeking funding for, for example, a mood board or reel, production design or images
  • links to previous creative work from your core creative team members, such as short films, writing samples or visual artwork and a brief explanation about why you’ve included each link

Equality monitoring

You’ll be asked to complete an equality monitoring form when you submit your application. The data that you submit on this form will be confidential and anonymous, and will not be seen by the staff assessing your application. This collects data to help measure how effective the BFI is in attracting a diverse range of applicants for funding. It requests information about the writer(s), director(s) and producer(s) on your project. When filling it in, you can select ‘prefer not to say’ if you’d rather not share the information requested. Please note that we will not be able to put forward your application for assessment until you have completed the equality monitoring form. 

If you have any questions when completing the application form, please contact us on 

6. What happens after you apply 

Once you’ve sent us your application we will send you confirmation that we have received it within five working days. We will then check whether your application is eligible for funding using the criteria identified in the Check if you’re eligible section. If your application does not meet our eligibility criteria, we will email to tell you that we will not be able to consider it. If you have made a mistake in your application, then we may enable you to correct this, if that is the only reason that the application is considered ineligible.


We aim to give all applicants a final decision within 12 weeks of the closing date for the applicable funding round. During the assessment process, we may contact you to ask for more information, in which case it may take us longer 12 weeks for us to reach a decision on your application.

If we receive exceptionally high numbers of applications, or when there are other circumstances out of our control, it may also take us more than 12 weeks to give you a decision. We will keep applicants updated if the timeframe is likely to be extended. 

In exceptional circumstances, where a project submitted to us has non-negotiable time sensitive elements in relation to its production, we may be able to expedite the assessment process. A very strong case for this will need to be presented within the application, and we will decide whether we are able to expedite the assessment process on a case-by-case basis.

How your application is assessed 

Assessment criteria

Eligible applications will be assessed against how well they meet our six core priorities. We will also consider: 

  • the ambition and strength of the project proposal and its script or storyboard
  • how the story will connect with audiences
  • the strengths of the project team
  • the strength of the case made for the potential career impact of the project for the filmmaking team
  • the feasibility of the budget, its value for money and whether the project as described in the application and accompanying attachments require the amount of money requested
  • your demonstration of need for National Lottery funding. Our funding is not intended to substitute or replace existing or commercial funding or other income that would or might otherwise be available, or to fund activity that can be achieved without our funding. National Lottery funds can only be awarded to applicants who demonstrate a compelling case for National Lottery support and a clear public benefit from the activity being funded. Projects that have already secured significant levels of third-party finance are not likely to be prioritised
  • the overall balance of projects receiving support, to ensure variety in the nature of the projects funded by the BFI

When assessing applications, we will also take into account previous National Lottery awards received by the applicant producer.

Assessment process

Following the closing dates for applications, the assessment process as outlined below will begin. At each stage, there will be projects that do not progress to the next stage. 

Throughout the assessment process we may share parts of your application with other BFI teams, or additional external consultants, to help with our assessment. External consultants participating in the assessment process will be required to maintain confidentiality regarding the application contents and to agree not to retain application materials following their review.

  • Stage one — initial review of application, Diversity Standards and previous work:
    Eligible applications will be assessed by two staff members from the BFI Filmmaking Fund team, as well as one or more independent external readers, to provide us with an additional perspective. 
  • Stage two — reading of script/storyboards and additional materials for longlisted projects:
    The wider assessment team will review and discuss the project, whilst also interrogating the budget, schedule and general production plan. 
  • Stage three - interviews held with final shortlisted projects:
    We will invite the filmmaking team to an interview to discuss the creative vision of the project further, as well as interrogate any practical concerns we may have. This does not mean that we have made a commitment to funding the project. All members of the filmmaking team should try to attend and we may ask you to supply further information after the meeting.
  • Stage four — BFI Production Team meeting: 
    Producers of projects that reach the final stage of assessment will be required to meet with the Filmmaking Fund Production team, to discuss the details of their production schedule, script, budget and finance plan. We may request that specific budget lines and/or allocations are amended and/or for further detail to be provided in relation to the finance plan, which may include asking the producer to seek additional and/alternative funding from third-party sources, before we make a final funding decision.

For applications reaching stage four only, we will also require the following information:

  • the personal address and date of birth of the CEO or Managing Director of the production company applying. Please note that our request for this information is not an indication or confirmation of funding and you will be informed separately of the funding decision on your application. We will use this data to run an identity check. This is not a credit check and will not affect the ability of the CEO or Managing Director to receive credit from other organisations. We will be unable to submit your application to our decision-making committee until we have received your completed form.
  • the level of subsidies or public funding received by your applicant production company (and/or the group of companies to which your applicant producing company belongs) under the UK “minimal funding assistance” provisions over the period, including the time elapsed since 1 April of the current financial year and the previous 2 financial years. If you are not sure about whether any grant or investment that the applicant production company has received in that period qualifies, please ask the funding body making the grant or investment. Please note that grants or investments awarded to you through the BFI Filmmaking Fund or BFI NETWORK have been made under a BFI notified subsidy scheme and do NOT count towards the UK “minimal funding assistance” provisions cumulative cap. If you have previously received a grant from one of the BFI Global Screen Fund programmes you will need to check the applicable funding agreement to confirm whether or not it was granted under the UK’s “minimal funding assistance” provisions.

7. Getting a decision

All applicants will be informed in writing of the decision on their application. Our decision as to whether we support your application is final. 

Successful applicants 

Successful applicants will need to provide us with the below final materials in preparation of us seeking formal approval from the Lottery Finance Committee of your funding:  

  • Production calendar and schedule
  • Final budget 
  • Script

BFI Lottery Finance Committee Consideration

We will submit funding recommendations to the BFI Lottery Finance Committee for approval and will inform applicants in writing of our decisions as soon as possible. Our decision on whether or not we wish to support your project is final.

Following our confirmation of the funding for your project, you will need to provide us with the following details, which will form part of your Production Finance Agreement (PFA).

  • writer(s)
  • director(s)
  • Individual producers(s)
  • key animators (if attached)
  • principal cast (if attached)
  • estimated running time (including credits) 
  • prep start date 
  • prep wrap date 
  • delivery date 

This will constitute part of the agreed criteria against which the project will be delivered. 

Once we have reviewed and approved the information, you will receive a PFA, setting out details on how you’ll receive the funding, how you must use it and how we expect you to report to us. You will need to sign the PFA and return to the BFI within 14 days. 

BFI National Lottery funding is project-based, time-limited funding, and as such, there should be no expectation of ongoing support beyond the term of any award made. In exceptional circumstances however, such as when a film encounters unexpected challenges during production, we may offer to provide additional production funding, subject to approval by the BFI Lottery Finance Committee. If we do identify a need for additional funding, and we have sufficient funds available, then we will ask you to make a short additional application to us for the amount required.

If you’re unsuccessful

We may have turned down your application because we determined that the proposal:

  • did not sufficiently meet our core priorities, including in relation to engagement with the BFI Diversity Standards
  • was too ambitious for the budget
  • did not demonstrate enough relevant experience
  • was not yet developed enough
  • did not demonstrate sufficient need for National Lottery support and should be financed by other means


If your application has been formerly declined by the BFI in a previous round of the Fund, and unless there is substantial evidence of a significant change to your original proposal, you will not be able to resubmit it to this or any future round of the Fund. A significant change usually comprises a change of director or a significant rewrite of the material with a different writer.

We will also allow you to submit an application for the same project in situations where we have directly recommended further development, or advised a more robust preliminary financing of the project, or where a project has been voluntarily withdrawn.

If your project meets any of the above criteria and you submit a new application for the same project to this round of the Fund, please ensure that you clearly identify the revised elements of the project in the new application.

If you are unsure if you meet the above criteria, prior to submitting an application please contact the Filmmaking Fund team on to cite your changes and confirm eligibility.

Feedback on an unsuccessful application

If you were interviewed or we otherwise had a meeting with you to discuss your application, you can ask for feedback on that application. We are a small team, so unfortunately that means that, generally, we’re unable to give feedback to other applicants.

We will keep the application content and supporting materials you sent to us in line with our records retention policy.

We welcome your feedback on the application process and how we might improve it.

8. Conditions of funding

If we offer you an award, in addition to the General Conditions of National Lottery Funding the following conditions will apply to your award:

  1. The award will be made by way of a non-recoupable grant. 
  2. You will be required to include certain credits and logos for BFI/National Lottery at the start and end of the film. 
  3. A BFI Executive will provide creative input and oversight of your project and will be your main point of contact as you produce your project.
  4. The provisions of the BFI ‘Locked Box’ initiative will not apply to this Fund.
  5. The BFI will pay the funding to a limited company registered in the UK.
  6. A legal undertaking by you that the work being funded is wholly original to you and your team (or that you have acquired all necessary rights in any underlying work) and that all third party materials incorporated in the project are cleared for use in the project throughout the world in all media in perpetuity and provide evidence of such before we advance any funding (e.g. writer and director agreements). Where chain of title documentation is in a language other than English, you will be required to provide a certified English translation.  You will be required to clear worldwide rights in all media in perpetuity from all individuals or organisations who are contributing to, or whose material is to be featured in, the project (save only for music public performance rights).
  7. You will be required to ensure that your project is produced in accordance with the requirements of all unions and guilds having jurisdiction and with all applicable laws and statutes.
  8. You will be required to provide a permanent, non-exclusive license to the BFI to copy, reproduce and / or exhibit the project (1) non-theatrically including without limitation in educational establishments (including the BFI Mediatheque) or online on the BFI websites (including BFI Player) throughout the world and (2) the right to use clips from the project for promotional purposes in relation to the project or in relation to promoting BFI National Lottery funding. The BFI will own the delivery materials provided to it and will deposit, preserve and permit access to such materials through standard terms applied by the BFI National Archive.
  9. The BFI will require certain approvals over your project including in relation to the terms of all third-party finance, the identity and terms of appointment of the sales agent and all distributors, and all key production and financial documentation prepared in relation to the project. The BFI will have rights of approval during the production of the project. This will include approval of both in progress and final scripts storyboard, animatic, rough pass, final cut stages, final audio mix and picture grade; all main production elements including key animators and technical crew; key casting (voice or other) and final credits. 
  10. The BFI may withdraw any offer of funding if it has reasonable concerns relating to the terms of any third party finance or if third party rights in the work cannot be cleared.
  11. We may require that the BFI funding must be paid into a separate dedicated production account.
  12. The BFI will have certain audit rights over the project including the bank account into which the funding is paid.
  13. A requirement to put in place all customary production insurances on which the BFI must be named as a loss payee (production insurances) and an additional insured (errors and omission insurance).
  14. A delivery date by which you agree to finish work on your short form animation and submit the required delivery materials as outlined in Appendix B to us. We anticipate all projects supported would be completed and delivered by the delivery date in their PFA, which shall be no later than 18 months after execution of the PFA.
  15. You will be required to ensure that any distribution of your project in the UK provides for the availability of soft-subtitling and audio-description materials in cinemas and on any video-on-demand, DVD or Blu-ray disc release of the project (or the equivalent platforms for the medium in which your project is produced, to be discussed at the point of contracting). You will need to provide an agreed final budget, production schedule, and proof of application for British certification.
  16. The BFI will pay the award in accordance with an agreed production cashflow.  Such cashflow should break down the award total into instalments, with the final payment being subject to submission to us of the delivery materials. Where other partner funding is included in your finance plan, it is expected that this would be cashflowed before the BFI funding is advanced. Any underspend on the award will be retained by, or reimbursed to, the BFI. The BFI will hold back 5% of its funding until receipt of the specified BFI delivery materials, which can be found in Appendix B
  17. The BFI will expect to be provided with information about the progress of the production e.g. regular cost reports, progress reports and dailies if applicable, and to be able to attend any stages of production.
    An undertaking from you to acknowledge publicly that you have received National Lottery funding. The support provided by the BFI Filmmaking Fund is only possible because of the National Lottery. We ask the filmmakers we fund to do everything they can to acknowledge the National Lottery as the source of this funding. This includes displaying the National Lottery logos on your project, related marketing materials, press releases and on the front pages of project websites. We ask beneficiaries to actively acknowledge and spread the word about their project being made possible through money raised by National Lottery players, whenever they can. This includes mentioning the National Lottery, at a minimum, on press releases, on print and marketing materials, online including through social media, and when speaking to the industry and the wider public about the project. 
  18. Where relevant to your cast and crew, you will need to adopt safeguarding provisions for protecting children and vulnerable adults.
  19. An undertaking from you to deliver against the plans made by you in relation to the BFI Diversity Standards. Failure to deliver against those undertakings without good cause may affect your ability to receive future project funding from the BFI.
  20. A requirement to undertake BAFTA albert carbon footprinting for the project, in both pre- and post-production. 
  21. Any additional funding must be secured in advance of the BFI’s final approval of funding via its Lottery Finance Committee.  No work will commence on the project until said additional funding is secured and its terms and conditions are approved by BFI, and we have confirmed that all other pre-conditions to our award have been met. 
  22. The BFI will not advance any funding until you have signed the PFA and have complied with the conditions of funding above and as particularised in the PFA
  23. You will be required to confirm in writing that your applicant production company (and/or the group of companies to which your applicant producing company belongs) has not received more than £315,000 minus the value of the grant in “minimum financial assistance” subsidies or comparable types of subsidies (pursuant to the relevant subsidy legislation) between 1 April of the year beginning the calculation period and the date of your offer of funding. 
  24. You will be required to adhere to and promote the set of principles aimed at tackling and preventing bullying, harassment and racism in the screen industries commissioned by the BFI and partner organisations. This entails taking active steps to help tackle and prevent bullying, harassment and racism in the screen industries and, in particular, in connection with the funded project. Further resources are available here.
  25. Delivery materials: We will require electronic delivery of the items detailed in Appendix B (the cost of which must be contained in the budget for the project).

Appendix A: Eligible festivals, platforms and award ceremonies list

To meet the first point of the eligibility criteria, the director or writer-director on your project needs to have made an animated work that has screened via a festival or channel, or been nominated or won an award at a ceremony, from the lists below. Please note the film needs to have screened in the main programme at the festival – e.g. for Cannes Film Festival, screenings in the Short Film Corner only would not be eligible.  


  • Aesthetica Short Film Festival 
  • AFI Docs Film Festival (formerly Silverdocs)
  • AFI Fest      
  • American Black Film Festival, USA 
  • Amsterdam Int’l Documentary Film Fest   
  • Anima – The Brussels Animation Film Festival
  • Animafest Zagreb, Croatia
  • Ann Arbor Film Festival, USA
  • Annecy International Animated Film Festival & Market, France
  • Ars Electronica Animation Festival, Austria  
  • Aspen Shortsfest Film Festival, USA 
  • Beijing International Film Festival 
  • Berlin International Film Festival 
  • BFI Flare (London LGBTQ+ Film Festival)
  • BFI Future Film Festival 
  • BFI London Film Festival 
  • Blackstar Film Festival, USA 
  • Brighton International Animation Festival
  • British Short Film Festival Berlin
  • British Urban Film Festival
  • Cannes International Film Festival (excluding Short Film Corner)  
  • Capetown International Film Festival & Market 
  • Cardiff Animation Festival 
  • Cardiff International Film Festival  
  • Cinanima International Animated Film Festival, Portugal   
  • Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival  
  • CPH: DOX 
  • Deaffest 
  • DOC NYC 
  • Dokufest (Kosovo) International Documentary & Short Film Festival  
  • Dublin International Film Festival 
  • Edinburgh International Film Festival
  • Encounters Film Festival
  • Fantastic Fest (Austin, TX)
  • Fantoche International Animation Film Festival, Switzerland
  • Flatpack Film Festival, Birmingham
  • Flickerfest International Short Film Festival (Sydney)
  • Foyle Film Festival
  • Frameline San Francisco Int. LGBT Film Festival 
  • Future of StoryTelling (FoST), USA 
  • Glas Animation Festival, USA  
  • Glasgow Film Festival  
  • Hamburg International Short Film 
  • Hiroshima International Animation Festival, Japan 
  • Hong Kong International Film Festival
  • Hot Docs Canadian Intl Documentary Festival
  • IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam)  
  • International Leipzig Documentary and Animated Film Festival  
  • Iris Prize Festival 
  • KABOOM Animation Festival
  • Karlovy Vary International Film Festival    
  • Leeds International Film Festival 
  • Le Festival des Arcs  
  • London International Animation Festival  
  • London International Documentary Festival 
  • London Short Film Festival    
  • Manchester Animation Festival   
  • Melbourne International Animation Festival
  • Minimalen, Norway 
  • Monstra, Portugal
  • New Chitose Airport International Animation Festival, Japan 
  • New York International Film Festival  
  • Norwich Film Festival
  • Oberhausen International Short Film Festival 
  • Open City Documentary Festival
  • Oska Bright Film Festival 
  • Ottawa International Animation Festival 
  • Pictoplasma, Berlin
  • PÖFF Shorts (Black Nights Film Festival)
  • Raindance Film Festival
  • Rotterdam International Film Festival
  • San Francisco International of Short Films
  • San Sebastian Film Festival   
  • Sao Paulo International Short Film Festival  
  • Seoul International Cartoon & Animation Festival (SICAF)
  • Sheffield Doc/Fest    
  • Shanghai International Film Festival
  • Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia
  • Stuttgart Animated Film Festival  
  • Sundance Film Festival  
  • SXSW Film Festival 
  • Sydney Film Festival 
  • Tampere International Short Film Festival   
  • Tehran International Short Film Festival 
  • Telluride Film Festival   
  • Toronto International Film Festival 
  • Tribeca Film Festival  
  • Tricky Women Animation Festival, Austria 
  • Underwire Film Festival 
  • Uppsala International Short Film Festival  
  • Venice Film Festival 
  • Visions Du Réel

Awards ceremonies 

  • Academy Awards (Oscars) 
  • BAFTA, BAFTA Cymru or BAFTA Scotland 
  • British Independent Film Awards (BIFA
  • British Animation Awards (BAA
  • Emile European Animation Awards 

Online platforms 

  • Apple App Store 
  • BBC Three
  • Channel 4 
  • Field of Vision 
  • Google Play Store  
  • The Guardian   
  • New York Times Op-Docs
  • Oculus Store
  • PlayStation Store 
  • Proprietary app
  • Steam 
  • VICE  
  • Viveport

If you have screened at a nationally significant festival or been nominated at an awards ceremony not included in this list and feel it should make you eligible to apply to this fund, please contact us at prior to making an application. 

Appendix B: Delivery materials

The following materials will need to be supplied if we decide to fund your project. 

This list does not include information on the BFI Equality Monitoring Report or the BAFTA albert carbon calculator, which have to be uploaded separately to these materials. 

How to provide files 

You can upload all materials to a cloud-based file transfer service optimised for transfers of large multi-Gigabyte audiovisual files. 

You should only use Dropbox and WeTransfer with prior agreement from BFI

You can also deliver files on hard drive with prior agreement.

Digital master files

If the production is mastered at 25fps for HD Broadcast you’ll need to provide either: 

  • DPP compliant AVC Intra100 AS-11[.mxf] file
    • 1920x1080i25 Rec709 – 4:2:2 Y,Cb,Cr – SMPTE range – 2.2or 2.4 Gamma
  • ProRes 422HQ Quicktime[.mov] file
    • 1920x1080i25 Rec709 – Y,Cb, Cr — SMPTE range – 2.2or 2.4 Gamma

If the production is mastered for cinema exhibition or distribution, you’ll need both: 

  • ProRes 4444 Quicktime[.mov] file
    • 1920x1080p or 3840x2160p frame rate to match DCP
    • Rec 709 – RGB – Full Range – 2.4 Gamma
    • Letterboxing and Pillarboxing are acceptable when aspect ratio of DCP differs from 1.78:1 
  • an unencrypted SMPTE DCP
    • the DCP should be compliant with SMPTE RDD52:2020 and will contain narrated audio track for visually impaired (supplied on audio track 8 in the DCP OV) and closed/open captions for hearing impaired (supplied as separate DCP VF files containing timed text files)

All ProRes QuickTime and DPP AS-11 MXF Files should be accompanied by the following: 

  • a per file MD5 checksum for integrity checking purposes, supplied as list in either .txt or .csv file – this is not required for DCP
  • if you’re providing an AS-11 MXF, the automated quality control (AQC) or eyeball quality control (EQC) documentation for DPP compliance
  • if you’re providing a DCP, a suitable DCP validation report

Enhanced access materials 

The following materials are to be supplied to the BFI National Archive with the above materials. The captions are the materials referred to in the application guidelines as “HOH subtitles”.

For all formats, you’ll need to supply:

  • narrative audio track (audio description)
  • open captions in English

If you’re providing DCP, in addition to the above you’ll also need to supply closed captions.

Video files

In addition to the above, please provide the following:

  • a password protected Vimeo link for the film
  • an H264 .mov or .mp4 file

Delivery documentation

You’ll need to supply the following documentation:

  • completed credits list – using the credits template provided
  • PDF copies of all rights and clearance agreements
    • artists agreements
    • producer, director and writer agreements
    • contributors agreements – at a minimum, you’ll need to supply agreements for all Heads of Department: DOP, sound recordist, editor, art director or production designer and sound designer
    • music contributors agreement
    • a copy of the music cue sheet
  • a final cost report
    • this should show actual expenditure compared to budget
    • supporting invoices or copy receipts may be requested by CS but do not need to be supplied until requested
  • a release plan
  • a selection of approved publicity stills 
    • stills should be submitted in the format in which they were produced and distributed
    • if you can, supply files as uncompressed TIFFs, ideally 600ppi at true size
    • you should also provide any necessary photography credits, which might include photographer, rights holders, restrictions or proof of clearances, as either embedded metadata or a separate listing
  • a written publicity pack (saved in a folder entitled ‘publicity pack’ within your project folder) that includes:
    • a synopsis of approximately 200 words
    • 160 character logline
    • flyers and other publicity material
    • full credits list
    • biographies of principal cast, individual producer(s), director(s), writer(s) and key crew, and production information
  • a PDF copy of your shooting script 
  • a selection of Behind the Scenes (BTS) stills
    • if you can, supply files as uncompressed TIFFs, ideally 600ppi at true size
  • a PDF copy of your final BAFTA albert certificate