We aim to help develop viable projects by teams across the UK who can demonstrate previous experience in writing, directing and producing to a point where they are ready to seek production funding from the BFI or other sources.
Who can apply
Applications must be made by the lead producer who is a different person to the writer and, if there is one, director.
We are unable to provide development funding to teams without a producer.
Projects without a producer should consider BFI NETWORK’s Early Development Fund.
Our funding priorities
We prioritise work that:
- is made by filmmakers in the early stages of their careers
- has cultural relevance or progressive ideas
- takes risks in form and content
- recognises the quality of differences in perspective, talent and recruitment
- originated by filmmakers outside London and South East England
What you need to provide
The application form will ask you to supply:
- synopsis, story and themes
- previous work of the writer, producer and, if applicable, the director
- motivations behind the project, ideally provided by the writer or director
- details of the audience you are aiming to appeal to
- ideas for casting (if applicable) and how you plan to approach that cast
- approximate dates and locations you are hoping to film
- details of potential or actual financial partners on the project and any expenditure to date
- budget you anticipate needing in order to develop the project and get it made, including the amount you are requesting from the BFI
- an estimate of the total production budget
- any unusual or challenging technical or budgetary requirements that you foresee
Apply for funding
- we will not be accepting any applications for new projects between 20 December and 14 February 2022 due to the large number of applications already under assessment
- we would recommend you submit your application after 14 February as anything submitted before that date will be subject to a longer assessment period than stated in the guidelines. Please accept our apologies for any delay this may cause to the response times in the fund guidelines
- we will still accept supplementary and pre-production applications during this period
- we may, in exceptional circumstances, invite you to submit an application, for example, where you have applied for production funding and we have identified the project needs further development
Please email DevelopmentCoordinator@bfi.org.uk for guidance on submitting a supplementary or pre-production application.
If this is your first application, please create an account.
Read the BFI Development Fund guidelines before making an application.
If you wish to see the online application format before applying, please download the application preview.
If you wish to listen to the audio guidelines for this fund, please use the link below.
Applications are accepted all year round.
We aim to let applicants know the outcome of their application within 8 weeks.
If you have any questions relating to the fund or application, please email email@example.com.
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.
Our resources: application outcomes and feedback
The extremely competitive nature of our funding means that we have to make very difficult decisions and often have to turn down projects even when they meet some or all of our stated criteria. On average, we have to turn down over 7 in every 10 projects seeking Development funding, and 8 in every 10 projects seeking Production funding.
We aim to make the application process as fair and transparent as possible. As a result of the volume of applications we receive, we do not have the resources to provide feedback on projects that have been declined.