Development funding

BFI Development Funding awards money from the National Lottery to support formal development of original live action and animation feature filmmaking from treatments to production-ready screenplays.

We aim to help these filmmakers develop compelling and viable projects to a point where they are ready to seek production funding.

Who can apply

Applications can only be made by a person whose main role is as producer on behalf of, and in the name of, a limited company registered at Companies House. Full eligibility criteria are contained within the funding guidelines.

How to apply

Read the fund guidelines in full before applying. There is an application link in the guidelines.

When you can apply

Applications are open year round except for an annual closure window of 1 April to 30 April.

Subsequent closures may be introduced during periods of high work intensity or holiday dates but these will be clearly signposted ahead of time.

We can provide assistance to applicants who have access requirements and need support in order to make an application. See Access support for BFI funding applicants.

If you have any questions relating to this funding or your application, email

Since the very first National Lottery draw in 1994, public support – raised directly through National Lottery ticket sales – has funded more than 670,000 projects, raising more than £46 billion for good causes. As a recipient, it is important to publicly acknowledge the source of this funding throughout the lifespan of the project. Effectively communicating that it is supported by BFI National Lottery funding ensures those engaging with the work recognise the value and benefit of this unique Good Cause funding. Therefore, if your application is successful, you will be responsible for prominently crediting BFI National Lottery funding and thanking National Lottery players. As such, you are encouraged to ensure that elements of your project/s which have the potential to engage a broad public audience are capitalised on, in order to communicate this message. More details will be supplied once an award has been made.