Making an application for Future Takes

This guide gives you advice and recommendations on how to write a good application to Future Takes.

1. Overview

BFI and Film4 Future Takes offers support for higher-budget live action, short form work from teams of writers, directors and producers based in the UK.

BFI and Film4 have joined forces to offer Future Takes, driven by our shared commitment to support audacious emerging talent to build sustainable and remarkable careers. The aim of the funding is to support the creation of innovative, ambitious short form work that will serve as a realistic stepping stone towards a first feature or long form commission. We both recognise that, as it becomes harder to get debut features financed and out to audiences, there is a considerable gap in the support available to filmmakers who may have started their directing careers but are missing the piece of work that will allow them to move onto bigger, bolder work. That is where Future Takes comes in.

Future Takes will support teams to make films that can gain major recognition and open up new opportunities for the filmmakers involved. It is seeking more ambitious projects than those we generally see submitted to our BFI NETWORK funds: films that command a higher budget and will not be realisable without this support. This could mean ideas, settings or filming techniques that are truly boundary pushing either in form or content – the work you’ve always wanted to make, and that audiences want to see, if only the budget were there for it.

We are looking to fund around seven short films, at up to £90,000 per film. The BFI will contribute National Lottery funding as a grant to each funded project, and Film4’s funding will in part purchase a license of certain distribution and broadcast rights.

Selected projects will receive creative support via one or more workshops as they move towards production, drawing knowledge from filmmakers who have recently completed the journey to long form work. We will aim to provide mentoring to selected teams to guide them through production.

Future Takes will benefit from the new and emerging talent expertise and reach of BFI NETWORK in the delivery and promotion of the fund. BFI NETWORK is part of the BFI Film Fund and exists to support and develop filmmaking talent at an early stage in their career through funding and professional development opportunities, via a network of partners across the UK. Future Takes is seeking more ambitious projects than those we generally see submitted to our BFI NETWORK short film production funds. We’re seeking applications from across the UK, and we will be working with our BFI NETWORK partners UK-wide during the open call and assessment process.

How it will work

Producers will submit their applications for funding through the BFI’s online application system. The assessment process will include representation from both BFI and Film4. Successful projects will receive production funding from BFI and Film4 as well as creative oversight from both teams. Both parties will sign off on final cut and intend to support successful projects through exhibition on their platforms.

2. Check if you’re eligible

Future Takes is aimed at filmmakers who already have a strong creative track record but who may be missing a key piece of work to use as a realistic stepping stone towards a first feature or long-form commission. It’s not an entry level scheme for new filmmakers, so if you are earlier on in your career you may want to consider BFI NETWORK funding which will open again in 2023.


Future Takes accepts applications for projects with directors attached who either:

  • Have not yet had a feature film (minimum length 60 minutes) produced and distributed in the UK; or
  • Have had no more than one feature film produced and distributed in the UK; have not yet been able to progress to making another long-form work; and can make a case that realising a short film through this fund will provide them with significant career benefits, increasing their chances to make further long form work. Outside of this circumstance, directors who have made features are not eligible to apply.

All directors must have established creative track records in either moving image (short film, micro-budget feature film, television, music video) or another art form (e.g. theatre, radio, dance). This track record must demonstrate your ability to realise your vision for the short film you’re proposing. You need to have made at least two previous pieces of work where you are credited as the director, one of which should have:

i) been screened in the main programme at a festival listed in Appendix A; or

ii) won or been nominated for an award at a ceremony listed in the Appendix A; or

iii) 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 in Appendix A; or

iv) received commercial online distribution, including through subscription streaming services or online commissioning platforms; or

iv) be creative works in media outside moving image that have been demonstrably critically acclaimed in their field, with evidence provided as part of the application. As far as possible, this should show a level of recognition for the work equivalent to the forms listed at points i-iv.


There is no minimum experience required for the project’s writer, as applications must include a production-ready short film script which will be the basis on which we assess the writer’s contribution to the project.


We accept applications from UK-based producers with an established creative track record in moving image work, which means having produced a range of previous projects, one of which needs to have had a production budget of at least 20% of the amount you are applying for from Future Takes. These could be short films, feature films, music videos, theatre, immersive projects, artists moving image work etc. We cannot accept applications from producers whose only previous work is not screen-based.

Production Company

Applications must be submitted by the project’s dedicated individual producer on behalf of a production company that is registered and centrally managed in the UK, which must be the company that will be responsible for delivering the project. The individual producer must be either be a director of this company or employed by it on an ongoing basis.

Any funding provided by the BFI & Film4 would be made to the company submitting the application, which needs to be the rights owner of the project at the point of receipt of funding.


Teams need to have a minimum of two individuals across the three roles, e.g. separate individuals who are a writer-director and producer respectively. Director-producers are not eligible to apply.

The writer, director and producer all need to be over 18 and not in full-time education. (If you are currently in full-time education, you can apply providing your course or studies will be completed within two months of the closing date of the call for applications, so that you would be fully available from that point to work on a funded project).

Live action fiction projects need to have a writer, director and producer attached before an application can be made. Hybrid documentaries need to have a separate director and producer at minimum.

Writers, directors and producers can be attached to a maximum of two different projects applying per round.

Your project

You can apply if:

  • Your project is a short film with an intended length of a maximum 25 minutes and is intended for theatrical distribution, and not primarily for broadcast television. Films of any length beneath this maximum limit are eligible. If you can achieve your intended impact with a 10 minute script, please do so
  • Your project can feasibly be realised at a budget of no more than £90,000
  • Your project is a live action work that is either scripted or a hybrid documentary involving scripted or dramatised elements. The fund aims to give filmmakers an opportunity to gain more experience working with actors and dramatised content, which often requires significant financial backing, so all films need to include these elements. Projects can include immersive or animated elements but should not primarily be in these formats, as these are supported by the separate BFI funds
  • Your project is a stand-alone work. We will not support pilots (for feature film or television series) through this fund but we acknowledge that some projects may have the potential, further down the line, to be developed into other longer forms or formats.
  • You have secured, or know you will be able to secure, all rights in any and all underlying materials necessary to make the short film. This includes without limitation use of any necessary archival or biographical material. We are looking for audacious, original projects so are likely to primarily support work that is original to the writer involved, but are also open to supporting short films that adapt underlying material (for example, a short story that demands a higher-budget, visionary adaptation). You will need to be able to clear all third party rights including all music for use throughout the world, in perpetuity, before it becomes part of your script or is used in the film (this is to ensure that you do not infringe any third party rights whenever or wherever you show the film). You will be required to provide proof of securing all rights in such underlying material prior to any funding offer or payment of any award from the BFI.
  • Your project can be fully funded through Future Takes. We will not support projects where the budget exceeds what you are requesting from us (unless you plan to use your own private funds), or that have third party funding attached to them (whether during development or production). If you have already secured some finance for your project and are unsure whether you are eligible to apply to us, please contact us on
  • Your project has a finished, production-ready script that you can submit with your application.
  • Your project will be capable of qualifying as British through the Cultural Test. Please note that your own assessment of your project as being capable of qualifying for certification does not mean that it will necessarily pass. Full guidance on British certification can be found at
  • Your project will be capable of obtaining a BBFC certificate which is no more restrictive than BBFC ‘18’

When you’re ineligible

You’re not eligible to apply if:

  • you are seeking development rather than production funding
  • your film is over 25 minutes in length
  • you want to make an immersive work
  • you want to make a work that is wholly or primarily animated
  • your film is intended primarily for broadcast television
  • your film does not contain any dramatised or fictional content
  • your film focuses on another art form such as literature, dance on film, poetry on film, opera or artists’ moving image
  • your project has previously been declined for BFI NETWORK short film production funding (including projects submitted to the BFI NETWORK schemes run by the BFI in partnership with regional Film Hubs; Ffilm Cymru Wales; Short Circuit; Northern Ireland Screen; and BFI Doc Society Made of Truth Fund). If you applied then withdrew your project (for example, because you were unable to raise a sufficient level of additional funding for your budget), you can still apply.

Funds are not intended to substitute or replace existing funding or income that would otherwise be available, or to fund activity at the same scale that can go ahead without an award. National Lottery funds can only be awarded to applicants who demonstrate need and a clear public benefit from the activity being funded.

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 awards made.

Get in touch with the team if you’re unsure that you are eligible for this Fund:

3. Delivering against BFI and Film4 priorities

All activity funded through Future Takes should deliver against the following outcomes. These are drawn from the BFI National Lottery strategy and apply to the joint funding provided by BFI and Film4:

Primary Outcomes

Anyone can create original screen work, from first-time creators to world-class professionals:

  • More people understand how to express their creativity through stories on screen, including children and young people
  • Creative talent is supported and nurtured, as they emerge and throughout their careers
  • People are better enabled to innovate and experiment creatively
  • A wider range of stories on screen are told that otherwise would not be

Secondary Outcomes

Everyone can experience a rich range of screen culture:

  • People across the UK can access a wider choice of film and the moving image including stories that reflect their lives

Independents and cultural organisations can adapt and thrive in a changing landscape:

  • Screen organisations have significantly reduced their carbon footprint

In addition, all National Lottery awards must deliver against our three principles for National Lottery funding:

Equity, diversity and inclusion

The BFI and Film4 champion everyday inclusion. A clearly defined and communicated set of Inclusion Targets gives us, our partners and the wider industry ambitious goals for a more diverse screen sector and representative audiences. The diversity of the filmmakers supported by Future Takes will contribute towards achieving the BFI’s Inclusion Targets, which are:

  • Disability (including those with a longstanding physical or mental condition and those identifying as D/deaf or neurodiverse) 18%
  • Ethnically diverse (London) 40%
  • Ethnically diverse (outside London) 30%
  • Gender (50-50 balance of male and female identifying within the gender binary) 50%
  • LGBTQIA+ (including those identifying outside the gender binary) 10%
  • Working class background 39%

BFI Diversity Standards

The BFI and Film4 use the BFI Diversity Standards to inform our funding decisions and the activity we support. You will need to demonstrate how your proposal 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. If successful, you will need to report following the conclusion of your activity, evaluating how you have delivered against the aims of the Diversity Standards in practice.


Future Takes seeks to support projects from across the UK. You’ll need to tell us how your short film will deliver benefit UK-wide (for example, through where your team are based; any onscreen representation of the UK; where you will shoot and conduct post-production, etc.) and how this will support our UK-wide principle.

Environmental Sustainability

All teams applying to Future Takes 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 the your approach to production; where your energy comes from, in offices and on location; what materials you consume and how you plan for re-use, etc. We ask all teams 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 in receipt of an award are required to gain BAFTA albert certification which must be started in pre-production. This includes developing a carbon action plan, submitting pre- and post-production carbon footprint calculations, and paying to offset any remaining unavoidable emissions by the end of production. This off-set fee generally amounts to approximately 0.1% of a total production budget and should be allowed for in the costing of your production. Projects can use the albert Creative Offsets estimator to predict how much it might cost to carbon offset:

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 award activity.

Find out more

Upcoming training dates

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

Key Performance Indicators

We will measure the success of Future Takes using the following Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These are aspirational targets that reflect our intentions:

  • 70% of films supported will receive a screening at a festival listed in Section A of the BAFTA Qualifying Festivals List – British Short Film 202½022, or a screening on one of the online platforms listed in Appendix A
  • 86% of all projects funded will have a writer, director and/or producer based outside London
  • 28% of all projects funded have a writer, director or producer resident in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales
  • 70% of directors supported will have a made a long form work in the two years following completion of their funded short film
  • 100% of films supported will be albert-certified as carbon neutral.

4. What you can use the funding for

You can apply for an award of between £35,000 and £90,000. When you make your application, it will constitute a request for funding to both BFI and Film4. The awards we make will comprise a grant of BFI National Lottery funding and a license purchase by Film4. We will confirm the amount to be advanced by each of BFI and Film4 at the point that we offer funding.

Awards will be made in accordance with the scale, ambition and reach of each proposal. We hope to receive applications at a range of budget levels and do not expect to support many films at the combined maximum of £90,000.

Eligible costs

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

  • All costs you expect to incur in order to deliver the finished film
  • The clearance of all rights (including music) in the project worldwide in all media in perpetuity (including use fees, repeat fees and residuals)
  • Wages for crew at least equivalent to London Living Wage, with parity across grades, across departments
  • At least equity minimums for cast
  • Any disability access support you require in order to produce the project
  • Reasonable external legal fees for issues that may arise on the production or in relation to clearing third party rights, noting that for successful applicants, BFI and Film4 can on request supply template clearance documents for the selected films (writer, director, individual producer, cast, crew, locations, music composer). If your project involves adaptation of underlying material, it is particularly important to ensure you have adequate legal costs for any clearances.
  • All customary production insurances including errors and omissions on which the BFI & Film4 will require to be named as an additional insured
  • All the delivery materials required by the BFI & Film4, including enhanced access materials (see Getting a decision and Appendix B). The BFI is committed to ensuring that the cinema experience is open to all, especially to disabled audience members. It is 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 screenings of the film.
  • A mandatory carbon offset provision of at least 0.1% of the total budget in order to meet albert certification
  • A 5% contingency
  • Any other requirements of funding detailed within these guidelines.

The insurer may 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.

Please note, if you are registered for VAT, your figures should not include VAT that you can claim back. If you are not registered for VAT, or you are registered for VAT but cannot fully recover the VAT you incur on costs, your figures should include irrecoverable VAT. Grants made by BFI are ‘outside the scope’ of VAT. You should get financial advice from your own accountant or the relevant tax office.

Access requirements during production

If any members of your core team, cast or crew have personal access needs that will incur a cost during the production of your project, you can include these costs in your request to us. We define such needs as specific support required by people who are disabled or have a physical or mental health condition, which will result in an actual cash cost to your production budget. This might for example be a BSL interpreter to work with members of cast or crew; additional transport or accommodation costs for disabled team members; or a personal assistant for a team member with a learning disability or mental health condition to assist during the production.

If you require support for such costs, please include them in your budget under the category Access support. If you are already seeking the maximum award amount and have not been able to cover support costs within that, you can apply for the maximum plus the additional amount you need for access support.

All funded productions will have the support of an Access Coordinator. This resource will be provided by the BFI so you do not need to budget for it.

Ineligible costs

Costs that we cannot support include:

  • Core costs for day to day running of your production company not associated with the film
  • Activity that is already specifically supported by another external source of funding
  • Cost incurred prior to an offer of funding from BFI

This list is not exhaustive and we may inform you that other types of activity within your application cannot be supported by a BFI award.

5. Applying to Future Takes 2023

Future Takes 2023 is now closed for applications.

You can log in to your account to check your application or view a PDF of the application form. 

Information you need to provide

Equality monitoring form

On starting an application you’ll be asked to complete an Equality Monitoring Form, which opens up in a separate window. This collects data to help measure how effective Future Takes is in attracting a diverse range of applicants. It requests information about the writer, director and producer on your project. When filling it in, you can select ‘prefer not to say’ if you’d rather not share the information requested.

In the main application you’ll need to complete the following sections:

Project and team

These sections will ask you for information including:

  • your story
  • a written or video statement from your director and writer
  • description of the development work carried out to date
  • the practical elements of production, including actual or intended cast, key technical crew, music etc. Please describe any unusual or challenging technical or budgetary requirements that you anticipate
  • how your production response to our environmental sustainability principle
  • how your production responds to our UK-wide principle
  • CV summaries for your writer, producer and director
  • links to examples of previous work from your writer, director and producer. This will include links to the two pieces of work that make your director eligible to apply for funding, and evidence that the distribution achieved and/or response to this work matches the eligibility criteria. We may decide not to review all of this previous work before making a decision.
  • your plans for distribution / festival strategy / other means of maximising impact and exposure for your project to industry and audiences, subject to and taking into account at this stage the requirements of the Film4 licence (see below)

Finance and budget

You’ll be asked to state the amount of funding you are seeking in total from the BFI and Film4 for your project, and to attach your budget at the end of the form. If you are successful BFI and Film4 will confirm the amount each will contribute to your film. You can also include contributions ‘in kind’, e.g. of resources or time – these should be clearly identified as such in your budget but you will need to demonstrate that cast and crew are being fairly paid.

While we do not require a UK Tax Credit Advance to be included in your finance plan, we would 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 (referred to above), if this cost is not assumed by a local distributor), marketing costs, festival submissions and any deferments and subject to approval by the BFI & Film4, thereafter to be retained by the core filmmaking team (usually, the producer, writer and/or director). 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 should start thinking about festival and distribution strategy before you go into production, and have a plan for meeting the costs of festival submissions and any related travel and accommodation.

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 single application form).

In relation to Standards B and C, we expect projects we support to provide meaningful on-the-job training and learning opportunities, in particular for below-the-line crew. We encourage teams to think about finding a balance between very experienced film crew and pre-existing relationships, and opportunities for less experienced crew or people from other industries looking to work in film.

Supporting materials

This section will ask for links to materials expressing your ideas for the project you are seeking funding for, e.g. mood board or reel, production design, images etc.


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

  • your budget
  • the script of your project (or treatment/alternative format if your project is a documentary) 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 rather than a treatment or outline. If the form of your project doesn’t lend itself to regular script presentation, or you have an alternative mode of expression you would like to use (for example, because you are neurodivergent and work more visually), you can submit your ideas in your preferred medium. Please contact us if you have any questions about this before submitting.
  • a draft production schedule, providing a timeline for the project for all stages of production (including allowing time for BFI/ Film4 feedback) and a delivery date
  • any other materials relevant to the project, if you’ve not provided links in the previous section.

If you need support in completing the application form please contact us on

6. What happens after you apply 

All timeframes below commence from the closing date for applications

  1. You’ll get confirmation we received your application within five working days
  2. We’ll request any additional information we may need within six weeks
  3. We will invite shortlisted applicants to a virtual interview, and inform other applicants that they are unsuccessful, within 10 weeks
  4. We aim to hold interviews and provide indications of funding to selected teams within 12 weeks

Once submitted, we will review your application and if necessary, may write to you or request to meet with you to obtain more information about your application. If we need additional information from you, it may take us longer to reach a decision on your application. If we receive a very high volume of applications, we may also need to extend our assessment period.

If your application is ineligible, we will email to tell you we will not be able to consider it. We may allow you to fix a mistake if this is the only reason the application is ineligible.

How your application is assessed 

Eligible applications will be assessed in full by an external reader, to give us an additional perspective from outside our own organisations. It will then be reviewed by one or more staff members from BFI and/or Film4. We may share parts of your application with other BFI teams or additional external consultants to help us assess it. The individuals involved will be required to maintain confidentiality regarding the application contents and agree not to retain application materials following their review.

When assessing your application we consider:

  • The ambition of the film proposal and its script
  • The extent to which the proposed film is likely to represent a creative progression in relation to the team’s previous work, and particularly for the director
  • The strength of the case made for the potential career impact of making this film, for the team involved
  • The feasibility of the budget, its value for money and whether the film as described in the application and the script requires the amount of money requested from the Fund
  • How your application responds to the three principles of Equity, diversity and inclusion (including how you have addressed the BFI Diversity Standards); UK-wide; and Environmental sustainability
  • How you have managed any previous BFI and/or Film4 funding
  • Your demonstration of need for National Lottery funding
  • Whether there is a clear public benefit to the proposed activity, including through potential audience impact
  • The overall balance of projects receiving support, to ensure variety in the work being funded.

After reviewing your budget, we may request that you amend specific lines and allocations before we make a final funding decision. We may also propose changes to your budget and offer you a different amount to what you have requested.

How we prioritise submissions

The BFI and Film4 have six priorities we use when reviewing applications to Future Takes. Projects do not need to meet all of these priorities, but as we receive far more applications than we can support, we use these to identify which projects most closely meet our strategic aims and will prioritise these for funding.

1. Equality, diversity and inclusion

Addressing under-representation in perspective and representation, talent and recruitment, agency and opportunities, as well as widening the range of voices and audiences

2. Environmental Sustainability

Addressing sustainability both creatively and practically

3. UK-wide

Increasing the number of projects and filmmakers outside London and the South East, looking at location and representation

4. Talent development and progression

Supporting the early career filmmakers above and below the line

5. Impact and audience

Supporting projects with a strong cultural or progressive impact for audiences

6. Risk

Supporting projects that take creative risks.

7. Getting a decision

If you’re successful

You will receive a written offer of funding from each of BFI and Film4 that will need to be returned within 21 days.

Your offer of funding will set out details of how you’ll receive the funding, how to use it and how we expect you to report to us.

Read section eight below to find out what you will have to do if you are offered an award.

If you’re unsuccessful

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

  • Did not fit our funding objectives and outcomes
  • Did not demonstrate sufficient advancement beyond the previous work you included in the application
  • Did not demonstrate readiness to work with the budget available
  • Did not demonstrate a strong enough commitment to one or all of the following principles: equity, diversity and inclusion; environmental sustainability; UK-wide
  • Was too ambitious for the budget
  • Was not yet developed enough
  • Did not demonstrate sufficient need for BFI National Lottery and Film4 support and should be financed by other means
  • Did not meet with the BFI Diversity Standards.


Unless there’s a significant change to your original proposal, you will not be able to resubmit it at any future round of Future Takes. This is usually a change of director or a significant rewrite of the material with a different writer.

We will also allow a resubmission in situations where we have directly recommended further development of the project, or where the application has been withdrawn.

If you meet one of the above criteria and submit a new application for the same project at a future round of this fund, please ensure that you clearly identify the revised elements of the project in the new application.

Feedback on an unsuccessful application

If we had a meeting with you to discuss your application, you can ask for feedback on your application. We’re a small team and unfortunately that means we’re unable to give feedback to other applicants.

We will keep the data 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 you are offered an award, the General Conditions of National Lottery Funding will apply to the BFI offer in addition to the terms and conditions required by each of the BFI and Film4 as outlined here.

  1. You will need to provide an agreed final budget, proof of application for British certification and your production schedule.
  2. Funded projects will have oversight from BFI and Film4 Executives. We may also provide you with support from one or more mentors from the wider industry. You do not need to budget for the cost of this mentoring.
  3. Funded projects will also have access to a Wellbeing Facilitator and an Access Coordinator. Both roles will support filmmakers and crew from pre-production onwards. You do not need to budget for the costs of either role.
  4. Prior to commencement of shoot BFI and Film4 will provide one or more support workshops for funded teams. These will be held remotely via Zoom, and will cover relevant production and professional development topics using guest speakers. We will provide workshop date(s) and confirmation of subjects and speakers once we have made our funding decisions, and expect teams to attend and engage with these resources as much as possible.
  5. You will be required to include the BFI/National Lottery & Film4 animated logos and presentation credits at the start of the project and certain closing credits and logos at its end.
  6. The provisions of the BFI ‘Locked Box’ initiative will not apply to this funding.
  7. The BFI and Film4 will pay the funding to a limited company registered in the UK.
  8. 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).
  9. As a condition of Film4’s financing they will require co-ownership of the subsequent production rights (as such term is commonly understood in the film/television industries in the UK/Ireland) in each project with the relevant rights owner.
  10. 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.
  11. The BFI funding will take the form of a non-recoupable grant; the Film4 funding will take the form of a licence fee.
  12. The BFI and Film4 will take rights as outlined here. This would come after a period of festival exhibition for the film, and will be designed to maximise audiences for your work. We will agree a release strategy with you that takes in both festival and online exhibition.
  13. 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.
  14. You will be required to provide an exclusive licence to Film4, A Division of Channel Four Television Corporation in and to all television and subject to the BFI rights above and all on demand transmission rights in the project in the UK/Ireland territory for a period of eighteen (18) years from the date of delivery of the Film to Film4, such licence as will be based on Film4 customary terms. Film4 will own the delivery materials provided to it and be entitled to deal with such materials through standard terms applied Film4. We will consider other forms of exploitation after a period of three years after first exploitation on any Channel4 services.
  15. The BFI and Film4, where appropriate, can on request require certain approvals over your project including all key production and financial documentation prepared in relation to the project. The BFI and Film4, where appropriate, will have rights of approval during the production of the project. This will include approval of both in progress and final scripts; all main production elements including key crew, key casting and final credits.
  16. The BFI & Film4 will have consultation rights over the assembly and all cuts of the production and a shared approval over the final cut.
  17. The BFI and Film4, where appropriate, may withdraw any offer of funding if it has reasonable concerns if third party rights in the work cannot be cleared.
  18. The BFI & Film4 will have certain audit rights over the project including the bank account into which the funding is paid
  19. A requirement to put in place all customary production insurances on which the BFI and Film4, where appropriate, must be named as an additional insured.
  20. A delivery date by which you agree to finish work on your film and submit the required delivery materials to us. We require all projects supported would be completed and delivered no more than 18 months after funding is offered.
  21. Delivery materials: (A) A Film4 Production Pack will be distributed to the producer with an extensive list of delivery requirements. Film4 will require electronic delivery of the items as set out in the Film4 delivery schedule at Appendix B (the cost of which must be contained in the budget for the project)

(B) (A) A BFI Delivery Schedule will be distributed to the producer with an extensive list of delivery requirements. This will cover the BFI’s requirement for electronic delivery of the items set out in Appendix B (the cost of which must be contained in the budget for the project).

  1. You will be required to ensure that any distribution of your project in the UK provides soft-subtitling and audio-description materials in cinemas and on any video-on-demand, DVD or Blu-ray disc release of the project.
  2. A production cashflow that breaks down the award total into instalments, with the final payment being subject to submission to us of the delivery materials. Any underspend on the award will be retained by, or reimbursed to, the BFI & Film4. The BFI & Film4 will each hold back a percentage of their funding (e.g. 5%) until delivery to the BFI & Film4 of the delivery materials. Film4 will split the 5% delivery payment cashflowing 50% on paperwork delivery and 50% on tech delivery once all the required materials and documents have been received.
  3. The BFI & Film4 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.
  4. Where relevant to your cast and crew, you will need to adopt safeguarding provisions for protecting children and vulnerable adults.

Appendix A – Festivals, awards ceremonies and platforms

To meet points i-iii of the eligibility criteria above, the director or writer-director on your project needs to have made at least two short films, one of which 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

Anima Mundi International Animation Festival, Brazil 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 London Film Festival

Blackstar Film Festival, USA

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

Cinanima International Animated Film Festival, Portugal

Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival




Dokufest (Kosovo) International Documentary & Short Film Festival

Dublin International Film Festival

Edinburgh International Film Festival

Encounters Film Festival

Fantastic Fest (Austin, TX)

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

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

PÖFF Shorts (Black Nights Film Festival)

Raindance Film Festival

Rotterdam International Film Festival

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

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

Online platforms

The Guardian

New York Times Op-Docs

Field of Vision


BBC Three

Channel 4



Oculus Store

PlayStation Store

Apple App Store

Google Play Store

Proprietary app (e.g. New York Times VR app, BBC VR app)

Appendix B – Delivery materials

BFI delivery materials

Film and Video Materials

  • DCP
  • 1 Pro Res 4444 Quicktime mezzanine file
  • 1 H264 .mov or .mp4 file
  • 1 password protected Vimeo link

In the event that it is not possible to deliver the Pro Res or H264 files electronically, they should be provided using a portable hard drive such as the Avastor HDX series.

Enhanced Access Materials

It’s a requirement of our funding that the film is delivered with subtitles and Audio Description (an ‘AD’ track), and that the availability of these materials is publicised and they are made available in time for any screenings of the film. You will need to factor the production of these materials into your production timeline, and ensure you have budgeted for them. Cost estimates for this work can vary considerably so it is important to shop around as early as possible. You will be required to provide a letter from any UK distributor or Sales agent confirming receipt of the Enhanced Access Materials.


1 Final Cost Report. Please note that we may ask for copies of supporting invoices but you do not need to supply them as part of the delivery materials.

1 Release Plan

Confirmation that your film has achieved BAFTA albert certification

Any applicable rights clearances

PDF copies of all clearance agreements including Artists Agreement(s), Director and Writer Agreement, Contributors Agreements (to include at a minimum all Heads of      Department: DOP, Sound Recordist, Editor, Art Director/Production Designer, Sound Designer (if applicable)) and Music Contributors Agreement, and a copy of the music cue sheet

Equality Monitoring Report submitted via online link. This will request information on the contributors to your project and will be used to measure success against the BFI         Diversity Standards.

You will be provided with detailed specifications for these delivery materials, which may be an updated version of the above list.

Film4 delivery materials

Condensed schedule

Publicity and Paperwork

  • The FINAL SCRIPT of the Film, without timings and spotting information.
  • Combined DIALOGUE, CONTINUITY & MASTER ENGLISH SUBTITLE SPOTTINGLIST at 25fps to match the DPP delivered as per Section A. 3. Channel 4’s online MUSIC CUE SHEET to be completed via Soundmouse at
  • A DIGITAL FILE enabling online conforming to the following specification: 8 Mbps H.264/MPEG-4 AVC variable bit rate, high profile, 2 pass encode with 44.1 KHz AAC stereo audio.
  • The PRODUCTION NOTES, including presentation credits (at front), a synopsis, brief biographies and filmographies of key cast and crew, main cast and crew credits, and a production story. 6. At least 5 PRODUCTION STILLS (or all approved stills if available), plus 1 approved still of the director. Each still should be numbered and clearly labelled to indicate the name of the Film, the names of the actors who appear in each shot and the characters they play and what the shot depicts. An accompanying index of all images to be provided. Images must be 300dpi resolution when sized at approx 10x8 inches – each file size to be approx. 20mb.
  • CREDIT INFORMATION to be supplied as word/excel and pdffiles Screen Credits: The approved list of full front and end credits, in the order that they appear on screen; and Paid Ad Credits: The approved Billing block with accompanying applicable logos and copyright notice.
  •  A SIGNED PRODUCER STATEMENT setting out full details of any product placement deals, or written confirmation that there are no product placement deals in connection with the Film.
  • A completed REGIONS & NATIONS REPORT, applicable to UK productions (available on page5).
  • A completed DIVERSITY STANDARDS REPORT (available on pages 6-11). An earlier version of this may have been submitted prior to the shoot, but a final version also needs to be completed for delivery. Please note regarding 9 & 10: Your Film4 contact can provide the WORD documents if you prefer to type answers in.
  •  A copy of confirmation that the final carbon footprint calculation has been completed and submitted on Albert. It is Mandatory to also complete the Carbon Action Plan (Certification). For more information, visit:
  • Copies in PDF format of ALL EXECUTED CONTRACTS with key cast, heads of department, music licences, location agreements, chain of title documents and finance documents. All agreements supplied to be indexed.

Please note:

It is important to pay close attention to sections 3.2.1 (Photo Sensitive Epilepsy Testing) and section 2.2.1 (R128 audio loudness) in order to avoid technical rejection. The file delivered shall be made directly from the full and final film, at the original aspect ratio. It shall contain a TV stereo mix, TV 5.1 mix and M&E mix, delivered in accordance with broadcast specifications in section 2 of the above DPP document. Subtitles:

If your film contains any subtitles, Channel 4’s Programme Management Department ( may require delivery of a version of the film that is ‘clean’ of any subtitles so that these may be added ‘in-house’ in the Channel’s standard format. Please discuss and agree what is required in advance of production with your Film4 Production contact. Should the file be rejected for any reason, the Producer shall send another file with the issue rectified. All costs relating to the repair of the film and redelivery of files shall be borne by the Producer. The broadcast master file should be delivered using the confidential Channel4 Aspera upload site. When the file is ready to be delivered, contact Sam Godfrey, Programme Manager who will arrange for the link to be sent.