BFI and BBC Four collaborate to offer emerging UK animators unique opportunity

The partnership will fund up to 12 new short films, and films from successful applicants may be broadcast on BBC Four following a premiere at BFI Southbank.

Animation 2018

BFI NETWORK, the BFI’s UK-wide talent development programme, and BBC Four launch Animation 2018, continuing their successful partnership to support new talent across the UK. The project will fund up to 12 short films, providing a maximum of £10,000 per project, and is seeking applications from the next generation of animation talent. Films from successful applicants may be broadcast on BBC Four following a premiere at BFI Southbank.

Hoping to attract the country’s most vibrant new storytellers, who use animation as their chosen medium, the project aims to create striking and original work. This is the second edition of the UK-wide collaboration between the BFI and BBC Four, which encourages and supports talent from a variety of disciplines, and has acted as a launchpad for a number of promising careers across broadcast and film. Open exclusively to new and emerging filmmakers, successful entries will receive production awards between £2,000 and £10,000 towards the completion or creation of an original film.

The project forms part of the BFI’s yearlong focus on animation, a celebration of the diversity, richness and innovation in British animation, through screenings and events in venues up and down the country, a new collection of animated archive film available to view online and the release of BFI supported Early Man, the latest film from Nick Park.

Filmmakers have the freedom to select their style, content and tone, with films limited to 2-10 minutes in duration. The project aims to back voices and visions that might otherwise go unseen, showcasing fresh, distinctive and contemporary approaches exploring a variety of styles and techniques. Perhaps inspired by topics of national or global importance, or animation heroes of past or present, Animation 2018 welcomes a wide range of genres from documentary to fiction, pure fantasy to comedy and hopes to attract talent from all nations and regions of the UK.

Development and delivery of the shorts will be managed by independent production company Wingspan Productions, who successfully worked on the 2017 iteration of the project.

Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor BBC Four, says:

“We’re incredibly proud to be supporting new and innovative animation talent on BBC Four with our partners at BFI and Wingspan Productions. BBC Four should be a home for Britain’s best and brightest new creative talent, and I am delighted that through this project we are providing a new generation with an exciting opportunity to build upon Britain’s rich and inventive history in animation.”

Matimba Kabalika, Talent Development Manager, BFI NETWORK, says:

“We’re really excited to continue this collaboration with BBC Four, which allows us to champion exciting, new, diverse voices. This year we are thrilled to be bolstering this offer specifically for new and emerging storytellers working in animation, across the breadth of the UK. This unique combination of funding and a chance to have work broadcast on national television is a rarity, and I would urge animators everywhere to apply.”

Archie Baron, Creative Director, Wingspan Productions, says:

“We are thrilled once again to be seeking out and working alongside a new generation of British talent – and especially pleased that this year the BBC and BFI have chosen to focus on animation. It’s a medium where imagination, creativity and originality can yield unforgettable filmmaking. We can’t wait to receive your applications.”

For further details on Animation 2018 and to apply, please visit the BFI NETWORK website.

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