Access support for BFI Film Fund applicants

Find out about funding access support costs.

The BFI is committed to making its funding accessible for all. 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 in order for someone to make a funding application. This means we can contribute to specific costs involved with completing the application form.

We can fund access support costs so that you are able to complete an application form for the following BFI funds:

  • Audience Fund
  • BFI NETWORK Short Film (England)
  • BFI NETWORK Early Development (England)
  • Development Fund
  • Completion Funding
  • Film Export Fund
  • Production Fund
  • Short Form Animation Fund
  • UK film-focused activity at international festivals, markets and other platforms
  • Vision Awards
  • Young Audiences Content Fund

Please note: If you’re applying for BFI NETWORK funds and are based in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales and require support with your application, please contact the NETWORK partner in your nation (Northern Ireland Screen, Scottish Film Talent Network or Ffilm Cymru Wales).

What can Access Support be used for?

This funding can be used for:

  • The costs of a support worker to help you use our Guidelines and make an online application.
  • The provision of Guidelines in an alternative format (if we support this cost, we may require you to share a copy of any materials created with us, for potential use with other applicants). Please note that we can currently provide all Guidelines as plain text documents on request, and the NETWORK Short Film & Early Development Fund Guidelines are available online in audio versions: network.bfi.org.uk/funding-available
  • Costs for meetings relating to your application including travel, note-takers, BSL interpreters.
  • Translation of application videos made in BSL to English.

These are only examples of what might be covered and you can apply for other costs not mentioned here.

Access Support is purely for any costs involved in you making an application to the BFI. It cannot be used to help you develop your application, film or project or to cover costs for which there is already other funding in place e.g. if you receive Access to Work support. We also cannot cover the purchase of hardware or software.

How much can I request?

There is no maximum amount that is available per person, so you can apply for the amount that you need. You must ensure that the costs are reasonable and that as far as possible you will receive good value for money from any services or suppliers. If we receive multiple requests from the same person, we may not be able to support all of these requests.

How do I make a request?

STEP 1: Fill out the online Access Support Request Form.

If you are unable to use the online form, you can:

  • send in a video (as a link or attached file) where you answer the questions on the form, to fundingaccess@bfi.org.uk;
  • call us on 020 7815 1445 and provide your answers by phone;
  • request a paper copy of the form via fundingaccess@bfi.org.uk or on 020 7815 1445 and we will send one to you to complete in writing and post back.

If you provide your answers via video or phone, we will type up the details for you and send you a copy. You will then need to respond to confirm the information is correct.

Whichever method you use, please provide all the information the form asks for.

STEP 2: We will check your request and let you know as soon as possible whether we can support your costs.

STEP 3: If we have approved your request, we will give you a Final Costs Form. You should fill this in once you have incurred your costs. You’ll then need to post this to us with an original receipt for each cost.

STEP 4: We will check your form and approve the payment.

STEP 5: You will receive a cheque in the post.

When is the funding provided?

We would like to let people know whether we can support them before they need to spend any money on making their application. We generally then provide the funds themselves after we have received evidence of the costs involved. If your only cost is for using an access support worker, once we have your Final Costs form they can invoice us directly using your name as a reference.

If you need the funds in advance of incurring costs, please tell us this when you apply and ensure you allow enough time to submit your form and for us to review it. You will need to send evidence of the costs later on. We can’t guarantee to always be able to provide support in advance.

Does everybody get funded?

When we receive a request, we consider the most practical and cost-effective way to assist you in making an application. We may propose an alternative supplier of support for you to work with, or inform you that we can make a contribution to your costs rather than cover them in full.

We don’t guarantee to support all requests but we will review your request fairly and in line with the guidance provided here.

Any questions?

If you would like this guidance in a different format, or have any questions, please contact us via fundingaccess@bfi.org.uk or on 020 7815 1445.

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