Funding is available to help British films make sales abroad when they are selected for important international festivals.
Awards of up to £15,000 per film are available.
Film Export Fund support may not exceed 50% of the total of the anticipated costs to be incurred directly by the sales agent, i.e. 50% of those costs not being covered by third party funding sources (e.g. the eligible festival, the local distributor, other public funding).
The British Film Institute's (BFI) Film Export Fund aims to enhance the export opportunities for British films when they have been selected to appear at important international film festivals.
Festivals can provide a powerful platform to launch international sales campaigns, but taking full advantage of these opportunities can present a level of financial risk for sales companies. Therefore, the Fund aims to help sales agents maximise a festival selection through enhanced publicity and/or marketing activity as well as assisting with the technical and logistical costs involved with a high profile appearance.
Through supporting individual British films that are selected for festivals the Fund aims to:
- increase opportunities for international sales and distribution of British Films; and
- promote UK film and talent internationally.
Costs relating to sales agents' own attendance at the festival will not be covered. Examples of further ineligible costs are, but are not limited to:
- per diems
- any producer-related costs;
- events (drinks, dinners, etc.);
- trailers; and
- general company promotional materials.
Applications can only be made for the promotion of an eligible film placed in an official category/competition at an eligible festival. Eligible festivals are:
- Sundance (22 January - 1 February 2015)
- Rotterdam (21 January - 1 February 2015)
- Berlin (5 - 15 February 2015)
- South by Southwest (13 - 21 March 2015)
- Hong Kong (17 March - 2 April 2015)
- Tribeca Film Festival (15 - 26 April 2015)
- Cannes (13 - 24 May 2015)
- Annecy Animation (15 - 20 June 2015)
- Karlovy Vary (4 - 12 July 2015)
- Locarno (5 - 15 August 2015)
- Venice (2 - 12 September 2015)
- Telluride (4 - 7 September 2015)
- Toronto (10 - 20 September 2015) tbc
- San Sebastian (18 - 26 September 2015) tbc
- Fantastic Fest (24 September - 1 October 2015)
- Sitges International (3 - 12 October 2015) tbc
- Busan International Film Festival (4 - 11 October 2015) tbc
- Tokyo Film Festival (17 -25 October 2015) tbc
- Rome Film Festival (14 - 18 November 2015) tbc
An eligible film is one that:
- is wholly capable of qualifying for certification as a British film through:
- the Cultural Test; or
- one of the UK's official co-production treaties; or
- the European Convention on Co-Production.
- has a production budget of £7,000,000 or less;
- is feature-length with a running time of less than 70 minutes; and
- is intended for theatrical release.
Applications must be for either the international, North American or European premiere.
An eligible film can receive a maximum of two awards from the Fund.
Applications can only be made by the sales agent representing the film, who must also be in attendance at the festival promoting this film. A sales agent must be a legally registered company with a core business of selling films in the international market.
The Fund will only support a maximum of 50% of eligible costs; sales agents must source the remainder from third party sources e.g. the eligible festival, the local distributor, other public funding.
Awards from the Fund can be used for one or more of the following:
- Subtitling costs and/or production costs of subtitled prints or digital cinema packages for use at the festival.
- Print transport costs.
- A contribution to reasonable travel and accommodation costs to the festival for essential key talent (e.g. lead cast, director).
- Public relations activities at the festival, including press kits, the appointment of a local or international publicist and associated PR costs.
- Marketing and promotional items specific to the film's inclusion at the festival, including festival specific posters, brochures, flyers, screeners, trade advertisements and digital campaigns.
The last date for an application to an eligible festival was 14 October 2015 (Rome). Details of any future rounds will be reported should they become available.
An application form can be downloaded from the BFI's website.
75% of the award will be paid upon the BFI's receipt of a counter-signed Offer of Funding, a draw-down request for the funding and a copy of a high quality still from the film. The remaining 25% will be paid on receipt of a draw-down request for the funding together with a copy of a fully completed Post Participation Form (no earlier than three months after the start date of the festival).
The award must be claimed in full no later than seven months from the start date of the festival.