The Film Fund is the production and development heart of the British Film Institute. It supports filmmakers in the UK who are emerging or world class and capable of creating distinctive and entertaining work.
The Film Fund has £18 million a year to invest; however, it will only be able to make a limited number of investments each year, so competition for funding is extremely high. It is anticipated that approximately 90% of applications will be rejected.
The Film Fund is provided by the British Film Institute. It supersedes the Film Fund previously provided by the UK Film Council.
As of 1 April 2011, the British Film Institute became the Lottery distributor for film funding.
The Film Fund is the production and development heart of the British Film Institute. It supports film-makers in the UK who are emerging or world class and capable of creating distinctive and entertaining work.
Interested parties should note the following restrictions:
- Unsolicited reapplications are not allowed.
- Applications for slate funding will not be accepted.
Applications are invited from all EU-registered production companies that have a screenwriter already attached. Projects must:
- Be capable of being developed as a feature-length fictional or documentary theatrical film (it cannot be a programme, series or production primarily for television viewing).
- Be capable of obtaining theatrical and video release certificates no more restrictive than a British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) "18".
- Be wholly capable of qualifying for certification as a British film through:
- Schedule One of the Films Act 1985 (the Cultural Test).
- One of the UK's official co-production treaties.
- The European Convention on Co-Production.
Production projects must have both a director and producer attached to be eligible for support. The funding provider is especially keen to support applications from producer/writer/director teams.
All applicants must also include proof that they can secure - or have secured - the underlying rights relating to their project.
Applications will be assessed against the "potential creative success of the film", which will include the following factors:
- The quality of the idea.
- The filmmaking talent involved in the project.
- The inventiveness and freshness of the vision.
- The film's potential to attract creative talent both in front and behind the camera.
- The film's potential appeal to audiences.
- How the film will contribute to a dynamic, national cinema, and whether the film will capture the "spirit of its time".
Not a specified requirement.
Film-makers in the UK who are emerging or world class and capable of creating distinctive and entertaining work will be supported by the Fund.
The Fund rates the potential creative success of the film as the most important factor in selection. To this end, applications are welcomed for all kinds of film, eg from commercial mainstream to experimental, from genre movies to personal stories, from documentaries to animation to live-action fiction.
By creative success the funding provider means: the quality of the idea and film-making talent involved with the project; the inventiveness and freshness of the vision; the potential to attract creative talent in front of and behind the camera; its potential appeal to an audience; how it contributes to a dynamic, national cinema; and if the film is going to capture the spirit of the time.
To make an application for funding, applicants need to submit two written proposals – one creative, one strategic.
Creative proposals could focus on areas such as the following:
- What is the film about (synopsis, story, themes)? The clarity of the story and ideas are key.
- What stage is it at?
- What direction will the film take?
- What is the track record and previous work of the writer/director?
- Why does the applicant want to make (write/direct) this film?
- What audience is the film aiming to appeal to?
- How would the applicant go about achieving their ideas and interpretation on film?
- Are there any casting ideas at this stage and how is the applicant planning to approach that cast?
- Where and when will the film be shot?
The strategic proposal is an applicant's chance to strengthen the application by demonstrating an ability to pull the project together. It can describe initial practical, financial, and publicity ideas.
Suggested questions that could be addressed are as follows:
- What budget does the applicant anticipate needing to develop the film and then get it made?
- Are there any unusual or challenging technical or budgetary requirements that can be foreseen?
- What is the finance plan for the film and how does the applicant envisage raising that investment?
- How will the applicant manage production resources and the budget?
- How will the applicant ensure the film finds its audience and gets distributed?
- Is it viewed as a festival driven film or a film driven by its opening weekend? (The funding provider welcomes both, but applicants need to be clear about what the film is trying to achieve and that it can be delivered accordingly.)
- What might be said in an advertising blurb to sell the film?
Proposals can include a web link to any visual materials, eg artwork, images, shorts, etc.
Note: this programme is dedicated to single project funding and applications for slate funding or schemes are not being accepted.
Applications may be submitted at any time.
Applications should be submitted online. Interested organisations must submit two types of application, one creative and one strategic, along with any other supporting materials.
The funding provider will contact applicants that they are interested in supporting and ask them to submit additional information, such as scripts, finance plans, casting lists and a showreel.
Interested parties should contact the British Film Institute for further information.