The Uncertain Kingdom is a collection of twenty short films from twenty directors about the UK now. The films were commissioned in the spring last year and delivered through the winter.  They are currently commissioning a twenty-first film specifically on the topic of the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK. The film should open a unique and insightful perspective on the pandemic. As with all The Uncertain Kingdom films, it must be entertaining, original and relevant to the UK now.

Here’s more information from Uncertain Kingdom:


The final film

The film must be possible to produce while respecting government advice on the pandemic. It will be commissioned in May and must be delivered by 3rd August 2020.

Once again, we will give the chosen filmmaking team or individual filmmaker up to £10,000 to produce their film.

This final film will not be included in the online release of The Uncertain Kingdom but will be included in the community screenings when they take place.

What kind of film are we looking for?

We are looking for a story that gives a unique and insightful perspective on the crisis. We don’t mind what genre, form or style you choose, so long as it’s the best way to tell your story. You could apply with fiction, documentary, dance, monologue, animation… This list isn’t exhaustive; it’s up to you what you submit, so long as it meets the requirements listed under ‘your film’, below.

Who can apply?

The Uncertain Kingdom is aimed at experienced filmmakers with confidently executed, accomplished work under their belts.

Filmmakers have final cut and we’ll have minimal creative involvement. There’s no training element to the project, so we need to be confident you can deliver.

If you have significant experience in theatre, artist moving image, performance or other area of storytelling and you have an idea for a film, we welcome your application.

The Uncertain Kingdom is an inclusive project and we actively encourage applications from people of all backgrounds.

Your team

Applications must have a producer and director. That could be one person doing both roles, or a duo, or a team. If you have more than one producer, you’ll need to designate a lead producer to make the application. You may have a separate writer(s), or the director and/or producer could be the writer. It’s fine if there isn’t a writer at all.

Your core team may be more than three people but we will only ask about up to three team members in the initial application. Team members may be of any nationality but must all live in the UK.

Your experience

The lead producer and the director must have at least three short film credits, with at least one film having played at a BAFTA-qualifying festival; or a feature credit; or TV episode credit. Credits must be in the role in which the individual is applying to The Uncertain Kingdom.

These credits may have been achieved together as a team, or individually. Other contributors to the project, such as writers or additional producers, may be less experienced. If you’re coming from another storytelling background, you’ll need to demonstrate an equivalent level of experience.

Your film

·      Your film must tell us your unique perspective on the pandemic

·      It must be possible to produce your film while respecting government advice on the pandemic

·       It must be possible to produce and deliver your film by 3rd August 2020

·      If your film is fictional, it must be original (there must not be any underlying rights)

·      Your film must be achievable on £20k (we will award you up to £10k; you may raise a further £10k to the budget cap of £20k)

·      If you plan to raise more, you’ll need to be able to tell us how you’re going to do this in time to deliver on 3rd August 2020

·      Your film must have a running time of between 2 minutes and 15 minutes, including all credits.

·      Your film must be capable of achieving a maximum 18 BBFC certificate

·      Your film can be at script stage or at an earlier stage of development. However, you’ll need to tell us the whole story (beginning, middle and end) when you apply

What about copyright?

Filmmakers will retain the copyright in their films. On delivery of the film, The Uncertain Kingdom will be granted an exclusive licence to exploit the film for a limited term. At the end of the exclusive period granted to The Uncertain Kingdom, filmmakers will be free to screen and exploit their film as they like.

The Uncertain Kingdom does not expect to profit from any exploitation of the films. Filmmakers will not be required to pay any profit share to The Uncertain Kingdom and any money received by The Uncertain Kingdom from exploitation of the films will be shared among the filmmakers, after deduction of reasonable expenses.

How to apply

The (lead) producer must make the application on behalf of the team. When you apply, you’ll need to give us a 25-word log-line and a short synopsis of your story (1000 characters maximum). If you prefer, you can submit a video answer for your synopsis (2 minutes of video maximum).  You’ll also need to tell us what your film is about in 3 words. There’s no set way to do this; do what works for your film. For example, if you were making Jurassic Park, you might write: ‘man vs. nature’; or if you were making When Harry Met Sally, you could say, ‘male/female friendship’.

You’ll need to send us a sample of the producer and director’s work. Each sample must be a continuous clip from one film, of up to 3 minutes duration maximum. Please choose 3 minutes that you think is either most relevant to the film you want to make or the best representation of who you are as a filmmaker. Ideally the clip would do both. Please don’t send reels, trailers or full films that are longer than 3 minutes. If your whole film is shorter than 3 minutes, that’s fine.

You’ll also need short bios (1000 characters maximum) and contact details for each member of the team, and IMDb and website links if applicable.

Applications open on 29th April. You can find the link here.

Please note that you cannot edit your application after you have submitted and you cannot save it and come back to it later, so please make sure you have everything you need to get it done in one go.  There is nothing in the form that we haven’t told you about here in the guidelines, so there is no need to send a blank, ‘test’ entry to see the whole submission form. If you have everything we’ve listed above, you’re ready to submit.

You are welcome to apply more than once, with a new idea each time, with the same team or in different teams. However please bear in mind that we need to be confident about your commitment and passion for your film; if you spread your commitment and passion across more than one idea, it could make your application less compelling.

When to apply

Applications open at 8am Wednesday 29th April. Applications close at 11pm on Tuesday 12th May.

What happens next?

We will get back to you in the week commencing 25th May to let you know if we are progressing your application. If we are progressing your application, we will ask you for further materials, such as a script, other examples of your work, mood boards, schedule or budget (as applicable). Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications we received last time, we don’t anticipate being able to respond to unsuccessful applications. So if you don’t hear from us, your application has not been progressed.

We will choose the selected team at the end of May 2020.

The film must be delivered on 3rd August 2020.




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