This BFI Network short film funding programme supports fiction projects with directors based in England and is run in partnership with the BFI NETWORK Talent Executives who work with filmmakers on the delivery of funded projects. For directors based outside England or for filmmakers looking for documentary funding opportunities, please see our Funding Finder.

This fund supports the production costs of fiction shorts, in both live action and animation. BFI Network wants to support short films that respond to our core objectives which are to support:

  • The early careers of ambitious filmmakers;
  • Filmmaking that takes risks on talent, form and content;
  • Work that recognises the quality of difference – in perspective, in talent, in recruitment;
  • Work with cultural relevance or progressive ideas;
  • Work from filmmakers based throughout the nation, not just in traditional industry centres.

BFI Network supports standalone short films and this can include projects that have the potential, further down the line, to be developed into other forms or formats (e.g. a feature film, content in serial form). The fund is intended to stimulate new ideas and stories, so it doesn’t support adaptations of existing material. We welcome applications for amounts throughout the available budget range up to a maximum of £15,000. We are seeking applications for films of any length up to a maximum of 15 minutes.

BFI Network funding is accompanied by creative oversight of the short film by a BFI NETWORK Talent Executive. As well as working with filmmakers prior to and during production, the Talent Executives may be able to advise you on:

  • finding screening opportunities regionally and further afield;
  • ways to meet potential collaborators for your project;
  • festival strategy for your film;
  • other means to gain industry exposure for your work.


Changes are being made to the way that we manage and assess applications to the Short Film fund in England. From October 2020 onwards the fund will open for two six-week application windows in the Spring and Autumn of each year. From 2021 onwards we will publish the application dates six months in advance so that filmmakers can plan their applications, polish their draft scripts and find collaborators in good time.

The dates for the next two application windows are as follows:

Autumn 2020

Applications OpenMonday 19 October 2020 12PM
Applications CloseMonday 30 November 2020 12PM
Final Funding Decisions MadeBy end of March

Spring 2021

Applications Openw/c 26 April 2021
Applications CloseMonday 7 June 2021
Final Funding Decisions MadeBy end of September 2021

BFI reserves the right to amend any of these dates where necessary.


Please read the full funding guidelines before you complete the application form.



The Short Film Fund audio guidelines are in the process of being updated, please check back soon for the revised guidelines.


Before you proceed to the application form via the link below you will be asked to create an account. Following submission of the application to the BFI, applicants will be sent a unique application reference number for their records.

If you have already submitted an application and would like to review it at any point, you can log into your account here.

You will need to submit a budget for your short film using our budget template which you can download here.

Preview the BFI NETWORK Short Film Fund application here.



We can provide assistance to applicants who are D/deaf, hard-of-hearing, Disabled or neurodiverse people, and people with sight loss, where this support is needed in order for someone to make an application to the Film Fund. Visit Access support for BFI Film Fund applicants for information.


If you are looking a writer, director or producer to work with on your project, click here for some ideas on how to do this.





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