The BFI Short Film funding programme supports projects with directors based in England. It is run in partnership with the BFI NETWORK Talent Executives who work with filmmakers on the delivery of funded projects.

About the BFI Short Film Fund

This fund supports the production costs of fiction shorts, in both live action and animation. They want to support short films that respond to BFI 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;
  • Filmmakers based throughout the nation, not just in traditional industry centres.

This fund 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. The BFI welcomes applications for amounts throughout the available budget range up to a maximum of £15,000. You can submit applications for films of any length up to a maximum of 15 minutes.

This 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.

Apply for the Short Film Fund

The Short Film Fund opens for two six-week application windows in the Spring and Autumn of each year. The BFI 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:

2021/22 | Spring Round

Applications open: Monday 26 April 2021

Applications close: Monday 7 June 2021 – 5pm

Deadline for securing additional finance: Monday 16 August 2021

Final Funding Decisions Announced: By end of September 2021

2021/22 | Autumn Round

Applications open: Friday 20 August 2021

Applications close: Friday 1 October 2021

Final Funding Decisions Announced: By end of March 2022

Learn how to apply via Film Hub North here. If you are instead a director based outside England or a filmmaker looking for documentary funding opportunities, please see their Funding Finder.




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