An Intro to VR Storytelling with Alex Ruhl

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Hosted by Rural Media, Award-winning VR creator, Podcast host and TEDx Speaker Alex Ruhl gives an overview of the VR storytelling landscape on September 15th, covering:

  • What ideas work best in VR

  • How to get VR stories to audiences

  • A Q&A with Alex via the Youtube chat facility

  • Details of our Invisible Arts Network £12.5k VR commission and how to apply

A VR Sorytelling Funding Opportunity

Attendees to this initial session will be given the opportunity to pitch ideas for a regional VR commission, with the successful shortlisted ideas being invited to a further 3 VR development workshops to develop their applications for one £12.5k regional VR commission.

Our panel will shortlist 12 ideas judged on a range of criteria. Successful applicants must be available to attend development workshops on :

  • 13th Oct 10.00am – 2.00pm

  • 20th Oct 10.00am – 2.00pm

  • 3rd Nov 10.00am -2.00pm


Artists can only attend if they have a Herefordshire, Worcestershire or Shropshire postcode. In order to be eligible to apply for the £12.5K commission, artists need to attend the initial session on 15th September AND be available for the above dates.

Unsuccessful applicants will also be given access to the course materials but won’t be eligible to apply for the commission.

Key dates and deadlines are:

  • 15th September – Initial session with Alex Ruhl

  • 1st Oct – 500 word creative VR pitches deadline

  • 8th Oct – Selections panel

  • 11th Oct – Successful applicants notified

  • Development Workshop 1 – 13th Oct

  • Development Workshop 2 – 20th Oct

  • Development Workshop 3 – 3rd Nov

  • 22nd Nov – Full application deadline

  • 29th Nov – Section panel

  • 1st Dec – Successful commission announced

How to Attend


Book your place here.

**To participate in the Q&A via the Youtube chat facility and get the full experience, please make sure to watch the VR webinar in Youtube and not on Eventbrite. If you’re having trouble, click here instead.**




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Coventry Creative Projects Wanted

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Ten more community-minded people, groups and organisations who have an idea for a creative product they want to develop are being urged to come forward and apply for funding as part of the latest UK City of Culture scheme.

Coventry City of Culture Trust and 64 Million Artists have launched the second phase of the Community Connectors programme which sees budgets of up to £4,000 available for each successful project.

They are looking for individual community members, or those from grassroots organisations and community groups from Wyken, Longford, Bablake, Upper Stoke, Cheylesmore, Binley and Willenhall, Sherbourne, Westwood, Whoberley and Woodlands.


About the Projects

Projects can be anything from creating a piece of art to represent and celebrate the community or putting on a community event or festival to improving and using community spaces.

Eight groups were appointed in the first phase of the programme in February covering the City Centre, Earlsdon, Finham and Styvechale, Foleshill, Henley Green, Holbrooks, North West Coventry and Stoke Aldermoor. They have been receiving specialist training, mentoring and networking, delivered by 64 Million Artists, to help them develop their ideas and skills.

Chenine Bhathena, creative director of Coventry City of Culture Trust, said everyone was delighted to be expanding the Community Connectors programme in partnerships with the National Lottery Community Fund.

“We know that the people of Coventry care deeply about their local communities, their heritage and cultural lives of the friends and families and that there are plenty more people who have ideas to help celebrate and support their neighbours and area of the city.”

Visit for more on the scheme, including a video from the connectors themselves.

Community Connectors is part of the Love Coventry programme, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, and aims to take Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 to neighbourhoods and streets right across the city.




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BBC TV Drama Writers’ Programme 2022

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Applications to the 2022 TV Drama Writers’ Programme are open from Wednesday 28th July 2021 to 12 noon on Monday 13th September 2021 for credited and/or agented writers.. Please see BBc’s invitation to apply below:

TV Drama Writers Room Programme 2022

Please read the full Terms and Conditions of Entry


  • Writers must have at least ONE professionally produced piece of narrative scriptwriting work, a minimum of 30 minutes in length, in television, radio, theatre or film.  Novels are ineligible and will not be accepted.  ALTERNATIVELY writers must have an agent, supplying address and contact details.
  • Writers are asked to submit an original spec script (minimum 50 pages) and a one-page pitch outlining a potential series or serial idea for BBC One, BBC Two or BBC Three.  The original spec script can be film, theatre, television or radio – any medium except for novels.
  • The pitch needs to be a different idea from the spec script.  It should be as distinctive as possible, bearing in mind the current, competitive TV landscape in the UK and abroad.
  • The aim of the Programme is to give writers their first original television drama series or serial commission.
  • Writers must not have an original idea in development (beyond treatment stage) with BBC Television Drama.  Writers in development outside the BBC are eligible to apply.
  • Writers must not have had a previous original series or serial commission from BBC One, BBC Two or BBC Three.
  • Writers must demonstrate a burning desire to write television drama.


  • Writers will need to submit their CV highlighting produced credit or credits, an original spec script and a one page pitch (all saved as PDF) via the BBC Writersroom E-Submissions System only.  The spec script should be an original, full-length script (minimum 50 pages) and not an episode of an existing drama series.
  • To make their submissions, writers must submit (PDF only) via the BBC Writersroom using this link

E-Submissions System –  

Deadline: 12 noon on Monday 13th September 2021 


  • There are 10 places; and we shall be shortlisting 15-20 writers for the scheme.
  • The first round of interviews will be held in early 2022 (dates tbc).  Shortlisted writers will then have meetings with independent production companies in February/March 2022.
  • We will then inform the successful 10 writers.
  • Selected writers must be free to attend a three day intensive workshop in 2022 (dates tbc) and available to write their script and attend a series of writing workshops, lectures and readings across the subsequent months.  They will also receive notes on their pitches and each draft of their treatment and script.


  • Writers will be commissioned to write a minimum of two drafts of a treatment and a minimum of three drafts of their original script.  They will be paid a minimum script fee as agreed by the WGGB/PMA and the BBC on a favoured nations basis (currently £13,320 for 60 minutes).  


  • It is essential that applicants have an interest in and enthusiasm for television drama.  Submissions will be assessed on the strength of the writing and the originality of the pitch.
  • Applicants must be resident in the UK or Republic of Ireland.
  • The Logline, medium and genre on the E-submissions form refers to the spec script and not the pitch.
  • Submissions must be the writer’s original work, and may not be based wholly or in part, on the work of any other person, whether known, published, produced, or not (i.e. no adaptations).
  • As well as individual writers, writing partnerships of two (maximum) may enter.  Scripts submitted must be written by the partnership.
  • No feedback can be given on unsuccessful submissions.

If you have any questions, contact

Find out more about the TV Drama Writers’ Programme and the writers and production companies who have taken part in the scheme

Find out how the TV Drama Writers’ Programme fits into the range of opportunities from BBC Writersroom for writers at different stages of their careers

*Please Note: This is a separate scheme from our open submission Script Room, with more restricted entry criteria*




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still from Your-Mountain-Is-Waiting-animation film

BFI Short Form Animation Fund – Deadline August 16th

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The BFI has now opened applications for the Short Form Animation Fund, which aims to support growth in the UK animation sector. With awards of £30,000 to £120,000 available for successful projects, the Fund, which is now in its second round, is seeking applications from a wide array of UK animators and will back projects which represent a significant advancement in their work, enable progression and open up new opportunities.

Supporting higher-budgeted animated work of up to 15 minutes in length, the Short Form Animation Fund can support narrative short-form projects in any animated technique or genre and for any platform, including cinema, digital platforms, and immersive. It responds to priorities set out in BFI2022, the BFI’s five-year strategy, which identified animation as a focus area, and a commitment to encourage continued experimentation in form and content. The BFI is committed to supporting a diverse range of talent and addressing underrepresentation so is actively encouraging ethnically diverse teams to apply.

Within this year’s round of the fund is a new partnership with StoryFutures Academy – the UK’s National Centre for Immersive Storytelling run by the National Film and Television School (NFTS) and Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL) – who will contribute a grant of up to £50,000 each to support two animated projects that are intended to be immersive in nature, through virtual or augmented reality content.

Projects funded through the Short Form Animation Fund will benefit from the oversight of a BFI Film Fund Executive and a dedicated animation specialist. If teams would benefit from a relationship with an experienced studio or company, introductions could be facilitated. Projects supported by a grant from StoryFutures Academy will also receive additional oversight from a specialist in immersive content.

The BFI continues to support animation talent through BFI NETWORK with awards of up to £15k per project available for filmmakers at the early stages of their career. In addition, the government-funded Young Audiences Content Fund from the BFI supports the creation of distinct, high-quality content for children and young audiences to be broadcast on free-to-access, Ofcom regulated television channels and online platforms.

Who can Apply

A director, or writer/director with at least three director credits on previous pieces of animated work. One of these should have received notable industry recognition. ​The applicant must be credited as the director on all three, rather than animation director. Please check the eligibility criteria in the guidelines which you can find here before beginning your application.

Filmmakers with less experience, including those at the start of their careers, should visit BFI NETWORK. This scheme supports new filmmakers with networking, professional development opportunities and funding.

Apply to the Short Form Animation Fund

Read more and apply here. Deadline for applications is 9am on 16 August 2021.


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Coventry Filmmakers Can Apply for Coventry Creates 2021 Fund

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Coventry Creates 2021 will fund local artists to work in collaboration with academics and local arts organisations. This joint project between the University of Warwick and Coventry University will give 12 Coventry artists the opportunity to work with academic researchers to create digital art works reflecting research themes connected to City of Culture.

The Coventry Creates 2021 Fund

Each of the successful projects will receive up to £2250 to create a digital artwork which will be exhibited online in December 2021 and at the Resonate Festival on University of Warwick Campus in April 2022.

This year’s successful applicants will also receive consultation sessions with Coventry Art Forum experts and the chance to attend various informal online networking sessions hosted by members of the Coventry Creates team. The resulting art works will be showcased in the Coventry Creates Digital Exhibition in December 2021 and a physical exhibition at the Resonate Festival on University of Warwick Campus in April 2022.

The two universities would like to hear from anyone working in the arts including (but not limited to); combined arts, dance, film, libraries, literature, music, museums, and theatre and visual arts. Applications that showcase interdisciplinarity and innovation are also encouraged.

The commissions will be showcased in a digital exhibition, to be curated by the universities and next spring at the Resonate Festival on Warwick campus.

History of Coventry Creates

Since 2018 the collaboration between the universities has funded more than 50 research and creative projects in Coventry in the run up to City of Culture 2021. When lockdown struck in 2020 there was worry that some of the projects may not be able to continue. There was also huge concern about the creative sector in the city during a time of financial strain and social isolation.

The first Coventry Creates commissions were funded by the collaboration to help support the artistic community in the city. 18 collaborative works between academics and city artists were produced over the summer and exhibited online in the autumn last year. The success of the resulting exhibition allowed the universities to successfully bid for Arts Council England (ACE) backing to fund 12 new commissions.

Professor Jackie Hodgson, University of Warwick Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research said: “Following the enormous success of our first Coventry Creates exhibition, Coventry University and the University of Warwick, with the support of ACE, are delighted to be able to announce this new call to provide up to £2,250 per project, supporting our local arts sector and bringing our research to new audiences.

“We are looking for local artists and creative organisations to collaborate with our researchers to create novel artworks. Artists and researcher teams should work together to understand the research content and create innovative, diverse commissions that capture imagination and showcase Coventry artistic and research talent in the year when all eyes are on Coventry. This is an exciting time for the universities and an opportunity for researchers to work with artists of all descriptions in creative and innovative ways, engaging with City of Culture 2021.”

Professor Neil Forbes, Director, Creative Cultures at Coventry University said: “We are tremendously excited to be awarded Arts Council England funding. This will be used to continue and expand the work of Coventry Creates – a digital exhibition bringing together researchers and artists, showcasing unique digital arts works created during the pandemic. Coventry Creates 2.0 will continue to provide a platform for researchers and artists to collaborate, engage and discover new ways to express research outcomes.”

Apply to Coventry Creates 2021

Call for applications is open and is open to all CV postcode Coventry artists and arts organisations. Researchers from The University of Warwick and Coventry University working in all disciplines are also invited to apply. Applications are encouraged from the combined arts, dance, film, libraries, literature, music, museums, and theatre and visual arts. Coventry Creates 2021 will fund 12 Coventry postcode artists and all those that are successful will be matched together in artist and researcher collaborative teams.

Applications close on Wednesday 30 June 2021 at midday.




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Creative England Start Up Loans

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Creative England’s Start-Up Loans were established in partnership with the British Business Bank. These loans can unlock new and important investment opportunities for all subsectors of the UK’s creative industries.

The new government-backed Start Up Loans for the creative industries will offer borrowing of up to £25,000 at a fixed interest rate of 6% per annum, repayable over 1-5 years. As well as providing access to early financing, the loans will also include 12 months of post-investment mentoring support for recipients.

Applicants are welcome from any subsector of the UK’s creative industry; from young practitioners or experienced freelancers, to creative Start Ups less than two years old.

Start Up Loans Eligibility

You’re eligible for a Start Up Loan if:

  • you’re 18 years of age or older
  • you’re a current UK resident
  • you’re starting a new business or have been trading for up to 24 months
  • you’re unable to secure finance from other sources (self-declaration is ok)
  • your business is based in the UK
  • you have the right to work in the UK
  • your type of business and reason for wanting the loan is eligible under the terms of the scheme
  • you pass credit checks and you can afford to repay the loan

Find out more about the new scheme here.


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BFI Short Film Fund – Deadline June 7th

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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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BFI Doc Society Ripple Effect Fund

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The BFI Doc Society Ripple Effect Fund is a new National Lottery funded initiative. It enables and empowers communities, networks and organisations to build their own inclusive vision for the independent UK documentary sector from the ground up. If you have new and collaborative ideas to support underrepresented documentary storytellers, to reach diverse audiences or to foster closer connections and amplify the work of grassroots nonfiction champions – tell us what they look like.

The Ripple Effect will be open for one round from Thursday 13th May – Thursday 10th June. It offers non-recoupable grants between £5,000 – £20,000 for activities taking place before March 2022.

The Ripple Effect will help kickstart documentary-focused ideas and activities that boost connectivity for documentary filmmakers across the UK. It will also create inclusive opportunities for underrepresented non-fiction voices and develop new audiences.

The goal of the fund is to expand its outreach and support programmes. It does this by identifying, fostering and supporting the work of independent groups, individuals and organisations who are building communities and opportunities for documentary locally or have a great plan in mind to do so.

The BFI Doc Society will be therefore hosting a fund webinar on Monday 24th May from 5pm – 6pm. So if you are potential applicant, come with your questions!

All the information and guidelines about the fund can be found here:




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Netflix Screenwriter’s Fellowship

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Netfliix’s new talent initiative will offer up to six successful applicants the opportunity for a year long programme of professional development.

This fellowship, for each writer, will include a bursary of £22,568 to write a spec script for an original idea over the course of a year, monthly development events and workshops, and a paid placement in a writers room of a Netflix or Sky series. They are looking for applications from writers of BlackAsian and other racial and ethnic backgrounds that are under-represented in the High-End TV and film industry.

Each submission will be assessed by an experienced script reader. Shortlisted applicants will then be interviewed and selected by a panel of industry experts.

The Fellowship offer will include:

British Council Filmmaker Travel Grant Fund Has Re-opened

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Travel Grant Funding for online VR platforms and accessibility

As the landscape for international festivals and showcase events has shifted as a result of the pandemic, many events are now operating as either online or hybrid events. While new online VR viewing platforms are enabling you to access international audiences (which is great!), they also often come with additional expenses for makers needing to adapt to different platforms.

Good news is that British Council Travel Grant funds are able to support your work to travel even while you can’t. You can now make an application for support towards:

  • Preparing your instructions for the exhibition of your piece
  • Integrating your work with a festival’s online platform
  • Developing the accessibility of your piece and producing accessibility assets
  • Versioning and development
  • And more

If you would like to discuss costs to exhibit your work internationally or if you have any questions please contact


Funding to attend international film festivals and events

Short filmmakers, as well as makers producing virtual reality / immersive storytelling experiences and installations, can apply for travel grants to attend international film festivals and events where their work is being screened.

These grants help you present your work abroad, develop new networks, reach new audiences and increase the exposure of new UK film and film talent internationally.

  • Grants range from £100 to a maximum of £1,500.
  • Grants offer a contribution towards travel and accommodation costs, but may not always cover the full cost of attendance.
  • Applicants screening in European festivals can expect a smaller grant than those screening in festivals which require a long haul journey.
  • All grants are based on a UK starting destination.

Travel Grant Eligibility

  • Applications can be made by a project’s director, producer or writer, who must be aged 18 or above.
  • All applicants must have had their short film / project selected by at least one of the festivals on the British Council’s Key Festivals List, and must provide evidence of festival selection. Short Film / VR Travel Grant Key Festival List (PDF 160KB)
  • The film or project must be a UK production / co-production.
  • The film or project must be no more than 60 minutes long.
  • Each film or project can receive a maximum of three grants.
  • Each film or project can receive a maximum of one grant per festival.

Access and support

If you have specific access needs please contact the British Council about what additional help may be available to Short Film Festival Travel Grant recipients – for example additional funds to facilitate travel with a BSL interpreter or access worker.

How to apply

Before you begin, download and read the Short Film Festival Travel guidelines.

If you’re eligible to apply, it shouldn’t take longer than ten minutes to complete your application. You will need:

  • a copy of your festival acceptance letter or email
  • an online link to your film, and password if applicable.

If you have been invited to attend a key festival in person please make an application or email British Council are in regular communication with a range of Festival partners over their plans to stage events, virtually or in real life. Have a look at this regularly updated document here to see who is doing what. 

The Short Film Festival Travel Grant is a partnership between the BFI NETWORK and the British Council.


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