The Whickers Film & TV Funding Award is awarded annually to an emerging filmmaker from anywhere in the world with the most promising pitch for a director-led documentary which fulfils the core criteria detailed below. With a main award worth £80,000 and a runner-up contribution of £15,000, The Whickers Film & TV Funding Award is one of the most significant documentary awards in the world. Applications for 2021 are now open. Apply here.
Key dates for 2021 round:
- 9th October 2020: Applications open
- 31st January 2021: Deadline for applications
- Late April 2021: Shortlisted projects announced
- June 2021: Finalists pitch their projects at Sheffield Doc/Fest
- June 2021: Winner of the Film & TV Funding Award announced at Sheffield Doc/Fest Awards Ceremony
- Storyteller with demonstrably strong interviewing skills.
- Demonstrates passion for the subject whilst retaining fair-mindedness.
- Demonstrates a real sense of independence.
- Personal but not partisan.
- Wry humour welcome.
- Strictly no ‘Whicker impersonations’.
- Unique access to engaging characters in unusual or inaccessible locations.
- Allows contributor’s story to emerge in their own words.
- Demonstrates a flair for coaxing the human spirit into revealing itself.
- The author demonstrates intimacy with but does not overshadow the subject.
- Spirit of inquisitiveness that leaves viewers wanting more.
- Tells us about something new and unexpected about the world.
- Excites wonder.
- Understands how wit can illuminate the toughest or most nuanced real life drama.
ORIGINAL USE OF TECHNOLOGY
- Playful with storytelling means – breaking new ground and/or using old ground to re-invent new style
- Must be the filmmaker’s first 50+ minute documentary film where they own the director or co-director credit
- Open to filmmakers from anywhere in the world. We encourage international filmmakers to apply
- Projects must be at the late development to early production stage at the time of applying – this is not a finishing fund
- Award money cannot be paid to an individual. Therefore applicants must either: provide proof of company viability; have a fiscal sponsor on board; have a nominated production company on board to create a dedicated project account for their film; or confirm that they are willing to set up a limited company and dedicated project account if shortlisted.
- Up to six minutes of original taster footage is required at the time of applying
- Must be accessible for an English-speaking audience – whether in the English language, or subtitled in English
- Applicants must have an executive producer on board at the time of applying.
- Should they be shortlisted, applicants must be available to travel to the UK in June 2021 (dates TBC) to pitch their project at Sheffield Doc/Fest (reasonable travel and accommodation covered by The Whickers)
- In order that The Whickers remains a major funder for the winning film, we ask that the budget for your 50+ minute documentary film does not exceed £400,000.