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Performance Short Film Competition 2023

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The Performance Short Film Competition is back for its sixth consecutive year! They have five categories and £1,000 for each winner.


Now in its sixth year, this exciting competition is back for 2023, with the winner of each category receiving £1,000 to fund their creative vision. And following the success of last year’s event, they’re thrilled to confirm an exclusive event in a brand-new location to celebrate our finalists.

Performance Film & Media Insurance have played a supporting role in the film industry for more than 25 years, and they’re excited to help create new opportunities for filmmakers like you.

Since they launched this competition in 2018, they’ve helped to fund the creation of 24 short films. The calibre of entries to our Short Film Competition just keeps getting better, so we can’t wait to see your submissions this year.


  • Best Comedy Short
  • Best ‘Short’ Short (less than 5 minutes in length)
  • Best Documentary Short
  • Best Horror Short
  • Best Drama Short


To enter the competition, your short film needs to:

  • Have been completed after 1st January 2022
  • Have a maximum running time of 20 minutes
  • Be supplied as a Vimeo link
  • Be submitted no later than the closing date: 10th August 2023


  • Competition Opens: Thursday 1st June 2023
  • Entries Close: Thursday 10th August 2023
  • Judging To Begin: Thursday 17th August 2023
  • Shortlist Announced: Tuesday 17th October 2023
  • Exclusive event to announce the winners: Thursday 9th November 2023

Enter the competition HERE.

Terms and conditions HERE.


For more industry information, visit Film Birmingham’s news page. Or add us on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

Wheatley Fellowship 2023

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Birmingham School of Art and Eastside Projects invite applications from visual artists for an Incidental Artists placement in Birmingham supported by the Wheatley Fine Art Fellowship.


‘When setting out a new allotment you should always think first about where you will sit.” Vanley Burke, artist, Birmingham.

Artists are catalysts. They are the dreamers and doers, collaborators and supporters, guests and hosts who work alongside communities to imagine and co-evolve our civic infrastructure.

In the mid-1960s the Artist Placement Group (APG) proposed and made strenuous efforts to radically transform artists’ relation to society. Adopting the role of the incidental person, the group proposed getting involved in the processes of other organisations, from steel factories to government offices. APG considered artists a hugely underused human creative resource that offered a potential benefit of tangential thinking and making. They are interested in both this function of artists ‘to watch the doings and listen to the noises’ and APG’s concept of the open brief.  They are further exploring these approaches by inviting Incidental Artists to work with us as allies, collaborators, agents of wider change, and attention magnets in a variety of contexts over an extended period of time. Find out more HERE.


This opportunity is not imagined as an Incidental Artist placement at either the School of Art or Eastside Projects, but as a placement in Birmingham supported by and connecting to, both organisations.

It is expected that the Fellowship will culminate in a public outcome/s that will be developed with Eastside Projects and presented as part of the programme. The form this takes will be defined during the feasibility and development stages, but for example it might emerge as a participatory project, public artwork, exhibition, events programme, performance, or digital work.

The Incidental Artist will also be expected to engage with students at the school during their Fellowship, but again what this looks like will be developed during the Feasibility Study stage.

The Incidental Artist will be expected to commit at least 40 days across this period to the Fellowship supported by:

  • £10,000 fee (£9000 tax free stipend from the Wheatley Fellowship and £1000 additional project fee from Eastside Projects).
  • Up to £10,000 production budget to realise the public outcome.
  • Access to workshops, equipment and technical support at the School of Art, with the potential to connect into wider facilities, departments and research networks across Birmingham City University.
  • Desk space at Eastside Projects and/or the School of Art.
  • Introductions to individuals, networks and communities connected to both the School of Art and Eastside Projects in Birmingham and beyond.
  • Artistic, collaborative and curatorial support from Eastside Projects.


To apply you need to:

  • Be based in the UK.
  • Have at least three years professional experience as an artist.
  • Not be enrolled on a BA, MA or PHD course between November 2023 and December 2024.

They particularly welcome applications from artists who have Black, Asian, or Global Majority heritage, who are from lower socio-economic backgrounds, or who are disabled or d/Deaf.

Find full details of the application process, including a link to the online application platform, in the info pack HERE


  • Online Pre Application Workshop: Thursday 25 May, 12.30–1.30pm
  • Application Deadline: Sunday 18 June, midnight
  • Interviews: Wednesday 12 July – in person in Birmingham or on Zoom.
  • Start date: November 2023
  • Public Outcome: Late 2024 – timeline to be agreed as the project proposal develops.


They have designed the application process to reflect the time, energy and effort of application making and acknowledge this is unpaid labour. They aim to keep the application process to a minimum and so are asking for initial expressions of interest through an online form.

Please submit your application for the Wheatley Fellowship using an online portal which you will find HERE.

If you have any issues uploading your application please contact us on Please note they work Tuesday to Friday.

They strongly advise you to prepare everything in advance, and then upload it to avoid losing information.

They will give individual feedback to all shortlisted applicants who are interviewed, but anticipate receiving a large number of applications so unfortunately cannot offer feedback to everyone who applies.


For more industry information, visit Film Birmingham’s news page. Or add us on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

The Pitch 2023/24

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The Pitch Film Fund exists to support emerging filmmakers. There’s a £60,000 production pot to make two films, plus training and development for entrants and finalists.


The Pitch Film Fund has production funds of £60,000, which will be split between two films, in the categories of COMEDY and DRAMA.

There is flexibility within the categories. You could make a straight-ahead COMEDY (Anchorman), or mix it up with a subgenre. E.g. Sci-fi (Galaxy Quest), Thriller (Game Night), Horror (Shaun Of The Dead), Musical (The Producers).

Similarly, you could pitch a heavyweight DRAMA (Nomadland), or something that sits in a subgenre like Sci-fi (Interstellar), Thriller (Panic Room), or Horror (Hereditary). The intent should be serious, but this doesn’t exclude moments of humour. They are flexible.


They seek to run a unique process that gives as much development aid as possible to every entrant. Feedback is available for everyone at one of our feedback sessions. There are also development masterclasses at every stage of the selection process, plus residential training for the finalists. For more details on this and other support visit the Awards section.


You enter by uploading a two-minute video pitching your short film, based on a Bible story, verse or book. Check out the section Why The Bible? if you want to find out … um, why the Bible. The top ten entrants will pitch in person to a panel of industry experts at our finals at the Kurious, Sheffield, in January 2024.


The Pitch is open for applications from 20 April 2023. Early bird entry is free, but to stagger entries – and support the fund – there are charges for later dates. All fees go into supporting filmmakers through The Pitch.

Entry Deadlines

  • Early Bird – Free – 12 noon UK time, Monday 26 June 2023
  • Standard – £22 – 12 noon UK time, Monday 28 August 2023
  • Late (Final Submission Deadline) – £55 – 12 noon UK time, Monday 25 September 2023

In Consideration

  • The pitches that are In Consideration will be live on this site from Monday 16 October.
  • These entrants will take part in the Online In Consideration Masterclass exploring how to create beat sheets, on Monday 23 or 30 October.
  • You will be required to submit a beat sheet of your idea by midday Tuesday 7 November.


  • The 20-pitch Shortlist will be announced on Thursday 9 November.
  • These entrants will take part in the Online Shortlisters’ Day, which covers how to create Pitch Decks, on Saturday 18 November.


  • The top ten who will advance to the Finalists’ Weekend will be announced on Friday 24 November.
  • Entrants who do not make it to the final ten can attend these sessions to meet with The Pitch Team for feedback on their entry.


  • The top ten attend this three-day training residential with the Pitch team, to further develop their pitches and meet fellow finalists. It is hosted at the luxury Low Wood Bay Hotel, Windermere, on Saturday 10 December to Tuesday 12 December.
  • After the residential they ask everyone to create a pitch deck for their idea. If you are pitching yourself as a writer, you will also need to provide the first three pages of your script. These are sent to the judges to update them on how your idea has changed since your original pitch.

Finalists’ Weekend

The top ten pitch in person to a panel of industry judges, before the top four are selected to return for further discussions. After the judges deliberate the awards are announced. This year the finals are being held in Sheffield on Saturday 20 January to Sunday 21 January 2024.


The winning pitches will be announced on Monday 22 January and the Pitch team will then work with the filmmakers to produce their shorts.

For more industry information, visit Film Birmingham’s news page. Or add us on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

The Hot House: Shorts 2023

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Applications for The Hot House: Shorts, a production award for short films about climate change, are now open and close Monday 19th June at 5pm.

Climate Spring in partnership with Film London are pleased to announce the launch of The Hot House: Shorts: a short film competition for scripted live action short films about climate change. The partners will select a project to receive a production award of £10,000, development and executive producer support, as well as sustainable production guidance and certification to make their film.

Special thanks to Danusia Samal for her donation which made this award possible. Despite our societies being at crisis point, just 2.8% of scripted TV and films released 2016-2020 mentioned anything related to climate change, and just 0.56% mentioned it directly.

Who is it for?

Hot House is for filmmaking teams (producer, director and writer), and is open to all creators over 18 not in full time education. At least one of the filmmaking team must self identify as coming from a marginalised background. By this, they mean an individual who has lived experience of racial inequity, a disability, economic or educational disadvantage, LGBTQI+, caring responsibilities. The writer can also be the producer or the director, but the producer may not be the director.

How does it work?

Teams will submit a draft script, samples of previous work and information about the team. Projects will be assessed by the organisers and shortlisted. Teams of shortlisted projects will have an interview with a panel of judges and will be asked to submit additional materials regarding the production. The successful project will receive a non-recoupable production award of £10,000, executive producer and development support, as well as sustainable production consultancy and certification to make the film.

Teams are welcome to raise additional funds or in kind support towards the production.

What they are looking for

They are interested in stories that explore climate change creatively. They are not interested in apocalyptic dystopias. They would like to see projects that are engaging in the challenge of navigating away from a high consumption, fossil fuel and extractive based society to one that is regenerative and renewable. The projects do not have to be explicitly about climate. In fact, they are interested in stories that might not obviously be about climate. They can use metaphors or explore issues subtlety.

There are different types of stories they are interested in:

  1. World Building: Great stories that have nothing to do with climate change, they could be a love story, comedy, crime or adventure, but are set in a world without fossil fuels and  extractive economies. The near future world would be one that is regenerative but that is merely the background to the main story which is not about environmental issues.

  2. Impacts: Stories that are about navigating the impacts of climate change while trying to solve worsening impacts

  3. Collective Heroes: Stories that are about people coming together to create renewable, regenerative solutions to energy, food, water, housing or transport need. This could be the core of the story or incidental to the main story.

  4. Reveal the truth: stories about confronting the bad actors holding back progress on climate and challenging corruption, lies and greenwash.

Stories can be any genre, but must be live action, scripted, and less than 20 minutes.

For more industry information, visit Film Birmingham’s news page. Or add us on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

Maia Group

MAIA Associate Artist Callout 2023

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MAIA are looking for a West Midlands based artist to explore how their practice co-informs a world towards liberation.

MAIA is an artist-led social justice organisation, working from their home city, Birmingham, UK. Their work asks what it takes to move from imagination to liberation, exploring the role of artists in that movement. They explore this in community, through the creation of spaces, public programmes and resources, where Black imagination and culture are the catalysts. Through the associateship, we are looking to develop a relationship with a West Midlands-based artist, supporting them to explore critically, and at depth, how their creative practice can be a tool for world building.

The Associate Artist will be involved in different parts of MAIA’s programme from July 2023 to March 2024. Through MAIA’s programmes and broader work, they will connect and build relationships with artists, practitioners and organisers across the world who are orienting towards liberation. MAIA will then support the Associate Artist to curate a two-week Radical Imagination Lab, exploring a line of enquiry which has emerged during the associateship, due to be delivered in Feb 2024.

Key Info

  • July 2023 – March 2024
  • £5000 bursary
  • For West Midlands-based artists (including filmmakers)
  • Access and travel costs supported by MAIA
  • Three reflective pieces to be shared across the 9 months (these can be 3 short films)
  • Co-curate two weeks of events (Associate’s Lab) with £5000 budget

Key Dates

  • Fellow’s Radical Imagination Lab 23rd October 2023 – 10th December 2023
  • Delivery of Associate’s Lab 26th February 2024 – 27th March 2024

Main Aims for the Associate Artist

  • To develop a deeply collaboratively relationship with MAIA, exploring culture as the starting point for how we learn, exchange and practice pathways to liberation.

  • To co-curate programmes and make work in response to the questions and ideas which emerge during the relationship.

  • To be immersed in MAIA’s programme wherever possible, making connections with and co-informing the work.

  • To document the journey across the 9 months, offering three reflective pieces which can be shared publicly.

  • To participate in the Fellows Lab during Autumn, learning from the curation process and programme.

  • To collaborate with MAIA to co-curate a two-week Radical Imagination Lab in 2024, with a budget of £5000, due to be delivered in Feb next year.

Access and Equal Opportunity

MAIA is a committed advocate of equity, justice and equal opportunity – we see this as integral to our mission. In transforming conditions and creating new paradigms for our society, we know this practice must be centred on the experiences of those who have been most oppressed by the current systems. This means we actively encourage applications from people racialised as Black, people of colour, trans and genderqueer people and D/disabled people.

To Apply

Please read the Associate Artist pack in full for all details on the role before applying.

To apply, please either:
1. Fill out this Google Form
2. Email in a Video Application to which responds to these questions (using ‘Associate Artist’ as the subject heading).

Applications close 1st June (11:59pm).

Interviews 7th + 8th June.

For more industry information, visit Film Birmingham’s news page. Or add us on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

My community, My Heritage, My Place

Solihull CEP Emerging Filmmaker Callout

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My community, My Heritage, My Place

Solihull Cultural Education Partnership (CEP) are looking for an emerging filmmaker/videographer to capture footage in 20 schools, taking part in their new festival ‘My community, My Heritage, My Place’.

The festival will encourage children and young people to celebrate and share their cultural heritage through the arts.

The filmmaker will work with a mentor to produce a 20-30 min film celebrating the project that will be screened as part of the festival in Spring 2024.

Applicants must be:

  • Age 18 – 25
  • Living, working, or studying in Solihull
  • Passionate about growing a career in videography.

Fee: £2,000 (20 days)

Send your CV to by 1pm on 1st June 2023.

For more industry information, visit Film Birmingham’s news page. Or add us on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

RTS Bursary Scheme 2023

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The Royal Television Society wants the television industry to reflect the exciting, diverse and talented voices of the Britain of today, and that starts by changing the industry from the inside out.

The RTS Bursary Scheme was launched in 2013 by their Royal Patron, the Prince of Wales. Since then it has evolved and expanded considerably, and have now supported over 240 Bursary Scholars to date. Approximately 80% of graduating cohorts secured employment within the television broadcast industries.

The RTS runs three pioneering schemes – the TV Production and Journalism Bursary, the Digital Innovation Bursary and the Steve Hewlett Scholarship. Bursaries are awarded to talented students from lower-income backgrounds studying an undergraduate degree or HND Level 5 or 6. They will consider candidates studying all subjects: including but not limited to TV Production and Journalism; Humanities and Social Sciences; VFX; Post-Production and STEM related courses. What is important is an evident interest in pursuing a career in television, film or related media industries.

The Bursary provides free RTS membership; industry mentoring; access to the latest events and lectures; and numerous networking opportunities. It also support Scholars financially, awarding £1000 per academic year of study.

What sets their Bursary apart from other similar programmes is the emphasis upon utilising their phenomenal network of RTS members, patrons and supporters. With their help RTS can show these talented students that TV is attainable and support them in becoming the next generation of change making TV professionals.

For more information about the bursary, how to apply and eligibility criteria, please visit:

Submissions will remain open until 23.59 on Thursday 29 June 2023.


For more industry information, visit Film Birmingham’s news page. Or add us on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

Applications Open for the Sir Horace Ové Grant

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The Sir Horace Ové Grant, to help Black and Global Majority people working behind the scenes in film, TV, and cinema to access opportunities and navigate barriers to career progression, is now live for applications.

The Sir Horace Ové Grant will be awarded to support access to opportunities leading to paid work or to improve the chance of being offered paid work.

Grants up to £500 are available and could contribute towards:

Child or adult care

Travel costs

Equipment upgrades

Membership of or subscriptions to professional bodies

Short vocational and professional development courses

Any combination thereof


Eligibility for the Sir Horace Ové Grant

  1. You will have been in paid or funded film and TV industry work in a behind-the-camera role for at least 40 days in the last 18 months OR have worked at least two years in film and TV in the last 10 years and are seeking funding to return to work after a career break.
  2. The grant will enable you to seize a potentially transformative work opportunity and will have a demonstratable positive impact on your career or finances. Our awards will be prioritised to those who are experiencing the greatest need and have the least financial resilience. You will have no recourse to income, accessible savings or statutory funding to cover the cost.
  3. You must identify as Black or Global Majority. This refers to people who are Black, Asian, Brown, dual-heritage, indigenous to the global south, or have been racialised as ‘ethnic minorities’.

Please read more about the new grant and full eligibility criteria here.

The Sir Horace Ové Grant has been developed with the endorsement of his family, with his daughter, the actor Indra Ové, commenting: “Breaking down barriers was always at the heart of what Horace did, to educate and open doors, especially to Black and ethnic communities and populations. The Ové family is extremely proud that Black and Global Majority talent working behind the scenes today will receive support in his name to allow them to follow in his inspirational footsteps.”

Apply for the Sir Horace Ové Grant here.


For more industry information, visit Film Birmingham’s news page. Or add us on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

‘Innovate: Create’ Provides Funding Opportunities For SME’s

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Create Central are inviting creative companies in the West Midlands with an innovative cross-sector idea that are looking to source funding and support to bring those ideas to life, to learn about Innovative: Create. This is a free workshop, which is limited to 20 SMEs and will cover local support from Innovate UK and will explore a range of funding from VC to grant funding in the West Midlands.


Thursday 27 October 10AM – 12.30PM

Bruntwood SciTech, Holt St, Birmingham B7 4BB

It is first-come, first-served and places are limited so please register as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Only one person per organisation.



The project creates a series of competitions for SMEs in the West Midlands creative content sector working closely with the low carbon sector. Big business challenge holders issue a series of challenges which offer specific opportunities for local companies to take part in a competitive process to win a mix of mentoring and grant support to develop an idea into an audience-facing project or R&D pilot (depending on the brief).

SMEs are supported with direct grants and business mentoring to help them address the specific challenges which have been articulated by our challenge holders.

Innovation Engin3 partners include:

  • Bruntwood Science Park
  • BEC (Birmingham Enterprise Community)
  • Sustainability West Midlands
  • Create Central




For more industry information, visit our news page. Or add us on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

Simon Relph Memorial Bursary – Deadline July 8th

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Creative UK has opened applications for the Simon Relph Memorial Bursary to support emerging producers in the early stages of their film career. The bursary of £15,000 supports the career development of new independent producers by enabling them to build their slate of projects, grow their key industry networks, and access mentoring from sector leading figures. These have previously included Tim Bevan, Rebecca O’Brien, Tessa Ross, Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen. In addition to financial and mentoring support, the recipient of the Simon Relph Memorial Bursary can also take part in Creative Enterprise’s Market Trader, an intensive programme offering industry insights into international film markets.

Relph, British film producer and former chairman of BAFTA, died in 2016 and the Simon Relph Memorial Bursary was launched two years later. The Bursary aims to address a gap in support available for producers living outside London.

Past Bursary Winners

The inaugural Simon Relph Memorial Bursary was awarded to Anna Griffin in 2018, followed by Lindsey Dryden in 2019. On her experience of receiving the Bursary, Dryden said: “It was game-changing for me as a producer and for my company Little By Little Films to receive the Simon Relph Memorial Bursary. It gave me the autonomy to take the creative risks that our industry requires, and to strategise and invest in my own time to develop projects and people. This time and freedom is so crucial, and also near-impossible to carve out for filmmakers without financial backing. We’re a queer-led, women-led, disabled-led company and I’m very proud to work with such brilliant talent. We have  been working with the BFI, Wellcome, Doc Society, Channel 4 and Netflix.”

Caroline Norbury OBE, chief executive, Creative UK, added: “I am delighted to announce that applications have opened for the Simon Relph Memorial Bursary. Simon was a passionate champion of emerging filmmaking talent in this country and it is fitting for us to continue to honour his memory through this award. Support for the development of new producing talent, compared with the opportunities available for directors and screenwriters, is often limited. I am pleased that this Bursary seeks to address this imbalance.”

The Relph family said: “So fantastic that the bursary in Simon’s name is continuing in its support of up and coming producers on their road to making films. He was passionate about the creativity of the producer’s role and we are so pleased that new producers are still benefiting from financial support and mentoring in his name.”

To Apply for the Simon Relph Memorial Bursary

Applications for the Simon Relph Memorial Bursary close on Friday 8 July 2022 at 12pm. Applicants must live and work in the UK, outside of London, and must have a production credit on a feature film in the past 5 years. For further information, click here. The Simon Relph Memorial Bursary is made possible with the support of the British Board of Film Classification and Working Title.

For more industry information, visit Film Birmingham’s news page. Or add us on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.