In this article, we look at the top 7 UK film funding sources for both shorts and feature films.
Whether you need individual financial support during this year or set out to make your debut feature film, take advantage of all the opportunities on offer.
So without further ado here are our top 7 film funding sources.
1. BFI Film Fund
The BFI film fund offers funding throughout the year, covering all projects including fiction, animation and documentary. They also provide a range of recovery support, for cinemas, and production companies affected by Covid-19.
In particular, the BFI film fund covers feature films between £250,000 – £15M and opens for applicants year-round. Not to mention the short film funding UK scheme, which covers all disciplines.
2. Doc Society
Although Doc Society partners with BFI, they can offer advice specifically for documentary filmmakers. Their film funding notable includes BFI/Doc Fund, Seedfund, and Pulse (shorts that explore social issues).
If you’re a documentary filmmaker bookmark their website as they have competitions and invitation-only funding schemes year-round.
3. Whicker Awards
Another one open to all documentary filmmakers is the Whicker Awards. A fund that focuses on debut feature film directors, with a project budget of no more than £400K.
Finalists will pitch their projects at the Sheffield Doc Fest, one of the world’s most celebrated documentary festivals.
As well as funding film, there is an additional audio producer award, for radio documentary ideas between 28-45 minutes in length.
4. Genera Films
If you are looking for a simple funding pay-out with no strings attached, then check out Genera.
Three times a year the fund awards 1-5 film projects £5K each. That is to say, apply if you are looking for feature-length or short film funding UK.
There is, however, a small fee for submission between £25-£45 depending on how early you submit.
5. British Film Council
The British Council advertises a series of UK film funding schemes and grants for filmmakers. One currently active opportunity is the climate change commission.
This grant is for all individuals and production companies based in the UK. Your project can be of any type and length, but it must centre around the topic of climate change.
You can apply for up to £50K, and overall, will support 20 projects this year.
6. Film London
For many years Film London offered the Microwave Scheme. A generous incentive of up to £100K in funding for debut feature films.
In addition, they have a short film scheme called London Calling which awarded 15 filmmakers £4K. The schemes were highly successful with many projects receiving BAFTAs and notable recognition. Because of its past success, Film London will likely announce new opportunities in the future.
7. Film 4
Film 4 is a television channel owned by Channel 4, that solely broadcasts films. Every year they co-finance and developed several feature films and shorts.
In order to submit an idea, Film 4 prefers that you go through an agent or a recognised production company. They also have apprenticeships and trainee schemes for writers year-round. Current work opportunities can be found on 4 Talent Skills.
Other Short Film Funding Opportunities
- ScreenSkills Bursary’s – UK film funding bursaries for all film crew roles. You can apply for funding for many reasons, including training courses, equipment, software and support for disabled filmmakers. These awards will likely continue to run throughout the year.
- WFTV Bursary’s and Mentorship – This includes the Pat Llewellyn bursary which offers £10K in funding and mentorship for documentary filmmakers. WFTV has additional support for female filmmakers year-round. Such as free online events, one-to-one mentorship schemes and notable awards.
- Creative Debuts Black Artist Grant – A monthly ‘no strings attached’ grant of £500 given to black artists based in the UK. You can use this for any purpose including short film funding, equipment and training. Three artists every month for the next 12 months receive this rolling award.
- The FLAMIN Fellowship – This is a £2,500 UK film funding award for new moving image artists working within London. The programme will also include a series of one-to-one (or online) workshops for the selected artists. The fellowship will support six new artists each year.
Wrapping Up – UK Film Funding
To sum up, funding can be the most difficult part of making a film. But always keep in mind, that there are new opportunities being created for filmmakers every year. 🙌
Will you be applying for any of the funding incentives above or are there any we haven’t mentioned? Let us know in the comments section below.