We aim to help develop viable projects by teams across the UK who can demonstrate previous experience in writing, directing and producing to a point where they are ready to seek production funding from the BFI or other sources.

National Lottery funding for documentaries is provided by our partner, Doc Society and funding for short films is provided through BFI NETWORK.

Who can apply

Applications must be made by the lead producer who is a different person to the  writer and, if there is one, director.

We are unable to provide development funding to teams without a producer.

Projects without a producer should consider BFI NETWORK’s Early Development Fund.

Our funding priorities

We prioritise work that:

  • is made by filmmakers in the early stages of their careers
  • has cultural relevance or progressive ideas
  • takes risks in form and content
  • recognises the quality of differences in perspective, talent and recruitment
  • originated by filmmakers outside London and South East England

What you need to provide

The application form will ask you to supply:

  • synopsis, story and themes
  • previous work of the writer, producer and, if applicable, the director
  • motivations behind the project, ideally provided by the writer or director
  • details of the audience you are aiming to appeal to
  • ideas for casting (if applicable) and how you plan to approach that cast
  • approximate dates and locations you are hoping to film
  • details of potential or actual financial partners on the project and any expenditure to date
  • budget you anticipate needing in order to develop the project and get it made, including the amount you are requesting from the BFI
  • an estimate of the total production budget
  • any unusual or challenging technical or budgetary requirements that you foresee

For more information, visit British Film Institute