About BFI Musicals and this round of EOIs

BFI Musicals is the 2019 BFI ‘Blockbuster’ season – an opportunity for cinemas, festivals and arts producers to celebrate Musicals on film across the UK in Autumn-Winter 2019.

We are seeking expressions of interest for projects (between £1,500 - £12,000) from FAN members with ambition to present extended activity as part of the season.

The ICO will be offering a touring package of key titles for BFI Musicals that will be available to book in early July 2019.

Support  for smaller projects will be available later in the year

We will offer a separate fund for screening support to help with booking fees and one-off event costs up to £2,500, while the season is live (October ‘19 -January ‘20). This fund will open for applications in September 2019.

What is the timeline

BFI Musicals Expressions of Interest can be submitted at any time between Monday 17 June and 5pm on Friday 2nd August 2019.

We will make decisions about applications in the week following this deadline and will confirm funding for successful projects by Friday 16 August.

  • Expressions of Interest Open Monday 17th June
  • Expressions of Interest Close Friday 2nd August
  • Assessment panel review and decisions period 5 - 16 August

Activity Period: October 2019 – January 2020

About the Film Audience Network

The Film Audience Network (FAN) was set up in 2012, using funds from the National Lottery to support a stronger and more connected approach to growing audiences for British and international film on the big screen.

FAN is made up of eight regional and national Film Hub Lead Organisations (FHLO) providing a comprehensive geographic reach across the UK with the aim of increasing the breadth and depth of film available to audiences. FAN is central to the BFI's commitment in BFI2022, its current five year plan, to giving everyone, everywhere in the UK the opportunity to enjoy and learn from the richest and most diverse range of great British and international filmmaking, past, present and future.

The eight Film Hubs are:

● Film Hub London
● Film Hub Midlands
● Film Hub North
● Film Hub Northern Ireland
● Film Hub Scotland
● Film Hub South West
● Film Hub South East
● Film Hub Wales

About Major Programmes

A UK wide audience facing programme of creative, accessible, and culturally ambitious screenings and events.

Our Objectives

The priorities for Major Programmes under BFI 2022 are as follows:

Increase audience engagement with film and deepen the quality of cultural experience
Increase the confidence of FAN members to screen a wider range of films
Boost the engagement of audiences aged 16-30
Increase the diversity of FAN audiences
Raise the profile of film as an art form and create a dialogue about its place in our cultural life

About BFI Musicals

The BFI’s Blockbuster season for 2019 is the UK’s greatest ever celebration of big screen musicals.

Musicals are the greatest show on film, the uplifting power of song and sometimes dazzling choreography delivering an emotionally-charged big screen experience that can take audiences on an unforgettable ride. From October to December this weird, wonderful and wildly popular genre, framing incredible performances with spectacular cinematography, fusing escapism and entertainment, spotlighting political themes and concealing subversive ones, is celebrated at BFI Southbank, in cinemas nationwide, and on BFI Player.

In Musicals protagonists sing songs to bring the story to life and drive it forward, defying realism and leading with emotional expression. If you find you have to have to explain WHY a film is a musical, it probably isn’t. But of course this continually evolving genre has exciting intersections with TV genres and music videos, and the long-form visual album represents a tantalising glimpse of a new evolutionary wave for this hybridising genre.

The BFI Musicals season runs from October 2019 to January 2020, and will be underpinned by:

  • A touring package of key film titles from the ICO, available to book at set rates
  • Theatrical re-releases of classic titles TBC
  • On screen talent, interviews and events across the UK
  • National campaign, assets with targeted support for regional and digital press
  • Support from Major Programmes for projects with scope to collaborate or ‘scale up’ their reach across the UK
  • Support for special events & seasons through dedicated funding

Preparing Your Expression of Interest

What we are looking for

  • Proposals for projects that celebrate the season, aim to extend audience access to a National programme and engage with programming prompts and themes within the Creative Brief for BFI Musicals
  • Projects with the clear potential to attract new, and in particular young (aged between 16-30), audiences to BFI Musicals titles
  • Activity aimed at tapping into an appetite for collective viewing (film, TV and online) and discussion, with a particular focus on innovation, site specific events and outreach
  • New and strengthened partnerships within your organisation for film audience development
  • Projects that will reach, and have clear appeal to, diverse and under-represented audiences

Addressing the BFI Diversity Standards

All of our projects must be open and accessible. In order to reach the widest possible audience through our supported projects, we are committed to the BFI Diversity Standards.

The standards can be broken down broadly into the following four areas:

  • Industry access or training (ensuring that we offer accessible opportunities through our projects and organisations).
  • On screen (diverse narratives, cast and places depicted).
  • Catering for audiences (provision of disability access, specialist projects for target audiences, providing for specific UK regions etc).
  • A diverse crew (exploring who makes the films we screen and offers project leadership).

Funding Available

This EOI round will support proposals for funding up to £12,000

If you are seeking funding for a lower amount than £1,000 or primarily want support to market ICO titles please do not apply to this funding round.

We will open Screening Support for smaller-scale projects up to £2,500 in September 2019.

What kind of costs we will support

We can support the following:

  • Screening costs, print fees (excluding ICO titles)
  • Marketing & Promotion
  • Project Coordination
  • Curation
  • Wrap around event costs (eg.musicians, event producers)
  • Event production /technical costs that are central to the delivery of your project

Please note we do not fully fund activity and will expect your budget to show box office income or other contributions from your organisation or funders toward costs.

Subsidy per head

We want your project to reach as many people as possible, and we always consider the value our support provides per screening and audience member.

As a guide we suggest the following awards would aim to reach the accompanying number of audiences. This is a guide and we do anticipate flexibility.


Amount Awarded --- Anticipated Admissions
£2,500 500
£5,000 1,100
£7,500 1,750
£10,000 2,500

What we will NOT support

Our funding is primarily for audience development therefore we will not fund film production, publications or talent development activity.

How to submit your proposal

We’ve provided an online Expression of Interest form for everyone to use and hope you find this makes the process straightforward, letting you tell us the information we need in the shortest time possible.

Our aim is to offer a transparent, and simple process. For projects of scale we’ll ask you for detail of your project, partnerships and track record as well as the target audience(s) you want to reach. Our application form asks for key information so the more specific you can be about these elements the better we can assess your proposal.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like some guidance on how to use the form or budget template.

Links to the EOI application form, budget template, guidance and the creative brief for BFI Musicals are available at https://filmhubmidlands.org/show/major-programmes/bfi-musicals/

For EOI projects we ask you to submit a separate budget by email, using the template provided.

How we assess your project

All EOI projects are reviewed by an assessment panel that includes people from BFI Programming, Film Hub Midlands and our programme advisors.

We’ll look at your proposal and budget to make a decision about whether we can support it. As part of this we will consider

  • how well the project meets the creative brief;
  • the creative quality of the idea, partnerships and team behind it;
  • whether it will reach any priority audiences for BFI FAN
  • value for money including subsidy-per-head

What Happens Next

Letting you know if you’ve been successful

We will make decisions at a panel meeting shortly after the deadline of 2 August 2019.

If we’re unable to support you within this funding round, we’ll let you know before the 16 August and then we’ll offer feedback and advice to help you move forward.

If the panel agree to support or develop your project further, we’ll be in touch by the 16 August to discuss agreed outcomes and next steps.

Successful Ideas - Agreement

Once we are all happy with the plan and agreed outcomes, we will send an agreement to confirm the terms of your award, and the project you will deliver.

As this award will be coming from National Lottery Funds we want to be clear about what will be expecting from you. When you receive your agreement it will contain clauses on the following:


We ask you to use the BFI Film Audience Network and BFI logo plus season-specific branding on your website and marketing materials. This includes prominent acknowledgement of the National Lottery, as it is crucial that we promote to the general public that your project is supported by the National Lottery funding

Evaluation and Reporting

It is very important that the success of projects is evaluated and learned from. We try to make this process as easy for you as possible, so you can concentrate on making the project a success. We ask you to report on progress at the end your project through three templates:

Narrative Report

We ask you to complete a narrative report answering questions on how the activity is progressing, identifying highlights and challenges so far.

Audience Admissions

We ask you for a list of screenings and admissions data.

Final budget

At the end of the project we’ll ask you for a complete expenditure report, to make sure the funds have been spent how we agreed.

Demographic and Survey Data

We ask you to use the Film Audience Network audience survey, to capture information back from your audience. We’ll identify the number of responses we expect back depending on the size of your project.

We only ask for this data in an aggregated form, and won’t be asking you to transfer any personal data about your audience.

Depending on your project, we may ask you to identify additional metrics that indicate how a project is progressing.

Contact Information

To discuss any aspect of your project please feel free to contact us:

email: blockbuster@filmhubmidlands.org
telephone: 0115 850 7851