Early Development Funding is the fund for new writers with exciting, bold ideas - particularly if you haven’t yet teamed up with a producer.

Funding grants will contribute towards the key early stages of feature development - writing an initial treatment, researching ideas and creating related materials - and are supplemented by the creative oversight of our Talent Executive.

Support is available to writers who have not yet had a feature script produced and distributed, and to producers and directors who are working with new writers. We’ll provide funding to kick-start the very beginning of your development process, as well as offering feedback on the work you produce, connecting you with potential collaborators and helping you consider how your ideas might impact with audiences.

Early Development Funding aims to drive your project towards its next stage of development.

Writers must live in the Midlands. Although the fund does not require a producer or director to be attached, if you do, they can live outside of the region.

How much can I apply for?

  • up to £1,000 writer fee
  • £500 producer fee, if a producer is attached at the time of application
  • a directors fee, if a director is attached at the time of application
  • reasonable research costs inc travel, accommodation, fees to access information relevant to your project
  • reasonable costs for the production of visuals to support your project

All application should show how your project responds to the BFI Diversity Standards, e.g. how it might address industry under-representation in relation to disability, gender, race, age, sexual orientation and / or socio-economic status.

Applications for Early Development Funding can be made at any time via the BFI NETWORK website. When first using the online application portal, you will be asked to create an account - you should also create an account for the BFI NETWORK Postroom, an online space for filmmakers to post previous short films or new scripts, where they can be viewed by industry executives.

Register for your Postroom account now.

If you're a filmmaker working in documentary, please contact Doc Society who manage the BFI Doc Society Fund.

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Short Film Funding

Grants of up to £15,000 to support the production costs of fiction films, in both live action and animation, which are 15 minutes or less.

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Where, how and what films you can watch across the Midlands.

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Funding priorities

BFI have five core priorities that they use in their assessment of applications to the Film Fund.

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