This fund is for writers based in England with an exciting, bold idea for a debut feature– particularly if you’ve not yet teamed up with a producer. For writers based outside England or for filmmakers looking for documentary funding opportunities, please see THE BFI NETWORK Funding Finder.

‘New writers’ are people who have not yet written a feature film script that has been produced and distributed. This fund is also for producers and directors working with new writers.

This fund is the first step in the BFI’s development support for live-action and animated fiction projects from new feature writers. It supports people at the very beginning of their development process to produce an initial 5-7 page treatment and related visual materials such as a pitch deck. Successful applicants will receive a grant from the BFI together with oversight from a BFI NETWORK Talent Executive to support them in creating the documents. The Talent Executives provide creative input and feedback on the initial treatments and related work and can assist projects in other ways: from connecting people with potential collaborators to enabling them to consider how their ideas might impact audiences. This support aims to propel your project towards its next stage of development.

Grants are circa £2,000 and can cover:

  • A Writer's fee (capped at £1,000)
  • A Producer's fee (capped at £500) Please note a producer is not essential for this fund however you will need a producer if applying for the BFI NETWORK Short Film Fund.
  • A Script Editor's fee (capped at £400)
  • The creation of visual materials where there are specific costs incurred
  • Reasonable research and travel costs - these may include travel or accommodation, the costs of accessing materials or archives, subsistence while travelling or other relevant expenses. a director fee, if your project has a separate director attached. You will need to describe the level of input your director would have during early development in order to justify including this fee. In some cases, we may decide not to support this element of your budget
  • Costs associated with any personal access needs during the early development work. We define such needs as specific support required by people who are disabled or have a physical or mental health condition, which has an actual cash cost. For example: a BSL interpreter to work with a writer, director or producer; additional transport or accommodation costs for disabled team members; or a personal assistant for a team member with a learning disability or mental health condition to assist during project work.


The dates for the next application window is as follows:

Spring 2021

Applications Open Monday 26 April 2021
Applications Close Monday 7 June 2021
Final Funding Decisions Made By end of September 2021

We reserve the right to amend any of these dates where necessary.



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