There are a number of grants available to help filmmakers fund their films. In this blog, we will discuss how filmmakers in the UK can use grants to fund their short films, strategies to help make their application successful, and what kind of films do best with grant applications.
Firstly, it is important to understand the different types of grants available. There are a number of funding bodies in the UK that offer grants for short films, including the British Film Institute (BFI), Creative England, and Film London. These grants typically cover production costs, such as equipment, crew, and locations.
One of the best strategies to help make your application successful is to do your research. It is important to understand the specific requirements and guidelines for each grant, as well as the types of films they typically fund. For example, the BFI offers funding for films that are culturally British, while Film London typically supports films that are set in London or made by London-based filmmakers.
When preparing your grant application, it is also important to have a clear and concise pitch for your film. You should be able to explain your film in a few sentences, highlighting its unique qualities and why it deserves funding. You should also have a detailed budget and production plan, demonstrating that you have thought through every aspect of the production process.
In addition, it can be helpful to have a strong track record of previous work. If you have already made successful short films or have won awards for your work, this can demonstrate to funders that you are a talented and capable filmmaker.
When it comes to the types of films that do best with grant applications, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, funders often look for films that have a strong artistic vision or a unique perspective. Films that explore important social issues or have a strong cultural relevance may also be more likely to receive funding.
Another important factor to consider is the budget. While it is possible to make a successful short film on a shoestring budget, it can be helpful to have a more realistic budget that demonstrates your ability to plan and manage resources effectively.
Finally, it is important to remember that grant applications are competitive, and not all applications will be successful. However, if you are passionate about your project and are able to effectively communicate your vision and plan, there is a good chance that you will be able to secure funding for your short film.
You can find a list of 100 UK short film grants below:
Women in Film & TV Short Film Fund - https://wftv.org.uk/funding/short-film-fund/
Whicker's World Foundation Funding Award - https://whickersworldfoundation.com/funding-award/
Pathé Film Fund - https://www.curzon.com/patheshortfilmfund
John Brabourne Awards - https://filmtvcharity.org.uk/john-brabourne-awards/
Directors UK & Arri Alexa Challenge - https://directors.uk.com/event/alexa-challenge/
Asif Kapadia Documentary Award - https://www.ica.art/filmmaking-asif-kapadia-documentary-award
Raindance Film Festival - https://www.raindance.org/grants/
Film London Short Film Funding - https://filmlondon.org.uk/funding/short-film-funding
Artists' Moving Image Network Bursary - https://www.thisisliveart.co.uk/opportunities/amas-bursaries-2021/
London Film Academy Grant - https://www.londonfilmacademy.com/grants/
UAL Short Film Fund - https://www.arts.ac.uk/students/fees-and-funding/funding-for-students/ual-short-film-fund
The Film and TV Charity Emergency Fund - https://filmtvcharity.org.uk/emergency-financial-assistance/
The Humankind Charity Short Film Fund - https://www.humankindcharity.org.uk/short-film-fund/
The British Council Short Film Travel Grant - https://film.britishcouncil.org/travel-grants/short-film-travel-grant
Bertha BRITDOC Documentary Journalism Fund - https://britdoc.org/impact/bertha-britdoc-documentary-journalism-fund/
Lush Film Fund - https://uk.lush.com/fund
Tomorro Pitch - https://tomorro.com/pitch/film
Carve Her Name With Pride Award - https://www.wftv.org.uk/funding/carve-her-name-with-pride-award/
The Pitch Film Fund - https://thepitchfunding.com/film-funding/
The Film Festival Doctor Film Grant - https://www.thefilmfestivaldoctor.co.uk/grants/
Northern Ireland Screen Short Film Fund - http://www.northernirelandscreen.co.uk/funding/short-film-fund/
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Production Grant - https://sloan.org/film-tv/production-grants
Wellcome Trust Arts Awards - https://wellcome.ac.uk/funding/arts-awards
SFTN New Talent Shorts - https://www.scottishfilmtalent.com/new-talent/shorts/
EIFF Network - https://www.edfilmfest.org.uk/eiff-network/
Sharp Shorts - https://sharpshorts.co.uk/
BFI NETWORK Wales Short Film Fund - https://www.filmhubwales.org/en/opportunities/bfi-network-wales-short-film-fund/
The Visual Effects Society Grant - https://www.visualeffectssociety.com/ves-foundation/ves-grant/
The Whickers Film & TV Funding Award - https://www.whickerawards.com/funding-awards/
Bertha BRITDOC Documentary Journalism Fund - https://britdoc.org/bertha-britdoc-documentary-journalism-fund
The Film Fund - https://www.film-fund.com/
Ffilm Cymru Wales' Beacons - https://www.ffilmcymruwales.com/index.php/en/guidelines/21-beacons-guidelines
The Harpur Trust - https://www.harpurtrust.org.uk/apply/grants/arts-culture-and-heritage
The Bertha Foundation - https://berthafoundation.org/bertha-challenge/
ACE Open Screen - https://www.aceandtate.com/open-screen
Doha Film Institute Grants - https://www.dohafilminstitute.com/financing/grants
European Short Pitch - https://www.nisimasa.com/european-short-pitch/
Film London Short Film Fund - https://filmlondon.org.uk/funding/short-film-funding/short-film-fund
Fledgling Fund - https://www.thefledglingfund.org/
The Scottish Documentary Institute - https://www.scottishdocinstitute.com/development/
Iris Prize LGBTQ+ Film Fund: https://www.irisprize.org/lgbtq-film-fund/
The Sundance Institute Short Film Fund UK: https://www.sundance.org/supporting-artist/short-film-fund-uk
BFI NETWORK's Early Development Fund: https://network.bfi.org.uk/funds-and-development/early-development-fund
The MullenLowe NOVA Awards: https://www.nova-awards.com/
Screen Scotland’s Scottish Film Talent Network: https://www.screen.scot/funding-and-support/talent-development/scottish-film-talent-network
Bertha Doc Society Journalism Fund: https://www.docsociety.org/funds/journalism-fund/
Film London's Borough Film Fund Challenge: https://filmlondon.org.uk/funding/borough-film-fund-challenge
Film and Video Umbrella's Rehearsal Rooms: https://www.fvu.co.uk/projects/rehearsal-rooms
Women's Film & TV Leadership Fund: https://www.wftv.org.uk/funding/womens-film-tv-leadership-fund/
Raindance Postgraduate Film Degree Scholarship: https://www.raindance.org/course/postgraduate-degree/
Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund (CTBF): https://www.ctbf.co.uk/grants/
Directors UK & ARRI's Short Film Award: https://directors.uk.com/news/directors-uk-arri-short-film-award-2022-open-for-applications
Wellcome Screenwriting Fellowship: https://wellcome.ac.uk/funding/wellcome-screenwriting-fellowship
Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival’s Film + Music Pitching Competition: https://encounters-festival.org.uk/submissions/film-music-pitching-competition/
Visualise Scotland’s Production Fund: https://www.visualise.org.uk/production-fund
Scottish Documentary Institute’s Scottish Shorts: https://www.scottishdocinstitute.com/projects/scottish-shorts/
Aesthetica Short Film Festival’s Artists’ Moving Image Commission: https://aestheticamagazine.com/asmic/
Lighthouse's First Film Fund: https://www.lighthouse.org.uk/funding/first-film-fund/
Cineaste Foundation’s Support Fund for Filmmakers with Disabilities: https://www.cineastefoundation.org/support-fund
Bird’s Eye View's Film Fatales Mentoring Programme: https://www.birds-eye-view.co.uk/film-fatales/
BFI Network Short Film Fund - https://network.bfi.org.uk/funding-available/bfi-network-short-film-fund
The Wincott Foundation Film Awards - http://wincott.co.uk/film-awards/
The University of Sunderland Short Film Fund - https://www.sunderland.ac.uk/more/faculties/faculty-art-design-media/news/story/university-offers-students-4000-to-create-short-films-377
The Yorkshire Film Archive Short Film Commission - https://yorkshirefilmarchive.com/short-film-commissions
The Film and Video Umbrella Fund - http://www.fvu.co.uk/projects/detail/film-video-umbrella-fund-2019
The Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund - https://www.ctbf.co.uk/grants/
The National Lottery Good Causes Fund - https://www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/funding/good-causes-awards
The London Short Film Fund - https://filmlondon.org.uk/funding/short-film-funding/london-short-film-fund
The Filmbase Short Film Award - https://filmbase.ie/funding/short-film-award/
The London Borough of Tower Hamlets Film Fund - https://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgnl/business/funding_support/arts_fund/film_fund.aspx
The Northern Film and Media Short Film Fund - https://northernmedia.org/funding/short-film-fund
The Film London Short Film Fund - https://filmlondon.org.uk/funding/short-film-funding/film-london-short-film-fund
The Humber Short Film Commission - https://www.hullfilm.co.uk/humber-short-film-commission/
The Manchester International Film Festival Short Film Fund - https://maniff.com/film-festival/manchester-short-film-fund
The British Council Film Short Support Scheme - https://www.britishcouncil.org/film/short-support-scheme
The Creative England Short Film Fund - https://www.creativeengland.co.uk/film-and-tv/funding/short-film-funding/
The BBC Films and Creative England iFeatures Fund - https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/aboutthebbc/entries/2ce9ffca-bf52-4fd2-a78a-c2398f3c35a6
The Phoenix Cinema Short Film Fund - https://phoenixcinema.co.uk/page/5354/Short-Film-Fund
The Scottish Documentary Institute Short Film Fund - https://www.scottishdocinstitute.com/opportunities/short-film-fund/
The UK Film Council Development Fund - https://www.bfi.org.uk/supporting-uk-film/funding-development-uk-film/development-funding
The David Thomas Charitable Trust – https://www.davidthomasfoundation.org.uk/
The Elephant Trust – https://www.elephanttrust.org.uk/
The Phoenix Arts Club Short Film Scheme – https://www.phoenixartsclub.com/short-film-scheme
The John Brabourne Awards – https://www.bafta.org/supporting-talent/john-brabourne-awards
The School of Sound International Symposium Scholarship Fund – https://www.schoolofsound.co.uk/scholarship
The Leith Agency Short Film Competition – http://www.leith.co.uk/competition/
The Underwire Festival – https://www.underwirefestival.com/
The Film and TV Charity Emergency Relief Fund – https://filmtvcharity.org.uk/emergency-relief-fund/
The Tedworth Charitable Trust – https://www.tedworthtrust.com/
The Sir John Cass's Foundation – https://www.sirjohncass.org/
The St. James's Place Charitable Foundation – https://www.sjpfoundation.co.uk/
The Gavin Dobson Memorial Award – https://www.gavindobsonfund.co.uk/
The Prince's Trust – https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/
The YFA Mini Film Production Fund – https://www.yfa.co.uk/mini-film-production-fund/
The First Light Film Initiative – https://www.firstlightonline.co.uk/filmmaking/film-initiative/
The Lancaster Film Festival Short Film Fund – https://lancasterfilmfestival.com/short-film-fund/
The John Byrne Award – https://www.johnbyrneaward.org.uk/
The Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize – https://www.artprize.co.uk/
The Daisy Chain Benevolent Fund – https://www.daisychainbenevolentfund.org/
The Arts Council England Project Grants – https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/projectgrants
In conclusion, there are a number of grants available for filmmakers in the UK who want to fund their short films. By doing your research, preparing a clear and concise pitch, and demonstrating a strong track record of previous work, you can increase your chances of success. Remember to consider the specific requirements and guidelines for each grant, and to think carefully about the types of films that are most likely to receive funding. With dedication and hard work, you can bring your vision to the screen and achieve your filmmaking dreams.
We hope you enjoyed this blog. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or suggestions - we'd love to hear from you!
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