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5 Ways to Fund Your Short Film



Filmmaking is an expensive art form, and many indie filmmakers struggle to secure the necessary funding to bring their projects to life. Fortunately, there are various funding options available to short film makers in London. In this blog post, we will explore different strategies and funding options for funding a short film.


1. Film Grants

One of the most popular ways to fund a short film is through film grants. These grants are typically awarded by organizations and foundations that support the arts, culture, and film industries. Film grants provide funding for a specific project, allowing filmmakers to cover production costs, equipment, post-production, and other expenses.

To apply for a film grant, filmmakers must submit a project proposal and demonstrate the value and impact of their film. Successful proposals are often those that align with the grant-giving organization's mission and goals.

There are many film grants available to UK indie filmmakers, ranging from government-backed programs to private foundations and organizations. Some grants are targeted towards specific groups, such as women, minorities, and emerging filmmakers. Other grants are open to all filmmakers who meet the eligibility criteria.


Here are 20 UK short film grants that indie filmmakers can apply for:

  1. BFI NETWORK Short Film Fund

  2. The Wellcome Trust Screenwriting Fellowship

  3. The Vision Awards

  4. The Documentary Filmmakers Group

  5. Film London Microwave

  6. Shortflix

  7. The Independent Cinema Office New Directions

  8. The London Borough Film Fund Challenge

  9. Scottish Film Talent Network

  10. The Iris Prize

  11. The Film and TV Charity Emergency Relief Fund

  12. The Northern Ireland Screen New Talent Focus

  13. Creative Scotland - Short Film Funding

  14. The Screen Ireland Short Stories

  15. The Women's Film and TV Fund

  16. The Random Acts Midlands Network Centre

  17. The Arts Council England Short Film Fund

  18. The National Lottery Good Causes - Short Film Fund

  19. The Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship

  20. The Sundance Institute Documentary Fund

It's important to research each grant carefully and understand the eligibility criteria and application process. Filmmakers should also prepare a strong proposal that demonstrates the value and impact of their project. By utilizing film grants, indie filmmakers in the UK can access funding and support for their short films and advance their careers in the film industry.


2.Film Tax Incentives

Another way to finance a short film is by taking advantage of tax incentives. The government offers several tax incentives to encourage filmmakers to produce their films in the UK. One of these incentives is the Film Tax Relief scheme. The scheme allows filmmakers to claim back up to 25% of the cost of production.

To qualify for Film Tax Relief, the film must pass the cultural test, which assesses its contribution to British culture. The film must also spend at least 10% of its budget on UK expenditure. This means that the film must use UK-based goods and services, such as locations, crew, and equipment.

The tax relief can be a significant source of funding for indie filmmakers, as it can help cover a portion of the production costs. However, it's essential to plan ahead and factor in the application process and timeline when budgeting for the film.


3. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is another popular method used by filmmakers to finance their short films. Crowdfunding involves raising money from a large number of people through online platforms such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Filmmakers can create a campaign, set a funding goal, and offer perks to backers in exchange for their support.

To launch a successful crowdfunding campaign, filmmakers need to have a clear and compelling pitch, a well-produced video, and an active social media presence. You also need to come up with some incredible rewards for your backers It is essential to know how to set a realistic funding goal. If you have more question about this you can find the Most Common Crowdfunding Questions and Answers Here.


4. Sponsorship and Product Placement

Another method for UK filmmakers to obtain funding for their short films is through sponsorship and product placement. This involves partnering with businesses and brands who are willing to invest in the film in exchange for advertising and exposure.

Sponsorship can come in the form of monetary support, equipment or location donations, or even food and beverage supplies for the cast and crew. In return, the sponsor's logo or brand name can be featured in the film credits, on posters or other promotional materials, and even integrated into the storyline if it makes sense for the film.

Product placement involves incorporating a brand's product into the film in a natural and organic way. This could mean having a character drink a certain brand of soda or use a specific brand of laptop. In return, the brand pays for the privilege of having their product featured in the film and gains exposure to the film's audience.

It's important to note that there are regulations surrounding product placement, and it must be disclosed to the audience that a particular brand has paid to have their product included in the film. However, if done correctly, sponsorship and product placement can be a creative way for indie filmmakers in the UK to obtain funding and bring their vision to life.


5. Self-Funding and Co-Funding

Self-funding or co-funding a short film is another option available to filmmakers. Self-funding involves using personal funds to finance the film, while co-funding involves partnering with other investors or filmmakers to share the costs and risks.

Self-funding and co-funding are viable options for filmmakers who have limited access to grants or other funding sources. It is essential to create a detailed budget and allocate funds to different aspects of the film's production.


In conclusion, funding a short film can be a daunting task, but there are various options available to indie filmmakers in London. Film grants, tax incentives, crowdfunding, sponsorship and product placement, and self-funding or co-funding are some of the main strategies used by filmmakers to finance their projects. By exploring different funding options and crafting a compelling pitch, filmmakers can bring their short film visions to life.


We hope that you enjoyed this blog and found it useful. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or suggestions - we'd love to hear from you!


If you are looking for my guidance and advice on film distribution and funding we have a series of courses on funding and distributing your film online which you can browse using the links below:


Feature Film Funding & Distribution Course - 14+ hour of video tutorials will guide you through the entire process of funding and distributing your film. It will go through a variety of methods and strategies including crowdfunding, private investors, product placement, online distribution, cinema released and much much more!


Feature Film Producing Course - 4+ hours of video tutorials teaching you how to fund and distribute a feature film with a budget between 50-500k.


Online Film Distribution Course - 4+ hours of video tutorials teaching you how to self-distribute a feature film online.


Finally you can also take a look at our upcoming online and in-person London-based events here.


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