Monday, March 5, 2007



There are many sources of funding available to short filmmakers

Government funding for shorts comes largely through the UK Film Council, but there are other sources if you are prepared to look hard and to work your film around their agendas. Many funding sources look to fund digital shorts rather than projects that want to shoot on film, based on the argument that new directors should cut their teeth on the cheaper medium.

Two of the best (print) guides to what film funding is available are:

First Facts
Published by the First Film Foundation and available through their website:

UK Film Finance Handbook - How To Fund Your Film 05/06
Published by Netribution, this is the updated version of 'Get Your Film Funded'. For more information and free resources visit:

funding sources
national and regional screen agencies
Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the nine English regions each have their own agency that looks after local filmmaking talent through funding, development and training initiatives.

They each run different funding schemes, so contact your local regional screen agency for more information (see right-hand links).

local councils
Local councils will often put money towards a short filmmaking initiative, especially if it deals with social exclusion or aids the local community in some way. You could visit your local council or county website to find out if their arts department will support a film project.

national sources
For pure production funding on a national level the first place anyone should go to is the UK Film Council. They have funding available for both production and post-production, plus completion finance.

From time to time, there are various schemes set up by broadcasters that produce a series of shorts, such as the BBC’s Black Cab and Table for Two. These schemes are very sporadic so keep an eye on the key broadcasters’ websites for announcements about short film schemes.

what to include in your application
Funders look at hundreds of film applications every round, so any application you make should be as detailed and as striking as possible. The success of your application will probably depend upon what elements you have in place eg the quality of your script, the director, the director of photography and acting talent that you have attached. It is important to maximise all these elements in order to make your application as enticing as possible.

You’ll need to collate the following:

CVs of Producer, Director, Writer, Actors, Director of Photography, Production Designer
Budgets and schedules (see budget & schedule)
A paragraph about the film from a creative and technical point of view (eg the director’s vision, the distribution plans for the film).

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