The mince pies are all gone, the decorations have been put away for another year, and it’s time to start thinking about your plans for 2019!
If those plans include making a short film, you’re going to be facing the uphill task of finding funding. Now, we all know these days it’s possible to make a short on your phone for the price of a packet of biscuits, but if you want a somewhat larger budget to play with and more impressive results, you need to find a little bit of money to help you out.
We did a similar post back in 2018 and it was one of most popular blogs, so we’re updating the details for you and making sure you’ve got all the info you need!
The starting place for many short filmmakers looking for funding, crowdfunding sites such as IndieGogo and KickStarter boast impressive success stories such as The Veronica Mars film which raised over £4m.
But for every success story there are many projects that fail to achieve their goals, so make sure you do your research and put a lot of effort into your campaign! We could write so much more about this, but we found a useful blog from Mandy.com that you can check out for more guidance. Click here to read more.
Professor Stefan Allesch-Taylor CBE
If you came to the TriForce Short Film Festival in 2018, you’ll be aware of the grants being offered to short filmmakers by Professor Stefan Allesch-Taylor. We ran a live pitch session with him and his Grant Director Charles Kay, but they do accept direct applications as well.
What They’re Looking For: Films which show originality. They’re not as interested in ‘issue-based’ films, but look for projects with a really strong story, whether that’s comedy or drama. They also want to see an entrepreneurial approach from filmmakers, preferably with some funding already in place, and if possible with some high profile talent (either in front or behind the camera) attached to the project.
How to Apply: There is no standard template to apply. You need to send them as much information as you can, in an attractive and easily readable format. Think about creating a ‘pitch pack’ with lots of images containing the key information. If you’d had previous producing/directing experience, then make sure you mention it. Include a script if there is one. And don’t forget the budget, showing not just how you’ll spend the money, but also where it’s coming from. Be very clear about how much you’re asking for. Simply send this information to firstname.lastname@example.org
Timeframe: You can apply at any time – however please be aware that they receive a huge amount of applications and will only respond to those they’re interested in.
Genera Films is a new way of funding short film. You can apply for up to £5000 funding in their regular funding rounds. You pay a small fee to enter (between £25-45 depending on how early you apply), and if you win the funding there are no strings attached.
What they’re looking for: On their website they say they look at:
- The strength of the story and vision.
- Previous work and/or experience of applicant.
- The viability of the project budget and production.
How to Apply: You apply through their website https://www.generafilms.com/. If you’re shortlisted you’ll be asked to provide further information.
Timeframe: There are up to 4 regular funding rounds per year, as well as frequent ‘snap’ rounds to win specific prizes like equipment hire etc.. The current round has a deadline of 31 March.
Discount: Use the discount code Gen25Tri to get 25% off the entry fee.
John Brabourne Awards
The John Brabourne Awards are administered by the Film and TV Charity (formerly the CTBF). They are offered twice a year. They are a talent development programme that supports emerging talent in UK Film and TV with financial grants. They offer up to £5000 for each grant.
What they’re looking for: The awards are quite broad, and not just for film funding, so make sure you read the information on their website carefully to make sure what you’re asking for fits their criteria.
How to Apply: You apply through their website: https://filmtvcharity.org.uk/supporting-talent/john-brabourne-awards/
Timeframe: Applications are now open, the deadline is 31st January. If you miss this one, there will be another round with a deadline of 31st July.
The BFI offers short film and early development feature funding through its regional hubs. The London based scheme ‘London Calling’ operated by Film London, is now part of this programme.
What they’re looking for: They support standalone short films and this can include projects that have the potential, further down the line, to be developed into other forms or formats (e.g. a feature film, content in serial form, etc.). The fund is intended to stimulate new ideas and stories, so it doesn’t support adaptations of existing material. Films can be up to 15 minutes in length and they can provide up to £15,000 of funding, but shorter work at lower budget levels is very welcome. The BFI want to support short films that:
- bring exciting new voices and bold narratives to the screen;
- provide space for experimentation and idea-testing;
- advance the careers of the filmmakers involved through showcasing their abilities to the industry and the public.
How to Apply: You can apply through their website: https://network.bfi.org.uk/funding-available. Make sure you read the guidelines thoroughly!
Timeframe: You can apply at any time, however it can be quite a long process, so don’t leave it till the last minute!