BFI Unveils New $66m National Lottery Filmmaking Fund

The British Film Institute (BFI) today announced that it will grant $44m (£36.6m) in cash awards over three years to support fiction feature films as part of its new National Lottery Filmmaking Fund.

The cash will be available through four distinct funds:

  • Discovery – The discovery fund will be dedicated to directorial debuts and aim to support six feature films per year, each budgeted below $4m (£3.5m). The first deadline for applications is April 24 for fully-developed projects seeking to shoot this year. Applications will reopen in July and November.
  • Impact — The impact fund will be a rolling fund focused on projects from second-time filmmakers and beyond or debuts budgeted over £3.5m. The cash pot will aim to support five projects a year with an emphasis on scale and audience impact.
  • Development — The development fund will cover costs at all stages of the development process. The fund will aim to support around 60-70 projects per year.
  • Creative Challenge – The creative challenge strand is a new fund that will open later in 2023. Creative Challenge will fund labs and development programs. The cash will be awarded to production companies and other screen organizations across the UK to develop and run time-specific programmes to support a range of projects.

The National Lottery Filmmaking Fund, first announced late last year as part of the BFI’s 10-year strategic plan, will also grant $21m (£17.4m) in cash awards to support documentaries, shorts, talent development, and immersive works. As a whole, the fund will hand out $66m (£54M) across three years. As part of the plans, BFI Network will also relaunch in April 2023 with $9m (£7.8m) in funds to support live-action and animation shorts. 

Related Story

BFI And BAFTA Set 2023 Recipients Of LGBTQIA+ Mentoring Scheme That Backed Aleem Khan & Georgia Oakley

These figures are a 20% drop from the previous funding plan set by the BFI and the Film Fund. The reduction is the result of a significant drop in the pot of lottery money available to the organization.

Alongside the cash awards, the BFI has set new quotas to increase the diversity of funding applicants. The BFI will now track and set targets for applications from production companies that have not previously received BFI National Lottery funding. There will now also be targets around the destination of cash awards, with an overall goal of funding 60% of teams and 55% of productions based outside London and the South East.

The BFI has said the new fund has been informed by “extensive consultation” with the industry and research reports, including the Economic Review of UK Independent Film, to provide “the greatest possible impact” to the independent UK film sector.

Introducing the new fund, Mia Bays, Director of the BFI National Lottery Filmmaking Fund, said the goal is to support the UK’s “world-class indie filmmakers” who will be a key part of shaping the industry’s future. 

“In response to evidence, listening to the industry, and building on past achievements, we are setting out a strategy that is re-focused and clear about our ambition: to support projects to have the greatest possible impact with audiences and on the careers of filmmakers, which speak to communities underrepresented in UK film previously,” Bays said.

“We are all navigating a reality, post-pandemic, of challenging conditions which require a pragmatic approach. Informed by my own 30-year experience across the sector and working closely with the filmmaking fund team, we are committed to doing as much as we can with the funding available in fair, focused, transparent, and mindful ways.”

News of the National Lottery Filmmaking Fund comes just a day after three Senior BFI team members, Editor-at-Large Lizzie Francke, Head of Production Fiona Morham, and Head of Editorial Natascha Wharton, announced their decision to leave the BFI Film Fund later this year.

The trio will step down in late spring to early summer 2023. In the interim, they will continue to support their slate of projects.

Francke, Morham, and Wharton put out a joint statement saying: “It has been such a huge privilege to work for the Film Fund over the years and to champion an extraordinary range of filmmakers. With the 2023-33 strategy and the Filmmaking Fund being launched this week, we feel it is a perfect time to step away to pursue our own ventures.”

Must Read Stories

TV Community Descends On Lille; Prime Video Execs Talk Up ‘The Gryphon’

Victoria Alonso Departs Marvel Studios After Nearly Two-Decade Run

As Talks Begin, WGA Tells Members What To Expect; DGA Tried To Reach Deal With Studios

Cillian Murphy To Star In ‘Small Things Like These’ From Affleck & Damon’s Artists Equity

Read More About:

Source: Read Full Article