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Funding the Short Film | BFI Film Academy Labs September 2023

At the BFI Film Academy Lab session, there was a panel discussion focused on funding short films through BFI Network. The panel consisted of industry professionals Jude, Christine, and Bridging the Gap. They shared valuable insights into the application process, the types of films supported, and common mistakes made by applicants.BFI Network supports a wide range of short films, including fiction, documentary, and animation. The application process typically opens in January and runs until March, with successful applicants being notified in May. When applying, it's important to have a well-written treatment and a fully developed script, as well as creative and innovative storytelling.Recent short films funded by BFI Network include "The Gift" and "The Last Voyage of the Lollypop Lady," which received great feedback and were featured on BBC iPlayer. Bridging the Gap, a documentary institute, offers training and funding opportunities for emerging filmmakers, providing mentorship and support to help them develop their craft and bring their stories to life.When deciding which projects to fund, BFI Network looks at several factors, including the quality of the script, the director's track record, and the overall vision for the film. They also consider the potential impact of the film on audiences and the industry as a whole. In terms of specific themes or elements, they generally look for films that explore fresh perspectives and offer unique insights into the world around us.Emerging filmmakers can improve their chances of securing funding by being clear and concise in their application, highlighting the unique aspects of their film, and doing their research on the criteria used by the panel to evaluate applications. BFI Network also has several upcoming events, including a networking event and a masterclass on pitching and selling your film, which attendees may be interested in attending.
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