- Decision Makers List 2013
- MeetMarket Projects 2013
- International Delegations
- Crossover Market
- Pitch Opportunities
- The BFI Film Fund Pitch
- The Shed Internship
- The Doc/Fest Mentoring Programme
- Training and Workshops
The BFI Film Fund Pitch
The BFI Film Fund Pitch with Sheffield Doc/Fest
Apply for documentary film funding from the BFI Film Fund
In recognition of the greater volume of applicants with theatrical documentary proposals, the current industry interest in the form, and the more specialised consideration that this genre requires, particularly for emerging talent, the BFI Film Fund is now considering applications from documentary filmmakers through twice yearly-pitching sessions – in London and Sheffield – with a panel of Film Fund executives, industry experts and peers.
A short list of applicants will be invited to a pitching session in which you’ll have the opportunity to present your project to a panel of experts, with representation from both the BFI Film Fund and the wider documentary funding community. Awards are being made on a bi-annual basis, with a public pitching session at Doc/Fest in June, followed by a private pitch to the panel in London in December.
Applications for the BFI Film Fund Pitch in London, December 2013 have now closed. The BFI Film Fund Pitch will return at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014.
Projects will be assessed on their creative vision and the ability of the team to deliver that vision. Criteria will include strength of story and characters and the theatrical resonance of the project - i.e. why does it have to be a big screen project? Unsuccessful applicants will be given feedback and advice on other potential sources of funding.
A short list of up to six projects will be invited to present a 5-10 minute pitch to the panel in the pitching session. The first session took place in June at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2013, and a second session will take place in London in December.
Prior to the pitching forum, the shortlisted filmmakers will be invited to partake in a preparatory pitching workshop. This workshop is not mandatory but is advised. The pitch workshop will be a 1-day event taking place in London approximately 2 weeks before the formal pitching sessions, led by the Doc/Fest's pitch trainer.
At this workshop, the six selected pitch teams will be guided as to how to best deliver their 10-minute pitch – how to clearly communicate their story and characters, how to structure their presentations for most impact on the panel, and what audience they expect to interest with their documentary. They will also be supported in developing the best teaser clips to screen at the pitching session. The day will consist of delivering each pitch a number of times, with critique from the trainer and the rest of the group in order to make the pitch presentation iteratively better each time. After the workshop each team will have a short time to re-cut their teaser clips based on feedback received and practice their presentations in order to ensure that the presentation in front of the panel is confident and persuasive.
The pitching session will be held in front of a panel of experts comprising two senior execs from the BFI Film Fund and two external documentary industry experts. Each team will be given a 5-10 minute slot (TBC) to present their project and any clips relevant to it. Initial verbal feedback will be given immediately at the pitching session.
If successful with your pitch, the BFI will then issue a formal but conditional expression of interest in funding your documentary (Letter of Intent). For full terms and conditions of this award, please download the document on the left hand side of this page as well as this information on the BFI website.
How To Apply
PLEASE NOTE: Applications for the BFI Pitch in London, December 2013 are now closed.
- Pitching projects announced - Friday 8th November
- Workshop TBA (no later than Monday 25th November)
- Film Fund Pitch - Monday 9th December
- Announcements - Friday 13th December
Successful applicants are expected to cover their expenses for attendance at both the pitch training workshops and the pitching sessions. On request from shortlisted applicants showing hardship, BFI may provide travel bursaries for attendance at both the pitch training workshops and the pitching sessions.
The BFI Film Fund Pitch will return at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014.
The Sheffield Pitch in June 2013
Louise Osmond’s Dark Horse and Brian Hill’s Thomas Quick: The Making of a Serial Killer were selected for BFI funding after this pitching event, along Jerry Rothwell's Greenpeace, How to Change the World being guaranteed further BFI engagement. You can read more here.
Congratulations to all the selected pitchers:
Al Morrow and Jerry Rothwell
If you have any queries about this opportunity, please email charlie[at]sidf.co.uk