In such a massive industry, there is of course considerable funding available for serious upcoming filmmakers.
You could seek support from a renowned charitable organisation such as the UK Film Councilwhich has a whopping £15m-a-year fund to “champion British Film”. It uses this to fund script development, film production, short films, film export and distribution, cinemas, film education, culture and archives, festivals and audience support schemes. The UK Film Council consists of different departments, each dealing with specific needs; for example the Film Fund (supports exceptional emerging filmmakers), Innovation Fund (supports projects that help UK films make a successful transition into the digital age), Prints and Advertising Fund (supports the distribution and marketing strategy of specialised films) and the International Festivals Fund (supports British films at key international festivals).
The UK Film Council welcomes applications for all kinds of film – from commercial mainstream to experimental, from genre movies to personal stories, from documentaries to animation to live-action fiction. To find out whether you are eligible, the application information can be found on their website.
Film London is another option; it’s a branch of the UK Film Council, dealing specifically with upcoming talent based in the London area. Film London directly runs several production schemes - supporting local grassroots film-making talent, artists working with the moving image, and giving more experienced short film-makers a step up into features. 'Microwave' is the most recently established scheme, a micro-budget feature film fund which challenges film-makers to shoot a feature film for no more than £100,000 with cash and in-kind support.
A main advantage of going through this type of funding is that successful applicants are not only provided with production finance, but given guidance and advice from the Film London team as well as industry professionals throughout the process, from script to screen. However, unfortunately the likelihood of success remains low; you would have to show real potential and considerable motivation in your application.
A far easier way to raise funds would be to go through a Crowdfunding website, where you post your project online, spread the word through your network of friends and propose rewards in return for donations. For more information on this type of funding, see ‘A brief history of Crowdfunding’. Take a look at the projects posted on Ulule for ideas, and read about all the projects which have been successfully funded.
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