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BFI has partnered with Film4 on Future Takes, a pilot fund seeking applications for ambitious and original short form work from emerging filmmaking talent from across the U.K.

The initiative will award up to £90,000 ($111,000) each to up to seven projects with funding by BFI National Lottery and Film4. It is positioned as a stepping stone between lower budget shorts and features or long form work and the aim is to help more filmmaking talent build sustainable careers.

Future Takes will be available to teams with a background in but not limited to filmmaking, theater, TV, video gaming, commercials, music videos, graphic novels, with a writer/director attached who has a demonstrably strong creative track record in their field. It will not fund directors making their first screen work. The fund will seek to back projects which demonstrate a clear career progression, for example with a more ambitious scale and/or production requirements; a greater duration; exploring a more complex story world; or using experimental techniques. It will focus on scripted live action fiction and documentary-fiction hybrid projects.

The fund will also pilot an access coordinator role on all funded projects, supported by additional BFI National Lottery funding and in partnership with Bridge 06 and Julie Fernandez. Testing the impact of this role with Future Takes aims to encourage a proactive approach to access on film productions, with a view to understanding and addressing access requirements being embraced across the sector, the BFI said.

Mia Bays, Director of BFI Film Fund, said: “This pilot is a direct response to the call we repeatedly heard through our consultation and my listening tour, for more possibilities in the funding landscape for this area of talent development that were open to all. Future Takes aims to offer emerging filmmakers the means to make work that has greater narrative and cinematic scope, and more space to enhance and develop their practice. From discovering new talent who may not be on our radars, through to kick-starting careers that may have stalled, we hope these shorts will launch at international festivals, spark interest from the market and announce the filmmakers to industry as talent to watch and invest in. In teaming up with Film4, we are together developing more opportunities for U.K. filmmakers, and helping to launch more careers.”

Farhana Bhula, senior commissioning executive, Film4, said: “Film4 has a strong track record in supporting ambitious short form work. We’re now proud to collaborate with our partners at the BFI to open out this opportunity to filmmakers from all creative backgrounds, driven by our shared desire to nurture the next generation of talent across the U.K.”

Alice Cabañas, head of BFI Network, added: “The talent we see coming through BFI NETWORK from across the UK is truly exciting, yet many still face difficulty to fully break into the sector and change a love and passion for film into a meaningful and fruitful career. Future Takes addresses that, nurturing talent, but also supporting them to build their skills and capabilities as a filmmaker. In line with our mission to ensure funding and opportunities reach talent regardless of their background or where they live, this is an open call, so I invite any U.K. talent who have a strong track record in short form work to get your applications in.”

The deadline for application is Feb. 13, 2023. Details can be found here.