Congratulations! You’ve written a short film. The next step is to fund it. Here are a few different ways to fund your film as an independent filmmaker.
Public film funding and grants
Public funding refers to a range of schemes and awards running throughout the year. The BFI Filmmaking fund provides funding for film and TV development and production, which includes international co-productions and completion funding. Their mission is to discover, develop and champion new talent and unfamiliar stories from unfamiliar voices. The National Lottery runs the Lottery Screen Heritage Fund, which supports projects seeking to highlight UK heritage and represent the UK’s diverse communities through screenings of regional archive film. Other schemes include Creative UK, Screen Scotland, UK Global Screen Fund, and the Liverpool City Region Production Fund. Some grants and schemes have specific application requirements, such as first-time filmmakers.
There is also an option to save up yours own money or to raise funds from your network, such as family members and friends. Self financing a film requires careful planning and budgeting to reach the funding goal.
Another method is to run a crowdfunding campaign, however it’s important that you build trust with your target audience in order to receive donations, this could be through building a social media campaign around the film for example.
Private investors may also be interested in financing the film because they believe in the film and its message, so it’s always worth reaching out to potential investors.
All of the above
Finding and applying for film funding can be a tedious process, so most filmmakers use a combination of the above methods to fund their film. It’s important to research what’s out there and figure out what works for you and your film. Bluebird Pictures have written and produced three Sci Fi short films, all funded in different ways.
You can watch Kashif Boothe, producer of our short film CYCLE, explain what the funding process looked like for the film here