Today’s article is something I have been trying to write about for almost a year; short film funding. Last July I contacted the BFI with a Freedom of Information request about the amount of money awarded to short films. After a bit of chasing (and ten months passing), they have finally released the figures. I asked them which short film projects they have funded in the past few years, and to what amounts. In summary…
- Since 2011, the BFI has awarded over a million pounds to 29 short film projects
- The largest amount of funding for one film was £58,500
- Warp Films received over 10% of the total amount awarded
BFI short film funding by year
The total amount awarded since January 2011 was £1,084,961 and splits up as follows…
- 2011 = £123,818
- 2012 = £887,651
- 2013 = £72,792
- 2014 = £700
- Total Jan 2011 to Feb 2014 = £1,084,961
In 2011 there was no new shorts scheme, whereas in 2012 The Lighthouse managed the BFI’s allocation of £1 million. The short film awards are now handled by Net.Work.
The one million pounds was split across 29 different short film projects and most projects were only awarded one grant. Eight were awarded two lump sums and two projects were given three different sets of money. The largest amount given to a single short film was £58,500 to Mohammed from Pico Pictures and the smallest was £2,800 to Pitch Black Heist from DMC Film. The average amount awarded was £37,412 per film.
|Short Film Title||Grant Amount|
|Keeping Up With The Joneses||£58,000|
|Orbit Ever After||£58,000|
|Liam + Lenka||£45,512|
|S L R||£38,465|
|No Kaddish in Wrexham||£26,026|
|The Karman Line||£25,000|
|Going to Mecca||£20,000|
|Pitch Black Heist||£2,800|
Warp Films were awarded £115,333 across three projects, meaning that they received over 10% of the total amount awarded by the BFI.
|Warp Films Ltd||£115,333|
|No Logo Films Ltd||£58,000|
|Life To Live Films||£56,270|
|Dark Pictures Limited||£56,025|
|Tomboy Films (UK) Ltd||£54,315|
|Escape Films Ltd||£49,965|
|Golden Arrow Pictures Ltd||£49,783|
|Rooks Nest Entertainment||£49,599|
|First Born Films Ltd||£48,661|
|Electric Ballroom Productions Limited||£47,824|
|Sigma Films Ltd||£42,000|
|Eclectic Films The Portrait Ltd||£40,761|
|Stigma Films Ltd||£38,465|
|Stray Bear Films||£38,252|
|John Loden Ltd||£37,741|
|Various Films Ltd||£27,518|
|Too Tall Productions Ltd||£25,000|
|Basement Multimedia Ltd||£20,000|
|Bru Productions Ltd||£18,330|
|Tiger Lily Films Ltd||£11,000|
|DMC Film Ltd||£2,800|
Not all of these are the Lighthouse shorts, seem to be Film4 shorts top up
Steve, I personally agree with you, but I was quoting the BFI. The exact quote they said was…
I can also confirm that:
· 2011/12 – there was no new shorts scheme.
· 2012/13 – shorts scheme managed by Lighthouse approx. £1m
· 2013/14 – completed the Lighthouse scheme but no new scheme from Film Fund as shorts are now covered by the Net.Work.
Interesting, but even more interesting would be the awards/ recoupment of the lottery funded feature films (or at least those awarded over say £50,000 or £100,000). Essentially covering the awards made by the Arts Council/ Lottery Franchises, the UK Film Council and the BFI (although some of the latter may be in the early stages of release). It would be a fascinating insight into how different films have performed.
Almost a year later, I have completed that research…
Great, thanks for this. Out of the 29 films, there were 7 female directors, 21 male directors and 1 director I couldn’t identify.
Maybe the BFI need to look at their awarding policies.
25% women directors is about average?
It’s actually above average, sadly. http://www.bfi.org.uk/sites/bfi.org.uk/files/downloads/bfi-report-on-female-writers-and-directors-of-uk-films-2013-11.pdf
Projects should always be merited on the strengths of the script/ team rather then the sex of the filmmakers.
Maybe if filmmakers with chips on their shoulders refocused their energies on their projects, rather then bitching about one excuse or the other, they too may get selected for talent schemes designed to support the best upcoming talent.
Haha, very funny Alex.
The BFI says on their site: “We use Lottery funds to nurture and invest in a diverse mix of first-class filmmakers UK-wide…We work to discover and develop new talent and to support the production of a wide range of films that will enrich British film culture and define Britain and its storytellers in the 21st century”
Our public funders just need to do better.
I’m personally saddened by the fact that the majority of these films are about men & boys. The ones that do feature women and girls usually end up being about them being victims or their relationship with men. Boooooooorrrrrring.
Fair enough, if there happens to be more males making films & directing films then that’s a whole other issue (and I suspect has a lot do with females not even valuing their own contribution, so therefore not even trying, but that’s a whole other issue…) but filmmakers (of both gender) please please please STOP buying into the patriarchy and do something DIFFERENT. Something about a woman.
Last year I made a short film on a 1k budget (sell raised), it would be great to see 20x1K amounts given out or for the BFI to do reduced screening prices for lower budget shorts, everywhere wanted more than half what the film cost to screen the film!!