Film London offers a variety of resources to support filmmakers, film professionals and aspiring entrants to the industry. From short film funding to feature film markets, moving image artist fellowships to animation commissions, Film London Labs and articles on filmmaking craft, and job opportunities in the industry via our Equal Access Network, we're here to help.
Navigate Film London support
I want to make a short film
If you're new to filmmaking, a good place to start is by making a short film. It's a chance to hone your skills, build a team and find your voice as a storyteller. Short films often get their creators noticed in the industry and serve as a launchpad for making longer-form works.
To make a short, you need a script, a cast and crew, and probably some money. We run a frequent free online masterclass called BFI NETWORK Shorts School. You can watch recordings of previous sessions, which will hopefully offer you inspiration and insight.
We often hold mixers for creatives to meet potential collaborators. Sign up to our newsletter to keep updated about these. And join our Facebook group Film London Talent Connect, where you can reach out to fellow creatives.
I want to make a feature film
When we talk about film, more often than not we're thinking of feature films. For many filmmakers, that's the dream.
Film London offers support to writers, directors and producers looking to embark on their first feature film. Our Production Finance Market New Talent Strand offers selected filmmaking teams the chance to pitch their project in one-to-one meetings with major international financiers. We provide teams with training on film financing and pitching. Check the PFM page for the latest info.
Through BFI NETWORK's Early Development Fund we support writers to develop a feature idea into a treatment.
Film London previously financed a series of features under its Microwave scheme. This scheme is currently closed and we are not funding any feature films ourselves.
I want to make a TV show
TV has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide with the richness that long-form storytelling offers. For writers it can be an especially rewarding and empowering medium to work in, and it can also be a source of steady work for directors.
Alumni of Film London-supported schemes have gone on to write and direct for major TV series in the UK and US.
Much TV is IP-driven, and to that end our innovative annual IP market UPstream puts pathbreaking stories in various formats (books, podcasts, graphic novels, illustration) in front of leading film, TV & games producers. Successes have included a podcast being developed for TV and an illustrated story being developed as a game by a major studio. UPstream is invitation-only at this time.
I want to create moving image art
For almost twenty years, the Film London Artists' Moving Image Network has supported and champion moving image artists around the UK. Its schemes include the FLAMIN Fellowship, FLAMIN Productions, FLAMIN Animation commissions and the prestigious Jarman Award.
- FLAMIN Animations is a commissioning programme for early-career black-identifying artist animators living in the UK. Run by Film London and Arts Council England, the programme aims to support artist animators as they take their first steps into a career working with the moving image, with development support and funding for a new work.
- The FLAMIN Fellowship is a major scheme for early-career artist filmmakers living in England. The Fellowship aims to support the most exciting, innovative and challenging moving image practices from filmmakers at the early stages of their careers, with development (via monthly workshops) and seed funding for new work.
- FLAMIN Productions is a major commissioning scheme which aims to support the most exciting, innovative and challenging moving image projects with development, production finance and bespoke mentoring opportunities. The only scheme of its kind in the UK, FLAMIN Productions commissions mid-career, London-based artists to make new, important and substantial moving image artworks that are ambitious in premise and duration, with an emphasis on projects that have strong potential for national and international exhibition and distribution.
- The Film London Jarman Award is a prestigious annual prize, which recognises and supports the most innovative UK-based artists working with moving image, and celebrates the spirit of experimentation, imagination and innovation in the work of emerging artist filmmakers. The Award launched in 2008 and is inspired by visionary filmmaker Derek Jarman.
I'm looking for work in the industry
Finding work in the industry can often feel impossible, particularly when jobs are not always openly advertised.
Film London's Equal Access Network was created to fix that. We work with productions and companies to bring meaningful opportunities directly to you, helping people get into and progress within the film, TV, animation, visual effects and games industries. We also work with people returning to work or looking to change career. The EAN successfully places people into paid employment, and provides support through skill-building masterclasses as well as internships, courses and bespoke careers advice. Join our network (it's free!) to hear of opportunities.
Exploring the Craft
A series of blog posts about major aspects of craft of writing, directing and producing.
Check out our Film London Labs series of online masterclasses for deep dives into various elements of the craft and business of filmmaking. This year we held The Vanguard Writers Sessions (5-9 June), exploring cutting-edge topics in writers' craft, and the Production Finance Sessions in September, providing insights into packaging and financing your first feature. Next up, the TV Sessions this December!
New Talent FAQs
I'm a writer and/or director. How do I find a producer?
People often write to us asking to connect them with producers who can help turn their scripts into films. We don't have the resources to connect people on an individual basis; however we can suggest the following avenues:
- Join our Film London Talent Connect Facebook group, where you can reach out to other creatives (including producers) and potentially find collaborators for your projects.
- Look at some industry lists of emerging producers: the British Council directory of short films, the BFI NETWORK x BAFTA Crew list, the BFI NETWORK Insight Producers annual cohort, and Film London Lodestars. Try reaching out to producers via social media
- Network as much as you can. Go to any events that seem relevant, talk to people, you will find kindred spirits. Look for ways you can give help to others rather than solely asking for it.
- Most major production companies do not accept unsolicited submissions; however some occasionally run open submission windows. Keep an eye out for those.
If your query relates to finding a producer with whom to apply for BFI NETWORK Short Film Funding, we suggest that you start your search early, rather than waiting until the application window opens. You should be looking to build a lasting creative relationship with a producer. Many producers will want to get involved with developing a project at the script stage, and writers should be open to that as it is ultimately a collaboration.
How do I get an agent?
Most agents don't accept unsolicited submissions, which can mean it is hard to get your work in front of them. Some do accept them (it's worth looking at the websites of various agents to see which do), and you can write a concise query letter setting out a little about you and your voice and sharing some of your strongest loglines.
Ultimately you need to make your work stand out to attract agents. Here are some ways to do that:
- If you're a writer, submit your scripts to competitions (Academy Nicholl, Austin, Final Draft Big Break are some of the most respected, and The Black List can also be useful). Agents pay attention to the winners of these things, and being able to point to some credible industry acclaim for your work will make a query letter more attractive.
- Having written or directed short films with some festival recognition will always catch the attention of representatives. Make stuff! People much prefer to watch things than read them.
- Agents will read things that are recommended by a producer or course tutor. So you should network as much as you can (see the question above).
Can Film London develop and/or finance my film?
What is the New Talent Strand?
The Production Finance Market New Talent strand is the part of our annual market geared towards first and second time feature filmmakers. We select up to twenty teams (producer and director) with a track record in shorts, commercials, music videos and/or theatre, and provide training on pitching and financing in preparation for a day of intensive meetings with financiers at the PFM. For more experienced filmmakers there is the main PFM. Applications for the market tend to open in the Spring each year.