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BFI Doc Society
Ripple Effect Fund

The BFI Doc Society Ripple Effect Fund is now closed, thank you for applying.
The BFI Doc Society Ripple Effect Fund is a new National Lottery funded initiative that enables and empowers communities, networks and organisations to build their own inclusive vision for the independent UK documentary sector from the ground up. If you have new and collaborative ideas to support underrepresented documentary storytellers, to reach diverse audiences or to foster closer connections and amplify the work of grassroots nonfiction champions - tell us what they look like.
Let's create ripples of action and build a stronger eco-system for documentary film in the UK.

The BFI Doc Society Ripple Effect Fund (The Ripple Effect) supports activity that can be delivered before March 2022. It is open for one round and applicants can apply for a non-recoupable grant of between £5,000-£20,000.

Please note, the Ripple Effect Fund is not a production fund and cannot support any filmmaking costs.

What the fund can support

The BFI Doc Society Ripple Effect Fund is aimed at helping the independent documentary sector thrive and be more visible as a vital part of a vibrant independent film culture in the UK. The Ripple Effect can fund organisers to build and diversify documentary specific networks, documentary talent development activities and audience engagement work that is rooted in diversity and driven by community, particularly in areas of the UK where documentary film is underserved. The Ripple Effect will help kickstart documentary-focused ideas and activities that boost connectivity for documentary filmmakers across the UK, create inclusive opportunities for underrepresented non-fiction voices and develop new audiences.

We are looking for applications for activity that intends to achieve one or more of the following aims:

  • Deliver innovative and essential documentary community activities in the UK with diversity and inclusion at the heart.
  • Strengthen and deepen the ambition of diverse community groups, networks, collectives and organisations resulting in increased opportunities for documentary film.
  • Increase engagement with independent documentary film within underrepresented communities.

Who can apply?

  • Individuals and non-profit organisations
  • UK based applicants
  • Individuals who are over 18 and not in full time education

What are we unable to fund?

Funded activity must take place in the UK and be specifically focused on documentary. We cannot fund:

  • activity that has already taken place or will have taken place prior to us making any grant award
  • activity that is not community-based
  • funding for the development, production or completion of documentary film
  • activity that has been, or is currently supported by other BFI National Lottery funding

Please see the fund guidelines for our full eligibility criteria.

How to apply….

Spread the word @TheDocSociety #DocRippleEffect

The BFI Doc Society Ripple Effect awards funds from the National Lottery

The BFI Doc Society Ripple Effect Fund is now closed, thank you for applying
Fund Guidelines
Application Questions Preview
Budget Template (XLS)
(please upload after you have submitted your application)

Talk to us!

If you have questions, please register here for our BFI Doc Society Ripple Effect Fund webinar on Monday 24 May at 5.00pm - 6.00pm (BST). The webinar will have BSL interpretation and live closed captioning available.

Access Requirements:

If you have any access requirements to enable you to apply for this fund, please complete an Access Request Form. If this is not possible or if you need assistance with this, please contact and let us know how we can help.

Do you have questions?

If, having read the guidelines in full, you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch on

I've got a question

Please check out our comprehensive guidelines which should help with any burning questions. If you can’t find what you need, please contact our BFI Doc Society Production Manager Hannah Bush Bailey at

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