COVID-19 update from
BFI Doc Society Fund

Stay safe, create, keep connected.

Dear UK Documentary Filmmakers,

We hope this finds you safe and well. We send strength and solidarity to the UK docs community during this challenging time.

We’d like to share an update from the BFI Doc Society Fund team in light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

  • BFI Feature Fund round - thank you for your applications, the round is now closed but the team and external review panel are continuing with assessing submitted projects and will be communicating with all applicants by the end of April.
    We know that COVID-19 creates great uncertainty for production, but please be assured that we plan to continue with funding in 2020 and there will be another features round in the Summer as planned. Please stay tuned to our newsletter and socials for updates.
  • Made of Truth Fund (shorts) - is due to launch in late May. Subject to creative reframing, but never lost. Watch this space.
  • Support Programme - we will be zooming out support, convening webinars and making connections for UK doc filmmakers online - please keep an eye out for updates across our socials and newsletter. We look forward to connecting with you.

If you have any pressing questions do contact

For advice on how to get support now as a freelance filmmaker NOW in the UK please visit:

BFI Film + TV Charity Relief Funds
Screen Scotland + Creative Scotland COVID-19 Impact Funds
BECTU advice
Directors UK advice and advocacy
BFI Covid-19 information page

Stay safe, create, keep connected.

BFI Doc Society Fund Team

Bring us
your truth

BFI Doc Society
Features Fund

The BFI Doc Society Fund closed Wednesday 26th February at noon

The BFI Doc Society Fund aims to develop storytellers from all parts of the UK, backing feature projects with bold cultural and social ambitions.

The Fund will encourage talent to take risks on form and content, where the more commercial sector cannot. We heart the cinema, but we are also platform agnostic and open to projects that reach audiences in new ways.

We can support:

  • Any stage - Development, Production, Completion
  • First time filmmakers
  • Hybrid forms
  • Multi-platform

What we don’t fund:

  • Filmed productions such as a theatre show, filmed sporting or music event
  • Artist installation work
  • Journalism
  • Films intended primarily for broadcast television

To bear in mind:

Sign up to the Doc Society newsletter to get news of opening and closing dates on the film funds as well as dates for our regional events, connecting and building the docs community in the UK.


In a handful of immersive regional events (‘locals’) exploring the national BFI Doc Society fund and current landscape for non-fiction film, we hear from the filmmakers and decision makers serving the docs community.

Presented as part of BFI NETWORK with Film Hub North. Hosted at HOME.

Documentary people of the North West convene! We invite new and emerging creative filmmaking talent, established filmmakers and a kaleidoscope of creative voices to join us to explore the landscape for non-fiction film across the UK. We will be diving into the detail on Doc Society and how we work with filmmakers, funding, showcasing inspiring creative doc shorts and features, excavating commissioning opportunities and hosting an afternoon of 1-2-1 doc surgeries and networking.

When: Friday 31st January 2020
Where: HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester M15 4FN
Time: 9.00am (Registration) 09.30am - 6.00pm

Register Here

Who is it for?

This is a free and inclusive event hosted by the BFI Doc Society fund team, aimed at supporting and offering informative sessions and networking for anyone who has or is thinking about making documentary films. The aim is to create more connectivity in the UK documentary sector, to explore and showcase the opportunities available and to hear from you and about your stories.

So whether you’re a doc-maker, doc-lover or simply doc-curious, Doc Society invite you to join the community as the embrace a new vision for documentary film.

Keep an eye on @TheDocSociety for updates


If you live anywhere in the North West region and you require financial support to attend this event, BFI Doc Society has a limited amount of bursaries available to support costs of attending the event. Bursaries are limited and we prioritise applications that align with BFI Diversity Standards.

To apply for a bursary, please complete this form and if you have any questions, please contact :

Made of Truth: BFI Doc Society Short Film Fund

BFI Doc Society Made of Truth Fund opening again summer 2020

Made of Truth: BFI Doc Society Short Film Fund. In our second year, we invite passionate filmmakers to take the temperature of our world and create electrifying films for the UK and beyond. Part of BFI Network the Fund supports all forms of docs - personal stories, hybrids, artist films, essays, observational and social issue projects. This is an urgent opportunity to tell stormy stories which reflect our turbulent times.

Made of Truth: BFI Doc Society Fund is committed to building a diverse community of filmmakers and working with people from underserved backgrounds including BAME, LGBTQ+, mixed ability and non-filmmaking talent. We’re reaching out to new storytellers from around the country and all communities and are especially keen to increase the number of projects originated outside London.


We’ve got the cold hard cash and can fund ten short films with budget contributions of up to £15,000 and are happy to look at ideas of any length up to 40 minutes. Applications will be accepted until noon on Tuesday 9th of July 2019 and once selected, films will need to be delivered by the end of January 2020. Documentary filmmakers and those with related experience over the age of 18 are welcome to apply.

Projects will receive creative and mentorship support from the BFI Doc Society team, and relevant industry partners. Filmmakers do not need to have a producer or production company to apply. We can facilitate partnerships with producers.


The only way we can assess projects and offer advice is for applicants to submit their proposal and materials via our online application system.

We will then be in touch with all applicants within 5 weeks of the fund closing to let you know if you’ve been shortlisted for the second application stage.

If you have a stratospheric short film idea, we darn well want to know about it.


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

To make sure you’re in the loop, please ensure you’re signed up to our newsletter here

To bear in mind - All films have to pass the cultural test in order to be eligible.