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British Film Institute Launches £2.5 million Initiative for New Generation of Diverse Film Producers

British Film Institute Launches £2.5 million Initiative for New Generation of Diverse Film Producers

For our readers across the pond who are producers, or want to be producers…an opportunity you may want to take a look.

The BFI today announced the launch of its BFI Vision Awards 3 with a commitment of £2.5 million (about $3.5 million) of funding to provide support to what it calls “a new generation of diverse and ambitious film producers.” 

Recognizing the challenges faced by producers who are at an early stage of their careers and have yet to establish themselves in the industry, the new-look BFI Vision Awards are for emerging producers, with a mission being to discover and develop emerging filmmaking voices across the nations and regions of the UK. The organization believes that a successful and resilient UK film industry depends on a diverse filmmaking sector prepared and able to take creative risks. The new funding structure is geared specifically to help emerging producers build up their existing relationships with writers and directors, form and strengthen alliances with established producers and partners, and afford them the time needed to find new talent and develop projects with strong production prospects.

To encourage producers who would not be able to support themselves financially on a full-time basis alongside developing projects with emerging filmmakers, the BFI Vision Awards will include an allowance to cover a producer’s fees and overheads of up to half of the award, which will also be non-recoupable (i.e. it will not need to be repaid to the BFI). This direct support for the producer sits alongside associated costs in seeding the development of feature film projects. Each award is capped at a maximum £50,000 (about $71,000) per year for two years; a third year of funding might be awarded in exceptional cases where producers have discovered a specific underserved area of talent and have a solid plan to continue.

The BFI Vision Awards 3 sits alongside the Film Fund’s new measures to help producers working at every level of experience. From April 1, 2016, the Film Fund is doubling its allocation to producers’ overheads during development on all single project awards, to better support them during early script work through to pre-production.

To be eligible for the BFI Vision Awards 3, emerging producers may be working independently with projects in development, with one or two close to production and who may have previous production credits; or they may be new producers looking to establish themselves as producers in their own right with existing writer and director relationships and an eye to projects they want to produce.

It is a BFI funding priority to support projects that seek to increase the diversity of the UK’s film industry. This means they are looking for applicants to embrace the possibilities of forming new partnerships with companies, charities, training bodies or individuals that they have never worked with before. They are also looking for ambitious plans that take calculated risks in developing work for audiences that are currently under-served by the existing market provision. They expect all applicants to the BFI Vision Awards to embrace the implications and opportunities that working with more diverse talent and workforces bring, not just to their own productions but to the industry as a whole.

All applicants will be asked to address how they will engage with the BFI’s Diversity Standards available at www.bfi.org.uk/diversity.

Applications for the BFI Vision Awards 3 are now open. The closing date for applications is midnight, April 29,  2016.

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