The British Film Institute (BFI) is implementing a new pitching process for UK documentary filmmakers applying to its BFI Film Fund.
The funding body will now invite a shortlist of applicants to participate in twice annual public pitching sessions that promise to give hopefuls targeted support and feedback from senior executives, as well as a day of intensive development ahead of the pitch. By making the process public, the BFI also hopes to allow for greater transparency in the process.
The first pitch session will take place at Sheffield Doc/Fest on June 15 and the second will take place in London later in the year. Applicants will be assessed by key staff from the BFI Film Fund and Sheffield Doc/Fest, and those selected will present their projects to a panel of industry experts at a 10-minute public pitching session.
The change is a response to the increase in theatrical doc proposals to the BFI Film Fund and in particular, the number of emerging directors and producers that apply.
“Documentary is the punk of the film industry – it so often fuels innovation and creativity in filmmaking and also in distribution,” said Lizzie Francke, senior executive for the BFI Film Fund, in a statement. “No one can bring a film to life with more conviction than the filmmakers driving the project, so we’re really excited to hear about new stories and characters directly from the talented filmmakers who are so passionate about bringing them to the big screen.”
Filmmakers wishing to apply for documentary production funding must go to the BFI website and use the online application mechanism.