BFI NETWORK New Voices: Talent Development Programme – Send us your short film idea

  • Mon 25 Oct – Mon 22 Nov, 2021

    BFI NETWORK New Voices: Talent Development Programme – Send us your short film idea

    South West & Midlands

BFI NETWORK have teamed up with South West and Midlands based production companies Blak Wave, Little By Little Films, Daniel Alexander Films & Deaffest to run a new filmmaking talent development opportunity for aspiring South West and Midlands based filmmakers looking to develop a five-minute short film idea. Read more below before you send us your idea via our online form.


New Voices aim is to support aspiring filmmakers who may face barriers accessing the BFI NETWORK Short Film Funding, who do not feel confident to apply via the usual routes, and/or would benefit from a supported development process.

We recognise that filmmakers can feel excluded from accessing funding and propose this new approach to encourage different voices to break through. 

We are opening a call for short five-minute film ideas that provide fresh and authentic perspectives; giving a voice to new talent, particularly those who are underrepresented in the screen industries. If you would like to find out more about what BFI look for from projects then please read our funding priorities and/or view past BFI NETWORK funded short films on our BFI NETWORK Website.   

We will select the filmmakers for the programme on the potential of the idea and creative ambition of the talent.  

Once selected we will support the filmmakers develop their short film idea to a finished script; which can then be submitted to the BFI NETWORK Short Film Fund in 2022.  

The selected filmmakers will receive: 

  • Mentoring support from one of the partner production companies.  
  • Script development sessions with a dedicated script editor to help progress their short film idea a final draft script ready for application to BFI NETWORK.  
  • Group-based online training on how to put together an application to BFI NETWORK, including sessions on the fundamentals of scriptwriting, profiling yourself and your work, finding your voice as a director, building a relationship with a producer and more.
  • Peer-to-peer sharing will also be encouraged and made space for throughout the programme as we believe there is great value in creatives learning from each other. 


Please read the full New Voices Information Pack before sending us your idea: 

  • New Voices Information Pack (PDF) Download
  • New Voices Easy Read (PDF) Download
  • New Voices Plain Text Information Pack (Word Doc) Download

Open Forum

The event recording includees automated closed captions.

1:1 Chat

If you would like to speak 1:1 either via phone or zoom call with one of our BFI NETWORK Talent Executives ahead of sending us your idea then you can book a 30 minute slot. This is an opportunity to ask us any questions you might have and tell us more about your short film project idea.

Take care when booking as we have two options so that you can speak to a Talent Exec based in your region.



New Voices is now open for idea submissions until Monday 22nd November at 6pm.

You must send us your idea using one of the forms provided, but the longer answers can be provided as text, video or an audio recording. Please see the forms below for more details. 

If you would like the application form in any other format please contact us at


New Voices is now closed for applications 


Or download the Text Only Word version of the form below and email it to – please put New Voices 2021 Application in the subject line.

  • Text Only: New Voices Application Form 2021 Download

BFI NETWORK exists to support, develop, and champion new voices looking to kick-start their filmmaking career. Made possible through National Lottery funding, BFI NETWORK collaborates with film organisations and leading cultural venues across the UK to provide short film and early feature development funding, industry-backed professional development and networking support to producers, writers, and directors of all ages.

Blak Wave Productions is an independent production company based in Bristol, committed to producing film and TV that better reflects our society, giving a voice to unheard voices and telling untold stories. Blak Wave strives to create content that is fresh, imaginative and crafted by diverse talent, utilising the skills and knowledge of Award winning self shooting director Michael Jenkins and producer director Somina ‘Mena’ Fombo. Passionate about literally changing the face of TV and film, they focus on creating entertaining, emotional and compelling stories across various genres, with recent credits including ‘The Shadow of Slavery’ for Channel 4, shorts for BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine’ and the upcoming live action ‘Pickney.’


Little By Little Films is a multi-award-winning independent production company dedicated to brilliant storytelling by and about underrepresented voices, with a focus on women, LGBTQ+ folks and D/deaf and disabled people. Founded in 2011 by Emmy®-winning producer and director Lindsey Dryden and now based in Gloucestershire, LBL Films is LGBTQ+- and disabled-led, and works collaboratively with authentic voices to tell powerful, unexpected and intimate stories with artistry, originality and inclusivity.

With credits on Netflix, BBC and PBS, work on display in Tate Modern and Tate Britain, and collaborators including Wellcome Trust, Royal Court Theatre and the ACLU, the company’s award-winning productions include Sundance Special Jury Award-winning feature documentary Unrest (2017, Netflix/PBS); Emmy®-winning documentary series Trans In America (2018, SXSW/ACLU/Condé Nast them.); narrative short The Forgotten C (2020, The Uncertain Kingdom); short doc Jackie Kay: One Person Two Names (2017, Tate Queer British Art); and feature documentary Lost and Sound (SXSW, 2012).

Website / Twitter

Daniel Alexander Films, Daniel Alexander is an award-winning director and BAFTA crew x BFI Network filmmaker based in Birmingham. He currently produces and directs work for platforms and agencies including the BBC and the BFI. Daniel Alexander is the creative producer and curator of the region’s leading BAME film development programme, BACK IN, which has commissioned over eighteen filmmakers from diverse backgrounds.

During the pandemic, Daniel Launched The Midlands Film Archive, an online platform that is home to original films created by Midlands based filmmakers. This has grown to become the ‘go-to’ website for films in the midlands including BAFTA winning productions.

Website / Create Central Website / Film Archive / Showreel /

Deaffest is the UK’s leading Deaf-led Film and Arts Festival, established in 2006.  Taking place biennially in Wolverhampton, UK, the next Deaffest festival – its 14th edition – is in 2022.

Deaffest supports and develops the talents of emerging and established deaf filmmakers and artists from the UK and around the world, showcasing films and documentaries by UK and international filmmakers. Exhibitions, seminars, workshops, parties and networking attract a wide and diverse festival audience. Deaffest is the place where everyone is welcome to take part, sharing their interest in films and the arts.



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