BFI FAN COVID-19 Resilience Fund

Film Hub Members can now apply for resilience funds of up to £15k to respond to the financial impact of the Covid-19 emergency.

Read the full guidelines here!

Plus FAQs here

The BFI has repurposed £1.3m of National Lottery funding to offer critical relief and business continuity to exhibitors across the UK.


The BFI FAN Covid-19 Resilience Fund has been launched with the intention of helping FAN members to maintain connections with audiences during the closure period and to be in a position to reopen and re-engage those audiences once the crisis has passed.

What is this Fund for?

The purpose of this Fund is to support activity that will help FAN member organisations respond to the financial impact of the Covid-19 emergency.

This might include:

  • Helping to maintain FAN member’s estate – buildings and other infrastructure such as IT – so that it is fit for purpose and ready for use once venues can re-open e.g. through assistance with rent, utilities, insurance and maintenance costs etc.
  • Retaining cultural or intellectual assets such as staff that cannot be furloughed (e.g. leadership staff) or who are able to work on the organisation’s longer term sustainability e.g. through fundraising, audience engagement programmes etc.
  • Offering short term support to meet irrecoverable costs incurred in planning or delivery of programmes that are now suspended.
  • Audience engagement activity (including online) during the period of closure that will enhance Members’ ability to connect with its audiences and continue to contribute to FAN aims.

Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants must be FAN members that can demonstrate:

(i) Prior to 20 March 2020 a track record of substantive audience facing activity in line with BFI FAN priorities; AND

(ii) Immediate financial need; Organisations that have been awarded BFI Audience Fund ‘Organisational Awards’ for 2020/21 are not eligible to apply even if they meet the above criteria


The maximum impact of this funding will be felt through supporting venues to get back to business once the crisis is over.  This will therefore be the overarching focus for the Fund but beyond that, priority will be given to Members that:

  • are not able to access sufficient or any other emergency funds for those items for which they’re seeking this support
  • had been operational for at least two years before 20 March 2020 – delivering activity in line with BFI FAN priorities
  • had received FAN funding for audience facing activity in the period January 2018 – March 2020
  • have limited or no access to alternative funding sources e.g. from ACE, the BFI Audience Fund, Creative Scotland, NI Screen, ACW, Local Authorities etc
  • are able to demonstrate a realistic plan for how they intend to re-commence activity after the crisis
  • AND (where applicable) priority will be given as follows:

Cinemas (including those within mixed art-form venues) – to those that ordinarily offer an average of two screenings per week for part time venues and a minimum of seven screenings per week for full time AND that operate on a year round basis (with allowance being made for holiday closures);

Film festivals – to those that have presented at least two editions and have year round core staff;

Touring cinema operators – to those that have a minimum of 5 venues in their network and have been operating for a minimum of two years

Please read the full guidelines for eligible costs. FAQs can be found here

How to apply for funding

In the first instance you should book in a one-to-one phone or video call with the Film Hub team here to discuss your application and requirements for the fund.

If you have access requirements that mean you need assistance when applying for funds, you may be able to request financial support through the BFI Access Support Scheme. Find out more information here.

This funding is intended to complement other funding and support available to organisations, and not duplicate it. You should only apply for funding if you cannot access support for the requested costs elsewhere.

Please give careful thought to how much you need to request from this Fund and only apply where no alternatives are available to you – this will help us ensure funding goes as far as possible. If you are seeking support from elsewhere but do not yet know if you’ll be successful, you will be asked to set this out in your application.

As part of your application you will be asked to provide the following information:

  • An overview of your organisation’s previous work demonstrating how you contribute to FAN’s aims and priorities
  • A short narrative that explains what income you’ve lost and what other measures you’ve taken to mitigate the impact of closure/cancellation (including use of reserves where applicable)
  • A summary of the status of these measures (evidencing that you have exhausted all other reasonable options or are awaiting responses) • An overview of the impact of any emergency support that FAN can provide – what difference will it make?
  • An overview of what, if any, activity you are undertaking during closure in order to engage with your audience and/or increase your future resilience e.g. planning, fundraising, putting together inclusion strategies etc
  • A cashflow statement for 2020-21 based on the assumption of 6 to 9 months disruption, and a budget which shows clearly how much is being requested from FAN and what this will be directed towards

Depending on the level of funds being requested and their purpose, we may also ask you for one or more of the following:

  •  An organisational budget for 2019-20
  • Your most recent annual accounts
  • Your original 2020-21 organisational budget as drawn up before the Covid-19 crisis

What happens next?

Step 1
After reading the full guidelines, please book in a one-to-one here with the Film Hub team immediately if you are interested in applying to the BFI FAN Covid-19 Resilience Fund and they will offer you advice and guidance. For additional assistance email

Step 2
Please ensure you have investigated all avenues for emergency relief from other sources including government or industry schemes.

Step 3
Submit your application to include:
– Completed application form (download template below)
–  Cash-flow budget (download template below)
– Equal Opportunities & Monitoring form (download template below)

along with any supporting documentation to with the subject Resilience Fund [Your Organisation]. The deadline for applications is 6pm on Wednesday 6 May 2020.

Step 4
Your Film Hub will assess your submission alongside other applications received and will contact you to discuss any outstanding issues or questions.

Funding decisions will be made by your Film Hub. However, in order to ensure a broad consistency of approach across FAN – and to ensure applicants are not submitting multiple applications for the same funds to different sources – all applications that are recommended for support will be reviewed by the BFI.

Please note, in some instances, Film Hub staff may share your application documents with external specialist advisors as well as the BFI in order to ensure a speedy response and accurate evaluation of your position. This will be done on a confidential basis.

Step 5
The Film Hub will aim to notify you of the outcome of your application within 3 weeks of the submission deadline – this might be delayed if there are complexities or outstanding questions associated with your request. Not all grants will therefore be announced at the same time and due to the volume of funding requests we expect to receive, feedback will not always be possible.

  • BFI FAN COVID-19 Resilience Fund Guidelines Film Hub South West Download
  • BFI Covid-19 Resilience Fund Application form FINAL Download
  • FAN Equal Opportunities and Monitoring form Download
  • BFI Covid-19 Resilience Fund CASH-FLOW-BUDGET final 29 Apr Download

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