Covid-19 Response for Filmmakers

In light of constantly shifting events around COVID-19, our BFI NETWORK South West team want to reassure you that we will still be active during this time even though Watershed is now closed to the public until further notice.

We wanted to highlight that the BFI NETWORK Short Film and Early Development Funds are still open for applications and that our BFI NETWORK Talent Executive will be responding to enquiries as usual (

We currently have the following opportunities available as part of the BFI NETWORK South West:

1:1 Sessions with BFI Talent Executive (monthly via Whereby video call, fully booked for April/May, June date to released soon)

New Writers Lab – Call for Applications (deadline 30th April – all teaching will be done remotely/online)

We encourage everyone to take care of themselves and others around them. We cannot offer any professional advice directly, but please do follow the resource links below, which we will keep updated as the situation develops.

Please read Watershed’s official statement regarding temporary closing of building to visitors.


The Film and TV Charity

For those working as freelancers in the film, TV and video production industries, the coming time is likely to be challenging. The Film and TV Charity are working behind the scenes of the UK film, TV and cinema industry, providing support, including financial and emotional support.

The Film and TV charity also have a 24 hour support line on 0800 054 0000 to ask for professional advice.


Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund

The Film and TV Charity and BFI have set up a Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund, which provides emergency short-term relief to the many thousands of active workers and freelancers who have been directly affected by the closure of productions across the UK.


British Film Institute (BFI)

BFI’s COVID-19 Screen Sector Q&A sets out the information and guidance we have so far on COVID-19 and its impact on the sector at large. It also signposts to the government’s significant programme of fiscal support for individuals and businesses.

Ben Roberts, BFI Chief Executive, official statement to the industry on Monday 16 March.

Please use the email address, as a centralised point for all COVID-19 related enquires.

There are plans to launch the BFI Film Continuation Fund, with up to £2m to be made available to independent UK productions interrupted by COVID-19 to help cover unexpected additional production costs to ensure productions are in the best position to resume production when practical. Further details will be announced later in April via the BFI’s website and social channels.


Useful Links & Resources

Screenskills are offering free masterclasses and training. It includes sessions with commissioners from each genre from C4, C5, BBC, Sky, UKTV and Amazon, as well as other remote learning opportunities, at no cost.

Sundance Co//ab’s webinars, member Q&As, and masterclasses will be opened up to anyone who is interested, at no cost. As well providing a brilliant curated COVID-19 resources page with links to Sundance created and external content.

Creative England have collated current advice for the freelance film & TV crew community in England who are affected by COVID-19 and its fallout.

COVID-19 advice for BECTU members, including information for freelancers working in film and TV and workers in theatre, live events and the arts.

Rocliffe Production (TV & Films), BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Initiative is offering 1:1 slots screenwriters and filmmakers 15 minutes slots to discuss all topics covered in Rocliffe Notes books, sign up by sending a DM to their Twitter page.


We’ll regularly update this page with any new information, keep safe and we hope to see you again soon. 

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