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.

We wanted to highlight that our BFI NETWORK Talent Executives will be responding to enquiries as usual ( We cannot offer any professional advice directly in regards to COVID-19, but please do follow the resource links below, which we will keep updated as the situation develops. Watershed is now closed to the public until early September, our BFI NETWORK team are working remotely during this time.

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



The Short Film Funding from BFI NETWORK supports projects with directors based in the South West. Funding of up to £15,000 is available to support the production costs of fiction films, in both live action and animation of up to 15 minutes.

The BFI NETWORK Short Film Fund in England is temporarily paused while we review COVID-19 process on our current slate of short film productions. For more information and updates please visit our dedicated news page.


BFI NETWORK Early Development Fund

The Early Development funding from BFI NETWORK supports projects with writers based in England who have an exciting and bold idea – particularly if you’ve not yet teamed up with a producer. This scheme offers funding and support for treatments and research for feature films in early development.

THE BFI NETWORK Early Development Fund is currently closed. More information can be found on the BFI NETWORK’s website.


Events & Training Opportunities 

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

Script Development Lab


Covid-19 Production Guidance

The UK Film & TV industry delivered a comprehensive set of Production Guidance that will be regularly reviewed against Government Guidelines.


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.


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.


Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund *CURRENTLY CLOSED*

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.


Film Continuation Fund *CURRENTLY CLOSED*

The BFI launched their 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.


Doc Society Production SOS Fund

The BFI Doc Society Production SOS Fund has been launched (using funds from the National Lottery) to support British producers whose independently financed documentary feature project has been interrupted by the COVID 19 pandemic.

The fund is intended to help put production companies in the best possible position to allow production of their documentary features to resume as soon as it is safe and practical.

Deadline for applications: 2nd July 2020


Documentary Impact Producer Relief Fund

The Documentary Impact Producer Relief Fund will provide grants of up to $4,000 to help alleviate the acute hardships faced by freelance impact producers working anywhere in the world in this time of economic uncertainty.

Freelance and sole-proprietor impact producers, especially those from under resourced and underrepresented groups, are uniquely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic which has exacerbated the spectrum of historic inequalities they face.

Opens for applications on 10th July 2020


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.


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

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