The BFI has launched a new Short Form Animation Fund with awards of £30,000 to £120,000 available for successful projects.

The new fund is open to UK animators who have “already gained industry recognition.” It will back projects which represent a “significant advancement in their work, enable progression and open up new opportunities.”

Supported by National Lottery funding and operated by the BFI Film Fund, applications are now open on the BFI website until Tuesday 5 November 2019.
Supporting higher-budgeted animated work of up to 15mins in length, the Fund can support narrative short form projects in any animated technique or genre and for any platform, including cinema, digital platforms, and emerging media such as VR.
In tandem with the new Fund, the BFI Research and Statistics Fund, supported by the National Lottery, is in the process of commissioning new research. Seeking to establish a comprehensive picture of the UK’s animation industry for the first time, it will identify areas of expertise and specialism and pinpoint creative and commercial hubs across the UK. It will be publicly available in early 2020, and aims to highlight where domestic and international links and partnerships can be exploited.
Ben Roberts, Deputy Chief Executive of the BFI, said: “This new Fund is a result of us listening to the industry and filmmakers, and working with them to develop something which celebrates excellence and creativity at a point when talent need it most. Our animators have long led the way in driving forward this art form, and we are thrilled to be offering funding which aims to back UK animation talent from a host of backgrounds, and through a variety of traditional and innovative media.”
The Fund was developed with the support of Animation UK, Animation Alliance UK and Helen Brunsdon, Director of the British Animation Awards.
Kate O’Connor, Chief Executive of Animation UK, said: “Two years ago, Animation UK set out to support growth of a secure production base by seeking investment in our globally respected Animation sector. The BFI has today announced a hugely important part of that overall investment landscape, a fund to support our emerging talent, and to provide the opportunity for developing their careers. Animation UK are delighted by this, and look forward to continued involvement in the fund.”
Gary Thomas, Coordinator, Animation Alliance UK, said: “Animation Alliance UK has been encouraged by how keenly the BFI engaged with the UK’s diverse and brilliant animation community, and the new BFI Short Form Animation Fund is an exciting and much-needed initiative that will offer significant support to our sector. Along with the BFI NETWORK support for emergent animation talent, and support from Arts Council England for innovative and experimental work, the new Fund is a great acknowledgement and endorsement of the cultural importance and creative excellence of independent UK animation talent.”
Projects funded through the Short Form Animation Fund will get the oversight of a BFI Film Fund Executive and a dedicated animation specialist if required. If teams would benefit from a relationship with an experienced studio or company, introductions could be facilitated by the specialist; both Animation UK and Animate Projects have offered access to their membership as potential routes to connect with appropriate studios and/or companies.

Staff Reporter

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