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Short Support Scheme

Dear Mr Shakespeare dir. Shola Amoo, supported to attend Sundance 2017


British Council Film is committed to showcasing new UK film talent to audiences around the world and has a long tradition of supporting new and emerging filmmaking talent.

The British Council Shorts Support Scheme

British Council Film's Short Support Scheme (which includes our Short Film Travel Grant Fund) exists to support UK-based filmmakers to show their work internationally.

Benefits of the scheme include:

  • Short Film Travel Grants to support international travel to our key festivals list
  • Promotion of work to our exclusive programming contacts from key international short film festivals
  • Inclusion of work on our online UK Shorts Portal (What’s the portal? See below)
  • An annual calendar of events where you can gain insider industry knowledge and network with other filmmaking teams
  • Showcasing opportunities through British Council offices in 110 countries

How do I join the Short Support Scheme?

There is no formal application process to join the Short Support Scheme. You will be entered onto the scheme automatically once you have a film that has been accepted into one of the festivals on our 'Key Festivals List'.

If you have been accepted into a festival on this list, you will need to make an application to us for a travel grant and will be accepted onto the Short Support Scheme following this application for a grant (read on for how to apply).

Want to find out more?  For a detailed list of Short Support Scheme FAQs download the link on the right hand side of the page.

More information about the Travel Grant Fund

What is the Travel Grant Fund?

In partnership with the BFI, British Council Film operates a Travel Grant Fund that supports filmmakers to travel to key international festivals.

If your film has been accepted into any of the festivals included on our 'Key Festivals List' (available for download at top right of this page) then you are eligible to apply to the Travel Grant Fund.

As of August 2016 we also support Virtual Reality projects at festivals marked VR on the Key Festivals List.

For detailed information on the Travel Grant Fund and how to apply please download and read the guidelines at the top right hand of this page.

To make an online application to the Travel Grant Fund please click here.

Please note: If you have specific access needs please talk to us about what additional help may be available to Travel Grant recipients – for example additional funds to facilitate travel with a BSL interpreter or access worker.

More information about the UK Shorts Portal

The UK Shorts Portal is an online screening platform designed to showcase the best new work from across the UK, exclusively for short film professionals.  Buyers and festival programmers looking for new UK graduate shorts, breakthrough talent, pioneering animations or inspiring documentaries can now gain exclusive access to view new work by simply registering online at UKShortsportal.picturepipe.net.

Once accepted onto the Shorts Support scheme a filmmakers work can be added to the portal.

The portal currently showcases:

  • More than 160 brand new shorts from our current partners
  • British Council programmer picks from participants on our Shorts Support Scheme
  • Highlights from British Council touring packages and programmes
  • Award winners from the last year

Our current partners include: Film London, National Film and Television School,   Northern Ireland Screen, Royal College of Art, Scottish Documentary Institute, Ffilm Cmryu Wales, London Film School, Oska Bright Film Festival, Shorts TV, BFI NET.WORK

Please note that his service is for the use of industry professionals working as curators, festival programmers and short film buyers only at this time and unfortunately we cannot allow access for individual filmmakers or production companies due to the agreement we have with participating content providers on the site. If you're not sure if you qualify for access to the Portal do contact us at Films@britishcouncil.org

If you are a buyer or programmer register your interest here UKShortsportal.picturepipe.net.

More Resources for filmmakers

Film Directory

Our British Film Directory is for shorts too! An incredible tool for increasing exposure of new and existing film work to programmers and audiences around the world, if you haven't submitted you can do so by clicking through here ‘Suggest a New Film’.  If any details change, please make sure a profile of your film, including all relevant contact details, is completely up to date on the British Council Film Directory.

Short Sighted

There are a number of questions that come up regularly for short filmmakers who want to get their work seen. In response we decided to address many of them by staging Short Sighted, a joint conference produced by British Council, BAFTA and Shooting People.

Designed to help filmmakers once they have completed a short film to navigate the murky world of exhibition and distribution and actually get that film seen, Shortsighted brings together a range of experts from the worlds of distribution, exhibition and film promotion, together with fellow filmmakers who have trod the path before you.

The next edition of Short Sighted will be held in Bristol and London in November 2017.  Email films@britishcouncil.org to sign up to our events newsletter and be kept up to date with British Council events and news.