Apply for a Lab Travel Grant

A pilot scheme with the British Film Institute (BFI) NETWORK for 2019-20, offering grants to help filmmakers travel to international Labs to develop their projects and careers.

Covid-19: Lab travel grants on hold

Read about the British Council's film activities amid Covid-19 and get details on how to stay connected with us.

Funding to attend international Labs

The scheme is designed to support filmmakers looking to develop skills and networks internationally, and priority is given to those who are yet to make (or who are developing) their first feature.

In 2019-2020 the scheme is running as a pilot programme, focusing on eight training and development Labs. The grant offers to contribute towards the cost of course fees, travel and accommodation.

We accept applications from writers, directors and producers, working in genres that meet the eligibility criteria, as well as filmmakers working in virtual reality and immersive storytelling projects, who have been accepted on to one of our ‘Key Labs’.

Grants are often a contribution towards travel and accommodation costs, but may not always cover the full cost of attendance.


Applicants may make a maximum of one application to the Lab Travel Grant Fund within each financial year. Eligible applicants must:

  • have been selected by one of the Labs on the British Council’s ‘Key Labs List’ for international Lab Travel Grant pilot programme 2019-20.
  • be over 18 years old and resident in the UK at the time of application.
  • If the Lab is project-based, the selected film or project must be a UK production or co-production.

The fund will not accept applications for retrospective activity, i.e. an application for travel to a Lab that has already taken place when the application is made.

Access and support

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.


Applications will be assessed weekly by the British Council film team according to the eligibility criteria. We will prioritise grants based on the following:

  • The applicant is a new and emerging filmmaker. Priority will be given to filmmakers who are yet to make, or in the process of developing, their first feature-length film.
  • A smaller portion of international Lab Travel Grants will allow for support of emerging filmmakers who may have already made a first or second feature, but have clearly expressed how this international training opportunity will help further career ambitions and stability.

Key International Labs List:

  • Ace Producers Lab
  • EAVE Labs
  • Rotterdam IFFR Lab
  • Sam Spiegel Lab
  • Sundance Directors Lab
  • Torino Film Labs
  • Venice Biennale College Cinema Labs
  • Zurich Masterclass Lab

As 2019-20 is a pilot year, we are willing to consider making discretionary grants to Labs not listed above. Please contact Jo Duncombe with details of your Lab.

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