We give financing to support independent filmmakers making documentary projects that would not be commissioned by a UK broadcaster. Since our inception in 2005 we have funded over 60 award winning films.
When the Foundation invests in a film we fully come on board as Exec Producers; the project benefits from the editorial expertise, association and the quality guarantee that our involvement promises making it more likely that other co-producers will come on board.
We want our films to be as successful as possible - in raising production budgets, and in sales and promotional deals - and we need the Foundation to share in that success to raise money for us, as a non-profit, to continue our work. Read our conditions of funding and read a sample contract.
Before applying, please bear in mind what we do and don’t fund:
What we DO fund:
- Independent, one-off films. We look to widen the spectrum of documentaries being made in this country by giving filmmakers the ability to complete passion projects that might not otherwise get made.
- Production: we are keen to work with filmmakers where we can build co-productions and partnerships around films whereby we are one of several funders. We can come in with first funding and will assist filmmakers in securing additional finances. Ideally we prefer to see footage before we engage with funding.
- Completion: we will consider feature-length projects for completion funding on the basis of an early rough cut or rushes.
On average we fund in the region of £20,000.
Take a minute to look at the projects we have funded so far to get a better idea of the kinds of projects we are interested in: Film Directory
What we DON’T fund:
- We do not fund formats, series, 3 Minute Wonders or drama.
- We do not currently fund developments.
- We do not give top up funding to films that already have UK broadcaster funding.
- We do not give funding at a fine cut stage.
- We do not fund retrospectively.
- We do not fund archive or music clearance costs.
Other things to bear in mind:
- As our title sponsor, Channel 4 have a first look deal on everything the Foundation funds, meaning that if they choose to they can screen the film for a nominal fee of £1.
- Funding is awarded on a rolling basis.
- We are not here to replace TV financing and if we think that you could get funded elsewhere we will recommend you try that route first.
- We cannot give you the level of funding that TV provides. On average, we invest between £10,000 and £30,000 and the budgets our filmmakers work to are very pared down. More often than not (though this varies from project to project) this means you will be expected to put your time in for free or a nominal sum until the deficit is raised.