The transitional fund is aimed at enhancing export opportunities for British films at key international film festivals including Cannes 2012.

The £200,000 Film Export Fund, which is now open for applications, aims to raise the profile of British films in festivals and international film markets by “increasing opportunities for international sales and distribution of British films, improving distribution advantages and the box office performance of British films in international markets and promoting UK film, talent, services and crews globally,” according to a statement from the BFI.

Sales companies or producers intending to appoint a sales company, representing a British film selected for a key international festival will be eligible to apply for the fund, which is now open for applications.

The BFI also revealed that it would be allocating transitional funding to ensure a strong presence at the Cannes Film Festival 2012, with more details on that to follow.

It follows last month’s announcement that the BFI had awarded £70,000 in transitional funding to Film Export UK to promote activity at Hong Kong Filmart (in April) and the European Film Market in Berlin in February.

The steps come as the industry awaits the Government’s new Film Policy Review and the BFI’s own Forward Plan for Film.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who made the announcement this morning at the UK Trade and Investment’s Exporting for Growth event at the BFI Imax, said he was delighted to learn that the BFI has this week set up a £200,000 export fund to help British film companies to sell their films abroad.”

Amanda Nevill, chief Executive of the BFI, said: “Helping companies to maximise sales revenues from British films is at the very heart of the international strategy that will be one of the pillars of the BFI’s new five year Forward Plan for Film. By empowering these companies to really shout about the British films they are representing, and with Britain’s film talent continuing to excel on the world stage, this new Fund will help build on the momentum of recent global success.”