EXCLUSIVE: Fund will earmark £250,000 per year of its existing funding toward support for co-productions at the development stage.


The BFI Film Fund is opening up its development funding to include more co-production projects.

The Fund, will earmark £250,000 per year, effective immediately of its existing funding toward support for co-productions at the development stage.

This allocation of funding builds on the BFI’s decision in early 2013 to allocate up to £1m per year for minority co-productions at the production stage. The first project to see fruition from that funding is The Lobster, which premiered in Cannes Competition. 

“It’s been a great year for co-productions in the UK, from The Lobster to Slow West and Brooklyn,” said BFI Head of International Isabel Davis. “Arguably the story at Cannes is the way ambitious UK producers have worked with international talents like Justin Kurzel for Macbeth, Todd Haynes for Carol, and Paolo Sorrentino for Youth. It’s great we have The Lobster in Competition, it’s the first film out of the trap from our minority co-production fund.”

Any UK or European production company can apply for the co-production development funding, and projects will need some sort of British creative element such as the mix of talent behind or in front of the camera, and relevant stories.

“The UK can really lift projects through creative involvement and naturally it makes sense to be on board at the development stage,” Davis said.

“The reason we try to support co-production is helping the scale and ambition of films through co-production, that includes working with strong international talents, someone like the level of Yorgos Lanthimos” Davis added.  First time features will not be considered for this strand of funding.

She added, “Of course (in the UK) we have world class facilities, infrastructure, crew, talent and locations, all of which are great reasons to work with the UK. But we feel we have a unique selling point in co-production, and that is storytelling expertise.”