The BFI has launched a new Film Festival Fund that aims to help boost the film choices available across the UK and support both regional and national festivals with global reach.

For up to four years, the BFI will allocate £1m ($1.57m) annually to the Film Festival Fund.

It will offer varying levels of support depending on the scope and scale of the event, ranging from £5,000 ($7,860) for smaller festivals to £300,000 ($470,000) for major festivals that can demonstrate substantial international significance.

BFI deputy chief executive Tim Cagney said the move formed “part of our strategic priority to enhance opportunities for UK audiences”.

He added that it was hoped the fund would enable audiences to “access a wide range of British and international stories which celebrate and reflect the rich diversity of life in the UK and beyond”.

Through the fund, the BFI will contribute between 20% and 50% of the costs of the festival. Applicants will be required to demonstrate the amount of partnership funding they are able to secure.

The BFI will support two categories of festivals.

Strand 1 (£500,000 per year) will include regional festivals catering mainly to local and regional audiences.

Strand 2 (£500,000 per year) will support UK festivals with an international or UK-wide reach.

Festivals in the UK range in size, ambition and focus, all of which make a contribution to the cultural and economic environment. These events also have potential to help push forward the BFI’s priorities for developing UK audiences and film talent.

BFI’s own festivals - the London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival and the BFI London Film Festival - will not be supported through this fund, but through BFI and other resources.  

Through their five-year plan, Film Forever, BFI wants to encourage people to build lifelong relationships with film, help build audiences for broad ranges across all platforms, and ensure that film culture can be accessed and enjoyed by everyone across the UK.

The BFI Film Festival Fund is now open for applications from UK-based festivals taking place on or after April 1, 2013. More information can be found on their website,