There are many ways in which artists’ work is supported, directly or indirectly, from cash grants for production cost or funding to develop and research a project, to many forms of indirect support that can offset costs you may incur. Indirect support ranges from private sponsorship, equipment loans or subsidised access, people donating their time for free (sometimes referred to as 'in-kind support') and partnerships with organisations that can support your practice.
The following section outlines key organisations and types of funding you may be able to source for your project or the development of your practice. As well as offering examples of relevant commissioners and independent production companies with a history of working within artists' moving image production.
*Many open application funding schemes have a basic criteria that you or your project will have to fulfill so be sure to research any grant or award before preparing an application. See our Guide: Making An Application for more information.
You can keep informed about relevant upcoming application deadlines and the announcement of any new funding programs through the Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network bi-weekly e-bulletin.
Links to other arts e-bulletins can be found via the News Services page.
Public Funding Organisations
Government funding for the moving image sector is channelled in two main ways – via Arts Council England and the British Film Institute. In general, Arts Council England is the first point of call for artists who work with moving image (in film or video) – those producing work within a contemporary fine art context - whereas the BFI's remit relates to film-making in the sense of feature film or work informed by cinematic traditions.
In addition some of the government funded regional agencies (Regional Screen Agencies) also offer funding schemes for artist film and video makers. As a London based artist you should apply through the London regional offices of these organisations - Film London or Arts Council England, London. However if your project involves national touring or predominantly takes place in another UK region (an exhibition or collaboration with another artists/organisation) then it is worth enquiring to see if would be eligible for funding in that region.
There are various other National Public Funding Bodies with trade, research or social agendas that you could approach as an individual or organisation. These organisations run a variety of funding schemes explained in the relevant sections of the Funding section and in-depth on their own websites listed below.
For a guide to the UK public funding system we recommend you look at Artquest’s UK Art Map.
FLAMIN Productions is a new open submission development and production scheme for artists’ moving image work that is ambitious in premise and duration. Awards from £20,000 to £50,000 are available for projects that represent a significant leap in artists’ careers. The scheme is for single screen work (20+ mins).
The Microwave scheme from Film London and the BBC challenges film-makers to shoot a feature film for no more than £100,000 with cash and in-kind support. It is open to film-makers working in documentary, fiction, animation and to artists working with the moving image.
Film London also supports the Borough Production Funds. These funds are open to residents or people employed within particular London Boroughs.
Arts Council England
2 Pear Tree Court, London EC1R 0DS
Tel: 0845 300 6200
Fax: 020 7608 4100
Textphone: 020 7973 6564
Arts Council England is the national development agency for the arts in England, distributing public money from Government and the National Lottery. Individuals working in all artistic disciplines can apply for grants through the 'Grants for the Arts' scheme. Applicants should apply to their regional Arts Council England office. Grants can cover funding for research and development, making new work, specific projects or exhibitions, touring projects, residencies, travel (including international), networking events and independent projects.
The London office runs free seminars on the application process, and their website provides advice and information. Artists working in moving image are eligible to apply, although film-makers are not. The scheme receives a large volume of applications and hence is very competitive. It is advisable to speak to the London office Visual Arts Unit before applying to check that your application idea meets the criteria of the fund. The fund will usually meet a maximum of 90% your project costs. The scheme is a rolling programme with no deadlines.