- BFI commits £2.5m to support up to 15 film companies
- Vision Awards will give producers creative and financial autonomy to nurture projects and talent, create jobs and grow their businesses
- New criteria introduced to benefit companies with a range of experience levels and to help UK animation studios
The BFI today launches the Production Company Vision Awards 2013-15 to provide crucial support for the production sector and help grow strong and sustainable UK film businesses. The Vision Awards are the latest initiative to roll out following the launch of Film Forever, the BFI’s bold five year plan to support creative excellence and foster economic growth within the UK’s film industry.
Designed to support UK production companies, the BFI’s Vision Awards will empower film businesses with the creative and financial autonomy to build their development slates and bolster their company profile nationally and internationally. The awards will help to tackle the challenge faced by many in finding the financial resources necessary to maintain momentum on development activity across a full slate of projects. By encouraging and enabling producers to work with a diverse mix of emerging and established filmmakers from across the UK, the Vision Awards are central to the BFI’s strategy for supporting UK film by nurturing new voices, fresh ideas and creative excellence.
Ben Roberts, Director of the BFI Film Fund, comments: “Development is the lifeblood of the UK film industry, but it’s risky and private money to support development is scarce. That’s why the BFI’s role as the UK’s biggest investor in film development is so vital. The Vision Awards will be crucial in ensuring ambitious and talented UK producers have the freedom and resources they need to grow their businesses and develop high quality, creatively-driven projects to help sow the seeds of future success for UK film.”
To achieve success film production companies need to be able to deliver a steady stream of quality projects into the marketplace. Without the required resources to build an effective slate of projects – often a lengthy process involving a high degree of financial risk – companies struggle to maintain the volume of material required to grow into effective businesses.
The Vision Awards will provide significant resources – up to £200k per company over two years – to enable film businesses to focus on slate development and exciting new projects that will serve their target audiences well. By providing work for UK writers, researchers, script editors and others, the BFI’s Vision Awards will also contribute to job creation and skills development across the film industry value chain.
To be eligible for a Vision Award, film companies must be experienced producers with a strong vision for the future growth of their company. The BFI is looking to support film businesses with a clear sense of identity and ambition, who are committed to nurturing diverse filmmaking talent from across the UK and playing their part in the creation of a sustainable and vibrant UK film culture.
Applicants to the Vision Awards must have at least one production credit on a fiction, documentary or animation feature film that has been distributed theatrically in the UK and screened internationally in the last five years (previously producers were required to be credited on two features with UK theatrical releases). To help encourage the UK’s animation sector to engage with and benefit from opportunities offered through the Vision Awards, animation studios should have produced at least two animated short films that have received a recognised industry award or had a UK television transmission.
The BFI has pledged up to £2.5m of Lottery funding for the Vision Awards 2013 to 2015. To benefit production companies working across a range of experience and budget levels, the BFI will make up to 10 awards of up to £100,000 per year for two years and up to five further awards of up to £50,000 per year for two years. All funding committed through Vision Awards is for investment in development activity.
Applications for the Vision Awards 2013-15 are now open from production companies with a viable plan for the development of their company. More information about how to apply and the Vision Award application guidelines are available here: www.bfi.org.uk/visionawards.
The closing date for applications is 5pm on 22February 2013.