#MOREFilms4Freedom is looking for LGBTQ+ projects

BFI Flare: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival, the British Council and BFI NETWORK are partnering to commission three new short films from cross-cultural teams collaborating to explore LGBTQ+ stories. #MOREFilms4Freedom is now open for applications!

The pilot programme #MOREFilms4Freedom aims to find and facilitate the production of urgent, creative collaborations that explore LGBTQ+ intersectionality, global human rights and diaspora identity. It builds on our #FiveFilms4Freedom digital campaign, which originated in 2015 as a partnership between BFI Flare: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival and the British Council, and which has generated views from nearly 14 million people in 202 countries and principalities. In previous editions of the campaign, we found a gap in projects and stories originating in countries within the African continent and the Middle East. This year, we’re looking to commission new projects that will have at their heart an element of collaboration between UK-based LGBTQ+ identified filmmakers and filmmakers/storytellers from countries in these regions.

Teams that apply will need to demonstrate their collaborative international approach and include an experienced, UK-based producer capable of delivering projects with an international component. In addition, the core members of the team will need to have realised two or more short films that have had industry recognition. 

We are looking to commission three films which will be awarded a grant of up to £10,500 each, to cover all stages of production, delivery of materials and team travel (ie filmmakers visiting the countries of their team members where required, for development or production, as part of the cross-cultural collaboration). Projects can shoot in the UK and/or internationally, but it must be feasible to complete the films on the budget available. In addition, each team will work with Executive Producer Loran Dunn (former Screen Star of Tomorrow, BFI Vision Awardee, and producer, A Deal with the Universe) whose support will be provided alongside their funding, to mentor both team and project from script through to edit.

The three selected films may be eligible to screen at next year’s BFI Flare: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival in March, as well as to participate in the 2020 #FiveFilms4Freedom campaign, upon completion.

What are we looking for?

  • Short film ideas with an ideal length of five minutes (maximum 10 minutes).
  • Projects that explore LGBTQ+ themes of global human rights, intersectionality and diaspora identity.
  • Vibrant new collaborations between UK filmmakers and filmmakers/storytellers from the African continent and the Middle East.
  • Films can be fiction or documentary, and in any language (additional funding for subtitling will be provided if required).

Am I eligible to apply?

To be eligible to apply your team must:

  • have made at least two previous films (between the team’s writer/director/producer) that have screened at one of the festivals on the British Council’s Key Festivals list (PDF) or the BAFTA-qualifying film festival list (PDF);
  • include a UK-based producer with demonstrable experience, applying via a company registered and centrally managed in the UK/EU/EEA;
  • include both UK and international creatives from the African continent or the Middle East, among your writer/storyteller, producer and director makeup;
  • be seeking to tell an LGBTQ+ story.

For international teams based in or originally from countries within the African continent or the Middle East, if you do not yet have a UK/EU/EEA-based production company attached you can still submit an application, as long as you meet all the other eligibility criteria above. We may be able to help you find an appropriate production company, should the project be shortlisted. We will only be able to support projects that do secure a UK production company as part of a meaningful collaboration. 

If you’re a UK-based producer, you fulfil the eligibility criteria above, and you are interested in the programme but do not yet have an international collaborator, we may be able to pair you with someone. To register your interest please send a brief email with your CV to morefilms4freedom@bfi.org.uk. If you were then matched with an international creative team who has applied with their idea, we will contact you and an application should be re-submitted via your UK/EU/EEA-based production company.

For further guidance on definitions and eligibility please see our guidelines.

How do I apply?

  • You will need to complete an online application that presents your creative proposal, and send together with your script, your projected budget (you can download a budget template below), writer/director/producer’s bios, as well as links to previous work.
  • Please read the guidelines carefully.


  • Applications close on Monday 12 August at 23:59.
  • A shortlist of approximately 10 projects will be invited for a Skype interview with a panel of BFI and British Council representatives in early September 2019.
  • Each of the three selected projects will be awarded a grant of up to £10,500.
  • Selected films will need to be completed by 31 January 2020 and fully delivered by 15 February 2020.
  • More details about the timetable for the process and production period are available in the guidelines, which all applicants should read before applying.


Please read the guidelines carefully.

See our MOREFilms4freedom FAQ

For any additional questions, please get in touch at morefilms4freedom@bfi.org.uk

Application guidelines

Budget template


The deadline for applications is midnight on Monday 12 August.

We look forward to receiving your applications!

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