Skip to main content

BFI Doc Society Fund

Cultural Documentaries UK

The BFI Doc Society Fund supports and nurtures independent non-fiction films and immersive projects by UK filmmakers, prioritizing expansive, director-led storytelling. Our funding is intended to be transformative and representative of all UK society.


  • Funding Amount: Up to £150,000 per feature documentary or immersive project.
  • Stage Funding: Typically awarded in stages; initial awards may range from £30,000 for development to £50,000-£80,000 for production.
  • Support for Underrepresented Talent: Aims to promote diverse voices within the UK film industry.


To apply for the BFI Doc Society Fund, the following eligibility criteria must be met:

  • Filmmakers: Open to UK filmmakers, including both emerging talent and established directors.
  • Project Type: Must be a feature documentary or immersive non-fiction project intended for theatrical release.
  • Representation: Projects should represent diverse stories and perspectives from all regions of the UK.

Guiding Principles

  • Open Collaboration: Encourages working collaboratively to support the documentary field.
  • Representing All of UK Society: Projects must reflect the diversity of UK society.
  • Freedom of Creative Expression: Supports creative risks in documentary storytelling.
  • Audience Right to Culture: Audiences should have access to independent documentary films.

Submission Process

Applications will be assessed based on the talent involved, their progression, and their relationship to the story. Strong creative ambition is essential for eligibility.

Application Steps

  • Prepare a project proposal based on the The Non-Fiction Core Application Project that aligns with the fund’s objectives.
  • Submit your application through the designated channels by the deadline.
  • Be prepared for potential interviews or additional assessments as needed.

How to Apply

To apply for the BFI Doc Society Fund, filmmakers must follow a structured submission process that adheres to the fund's guidelines. Careful preparation and attention to detail are essential for a successful application.

  • Initial Submission: Prepare a comprehensive proposal outlining your project, including details about the narrative, target audience, and intended impact.
  • Supporting Materials: Include relevant supporting documents such as budgets, director statements, and any initial footage or visual references.
  • Online Submission Portal: Applications must be submitted through the official online portal provided by the BFI, ensuring all formats and guidelines are followed.

Key Dates and Deadlines

Keeping track of deadlines is crucial for applicants. It’s important to be aware of the timeline for submissions and decisions to ensure your project remains competitive.

  • Application Periods: Applications are typically accepted during specific funding rounds, so check the website for current dates.
  • Notification Timeline: Filmmakers can expect to be notified about the status of their applications within a designated timeframe following the submission period.

Contact and Support

For filmmakers seeking additional guidance or support during the application process, the BFI Doc Society provides resources and contact options to assist applicants in navigating their funding journey.

  • Website Resources: Detailed guidelines, FAQs, and application tips are available on the official BFI Doc Society website.
  • Direct Contact: Filmmakers can reach out via email or contact forms for specific inquiries or clarifications regarding the application process.


The BFI Doc Society Fund is a vital resource for UK filmmakers looking to create impactful and innovative documentary films. With a commitment to inclusivity, creativity, and collaboration, the fund aims to elevate diverse voices and stories within the independent film landscape.

  • Open to UK filmmakers with projects that align with the fund’s guiding principles.
  • Offers up to £150,000 in funding, typically distributed in stages.
  • Prioritizes ambitious storytelling and representation of all UK society.
up to £150,000

How to Apply

See Opening Dates and Deadlines, Detailed Project Requirements, Submission Process and Selection Criteria. Click to Apply.

Unlock Full Details with Film Pro Membership
Get Full Access with Film Pro Membership