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New BFI Fund to Support UK Animated Short Productions

Applications now being accepted through November 4 for short form project financing.

Animation UK has announced the launch of the BFI’s (British Film Institute Community) new Short Form Animation Fund, offering support for higher budget animated work for teams based in the UK. Two years ago, Animation UK set out to secure additional support for the animation industry by lobbying for further investment. Joining forces with the BFI, they helped to establish and identify this funding as a priority in the BFI’s five-year strategy. The fund is an important step to support creative talent in animation and will help facilitate smaller, entry-level projects across the UK.

“Short animated films are the bedrock of our animation industry,” commented Astley Baker Davies/The Elf Factory Ltd/Gastons Cave Ltds’ producer, Phil Davies.  “Be it stunning visuals or challenging shorts of the avant-garde, all have a home in this wonderfully eclectic art form. They not only act as a driver for the animation Film and TV industries but have also established themselves as an essential art form in themselves. Some of the purest story telling you’ll ever see.”

BFI’s deputy chief executive, Ben Roberts, added, “This new fund is a result of us listening to the industry, and filmmakers, and working with them to develop something which celebrates excellence and creativity at a point when talent need is most. Huge thanks to everyone we consulted on this work for their time and expertise, particularly Animation UK, Animation Alliance UK, and Helen Brunsdon, director of the British Animation Awards. Our animators have long led the way in driving forward this art form, and we are thrilled to be offering funding which aims to back UK animation talent from a host of backgrounds, and through a variety of traditional and innovative media.”

The fund will offer £30,000 - £120,000 per project to high-budget UK-based animation teams creating new opportunities and increased recognition. Eligible projects can be in any animated technique or genre and any platform (except broadcast TV). Projects that are unlikely to be commercially financed will benefit from National Lottery support. The call for applications will take place once a year.

Lupus Films joint managing director, Ruth Fielding, remarked, “Animated short films provide a valuable talent ladder for directors and writers to move from short form to longer form work be it series, one-off specials or features. Securing funding from the BFI, together with the support of existing established production companies, will help propel the talent of tomorrow towards the tipping point in their careers. We at Lupus Films as well as Animation UK welcome this initiative with open arms.”

The new fund will offer selected projects insight from a BFI executive, support from a dedicated animation specialist as needed, as well as advice on distribution, exhibition, festival strategies, and methods of promotion.

Blue Zoo’s managing director and co-founder, Oli Hyatt, concluded, “Huge credit should go to Animation UK and the BFI for creating this opportunity to access funding for short animated films, giving the next generation of filmmakers the opportunity to develop ideas, styles, techniques that all add to the ecosystem of our industry. Blue-Zoo already runs a successful in-house shorts program and hopes to support this initiative and the individuals who apply.”

Applications are now being accepted, through November 4, for directors and writer-director teams. Further information is available from the BFI website.

Source:  Animation UK

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