British Film Institute Opens Up $6.3 million Purse For U.K. Film Festivals

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The U.K. cultural organization aims to distribute up to $1.6 million a year through 2017 to successful festival organizers looking to bolster balance sheets for events.

LONDON – The British Film Institute put $6.3 million (£4 million) on the table for U.K. festivals looking for funding from this year through 2017.

The BFI Film Festival Fund threw open its doors for applications Monday Jan. 28 making up to a $1.6 million available annually as part of the organization's audience fund which aims to boost film choices for British audiences.

The fund aims support a broad range of film festivals, from festivals of national or international significance to those with a local and/or specialized focus that serve specific communities through to U.K.

BFI deputy CEO Tim Cagney said: "We’re pleased to offer this support for film festivals as part of our strategic priority to enhance opportunities for UK audiences, enabling them to access a wide range of British and international stories which celebrate and reflect the rich diversity of life in the U.K. and beyond."

Festivals funding ranges from $7,896 (£5,000) for a small regional festival up to $473,7879 (£300,000) for a major festival which can demonstrate substantial international significance.

The BFI will contribute around 20 percent to 50 percent of the costs of the festival with applicants required to demonstrate the amount of partnership funding they are able to secure --  through sponsorship, other public or private funding, or earned income.

Previous festivals enjoying simliar largesse through the now shuttered U.K. Film Council festival funding plans includes the flagship BFI London Film Festival, the Edinburgh International Film Festival and the BFI London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.