Doc Society – formerly BRITDOC – has been announced as the delivery partner for the BFI Documentary Fund.

According to Doc Society’s website, this is what they’re offering:

  • Starting January 2018 Doc Society will administer the BFI Documentary Film Fund
  • The new Fund will be open for both shorts and features with £650,000 to spend annually
  • The Fund will run three rounds a year, the first round opening in January 2018
  • A regional touring programme of screenings and workshops will run four times a year, meeting you where you are
  • There will be a new dedicated Edit Lab for Fund grantees and UK editors

Fulfilling a commitment outlined in BFI2022, the BFI’s five year strategy, the Fund will offer support to documentary filmmakers from across the whole of the UK, including dedicated support for new and emerging filmmakers as part of BFI NETWORK. Awarded up to £1m of National Lottery funding a year until March 2022, Doc Society is working to open its first funds and support programmes in early 2018.

Through an open application process, Doc Society demonstrated a compelling and energising vision for UK documentary film. Doc Society was selected for its inspiring proposals to support creativity and craft excellence, as well as its spirit of enterprise, its extensive international network and a track record of helping to develop globally recognised documentaries. Awarding National Lottery funding, Doc Society will have a strong focus on deepening regional and national opportunities to enable talent UK-wide to tell transformational stories that maximise the potential of the genre. It will also employ a creative approach to reaching audiences, reflecting the rapidly evolving distribution space.

Sandra Whipham, Director, Doc Society, says: “We are thrilled with this partnership with the BFI and the opportunity it gives us to enable brilliant British documentary films to shine on an international stage. What excites us most is that it will also give us the means to spot, develop and nurture new British documentary talent in a strategic and meaningful way.”

Ben Roberts, Director of the BFI Film Fund, says: “Documentaries have always been a deeply integral aspect of our work, and we believe that partnering with Doc Society is an opportunity to advance UK documentary film and filmmakers. Doc Society have a zeal for the form which is energising, they have shown a clear ability to unlock alternative financing sources, as well as impressive national and international reach. We are also thrilled to be able to deliver more structured opportunities for new and emerging documentary talent through Doc Society working closely with BFI NETWORK.”

Over the past 12 years Doc Society has supported over 270 feature documentary films with production or outreach grants and have executive or co-produced films including CITIZENFOUR, Whose Streets, Virunga, Notes on Blindness, The Possibilities Are Endless, Ping Pong, All These Sleepless Nights, Afghan Star, Hell and Back Again, Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, Who Is Dayani Cristal? The End of the Line, Hooligan Sparrow, Chosen, Chasing Coral, Dirty Wars, Dragonslayer, Give Up Tomorrow, Here’s Johnny, The War Show, One Mile Away, No Fire Zone, Steal This Film, Swandown, The Look of Silence, The Opposition and first award-winner We Are Together.

The BFI Film Fund slate includes a number of critically acclaimed and internationally successful documentaries including James Spinney and Peter Middleton’s Notes on Blindness, Lucy Cohen’s BFI London Film Festival award-winner Kingdom of Us, Louise Osmond’sDark Horse and Sophie Fiennes’ Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami, as well as anticipated titles such as Tim Travers Hawkins’upcoming XY Chelsea.

The BFI Documentary Fund partnership with Doc Society promises to build on that success by providing dedicated and experienced support to discover, develop and finance interesting new documentaries.


The new funds will open in mid-January 2018. There will be three rounds per year with total funds of £650,000 available to support UK documentary features and shorts. Find out more here.