Film Commissions

Film Duration: 1min – 5mins
Support Package: up to £5.5k (varies depending on the complexity of the work)

In our film commissions, we’re looking for strong ideas for short form films, that can demonstrate the breadth of possibility offered by film, whether that be through stylistic innovation, experimentation with sound, image, structure, narrative and storytelling, animation, performance, scripted drama, dance, music or any other means. 

They can feature or blend different artistic forms and genres within each work. 

We envisage most films being 3 minutes long. However, however, if your idea warrants a longer film we are open to discussing this with you as long as it remains within the recommended budgets. 





What Type of Ideas Are We Looking For?

What Type of Ideas Are We Looking For?
For New Creatives, we want to see proposals for fresh, innovative short films, audio and interactive media that reflect in some way on the experience of living in modern Britain. 

We are NOT asking for ideas that explicitly deal with life under Lockdown or the shortages of PPE etc.  However, we do want you to respond to modern Britain as you see it, so you may want to think about the “new normal” or the near future or you may want to deal with issues and themes that you feel have been swept aside and need talking about. 

The current CV19 situation is relevant, but mainly because it impacts on production techniques and resources.  We have to assume that social distancing will be the norm for the foreseeable future.  When thinking about your ideas, bear in mind that large casts or crews will be difficult to achieve with the limited budget and time frame.  If you have an existing idea that you think might be adapted to the current circumstances, feel free to submit it, but be clear how it could be developed and produced. 

Your ideas can be serious, comedic, absurd, challenging, provocative or abstract. 

We’re looking for you to push the boundaries on what constitutes art, make people think, and encourage new ways of understanding the world and ourselves. 

Think about: 

Relevance: the ideas and themes that really matter to you and your community – however you might define it.

‘Talkability’: shareable content that gets people talking.

Timeliness: ideas that impact people’s lives here and now.

Originality: Content that innovates and hasn’t been seen this way before.

You can watch back New Creatives films from previous rounds on iPlayer.

What Is Included In The Support Package?

If your application is shortlisted you will receive professional guidance and training support  before your developed project is sent to the BBC Panel for review.If you are then selected for commissioning, you will receive a support package of up to £5.5k (depending on the complexity of the work), which includes:

• Mentor: A dedicated industry professional who will be able to support you throughout the process as a springboard to share your creative thoughts and to demystify the technical broadcast process. They’ll be able to help raise the production value of your film and tap you into their networks.

• Executive Producer: There will be an Executive Producer from Calling the Shots assigned to your project to feedback at key stages and help push your work to be the best it can be, their role is to consider potential audiences.

• Production: You will receive a production budget to cover costs such as fees for crew, cast, clearing music rights or hiring of recording spaces. This will allow you produce a work of high production value at a broadcast standard level. The Calling the Shots team will also be able to offer ongoing production support, such as sourcing locations or acessing equipment.

• Post-Production & Technical Delivery: We partner with South West based post-production houses to ensure a consistent standard of delivery to the BBC. As part of New Creatives you will be able to use their facilities and talented sound mixers, colourists and online editors to shape your film or audio work.

Application Process

Application and Shortlisting

Submit your application via the Submittable form before the deadline date.

Your application will be reviewed by Calling the Shots (CTS) and if shortlisted you will receive professional training and development for your idea.

To be a shortlisted New Creative does not guarantee that you will move on to the commissioning stage.

Training and Development

You will receive the equivalent of 3 days online training and professional development. The sessions will cover ideas development, broadcast film production, and self-branding, marketing and distribution.

You will develop your idea further with the guidance of your New Creative Producer in one-on-one sessions.

Developed ideas (along with a production budget and schedule) are reviewed by a panel of BBC Arts and Calling the Shots executives, and the best ones are commissioned.


Each commissioned New Creative will receive a support package, these are variable depending on the scale and ambition of the work.

Your New Creative Producer will assign you with a professional Mentor who will support you to produce a broadcast quality work.

From signing the artist agreement, you will have 3 months in production, including post-production and quality checks on your final work with our delivery partner.

Broadcast and Distribution

Finished work is delivered to BBC Arts and may be selected for a new strand, BBC Introducing Arts, which will showcase and introduce new artistic talent from across the UK via all BBC Platforms – on BBC iPlayer, BBC Sounds, BBC television, BBC Radio – and beyond.

We’ll look to identify the best platform for each idea.