Film Commissions

Film Duration: 1min – 5mins

Budgets: up to £5k (varies depending on the complexity of the work)

Number of commissions available (over 2 years): 36

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, 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 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.

The 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.

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.

Application Process

Application and Shortlisting -

Submit your application via the Submittable form.

If shortlisted New Creatives will receive professional training and development for their 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 3 days training with one of our six New Creative Hubs across the South West region (whichever is closest to you). The sessions will cover ideas development, training in broadcast audio production, and self-branding and marketing.

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.

Commissioning -

Each commissioned New Creative will receive a budget, 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 3-4 months in production, including post-production and quality checks on your final work with our delivery partner Films@59.

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.

Calling the Shots will also be showcasing the work via events and festivals across the South West.