The Cinema Museum, London

Born Digital: New and Emerging Talent Search

October 2018 · News

BBC and the BFI will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web by searching for new and emerging filmmakers to produce creative short films.

Apply at BFI Network website, deadline Tuesday 16 October 2018.

The BFI and BBC have partnered in the search for emerging filmmakers and artists, to produce short films that showcase the creativity and diversity of the next generation of film talent in the UK today. These shorts will explore what it means to be Born Digital, marking the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web.

Applications to the Born Digital project are now open, inviting filmmakers to submit their proposed shorts for the chance to be one of 10 – 12 films selected. Those selected will be awarded a grant of between £3000 and £5000 towards the creation or completion of an original short film. Additionally successful films will have the chance to be screened at BFI Southbank as well as broadcast on BBC Four in early spring 2019 to mark this anniversary.

Both digital natives and those who experienced the pre-internet world are asked to produce films that reflect on, respond to and capture the experience of living in a digital environment as well as how they have been shaped by it or even resisted it. Films and filmmakers are encouraged to be innovative with the tools, techniques and visual grammar developed over the last 30 years of technological change.

BBC and the BFI are looking to discover vibrant and cotemporary storytelling which showcases today’s connect world, exploring themes such as AI, data, privacy, isolation, community, gaming and more.

Selected films should speak with a sense of purpose, warmth and wit and be anywhere between 4 – 12 minutes long. Filmmakers are not limited to a genre and can experiment with documentary, fiction, animation or a mix.

To be eligible to apply applicants must be a UK resident aged 18 or over, with no key creative credits on a broadcast TV programme, a feature length film, or more than three professional short films. All proposals must be submitted via the Application Form provided on the BFI Network website before the submission deadline at 23:59 on Tuesday 16 October 2018.

This is the third edition of the UK-wide collaboration between the BFI and BBC Four which encourages and supports talent from a variety of disciplines. Previous projects included Listen to Britain 2017 and Animation 2018.

This project is part of Born Digital, a series of BFI Southbank seasons, events and partnerships celebrating the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web in 2019.

Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor, BBC Four, says: “This is the third in our new talent initiatives in partnership with the BFI and I’m particularly excited by the possibilities and innovations that a truly new-technology brief will bring us.

Lamia Dabboussy, Editor, BBC Arts, says: “I am delighted to be partnering with the BFI again on this fantastic initiative. BBC Arts wants to discover new exciting talent whenever possible and I am sure these filmmakers of the future will find much creative inspiration reflecting on what it means to live in our connected, digital world.”

Gillian Scothern, Broadcast Producer, BFI, says: “The 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web offers an exciting opportunity to focus on innovative storytelling using new technologies. The transformative impacts of digital forms provides the perfect subject to inspire new and emerging filmmakers. We’re really eager to see projects which encapsulate the breath of talent and experiences from across the UK.”

For further details on Born Digital and to apply, please visit the BFI NETWORK website: