Our Short Film Fund initiative supports the production of a short film screenplay (20 pages max) or the completion of a short film (under 20 minutes) with a grant of up to £5,000 (approx $6,300), a kit rental package, and in-kind post-production services. Filmmakers can apply without a producer – we can help you find one if your project is selected.

Our goal is to create a funding opportunity where story is king. There are no boxes to tick apart from writing a great story that is viable for production. We are not afraid of being the first entity to provide funding for your project and become the first stepping stone for you to be able to raise further financing, if required.


How it works

Unsolicited Scripts will review all the submissions and select 6 finalists based exclusively on their creative merit.

A jury composed of all the organisations involved in the initiative will assign the awards. They may decide to assign all the awards to a single project or split them among multiple projects.

At the finalist stage, apart from creative merit, we will also evaluate the project’s viability in terms of budget and timeline (a budget and a rough timeline will be requested for the finalists only; if no producer is attached, we will help the writer compile a suitable budget / timeline).


Eligibility

  1. We accept submissions worldwide.
  2. We accept narrative short films of any genre, in live-action and animation. We do not accept music videos, documentaries, video art, interactive or virtual reality projects.
  3. We also accept projects that have already completed principal photography, as long as post-production hasn’t been completed.
  4. Scripts should be no longer than 20 pages. Rough cuts should be no longer than 20 minutes.
  5. The completed film should be in English or include English subtitles.
  6. All materials submitted to the fund must be in English.
  7. Screenplays should be professionally formatted.

Timeline

  • Submissions open: 15th February 2024
  • Early deadline: 15th March 2024
  • Regular deadline: 15th May 2024
  • Final deadline: 15th June 2024
  • Longlist announced: 15th July 2024
  • Finalists announced: 31st July 2024
  • Winner(s) announced: 14th Aug 2024

We reserve the right to exclude submissions not meeting the eligibility requirements outlined above and in the full rules linked below.

Please read the full rules before submitting.


Awards

  • A cash grant of up to £5,000 (approx. $6,300*) offered by Unsolicited Scripts.
  • Script editing services to further develop the script offered by Unsolicited Scripts.
  • A camera and lighting kit rental package offered by Hi-Ten Rentals, who may also provide crew for the camera and electrical department.**
  • Colour grading services offered by colourist Giulia Cavina at Goldcrest.
  • Sound post services offered by Daniel Bodsworth.
  • If the winning project is submitted by a writer based in the UK, Unsolicited Scripts can help find a producer, director, and crew.

*the grant amount in USD is estimated, the exact amount may vary depending on the exchange rate on the day the grant will be delivered.

** available only for productions filming near London (UK). The minimum rental package value is £3,000, crew and kit availability may vary depending on the shooting date.

Everyone receives

Everyone submitting a project receives:

*** for users joining for the first time or returning after at least 6 months.


Jury

Unsolicited Scripts

Unsolicited Scripts is a script consultancy company running initiatives to help new writers connect with independent producers and providing educational content for the wider filmmaking community.

Our goal is creating opportunities where the story is king and previous track record doesn’t necessarily matter. In order to do so, we mainly engage with up-and-coming independent producers who are more likely to engage with unrepresented writers, but we also occasionally collaborate with bigger companies looking for a specific kind of content.

In terms of script development, we focus on delivering high-quality feedback notes provided by experienced freelance script readers who are actively working for reputable production companies, studios and film funding institutions. Our promise is for your script to receive the same quality of evaluation it would get if an agent had sent it to a company, but with the added benefit of receiving back honest and actionable notes to help you improve the next draft.

High-Ten Rentals

Hi-Ten is a full service film equipment rental company. Specialising in cameras and lighting equipment. Our studio is in Chiswick, West London. Our team has over 30 years experience in the industry making your production We are focused on being dependable and reliable and guaranteeing our clients shoots go as can be expected whether the rental is a little camera for an individual, or full camera and lighting bundles for television show.

Our client base is essentially as wide running as individuals making films today. We work with independent videographers, advertising agencies and production houses. We also provide equipment to network TV shows and feature films

https://hi-ten.co.uk/

Giulia Cavina (Colourist)

First-class Honours Ravensbourne graduate in Editing and Post-Production and established in-house Digital Intermediate Assistant Colourist at Goldcrest (Soho, London) – Giulia moved from the calm Italian countryside to the buzzing British capital to work alongside the strongest roster of creatives in Europe and became an emerging talent within the world of Colour Grading. As a highly focused professional, she brings a fresh yet rich photographic sensibility and tangible textures to every project she collaborates on, by merging technical and artistic expertise. Giulia works consistently to elevate and hone her craft as a Junior Colourist in the Industry by working on both long and short-form content, favouring narrative. Her caring and adaptable nature allows her to deeply connect with people and create long-standing relationships with clients and collaborators.

Instagram @giuliacavinacolour

Daniel Bodsworth (Post Sound)

Born and bred in the midlands, Daniel is a sound designer, editor, and re-recording mixer currently based in London. With over a decade of experience in audio post-production, his passion for crafting immersive soundscapes makes him a valuable asset to any production. Daniel has previously worked at some of the leading post houses in Soho, including Molinare, Lipsync and WB De Lane Lea where he honed his skills and collaborated a diverse range of films and television programmes in various capacities, from dialogue editing to ADR supervision, sound effect editing to re-recording mixing. His extensive background in the industry and dedication to his craft have established him as a trusted professional in the field.

Personal WebsiteImdb


2023 winners

A NIGHT OF GHARAM, written by Hassan Abdulrazzak

Iman, a niqab-wearing woman, is fed up with her cheating husband. At a shopping mall, an opportunity presents itself for her to impersonate another man’s wife. This takes her on an unexpected adventure of self-realisation.

“A Night of Gharam” was awarded a cash grant of £5,000.

The film was part of the official selection at the Oscar and BAFTA qualifying festival LA Short Film Fest 2023.

Watch the trailer on Instagram

FALCON EYES, written by Annlin Chao

Jan, a 14-year-old girl who suffers from face blindness, has developed a unique skill to identify others – by their secret habits. One day, she discovers a picture of a mysterious woman, leading to an unexpected journey accompanied by a birdwoman friend.

“Falcon Eyes” was awarded the colour correction services offered by Matt Jones and the composition of an original soundtrack offered by Andrea Vanzo

Principal photography for this film is planned for early 2024.


Entry Fees

Everyone receives free perks to offset the cost of the submission fees.

  • Early Bird Deadline: 15th March 2024 – £25 / $31*
  • Regular Deadline: 15th May 2024 – £30 / $38*
  • Final Deadline: 15th June 2024 – £35 / $45*

Discounts

  • Share the news’ discount (£5 / $6*): offered if you share a link to this initiative on social media. The discount is applied when filling in the application form.
  • Q&A session’ discount: free ‘Feedback Comment’ on your submission, offered when you participate in one of our Q&A sessions.

* prices in dollars $ are estimated. The exact amount may vary depending on the day. You can check the latest exchange rates for USD here.


About our script readers

We work exclusively with experienced freelance script readers who are also contracted by established production companies, film studios, and funding institutions to ensure each script is evaluated by the same readers who select projects and source new talent for the industry. Independently from their previous experience, we do a trial with each new reader we take on to ensure their notes meet our standards.

Feedback addons

You can optionally purchase two types of feedback on your submission:

Feedback Comment (£10 / $12*): A one-paragraph comment highlighting what to focus on to improve the next draft. This feedback is delivered when the finalists are announced. Available for both screenplays and rough cuts.

Feedback Report plus free re-submission (£50 / $63*): A feedback report with at least one page of actionable notes highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the project to improve your script. You can read a sample report here. We aim to deliver this feedback within one week of the submission. If you purchase the feedback report before 15th May 2024, you can submit an updated script implementing the suggested changes free of charge. You will also receive a free Feedback Comment on your second submission. (the deadline for the feedback + resubmission option has now passed).

* prices in dollars $ are estimated based on the exchange rate on 24th January 2024. The exact amount may vary depending on the exchange rate on the day of purchase. You can check the latest exchange rates for USD here.


Q&A sessions •

Join us for an online session to learn how to make a strong application and ask questions specific to your project or circumstances.

All participants will be offered a FREE Feedback Comment on the project they submit to the fund.

FAQ •

If I submit, will I retain all the rights to my project?

Yes. When you submit, you retain all the rights to your project. If you receive an award, we only request you insert the wording “supported by Unsolicited Scripts Short Film Fund” in the credits and all the publicity materials (including the trailer).

Do I need a producer attached to my project to participate?

No, you can self-produce if you wish. If your project is awarded the grant and you are based in the UK, we can also help you find a producer, a director and a crew for your short film.

How many winners will be chosen and how will the prizes be split?

It depends on what the jury decides. The initiative could award all the prizes to a single project or spread them among multiple projects. Unsolicited Scripts is committed to offering a cash grant to the project with the strongest screenplay/story, independent of whether the project will close the budget or will still need to find additional financing. The other jury members are likely to prioritise projects that can be realistically completed within 12 months from the assignment of the award.

How are the projects evaluated?

When selecting the finalists, all submissions are evaluated exclusively on their creative merit. This means we assess how effectively each project is delivering on its premise. As an example, if you submit a comedy we want to laugh out loud and be entertained, if you are submitting a drama touching on a social issue we want to see a unique perspective on the presented issue.

When selecting the winner(s), we may also consider the project’s viability. All finalists with a producer attached will be requested to submit a budget (including the in-kind support you may receive) and a draft plan detailing how you intend to secure the missing funds within one year. We do not expect budgets and financing intentions to be 100% accurate: we consider them as a starting point to discuss with you if it’s realistic for the project to start principal photography within one year with our support. We are very open-minded and willing to support you in finding any missing resources but – as an example – it’s unrealistic for us to support a £100,000 sci-fi set in a custom-built spaceship if no other funding/resources are in place.

Can I send you an updated script / rough cut later?

If you are submitting a screenplay, you can purchase the “Feedback Report” add-on before 15th May 2024, and you will be able to submit an updated script incorporating the suggested changes free of charge.

In all other cases, if you’d like to submit an update for your application please get in touch.

Any other questions? Get in touch.

Can I send multiple projects?

Yes, but only one of them will be allowed to reach the finalist stage.

Any other questions? Get in touch.