UK: Regional Initiatives Promote the Transition from Short to feature-length Films


Encounters Festival Bristol ©Pressefoto


There are two regional film support programs in the UK that help short filmmakers make the transition to feature-length films. Both programs are supported by the British Film Institute Network.

In Wales, the Encounters short film festival (Bristol) is a partner in the “Shorts2Features” project. It aims to encourage filmmakers from the southwest of the country to take the step toward feature-length projects, such as a first narrative feature film. The program runs from the end of September to March 2023.

It will not only consider short filmmakers, but also applications from established creative talent who want to move from documentary or experimental film to feature film.

In Scotland, BFI Network’s First Features funding program, in cooperation with Short Circuit, supports filmmakers from Scotland who want to make the step to their first feature film. Applicants must have a strong track record in short films. First Features supports projects from initial idea to fully developed draft.

A film policy rationale for these “incentives” to produce long, narrative feature films is missing from the announcements.

Encounters, formerly Brief Encounters, is a festival of short films, animation, and virtual reality organized by Festivals Ltd. annually at Bristol’s Watershed Cultural Center.

Short Circuit aims to promote the creative and commercial success of the Scottish film sector. Short Circuit is a new initiative for film talent in Scotland, delivered in partnership with Glasgow Film and supported by Screen Scotland and BFI NETWORK (with National Lottery funding).