Widening the Lens – Shorts 2 Features training scheme

A training and development programme from Encounters for filmmakers from diverse backgrounds, moving into feature film development. The course aims to address and improve diversity within the filmmaking industry. 

Applications are now closed.

Widening the Lens – Developing New Talent
From Shorts 2 Features

The course is designed to remove barriers and increase opportunities for under-represented filmmakers at mid-stage in their career who are moving into or have begun developing / making feature films.

The course will take 6 filmmakers through a dedicated programme including workshops, masterclasses and one to one sessions with industry professionals to further develop their skills and knowledge.

The course is FREE and we have limited bursaries available for travel and childcare.

This programme is supported by Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund, with BFI’s Film Forever National Lottery funds.

What is the course?

This is a free training opportunity with activity spread across 5 months for filmmakers from under-represented groups.

There will be a 2 day session in Bristol in September at Encounters Festival, comprising of sessions with leading Industry experts to help develop your skills and knowledge around pre-production, funding, pitching, exhibition, festival strategies and distribution alongside access to the Festival programme.

Shortlisted candidates will then be matched with an industry professional to develop their knowledge in a certain area, and the course will finish with a celebration day in Bristol, in February 2018.

Who can apply?

Filmmakers who have already made at least 2 short films, have some experience of festivals, and either have a feature film in development, or are moving onto their second feature film idea. This course acknowledges the challenges that can sometimes be faced with developing and funding a second feature.

Applications will need to include a treatment / work in progress idea for a feature and the filmmaker must be at a suitable stage to take this idea forward with the help of the scheme.

Filmmakers from any of the identified under-represented groups can apply. These are:

  • Filmmakers from a BAME background
  • Filmmakers with disabilities
  • LGBT+ Filmmakers
  • Female Filmmakers

Filmmakers must be UK based.

Unsure about eligibility? Please email info@encounters-festival.org.uk

Key dates:

Candidates MUST be available for all of the course dates part 1 and 2, in Bristol. Bursaries for travel are available.

Deadline for applications: August 31, 2017
Applicants informed:
September 10, 2017
Course – Part 1: At Encounters Festival on 2 days between 20 – 21 September 2017
Projects – One to one sessions with designated professional (these can be remote sessions  and done from filmmaker location): Oct 2017 – Feb 2018
Course – Part 2: One day in Bristol – end of Feb 2018

How to apply?



Successful applicants will be able to apply for bursaries to cover childcare and travel.

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