The Film & TV Funding Award is awarded annually to an emerging filmmaker from anywhere in the world with the most promising pitch for a director-led documentary which fulfils the core criteria detailed below. With a main award worth £100,000 and a development award for the runner-up of £20,000, The Whickers Film & TV Funding Award is one of the most significant documentary awards in the world.


  • A main award worth £100,000 and a development award for the runner-up of £20,000 are available.


  • Open to filmmakers from anywhere in the world. They encourage international filmmakers to apply;
  • Must be the filmmaker or filmmakers’ first 50+ minute documentary film where they own the director or co-director credit;
  • Projects must be at the late development to early production stage at the time of applying – this is not a finishing fund;
  • Award money cannot be paid to an individual. Therefore applicants must either: provide proof of company viability; have a fiscal sponsor on board; have a nominated production company on board to create a dedicated project account for their film; or confirm that they are willing to set up a limited company and dedicated project account if shortlisted;
  • Up to six minutes of original taster footage is required at the time of applying;
  • Must be accessible for an English-speaking audience – whether in the English language or subtitled in English;
  • Applicants must have an executive producer on board at the time of applying;
  • Should they be shortlisted, applicants must be available to travel to the UK in June to pitch their project at Sheffield DocFest (reasonable travel and accommodation covered by The Whickers);
  • They ask that the budget for your 50+ minute documentary film does not exceed £400,000 at the time of application;
  • Applicants who at the time of application have other funding sources over the value of £300,000 are not eligible.

Selection Process

Selection Criteria:

  • Director-led Story
    • Storyteller with demonstrably strong interviewing skills.
    • Demonstrates a passion for the subject whilst retaining fair-mindedness.
    • Demonstrates a real sense of independence.
    • Personal but not partisan.
    • Wry humor is welcome.
    • Strictly no ‘Whicker impersonations’.
  • Engagement
    • Unique access to engaging characters in unusual or inaccessible locations.
    • Allows contributor’s stories to emerge in their own words.
    • Demonstrates a flair for coaxing the human spirit into revealing itself.
    • The author demonstrates intimacy with but does not overshadow the subject.
  • Curiosity
    • Spirit of inquisitiveness that leaves viewers wanting more.
    • Tells us about something new and unexpected about the world.
    • Excites wonder.
    • Understands how it can illuminate the toughest or most nuanced real-life drama.
  • Original Use of Technology
    • Playful with storytelling means – breaking new ground and/or using old ground to re-invent new style
  • Not Partisan
    • No campaigning, pre-set agendas or political theories.


  • 2nd October 2023: Applications open
  • 31st January 2024 (23:59 GMT): Deadline for applications
  • Late April 2024: Shortlisted projects announced
  • June 2024: Finalists pitch their projects at Sheffield DocFest
  • June 2024: Winner of the Film & TV Funding Award announced at Sheffield DocFest Awards Ceremony

Method of Application

Click here to Apply

You can download a Word template of the application form to help you to prepare your answers in advance by clicking the button link at the end of this section; email if you have further queries.  In the meantime, you can expect to answer questions on the following:

Section 1: Title; logline; up to 300 words on how your project meets the criteria

Section 2: Personal and contact details; your role in the project

Section 3: Password protected link to teaser footage; publicity and deadline agreements

Section 4: Your treatment; up to 2000 word synopsis of your project; an estimated budget (in GBP) of various elements in production and post-production of the film; any existing funding or plans for future funding; details of your production company (or project account/fiscal sponsor); details of your executive producer; confirmation that your project complies with our majority sponsor criteria (see section 4.8 in the Funding Award Terms and Conditions)

Section 5: Your background in documentary making (if any); 50 words on how you learnt your filmmaking skills; 50 words on what inspires you to make documentaries; 50 words on how the funding will benefit your project; 50 words on why an audience would really love your film; confirm that you or a member of your team will be able to attend a live pitching event in the UK in June; your compliance with rules on transferring funds; your agreement with our terms and conditions.

For More Information,

Visit the Official Webpage

Application Deadline: January 31, 2024.