Short Film Fund with Theta Labs

The short film fund allows emerging talent worldwide to test their ideas before embarking on a feature film.

Grants of up to £7,000 / $10,000 are available towards the production costs of all scripted genres and documentary short film content.

For this round of the fund, we partnered with Theta Labs for a special edition where filmmakers can opt-in for a special category to win $1000 towards marketing and distributing their film.

The final short film can act as a development platform to support short films as proof of concept for feature films.

The current fund round is now closed.

Previous Grant Recipients


Winning pitches get up to a £7,000 / $10,000 grant

The First Flights Short Film Fund is intended for live action and documentary short films of any genre. Awards will be given to projects which intend to be in production no more than six months after the deadline closes. Awards provided are non-recoupable grants.

Filmmakers can submit for a special category to win $1000 towards marketing and distributing their film. Winners will also get access to Theta Labs Enterprise DRM technology for the distribution of their films - giving the same security as a theatre premiere screening, but online. 

Filmmakers will have full creative control of the project but will receive support in submitting the film to festivals and distribution opportunities with Network Ireland & Televison, and ShortsTV.

How It Works

 The window for applications runs twice a year. 2024 opening dates are Feb 5th and August 5th.

Project submissions will need to include:

- Project details: title / genre / location / budget / funding amount sought / intended production date

- A logline (up to 30 words)

- A synopsis (250 words)

- A directors vision – creative ideas and information on why the story is important and who it is for (250 words)

- A completed script (no more than 30 pages)

- A biography of the director. Links to the director/writer/producer IMDB pages if available

- A budget (template provided)

- A lookbook

- Optional: Sizzle reel

Selection process

All applications and scripts are reviewed and graded on a point-based system, across seven categories covering originality, creativity, plot, pacing & structure, characters, entertainment, and message effectiveness. The long list is created and reviewed by a team of independent judges from across the film industry, from which all candidates are interviewed. The ratings from independent judges and the interviews are then used to make the final selection.

Submission dates

Current submission period - early bird fees are £20 per project until Febraury 29th / regular fees are £30 until March 31st / late fees are £40 until April 30th.

Current Fund Now Closed