National Lottery Film Festival and Screening Programme Fund 

Funding to support organisations who are looking to produce film festivals and screening programmes in Scotland for a public audience.

The National Lottery Film Festival & Screening Programme Fund supports organisations who are looking to produce film festivals and screening programmes in Scotland for a public audience.

Activities supported by the fund should increase the reach, impact and diversity of film screenings and events for communities throughout Scotland and meet Screen Scotland’s Audience Development priorities.

Activities should also increase engagement within audience groups that are currently underrepresented in cinema audiences.

Although this fund is primarily for in-person events, we recognise that some activity may also take place on digital platforms when this is the best way to reach specific audiences that are a priority for the fund.

What’s new?

In March 2024, we relaunched the fund with the following changes:

  • The fund will support activity up to 31 August 2025.
  • Awards will be between £10,000 – £40,000.
  • Application dates and processing times have changed and there are set deadlines for applying, enabling Screen Scotland to have a clearer overview of the portfolio of funded projects and allow us to offer more clarity regarding decision timescales.
  • We are continuing to pilot the BFI Diversity Standards – Screen Scotland and all applicants to this fund need to evidence they have made an application to this prior to applying to us. 
  • There is no longer a 2-year funding option as there was in 2023/2024.
  • We have new talent and audience focus areas that we will prioritise when making funding decisions.

Full details can be found in our guidance document which is available to download below.

Who can apply?

This fund is open to new and existing organisations based in Scotland and producing film festivals and/or curated screening programmes for audiences in Scotland which meet the aims and criteria of this fund. 

All physical, in-person screenings and activity supported directly by this fund must be presented to audiences in Scotland. This restriction does not apply if digital activity features as part of your plans, however Scottish audiences should be the primary focus.

New festivals or exhibitors, and organisation who aren’t currently film exhibition organisations but are considering the delivery of a film festival or screening programme, are encouraged to contact us to discuss your project before applying so that we can help with the process.

Only festivals and screening programmes taking place wholly before 31 August 2025, are eligible to apply.

How much can I apply for?

This fund is supported by the National Lottery, and we expect to do individual awards in the region of £10,000 to £40,000 per year. If your project budget is likely to be significantly outside this range, please contact the Enquiries Service to discuss your application.

If you are looking for less than £10,000, please consider the funding opportunities offered by Film Hub Scotland.

When can I apply?

This fund will support activity happening between 1 September 2024 and 31 August 2025.

Application deadline Decision by
18 April 2024* 27 June 2024
16 September 2024 27 November 2024
13 January 2025 3 March 2025 

Ensure you choose your deadline appropriately. There must be at least eight weeks between the date listed in the 'decision by' column relating to your chosen deadline, and your first public activity. 

Costs accrued before our funding is confirmed are not eligible for support. We welcome applications at earlier deadlines, particularly if you wish to apply for longer-term funding before your main activity dates. If you apply after a noted deadline, or between deadlines, your application will be saved until the next round. However, it must be eligible for that round according to the rules above.

The fund will close at midnight on 13 January 2025 or when the fund has been fully allocated (we will monitor the fund and provide notice if the fund is approaching being fully allocated).

*If you are a Stage 2 Creative Scotland Multi-Year Fund applicant, please contact us to discuss your application.

How to apply

Applications to this fund must be made through the Film Festival & Screening Programme Fund Application Form.

All applicants must ensure they have read the Fund Guidance and Application Form in full before applying. Both documents are accessible in the downloads section below.

Before applying to this fund, you must make sure that you have made your submission to the BFI Diversity Standards – Screen Scotland pilot.

New applicants are strongly advised to speak to Screen Scotland’s Audience Development Team before applying. To request a meeting, email the Enquiries Service.

Completed application forms should be submitted, along with all supporting materials to [email protected]


Watch National Lottery Film Festival and Screening Programme Fund Guidance for Applicants in BSL