Boosting Our Economy - Celebrating Our Culture - Enhancing Our Children's Education

Boosting Our Economy - Celebrating Our Culture - Enhancing Our Children's Education

News & Events

New Shorts Focus 2024-2025 now open for applications for Under-Represented Talent

Date Posted: June 13, 2024

Applications are now open for the 2024-25 New Shorts Focus fiction development scheme, supported by Northern Ireland Screen and the BFI.

The annual scheme has been designed to support under-represented new and emerging writers and writer/directors residing in Northern Ireland by offering a well-organised development journey led by a development producer spanning six months, from October 2024 to March 2025.

New Writer Focus has become a springboard for up and coming local writers, having previously supported projects including Caroline from Village Films Belfast, Farset Film’s The Girl with the Lion, Bad Vibes from Poli Productions and more.

About the Scheme

New Shorts Focus offers an opportunity for talented individuals with at least one independently made or funded writer or writer/director credit at the short film level. This writer-led initiative is conducted entirely online, with monthly development meetings where participants can submit project drafts for review. Each submission will receive detailed script coverage to assist in re-drafting, creating a collaborative and supportive environment for creative growth.

Applicants are invited to submit up to two one-page outlines for initial consideration. It is important to note that completed scripts are not accepted at the application stage, and each submitted idea must be a stand-alone short film, not an extended trailer for a potential feature project.

This scheme exclusively supports short film fiction projects and is not open to animation or factual creative talent. Additionally, participants from previous years are not eligible to re-apply.

Northern Ireland Screen’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Northern Ireland Screen, in partnership with the BFI, is dedicated to advancing diversity and inclusion within the film industry. We actively collaborate with practitioners from the disabled filmmaking community to ensure genuine portrayals of disability and to improve industry access. We advocate for thoughtful casting of d/Deaf and disabled actors and encourage non-specific casting to create roles that increase visibility without focusing solely on disability as a theme.

To further these goals, Northern Ireland Screen will no longer support work that portrays villains with visible differences and is committed to ensuring equal pay for d/Deaf and disabled actors and filmmakers. We will consider applications that include project costs related to access requirements for d/Deaf and disabled practitioners, providing additional funding for these elements.

Northern Ireland Screen also champions authentic writing. We encourage writers to consult relevant organisations or groups when addressing disability, neurodiversity, racism, or poverty to ensure accurate and respectful representation. The principle of “Nothing about us without us” is central to our approach, as emphasised by the Press Reset campaign.

How to Apply

For further details on how to apply, criteria and submissions, download the New Shorts Focus 2024-25 GUIDELINES

Any scheme queries can be directed to [email protected]

Deadline for receipt of applications- Friday 30th August 2024 at 12:00 NOON



© 2024 Northern Ireland Screen. All Rights Reserved