Beacon Films

Beacon Films | Film Routes

Film Routes (deadline: 12pm, Friday 17th January 2020)


Beacon Films is teaming up with BFI NETWORK and Film Hub North to offer Film Routes: an accessible way for creative people with disabilities to develop ideas and a script for a five-minute short film.

BFI NETWORK uses National Lottery funding to champion and support early career writers, directors and producers with professional development, funding to make short films and feature film development. Visit the website for more information.

Beacon Films is a multi award-winning production company of filmmakers with learning disabilities, autism and additional needs.



  • You have a great idea for a five-minute film

  • You are aged 18 or over

  • You are not in full time education

  • You have made a film before (and you were involved in making it, not just acting in it)

  • You identify as having a disability*

  • You live in the Film Hub North area (click here to see where this includes)

If your answer to all these questions is YES then you are eligible to apply. 

*We use the social model for our definition of ‘disability’.


  • You can apply directly online without help from us, or you can apply by attending one of our supported application sessions. 

  • Please note only ONE application can be made per person 

  • The deadline for online applications is 12pm, Friday 17th January 2020 

  • We will let you know if you have successfully achieved a place on Film Routes no later than 5pm on Wednesday 22nd January 2020

  • NOTE: If you need help with writing, you can still apply to Film Routes. The important thing is that you have a passion for filmmaking, good ideas and a good story for your script.


  • Supported Application Sessions will take place on the following dates:

    Monday 13th January 2020, at Beacon Films, Key House, Tankerville Place, West Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 3AT

    Wednesday 15th January 2020, at a central LEEDS location (TBC)

  • Each session will last for 1hr

  • At these sessions a Beacon Films mentor helps you to write a short synopsis of your film idea, and complete the application form to the Film Routes programme. (Click here to see the application form you’ll fill in.)

  • A breakout space is also provided, so you have the opportunity to spend more time on your application by yourself after your session, if you wish.

  • You will not be able to take your application home – it will need to be submitted on the day.

  • If you need help with the costs of attending, bursaries can be applied for, to cover:

    • support expenses and/or

    • travel if you are a) making a return-trip of 40 miles or more b) require someone to help you to travel

Please get in touch to find out more.

  • If you require any additional people to support you, you will need to bring them with you to the session (though you can apply for bursaries to cover these costs, see above).

  • If you are selected for Film Routes, we will discuss how we can help you with ongoing additional support during the programme.


OPTION 1: Complete the online application form and submit it (no later than 12pm on Friday 17th January 2019)

OPTION 2: - attend a supported application session, at ONE of the following locations:


  • All of the film ideas and applications will be assessed.

  • Up to three applicants will be selected to take part in Film Routes.

  • Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide feedback on unselected applications (other than feedback given by the mentor during the supported application session).


  • Six days of supported workshops for the three selected filmmakers to develop their short film ideas into full scripts.

  • Note: Film Routes involves helping you to write, but not make your film.

  • The filmmakers and their scripts will be matched with a producer, who can then make a funding application to the BFI NETWORK to make the film.

  • But we cannot guarantee that any funding applications to the BFI NETWORK will be successful. All applications are assessed on their own merits, and funding decisions are not influence by Beacon Films.

  • Note the Film Routes workshops will take place in Newcastle (you will be able to apply for travel and support bursaries if required and sessions will begin late morning to give time for travel from further afield in the North)

  • For information, the dates of these workshops will be: Monday 3rd Feb; Friday 7th Feb; Monday 10th Feb; Monday 24th Feb; Monday 2nd March; Monday 9th March

  • You must be available for all the workshops.


People with disabilities are chronically underrepresented in the screen industries.  

It is through the creative sectors that society reflects and understands itself. If disabled people aren't in that reflection – in both on and off-screen roles - then it's not just disabled people who lose out. Society loses out too. 

This project aims to test one way of helping to redress this. Film Hub North have asked Beacon Films to design a supported workshop process for people with disabilities, to generate more projects that can then go on to seek production funding.

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Beacon Films CIC