Breaking Through The Lens is a pitching initiative helping connect female-identifying directors to top film investors. The program is focused on practical actions and is a direct response to what the organisers, themselves female filmmakers, have encountered as barriers to their progress – access to finance.

Breaking Through The Lens is currently inviting submissions to pitch at its 2020 event. 10 film projects will be selected and presented at an invite-only event at the Cannes Film Festival to an audience of Financiers, Sales Agents and Distributors. The guestlist is carefully chosen to include a selection of the industry’s most respected private investors and companies such as Lionsgate, The Fyzz, Headgear and Film 4.

The program is a grassroots movement and focused on measurable actions to overcome the greatest barrier to women in in the industry – access to finance. This is a practical resource for under-served filmmakers, one that is multi-cultural, intersectional and results-driven.

10 successful applicants will get the chance to pitch at our Cannes event. All participants will then be immediately connected via email to funders that have registered interest in their project, and every effort will be taken to help them close the deal.

Last year’s event was a huge success, with a standing-room-only audience of over 100, and all projects receiving significant interest. Watch the video, which gives a sense of the event and impact.

“In an industry that has favoured the Male Voice for so long…Breaking Through The Lens is changing that Dynamic.” – Liza Foreman, Cannes Market News, 2019

Further information and application can be found at

This project is open to female-identifying and nonbinary directors with a feature film project in late-stage development. There is no restriction in terms of genre, but the project must have:

1. A strong, finished script in the case of narrative (or detailed beat sheet in the case of documentaries).
2. A producer with feature film experience attached.
3. Strong visual treatment, which includes a Director’s Statement and artistic references.
4. A full budget and finance plan ready should you be selected.

  • consider favourably projects that have:

5. Key crew and/or cast attached.
6. Initial finance raised.

This is about finding films with strong artist merit, that are in a position to receive finance and go into production within the next 12 months. Films that have already participated in or applied to the programme can submit again, as long as their project has moved forward significantly.

Submission Deadline: 10th February, 2020
Shortlist Notification: 28th February, 2020
Final Notification: No later than 25th March 2020


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