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the 2023 Pat Llewellyn Bursary application FAQs

Please do not contact the WFTV office about your application, in fairness to all candidates, we need to ensure every applicant has access to the same information.

We have put together the following application FAQs, please study these carefully before submitting your application. Thank you and good luck!

Who can apply for this bursary?
Any woman or anyone who self-identifies as a woman can apply for this bursary. You don’t need to be a member of WFTV.

Is there a fee to apply?

No, it’s completely free to apply.

What information should I include in the section: Please tell us about yourself and about why you should be a recipient of the WFTV Pat Llewellyn Bursary?
It’s useful to tell us about your background and give any information that is relevant to your proposal. Often, it’s very helpful if you can give some explanation or context for the particular film or project you are pitching. You need no prior TV knowledge and last year we had both experienced programme makers and those new to the industry that won awards.

What ideas can I pitch?

This year we are looking for talent-led documentary ideas. For this you will need to think about the onscreen talent who will front your proposal and why they are the right person for this idea. So if you think you’ve discovered the next Stacey Dooley, Yinki Bokinni, Joe Wicks or Louis Theroux and have a winning proposal that would work well with them, pitch it to us, and not only could you win £10,000, we’ll also match you with a mentor to help you make your idea happen.

Is there anything else I need to send in?

Please send us a clip on a mobile phone or any other type of camera of your onscreen talent. This should be no longer than two minutes. It doesn’t need to be edited; we are not expecting a polished taster tape. We just need to see a clip to get an idea of what the person is like onscreen.

Does the onscreen talent need to be a woman?


What can the bursary funding be used for?

It can be used for any aspect of development for your proposal. This might involve meeting potential contributors, visiting locations, writing a treatment or shooting and editing a taster tape. We cannot provide production or finishing funds.

I’ve never worked in television before, can I still submit an idea?

Absolutely! The Bursary Fund is open to everyone, whether you’ve worked in the industry before or not. We’re looking for promising, bold ideas that are suitable to be commissioned by a UK broadcaster. We will provide successful applicants with a mentor who can guide you and put you in front of the people who can make your idea happen. WFTV recognises that applicants without a TV background are likely to require more support for their projects.

What are you looking for in my 250 words about my idea?

First of all, have an effective title that help sells your proposal. Think about what it is about your idea that makes it bold and original. Equally importantly, think about how the proposal fits with the onscreen talent you are suggesting for the project.

Then there are some key questions you should ask yourself:

  • Why is your presenter the right person to tell this story?

  • Why would an audience want to watch this documentary?

  • Why do you need to tell this story now?

  • What makes it such a great story?

  • Who are the key characters and how will your presenter interact with them?

  • How will your presenter help you tell the story or narrative of the film?

  • What is the opening sequence of your film?

  • What are some of the scenes in your film?

  • How will the story develop?

  • What will be the twists and turns?

  • What sequences and pictures will we see?

  • Who is your target audience and which channel or strand do you think it is most

    suitable for?


And remember you only have 250 words to pitch your idea, so make sure you make every single one count!


Can you give examples of talent-led documentaries?

This could be a documentary contributor, a content maker/YouTuber with an online following, a stand out expert in a professional field, a celebrity with a personal story to tell, or a complete unknown who you think has the potential to be a brand new onscreen talent. Examples of previous shows that would be eligible include:

  • Yinka Bokinni: How to hire a Hitman and Damiola the Boy Next Door

  • Joe Wicks: My family, Mental Health 

  • Paddy & Christine McGuinness: Our family and autism

  • Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad

  • Saleyha Ahsan: Coronavirus: Can our NHS cope?

If you are suggesting a celebrity name, then the film needs to be using them to explore an issue that they are not known for. So, while the Chris Packham Asperger’s documentary would have been eligible, a documentary fronted by him on a natural history subject wouldn’t be eligible.

Whether you are suggesting a celebrity or an unknown new talent, please ensure you have confirmed access to them.

Can I send in more than one idea?

No, you can only submit one idea.

Can I apply with a drama idea?

No, this is a development bursary fund for factual programmes only.

What about a factual idea that has drama elements?

Yes, you can send in factual ideas that intend to use drama or drama reconstruction elements to tell parts of the story.

What about a factual idea that has animation elements?

Yes, this would be eligible.

Can I make changes to my application after it’s been submitted?

No, your submitted application is final – so make sure it’s completed fully before you submit it. We can only accept your first application, so if you send another in afterwards, with the same idea or a different idea, it will be discarded.

I’ve submitted my application, when will I hear if I’ve been successful?

We will send you an email that acknowledges your application. If you are selected for interview, you will be contacted via email. Due to the quantity of applications, we are unable to provide individual feedback about unsuccessful applications.

Applications have now closed. Please keep an eye on social media and our newsletter for when applications will re-open.

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