Posted 19 August 2022

Brilliant sources of inspiration for emerging filmmakers

It’s a common question for any creator: Where do you find inspiration? In the film industry, the answer can take many forms – from podcasts and articles, to curated shorts and IRL events. Here, we’ve collated a range of starting points to help inspire new creative ideas.

Sometimes inspiration finds you, and other times you’ll need to go out in search of it! Feeling inspired isn’t a passive activity – you might need to put yourself on the right path or get into the right frame of mind. There are all sorts of ways to encourage filmmaking inspiration to strike – and not all of them involve browsing Netflix... Every aspect of life can fuel a creative idea, so stay alert and curious!

❤️ Get personal
You might find inspiration for your first film projects in your personal experiences; drawing on your childhood, family history, travel experiences, relationships, hobbies or jobs. You don’t have to put yourself at the centre of your story, but you can always use your own experiences to inform your characters and their motivations.

🌍 Be aware of what’s happening in the wider world
You may be moved to create your art by the urgent social issues of today; making a statement about something you believe in, or bringing attention to an underrepresented story. Taking a stance begins with knowledge – so make time to regularly read and listen to what’s going on around the globe.

📚 Learn from your community
Encouragement and ideas can be found in the communities you’re part of – whether that’s a local group, your university, workplace or the wider film industry. Seeing how your peers apply their creative ambition to tight budgets can be both useful and inspiring. There’s also the film festival circuit to keep an eye on, taking note of the types of films that have won big and positively impacted their creators’ journeys.

Of course, there are also loads of useful online resources to explore – from in-depth interviews with emerging and established creatives, to film reviews, curated daily shorts, and epic cinematic archives. Below, we’ve put together a starter list of engaging platforms to get your inspiration flowing.

Directors’ Library

Good for: Archive and events

Directors’ Library is an international platform and resource showcasing global filmmaking in all its forms – including adverts, documentaries, music videos and narrative. Offering a taste of the latest moving image work from filmmakers across the globe, the site spotlights collections from leading directors, and features interviews with industry professionals as well as upcoming opportunities for filmmakers across the UK.

Visit Directors’ Library here

Vimeo Staff Picks

Good for: Curated short films

Showcasing “the best short films on the internet” handpicked by dedicated in-house staff, Vimeo is a highly respected resource, and is useful for emerging filmmakers to gain a broader understanding of different types of narratives shot in the short film format.

Visit Vimeo Staff Picks here

Short of the Week

Good for: Short films of all genres

Short of the Week scours the internet to discover and promote creative and innovative stories from the new wave of emerging filmmakers. It also has a rich archive of blog posts exploring everything from short film distribution to common mistakes made by filmmakers.

Visit Short of the Week here

Directors Notes

Good for: Interviews with filmmakers

As well as serving up the very best of independent cinema, Directors Notes also shares regular in-depth interviews with filmmakers and production stories from some of the world’s most talented short film directors. The site is home to cutting-edge shorts spanning live action, music, fashion, dance, documentary and animation.

Visit Directors Notes here


Good for: Shorts

Set up by Taiwanese movie commentary YouTuber Allen Tsai as an experiment to put his knowledge of algorithm-driven content distribution to the test, Omeleto is a platform for the next generation of filmmakers and showcases one award-winning film a day.

Visit Omeleto here

BFI Network

Good for: Industry insights

The BFI Network seeks to support, develop and champion new filmmakers looking to kickstart their careers. Collaborating with film organisations and leading cultural venues across the UK, the network provides short film and early feature development funding, industry-backed professional development, and networking support to producers, writers and directors of all ages.

Visit BFI Network here


Good for: Fashion, lifestyle and culture

Nowness is an award-winning video channel showcasing fashion films and aesthetically-minded moving image work. An especially useful resource for artist-filmmakers who are making work in the world of fashion, dance and visual arts, it features both emerging and established filmmakers and talent, with a focus on beautiful and innovative storytelling.

Visit Nowness here

A24 Podcast

Good for: Multidisciplinary conversations

A24 is the production company behind the award-winning Everything Everywhere All At Once, Uncut Gems, Midsommar, Lady Bird, Moonlight, HBO’s Euphoria, amongst others. Its podcast series is known for honest conversations between two talented creatives from the film world, who not only talk about the craft but also the emotional aspects of filmmaking and their inspirations.

Listen to the A24 podcast here

The Hollywood Reporter

Good for: Roundtable discussions

This roundtable series sees high-profile actors, directors and practitioners sit down for an in-depth conversation about acting, directing, the film industry and much more, sharing illuminating insights into the world of filmmaking. Previous guests have included everyone from John Boyega, Steve McQueen, Issa Rae and Leonardo Dicaprio, amongst a whole host of stars.

Visit The Hollywood Reporter here


Good for: Entertainment business news

In this talk show from showbiz publication Variety, each episode brings together multiple pairs of actors engaging in intimate one-on-one discussions about their craft and work. Good for filmmakers who want to sharpen up their understanding of the actors’ perspective.

Visit Variety here

Booooom TV

Good for: Short form content

Based in Vancouver, Canada, Booooom TV is a global arts and cultural platform curating inspiring short-form content. Featuring an ever-changing daily selection, this is a useful resource for filmmakers who want to access high quality, well-curated short films, music videos and animation.

Visit Booooooom TV here

BFI Player

Good for: In-depth archive

BFI Player is a video on-demand service from the British Film Institute, streaming landmark and archive films, available for rent, for subscription, or for free. A platform to discover a wider range of cinema and archival material, the BFI Player is especially useful from a research perspective, with a broad spectrum of moving image artefacts available – from World Cinema to archival footage from adverts.

Visit BFI Player here


Good for: Streaming and editorial

Mubi is a global streaming service to discover both classic and specialised cinema, and is useful for filmmakers who wish to gain a deeper understanding of the feature-length format. Its curators handpick films from around the world, introducing a brand new film every day, and write insightful journal entries and articles exploring the world of auteurs and new cinema culture trends.

Visit Mubi here

Little White Lies

Good for: Multifaceted reviews

Little White Lies presents news and interviews exploring film and cinema, with reviews featuring a three-part ranking system that captures the different aspects of the moviegoing experience. It’s a valuable platform on which to discover less-mainstream feature films which may have been overlooked by awards committees. It’s also one for film graphic design enthusiasts, with beautiful illustrations often accompanying their features.

Visit Little White Lies here


This article is part of a series produced in collaboration with Fully Focused and Today at Apple, designed to help inspire and support emerging filmmakers navigate the industry.

Written by Creative Lives in Progress