Annual Fundraising Gala Achieves A Record-Breaking £525,000 For Scholarships And Bursaries at NFTS!

The National Film and Television School (NFTS) is thrilled to announce that its annual fundraising gala, held at Old Billingsgate in London last night (25th June) and hosted by Dermot O’Leary, raised a record-breaking total of £525,000. All proceeds will go directly towards funding scholarships and bursaries to support emerging talent in film, television, and games to attend the NFTS and represents the highest figure ever raised for the School.


gala guests outside old billingsgate

NFTS Gala guests gather for drinks reception outside Old Billingsgate

Supported by Rolex, the Gala was co-chaired by Sony Pictures Television’s Wayne Garvie and Matthew Justice who commented: “We are absolutely thrilled with the overwhelming support from our industry peers. The funds raised will make a significant impact on the next generation of creative talent to attend the NFTS.”

The Gala brought together over 650 industry guests from leading film, television, and games companies, including All3Media, Amazon Studios, Apple TV, BBC Studios, Banijay, Channel 4, Disney+, Fremantle, Neal Street Productions, Netflix, Pinewood Studios, Screen Scotland, Sky Studios and Warner Bros. Discovery. Their combined contributions throughout the evening were instrumental in reaching the unprecedented amount for the NFTS.


dermot oleary on gala stage

Dermot O'Leary on stage at the NFTS Gala 2024

Fellow Gala Committee Members included Anita Land (Anita Land Ltd), Mark Devereux (Freelands Group), Dan Grabiner (Orchard Studios), Barbara Broccoli (Eon Productions), Layla Smith (Objective Media Group), Sophie Turner Laing (NFTS Chair) and Jonathan Norman (Shore Partners).

In addition to the record-breaking total, a new scholarship honouring the legendary agent Jenne Casarotto was launched during the Gala by her longstanding client and NFTS Teaching Fellow Stephen Frears and Anna Higgs, NFTS alumna and Managing Director of Casarotto Ramsay & Associates. Both took to the stage to reflect on the impact of Jenne’s legacy and the enormous range of work she was instrumental in bringing to stage and screen, during a career spanning over 50 years.


gala stage

Wayne Garvie and Stephen Frears announce the Jenne Casarotto Scholarship

Pledges made during the Gala event raised an impressive £125,000, taking the total raised for the Jenne Casarotto Scholarship to £250,000, further cementing the NFTS's commitment to fostering future talent. This generous funding will empower the next generation of writers, directors, and producers to study a two-year MA at the NFTS. The inaugural Jenne Casarotto Scholar will begin their studies at the School in January 2025.


student volunteers at nfts gala

Over 30 NFTS students volunteered to network and help the evening run smoothly

Anna Higgs, who received a full scholarship to attend the NFTS over 20 years ago, allowing her to undertake a Masters in Producing, said: “The launch of the Jenne Casarotto Scholarship is a testament to the enduring legacy of one of our industry’s greats. There's no better way to understand Jenne’s impact than through the visionary artists she represented and the work she helped make happen. We know that talented people in our sectors can face big financial barriers to success, so it's heartening to see such incredible support that will enable future talent to attend the NFTS. We are so grateful to our generous donors who have contributed to a very meaningful moment for the Casarotto Ramsay & Associates team.”

At a time when the demand for funding assistance is at an all-time high, NFTS Director Jon Wardle highlighted the importance of supporting future students to undertake the world leading training offered by the School: “The incredible total raised at this year’s Gala will provide invaluable support to aspiring behind-the-scenes talent, enabling them to train with the NFTS regardless of their financial background. This support is crucial in maintaining the diversity and excellence of our industry.”

Funds raised by the annual NFTS Gala will change the lives of many aspiring film, television and games makers by providing opportunities for new and diverse talent.

It’s not too late for industry members to contribute to help make the National Film and Television School as accessible to as many as possible. Pledges can be made here:

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