Students from Bucks University Technical College (UTC) are announced as overall winners of the 2018 NFTS Commercial Challenge, a competition to challenge young filmmakers organised by Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (BTVLEP) and the National Film and Television School (NFTS), which is based in Beaconsfield.

Students from Bucks UTC, The Misbourne, Chesham Grammar School and St Michael's Catholic School

Runners-up places were awarded to teams from The Misbourne in Great Missenden, St Michael’s Catholic School in High Wycombe and Chesham Grammar School who beat stiff competition from schools across the county.

Twenty students from the winning and runners-up teams were invited to attend a prize-winners’ workshop at the NFTS in Beaconsfield on 2nd January 2019. The students won the rare opportunity to experience first-hand the cutting edge facilities at the NFTS and try their hands at professional film production in the 4k Digital Content Studio.

The workshop began with the chance to see the winning commercials on the big screen in the on-site cinema. A tour of the studios was then followed by a session led by award-winning television director and NFTS Head of Television, David G. Croft, director some of the best-known entertainment and music programmes of the last 25 years including Live Aid, Top of the Pops, Crystal Maze and Shooting Stars.

The aim of the NFTS Commercials Challenge was for students to create and produce a video commercial promoting their school to prospective pupils and parents – ideal for Business Studies, English and Media students, or indeed anyone interested in working in the global economy.

Jackie Campbell, Skills Development Lead for BTVLEP, explained: “The NFTS Commercials Challenge helps students to develop skills ranging from project management, research, devising and communicating a persuasive message to an identified audience combining with creativity, communication, pitching and practical video production skills. It’s a great insight into the wide variety of roles within the creative industry, which is a big growth sector for Buckinghamshire.”

NFTS Director, Jon Wardle added: “NFTS is all about nurturing, developing and championing the next generation of film, television and games making talent and it has been fantastic to see so many local schools entering the NFTS Commercials Challenge with such enthusiasm. We look forward to continuing this exciting partnership with BTVLEP and inspiring more Buckinghamshire based students to choose the creative industries as their career path.”

The NFTS Commercials Competition will return in October for the next academic year. Participating schools benefit from an in-school workshop and bespoke lesson resources. Contact jackie@btvlep.co.uk to take part.