As announced in his MacTaggart Lecture at the Media Guardian Edinburgh Festival (26th August 2011), Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, today confirmed that YouTube are to support the National Film and Television School (NFTS) in a three year sponsorship. YouTube will sponsor the NFTS Showcase at the BFI Southbank and fund an exciting new initiative called The NFTS Film Clinic.

The aim of YouTube’s sponsorship of the NFTS Showcase is to help provide a platform for Britain’s emerging film and television programme makers. By sponsoring this three day event, YouTube will help bring the content creators of the future to a much broader audience. The NFTS, now in its 40th year and ranked Hollywood Reporter’s top ten of ‘the world’s best film school’, showcases the works of its graduating students at the BFI Southbank every year. The films, documentaries, TV programmes and animations first screened here will often go on to win major awards at International Festivals. In 2011, one of the graduation films The Confession was nominated for an Oscar and Until the River Runs Red won a BAFTA.

YouTube will also be backing a new initiative called the Film Clinic at the NFTS. There is a heap of undiscovered content out there. With the availability of new inexpensive technology amateur filmmakers are documenting their lives/other people’s lives all the time, yet they are unsure of what to do with their material. The Film Clinic is an initiative to craft these materials into a captivating narrative and distribute it to audiences via internet platforms. Students will also benefit and learn about all aspects of the digital distribution process from YouTube experts as part of the NFTS Business Skills Module.

Nik Powell, NFTS Director, said about the YouTube sponsorship “We are delighted that YouTube has come on board as a sponsor at a time when the NFTS is developing its plans for its Digital Village-Phase II. There is no better time for this initiative and of course we are also extremely excited that our students will benefit from the insight of industry experts as on our Business Skills Module”.

In his MacTaggart Lecture, at the Media Guardian Edinburgh Festival, Eric Schmidt said: “I’m delighted that we are partnering with the UK’s National Film and TV School, to help young filmmakers navigate the world of YouTube. The NFTS is one of the world's most successful film and TV schools, responsible for producing graduates who have gone on to gain credits on some of the UK’s and Hollywood’s finest productions. Starting in January we will be investing to support an online film-making and distribution module as part of the school’s curriculum."