The National Film and Television School (NFTS) announces it is to launch a first of its kind Casting Certificate Course to meet demand within the creative industry. The brand new course will be delivered in partnership with top UK casting professionals Jina Jay and Shaheen Baig and will teach the fundamentals of the entire cycle of casting from Autumn 2020.

There is an art to casting: it is an essential and often unrecognised element of all film, television and theatre productions. From knowledge and experience to building relationships within the casting industry, the NFTS Casting Certificate Course has been carefully designed to provide students with the entry level skills needed to start a career in this field – one of the least understood across all craft disciplines.

Offering rigorous training, the course will arm participants with the practical skills and knowledge needed to hit the ground running as a certified Casting Assistant, with insight from influential Casting Directors and key players in the business.

The first intake of the 24 week evening course will start from September 2020 with an application deadline of 25th June 2020. It will run weekly from the recently announced NFTS London teaching space in Soho’s Golden Square and is supported by the CDG (The Casting Directors' Guild of Great Britain and Ireland).

Artist impression of NFTS London teaching space in Soho’s Golden Square

The course will be run by London based Casting Director Jane Arnell, whose career has spanned award winning productions across BBC and ITV, to independent film and TV projects. Jane is committed to nurturing and supporting new talent both in front of and behind the camera and works with a range of accredited British drama schools and universities as a visiting industry professional on their screen acting and audition programmes.

The Casting Certificate Course launches in the same year BAFTA becomes the first major ceremony to add a casting category to both its film and television awards. The BAFTAs held in 2020 will recognise the highly skilled work of Casting Directors for the first time while honouring the casting community and its importance in film-making.

NFTS Director Jon Wardle commented:We are tremendously excited to be launching this milestone Casting Certificate. The NFTS has identified an increasing need within the creative industry and designed a course that will result in job ready graduates entering the field, trained to the highest standards. We look forward to welcoming our first wave of recruits who are sure to make a lasting impact within the casting world.”

Casting Directors Shaheen Baig and Jina Jay who will head up an advisory board and deliver unique Masterclasses to students as they progress through the course said: “We are thrilled the NFTS has collaborated with us on the introduction of this new entry level Casting Certificate. It was borne out of us wanting fairer socio-economic representation behind the camera and to encourage and celebrate the craft of casting which we are very proud to be part of.”

Casting Directors Shaheen Baig and Jina Jay

For more information and details of how to apply, please visit: www.nfts.co.uk/casting

About Jina Jay

Jina Jay is a London based Casting Director who has worked on award winning projects including Black Mirror, Bird Box, The Night Manager and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Most recently she has worked with directors Susanne Bier, Terrence Malick, Wes Anderson, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Park Chan-Wook, Yann Demange and Marjane Satrapi. Jina is a member of BAFTA, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The Casting Directors’ Guild of Great Britain and Ireland and The Casting Society of America.

About Shaheen Baig 

Shaheen Baig is a London based Casting Director working with new and diverse acting talent, as well as supporting promising new filmmakers and established directors in Film and Television. Shaheen has cast all five series of Peaky Blinders and has worked on projects as varied as Black Mirror, Yardie, Control and The Impossible. Before setting up her own company, Shaheen Baig Casting in 2002, she worked as an associate alongside Casting Directors Jina Jay, Debbie McWilliams and Patsy Pollock.  In 2004 Shaheen was nominated by her peers and awarded the Best New Talent Award by Women In Film and Television in London and in 2008 sat on the jury for the British Independent Film Awards. Shaheen is a member of BAFTA, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and The Casting Directors’ Guild of Great Britain and Ireland. 

About Jane Arnell

Jane Arnell is a Casting Director whose career has spanned award winning productions across BBC and ITV to independent film and TV projects. Jane has worked with a range of directors from Terence Davies on The Deep Blue Sea to improvised ITV drama Suspects with emerging directors, enabling her to pursue her commitment to nurturing and supporting new talent both in front of and behind the camera. Jane works with a range of accredited British drama schools and universities as a visiting industry professional  on their screen acting and audition programmes, producing professional short films for the graduating actors at the Oxford School of Drama and mentoring young talent from city youth organisations to encourage access and to promote fair representation across the industry.