At the BAFTAs, in London, the NFTS had a record breaking 12 graduates nominated for awards (bringing the total number of NFTS graduates nominated in the school's 42-year history to 310), and it came home with not only a graduate win (James W. Griffiths winning Best Short Film for Room 8) but a win for the School: 2013 NFTS graduation film Sleeping With The Fishes, (directed by Yousif Al-Khalifa) won the award for Best Short Animation (this being the School’s 10th nomination in this category).
And in America, at the Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel Awards in Los Angeles, NFTS films were nominated for six out of seven student awards, with Sound Designer Ting Li Lim scooping the Verna Fields Award for Sound Editing in a Student Film for the graduation animation Robomax (directed by Moayad Fahmi). In addition, alumnus Simon Chase won a Golden Reel for Best Sound Editing in a Feature Film for Captain Phillips.
Over in Germany, At the Berlin Film Festival, graduate Yann Demange, who was nominated for a Golden Berlin Bear, received a Special Mention by the Jury for his Debut Feature '71 - which follows on from his previous Royal Television Society Award win and 3 previous BAFTA nominations for work that includes Top Boy, Criminal Justice and Dead Set.
Nik Powell, NFTS Director said: "It is fantastic to see our graduates and the NFTS itself scooping international awards at the BAFTAs, Golden Reels and the Berlin Film Festival – all in one day! The fact that so many were also nominated for student graduation films and first features is a testament to the wealth of talent among young film-makers and the quality of training they receive. Congratulations to all involved."
Cinematography graduate Melissa Byers who was the Assistant 3D Stereographer on the winner of Outstanding British Film Gravity at the BAFTAs told the NFTS: "I'm thrilled to have worked on Gravity, which has also been nominated for ten Oscars this year. There are so many UK based technicians and creatives working on Oscar nominated films every year. The professionalism and skillset of our crew, within the UK, is a testimony to the training available here. The NFTS provided me with top class facilities and an opportunity as a student to be creative in a supportive and challenging environment."
NFTS graduate Paul Kirby, who was the Production Designer on the Oscar and BAFTA nominated film Captain Phillips, praised the training he received at the School: "The NFTS remains one of the richest seams of creative talent and ideas assembled under one roof. I envy new students starting their adventures there. I would willingly do it all again."
Deputy Head of Sound Chris Pow, who flew over to L.A with the six graduates nominated for Golden Reels, said: “We are thrilled to win our 12th Golden reel award; the NFTS Sound courses are now undeniably the best in the world. It was a delight to see so many of our graduates receive recognition from the industry for their sound editing skills.
A total of 78 graduates were involved on 17 BAFTA nominated films this year:
Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, The Selfish Giant, Rush, We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, For Those In Peril, Iron Man 3, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Captain Phillips, Philomena, Despicable Me 2, Gravity, Keeping Up With The Jonses, Orbit Ever After, Room 8, Swimming With the Fishes.
In addition, NFTS Cinematography alumni are also being recognized in the awards season: Roger Deakins has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography in the film Prisoners; Ula Pontikos last month won the Sundance Film Festival prize for Best Cinematography for the film Lilting, which included a score composed by fellow graduate Stuart Earl.
And thirty-five NFTS graduates were involved in 14 films/ performances nominated for London Film Critics Circle Awards at which Directing graduate Clio Bernard’s film The Selfish Giant won British Film of The Year and involved four other graduates including Editor Nick Fenton and Re-recording Mixer Martin Jensen; Paul Greengrass’ film Captain Phillips included three graduates including Production Designer Paul Kirby; NFTS Visiting Fellow Stephen Frears’ film Philomena, in which Dame Judy Dench won Best British Actress of the Year, was edited by graduate Valerio Bonelli and Director Alfonso Cuaron’s film Gravity, which won Director of the Year and the Technical Achievement award, had three graduates involved including Melissa Byers who was the Assistant Stereographer 3D.
For a full list of graduates and students nominated at this year's BAFTA awards, click here: http://nfts.co.uk/news/bafta-bonanza-nfts-grads
Picture: Producer James Walker, Writer Sarah Woolner and Director Yousif Al-Khalifa with their BAFTA for Sleeping With The Fishes. (c) BAFTA