Our credits tell the story.

Nfts films bag two of the five BIFA short film nominations...

...and an incredible 48 nfts graduates are involved in 16 BIFA nominated films

Two student graduation films have been nominated for a 2012 British Independent Film Award. Writer/Director Jamie Stone  and Mahalia Belo’s 2012 graduation films Skyborn  and Volume are competing for the Best British Short award against a fellow graduate, the respected Writer/Director Lynne Ramsay, whose film The Swimmer also includes graduate Natasha Braier as DoP.

They are among the 48 graduates involved in an incredible total of 16 films that have been nominated in nine categories this year. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on December 9.

The full list of nominations involving NFTS graduates includes:  

Best Documentary: Carol Morley’s Dreams of a Life (Co-DoP Mary Farbrother; Supervising Sound Editor Christopher Wilson; Sound Recordist Matthew Share); The Imposter (Sound Designer Paul Davies), Kevin MacDonald’s Marley (Co-DoP Alwin Küchler); Julien Temple’s London: The Modern Babylon. The Imposter is also on the list of nominees for the Best British Independent Film where it shares a place with Berberian Sound Studio (Rerecording Mixer Markus Moll), Broken (Assistant Coordinator Hussain Ahmed) and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Sound Assistant Michael Taylor) and all of these films have been nominated in the Best Director category. Two of these films - The Imposter and Berberian Sound Studio - are also in the running for the Best Achievement in Production award where they compete with the Vertigo Films production The Sweeney which was produced by Allan Niblo and had Nuala O’Leary also on the crew as Production Supervisor. The contenders for Best International Independent Film includes the Danish film The Hunt (Jagten) which was shot by Charlotte Bruus Christensen; and the Raindance Award nominees include four films with alumni involvement… Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet (Editor Gideon Gold; Supervising Sound Designer Dario Swade; Colourist Andre Rusu), Frank (Composer Stuart Earl), Love Tomorrow (Boom Operator Francis Cullen) and City Slacker (Boom Operator Xan Márquez Caneda); My Brother the Devil, which was produced by Gayle Griffiths and has a UK release this week, has received nominations for Best Debut Director (Sally el Hosaini) and Most Promising Newcomer (lead actor James Floyd); the winners will be presented at a ceremony at the Old Billingsgate in London on the 9th December.

Credits for the NFTS films Skyborn and Volume are:

Writer/Director Jamie Stone; Producer Len Rowles; DoP Robin Whenary; Production Designer John Merry; Production Manager Esteban Frost; Editor James Taylor; Composer Graham Hadfield; Sound Recordist Mick Kearney; SFX and Miniature Supervisor Cat Harris; VFX Supervisor/Online Editor/Grade Helen Brownell; Boom Operator Sherylee Anne Houssein; Sound Designer Jens Rosenlund Petersen; Miniatures Set Designer Bianca Ansems;

Director/Story Mahalia Belo; Story/Writer Ingeborg Topsøe; Producer Casey Herbert; DoP Chloë Thomson; Composer Jonathan Hill; Designer Laura Tarrant-Brown; Production Manager Darren Crisp; Editor Arttu Salmi; SFX Supervisor David Jacobs; Location Sound Mixer Nina Rice; Boom Operators Liam Cotter & Mick Kearney;  Sound Designer Axle Kith Cheeng; Online Editor/Grade Robin Blick.

Skillset Top Marks

The NFTS has the most Creative Skillset accredited courses in the UK.

The NFTS has had more courses accredited by Creative Skillset than any other Higher Education institution in the UK.  14 of the School’s courses have been awarded Creative Skillset Ticks -  an industry kite-mark that identifies courses endorsed by employers for the quality of training.

Funded by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, via the Growth and Innovation Fund, the latest accreditation scheme was run between October 2011 – September 2012 and  involved rigorous assessment by industry practitioners of 156 courses from 27 institutions across 12 subject areas.

NFTS Director, Nik Powell said: “We are delighted to have the most Creative Skillset accredited courses of any higher education institution in the UK. This recognition speaks volumes about the high calibre students we attract, the award winning production work the students produce, the transformational teaching our tutors provide and the success of our graduates.”

In its 2012 report, the Creative Industries Council Creative Skillset Skills Group recommended that the criteria and standard required to receive industry accreditation should be raised to ensure that only courses delivering industry relevant training whilst building partnerships with business were awarded The Tick.

David Abraham, Chief Executive of Channel 4 and Creative Skillset Board member, said: “The Creative Skillset Tick is an essential signpost that helps potential students choose courses that are approved by industry. It tells them the course has gone through thorough assessment, including a review of graduate employment, work experience and links with industry, which contribute to improved employment prospects on completion of the course”.

Details of courses awarded the Creative Skillset Tick can be found at http://courses.creativeskillset.org

Sky partner with NFTS for new course

Sky and NFTS to offer new broadcast production course.

Sky and the National Film and Television School (NFTS) have announced a new partnership, which will train a new generation of multi-camera studio craft specialists to work in their expanding studio operation.

This unique Broadcast Production course, run in collaboration with Sky’s Broadcast Operations department, will prepare 12 students a year to work in a multi-camera studio environment as a Vision Mixer, a Camera/ Lighting or Sound specialist. Modules will be taught at both the NFTS and Sky Studios, Sky’s state-of-the-art production facility. The course will also include a six-week internship at Sky, culminating in a paid role for at least one graduate each year.

Students will experience working across a range of genres and programming, including scripted comedy and entertainment, as well as multi-platform production. The award seeks to teach students the language of entertainment television so that they can work effectively within production teams, as well as develop a high level technical understanding of their chosen specialist area and a critical awareness of the production workflow and the impact of multiplatform on production.

Sophie Turner Laing, MD of Entertainment, News and Broadcast Operations at Sky, and board member of NFTS said: “Sky’s ongoing commitment to homegrown, original content is not just about what we put on screen – it’s about investing in the next generation of production specialists in the UK. We’re extremely proud of the work we do at Sky to nurture our people, and it’s shown us just how much the UK creative industries need to identify the rising stars of all areas of broadcasting as early as possible.  There is no better place to do that than at the NFTS, and we’re delighted to partner with them to start that process with this broadcast production course.”

The course is led by NFTS Head of TV David G Croft (Shooting Stars, Crystal Maze, Live Aid) and other tutors may include Richard Boden (IT Crowd) Geoff Posner (Little Britain) and Steve Pinhay (SMTV, CD:UK).

David G Croft said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for a new generation of rising TV stars to learn the core disciplines of multi camera studio operations - hotly in demand in the industry. It’s a real sign of Sky’s commitment to entertainment programming in the UK that they are willing to train a new generation of behind the camera TV talent.”

The 12-month Diploma course starts in February 2013, costs £7,000 and the deadline for applications is 3rd December 2012.

Entry Requirements. A proven interest in multi-camera production, a lively interest in television and a willingness to work as part of a team are essential. We are looking for people who are practically minded and who have a good general education although there are no specific educational requirements for this course.

For more information visit the Broadcast Production Diploma page.

Commercial secrets revealed to students

Alan Parker & Dougal Wilson impart knowledge while hearing students’ NAHEMI/ Kodak Commercials Competition pitches

Award-winning film and commercials  writer/director Alan Parker (Midnight Express, Mississippi Burning) and one of the UK’s top commercials directors Dougal Wilson have been sharing the secrets of making effective commercials with 2nd year NFTS students who are developing pitches for the annual NAHEMI/Kodak Student Commercials Competition.

Dougal Wilson, whose iconic music videos and commercials have influenced filmmakers and artists around the world, said he was impressed: “The students’ ideas have been imaginative, entertaining, and made me laugh, which is a key way to engage the viewer and win their trust.”

Alan Parker agreed, saying: “Humour is the fastest way to communicate with someone who you want like your product – it endears them to whatever you are selling.” And he gave this advice to anyone starting out in making commercials: “Keep it simple – you only have 30 seconds to get your message across so don’t forget that your job is to sell the product.”

NFTS students won 4 out of 6 Best in Brief prizes at last year’s Kodak Commercials Competition, plus two other awards and 1st and 2nd prizes for best Commercials Overall.

Alan Parker started his career in commercials working for the famed London agency Collett Dickenson Pearce where he directed many award winning commercials, including the famous Cinzano vermouth advertisement, starring Leonard Rossiter and Joan Collins, shown in the UK. Parker and Lord David Puttnam collaborated in a (1979) sixty second 'Heineken' television commercial for the U.K. which was ground breaking as it used one hundred actors in an elaborate galley slave film set.

His Oscar nominated films include Midnight Express (1978), Mississippi Burning (1988) and musicals Bugsy Malone (1976), Fame (1980), Pink Floyd—The Wall (1982), The Commitments (1991) and Evita (1996).

Dougal Wilson’s advert for John Lewis, Never Knowingly Undersold with Adam & Eve transcended mere commercial status to become a widely talked-about part of popular culture. His follow-up for the brand, The Long Wait continued this success, collecting several awards at the 2012 D&AD and Cannes Lions awards as well as being named "Commercial of The Year" at the 2012 British Arrows.  He received D&AD Pencils in 2006 for his Orange 'Dance' spot, in 2008 for Big Yellow Storage, and again in 2010 for COI 'Fire Safety'. Other commercial work includes Coca-Cola’s Yeah Yeah Year La La La, as well as spots for Olympus, Becks, Vodafone, BBC, JCPenney and Amnesty International. Recently, Dougal has filmed spots for Safestore through WCRS and Lurpak through Wieden + Kennedy, which earned him two golds and a bronze at the 2012 Cannes Lions. He has made music videos for a wide range of bands including Coldplay, Goldfrapp, Will Young and more recently Bat For Lashes and Temper Trap.

Pictured above: Dougal Wilson, Alan Parker, and NFTS Head of Cinematography Brian Tufano.

Students To Develop Original Idea for TV

NFTS TV students to join Dragonfly Productions to develop their original Factual Entertainment idea

Two of our Television students, Anti Reinthal and James Allison (pictured), have had their factual entertainment programme idea picked up by leading independent production company Dragonfly Productions.
They will be paid to develop the concept into a pitch for UK broadcasters early in the New Year.

Sanjay Singhal, Managing Director at Dragonfly, says: “Dragonfly are pleased to be supporting  NFTS Television graduates. We were impressed with the quality of ideas presented by all of the students.  James Allison and Anti Reinthal’s proposal showed great promise and we’ll look forward to developing the project further."

NFTS Head of Television David G Croft says: “James and Anti have shown tremendous talent and the efforts have paid off. We are noticing that more and more broadcasters and production companies coming to the NFTS Television department for new talent and ideas.”

Dragonfly Film and Television Productions is one of the UK’s leading independent production companies. Part of the Shine Group it has produced more than two hundred hours of television across all the major channels and created hit shows like One Born Every Minute, The Hotel, World’s Toughest Trucker, Kill It, Cook It, Eat It, and Autopsy Emergency Room…amongst others.

Phil Harrison joins NFTS Board

We are delighted to welcome Phil Harrison, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft, who has joined our Board of Governors.

Phil Harrison is responsible for growing Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business division in EMEA and has been a leader of the interactive entertainment industry globally for over 20 years.

In his role as an NFTS governor, he will bring 25 years of games industry and interactive entertainment product development experience to help steer courses such as the school’s groundbreaking new MA course in Games Design and Development.

Phil Harrison said: “I am delighted to be joining the board of governors at the NFTS. Developing and nurturing the next generation of creative, production and technical talent is essential for the growth of the games sector and the creative industries in the UK. I can’t wait to discover the future stars of game design and interactive story-telling through these courses and it’s great that the NFTS is making such a commitment to the interactive and digital arts.”

The Games Design and Development MA is the only course in the UK, and possibly the world, to be set in the heart of a film school studio environment where games designers can benefit from expertise in character creation, storytelling, design, animation, sound and visual effects.

NFTS Director Nik Powell said: “We are honoured to have Phil Harrison on our Board- he will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience the school. It is also shows the level of commitment that Microsoft has to investing time and expertise into developing the talent of tomorrow for the Games and Entertainment industry. ” For more information visit our Games Design and Development MA page.

Revolver and NFTS to produce feature

Revolver’s production arm Gunslinger is teaming with the NFTS on horror The London Syndrome

Gunslinger Films, the production arm of UK distributor Revolver, is teaming with the National Film and Television School to produce horror film The London Syndrome.

The project, from director Afarin Eghbal and producer Len Rowles was the winning pitch in a competition run by the two partners who will now co-fund the film’s production, which is set for January 2013. The director-producer duo is currently looking to develop their pitch with a writer.

Twenty-five teams of directors, producers and screenwriters from the NFTS, including former graduates, were shortlisted to compete for the prize. Eghbal’s NFTS graduation film Abuelas was this year nominated for a BAFTA Best Short Animation award and the Golden Firebird Award at the Hong Kong International Film Festival, while Rowles’ graduation film Skyborn was nominated for a student Oscar in April of this year and is being adapted into a feature by its director Jamie Stone. Rowles also produced the NFTS’ first 3D film.

Nick Taussig, director of production at Gunslinger Films, said: “The level of talent we saw throughout this competition was incredible – young students who are already winning awards and earning accolades. We were hoping for something unique and special, and Afarin and Len brought us this.”

Justin Marciano, CEO of Revolver Entertainment said: “Our partnership with the NFTS allows us to access imaginative and innovative new filmmakers, who are naturally at home at Revolver, where pushing the boundaries is a key part of our brand ethos.”

Nik Powell, NFTS director, added: “It’s great to be making our first film with Revolver. I think the winning entry is fresh and original as well as potentially terrifying. It’s a great team, including BAFTA Award nominee Afarin Eghbal and Len Rowles whose NFTS graduation film was shortlisted for a Student Oscar.”

David Lean Foundation praised for supporting the NFTS

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey ‘saluted’ the National Film and Television School and the David Lean Foundation

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey ‘saluted’ the National Film and Television School and the David Lean Foundation , which has previously donated £1million to the school to support up and coming British film-makers. Speaking last night at the NFTS’ annual Stars of Tomorrow, hosted by BAFTA, the Minister highlighted the importance of inward investment into the UK’s film industry and praised the Foundation for its long-term financial support.

Mr Vaizey said: “It is important to remember the massive investment made by the Film and Television industry in this country and we will continue to support this through tax breaks. David Lean has set an inspirational benchmark of quality filmmaking for many generations of British film makers, and the support the David Lean Foundation has provided to the NFTS has been instrumental in identifying and nurturing new and emerging talent. It's a wonderful example of how industry and others can assist the next generation in accessing centres of excellence like the NFTS."

The Foundation has provided £1million funding over the past 10 years to provide 48 student scholarships, first class teachers from the film industry, such as Stephen Frears and maintain the library, which is a repository of the country’s greatest film-makers’ work.

Nik Powell, Director the National Film and Television School said: “We are immensely grateful for the support from the David Lean Foundation. The funding has been the life-blood of the school and fundamental to the school’s success. David Lean’s legacy can be seen not only in the wealth of Oscar winning films that he produced and directed but in the immense wealth of creative talent that his foundation has helped to develop over the years.”

'The Stars of Tomorrow’ event presented some of the NFTS’s best new films and TV shows produced by students and graduates. This year it included the film Head Over Heels, which was selected for the Cinéfondation Selection at Cannes and won the major audience award at Hiroshima International Festival this week; Gasp which was nominated for the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Palm D'Or; Paranoid which won the Firefox Flicks competition awarded at Cannes Film Festival; Newton's Law TV show which has been optioned by Warner Brothers; Mass of Men which this month won the Golden Leopard at Locarno; and Volume whose director Mahalia Belo is one of Screen International's official 2012 Stars of Tomorrow.

David Lean Foundation Trustee Anthony Reeves says: “Almost all of the royalties from David Lean’s films enable the Foundation to support excellence in screenplay writing, film direction and editing and the arts principally by providing grants to NFTS, BAFTA, BFI and Royal Academy of Arts.  The Foundation is delighted with the progress of the numerous “David Lean scholars” who have graduated in recent years from NFTS.”

David Lean worked as an editor at the NFTS and was one of the founding members of the British Film Academy (later the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, or BAFTA) and was appointed its first chairman in 1947. He is best remembered for big-screen epics The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965), and A Passage to India (1984); for bringing Charles Dickens' novels to the silver screen with films such as Great Expectations (1946) and Oliver Twist (1948); and for the renowned romantic drama Brief Encounter (1945). Many of these films have been recently restored and are part of the BFI archives.

Graduate named UKs Hottest Director

NFTS Directing Fiction Graduate, Yann Demange, tops Industry Hot List

NFTS graduate Yann Demange has just been named Hottest Director in the UK by Broadcast Magazine in their yearly Hot 100 List.

He certainly deserves it. Since graduating in 2006, he has directed Secret Diary of a Call Girl; BAFTA-nominated Dead Set (written by Charlie Brooker); 5-part BBC series Criminal Justice, receiving a BAFTA nomination for Best Director; and four-part series Top Boy, for Channel 4, which won Best Drama Series at the Royal Television Society Awards, and got him nominated again for Best Director at the BAFTAs. With this impressive list of credits after only a few years of leaving the NFTS, it is no surprise that Broadcast have picked him out as the hottest director in the UK.

Our recent graduates haven’t gone unnoticed either. Broadcast also picked out 2012 Producing & Directing TV Entertainment graduate Sean O’Riordan and 2011 Screenwriting graduate Francesca Gardiner as Broadcast Hotshots 2012. Sean was noticed when his graduation TV Entertainment pilot Newton’s Law won the New York TV Festival prize for Best Original Pilot – and he became the first student and first UK entrant to win the prize. Sean now has his pilot optioned by Warner Brothers and we are excited to see what lies ahead for him in the coming months. Mark Robson (previously executive producer at Fresh One and Disney commented “I am both impressed by, and envious of, the quality of Newton’s Law”, and described Sean as “exceptional”.

Francesca Gardiner has recently worked with Frank Spotnitz (X-Files) on his new BBC1 drama Hunted. He wrote that as well as her possessing “incredible drive and clarity of purpose”, “Francesca has such a great work ethic. She will go very, very far”. Alongside Director Afarin Eghbal, Francesca co-wrote the NFTS graduation animation film Abuelas, a film about Argentinian grandmothers and their ongoing search for their missing grandchildren. It has won many awards, received a BAFTA nomination and has got her noticed in the Industy. It seems she is jumping at every opportunity given, as she has been offered the chance to write her own episode of Hunted when the second series goes into production.

Read the Broadcast Hot 100 supplement
Read the Broadcast Hotshots 2012 supplement

NFTS EPCRI Course Launched

Lord Puttnam says EPCRI course will provide a vital launchpad for entrepreneurs

Lord Puttnam warns the UK could be caught ‘asleep at the wheel’ during the digital ‘revolution’ unless it wakes up to opportunities in the creative industries.

Eminent British film producer Lord Puttnam has warned that the UK risks being ‘caught asleep at the wheel’ during the digital revolution unless it stimulates entrepreneurship and job creation in the creative industries. Among many other films, Lord Puttnam produced the Oscar-winning (1981) Olympic-themed film Chariots of Fire which was re-released earlier this month in cinemas and on Blu ray and has been turned into a West End theatre production.

Speaking on July 25 at the launch of the world’s first Entrepreneurial Producing diploma for the Creative Industries, run by the NFTS and supported by Ingenious Media, Lord Puttnam told an audience of entrepreneurs from across Film, TV, Music, Games, Theatre, Publishing, Online, that the course had a vital to role to play in ensuring that the UK responded to the opportunities and challenges of the digital revolution:

“It is vital that people such as yourselves retain an understanding of the developing technologies that drive your markets as well as the simple economics. Had we in the UK really focused on those digital skills and entrepreneurship two decades ago, we might now be in a position to generate the type of growth in jobs and revenue we so desperately need.”

A recent report on UK film from the British Video Association indicated that just over 12% of the revenues in the video/DVD window were from digital rental or retail. This is one indicator of changing patterns of consumption which are transforming the creative industries across the world. With this in mind, Lord Puttnam said the UK risked missing opportunities in Asia and elsewhere around the world: “Just looking at the broadband speeds available in some of the more affluent areas of Asia, such as Singapore or South Korea, you begin to get a sense of the direction in which things are heading and the nature of the opportunity that’s opened up.”

He added : “I’d argue that we have focused far too much on supporting and protecting subsidies for the supply-side of production, and nothing like enough on growth of the demand-side – particularly beyond our European boundaries.
If anything we’ve developed something of that same ‘soup kitchen’ mentality that’s bedevilled much of the European industry for the past forty or so years.”

He underlined the way in which much greater development of entrepreneurial skills was imperative if the UK is maintain its competitiveness in the face of massive change: “In fact, it is my belief that we have reached a Radio Caroline moment. This is the type of political societal shift in which mainstream attitudes find themselves having fallen badly behind what’s probably best described as ‘the cultural zeitgeist. The reality is that consumer behaviour has changed and unless we find ways to effectively exploit these new digital platforms then the overall revenues available to us will continue to shrink. We need every scrap of entrepreneurship available to us."

Comparing the UK to the United States, Lord Puttnam called for more jobs to be created by encouraging more ‘start-up’ companies: “…(it is) what the UK should be doing, and arguably could be doing rather more easily than the U.S given the wealth of creativity and imagination we have at our disposal.”

He praised the NFTS’ new Entrepreneurial Producing diploma course, saying that it could ‘inspire’ a generation of new entrepreneurs: “It is my most sincere hope that this new (Entrepreneurial Producing) course will be a catalyst which inspires a whole series of “launch pads” right across the 7 sectors it covers.”

Patrick McKenna, whose company Ingenious Media has been a significant financier of British films, television and music over the last decade, says: “I am delighted to support this new course. Building business capacity in the UK’s cultural and creative industries is vital to our future competitiveness. We need entrepreneurs, financiers and managers who truly understand the creative process as well as business and commerce. My hope is that this course will make a significant contribution to achieving these goals.”

Nik Powell, Director of the NFTS and co-founder of Virgin and Palace Pictures, says:
“The creative industries no longer operate in restricted silos – they’re converging in exciting and innovative ways driven by the digital revolution. So whether it be the Metropolitan Opera in New York securing millions in new revenue from feeds to global cinema audiences; new online film services like MUBI reaching into countries like Poland and Turkey; the phenomenal rise of e-publishing; or disruptive technologies bubbling up in music, television and branding, this really is a brave new world and entrepreneurs need to adapt or get left behind.”

Pictured above at the course launch: NFTS Director Nik Powell, Lord Puttnam CBE, Founder & CEO of Ingenious Media Patrick McKenna, and EPCRI Course Leader Chris Auty.

For more information on the course and how to apply online, click here.