BFI Film Academy Premiere

Industry praises high quality of student films

James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, Working Title's Eric Fellner and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason director Beeban Kidron were among the industry guests who praised the quality of films made by teenagers as part of the BFI Film Academy, delivered by the NFTS.

Six films were screened at the BFI, on Friday (April 12) at the premiere hosted by BFI Chair Greg Dyke and BFI Director Amanda Nevill.

The 54 participants aged 16-19 were selected from across the country to take part in the two-week residential Film Academy aimed at hot-housing young film-making talent. They were given the daunting task of making short films from scratch with just two days to shoot and two days to edit using scripts written by NFTS screenwriting students.

Working in six teams of nine, they developed the scripts for screen, auditioned actors, set up budgets and film schedules, recce’d locations and directed, produced, filmed and edited the short films in time for them to be screened at the BFI in front of an audience of film industry VIPs.

BFI Chair Greg Dyke, who hosted the event and presented each student with their graduation certificate said: “We knew there was extraordinary young film talent in the UK but even we have been staggered by the standard of filmmaking at the BFI Film Academy. Supporting the talent of tomorrow is fundamental to the future success and growth of the UK Film Industry.”

Amanda Nevill said: "These films show the remarkable home-grown talent that exists in this country. It is also testament to the high quality of tutoring they¹ve received at the NFTS."

During the Film Academy, the students were guided by NFTS tutors such as cinematographer Brian Tufano (Billy Elliot, Trainspotting) and leading UK film-makers including Brian Ward, Brian Gilbert, Ian Knox, Michelle Eastwood, Corin Hardy, Robbie McKillop and Lee Thomas.

They received exclusive master classes with Director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) who made his first films at the age of 13; Director Eran Creevy (Welcome to the Punch); Spirit of 45 Producer Rebecca O’Brien; Production Designer Max Berman (Tinker, Tailor, Game of Thrones) and Composer Nathan Johnson (Brick, Looper).

Talks were also given by NFTS Director Nik Powell, First Light, Encounters Film Festival and the BFI and tours to Pinewood Studios and the National Gallery. The BFI Film Academy is the result of a unique partnership with the Department for Education in England, which has provided £3m funding for the programme over 3 years, and forms a key part of the BFI’s ambitious plans to revolutionise film education for 5-19 year olds across the UK over the next five years.

Addressing an audience of students, parents and industry professional, NFTS Director Nik Powell said: "It's inspiring to see the hunger for knowledge among these young film-makers. We hope the skills we've given them at the NFTS will provide the confidence and the launch pad they need to fulsil their ambitions."

To watch a behind the scenes film about the BFI Film Academy, click on the play button below, or view it in our screening room here:

The 6 short films from the BFI Film Academy are:

CHA, CHA, CHA - When a world-weary wife decides to disappear on a spiritual retreat in India, her whole relationship with her husband is called into question, with comic and tragic results.

BEEN A RIOT - Locked in a basement during the summer riots of 2012, a WPC and the young tearaway she’s arrested have to learn trust each other and find a common bond.

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WALL - An irritated homeowner, frustrated by the grieving mother whose son was killed in a car accident right outside his house, manages to find the sympathy and fellow feeling which helps her to move on.

TEACH ME - A city banker turned social worker has to starkly face his own anger, frustration and feelings of violence when he’s provoked by an aggressive and manipulative teenager.

MAN OF THE HOUSE - After a traumatic burglary, a mother and grown-up daughter find reconciliation and understanding through shared memories of the now departed ‘man of the house’.

VOICES IN THE ATTIC - A grieving mother is helped to come to terms with the tragic death of her child by a mysterious stranger.

Picture: Edgar Wright and Corin Hardy with BFI Film Academy students at the NFTS.

Roman Polanski's Sound Designer Joins the NFTS as Head of Editing, Sound and Music

Dean Humphreys to head up Post Production Department

Award-winning Re-Recording Mixer Dean Humphreys who has worked with many of the world’s leading directors, including Roman Polanski, Ridley Scott, Luc Besson, Bernardo Bertolucci and Franco Zeffirelli has joined the NFTS as our new Head of Editing, Sound and Music.

He has also been the sound supervisor or Re-Recording mixer for major television series such as Kingdom (with Stephen Fry) and Primeval, in addition to films including The Pianist (for which he won a César award), Interview With The Vampire, The Ghost Writer and Donnie Brasco.

Speaking on the eve of his new appointment, he said: “I'm delighted that I will be able to share the knowledge I have acquired in the film and TV industry with a future generation of filmmakers at the NFTS. That so many graduates have been successful in their careers is testimony to the very high standards of teaching at the School. I’m excited to be able to work in a studio environment with everything under the one roof.”

Humphreys who started his career at Twickenham Studios, first met Polanski when he was a fledgling Sound Mixer and went on to make eight films over 26 years with the revered and controversial director.

Talking about the formative years he said: “I have never met a director as beguiling and extraordinary as Polanski. Working for him for the first time was a baptism of fire but he taught me 70% of what I know and he is a fascinating man who can keep you enraptured in conversation about art, politics, anything, for hours.”

Dean is also a moderator for the BA and BSc courses that cover both Film Production and Audio Technology at Solent University and Bucks New University for the past 3 years. In addition, he was employed at Bucks during 2011/12 on a part- time basis teaching film post production (editing and sound/music).

There are still places available on the Composing, Sound Design and Editing courses starting in September. Applications must be submitted by May 9th. The NFTS offers generous bursaries and scholarships so don’t let the fees hold back your talent and ambition.

Edgar Wright visits NFTS hot off the set of his latest movie

Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World director reveals reasons for his rom-zom-com success

One of Britain’s hottest young directors Edgar Wright came straight from finishing the last shot on his new movie The World’s End to speak to NFTS students.

The World’s End is the final installment in Wright’s ‘3 flavours Cornetto’ trilogy of genre movies that has included the romantic-zombie-comedy Shaun of the Dead, which George Romero called his ‘favourite zombie film’ and the crime-thriller-comedy Hot Fuzz.

His latest film, due for release in August, is described as a sci-fi-comedy about teenage friends who reunite 20 years later to re-live their youth by repeating an epic pub crawl to The World’s End pub – but this time it leads to a struggle for the future of humankind!

“I’ve always been fascinated by horror and genre films. Equally I’m very fascinated by comedy,” said Wright in the session chaired by director Corin Hardy, one of Screen International's Stars of Tomorrow. Hardy is also developing his own debut horror feature The Good People which he hopes to shoot this summer.

During the Masterclass that included clips of films he’d made as a teenager, Corin and Edgar revealed to the packed audience that they’d been friends since the age of 13 when they meet at a film festival and discovered they shared the same favourite film - Evil Dead II.

They delighted the audience with footage from a 1990’s children’s TV show called Gimme5 on which they both appeared with some of their early film-making, aged 17. You can watch the clip on YouTube here.

Wright said that he liked working with his friends and had kept up the tradition since the early days when, aged 14, he made his first no-budget films starring his mates. The World’s End, his 3rd film with Working Title, reprises the winning collaboration with Spaced and Hot Fuzz co-writer Simon Pegg who once again stars alongside Nick Frost, with Martin Freeman (Shaun of the Dead, The Hobbit, Sherlock), Paddy Considine (Hot Fuzz, The Bourne Ultimatum), Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes) and Rosamund Pike (Jack Reacher). Also in the audience were 54 participants, aged 16-19, on the BFI Film Academy which the NFTS is running.

A self-proclaimed sci-fi, horror, genre geek, Wright encouraged people of all ages to get out and make films they enjoyed making and not be put off by technology. “I started making zero budget films at the tender age of 14, first with a second hand Super8 camera and then on Video 8. And some of these films landed me on the telly,” he said.

Following the success of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, Wright directed Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010) starring Michael Cera that one film critic said was so good it’ll “…make your head explode. But in a good way, not with brains and stuff.” He went on to co-write with Joe Cornish and Steven Moffatt The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn (2011) directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Peter Jackson

Wright's visit follows hot on the heels of Oscar-winning screen writer Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire, The Full Monty), Titan of TV Michael Grade, pioneer of German New Wave cinema Wim Wenders and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason director Beeban Kidron who've all given Masterclasses this year

BFI Film Academy kicks off at NFTS

Nation's most promising teenage film-makers start training

54 teenagers selected to join the inaugural BFI Film Academy delivered by the NFTS, have completed their first weekend of training.

The lucky 16-19 year-olds travelled from across England to meet up at the residential 2-day session that included an entertaining Masterclass with Director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) who made his first films at the age of 13.

The participants were given an inspirational talk by NFTS Director Nik Powell who set up his first company ­- Virgin Records – as a teenager with Richard Branson and a tutorial on script development by Brian Ward.

Jon Wardle, NFTS Director of Curriculum and Registrar, said: “We were overwhelmed with applications for the BFI Film Academy delivered by the NFTS, so the 54 young people we selected really are the brightest and best. They all really impressed us during the opening weekend. Their understanding of film as a creative medium, as a business and as a cultural form is really impressive and we hope to extend it and supplement it further during their time with us.”

During the second phase of the Film Academy over the Easter holidays, the participants will be working in teams to make short films using theatre scripts originally written by NFTS post-graduate students.

They will receive further training in production management, working with actors, cinematography, sound, film business as well as workshops with Producer Rebecca O’Brien (The Angels' Share, Spirit of 45), Production Design with Max Berman (Tinker Tailor..., Game of Thrones), Composition with Nathan Johnson (Brick, Looper) and a feedback session on film marketing with Empire film magazine news editor Ian Freer. Participants will also visit BAFTA, the BFI National Film Archive, the National Gallery and Pinewood Studios.

The final films will be screened at the BFI in April.

A Night at the Oscars

A record 8 students attend the Academy Awards

The Academy Award nominated film Head Over Heels may not have won an Oscar at the ceremony in Hollywood but the NFTS graduates who made the film said the experience had been life-changing.

A record 8 NFTS graduates who worked on the film were able to get tickets, thanks to the negotiation skills of Producer Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly who wanted to ensure that the crew got to walk the red carpet along with her and the Director Timothy Reckart.

NFTS Director Nik Powell, who also attended the ceremony, said: "The Academy Awards are the hottest ticket in town so for Fodhla to get 8 tickets was a real achievement and is indicative of the 'one for all' sense of cameraderie that our students share at this School."

HOH Writer/Director Timothy Reckart, aged 26, said: "It's been a bit of a whirlwind since being nominated, a blur of meetings, parties and Press interviews. But despite missing out on the Academy Award we have gained so much experience and had the incredible opportunity to tour the Hollywood Studios and meet people who may open doors to our future as film-makers."

Timothy also said he was proud to follow in the footsteps of one of his heroes, Nick Park, who was also a student at the NFTS and whose graduation film A Grand Day Out featuring Wallace & Gromit was also nominated for an Oscar in 1989. Nick Park went on to win an Academy Award for another film made with Aardman called Creature Comforts.

"It has been amazing and humbling to be here tonight especially when competing against such highly esteemed talent at Disney and Fox studios. It is such an honour to be walking in the footsteps of one of my heroes Nick Park. I’m proud to be part of stop motion animation’s incredible 115 year old cinema history and to be an NFTS graduate.”

During the race, the film enjoyed massive public support from fans on Facebook, Twitter and You Tube where it gained 310,000 hits in just one week.

HOH producer Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly, aged 26, from Co. Kerry received incredible support from friends, family and the media in Ireland said: “I’d like to thank the whole team who worked on this film and also the public for the tremendous support we’ve received both here, in the UK and especially in Ireland. It has been an incredible life-changing experience.”

The stop-frame animated film came from a position as underdog, made as a graduation project for only £7,000 - and the only student film nominated in the Oscars - just behind the winner, Disney's 'Paperman'.

NFTS Director Nik Powell said the students had made the School proud: "Commiserations...but not winning does not change the fact that you made an extraordinary film that challenged the big boys! We’re all proud of you both and your team!

“It just gives us the confidence as a school to continue on the track we are on and I would hope in the future we will still be making films worthy of consideration by the Academy and indeed everyone.”

The film previously won the MPSE Golden Reel Vernon Field award for Best Sound Editing in a student film and an Annie Award for Best Student Animation.

main picture: Fodhla and Timothy on the red carpet.

group photo:Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly, Nik Powell,Eleonore Cremonese (production designer),Jered Sorkin (composer), Chloe Thomson (cinematographer), James Taylor (editor), Axle Kith Cheeng (sound designer), Lizzie Bull (production manager), Tim Reckart (director)


Simon Beaufoy, Michael Grade, Beeban Kidron & Wim Wenders

Masterclasses from the makers of Slumdog Millionaire, Downton Abbey, Paris Texas & Bridget Jones

2013 kicked off to a flying start at the NFTS with Masterclasses from Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire & The Full Monty screen-writer Simon Beaufoy, Titan of TV Michael Grade, pioneer of German New Wave Cinema Wim Wenders and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason Director Beeban Kidron.

Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe winning British screenwriter Simon Beaufoy explained to students the importance of being bold when adapting books: "I discovered if you do a 'faithful adaptation' it doesn’t work. The more you reinvent the more faithful it feels, as long as you are keeping the soul of it the same."

Simon, whose films include Slumdog Millionaire, 127 hours, The Full Monty and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, said that when he's writing he "starts with the people and works the story out from the characters, because that's where the truth of the narrative is. If events lead character you've got melodrama, but if characters lead events then you've got drama."

Asked to give his advice to screenwriting students he replied: "There's a lot of craft in a screenplay, there's not much art, and the only way to get good at that craft is to practice."

Michael Grade, the former Director of programmes at BBC TV, CEO of Channel 4 and deputy controller of entertainment programmes at London Weekend Television gave his annual lecture to NFTS students. Following a screening of an episode of the multi-Emmy and BAFTA winning drama Downton Abbey, Michael Grade, who has been described as a pioneer of TV programming in the UK and “… so steeped in television you could pick up a signal off his cigar,” hosted a discussion about the series and the wider broadcast industry. 

NFTS graduate Beeban Kidron revisited the School to talk about her 30 year directing career which, as well as landmark TV series Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, encompasses acclaimed documentaries and comedy features such as Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, and To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, which sees Wesley Snipes and Patrick Swayze as drag queens, and the influential documentary Carry Greenham Home.

Baroness Kidron of Angel, who was made a member of the House of Lords for her contribution to film, is co-founder of Filmclub - an educational charity which sets up free after-school film clubs in state primary and secondary schools in England and Wales. She was recently awarded an NFTS Fellowship.

One of the most important figures of the German New Wave and one of the world's leading auteur film-makers - the Oscar nominated, Cannes & BAFTA winning Director Wim Wenders delivered a Masterclasses to a packed auditorium at the NFTS.

He was in conversation with Nik Powell for a 'Life in Pictures' Masterclass exploring Wim Wenders' remarkable body of work, which spans 3 decades, includes documentaries Buena Vista Social Club and Pina - both of which were Oscar nominated. His atmospheric fiction films include the Cannes winning Wings of Desire and Kings of the Road and the Cannes and BAFTA winning Paris, Texas. He is a founding member and president of the European Film Academy and currently teaches film as a professor at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg.

Asked what he thought was the most exciting developments in film, Wim Wenders said digital film and 3D were the most revolutionary and exciting. “There is no way that I could have made Buena Vista Social Club without digital film. It allowed us the luxury of time to build a rapport with the musicians and the financial freedom to film as much material as we liked (100’s of hours!) to the point that they didn’t notice us or the camera. And 3D has really exciting potential. The choreographer Pina Bausch had wanted me to make a film about her dance group for many years but I couldn’t find a way to make it work so I kept putting it off. Then I realised that 3D was the solution.”

The resulting documentary was nominated for an Oscar and described as ‘the creative marriage of two real artists, Pina and Wim.’ As one reviewer said: ‘Most documentaries put us inside people’s heads. The dazzling, experimental Pina puts us inside people’s feet.’

NFTS Students were also given the opportunity to hear a talk by Clare Stewart, the BFI Head of Exhibition and Artistic Director of the BFI London Film Festival and BFI London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, who was in conversation with NFTS Head of Fiction Lynda Myles. She talked about programming and running international Film Festivals, gave insights into how festivals are programmed and advice on the best way for students to get their films into festivals.

Grad Show celebrations 2013

Baroness Kidron OBE awarded NFTS fellowship

144 students from across 14 MA and Diploma courses received rapturous applause from family and tutors as they collected their graduation certificates from Guest of Honour the award-winning Director Stephen Frears (The Queen, Dirty Pretty Things, Dangerous Liaisons), Core Media Group’s MD of international content and production Simon Shaps (former ITV Director of TV & NFTS Chairman) and NFTS Director Nik Powell.

Speaking at the NFTS’ 2013 Graduation ceremony, held at the BFI Southbank, London, Nik Powell said it was an exceptional year in which a student film, Head Over Heels, had been nominated for an Academy Award and a record-breaking 8 students had walked the Oscars’ red carpet to attend the hottest awards ceremony in the world. Other student films had won an incredible number of awards and gained recognition at the industry’s most prestigious festivals. In addition, the school’s Television Entertainment department had had its 4th format optioned by TV studios and a documentary called Sodiq had been screened in the House of Commons at the request of MPs.

“I am proud to say that our students’ films not only win awards and create innovative programmes, they also make an impact on the wider world. You all deserve to graduate with honour and awards for your technical skill, creative craft and ability,” he said.

The students were also given an inspiring speech by British film Director and member of the House of Lords Baroness Beeban Kidron of Angel (Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit; Sex, Death and the Gods) who founded the charity Filmclub with Lindsey Mackie - which has since grown to be one of the largest and most influential after school clubs in the UK. The NFTS graduate was presented with an NFTS Fellowship by Stephen Frears.

Baroness Kidron OBE said: “It is a great honour to receive this fellowship from the NFTS. To have been a film, television and documentary director for over 30 years has allowed me to participate in a cultural conversation with the world. I had a fire in my belly when I arrived and a few skills to accompany it by the time I left. I did not take a straight road and I don't advise it if you are building a career - but it has never been boring. I hope that you continue the cultural conversation - making transformative films for the next generation. I wish you well and hope you make stories from all over the world for audiences all over the world.”

Nik Powell also gave thanks to the estimable contributions made to the School by Simon Shaps who is stepping down as a trustee at the end of the year, Annabelle Pangborn who steps down as Head of Post Production at the NFTS, and Hilary Thomas OBE the NFTS’ former Registrar and Director of Full Time Curriculum who has retired.

NFTS Show Sponsors: YouTube
NFTS Show Media Partners: Screen International

NFTS bags IFTA gold

Irish Film & Television Award win for 'Morning'

An NFTS student film Morning has won Best Short Film at the Irish Film and Television Awards.

The film Co-Written by Sarah Woolner with Director/ Co-Writer Cathy Brady is a moving depiction of a grief-stricken mother who has tragically lost her daughter. The cause of her death is slowly and emotively revealed through a conversation with a tabloid newspaper paparazzi who has been sent to pick up a photograph of the child.

Hosted by Irish actor Simon Delaney and broadcast primetime on Irish television on RTÉ One, the Annual Irish Film & Television Awards are the highlight of Ireland’s entertainment and cultural calendar celebrating the very best of Irish screen talent across film and television.

Sarah and Cathy (pictured at the IFTAs) both graduated in March 2012 and have signed to leading talent agency United Agents.

NFTS Director Nik Powell said: “This is a brilliant and well deserved result for a highly talented team. Cathy and Sarah are now working on new feature length material and we are sure they have successful careers ahead of them.”

Commenting on the night, Chief Executive of IFTA, Áine Moriarty congratulated all winners and Nominees on what is the tenth anniversary of the Awards, saying “This is a wonderful night of celebration for the Irish film and television industry which continues to punch above its weight in terms of production values, creativity and entertainment. Tonight we honour the outstanding achievements of Irish directors, writers, actors, television and film makers, which has been showcased here this evening. Many congratulations to all of this year’s winners and nominees.”


We also saw awards success at the BAFTAS with NFTS graduate Lynne Ramsey winning best Short Film for Swimmer. Congratulations also to Roger Deakins who reaped the ASC Cinematography Award for Skyfall.

Roger was also among the NFTS alumni nominated for Oscars this year. The others are Dario Marianelli (Composing for Film and Television, 1997) who received his third career nomination for his Original Score to the film Anna Karenina and Stuart Wilson (Sound, 1994) who receives a nomination for his sound mixing on Skyfall. And 2012 graduates Timothy Reckart (Writer/Director) and Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly (Producer) were also nominated for their stop-frame animated film Head Over Heels.

At the Golden Globes in January, 17 NFTS graduates were involved in 3 award-winning films:

Les Miserables (Winner Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical, Best Actor, Comedy or Musical and Best Supporting Actress) has 4 Graduate credits.

Skyfall (Winner Best Song) has 11 Graduate credits. • Game Change (Winner Best Miniseries, Best Actress in a Miniseries, Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries) has 1 Graduate credit.

Downton Abbey (Winner Best Supporting Actress - Miniseries) has 1 graduate credit (3rd series)

Inside Pictures Celebrates 10TH Anniversary

Applications open for 2013 programme 'From Europe to Hollywood'

Inside Pictures, the leading film industry business training and leadership skills development programme for 24 high-flying executives and producers has launched its 2013 programme as it celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Applications are now open for this top level and highly regarded programme that includes three intensive one-week modules and a tailored project based both in London and Los Angeles between June and November 2013. The focus of the programme will be to develop the cutting edge industry business knowledge, management skills, profile and cross-industry contact network needed for leaders to thrive in the global business of film.

Seminars, workshops, studio visits and events will cover all aspects of the international film business from development through production, financing, worldwide distribution, marketing and exhibition and latest digital developments. The successful applicants will be executives from across the value chain who display determination to succeed. They will have at least five years’ experience in film or an associated creative industry, such as television. Applications can be made online from The deadline for applications is 15th March 2013.

This year marks the 10th edition of the Inside Pictures programme, which was originally conceived and designed as an initiative by Qwerty Films. The programme is now delivered by the NFTS, the UK's national centre of excellence for postgraduate education, and is supported by the MEDIA Programme and Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund as part of A Bigger Future 2.

Jill Tandy, the programme’s Executive Producer, said: “10 years on, we have the most impressive group of 147 alumni for across Europe – Oscar winners, BAFTA winners, executives from the highest echelons of many of Europe’s most successful companies - a very hard act for the 2013 participants to follow and yet, with our fabulous speaker line-up, this promises be the best year ever!”

Many of the most experienced and very highest level industry professionals in America and Europe will take part as speakers, including Romain Bessi, EVP Strategy Finance & Technical, Studio Canal; Kieran Breen, EVP Intl Marketing, 20th Century Fox International; Jim Buckle, COO, LOVEFiLM; Christine Corner, Partner Media & Entertainment Group, Grant Thornton; Eddie Cunningham, President, Universal Pictures International Entertainment; Will Davies, Screenwriter; Kristina Fugate, EVP Marketing Theatrical Release, Warner Home Video; Steve Golin, CEO, Anonymous Content; Vincent Grimond, Chairman and CEO, Wild Bunch; Steve Knibbs, Chief Operating Officer Vue Cinema; Johannes Larcher, SVP International, Hulu; Ian Lewis, Director of Sky Movies,
BSkyB; Bill Mechanic, President and CEO, Pandemonium Films; Belinda Menendez, President, NBCUniversal International Television Distribution & Universal Networks International, NBCUniversal; Charles Moore, Partner, Wiggin LLP; Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix; Nico Simon, CEO, Utopia S.A.; Paul Verhoeven Director; Robert Walak, SVP Acquisitions Worldwide, Alliance Films; Jeremy Zimmer, Founder, Board Member and Agent, United Talent Agency. A full list of speakers can be found at

Agnieszka Moody, Director of MEDIA Desk UK, said: “I am delighted to witness the added value this programme is now delivering for professionals, and it’s the benefit of developing contacts with their like-minded peers from other European countries. This international mix of participants is a value in itself, and is as relevant as the quality and level of learning provision. I’m happy to see the MEDIA Programme contributing to it.”

Dan Simmons, Head of Film at Creative Skillset said: “Improving Business Skills across the film spectrum continues to be a funding priority for Creative Skillset on behalf of the UK creative industries. Inside Pictures targets and nurtures the film business and industry leaders of tomorrow, helping to keep the UK film industry at the forefront of the global marketplace. We have supported Inside Pictures for many years and are proud of the achievements of the impressive alumni of the scheme who are testimony to the enormous value of this programme to the UK Film Industry.”

Nik Powell, NFTS Director, says: “The NFTS is extremely proud to be presenting Inside Pictures alongside our partners, the MEDIA Programme and Creative Skillset. During the ten years since the programme began, we have attracted the elite of the European film industry. We look forward to another successful edition in 2013 and, beyond that, ten more years to come. I wholeheartedly recommend this course to anyone in Europe with ambitions of leading our industry.”

Inside Pictures thanks Ingenious Media, the Film Distributors Association and the Irish Film Board for providing scholarship funding for this year’s edition of the course.

Warner Bros. Options 'The Big Steal'

4th Student TV Show Format to be Optioned in Two Years, 2nd by WBITVP

The Big Steal - an NFTS quiz show format in which it pays to steal from your opponents – has been optioned by Warner Bros. International Television Production (WBITVP) from the National Film and Television School (NFTS) in a deal that will involve the students in the production. The aim is for the series to go into production in the Autumn.

This is the fourth National Film and Television School (NFTS) original format to be optioned in the past two years and the second to be optioned by WBITVP in the past 18 months.

The Big Steal was created by students André Sousa and Anti Reinthal as their graduation project for the NFTS two year Producing and Directing TV Entertainment MA.

Anti Reinthal said: “We are really thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Warner Bros. – responsible for such great entertainment hits. We hope that our show is their next big hit series.”

Andre Sousa said: "We always believed our show had potential and we are ecstatic at the prospect of having The Big Steal in such good hands as Warner brothers. It's simply amazing."

In the high-stakes strategic quiz show, The Big Steal, contestants are given £40,000 each to play with and a chance to ‘steal’ money off their opponents if they answer questions correctly. But they must hold their nerve because the longer they wait the more they can win. If they wait too long or fail to answer correctly, they lose money so the skill lies in knowing when to buzz. The battle is played over three stages and there’s a nerve-wracking big money finale. It’s aimed at 18-45 year old male and female viewers. The show also features a strong audience interactive element.

NFTS Head of Television David G Croft said: “I am delighted that yet another NFTS Television Department format has been optioned by such a serious international player as Warner Bros. It is proof positive that our TV students can develop and produce entertainment pilots that can match anything in the professional sector. The Big Steal was made for a fraction of an industry budget and I am justly proud of Andre Sousa & Anti Reinthal and we wish them and the show all success.”

“The Big Steal fits in well with the type of formats we are looking for, entertainment shows that are original, well structured, with the capacity for returning series and a concept that will travel well around the globe. We look forward to working with Andre and Anti to develop the format further and bringing it to the international market” said Andrew Zein, SVP, Creative, Format Development and Sales WBITVP.”

A pilot version will be screened to the Industry at the NFTS Graduation show hosted at the BFI on 27 February 2013. You can watch the teaser on our YouTube channel here.