Our credits tell the story.

NFTS Grads Compete for Palme D’Or at Cannes

Adding to 6th Consecutive Cinéfondation Selection

(Still from You Were Never Really Here)

In addition to NFTS students enjoying their sixth consecutive Cinéfondation short film selection at this year’s Cannes film festival, NFTS graduates are also competing for the prestigious Palme D’Or in the main competition and in the short film section!

NFTS alumna, Lynne Ramsay’s latest film You Were Never Really Here is playing at the festival and is one of the 19 films battling for the Palme D’Or in the main competition section. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, and backed with National Lottery funding through the BFI Film Fund, Ramsay’s film is adapted from a novella of the same name by the American author Jonathan Ames. NFTS Cinematography graduate, Tom Townend is credited on the film as DoP.

Fiction, A Drowning Man, directed and produced by Directing Fiction graduate Mahdi Fleifel and edited by NFTS alumnus, Michael Aaglund is one of just nine films selected from 4,843 submissions to compete for the Short Film Palme d’Or.

NFTS graduation film Wild Horses, directed and written by Rory Alexander Stewart and produced by Rebecca Smith, was picked from 2600 works submitted by film schools from all over the world and is one of just 16 films selected for the Cinéfondation short film programme. Rory said of his film’s selection: “It’s a huge honour for our film to be selected at Cinéfondation. I would like to thank the whole team for their efforts and look forward to seeing the screening with the team at Cannes!”

About You Were Never Really Here

A former Marine and ex–FBI agent, Joe has seen one too many crime scenes and known too much trauma, and not just in his professional life. Solitary and haunted, he prefers to be invisible. He doesn't allow himself friends or lovers and makes a living rescuing young girls from the deadly clutches of the sex trade. But when a high-ranking New York politician hires him to extricate his teenage daughter from a Manhattan brothel, Joe uncovers a web of corruption that even he may not be able to unravel. When the men on his trail take the only person left in the world who matters to him, he forsakes his pledge to do no harm. If anyone can kill his way to the truth, it's Joe.

About A Drowning Man

Alone and far from home, The Kid makes his way through a strange city looking for the means to get through his day. Surrounded by predators he is forced to make compromises merely to survive, his life of exile grows one day longer. 

About Wild Horses

Joan’s efforts at teenage rebellion are frustrated by her illness and her overbearing mother, until her increasingly vivid dreams and an overzealous tutor inspire her to realise her independence.

Wild Horses was made by a group of graduating NFTS students including Rory Alexander Stewart, Director/ Writer; Rebecca Smith, Producer; Samira Oberberg, Cinematographer; Celetria Kimmins, Production Designer; Sophie Halton, Production Manager; Fiona Brands, Editor; Nick Olorenshaw, Production Sound Mixer; Ashley Sinani, 1st Assistant Sound; Segun Akinola, Composer; Michael Roy Johnson, Sound Editor & Re-recording Mixer; Kelvin Chim, CG Artist; Gillian Simpson, Compositor; Alex Davis, Colourist & Online Editor.

Other projects that credit NFTS graduates at Cannes include:

Happy End directed and written by Michael Haneke and competing in the main competition (UK Production Manager, Rob Watson; Production Assistant, Fawzia Mahmood)

How to Talk to Girls at Parties, directed by John Cameron Mitchell is to receive its world premiere at Cannes (Production Co-ordinator, Hussain Ahmed; Production Manager [Film4], Kasia Malipan)

Wind River, directed and written by Taylor Sheridan is to screen as part of the Un Certain Regard selection (Orchestrator/Conductor, Ben Foster)

Mobile Homes, directed by François Pirot  is to screen as part of the Directors Fortnight selection (DoP, Benoit Soler; Editors, Nicolas Chaudeurge and Andonis Trattos.

I Am Not a Witch, directed by Rungano Nyoni is also screening as part of the Directors Fortnight selection (Producer, Emily Morgan; Gabriel Gauchet, Associate Producer/Location Manager)

If you would like to follow in the footsteps of our alumni, apply for our Directing Fiction MA by 4th May at www.nfts.co.uk/directingfiction



Composing MA Grad Wins Games BAFTA!

Don't Miss Composing & Games Design Open Days

Lyndon Holland picking up his BAFTA (Credit: BAFTA/ Shutterstock)

Congratulations to recent NFTS Composing for Film and Television MA Graduate, Lyndon Holland who has picked up a Games BAFTA in the ‘Music’ category for mystery adventure game, Virginia. This is the second year in a row that a NFTS Composing graduate has won this award with Jessica Curry winning the 2016 BAFTA Games Best Music award for Everybody's Gone To The Rapture.

If you are a composer and would like to follow in Lyndon and Jessica’s footsteps, don’s miss our upcoming Composing MA for Film and Television open day on the 26th April 2017 – sign up at www.nfts.co.uk/composing We also have an open day coming up for our Games Design and Development MA open day on the 17th May - sign up at www.nfts.co.uk/games

The ceremony, which celebrates the very best in games of the past year, took place last night at Tobacco Dock, London and was hosted by Danny Wallace.

Lyndon said of his win: “It means so much to me to be recognised by an establishment as prestigious as BAFTA. I got excited about working in the games industry after working directly with the Games Design department at NFTS. I feel proud that our country gives Video Games the respect they deserve by hosting an event like this. It's such an exciting industry to work in and it seems like the bar of creativity keeps getting raised each year.”

About Virginia

Virginia, which was also nominated for ‘Best British Game’ and ‘Best Debut Game’, is a first person interactive drama. It is the story of a recently graduated FBI agent and her partner as they seek to uncover the mystery surrounding the disappearance of a young boy.

Developed by a small team at Variable State, Co-Founder, Jonathan Burroughs said the three nominations are "a bit overwhelming but very exciting" in a recent BBC Newsbeat interview.

Recent NFTS Composing MA Graduate Credits

NFTS composing MA graduates have been credited on a number of recent high profile programmes. Alumnus, Graham Hadfield has composed the music for the three-part BBC1 natural history series Galapagos presented by Liz Bonnin. Graham has previously collaborated with Atlantic Productions including two IMAX 3D films and David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef series.

Composing MA graduate, Mat Davidson has provided the music for both the one-off documentary Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad, which will be screened on BBC1 at 9.00pm on Tuesday 28th March and also for the Channel Four series, Three Wives, One Husband.

Composing alumnus, Jon Opstad has composed the music for the 3-part BBC2 documentary series American Justice (NFTS Composing graduate, Roger Goula provided Additional Music and Chloe Lambourne was an Editor on the series).

For more information and to sign up for the Composing  and Games Design MA open days on the 26th April and 17th May respectively, please visit www.nfts.co.uk/composing and www.nfts.co.uk/games


From Beaconsfield to Fantastic Beasts!

Digital Effects Open Day 17th May

NFTS Graduate & Director David Yates Describes “Blessed” Journey from Film School to Directing Harry Potter 

After a rousing welcome by NFTS Director, Nik Powell, triple BAFTA-winning director and NFTS graduate, David Yates gave students a fascinating insight into his journey from film school to directing international blockbusters such as the Harry Potter series and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. (If you would love to work on digital effects for movies like these, don't miss our Digital Effects MA open day on the 17th May - sign up at www.nfts.co.uk/DFX)

(Still from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)

Starting with a glimpse of his NFTS graduation film followed by a clip from his award-winning political thriller, State of Play, David explained that he has always been drawn to a diverse mix of textures, colours and tones, right from his early career to the Potter movies: “I make full utilisation of the tools at hand to express the texture and story.”

He stressed how exciting it can be at the start of your career to work with new and unknown cast and crew: “Starting out, you tend to by necessity discover other wonderful people and bring them to people’s attention. Go with those who inspire and excite. James McAvoy had only done one piece of telly then. It was very exciting; hopefully you’ll find some fantastic people to work with too! Everyone in this room who makes something will know what you feel when you meet the right actor; it’s instinctive, like falling in love; you know it’s them!

Even the extras in David’s productions get special attention: “Background action is so important; you need to make that part of the movie feel alive!” In State of Play, David asked the extras playing journalists to create their own desk space so it would feel personal and in The Legend of Tarzan, the extras were put through workshops including history lessons.

(Still from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2)

On working with VFX for the first time on a big scale on the Harry Potter movies, David said: “I had a privileged introduction to big movies thanks to working with great producers like David Heyman who told me he loved what I did and to just get on with it! It was an amazing experience wondering into the movies and feeling that no one would say no to anything I suggested.”

David encouraged the students to be open to change in the filmmaking process: “Filmmaking is a constant process of evolution and change. It’s organic; you have to be open to things; it’s a very fluid process. The more confidence you gain, the more open you are to fluidity and change. I do loads of preparation including previs and storyboarding but that’s the groundwork. It’s good to prepare but also to be open to improvisation; I’m a strong believer in that.”

“The directors who will really succeed are the ones who aren’t concerned about everyone on set knowing they are the director and can be succinct with their direction! The director is there to help everyone discover their best and realise a vision you feel strongly about.”

(David Yates with NFTS Director, Nik Powell)

Despite David’s huge success, he feels he still has a lot more to learn: “I’m still evolving; I’m genuinely curious and feel that I’m half-way through a journey of discovery of the filmmaker that I am. I haven’t got to making the thing I want to be remembered for yet. However feted you become, take it with a pinch of salt, it’s a marathon not a sprint.”

A student asked David what his state-of-mind was when he went into directing the Harry Potter series: “I was both excited and scared! The producers were great – they all watched my back and believed in me, and allowed me to do my thing. My journey has been very blessed without people trying to muscle in, which I know is not the norm.”

More questions came in thick and fast, from what it was like working with ‘wonderful’ Production Designer, Stuart Craig and his ‘beautiful sets’ to how David picks his cinematographers, “I employ people who inspire me. I’m looking for a partner and ally; a flexible DoP who won’t spend too long lighting!”

And, on what it was like working on both The Legend of Tarzan and Fantastic Beasts at the same time, “actually, it was one of the most exhilarating years of my life, I love being busy!”

If you’d love to come to inspiring masterclasses like this one, sign up to one of our upcoming open days to find out more. For those looking to work on visual effects on movies like Harry Potter or Fantastic Beasts, register for our Digital Effects open day on the 17th May or if Editing, Composing or Sound Design is more your thing, we have a Post Production open day on the 26th April – more info here:  www.nfts.co.uk/open-days



3 NFTS Writers Selected for Channel 4 Scheme

Over 1200 Apply!

(L-R: Angelina Karpovich, Nathaniel Price and Oliver Henderson)

Despite huge competition and 1200 applicants, no fewer than three NFTS students and graduates have secured places on Channel 4’s prestigious 4Screenwriting scheme, which is open to 12 writers new to television drama.

Recent NFTS Screenwriting MA Graduates, Oliver Henderson and Nathaniel Price and current student Angelina Karpovich have been offered places on the scheme and graduate Jonathan Harbottle was also offered a place but was unable to take part due to work commissions. (There is an NFTS Screenwriting open day on Friday 30th March – sign up here!)

Script Editor, Script Consultant, Producer and 4Screenwriting Course Leader,

Philip Shelley said: 'It’s fantastic to see so many NFTS graduates take part in this year’s scheme. Having read all the stand-out scripts, it wasn't until we started looking in detail at writers' CV's that we realised what so many of them had in common! I am really impressed with their work and am sure they have successful careers ahead of them!

The NFTS seems to not only school writers thoroughly in the craft of screen-writing and effective story-telling - but also, importantly, uses its extensive industry contacts to make sure that the writers all meet a lot of important, influential people - the sort of people who can offer them screenwriting work!

The Channel 4 screenwriting course is now in its 7th year. Every year we work over 6 months with 12 new, talented writers to develop a one hour pilot script. It's a great introduction to Channel 4 Drama and the industry for the writers, and we have had a lot of exciting success stories from the course. Getting onto the course in the first place is highly competitive. This year we had over 1200 applicants for the 12 places.”

I met with Oliver, Nathaniel and Angelina and asked them how it feels to be accepted on such a sought after course as well as how the NFTS MA has prepared them and what their future plans are.

How does it feel to be accepted on the 4Screenwriting scheme and what has it been like so far?

Oliver: Having made the shortlist a couple of years ago it was great to get on the scheme at the second time of asking. The competition for places is fierce, even more so than at the NFTS, and over the last few years it has launched the careers of writers like Vinay Patel and Charlie Covell so it's very exciting. The scheme itself has been an absolute dream so far, with talks from writers, directors and scripts editors who have worked on some of the biggest productions in film and television over the last decade. I've also been assigned a fantastic script editor from New Pictures (The Missing, Indian Summers) and a development exec from Channel 4 who have helped me to expand what was an embryonic idea.

Nathaniel: I was absolutely delighted to have been put forward and selected for 4Screenwriting. It and Philip Shelley are very highly regarded within the industry. I'd been fortunate to meet and work with a few of its graduates previously and they all couldn't recommend it highly enough. The first weekend of the course definitely lived up to the hype. One thing I really enjoyed was meeting the other writers and sharing our experiences. They were all really cool (as were the script editors and trainee script editors). We had fantastic speakers (writers and script editors and commissioners) who were all open and honest and provided invaluable insight into the industry. It's just great to be writing a script and honing my craft (because let's face it, treatments can get a bit tedious), and I'm really enjoying having Philip as my script editor.

Angelina: 4Screenwriting is a hugely respected and very competitive scheme for new television drama writers, and being selected to participate in it this year feels like a massive validation of how far my writing has developed since I’ve started on the Screenwriting MA at the NFTS.

Eggshells, the screenplay with which I applied to the 4Screenwriting scheme, was developed at the NFTS, during the 1st year “Movie in a Month” module, where each of us wrote an individual feature screenplay from scratch in a month, supported by regular feedback sessions with our fantastically insightful tutors, Angeli Macfarlane and Brian Ward. I used this opportunity to venture outside my comfort zone by writing in a genre I hadn’t worked in before, by exploring some dauntingly “big” themes, and by writing something much more personal than any of my previous work. Looking back at the screenplay now, I know that I would have never achieved those aims on my own, without the structure and the support put in place by the Screenwriting MA tutors.

How has the NFTS Screenwriting MA prepared you for the 4Screenwriting course?

Angelina: If you’re serious about developing as a screenwriter, then the NFTS offers an unparalleled opportunity to examine and refine your own writing, and to work with immensely talented people who are just as passionate about storytelling as you are. You can - and should - read all the screenwriting textbooks, but none of them can teach you how to make specifically *your* writing better. This, in my experience, is what the NFTS excels in.

Nathaniel: Applying for the NFTS Screenwriting MA is one of the best decisions I ever made. Once I realised I was serious about wanting to become a professional screenwriter, the NFTS was the place I was continually advised to apply to. It gave me such a thorough training across all the mediums (film, TV, theatre, radio and games) in a supportive and encouraging atmosphere. The tutors at times went above and beyond in helping me develop my writing. Also, the fact they're all active in the industry, you can't help but find their advice helpful and inspiring. The NFTS also provides you with access to the industry prior to graduation, which has proved extremely helpful for my career.

Oliver: The TV module we do as part of the MA at the NFTS follows the same structure as the 4Screenwriting course in terms of feedback and outcome, so the transition has been relatively seamless so far. The 4Screenwriting course is a great platform for new writers and is renowned throughout the industry, acting as a bridge into the professional world of writing. Out of the 12 writers selected this year, 4 were from the NFTS, so if you apply then you've clearly got a very good chance!

What are your career aspirations?

Oliver: If I can make a living doing what I love then I'll be happy, but creating and writing my own series is the dream. Ideally I'd like to work across both film and television, and I currently have a number of projects in various stages of development, but my focus is on the script for C4 over the next couple of months.

Nathaniel: I've been lucky enough to be working constantly since I graduated last year. Recently, I've had a short monologue, Special Delivery released on BBC3 as part of the BBC ‘Writersroom's The Break II’ series. My first radio play, Baller, was broadcast earlier this month on BBC Radio 4 and was selected as their 'Drama of the Week'. I wrote Episode 5 of Five by Five, a co-production between Green Door Pictures and BBC Studios, featuring Idris Elba, which will be released on BBC 3 on Monday 27th April. I've also been selected as a trainee writer by Kudos for their new Sky Atlantic show Tin Star, and so will be involved in story lining series two. I've also just had my first feature play commissioned with the Nottingham Playhouse. Finally, my first feature film, Scandinavian Silence, that I co-wrote with director Martii Helde, will be released later this year.

My real aspiration is to continue to work on exciting and varied projects across the mediums and continue to develop my writing. Ultimately, I'd love to have my own TV series on day. I'm fortunate enough to be working on developing original ideas with a number of great production companies so... fingers crossed.

Angelina: I’m still at the start of the final year of the MA, so my plans for what to do after leaving the NFTS aren’t very firm - I feel that I still have so much to learn and explore while I’m at the School! Television is my first love, I grew up practically glued to the screen, so writing television drama would be amazing, but ultimately I just want the stories I tell to find an audience, be it on television, in film, or on the stage.

For more information on the NFTS Screenwriting MA, please visit https://www.nfts.co.uk/our-courses/masters/screenwriting (application deadline 4th May 2017 with a start date of January 2018). And for more information on Channel 4’s 4Screenwriting Programme, please visit http://4talent.channel4.com/get-involved/work-programmes/4-new-writers/4-screenwriting



Production Sound Takes Students from the City to the Jungle!

Course open day 26th April

“The NFTS has certainly helped to open some doors and got my career going”

We caught up with Nick Olorenshaw, Keith Morrison and Kirsty Wright who have all just graduated from the NFTS Production Sound for Film and Television Diploma, to find out about their experience of the course and what their career plans are. It was fascinating to learn that the course had literally taken them all over the world from Tajikistan to Singapore and Italy! (If this sounds like your dream course, don’t miss our Post Production open day on the 26th April – sign up here.)

What have you been doing since graduating from the NFTS Diploma in Production Sound; did studying at the NFTS help kick start your career?

Nick: Towards the end of the course, I worked as a sound trainee on a documentary/commercial for Toyota, which involved a three-week road trip through Vietnam with lots of off-road driving and documentary pieces in the cities and jungle, which was an amazing experience. That led to another car commercial for Lexus in Spain this year, and I've also been doing some smaller corporate and commercial shoots. I first met one of the recordists I worked for when he gave a guest lecture for our class, so the NFTS has certainly helped to open some doors and got my career going.

Keith: Since graduating from the Production Sound Diploma with the NFTS at the end of 2016, I have been working towards obtaining trainee roles for drama productions. Having completed the course, I feel that I am much more prepared and confident in my abilities on and off set. The NFTS has also given me the opportunity to network with sound mixers and organisations that can help me achieve my goals. 

Kirsty: Since graduating from the NFTS I have been granted a place on the Creative Skillset Trainee Scheme for which there were 500 applicants. Studying at the NFTS has helped me to be prepared for a freelance career in production sound both by learning about the practical and theoretical aspect of sound on and off set, and also by receiving career training including sessions in financing and CV development.

What were the highlights of studying Production Sound at the NFTS (please mention if you got to go anywhere interesting or work on any exciting sets)?

Nick: My main interest is in documentary sound, and I was fortunate to work in Tajikistan and Sicily with students from the documentary department. As well as being a lot of fun (and hard work), working abroad really helped to sharpen my skills and improve my self-sufficiency as a sound recordist; but culturally I also learned a lot, and it has definitely contributed to shaping my understanding of the world.

Keith: The highlights of studying with the NFTS included the variety of productions I worked on, the places I got to travel to and the people I had the opportunity to work with and learn from. During my time, I was either sound mixer or boom op on at least five full-scale drama shoots and two documentaries, one of which was in Singapore for three weeks. As a small group of eight production sound students, we were in demand across the film school. This meant that we worked with a variety of people in all departments from production managers to sound designers. Understanding what their roles were and how you impact them was an important part of learning.

Kirsty: I had the opportunity to work on a variety of productions as part of the curriculum, and also extra-curricular projects. I was fortunate to be able to travel to Bologna, Italy, to record sound for part of a graduation documentary in summer 2015. I also had the opportunity to attend a sitcom workshop at Sky where I operated the Fisher booms, and also created a live mix of the production in the sound gallery. One of my favourite aspects of the Production Sound course is the opportunity to learn from sound mixers and boom operators who are currently working in the industry, and gaining an insight into their techniques. Russell Edwards, for example, taught us how to rig different vehicles for sound.

Why would you recommend someone apply for the Production Sound Diploma rather than other sound courses? And why is the NFTS a good place to study?

Nick: By the end of the course, you will have spent a lot of time using professional sound equipment in a wide range of situations, which puts you in a good position when you leave the school and look for work. Also the teachers have a huge amount of experience between them, which is an amazing resource of knowledge and advice (and anecdotes) to learn from.

Keith: The NFTS production sound course is dedicated to the craft and is taught by industry professionals. It is a very practical course, with hands on experience of drama, documentary and television sound using current industry equipment. If you are interested in production sound, this course is for you. The NFTS is a great place to study because the classes are small and there are dedicated courses for each discipline (directors, producers, editors etc.). Being taught by tutors that are highly acclaimed in their fields and being surrounded by creative, dedicated people has a positive effect on you and the work you do, this is why the NFTS is a great place to study.

Kirsty: I would recommend that someone apply for the Production Sound diploma due to the emphasis on learning through practical experience on set. Students get the opportunity to work on a multitude of productions across many genres, including drama, documentary and television production. I would also recommend the course as it is taught by leading industry professionals, whose experience, insight and wisdom are invaluable for anyone developing their career in production sound.

The NFTS is a good place to study due to the emphasis on collaboration and the opportunity to work with many different people in the School who are equally as enthusiastic about film and television production. There are also frequent masterclasses by leading individuals in the industry, which often leave one feeling inspired and enthused!

For more information about the Production Sound for Film and Television Diploma, please visit https://www.nfts.co.uk/our-courses/diploma/production-sound-film-television and sign up for the open day on the 26th April here.


NFTS Announces RSPB Scholarship

Apply by July 6th

(Photo credit, Ben Andrew)

London, 14th March 2017: National Film and Television School (NFTS) announces it is partnering with the RSPB, the UK’s largest nature conservation charity, on its Directing and Producing Science and Natural History MA.

The RSPB will work closely with the world-leading film school, its tutors and students to inspire a new generation of filmmaking talent equipped to create engaging and innovative content that champions the charity’s conservation cause  by reaching new audiences through new and impactful visual communications. 

The partnership includes the launch of an RSPB scholarship to support a student through their two year MA, starting in the School’s new academic year in January 2018. To find out more, sign up to the open day on April 18th.

Students will benefit from access to RSPB nature reserves to practice and enhance their wildlife filming technique and will receive masterclasses and practical sessions, delivered by the RSPB’s  world famous Film Unit on conservation filmmaking, field craft skills, and the role of ethics and animal welfare in wildlife filming best practice.

(Photo credit, Ben Andrew)

First formed in 1953, the RSPB Film Unit is the oldest professional wildlife filmmaking outfit in the UK, producing many internationally-recognised, award-winning documentaries rewarded at Wildscreen, Jackson Hole and the Japan Wildlife Film Festival among many others.  It is well-known throughout the industry as a training ground for many of the world’s leading camera operators and producers, like Hugh Miles, Mike Richards, Ian McCarthy, John Aitchison and David Allen, who have achieved highly successful careers in natural history filmmaking.  Reconfigured in 2014 as RSPB Digital Media, the Film Unit continues to adapt and transform itself, embracing technical innovation to amplify its core, creative conservation messages in response to the changing digital environment. 

Highly experienced producer of wildlife documentaries and series, Paul Reddish, leads the Directing and Producing Science and Natural History MA; Paul is credited as Producer and Director across a number of high profile natural history films and series including Attenborough in Paradise, The Future is Wild, Hummingbirds Jewelled Messengers, and many more.

Mark Percival at RSPB Digital Media says:

 “We’re delighted to be working with the NFTS. We face a considerable challenge as conservationists, working to reverse the declines in the numbers of species and the loss of natural habitats. As filmmaking technology rapidly evolves, it creates new opportunities for us to reach millions of people with the message that there’s an urgent need to look after our wild spaces and the wildlife around us. Supporting and developing new talented filmmakers who are passionate about conservation, and who can create powerful visual stories, is fundamental to achieving the RSPB’s goal of a sustainable world richer in nature.”

(Photo credit, Chiara Ceci)

Paul Reddish says: “It is a privilege to partner with the RSPB which does such vital and important conservation work. I can’t think of a better placed institution to work with the students to build their understanding of the challenges of communicating conservation messages in wildlife filmmaking. The NFTS has a great reputation for building careers and industry leaders and I look forward to working with the RSPB to mentor our students to do great things via this exciting new MA.”

The two-year MA course will equip students with the skills required to direct science, natural history and wildlife productions and the know-how to produce entire shows. Whether it’s using ultra long lenses or aerial, macro or time lapse photography, the students will build a wide portfolio of experience bespoke to wildlife programme making.

As with all NFTS courses, the MA is both hands on and practical and students will benefit from work placements at the UK’s major wildlife production companies.

Applications for the Directing Natural History and Science MA are open until July 6th 2017 and the course will commence in January 2018. 

For more information, please visit www.nfts.co.uk/naturalhistory


Contacts for further information:

Vicky Hewlett, Head of PR and Communications, NFTS: VHewlett@nfts.co.uk

NFTS funding: Studentfunding@nfts.co.uk

Jamie Wyver, Consumer PR Executive, RSPB: jamie.wyver@rspb.org.uk



Oscar Winning ‘Amy’ Filmmaker Wows BFI Film Academy Students

Apply for Directing Documentary MA by 4th May!

Academy award and four-time BAFTA award-winning director, writer and producer Asif Kapadia wowed this year’s BFI Film Academy participants with a masterclass as they took part in the opening weekend of the Craft Residential course, which is delivered by the NFTS. The students are made up of 66 of the nation’s most promising young filmmakers aged 16-19 and the weekend included inspirational talks, team building and practical workshops. (If you would like to find out more about studying at the NFTS, have a look at the wide range of open days we have coming up and book your place here!) 

Asif Kapadia won a ‘Feature Documentary’ Oscar for Amy, which documents the life and death of British songwriter, Amy Winehouse, and is described as ‘piercingly sad’ by The Telegraph. His documentary, Senna about Brazilian motor-racing legend Ayrton Senna, was a huge international box office hit and won multiple awards including two BAFTAs, ‘Best Documentary’ at the London Critics Circle, the BIFA award for ‘Best Documentary’ and the Audience Award for ‘Best International Feature’ at the Los Angeles Film Festival. If you are a keen documentary maker, have a look at our Directing Documentary MA, which has an application deadline of the 4th May 2017 - more info here.

Following Asif’s inspirational Q&A session, participants were divided into six groups. They spent the weekend working with their tutors on interpreting the script and agreeing a shooting script for the short films so they can hit the ground running for the main Craft Residential week in April. Students on the course specialise in screenwriting, directing, producing, cinematography, production sound, editing and production design to reflect a real filmmaking environment.

Jon Wardle, NFTS Director of Curriculum and Registrar, said: “We were overwhelmed with applications for this year’s BFI Film Academy, so the group of young people who were lucky enough to be selected really are the brightest and the best. They all really impressed us during the opening weekend so we look forward to seeing the resulting short films in Easter and wish them huge success for their future careers.”

The course is supported by the Department for Education, the National Lottery, Creative Scotland and Northern Ireland Screen. The final films will be screened at the BFI Southbank in April.

For more information, please visit https://www.nfts.co.uk/bfi-film-academy

We have a wide range of open days coming up for anyone interested in our MA and Diploma courses - sign up here https://www.nfts.co.uk/sign-me-up/open-days


NFTS Alumni Credited in RTS Programme Awards Winners

From Emmerdale to National Treasure!

Projects with National Film and Television School alumni involvement have once again won awards in several categories at this year’s Royal Television Society Programme Awards across a whole host of film and television making disciplines from directing and sound, to editing and cinematography! The NFTS has dedicated course open days coming up over the next few weeks catering for all these areas; sign up for your place here.

The awards ceremony, hosted by Sandi Toksvig, took place at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Tuesday 21st March.

Emmerdale, directed by Directing Fiction MA graduate, Diana Patrick won the ‘Best Soap and continuing Drama’ category, while National Treasure, a four-part 2016 British television drama by Channel 4, written by Jack Thorne and starring Robbie Coltrane took the award for ‘Best Mini-Series’. NFTS credits include Paul Davies, Supervising Sound Editor and Katherine Pearl, Post-Production Co-Ordinator.

NFTS graduates are also credited on the other nominated mini-series in this category including London Spy - Lisa Hall, Production Designer and Marc Anton Restivo, Art Director – and Thirteen - Simon Archer, DoP; Hazel Baillie, Editor; Alex Ellerington, FX Editor; Jon Opstad, Composer and Martin Jensen, Rerecording Mixer.

Exodus: Our Journey to Europe won the ‘Best Documentary Series’ award and credits Editing MA graduates, Simon Sykes, Nick Fenton & Sunshine Jackson. The Murder Detectives received a nomination in this category and credits composer, Jon Opstad.

The BBC3 production, Murdered By My Father (DoP, NFTS Cinematography MA graduate, Felix Wiedemann) won ‘Best Single Drama’ while First Contact: Lost Tribe of the Amazon (Editor, David Hill) won the ‘Best Science and Natural History’ award.

Channel 4 series The Secret Life of 4 & 5 Year Olds also received a nomination in the science and natural history category and credits NFTS Directing Documentary graduate, Jackie Waldock as Director.

Sally Wainwright, who recently delivered an inspiring masterclass at NFTS, won the award for ‘Writer-Drama’ for Happy Valley – read about her masterclass here.

Other nominated programmes with NFTS involvement include:

Channel 4 series, First Dates (Composer, Miguel d’Oliveira) nominated for ‘Best Popular Factual and Features’.

ITV series, The Durrells nominated for ‘Best Drama Series’ (Additional Music composed by Jon Wygens).

EastEnders (Writer, NFTS Screenwriting MA graduate, Laura Poliakoff)

For more information on the NFTS open days, please visit https://nfts.co.uk/sign-me-up/open-days

NFTS Grads Part of Oscar & BAFTA Winning VFX Team

Digital Effects MA Open Day 17th May

(L-r - Dan Lemmon, Andrew R Jones, Adam Valdez & Rob Legato)

A whole host of NFTS students and graduates were part of the team that won both the Oscar and the BAFTA for Visual Effects for their work on Disney’s The Jungle Book. (If this is your dream, come along to the NFTS Digital Effects MA open day on Wednesday 17th May – more info and sign up here.)

MPC’s lead VFX Supervisor, Adam Valdez, picked up the Oscar on the night along with VFX Supervisor Rob Legato, Animation Supervisor Andrew R. Jones and VFX Supervisor Weta Digital, Dan Lemmon. Adam Valdez visited the School recently to give a masterclass on techniques used in The Jungle Book, which required over 240 million render hours to create! Read more here.

The MPC team that worked on The Jungle Book includes the following NFTS graduates:

Visual Effects Production Manager, Carlos Ciudad; Lead Compositor MPC, Chris Gooch; Stereo Compositor MPC, Graham Dorey; Digital Compositor MPC, Adam Arnot and Stereo Compositor MPC, Victor Almela. Both Graham and Victor worked on The Jungle Book as part of an internship at MPC while studying at the NFTS.

Other NFTS grads who worked on film’s visual effects include Lighting TD, Carlo Alberto Bagliolid, Roto/Prep Artist, Andrew Scattergood and Digital Artist, Helen Brownell.

Carlos Ciudad, who now works for Double Negative as VFX Producer, says: “Being part of both the Oscar and the BAFTA winning digital effects team at MPC is a dream come true; The Jungle Book was a joy to work on and the results created by the visual effects teams speak for themselves. I would encourage anyone with a passion for VFX to apply to study Digital Effects at the NFTS as it offers an excellent pathway into this exciting career.”

For more information about the NFTS Digital Effects MA, please click here and for more information about MPC, please visit http://www.moving-picture.com/


More Major Awards for NFTS Grads!

Sign Up for our Sound Design & Screenwriting Open Days

(Verna Fields Student Filmmaker Award winners Zoltan Juhasz and Gerry Vazquez)

NFTS Screenwriting MA graduate, Rafael Kapelinski and Sound Design MA graduate, Zoltan Juhasz have triumphed at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival and the Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) Golden Reel Awards respectively. (If you'd like to follow in their footsteps, sign up to one of our course specific open days. Sound Design MA open day is March 24th and Screenwriting is March 30th - more info here!)

Rafael, who graduated in 2015, won the Crystal Bear for the Best Film in the Generation 14 Plus category, for his debut feature film, Butterfly Kisses.

About Butterfly Kisses: Propelled by the rhythm of its powerful soundtrack and imagery, this film awakens a terrifying suspicion in the viewer. Without resorting to simple accusations of guilt, it confronts us with an explosive issue, which our society has so far been unable to resolve. The finely differentiated characterizations inspire profound empathy for the protagonists in the situations they face. From the kaleidoscopic opening sequence onwards, we are captivated by the haunting intensity of this electrifying feature film debut.

A recent NFTS graduate, Zoltan won the Verna Fields Award for Student Film Makers at this year’s Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) Golden Reel Awards, which is recognised as the sound world's equivalent to the Oscars. NFTS students and grads have won this prestigious award an impressive 14 times and been nominated 39 times since 1996 making the NFTS consistently the world's most acclaimed school for sound editing.

Zoltan won for his work as Supervising Sound Editor, Sound Designer and Foley Artist on NFTS graduation animation, Fishwitch, which is directed by Adrienne Dowling and produced by Hélène Sifre. Zoltan won the 2016 ‘Dolby Award for Best Sound’ for Fishwitch, an award that recognises excellence in sound mixing, editing and design.

Fellow NFTS graduate, Tom Jenkins, was nominated for the same award for NFTS fiction, Those who are lost, directed by Sam McMullen and produced by Millie Marsh, for his work as Supervising Sound Editor and Sound Designer; ADR and Dialogue Editor; Foley Artist and Music Editor.

To find out more about our MA in Sound Design for Film and Television, please visit https://www.nfts.co.uk/our-courses/masters/sound-design-film-television  and for more information about our Screenwriting MA, please visit https://www.nfts.co.uk/our-courses/masters/screenwriting