For other NFTS masters courses
- Develop a personal voice.
- Put storytelling at the centre of your process.
- Study in a multi-disciplinary filmmaking environment.
- Shoot on digital formats.
- Unlike other schools, all production costs are met by the School.
We welcome EU/EEA Students. Those accepted onto courses starting in 2018 will have their fees guaranteed at the UK rate for both years of the course. Postgraduate students can apply for a loan to help with their studies via the Student Loans Company Loans. A £ 10,000 loan is available to contribute to course and living costs. The Post Graduate Loan is only open to EU/EEA and UK Students who normally live in England. It is not currently available to Scottish, Welsh or Northern Ireland Students. Find out more here.
Application Deadline: 04 May 2017
This course commences in January each year. The goal of the course is to give our graduates the tools and the confidence to become successful members of the international documentary community. Our students have won the Grierson and Sheffield Student Awards two years running, IDFA and the Royal Television Society last year, and win prizes at the most prestigious festivals round the world: Sundance, IDFA, Hot Docs, Berlin, Sheffield and many others. The most important thing, however, is to prepare them for life as committed documentary storytellers, wherever that may lead.
Built around a series of four practical exercises, increasing in length and complexity, informed and inspired by relevant traditions. Each exercise isolates and focuses on the techniques and content of a specific documentary genre: observation, character–led narrative, image/sound poetry and investigation. Students collaborate in various combinations with editors, cinematographers, sound designers and composers and also work alone using digital video equipment.
Graduates include Nick Broomfield who pioneered a powerful new genre in documentary: the filmmaker-as- provocateur (The Leader, the Driver and the Driver’s Wife, Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer,and, most recently, Tales from the Grim Sleeper), Grierson Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Molly Dineen (Home from the Hill, The Lie of the Land), Kim Longinotto, whose inspirational films about women are celebrated at festivals around the world (Divorce Iranian–Style, Sisters in Law, and her new film Dreamcatcher), and Sundance winner Sean McAllister (The Liberace of Baghdad, The Reluctant Revolutionary) and many others who are making striking contributions in documentary on many different platforms.
Students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and have usually had some previous experience of filmmaking, though this may not be at a professional level. All have a strong social awareness and a keen desire to translate that awareness into stories told with a personal voice.
A short film (20 minutes max) which you have conceived and directed: We will accept Vimeo links or downloadable links via Dropbox or WeTransfer.
Please note, that if you wish to submit a longer film, only the first 20 minutes will be viewed. If dialogue is not in English, you should enclose a dialogue transcript in English.
A narrative photo essay consisting of 10 20cm x 25cm stills.
- A written proposal for a different film of any specified length (no more than four sides of A4 paper, typed and double spaced) which should include the basic premise, a description of the characters and locations and most importantly, the developing narrative.
How to Apply
You can apply directly to us at the NFTS by clicking on the link below:
- Apply for Directing Documentary course
- You can apply online, or download a word document of the application form to submit via email
When selecting your course, please ensure that you have read the entry requirements and details of the supporting materials that should accompany your application.
Timing your application
We are happy to receive applications 24/7 and 365 days a year up until the deadline.
- 2 Year Course
- Course runs Jan-Dec each year
- Next intake: January 2018
- NFTS Scholarships available for UK Students