Channel 4 logo

The next course dates are currently tbc.

Please join our mailing list if you would like to be kept up to date with NFTS news and updates - and visit the ShortCourses@NFTS current schedule page to see what short documentary courses are available online in the coming months.

Have you always wanted to make your own documentary but never had the confidence, the circumstance, or the know-how to make it happen?

Summerdocs is an intensive 8-week course in July and August designed to change that for all those potential filmmakers who need a boost to their confidence, expert help on how to realise their ideas, and the opportunity to try them out in practice by making a short film of 15-20 minutes with the guidance of experienced mentors under the leadership of the filmmaker who has guided the NFTS Documentary Dept. for the last 20 years.

Potential participants have to apply with an idea they already believe can be filmed in two weeks and then post-produced and finished in the following three weeks at the NFTS. In order to assess and begin to develop their idea and make a plan for further research, students will need to come to the NFTS for a 2-day introduction at the end of June.

All NFTS students can attend the School’s masterclasses programme, with recent guests including David Fincher (se7en, Fight Club, The Social Network, Mindhunter), Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave), Edgar Wright (Baby Driver, Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead), Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid's Tale), Stephen Fry, Denis Villeneuve (Bladerunner 2049), Krysty Wilson Cairns (1917), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag, Killing Eve), Asif Kapadia (Amy, Senna, Diego Maradona), and Louis Theroux.

This course is run in partnership with Channel 4.

What you will study

•   Introduction: 
Your proposed projects will be evaluated and plans made with tutors.
•    Independent research: This will be done in your own time.
Tutors will be available for individual tutorials.
•    Learning course: 
- the fundamental rules of documentary storytelling
•    - guidance in the basics of camera, sound & editing.
- viewing & analysis of the various methods available to documentary filmmakers
- access to the extensive NFTS library will be provided.
•    Film Shoot: 
Self-shooting, including a tutor review of rushes
•    Film Edit: 
Editing using Avid Media Composer, supervised by both editing and directing tutors
End Result:  a short film, of approximately15 minutes, of which you can be proud.
•    Final screenings will take place in the NFTS Cinema followed by an informal reception.

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Home/EU/EEA £3,250

This course is only open to UK and EU/EEA applicants.

A non-refundable deposit of £500 is required against the cost of your fees on confirmation of your place.

The NFTS does not charge you extra for the cost of productions or materials.

Entry requirements

Selection is on the basis of the quality and originality of the idea for the film you submit, and the practicality of making the film within the time available.

If you are not an EEA National, you must already be in possession of a UK visa valid for the duration of this course.  We are unable to accept your application if you do not.

If you have any questions, please email

How to apply

Application deadline: Contact Registry

Applications are not currently open for this course. Please join our mailing list if you would like to be kept up to date with NFTS news and updates.