Toledo Scholarship

The NFTS awards £900,000 of scholarships annually and we are committed to ensuring the School is open to students of genuine ability, no matter what their background or financial circumstances. As a leading institution that develops the next generation of creative talent, we feel a special responsibility to ensure our creative industries reflect the full diversity of our country. 

We continue to work ever harder to reach those who will benefit from scholarships the most. More diverse students enrolled on more of our courses equals a broader range of perspectives and viewpoints across the whole of the industry.

"You shouldn’t be scared of trying to fulfil your dreams!" Ani Laurie – Director (Graduate of NFTS Directing Fiction MA)

Toledo Productions supports diverse new British voices and talent. The Toledo Scholarship was established in 2005 by one of the world’s most successful producers and former NFTS governor Duncan Kenworthy (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually, The Pass) to enable talented newcomers from the UK’s ethnic minorities to fast-track their ambitions and join the British film and television industry.

"It’s really important for Britain to have a multi-racial film industry. A lot of strengths can be drawn from that multi-culturalism.” Shola Amoo – Writer / Director (Graduate of the NFTS Screenwriting MA)

Reflecting on why more diverse films were not being made, Duncan has commented: “It seems obvious. There aren’t diverse people telling the stories. One of the things that holds most people back is finding an entry point. They probably think, “That’s not for me, it’s a closed world.” So a two-year NFTS scholarship helps.”

Since the inception of The Toledo Scholarship 16 years ago, 30 scholars have benefitted from over £300,000 of funding, enabling them to study a wide range of our specialist film, television and games MA courses from Producing and Screenwriting to Directing and Producing Television Entertainment, Sound Design and Games Design and Development.

We are determined to ensure the NFTS strives for a more multi-racial UK film, television and games industry for generations to come and we need YOU in order to make that a reality. We are here to help! If you would like to talk to us about applying for The Toledo Scholarship, get in touch today:

Applications for The Toledo Scholarship are made in the same way as all other NFTS scholarships. Candidates will need to identify themselves as a UK ethnic minority candidate in order to be considered. Unfortunately, we are unable to open this scheme to EU or International students, or to students on the Diploma programmes. 

Play the video below to hear from a selection of our British Black and Ethnic Minority graduates who successfully trained at the NFTS, having secured a Toledo Scholarship. They talk candidly about their experiences of applying to and studying at the School and why more ethnically diverse storytellers are crucial to the screen industry.

“If we’re going to live in a multi-cultural, multi-racial society, that should be reflected in all elements of our culture. The only way to do that is for those people to be involved in the creation of that culture. What I’d say to someone who’s thinking of applying? You may not see the potential in yourself but the NFTS may do.” Mo Bazai – Producer (Graduate of NFTS Producing MA)

“I wanted to go to the NFTS for many years and I used to check the website every few months. One day a line had been added saying ‘do not let financial reasons deter you from applying’. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.” Shay Elliot – Producer (Graduate of NFTS Producing MA)

“Britain is so multi-cultural. There’s so many voices out there that we won’t know what Britain is unless we listen to all of them.” Omar Kenawi – Writer / Producer (Graduate of the NFTS Directing and Producing TV Entertainment MA)

“Growing up in Elephant and Castle I did not think I would go to film school. In essence it wasn’t really an idea. I do think it’s really important for Britain to have a multi-racial film industry. A lot of strengths can be drawn from that multi-culturalism.”  Shola Amoo – Writer / Director (Graduate of the NFTS Screenwriting MA)

“As a youngster I never ever thought of going to film school or taking film as a career. If I didn’t go to NFTS it probably would have taken me five or six years longer to get to where I am now.” Shamraiz Younis – Producer (Graduate of NFTS Producing MA)

“Even though you’ve just started on your journey as a filmmaker, [going to the NFTS] gives you that sense of authority, that sense of ownership, something which is greater than yourself.” Kurban Kassam – Producer (Graduate of NFTS Producing MA)

“Being creative and surviving are two different things. The great thing about The Toldeo Scholarship while you’re at the NFTS is it takes your mind off finances when you just really want to focus and get the best out of film school.” Sunny Midha – Producer (Graduate of NFTS Producing MA)

"[By securing The Toldeo Scholarship] you still have the strain of every day stuff, that doesn’t really go away but a huge weight has been lifted. You shouldn’t be scared of trying to fulfil your dreams!" Ani Laurie – Director (Graduate of NFTS Directing Fiction MA

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