The National Film and Television School (@NFTSFilmTV) today (5 Feb) announces a major new partnership with the BFI to deliver a programme of activity that aims to increase access to world class industry education. The Early Stage Access and Diversity Accelerator Programme, which is supported by the BFI through National Lottery funding, will help to ensure the UK remains a world leader in the global entertainment industry, addressing the skills gap by widening access to learning opportunities and embedding diversity and inclusion at the heart of the venture.

As the NFTS celebrates its golden anniversary in 2021, the partnership represents the biggest development of the School’s participation programme ever delivered, helping the NFTS further diversify and become more inclusive than at any other time in its 50 year history.

The planned activity will support significant demand within the thriving film, television and games sectors for highly trained talent from all corners of the UK to reflect contemporary Britain, encouraging equality of opportunity and improving under-representation in the screen industries.

Formally beginning from April 2021, the NFTS will deliver key new strands of activity and widen access to existing strands including:

Public Open Access Masterclass Programme

The partnership will power the launch of Backstories, a brand new public facing Masterclass strand, featuring some of the UK’s top creative talent. The first session will feature Russell T Davies (It’s A Sin) in conversation with NFTS alumni. Each Masterclass will focus on topical industry themes.

Expansion of Outreach via Access NFTS

The NFTS will further expand its existing national outreach programme, designed to find, inform and inspire a new generation of film, television and games talent to broader locations and by working with more groups.

Access to NFTS Short Courses, UK Wide

Through its UK wide hubs in Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, London and Beaconsfield, the NFTS will widen access through financial assistance and free courses to its roster of practical entry level Short Courses. The focus will be on helping talented new entrants from under-represented groups across the UK take the next steps in their filmmaking career.

Access to Online Training and Development

Financially support filmmakers from under-represented groups to undertake the hugely popular NFTS Certificate in Filmmaking. The course sets participants up for a long and successful career in the industry.

Training Support for Film Executives and Entrepreneurial Producers

The partnership will support ambitious film executives and entrepreneurial producers through access to the prestigious Inside Pictures, an intensive film business training and leadership skills development programme run by the NFTS.

Bursaries and Scholarships

Support more applicants from under-represented groups to access highly sought after places on the School’s world leading MA and Diploma courses through bursaries and scholarships.

Jon Wardle, NFTS Director commented: “We are thrilled to strengthen our relationship with the BFI by partnering on this exciting programme of activity. It sets out to achieve our collective ambitions: to drive real and positive change within the industry. Diversity and inclusion is at the core of our plans and we will go further and faster than ever before to tear down the barriers to entry, ensuring future talent feel the UK screen industry is a place that welcomes and represents all, regardless of background or circumstance.”

Ben Roberts, BFI Chief Executive commented: ”We’re delighted to partner with NFTS on the Early Stage Access and Diversity Accelerator Programme. We want as many people as possible to benefit from world class learning about our industry; from young enthusiasts to students, emerging practitioners and beyond. We’re grateful to National Lottery players for their generous support to enable this activity.”

The National Lottery raises £30 million each week for good causes across the UK.

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