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The UK’s National Film and Television School (NFTS) is partnering with the British Film Institute (BFI) on a programme to widen access to film and TV training, with a view to improving diversity and inclusion in the industry.

The Early Stage Access and Diversity Accelerator programme is financially supported by the BFI, and will formally commence from April 2021. The NFTS describes it as ”the biggest development of the school’s participation programme ever delivered.”

It will deliver new activity and increase access via six areas:

‘Backstories’ Masterclass programme – a public-facing series of masterclasses featuring top UK creative talent, focusing on topical industry themes. The first session will feature Doctor Who writer and It’s A Sin creator Russell T Davies;

Expansion of Outreach programme via Access NFTS; 

Widening of access to UK-wide NFTS short courses;

Access to online training and development – including financial support for filmmakers from under-represented groups to undertake the NFTS certificate in filmmaking;

Training support for film executives and entrepreneurial producers – through access to the Inside Pictures training and leadership skills programme;

Bursaries and scholarships – supporting more applicants to NFTS MA and Diploma courses from under-represented groups.

“Diversity and inclusion is at the core of our plans,” said Jon Wardle, NFTS director. “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.”

“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,” added BFI CEO Ben Roberts.

Launched in 1971, the NFTS celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.