Baroness Floella Benjamin [pictured] will chair the event, which is about improving diversity.
Screen International and its sister publication Broadcast have been confirmed as media partners for the National Film and Television School’s 2014 Gala.
Baroness Floella Benjamin is to chair Gala, which aims to improve diversity in the film, television and games industries.
The NFTS 2014 Gala will be held at Old Billingsgate on June 18, 2014 and includes live entertainment, a quiz and live and silent auctions.
Joining Benjamin on the Gala Committee are Simon Blagden (Chairman, Fujitsu, UK and Ireland); James Clayton (CEO, Ingenious Investments); Alex Graham (founder of Wall to Wall TV); Judith Chan (Director, Media Banking Division, Coutts & Co); Ashley Tabor (Executive President and Founder, Global Group); Alrick Riley (NFTS graduate, BAFTA-winning director of Hustle, Hotel Babylon and Spooks), Ade Adepitan, (Paralympic gold medalist and television broadcaster) and Nik Powell (Director NFTS).
Benjamin, who is also on the school’s Board of Governors, encouraged the industry to support the gala: “We live in a wonderful, creative and diverse country with a thriving entertainment industry. So let’s reflect that diversity in the brilliant films, television shows and games that we produce. There’s a wealth of talent and energy that we could be tapping into so we’re calling on the industry to get behind this Great British Film, Television & Games Event - Striving for Diversity Nirvana!”
The NFTS’ 2014 Gala aims to raise £300,000 for the school enabling it to provide greater opportunities for women, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME), LGBT and people with disabilities through scholarships and its outreach programme. This includes an NFTS Scout who will seek out talented British young people of all backgrounds to encourage and help them apply to the NFTS, as well additional facilities once they start at the NFTS.
The school already provides £650,000 a year in scholarships to UK students and the Toledo Scholarship, established by Producer Duncan Kenworthy, has awarded £150,000 to enable talented ethnic minority newcomers.
Nik Powell NFTS Director said: “The NFTS endeavours to attract a diverse body of students to ensure that their rich mix of experiences, hopes and aspirations are reflected in the great films that get made at the school and continue to be made by our alumni. But we are aware that more can be done to increase the numbers of people from diverse backgrounds in influential positions behind and in front of the camera.”