Timothy Reckart & Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly at the Oscars (2011) by Mike NelsonNational Film and Television School
Since opening our doors in 1971, we’ve had over 3,800 students leave as alumni of the National Film and Television School. That group has earned over 60 Oscar nominations, 70 Emmy nominations and over 500 BAFTA nominations in our 50 year history.
The Dollar Bottom Oscar by NFTSNational Film and Television School
From A Galaxy Far, Far Away to Beaconsfield
In 1979, Roger Christian enrolled at the NFTS but came to us an Oscar-winner already having won Best Production Design for his work on Star Wars in 1977.
His Oscar-winning luck continued because in 1980 he directed a short film The Dollar Bottom, produced by alumnus Lloyd Phillips. It won Best Live Action Short film and Lloyd became our 2nd Oscar-winning graduate.
Bill Forsyth by NFTSNational Film and Television School
Glasgow-born Bill Forsyth came to the NFTS to hone his skills as a screenwriter, but ended up leaving to become a Director. In 1982 his film Gregory’s Girl won the BAFTA for Best Screenplay and by 1984 he’d won Best Director for his work on Local Hero.
Bill put the NFTS on the scoreboard at BAFTA and just ten years after opening and having just over 100 graduates we’d become an Oscar and BAFTA-winning film school.
Dreamland Express Still by NFTSNational Film and Television School
During the 80s the National Film and Television School’s newly created animation department began to make its mark on the animation circuit.
In 1983, David Anderson’s Dreamland Express won Best Animated Short Film at the BAFTAs and we followed that up with wins for Rarg directed by Tony Collingwood, Hill Farm directed by Mark Baker and A Grand Day Out directed by Nick Park.
Alison Snowden working on Second Class Mail by NFTSNational Film and Television School
Alison Snowdon grabbed an Oscar-nomination for her film Second Class Mail in 1986 and by 1990 Nick Park had given the Animation department its first Oscar for his work on Creature Comforts.
Nick Broomfield NFTS Masterclass (4) (2011) by NFTSNational Film and Television School
A Decade of Social Action
The 80s and 90s marked an era of social change and social action and NFTS Documentary Filmmakers were there to document it. Alumnus Nick Broomfield won a BAFTA for his film Solider Girls in 1982, an extraordinary look at a platoon of women undergoing base training at Fort Gordon, Georgia.
Molly Dineen by NFTSNational Film and Television School
By the end of the millennium, BAFTA nominations for Molly Dineen (Home from the Hill), Amanda Richardson (Breaking Point), Jana Bokova (Tales from Barcelona) and Kim Longinotto (Divorce, Iranian Style), showed that the department had made its mark and the best was yet to come.
Characters from Balloon directed by Ken Lidster (1991) by Ken LidsterNational Film and Television School
The 90s saw NFTS alumni receive nominations at the BAFTAS in 9 out 10 years. Ken Lidster won for his Animated Short Film Balloon, Nick Park won BAFTA’s for The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave.
Nick Park Signing NFTS Animation Department Wall (2019) by NFTSNational Film and Television School
At was also a decade of Oscar successes, Nick Park won three Oscars for his films Creature Comforts, The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave and David Fine and Alison Snowdon won for their film Bob’s Birthday.
Lynne Ramsay (2021) by NFTSNational Film and Television School
Lynne Ramsay won a Scottish BAFTA for her short film Gasman and Philippa Cousins won for her film The Deadness of Dad. In total NFTS alumni received 19 BAFTA nominations during the decade.
Roger Deakins with NFTS Cinematography Students (2021) by NFTSNational Film and Television School
Entering the Mainstream
By end of the 90s, Fiction students were well and truly embedded in our industry. Nominations followed with Cinematography alumnus Roger Deakins receiving Oscar nominations for The Shawshank Redemption, Fargo and Kundun.
Michael Radford by NFTSNational Film and Television School
Michael Radford was nominated for Best Director and Best Screenplay at the Oscars for Il Postino. Alumni began to rack-up BAFTA noms to; Andrew MacDonald (Producer, Trainspotting), Andrzej Sekula (Cinematography, Pulp Fiction), Mark Herman (Director, Brassed Off & Little Voice) and Lynne Ramsay (Ratcatcher).
Danny Cannon on set of Strangers by NFTSNational Film and Television School
By the beginning of the millennium, NFTS alumni (still numbering less than 1000 at this point) had begun to become a force in Hollywood.
But it wasn’t just film that our alumni were making an impression in. Danny Cannon (Directing Fiction), became Executive Producer on a new Television series called CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – it would become one of the most successful shows of the decade.
Graduate Nigel Stone would be Emmy nominated for his wonderful Visual Effects on Band of Brothers and graduates would Director or Produce shows ranging from Desperate Housewives to Sex Traffic, Bleak House to Sex and the City.
Beeban Kidron Masterclass (2013) by NFTSNational Film and Television School
Our alumni embrace pushing boundaries. Ground-breaking lesbian drama Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit was directed by alumna Beeban Kidron (now Baroness Kidron).
Charles MacDougall by NFTSNational Film and Television School
Channel 4’s Queer As Folk was directed by alumnus Charles McDougall. Alumnus Trix Worrall created the hit TV show Desmonds and alumnus Suri Krishnamma became one of the first British Asian directors to be nominated for a BAFTA.
Dario Marianelli by NFTSNational Film and Television School
In addition Tatiana MacDonald was nominated for Production Design on The Imitation Game and Re-recording Mixer Martin Jensen was nominated for The King’s Speech.
Crafting A New Century
Courses such as Cinematography, Production Design, Composing and Sound Design continued their successes with Oscar wins for Cinematographer, Roger Deakins (1917 and Blade Runner 2049), Composer, Dario Marianelli (Atonement) and Sound Mixer, Stuart Wilson (1917).
George Amponsah 2 (2020) by Courtesy of George AmponsahNational Film and Television School
Real Life Stories
NFTS Documentary alumni continued to find untold stories to bring both to the silver and small screens. Since 2000 documentary graduates received 32 individual BAFTA nominations for work ranging from The Hard Stop (George Amponsah) to A Syrian Love Story (Sean McAllister).
Martin Phipps & Jon Wardle (2020) by NFTSNational Film and Television School
Streaming, SVODs and more…
With the rise of streaming our alumni have been at the forefront of bringing modern classics to the screen. The Crown features over 30 alumni across its 4 seasons with Emmy nominations for Composer Martin Phipps, Music Editor Lindsey Wright and Re-recording Mixer, Stuart Hilliker.
Chernobyl won Emmys for alumni Luke Hull (Production Design), Jakob Ihre (Cinematography) and Stuart Hilliker (Sound Mixing).
Director Lewis Arnold on the set of Echo (2012) by Courtesy of Lewis ArnoldNational Film and Television School
Netflix’s Sex Education was created by alumna Laurie Nunn. TV shows such as His Dark Materials (Suzie Lavelle, Cinematographer), Killing Eve (Laurence Dorman, Production Designer), Watchmen (Kristian Milsted, Production Designer)
Black Mirror: USS Callister (Toby Haynes, Director), Humans (Lewis Arnold, Director) couldn’t have been made without our alumni.
The Confession Still (2010) by Tanel ToomNational Film and Television School
Student Film Successes
Eight student films have gone on to be nominated for an Oscar, the most of any film school outside of the USA. Second Class Mail, The Hill Farm, A Grand Day Out, Blindscape, Badgered, The Confession, Head Over Heels and The Bigger Picture.
Head Over Heals Still (2011) by Chloë ThomsonNational Film and Television School
Thirty-four student films have gone on to be nominated for BAFTAs and we’ve won 13 times – more than any other film school in the world.
NFTS 50th Anniversay Logo (2021) by NFTSNational Film and Television School
The NFTS finds its alumni at the heart of what people are watching either at the Cinema or on Television. Our 50 years marks a wonderful journey, but we are still just beginning.