The London-based National Film and Television School (NFTS) is looking to provide more opportunities for women directors through the launch of a mentorship program, directing workshop and paid internship.
The initiatives – which are open to both narrative film and doc students – were unveiled on Tuesday (June 28) at the NFTS’ annual fundraising Gala. This year’s theme of “Great British Women” was selected to celebrate high-achieving women in the creative industries, while also raising awareness of the low percentage of women working in film.
The mentorship program will be open to all female students in the school’s four Master of Arts programs in directing, which focus on science and natural history, animation, documentary and fiction. The mentor will be a director or producer who will be available to advise, provide feedback and appraise work.
Meanwhile, a conservatory directing workshop will be aimed at women with three or more years of professional experience in the arts, or a graduate of the NFTS. The program includes free tuition and access to NFTS facilities and equipment. All participants will make a short film or series and the work will be screened to agents, managers, producers and executives.
Thirdly, the NFTS will offer a paid internship for all participants of the directing workshop with a director, writer or producer.
The Gala committee is co-chaired by Barbara Broccoli, co-owner of James Bond production company Eon Productions, and Tessa Ross, former Film4 boss.
Broccoli said she was “fully supportive” of the school’s push to boost diversity among its students and the number of female filmmakers, but noted there is more to be done by the industry itself, referencing a recent Raising Films report on parents and carers in the UK film and TV industry.
“We women in film, especially those in positions of influence need to now really focus on supporting working with families so we don’t find ourselves losing valuable, talented and enthusiastic members of our industry,” she said in a statement.