Advanced Television

Report: UK film graduates benefit creative industries

March 23, 2020

The UK’s National Film and Television School (NFTS) has released the findings of a report highlighting the enormous impact its graduates make to the UK Film and Television industries. First established in 1971 and set to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2021, the NFTS has evolved to become a leading global institution, developing some of Britain and the world’s top creative talent.

The Graduate Impact Report, prepared by OC&C Strategy Consultants, analyses the exceptional contribution of NFTS graduates as a whole on UK Film and Television production over a five-year period and demonstrates how NFTS graduates quickly take centre stage in an industry critical to the UK economy:

  • 97 per cent of the biggest budget ‘inward investment’ films have NFTS graduate involvement
  • The School has a graduate employment rate of 93 per cent
  • Even though the NFTS graduates just eight Cinematographers per year, alumni shoot 25 per cent of all high end TV in the UK
  • 1 in 4 recent graduates are BAME versus only 3 per cent in the industry overall
  • Two thirds of all UK high end television spend is on content with at least 1 NFTS graduate in a key role
  • Over 50 per cent of the biggest box office successes since 2015 have had at least 1 NFTS graduate in a key role
  • NFTS graduates go on to become key creative leaders for much of the UK’s largest and most high profile film and television content
  • 85 per cent of UK broadcaster spend on high end television and two thirds of all Netflix productions have at least 1 NFTS graduate in a key role
  • NFTS graduates achieve success within a short window of time and go on to become dominant in a specific field
  • Investment in skills at the NFTS can pay dividends within just 18 months. Similar investment targeted at new entrants can take between five to ten years to pay off

NFTS Director Jon Wardle commented: “The Graduate Impact Report has delivered findings that are simply unparalleled. The majority of all high end television has an NFTS graduate in a key role and yet, our grads make up less than 4 per cent of the 100,000 strong UK Film and TV Production workforce. No other single education institution or scheme can point to a record of accomplishment that has delivered talent and skills for the industry on the scale of the NFTS. Our success is totally disproportionate to our small size and I couldn’t be prouder of what the School and its graduates have achieved. Moving forward, we will continue our mission which is to produce the people that power production both in the UK and globally.”

Lord David Puttnam, President of the NFTS, added: “The NFTS provides the crucial skills we need to keep our vibrant screen industry afloat, but what truly sets it apart is its understanding of the value of talent, its recognition of the importance of storytelling and its commitment to the promise of a new idea.”

Mostyn Goodwin of OC&C Strategy Consultants said: “We are delighted that our third piece of pro-bono work with the NFTS clearly illustrates what a vitally important role they play in the development of the UK Film and Television industry. Their impact and influence on the industry has only been increasing since we first worked together back in 2012, a direct result of the hard work of the NFTS team.”

Andy Harries OBE, Left Bank Pictures commented: “The NFTS punches well above its weight. It is hard to think of any other school which contributes so much creatively and so effectively to our industry.”

Dame Pippa Harris, Neal Street Productions added: “We couldn’t have made 1917 without the incredible skill and craftsmanship of NFTS graduates.” Jane Featherstone, Founder of Sister Pictures commented: “I don’t know what they are putting in the water at the NFTS but long may it continue!”

Ben Roberts, Chief Executive, BFI said: “We are extremely fortunate to have one of the world’s top Film Schools in the UK that not only has such a great heritage but also continues to train exciting new filmmaking voices that make an impact on the world stage.”

Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, Working Title Films founders added: “We pride ourselves on working with the best of British talent and NFTS graduates have been at the heart of many of our projects.”

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