NFTS Cymru Wales in partnership with Creative Wales and BBC Cymru Wales, has marked the launch of its first slate of film and television courses with a Q&A event featuring special guest, acclaimed Welsh director Euros Lyn whose credits include Doctor Who, Sherlock and recent feature, Dream Horse.
Based within Central Square, BBC Cymru Wales new broadcast centre in Cardiff, the Welsh hub of the National Film and Television School (NFTS) provides the gold standard of training it is renowned for globally to support emerging Welsh talent as well as strengthen skills development.
For half a century, the NFTS has developed some of the UK and the world’s top creative talent. With the creative industries across Wales thriving, a key part of the School’s remit is to support the growth of film and television production outside of London, having successfully launched training hubs in Scotland and Leeds.
NFTS Cymru Wales will actively seek out and develop off-screen talent and provide students with a clear pathway into jobs within the screen sector. The Welsh hub will also work to identify and meet the skills shortage and skills gaps within the expanding portfolio of film and television titles in year round production across Wales.
NFTS Cymru Wales is led by Judith Winnan, former Chair of RTS Cymru Wales and a successful executive producer, specialising in factual and arts documentaries. Thursday’s launch event featured Judith in conversation with Euros Lyn, a multi-award winning director and passionate advocate of the Welsh screen industry. Lyn’s latest project is the highly anticipated Netflix adaptation of the LGBT graphic novel, Heartstopper.
The broad range of upcoming short courses delivered by NFTS Cymru Wales include: Developing Ideas for Factual TV (25-26 October), Documentary Storytelling (4-5 Nov), Developing & Pitching Drama (17-19 Nov) and Financing Low Budget Films (2-3 Dec).
Through funding made available by Creative Wales, bursaries are available for many of the courses delivered by NFTS Cymru Wales. Increasing diversity and equality within Wales’s film and television industry are key priorities, with bursary supported places aiming to help participants from under-represented groups and those who, without financial support, would find it difficult to access training and job opportunities.
Head of NFTS Cymru Wales Judith Winnan commented: “We are thrilled to unveil our opening slate of film and television courses in Wales and very much look forward to welcoming the first cohort of participants. The screen industries in Wales are a major success story, reliant on a strong pipeline of talent and skills. NFTS Cymru Wales is committed to ensuring that pipeline can be sustained whilst working closely with the industry to identify and respond to skills shortages and the training requirements of the booming Welsh sector.”
Director Euros Lyn said: “Moviemaking isn’t all about famous actors, writers and directors: behind the camera stands an army of talent including camera assistants, script editors, production accountants, and hairstylists, all masters of their craft. The great news for young people leaving education or those looking to retrain or acquire new skills is that right now, in Wales, productions are looking for crew. The launch of NFTS Cymru Wales is an exciting opportunity to inspire and train the next generation of talented craftspeople to make the blockbusters and hit TV shows of the future.”
Dawn Bowden MS, Deputy Minister for Arts and Sports and Chief Whip added:
“The screen industry in Wales is thriving, and is busier than ever, with many productions currently underway, and much more growth expected over the coming years. This means there are opportunities for people across Wales to access a variety of roles created around each production, from costume design to hair and make-up, electricians, carpenters, camera operators and beyond.
Skills and talent support was identified as a key priority for our creative sectors – in order to service the growth in the sector. Since January 2020, Creative Wales’ skills and talent team has worked hard to make connections between stakeholders, industry, education and training providers to deliver benefits to the screen sector and maximise limited resources. This is an exciting development in supporting skills development in Wales and we look forward to working with the NFTS.”
Rhuanedd Richards, Director of Content and Services, BBC Cymru Wales said: “The launch of the NFTS in Wales is an exciting development and opens the door to a raft of fantastic opportunities for those wanting to make their mark in creating stand-out film and television content. I’d like to wish Judith and the team all the very best and look forward to seeing the hub in action in Central Square.”