NFTS and Channel 4 looking for filmmakers from diverse backgrounds

Channel 4 bursary scheme available to NFTS applicants

The National Film and Television School, in partnership with Channel 4, is looking for applicants from diverse backgrounds to enrol onto its Directing Fiction and Cinematography MA courses. The bursaries are particularly aimed at people with disabilities, and people from BAME or socially disadvantaged backgrounds as these groups are underrepresented in television directing.

A new Channel 4 bursary scheme is available to fund at least three NFTS students a year, over five years. The scheme aims to address the lack of people from diverse backgrounds in the creative industries. According to a recent report by Directors UK, just 1.5% of UK television is made by a BAME director and just 3.5% of the UK television and film directing community is from a BAME background.

Ade Rawcliffe, Creative Diversity Manager from Channel 4, says: “Last year we launched our 360° Diversity Charter, which addresses diversity at all levels, both onscreen and behind the camera. As directors play such an important creative role, developing the careers of diverse directors who we hope will ultimately work on Channel 4 shows, is absolutely crucial for us.”

Speaking  with Black History Month about the bursary scheme Nik Powell, NFTS Director, says: “It is extremely important that film and programme makers represent the society that they reflect and to this end we want our student population to be as diverse as possible. We need to hear from all voices and perspectives to ensure the viewing audience is fairly represented and Channel 4’s generous bursary scheme is an excellent way to ensure this takes place.”

The Channel 4 bursary scheme is open to eligible applicants who are accepted onto either the directing fiction or cinematography MA courses. For information on how to apply, please visit