APPLY for NFTS Script Development Diploma. Deadline Friday May 27th

nftsThe National Film & Television School is looking for Writers who would be interested in taking part in the final project of their Script Development Diploma – run by the National Film and Television School. The students on this course are paired with a Screenwriter for their final, practical assignment taking the Writer and their feature script through a structured development process.

What’s involved?

  • The intention is for the Developers to apply the principles of good development practice – practice that has been taught over the first year of the course – through working with a Writer over at least two drafts (or two equivalent stages) of the project’s development.
  • Developers commit to read the script and any supporting material thoroughly and carefully, to be sensitive to the Writer’s intentions, to be analytical and constructive in their feedback and to offer guidance about strengthening the premise, the structure and the characterisation.
  • It is hoped and expected that all the Writers will get thoughtful and professional development on their script that will really help improve the project. The feedback from Writers in previous years on the programme has been overwhelmingly positive with some even re-applying in subsequent years with new projects.

For clarity, Writers who participate in this scheme have not been selected for development by the NFTS and the NFTS is not undertaking to option the script or place it with a Producer.

Students are closely supervised by a tutor throughout the process.

Submission requirements:

  • The Writer must have written at least one full draft of a feature film, produced or unproduced, prior to application for this programme.
  • The Writer may present EITHER a full draft of an original feature already written OR a complete treatment (10 pages minimum). A pitch document or short synopsis will not be accepted in lieu of either. In the instance where a Writer submits a treatment, and for the sake of clarity, the Writer must have completed a full feature film draft on another project and submit this as a writing sample.
  • The Writer pledges to commit to working on their idea, with guidance, to agreed deadlines over a 6 month period.
  • A range of ideas, in a range of genres.
  • Projects at various stages of development from Writers who are both totally new to development and those who are experienced and produced (we do this because the Developers will also learn from each other’s development experiences).
  • NFTS cannot accept work for this programme that is under option, being developed by a Producer, is an adaptation from optioned (or un-optioned) source material or written with co-writers.
  • NFTS will accept features which are being worked up from existing short films, at our discretion. If your feature project is one of these, please make it clear in your application.
  • Development meetings ideally should be face-to-face and the majority of the students are based in London. No travel bursaries can be provided.

Dates for the diary

This is a 6 month development project running from June 20th – December 5th 2016. If you would like to apply please make sure you are able to commit to the following schedule:

  • Monday June 20th 2016 – 6pm to 8pm – On the evening of Monday June 20th we will be having a Meet the Writers Session at the NFTS campus, Beaconsfield, Bucks at which you will be asked to briefly present your project.  It is vital that you are able to attend this session.

Schedule: these are approximate dates that you will clarify with your Developer to suit your own diaries and negotiate depending on the demands of the project. In our experience the first meeting usually takes place sooner, about two weeks after Meet the Writers Session, and you often end up meeting more than twice. However this is a rough guide to the development project schedule to give you some idea of what to expect:

  • July 25th 2016 First development meeting
  • September 5th 2016 First re-draft / work due
  • September 19th 2016 Second Development meeting
  • November 7th 2016 Second re-draft / work due
  • November 21st 2016 Final notes to the Writer
  • Final Project Delivery – this is the Developer’s submission date – December 5th 2016 Project file submitted

How to apply

If you think this is something you would enjoy and be able to commit to, please email your name, address and all contact phone numbers, the title of the script, a one-page outline of your story, the full length script (or treatment) and your relevant writing CV to:

Nathan Pawley –

If you are applying with a treatment, please also include a full length draft script you have written previously as a sample of your writing.

The deadline for recieving your application to join the development project is Friday May 27th and you will know if you have been selected by Wednesday 8th June

Please remember to keep the evening of June 20th free until you hear from NFTS.

Find out more about NFTS:




Latest articles

Related articles