Nik Powell is stepping down as director of the U.K.’s world-renowned National Film and Television School (NFTS) after 14 years, it was announced Friday. Powell, who has overseen the running of the NFTS since 2003, will leave the role in July. The school will begin its search for a successor in due course.
NFTS chairman Patrick McKenna said the school had seen “an unprecedented period of success” under Powell’s stewardship. During his time as director of the NFTS its students have received four Oscar nominations; won seven BAFTA film awards, including the last four consecutive best British animation awards; and collected 10 Cilect Global Student Film awards.
“I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Nik Powell and pay tribute to his considerable efforts to transform the school into the high-performing and well-respected institution that it is today,” said McKenna. “Nik has led the School to be widely recognised as the number one film school in the world with its students having won more top awards than any other film school.”
Powell has had a long career in the media industries initially in music as the co-founder of Virgin Records and later as a film producer. He served as chair of BAFTA’s film committee from 2010 to 2016 and as chair and deputy chair of the board of the European Film Academy between 1996 and 2013.
In 1982 Powell partnered with Stephen Woolley to form Palace Video, which was followed by Palace Pictures and Palace Productions. Palace’s films included Neil Jordan’s Oscar-nominated “Mona Lisa,” which won star Bob Hoskins best actor BAFTA and Golden Globe awards, and Jordan’s Oscar-winning “The Crying Game.” Powell served as co-producer on “Mona Lisa” and executive producer on “The Crying Game.”
Other Palace productions which saw Powell acting as executive producer include Julien Temple’s “Absolute Beginners,” Michael Caton-Jones’ “Scandal” and Jordan’s breakthrough sophomore film “The Company of Wolves.”