National Film and Television School

The James Walker Legacy Award

In September 2019, our much-loved friend and colleague James Walker passed away at the age of 38. The James Walker Legacy Award has been set up to create a lasting legacy in his name to benefit NFTS graduate screenwriters and producers.
raised of £75,000 target
by 1391 supporters
RCN 313429

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James was a much-loved writer, producer, lawyer and friend. He was also a very special person. He had the breadth of talent and personality to succeed as both a lawyer and as a creative producer/writer, and he did this effortlessly. James was a mentor and inspiration to those around him, supporting his colleagues, clients, industry peers and friends in a gentle and modest way, never seeking acknowledgment or praise for the many kindnesses (both small and large) that came so naturally to him.

James graduated from the National Film & Television School's Producing Course and subsequently won a BAFTA for Best Short Animation in 2014 with two of his NFTS course mates for their graduation film, "Sleeping With The Fishes". James then combined his love of film with his vocation as a solicitor and worked for over six years in the Film team at Lee & Thompson where he was a treasured colleague and friend.

In the wake of James' untimely death, some of those who knew him best as both a friend and a colleague joined together with his family and friends to discuss how to best pay tribute to James, remembering the wonderful person he was, the spirit in which he lived his life and the values he embodied.

The Award:

With the support of James family and friends, The James Walker Legacy Award has been set up by the NFTS and Lee & Thompson to commemorate James and create a lasting legacy in his name.

The Award will provide much needed support to aspiring screenwriters and producers in their first crucial year after graduating from the NFTS. This transitional period can be very challenging as graduates seek sustainable opportunities in the industry, having supported themselves financially during the two years of the course, and set out to build relationships that take time to forge but are key to furthering their careers.

The support provided by the Award will allow these graduates to dedicate their time to developing their portfolios and establishing themselves in the industry while they have the momentum and exposure provided by their work at the NFTS. It stands to help emerging talent as they navigate the challenges of breaking into the industry, while enabling them to establish themselves regardless of background or financial means, all in the spirit of the support James gave to so many.

Award recipients will receive some or all of the following:

Financial Assistance

Bespoke Mentoring

Legal Advice

Development & Networking Opportunities

The NFTS and Lee & Thompson will both be supporting the Award with financial and practical support, and James' family and friends will also be donating funds. We are seeking additional support from the industry that James held so dear to ensure that we can continue to provide this valuable support to NFTS graduates on a consistent basis for years to come.


Your donations will go directly to the NFTS and will be allocated to those graduating from the MA in Screenwriting course.

You can make either a one-off donation on this JustGiving page or if you would like to set up a regular, repeat payment, please contact the NFTS Fundraising team directly by emailing and mentioning the Award.

Thank you in advance for your generosity. James meant so much to so many of us and we hope that this Award will continue James' memory and be a fitting and lasting tribute to him.

About the charity

For nearly half a century, the National Film and Television School (NFTS) has developed some of Britain and the world’s top creative talent. We run more than 30 MA, Diploma and Certificate courses - as well as numerous short courses - across a range of film, television and games disciplines.

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