Danishka Esterhazy with actress Celina Martin on the set of Level 16

Above: Danishka Esterhazy with actress Celina Martin on the set of Level 16 developed through NSI Features First

Founded in 1986, the National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI) is the only national training organization in Western Canada for writers, directors and producers in film, television and digital media.

We are devoted to developing exceptional storytellers and advancing their careers through world-class training, mentoring and market-relevant programs. We passionately support Indigenous and non-Indigenous creators and strive to change the world for artists and audiences. Excellence in storytelling is at the heart of everything we do.

NSI programs are funded by generous individuals, businesses, foundations, governments and agencies.

Our vision

Excellence in storytelling.

Our mission

To be the leader in developing award-winning content creators. We will always deliver training that is current, relevant and of the highest standard.

NSI helps bring great stories to the screen

“Everything you know is a story.” – George the Poet

It takes special nurturing to train storytellers for the screen. That training makes creators successful nationally and internationally, ensuring Canadian stories are shared with the world.

NSI alumni are behind some of the world’s best stories – as writers, directors and producers.

Our portable, world-class training helps develop emerging and established Canadian creators and their projects for the global marketplace.

Our programs are developed through ongoing, extensive consultation with industry and have led to successful careers by strengthening graduates’ skills and providing a competitive edge. 91% of NSI grads are working in the film and TV industry today (2018 survey).

Come join the NSI family – as a program participant, faculty member, or as a donor.


  • 200+ associate faculty are working professionals who ensure training is current and responsive to the real-world marketplace.
  • Courses are intensive, and students do not have to move away from home. High-level, professional training takes place in many Canadian cities and communities and via digital technologies to reach people in every region – urban, rural and remote.
  • NSI leads in the design and delivery of programs that provide training to Canada’s Indigenous screen professionals.
  • NSI helps advance careers that will grow the Canadian industry and contribute to regional and national economies, stimulating employment for the long term.

NSI’s business structure

A board of directors oversees the operations of NSI. The board chair is Marlene Kendall (Manager, Internal Audit at Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation).

NSI’s funding sources

For fiscal 2018-19, NSI derived 71% of its total revenues from corporate sponsorships demonstrating the industry’s support of our initiatives. Another 3% came through earned revenues from our programs and the remaining 26% resulted from various governments, private sector, agency sources and foundations.

NSI’s history

Read about NSI’s evolution over the years.