Serving those who have served

NFI’s connections to the United States military date back to the school’s founding in 2008. Our founder’s son served in the U.S. army and many of NFI’s first students, faculty members, and trustees had military ties.
NFI’s proud tradition of military involvement has remained strong over the past 10+ years. Today more than 20% of our students are military veterans.

Josh Lockard, Alumni, Veteran

“My journey to NFI began with a love for films, and a passion for creativity. Thankfully, NFI gave me the abilities to turn those dreams into a reality after my time in the military had ended, and a new journey was needed. NFI’s curriculum is perfectly fitted to accommodate those who do not have time for a four year school, the hands on training in lighting, photography, editing, cinematography, screenwriting, producing, and directing the actor, gives you the ability to perform your job at the highest caliber. NFI also employs a staff of experienced and educated instructors that work one on one with students during their time at NFI. Since graduating in February of 2020, I have made many connections while working on countless projects including *Mick Mullins –  Nashville Man* music video, an amazon prime series called Super Science Showcase, and a feature film with NFI’s very own instructor Micah Ellars. My career continues to flourish as my skills and knowledge strengthen.”

Anna Clary, Alumni

“I was attending a 4-year college when I realized there was a much quicker way to get started in the industry. I have been working in film the last year, instead of still attending university, because of the connections and opportunities I received while at NFI.”

Danielle Hardin, Alumni

“Before coming to Nashville Film Institute, I had only worked on projects for family and friends. But I fell in love with the art of filmmaking and wanted to learn more. At NFI I was able to work on several film projects while honing my craft. Which lead me to teaching film at Corbin Middle School for the past 3 years”

Andrew Williams, Alumni

“I wanted to come to NFI to push my creativity, work and passion for filmmaking. Those three things are significantly essential to be successful.”

Andrew Williams, Alumni

“I’ve never worked harder on anything in my entire life than I did on my thesis here at film school. It was absolutely the most rewarding moment of my life to see your hard work and creativity come to fruition among your friends, your teachers and most importantly for yourself.”

Scott Crain, Alumni

“I was in my thirties with a bachelor’s degree when I decided to pursue my lifelong dream of filmmaking. The Nashville Film Institute offered the perfect opportunity to learn the hands-on skills I needed, taught by industry experts, without wasting four years in a traditional undergraduate program.”

Heather McReynolds, Alumni

“I currently live and work in Los Angeles, CA as a production freelancer. In the past 3 years, I’ve worked on everything from small short films to big broadcasted television shows; Netflix, VICE, CBS, Hallmark. Anyone can do it; you just have to trust and believe in yourself. It’s hard work. No doubt, but I love what I do! And if you’re willing, you could love what you do too!”

Hunter Honn, Alumni

“I absolutely loved the experience I had (at NFI). I met new people and made new friends. We laughed together, worked together, and enjoyed our time together. We decided what kinds of films we wanted to make at the school, even so what movies we wanted to make after we’ve completed the program. We were taught by great teachers about the film business in general; what to expect, who to meet, and how to accomplish our goals as filmmakers…And right now I have a starring role as an actor in an upcoming Hulu/Prime Video streaming series…called By A Thread.”

Josh Lockard, Alumni

“I came to NFI a single father of two girls, and a veteran of the armed services with a passion for film, writing, and dreams of bringing my own story to life. NFI gave me the knowledge, confidence, and fuel to ignite my passion; the instructors at NFI are educated, and trained in their field with more than just a diploma but real-life experience that they pass along to the students. The staff is hands on, personable, and friendly. I graduated from NFI with more than just a degree, I graduated with a family of creatives that I have the honor of working with.”

Curt Cloninger, Father

“My son Kappel never was one who could be easily settled into a box…One day, he called me and said, “Dad, I’ve found a film school in Nashville called NFI. I think I could really learn a lot there. It’s practical, and intense, and there’s hands-on training with professionals…”

Curt Cloninger, Father

“At NFI Kap deepened his expertise and his passion for film. It was worth every penny I paid. I’m an actor and a writer, and, as a bonus, Kap asked me to act in, and co-write the screenplay for his final student film. It was one of the proudest experiences of my life. As a dad, I’d recommend, without hesitation, NFI for your out-of-the-box kid.”

Kelly Thompson Good, Parent

“My son attends NFI and is learning sooo much and he’s very happy at NFI. Every instructor is excellent and they go above and beyond to make sure each student is learning the material and experiencing success! The small class size is a definite advantage over the larger film schools. He isn’t a number at NFI.”
How to apply for Veterans Aid?
  • Submit your DD214 -Member 4 to the Financial Aid Office (in person or via email-[email protected])
  • Go to https://www.va.gov/education/how-to-apply/
    • Applying for new benefit (never used it before) OR
    • Update program or place of training (if you have used VA benefits at another school)
  • Answer all questions
  • Click "apply now"
  • Sign in with your VA credentials
  • Complete the Application and submit
  • Within 2-8 weeks you will receive a "Certificate of Eligibility" (COE); submit the COE to the Financial Aid Office (in person or via email-[email protected])

GI Bill® benefits

Veterans could be eligible for GI Bill® benefits

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