The National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) was established in 1978 as a public Institution of Higher Learning under the Supreme Military Council Decree (SMCD) 151 of 1978 to: 

  • Train young men and women in the skills and techniques of film production;
  • Train Film and Television producers and actors in the production and publication of feature films for adult education on a national and international basis;
  • Organize classes, lectures, seminars, demonstrations, experiments, research, and practical training in all aspects of film production.

The Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation (FEF) of the Federal Republic of Germany provided the initial technical assistance to the establishment of the Institute. In January 1979, the first batch of students was admitted for a three-year professional Diploma Programme in Film Directing, Television Production, Motion Picture Photography, Editing, Film Sound Recording, Set Design, Graphics, and Animation. NAFTI, providing the grounds for training skilled professionals for both Film and Television, has trained several Diploma students from Ghana and other African countries such as Nigeria, Swaziland, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Cameroon, Benin, Gambia, and Ethiopia. The last batch of these Diploma students graduated in 2001.

In 1998, NAFTI became affiliated with the University of Ghana, Legon, and upgraded its three-year Diploma Programmes to a four-year Degree Programme. The Institute, through the University of Ghana, Legon, now awards Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees in:

  • Film Directing
  • Television Production
  • Motion Picture Photography
  • Editing
  • Film Sound Production
  • Animation
  • Production Design

In 2016, the Institute in affiliation with the University of Ghana introduced a Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree Programme in Broadcast Journalism and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Degree Programme in Multimedia Production.

The Degree Programmes in Broadcast Journalism and Multimedia Production are also awarded through the University of Ghana, Legon.

The Institute also runs professional certificate and diploma courses in media and creative art in affiliation with the National Board for Professional and Technician Examinations (NABPTEX). The courses are in:

  • Film Directing (Documentary & Fiction)
  • Television Production
  • Scriptwriting
  • Production Design
  • Editing
  • Cinematography
  • Sound Production
  • Animation (2D and 3D)
  • Multimedia
  • Broadcast Journalism 

In addition, NAFTI has corporate packages with the interest to train media-related personnel in corporate organizations to broaden their understanding of the emerging trends in media and film production.

Currently, NAFTI is the only institution in the country that offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in internationally recognized production-based programmes in film and television.

By Cabinet Memo, NAFTI, which was formerly under the Ministry of Information and subsequently Ministry of Communication has been migrated to the Ministry of Education with a tertiary status effective January 1, 2017, under the direct supervision of the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC). 

By an Act of Parliament, ACT 1059 of 2020 NAFTI has now become part of the University of Media, Arts, and Communication (UMAC).