On Tuesday, the New York Film Academy in Union Square invited former student and filmmaker Andrei Severny to screen his experimental feature film, Condition. His film is a meditative experimental drama set in an apocalyptic atmosphere. “We wanted to make a film with no music and no dialogue,” said Severny. “I wanted to capture the essence of cinema.” The story is a sensory battle of the two female characters – sound therapist Mary Taggert and her young, disturbed patient, Alaska. Condition premiered at the 29th Torino Film Festival and was recognized by the Gandhi Glasses award.
Born in Moscow, Russia into a family of astronomers, Severny spent his early childhood in Egypt. In Russia, his early published and exhibited works included series of stills at magazines such as Monitor, Vogue, Elle and newspaper The Wall Street Journal.
In 2004, Andrei moved to New York City, where he eventually took up filmmaking at New York Film Academy. He recalled his time at NYFA and the benefits of being exposed to hands-on filmmaking from day one.
“NYFA was tremendously beneficial. Use this time as well as you can. It’s really not that easy to put a team together after school – you don’t have that structure. A lot of friends will stay with you for years to come.”
Andrei is currently working on a new feature, in which he hopes to explore more of a narrative form.
Bert and Arnie’s Guide to Friendship, an indie comedy produced by New York Film Academy alum Sal Irizarry, Jane Basina and Waj Arshad will be digitally released by FilmBuff on June 18, 2013. The movie, which stars Matt Oberg, Stephen Schneider and Anna Chlumsky, will be available on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Playstation, XBOX, YouTube, Nook, CinemaNow and Vudu.
Additionally, there will be a week-long theatrical run in New York at indieScreen (289 Kent Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211) from June 21-27, 2013 from 9pm-11pm.
Helmed by first time director, Jeff Kaplan, “Bert and Arnie’s Guide to Friendship” follows the romantic misadventures of Bert Sheering (Matt Oberg – Comedy Central’s “Ugly Americans”), a sophisticated, yet sexually repressed author and Arnie Hubert (Stephen Schneider – NBC’s “Best Friends Forever”), a no-nonsense executive and unabashed ladies man. When Bert discovers that Arnie is sleeping with his wife, this modern day odd couple are launched into a journey filled with comedy, romance and ultimately, friendship. Anna Chlumsky (“My Girl”, “Veep”) co-stars along with Cristin Milioti (2012 Tony Award Best Actress Nominee and 2013 Grammy Winner, “Once”).
New York Film Academy students and alumni are invited to a FREE SCREENING of the upcoming film, The Way, Way Back. Choose a date below and click on the link to reserve your tickets!
Cast: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, AnnaSophia Robb, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph and Liam James, Amanda Peet and Rob Corddry
Synopsis: THE WAY, WAY BACK is the funny and poignant coming of age story of 14-year-old Duncan’s (Liam James) summer vacation with his mother, Pam (Toni Collette), her overbearing boyfriend, Trent (Steve Carell), and his daughter, Steph (Zoe Levin). Having a rough time fitting in, the introverted Duncan finds an unexpected friend in gregarious Owen (Sam Rockwell), manager of the Water Wizz water park. Through his funny, clandestine friendship with Owen, Duncan slowly opens up to and begins to finally find his place in the world – all during a summer he will never forget. In theaters July 5. Rated PG-13.
His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, announced the winner of the Aspiring Filmmaker ZUMEFF/ New York Film Academy Award during ZU Middle East Film Festival 2013.
Congratulations to Aisha Alkaabi for her film Need for Speed.
Aisha will join New York Film Academy’s short program to write, shoot, direct and edit 3 of her own short films and crew on 9 others.
معالي الشيخ نهيان بن مبارك آل نهيان وزير التعليم العالي والبحث العلمي يعلن اسم الفائز بجائزة ” أكاديمية نيويورك للأفلام وجامعة زايد للمخرجين الطموحين” والتي تذهب لعائشة الكعبي عن فيلمها “الحاجة إلى السرعة
عائشة ستنضم إلى برنامج الأكاديمية لتعلم المزيد عن الإخراج السينمائي و ستقوم بإخراج ثلاثة أفلام قصيرة والعمل ضمن الفريق على ٩ أفلام أخرى
On Tuesday evening, the New York Film Academy was treated to a special screening of the Sundance Grand Jury Nominated feature, The Kings of Summer. The film stars Parks and Recreation’s Nick Offerman, Mad Men’s Alison Brie, and Will & Grace’s Megan Mullally. The story revolves around three teens, who decide to escape their dull parents for the summer and build their own home in the middle of the woods. Despite their lack of experience in the wilderness, the boys do their best to “live off the land.”
Joining us afterward was screenwriter, Chris Galletta, who answered questions from our moderator, Ben Cohen, and students. Surprisingly, Chris mentioned how this was his first screenplay and even he was surprised just how well the ball began to roll. The script gained Chris representation, was sold, was made, made it to Sundance, and will be released theatrically on May 31 by CBS Films. Clearly a testament to his talents, but self-admittedly some luck came into play. It was soon after Nick Offerman offered to play the father role that the film really became a reality. “I’m a huge fan of Nick’s,” said Galletta. “I love him on Parks and Recreation and couldn’t have asked for anyone better.”
Like most screenwriters, Chris admits he is highly critical of his work. He says he was rewriting drafts of his script all the way up until the movie began shooting. “I wanted to keep it funny throughout. I didn’t want it to lose its humor in the third act, like a lot of other comedies I’ve seen where it just wraps up the plot.” Some sound advice. Know your genre and maintain its tone from beginning to end.
Chris is currently working on a new comedy adventure, which is still being scripted.
Taaha Shah enrolled in a course at the New York Film Academy in Abu Dhabi and set his sights on becoming a famous actor. After graduating, he went to Mumbai to seek his fortune in Bollywood. Now, despite a few setbacks, he’s making headway in reaching his ambitions.
Shah has secured his first lead in the romantic comedy Luv Ka the End, produced by the legendary Bollywood production house Yash Raj Films and starring another up-and-coming talent, Shraddha Kapoor.
What brings Hip Hop star, John Legend, America’s richest man, Bill Gates, paradigm-shifter TED and New York Film Academy Documentary professor, Tony Gerber together with the top education thought-leaders from around the world? TED Talks Education, hosted by John Legend, which premieres tonight at 10/9 c on PBS.
Our two time Emmy-winner directed and produced the documentaries with the help of NYFA Documentary grads, Todd Leatherman, (’11 NYC Documentary) who is now Tony’s Production Coordinator/Equipment Manager at Market Road Films, and Ilaria Polsonetti, (’11) who served as Field Producer and Casting Associate. Both get big props from the Market Road crew. As do interns, Daphne Louise Ostendorf (’12) and JR Cronheim (’12).
TED Talks Education, hosted by John Legend, premieres May 7, 2013 at 10/9 c on PBS
Recently, the New York Film Academy invited MTV Senior VP of Series Development, Jacquelyn French, to speak during a Business of Screenwriting class. Ms French oversees creative development and production on numerous MTV series including “Snooki & Jwoww,” “The Real World,” currently in its 28th season and the soon to debut “The Show with Vinny.” She also served as one of the Executive Producers on the riveting and hugely successful “Jersey Shore,” granting her a well earned spot in TV and cultural folk lore. Over the years, she has also supervised the creative for MTV on such eclectic series as: “The Challenges,” “Run’s House,” “Making the Band,” “Road Rules,” “Daddy’s Girls,” “Fanatic,” and one of MTV’s early forays into scripted with “Undressed.”
Ms. French is a seasoned, MTV veteran having started at the network in 1993 and working her way up through a succession of positions. She began her MTV career in production management, and is one of the original team members that can lay claim as having worked on MTV’s very first summer beach house, as well as “MTV Spring Break,” the game show, “Idiot Savants” and two hugely popular music performance series, “Unplugged,” and “Live from the 10 Spot.” She fully transitioned into programming in 1999 where she performed various production roles from serving as executive in charge to executive producing.
Before joining MTV, Ms. French served as a writer and producer at DWJ Associates, creating video news releases and was a writer and associate producer at “Aviation Week and Space Technology” where she helped produced documentaries on military aircraft. Early in her career, she also worked with Linda Ellerbee for Nickelodeon, also a division of Viacom. She holds a BA from Syracuse University.
Given her strong background in the industry, Ms. French was able to provide valuable insight in regards to the business and creative side of series development. The lecture was well received by the class and the students were very appreciative of Jacquelyn’s visit. We’d like to thank Ms. French for taking time out of her busy schedule to speak at NYFA!
Nia Vardalos visited New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus last week for a private screening of her hit film, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, followed by a Q&A with students. After training at Chicago’s famed Second City, Vardalos was struggling to find work as an actress. She says she was told she “wasn’t pretty enough to be a leading lady, and not fat enough to be a character actress.” Determined to forge her own path, she wrote her own one-woman show in Los Angeles, based largely on her own upbringing in a Greek family. Rita Wilson came to see it, and returned again with husband Tom Hanks. The couple would soon give her the opportunity of a lifetime: to write and star in her first feature film.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding became a sleeper sensation, becoming the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time, and earning Vardalos an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. She followed up by writing, producing, and starring in Connie and Carla, and co-starred with Richard Dreyfuss in My Life In Ruins. She made her directorial debut with 2009’s I Hate Valentine’s Day, and co-wrote the box-office hit Larry Crowne.
Vardalos shared stories about her rise to fame with New York Film Academy students, and even brought prizes that she gave away throughout the night. “It was amazing how she was so humble and down to earth,” said MFA Filmmaking student Edrei Hutson. “She was willing to share her experiences and gave great advice on writing and filmmaking in general.”
Vardalos answered dozens of questions from excited students, and said, “Learn the rules so you know what you’re breaking. Be true to yourself and find people who support what you want to do.”
She is currently working on a project at Paramount, which she describes as an anti-romantic comedy for single people. Vardalos also recently released her first book, Instant Mom, in which she opens up about the heartaches, headaches, and humor of becoming an adoptive parent.