From K-Beauty to K-Pop, South Korean’s pop culture is taking the world by storm, flooding the internet with the latest YouTube influencers or musical supergroups and artists. New York Film Academy (NYFA) student, Seoyeon Chloe Shin, decided that now more than ever it was time to create a new kind of reality show, one centered around a pop up salon in Vietnam, affording customers the opportunity to transform themselves using K-Beauty techniques.
Seoyeon Chloe Shin is an award-winning director and producer, who has produced and directed more than ten documentaries and 100 TV shows that have been broadcasted nationwide and internationally. For the last 16 years, Shin has worked at Taegu Broadcasting Corporation (TBC), a major local broadcasting corporation located in Daegu, South Korea.
Her show, K-Beauty Salon, was in collaboration with TBC and a local Vietnam TV station. The show went on to win a Bronze Remi Award at Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival in April 2020. Shin has also previously been awarded ‘Best Picture in Local TV Show’ at the Korean Producer Awards (2018) and a ‘Best Picture for Children’ award at the Korean Producer Awards (2017).
Choi Soo Kyung, Ashley – Ladies’ Code, Park Si-hwan, and Cheon Min-kyu
“These days, K-Pop culture is so popular worldwide, including the styles of many K-Pop stars,” says Shin. “I wanted to make a cross-cultural entertainment program in Vietnam about K-Beauty.” The show, K-Beauty Salon, follows top Korean stylists as they spread K-Beauty in Da Nang, Vietnam by setting up a pop-up shop to showcase their outstanding beautician skills and have discussions with local customers who come into the shop along the way.
The cast of characters includes real-life professional stylists and personalities known throughout Korea and internationally including Cheon Min-kyu, a hair designer for various K-Pop stars and Superstar K5 winner and K-Pop singer Park Si-hwan, among others. “These days, entertainment shows should be more internationally focused,” says Shin. “So we planned to use K-Beauty to transform others to look like K-Pop stars.”
Seoyeon Chloe Shin being interviewed for ‘K-Beauty Salon’
Shin, who currently studies in NYFA’s 1-Year Filmmaking Conservatory program, decided to study at NYFA to gain an international perspective and learn the visual aspect of filmmaking in order to hone her craft for future shows and films. According to Shin, being at NYFA is a “good opportunity for me to go back to the basics and enhance my skill to make the show [and all projects] more precise.” She also notes that getting a taste of the other disciplines like acting has been “helpful for me to understand the actors.”
New York Film Academy congratulates Seoyeon Chloe Shin on her Bronze Remi Award and looks forward to seeing her continue to make her own path in international filmmaking for television.
To watch a full episode of K-Beauty Salon, watch the full video below or click here.
New York Film Academy (NYFA) alum Francesca Mazzoleni’s documentary feature length film, Puntasacra wins the ‘Sesterce d’or la Mobilière’ (Best Feature Film) at the 2020 Visions du Réel competition, held virtually from April 17 to May 2.
‘Puntasacra’ (Directed by Francesca Mazzoleni, courtesy of True Colours)
Mazzoleni atteneded the 4-Week Music Video Workshop at NYFA’s New York City campus in 2017. In addition to Puntasacra, Mazzoleni has directed feature film Succede and short films 1989, L’etoile de Mer, Lo so che mi senti, Nowhere, and Il Premio.
Puntasacra, her latest feature, is a documentary that tells the story of the inhabitants of Idroscalo di Ostia, a coastal outer district of Rome and the last portion of habitable land at the mouth of the Tiber, Punta Sacra. With half of the community’s houses destroyed by a fire in 2010, the documentary navigates the daily lives of the coast village’s inhabitants and naturally portrays the conversations between neighbors surrounding communism, familial secrets, and community altercations.
The film was one of 14 feature-length documentaries that were selected for main competition in the prestigious Swiss festival, Visions du Réel, in Nyon (this year online). After winning the Sesterce d’or la Mobilière with a cash prize of CHF 20,000 (£16,657), top Italian sales distributor, True Colours, acquired sales rights for the film.
Mazzoleni, who could not be there in person to accept her award since the ceremony was held online, made her own award from the items in her home and thanked her ten-person team, with whom she “shared a very complicated and wonderful adventure”. She also thanked the community of Idroscalo di Ostia who gave her the confidence to make her film. She closed her Instagram acceptance speech by telling her followers, “our journey begins today, be patient, the cinemas will reopen.”
Francesca Mazzoleni behind the scenes of her film ‘Succede’
New York Film Academy would like to congratulate Francesca Mazzoleni on the success of her latest documentary film and her recent win at Visions du Réel, and encourages everyone to check out Puntasacra when it becomes available in theaters or online.
New York Film Academy (NYFA) filmmaking alumni Gabriele Fabbro and Jonathan Samukange were given the opportunity to collaborate with Josh Homme’s super group, the Desert Sessions, to create two diverse and unique music videos for two of the tracks off the Desert Sessions’ latest album, Vols. 11 & 12.
The Desert Sessions is a musical supergroup formed by Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme, who has been hosting his “Desert Sessions” retreats since 1997. Each session involves a different group of well-known musicians mixed with unknown talent, who come together in the desert to simply play music and experiment with new techniques and melodies.
Official photo courtesy of the Desert Sessions musical collective
“It is a really creative project that Jonathan Samukange and I have had the pleasure to be involved in,” says Italian filmmaker and NYFA alum Gabriele Fabbro. “Matador records and Josh Homme reached out to NYFA looking for filmmakers to shoot music videos for their latest album Vols. 11 & 12. We had a great first meeting with Josh [Homme], where he explained the nature of the sessions.” After pitching their ideas for their videos, Fabbro and Samukange were selected by Homme and given a production budget to create two videos for the Desert Sessions.
Still from “If You Run” (Directed by Gabriele Fabbro)
Fabbro’s video, “If You Run,” follows a young woman who witnesses something terrifying in the woods and tries to escape. The director’s inspiration for the video was taken from deadly attacks on European journalists. “I used to read a lot of news about murders,” says Fabbro. “I remember one [story] in particular that happened in a cornfield. That article came to mind while hearing ‘If You Run’.”
Filmmaker and NYFA alum Gabriele Fabbro
“I wanted to play with tension,” says Fabbro. “I wanted a video that would keep the audience at the edge of their seat.” To portray this, Fabbro made sure that every aspect of the video embodied a sense of fear and unease for the viewer “Every tool in the video, from the shakiness of the handheld shots to the distorted sound of the radio, serves to exaggerate this fear.”
The second video created for Desert Sessions was for the song “Move Together,” directed by NYFA Filmmaking alum Jonathan Samukange, who is also known as “Director O.” His video, filmed in his home country of Zimbabwe, is a reimagining of the story of Adam and Eve. The video enlisted residents of an entire village and utilized the region’s stunning natural landscape to create “a time capsule” and hallucinatory trip through time.
“Move Together” (Directed by Jonathan Samukange)
Before being involved with the project, Samukange says he wasn’t planning on staying in the U.S because his vision is to “change the face of cinema in Africa and bring new opportunities.” When he initially pitched his vision for the video, he knew it could only be filmed in his home country of Zimbabwe. “It was a huge risk, but I believed in my heart that the people in Africa have a lot to offer and that’s what I was bringing to the table.”
Filmmaker and NYFA alum Jonathan Samukange
When asked about his vision for the video, Samukange stated, “the theme of love and working together [in the lyrics] as well as the conflict that comes with such connections took me back to the time of Adam and Eve.” He explained that their love “created conflict in their lives and they still stayed together through thick and thin.” He wanted his audience to also feel the attraction of opposites and conflict by combining two opposite elements for the video. “I immediately fell in love with the idea of fusing rock and Afro House dance moves. In my opinion, when cultures clash, new relationships and ideas form.”
New York Film Academy would like to congratulate both Gabriele Fabbro and Jonathan Samukange on the release of their videos for Desert Sessions and looks forward to seeing what both alums will come out with next. NYFA also encourages everyone to check out Desert Sessions Volumes 11 & 12, out now, on Matador Records.
On Monday, May 11, New York Film Academy (NYFA) had the pleasure of hosting a live video Q&A with Golden Globe American actress Beanie Feldstein on the occasion of the national release of her latest film How to Build a Girl, in which she has a starring role. Tova Laiter, Director of the NYFA Q&A Series, moderated the event.
Beanie Feldstein grew up with a love of theatre and the arts, which led her to pursue musical theatre and eventually a career in acting. “I was obsessed with musicals,” she tells Laiter. “It was all I ever wanted to do [to perform]. I did community theatre my whole upbringing.” After her senior year of college studying Sociology, Feldstein decided to begin auditioning for acting roles and eventually landed her first speaking role on Orange is the New Black in 2015 followed by Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, The Female Brain, and the HBO pilot for The Devil You Know; launching Felstein’s screen actor career.
Tova Laiter & Beanie Feldstein discuss Feldstein’s prep for her latest film ‘How to Build a Girl’
Feldstein’s SAG nominated performance in Greta Gerwig’s Oscar-worthy Lady Bird that Feldstein cemented her rise to prominence. That same year, she starred as Minnie Fay in the Broadway revival of Hello Dolly! alongside Feldstein’s hero and Broadway legend, Bette Midler. The musical went on to receive a Tony Award for “Best Revival of a Musical” and Feldstein received critical acclaim for her performance on the live stage.
Feldstein was then cast in the highly anticipated film Booksmart, which served as actress Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut and Feldstein’s first role with top billing. The role earned her a Golden Globe nomination for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy” and the film went on to win the 2020 Independent Spirit Award for “Best First Feature.”
Beanie Feldstein as Johanna Morrigan in ‘How to Build a Girl’
Following a screening of the film’s trailer, Laiter opened up the Q&A by commenting on how Feldstein was able to nail her British accent and asked her how she first came to be involved with the production.
Feldstein read the script for the film while she was still performing onstage for Hello Dolly!. As she read the script, Feldstein recalls that she couldn’t help but feel that she knew this character. “She loves the world, she loves to write, she really is a giving and imaginative spirit, and I just knew her even though I grew up in Los Angeles and was born in the ‘90s. Caitlin’s writing is so deeply felt and it sparkles.” When Feldstein called her agent back, she remembers telling him, “I’ve never been more scared of anything in my life, ever, but I HAVE to try.”
After co-starring with Kaitlyn Dever in Booksmart, Feldstein remembers being really nervous and excited all at once for landing the starring role and leading the entire cast for How to Build a Girl. “I thought, ‘What do I want the crew and the cast and Coky [Giedroyc] to remember me by?’ Then I remembered I’d rather be kind than good in a scene.”
Saorise Ronan (left) and Beanie Feldstein (right) in Greta Gerwig’s ‘Ladybird’
A filmmaking student then asked Feldstein how directors can better work with their actors when on set, to which Feldstein responded, “the greatest gift all of the beautiful and incredible directors that I have worked with have given me is a feeling of stability and calm.” Feldstein then recalled her time working with Olivia Wilde on Booksmart and how Wilde would say, “sets are like construction sites.”
“Stay very calm and clued into what they [your actors] are doing and what they are feeling because there is so much beautiful chaos on a set, especially when you are in a time crunch,” Feldstein replied. “The greatest gift you can give is to just say ‘it’s you and me, I’ve got this, and I’m here for you’.”
Feldstein on set during the filming of ‘Booksmart’ with co-star Kaitlyn Dever
Feldstein then concluded that, overall, no matter what role you play on a film set, take advantage of as many opportunities as possible, and if you lose a job, put yourself in another person’s shoes. “You might be perfectly right for something, but if not, it’s the other girl or guy’s best day of their lives. If you don’t get something, it’s the best day of another person’s life.”
New York Film Academy would like to thank the gracious Beanie Feldstein for sharing her time and expertise with the students and encourages everyone to watch her latest starring role in How to Build a Girl, now available to stream, and to keep an eye out for Feldstein as Monica Lewinsky in Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story: Impeachment, which has yet to start production.
The composers in the NYYS songwriting program vary in age from 12-22 years old. Under the guidance of the program director, Anna K. Jacobs (2020 Jonathan Larson Grant recipient), the young songwriters chose moments from the animated Pixar film Inside Out to set to music in a verse/chorus musical form. Students from the Harlem School of the Arts, as well as students from the New York Film Academy, were assigned different songs, rehearsed with the composers, and then performed the songs in front of David Yazbek and an audience.
David Yazbek (Left) and Anna K. Jacobs (Right) share with PCMT, NYYS, and Harlem School of the Arts students
Yazbek offered feedback on all of the compositions to the NYYS songwriters. Siya Simanga (PCMT) sang a song called “Bing Bong Guide Song”, written by Grace Gamins, in which the character of Bing Bong (Riley’s childhood imaginary friend) offers Joy and Sadness help in getting back to headquarters. Jordan White (PCMT) sang the final song of the night called “I Miss Minnesota”, written by Kayden Merritt and arranged by Simon Broucke, in which Riley confesses to her parents how sad she sometimes about leaving her childhood home.Jordan was joined by PCMT students Alexis Loiselle as Sadness, Jennifer Molson as Joy, Lucia Caballero as Disgust, Mario Greiner as Anger and Siya Siyamtanga as Fear.
All of the NYFA PCMT students that participated and attended said it was very refreshing to hear the creative process talked about in a different way. Yazbek’s call to remain curious and explore multiple genres of music and types of culture was a valuable lesson for actors and composers alike and he encouraged everyone to collaborate constantly with those around them. Several PCMT students commented later that they were struck by his kindness and humility as he offered feedback, even as his obvious expertise shone through.
NYFA PCMT students perform their musical piece based on the Pixar film ‘Inside Out’
After meeting PCMT’s music supervisor, Anna Ebbesen, at a workshop a few years ago, Anna K. Jacobs has had an affiliation with NYFA in several different ways. She composed music for an original movie musical, Kaya: Taste of Paradise, for the PCMT 2-Year program. The film was directed by NYFA’s Paul Warner, choreographed by head of dance, Michelle Potterf, with a book by Jerome Parker and music supervised and orchestrated by Ebbesen.
Jacobs also did a reading of her show Echo as part of the NYFA “New Works Series ” with our musical theatre students. Ebbesen has also joined Jacobs at the NYYS Musical Theater Songwriting Program as music director. It’s true, having multiple “Anna’s” on email chains is confusing, but both of them are happy to have such a strong relationship with both the Harlem School of the Arts and the New York Film Academy, and they appreciated this opportunity to share new musical theatre with the next generation of performers and creatives.
David Yazbek observes as students perform their musical pieces
New York Film Academy thanks David Yazbek and Anna K. Jacobs for sharing an evening with NYFA PCMT students to provide constructive feedback and industry expertise. NYFA would also like to thank the New York Youth Symphony Musical Theater Songwriting Program for opening up the master class to NYFA PCMT students, and the Harlem School of the Arts for their participation and collaboration.
On Friday, February 7, New York Film Academy (NYFA) hosted, along with Magnum Photos and Mana Contemporary, Magnum Photos photographer Moises Saman and Editor at Large for Special Projects at TIME Magazine, Paul Moakley. Both presented highlights from their body of work at NYFA’s New York campus and screened TIME Magazine’s documentary short, The Capital Gazette Won’t Be Silenced 1 Year Later, which was directed and shot by Saman, and produced by Moakley.
Moises Saman, a member of Magnum Photos, began his career at Newsday, covering the fallout of the 9/11 attacks. Throughout his career, he spent most of his time in the Middle East, shooting monumental moments of conflict like the Iraq War, the Arab Spring, and the Syrian Civil War. “As a journalist, I’m a product of the time I’m living in,” he said when asked about his professional career and motivation for visual storytelling.
Saman opened the discussion by recounting the start of his career in the newspaper industry. “It meant working really fast,” he says, emphasizing the constant deadlines and, at times, the personal sacrifice it took to get a story out. He then went on to describe how engulfed in his work he had become as a photojournalist, being constantly on the road 12 months out of the year. That kind of dedication, however, produced his stunning photographs capturing moments in time, like an image of a boy with a hunting rifle running through a sandstorm or another image he displayed of a man taming an Arabian horse, looted from one of Saddam Hussien’s palaces in Baghdad.
Moises Saman (Left) and Paul Moakley (Right) speak with the audience | Photo courtesy of Cecilia Collantes, Magnum Photos
Saman also discussed developing a professional relationship with Paul Moakley. Moakley, Editor at Large for Special Projects at TIME Magazine has managed TIME’s visual coverage of breaking news, presidential elections and key franchises such as TIME’s Person of the Year and TIME 100 for the past decade. Moakley was always interested in Saman’s work, but it took both of them at least 20 years until they ended up actually working together.
Moakley opened up to the audience about how the professional relationship between himself and Saman evolved over the years from photographer and editor to producer and director. “It is incredibly cool when we work together,” he says, “it’s not a transaction, it’s a relationship.”
Moakley, who recently worked with climate activist Greta Thunberg for the TIME’s Person of The Year for 2020, recalled when he asked Saman to shoot the TIME Person of the Year cover for 2018. This particular assignment meant Saman having to fly 30,000 miles around the world to shoot 18 people for 4 covers. This was the year TIME profiled “The Guardians and the War on Truth,” acknowledging slain reporter Jamal Khashoggi, imprisoned reporters Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone, Rappler founder Maria Ressa, and the entire staff of the Capital Gazette.
Saman recalls meeting each person he photographed saying, “for me, the people on these covers, especially the two women (the wives of the two imprisoned reporters), had experiences I related to. It was an intimate experience for me.”
Moakley and Saman then screened their documentary short about The Capital Gazette reporters one year after the shooting that plagued their newsroom and took the lives of five of their colleagues. Moakley and Saman recalled that this experience, for them, required the utmost amount of trust and time to cultivate the relationship with the paper. To this day, The Capital Gazette has not let any other outlet other than TIME profile them on such a personal level.
New York Film Academy thanks Magnum Photos, Moises Saman and Paul Moakley for taking the time to share their knowledge, expertise, and experience with students and guests of NYFA.
On Thursday, July 25th, the New York Film Academy hosted a screening and discussion with Film Critic, Peter Rainer on the film, The Conversation, by Francis Ford Coppola. Made in 1974 The Conversation, is about a surveillance wire tap expert, played by Gene Hackman in his finest performance, who believes he may be implicated in a murder plot. The film is especially relevant today because of the issues it raises about how technology invades our privacy, and for film students, it’s a great example of how sound design on a low budget (courtesy of the amazing Walter Murch) can be an essential storytelling ingredient. It’s also a great example of how a thriller/detective story can also serve as the vehicle for profound observations about the human condition.
Peter Rainer has 30 years of professional experience as a film critic. Rainer is currently the film critic for the Christian Science Monitor and can be heard regularly on NPR’s Film Week on kpcc-fm. He was one of three finalists in 1998 for the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism and is a three-time winner of the Arts and Entertainment Journalism Award for best online film critic. He has also written and co-produced two A&E biographies, on Sidney Poitier and John Huston, as well as co-authoring the film Joyride (1977). He has served on the main juries for the Venice and Montreal film festivals.
Rainer opened up the discussion by asking the students in attendance what feelings they had towards the movie. Responses included one student sharing the difference in the impact of sound quality when watching the film on a television screen at home versus in a theater. Another student inquired on Rainer’s opinion on how the ending of the film should be interpreted. Rainer shared, “Well it’s sort of a poetic metaphor, perfect ending for this movie in a way, that somebody whose job it is to infiltrate other people’s lives, is himself done in by the very tactics that he’s a master of.”
The dialogue continued with Rainer asking a student if they felt as though the murder dream sequence in the film was necesary to the movie. After agreeing that it was not, Rainer added, “I’ve heard this mentioned, I’ve never been able to pin it down, that the film had certain editing issues, editing problems, and that that dream sequence was originally shot not to be a dream scene. Then they sort of cut it in and put the smoke around it and made it seem like it was a dream. I can’t entirely buy that explanation because of what he says to her and so forth. If it wasn’t a dream, if he tracked her down and was yelling at her, then the whole plot falls apart.”
Rainer then continued on to discuss the alignment the film had with the political environment at the time of its initial release. “As I said when I started out, when this film came out, it was just before Richard Nixon resigned, after he bugged the democratic national committee, and that’s what started the whole Watergate Scandal,” Rainer stated, continuing, “They immediately drew a line between this film and what was going on in the country, but it turns out he had written this script a good ten years before all of that. But a lot of the tools in the film and a lot of the gizmos and mechanisms that he uses were very similar in many ways to what the actual watergate burners used, which is another reason why people thought he was making a great political statement when in fact it was just one of those things.”
Rainer concluded with sharing insight on Coppola’s belief in auteurs being the only true artists in the filmmaking world, revealing, “Coppola has always had this notion that to be a true artist, you have to be an auteur and write the movie, a well as direct it.” Rainer contested this idea by saying, “I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with adapting other people’s scripts, or adapting other people’s novels. There are many great directors who can’t write screenplays, but know a good screenplay when they see it.”
The New York Film Academy would like to thank Peter Rainer for sharing his knowledge and critic with students.
On Tuesday, August 13, the New York Film Academy hosted a Q&A with Executive Producer, Producer, and UPM, Nathan Kelly. Kelly was joined by a creative executive for Working Title Films, Dana Himmelstein, and the event was moderated by NYFA instructor Denise Carlson.
Kelly’s line producing credits include Destroyer, Certain Women, Short Term 12, and he just finished production on Covers for Working Title / Focus Features. Recently, Nathan served as the Unit Production Manager on Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood and White Boy Rick.
Carlson began the Q&A by asking Kelly and Himmelstein to share how they got started in the industry. Kelly shared his journey through film school in which he took part in many different aspects of the film industry before deciding he wanted to become a producer. “I thought I wanted to script supervise then quickly realized I wanted to be more on the producing side of things,” Kelly stated, adding, “So I found my way into becoming an assistant to producers and I worked for a music manager, television producer, celebrity manager in LA for a bit and just learned the general details on how to get things done and navigate problems.”
When asked to share his experiences in performing multiple aspects of production, from executive producing to serving as a unit production manager, Kelly shared, “Each role has a lot of overlap. It’s really unique to the movie and it’s unique to the people you’re working with. It all kind of filters into this idea of being kind of like a team leader and overseeing, helping to manage the budget, the logistics, and the overall methodology of the production and how you’re gonna shoot the movie.”
Working as collaborators on Working Title / Focus Features’ latest project, Covers, a film about the music industry,Kelly and Himmelstein were asked to share what the development process was like. Nathan began by saying, “This script had an unusually high amount of rewriting for a production which had nothing to do with the script. The challenges were related to production, and when the movie gets cast a lot of times you may rewrite the roles to fit these different actors that you never anticipated coming on.” Dana added, “There’s a difference in what makes a really good script and what makes a really good movie. Once you’re in production mode, the goal post just moves.”
Carlson then inquired about Kelly’s biggest project and the summer blockbuster hit, Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood, asking him about the environment on set and working with the points of views of well-known filmmakers and acclaimed actors. Kelly stated, “It taught me so much about different ways of thinking about filmmaking. The way that the set functioned was as a big movie, but it also had an intimate energy to it as if it were an independent film. Everybody cared so deeply about what they were doing and the level of dedication that was there was not just from the crew, but also on the cast side as well. Everybody was just insanely dedicated, on time, and available. It was really easy to adopt that same attitude throughout the process.”
Kelly’s shared some wisdom on what encompasses a great producer, asserting, “You have to protect the movie from every aspect. It’s basically a really careful process of communicating with everybody and allowing the ideas to be out on the table, but making sure to squash all the ones that take away from the film.”
The New York Film Academy would like to thank Kelly and Himmelstein for sharing their experiences and entertainment industry advice with students.
New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking Alum and Partizan director Aisultan Seitov has been nominated for MTV’s VMA for Video of the Year Award for 21 Savage’s music video “a lot” featuring J. Cole. The tone and visuals of the video were influenced by The Godfather Part II and last year’s Oscar-nominated film Cold War. Seitov previously directed the music video for “Red Room,” the first single from Offset’s much-hyped solo album, which gained a lot of buzz for its striking visuals and powerful emotive tone.
The following video contains explicit content.
Born in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Seitov first came to New York Film Academy as a high school student in our Advanced Filmmaking Camp for Teens, a year later attending the 1-Year Filmmaking Conservatory at our New York campus before enrolling in the BFA program in Los Angeles. Along the way, Seitov gained a substantial social media following as an influencer with insight about music and international film. As Shoot Online explains, “This nomination further solidifies Seitov’s reputation as a leader among the new crowd of creators who integrate cutting-edge creativity and digital savvy with youthful authenticity.”
Hosted by comedian and actor Sebastian Maniscalco, the 36th annual MTV VMAs will be held at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, the first VMA ceremony to be held in the Garden State. Often called the “Super Bowl for youth”, the VMA ceremony draws millions of youth each year, and awards the coveted “Moon Person” statues to winners chosen by viewers who voted on their favorite videos in each category on MTV.com.
The New York Film Academy congratulates Filmmaking alum Aisultan Seitov on his nomination for Video of the Year and looks forward to tuning in tonight for this year’s MTV VMAs at 8:00pm ET.
Nominees for the 2019 MTV VMAs include:
Video of the Year
21 Savage ft. J. Cole – “a lot” – Epic Records
Billie Eilish – “Bad Guy” – Darkroom/Interscope Records
Ariana Grande – “thank u, next” – Republic Records
Jonas Brothers – “Sucker” – Republic Records
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Records Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records – WINNER
Artist of the Year
Cardi B – Atlantic Records
Billie Eilish – Darkroom/Interscope Records Ariana Grande – Republic Records – WINNER
Halsey – Astralwerks/Capitol Records
Jonas Brothers – Republic Records
Shawn Mendes – Island Records
Song of the Year
Drake – “In My Feelings” – Young Money/Cash Money/Republic Records
Ariana Grande – “thank u, next” – Republic Records
Jonas Brothers – “Sucker” – Republic Records
Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper – “Shallow” – Interscope Records Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Records – WINNER
Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records
Best New Artist
Ava Max – Atlantic Records Billie Eilish – Darkroom/Interscope Records – WINNER
H.E.R. – MBK/RCA Records
Lil Nas X – Columbia Records
Lizzo – Atlantic Records
Rosalia – Columbia Records
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Records
Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper – “Shallow” – Interscope Records Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – “Señorita” – Island Records – WINNER
Taylor Swift ft. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco – “ME!” – Republic Records
Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber – “I Don’t Care” – Atlantic Records
BTS ft. Halsey – “Boy With Luv” – Columbia Records
Push Artist of the Year
Bazzi – Atlantic Records
CNCO – RCA Records Billie Eilish – Darkroom/Interscope Records – WINNER
H.E.R. – MBK/RCA Records
Lauv – LAUV/AWAL
Lizzo – Atlantic Records
5 Seconds of Summer – “Easier” – Interscope Records
Cardi B & Bruno Mars – “Please Me” – Atlantic Records
Billie Eilish – “Bad Guy” – Darkroom/Interscope Records
Ariana Grande – “”hank u, next” – Republic Records Jonas Brothers – “Sucker” – Republic Records – WINNER
Khalid – “Talk” – Right Hand Music Group/RCA Records
Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records
Best Hip Hop 2 Chainz ft. Ariana Grande – “Rule the World” – 2 Chainz Ps/Def Jam
21 Savage ft. J. Cole – “a lot” – Epic Records Cardi B – “Money” – Atlantic Records – WINNER
DJ Khaled ft. Nipsey Hussle & John Legend – “Higher” – We The Best/Epic Records
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Records
Travis Scott ft. Drake – “SICKO MODE” – Epic Records/Grand Hustle/Cactus Jack
Anderson .Paak ft. Smokey Robinson – “Make It Better” – Aftermath Ent/12 Tone Music
Childish Gambino – “Feels Like Summer” – RCA Records
H.E.R. ft. Bryson Tiller – “Could’ve Been” – MBK/RCA Records
Alicia Keys – “Raise A Man” – RCA Records
Ella Mai – “Trip” – 10 Summers/Interscope Records Normani ft. 6lack – “Waves” – Keep Cool/RCA Records – WINNER
BTS ft. Halsey – “Boy With Luv” – Columbia Records – WINNER
BLACKPINK – “Kill This Love” – YG Entertainment/Interscope Records
Monsta X ft. French Montana – “Who Do You Love” – Epic Records
TOMORROW X TOGETHER – “Cat & Dog” – Republic Records
NCT 127 – “Regular” – SM Entertainment
EXO – “Tempo” – SM Entertainment
Anuel AA, Karol G – “Secreto” – Universal Music Latino
Bad Bunny ft. Drake – “MIA” – OVO Sound/Warner Bros. Records
Benny Blanco, Tainy, Selena Gomez, J Balvin – “I Can’t Get Enough” – NEON16/Friends Keep Secrets/Interscope Records
Daddy Yankee ft. Snow – “Con Calma” – Universal Music Latin Entertainment
Maluma – “Mala Mía” – Sony Music US Latin Rosalia & J Balvin ft. El Guincho – “Con Altura” – Columbia Records – WINNER
Best Art Direction
BTS ft. Halsey – “Boy With Luv” – Columbia Records – Art Direction by JinSil Park, BoNa Kim (MU:E) Ariana Grande – “7 Rings” – Republic Records – Art Direction by John Richoux – WINNER
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Records – Art Direction by Itaru Dela Vegas
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – “Señorita” – Island Records – Art Direction by Tatiana Van Sauter
Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records – Art Direction by Brittany Porter
Kanye West and Lil’ Pump ft. Adele Givens – “I Love It” – Warner Records & Def Jam Music Group – Art Direction by Tino Schaedler
The 1975 – “Love It If We Made It” – Dirty Hit/Interscope Records
Fall Out Boy – “Bishops Knife Trick” – Island Records
Imagine Dragons – “Natural” – KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records
Lenny Kravitz – “Low” – BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd. Panic! At The Disco – “High Hopes” – Elektra Music Group – WINNER
twenty one pilots – “My Blood” – Elektra Music Group
The Chainsmokers ft. Bebe Rexha – “Call You Mine” – Disruptor/Columbia Records – WINNER
Clean Bandit ft. Demi Lovato – “Solo” – Big Beat/Atlantic Records
DJ Snake ft. Selena Gomez, Ozuna & Cardi B – “Taki Taki” – DJ Snake Music Productions Ltd/Geffen
David Guetta, Bebe Rexha & J Balvin – “Say My Name” – Big Beat/Atlantic Records
Marshmello & Bastille – “Happier” – Capitol Records
Silk City & Dua Lipa – “Electricity” – Columbia Records
Billie Eilish – “Bad Guy” – Darkroom/Interscope Records – Directed by Dave Meyers
FKA twigs – “Cellophane” – Young Turks – Directed by Andrew Thomas Huang
Ariana Grande – “thank u, next” – Republic Records – Directed by Hannah Lux Davis Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Records – Directed by Calmatic – WINNER
LSD ft. Labrinth, Sia, Diplo – “No New Friends” – Columbia Records – Directed by Dano Cerny
Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records – Directed by Drew Kirsch & Taylor Swift
Video for Good
Halsey – “Nightmare” – Astralwerks/Capitol Records
The Killers – “Land of the Free” – Island
Jamie N Commons, Skylar Grey ft. Gallant – “Runaway Train” – Interscope Records
John Legend – “Preach” – Columbia Records
Lil Dicky – “Earth” – Dirty Burd, Inc./Commission/BMG Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records – WINNER
Best Visual Effects
Billie Eilish – “when the party’s over” – Darkroom/Interscope Records – Visual Effects by Ryan Ross, Andres Jaramillo
FKA twigs – “Cellophane” – Young Turks – Visual Effects by Matt Chandler, Fabio Zaveti for Analog
Ariana Grande – “God Is a Woman” – Republic Records – Visual Effects by Fabrice Lagayette, FKristina Prilukova & Rebecca Rice for Mathematic
DJ Khaled ft. SZA – “Just Us” – We The Best/Epic Records – Visual Effects by Sergii Mashevskyi
LSD ft. Labrinth, Sia, Diplo – “No New Friends” – Columbia Records – Visual Effects by Ethan Chancer Taylor Swift ft. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco – “ME!” – Republic Records – Visual Effects by Loris Paillier & Lucas Salton for BUF VFX – WINNER
Anderson .Paak ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Tints” – Aftermath Ent/12 Tone Music – Editing by Elias Talbot
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Record – Editing by Calmatic Billie Eilish – “Bad Guy” – Darkroom/Interscope Records – Editing by Billie Eilish – WINNER
Ariana Grande – “7 Rings” – Republic Records – Editing by Hannah Lux Davis & Taylor Walsh
Solange – “Almeda” – Columbia Records – Editing by Solange Knowles, Vinnie Hobbs, Jonathon Proctor
Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records – Editing by Jarrett Fijal
FKA twigs – “Cellophane” – Young Turks – Choreography by Kelly Yvonne Rosalia & J Balvin ft. El Guincho – “Con Altura” – Columbia Records – Choreography by Charm La’Donna – WINNER
LSD ft. Labrinth, Sia, Diplo – “No New Friends” – Columbia Records – Choreography by Ryan Heffington
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – “Señorita” – Island Records – Choreography by Calvit Hodge, Sara Biv
Solange – “Almeda” – Columbia Records – Choreography by Maya Taylor, Solange Knowles
BTS ft. Halsey – “Boy With Luv” – Columbia Records – Choreography by Rie Hata
Anderson .Paak ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Tints” – Aftermath Ent/12 Tone Music – Cinematography by Elias Talbot
Billie Eilish – “hostage” – Darkroom/Interscope Records – Cinematography by Pau Castejon
Ariana Grande – “thank u, next” – Republic Records – Cinematography by Christopher Probst Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – “Señorita” – Island Records – Cinematography by Scott Cunningham – WINNER
Solange – “Almeda” – Columbia Records – Cinematography by Chayse Irvin, Ryan Marie Helfant, Justin Hamilton
Taylor Swift ft. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco – “ME!” – Republic Records – Cinematography by Starr Whitesides
5 Seconds of Summer
BLACKPINK BTS – WINNER
Why Don’t We
Best Power Anthem
Ariana Grande – “7 Rings”
DJ Khaled, ft. Cardi B & 21 Savage – “Wish Wish”
Halsey – “Nightmare”
Lizzo ft. Missy Elliott – “Tempo”
Maren Morris – “GIRL”
Miley Cyrus – “Mother’s Daughter”
Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down”
Megan Thee Stallion ft. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign – “Hot Girl Summer”
Song of the Summer
Ariana Grande & Social House – “boyfriend” – WINNER
Billie Eilish – “bad guy”
DaBaby – “Suge”
Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber – “I Don’t Care”
Jonas Brothers – “Sucker”
Khalid – “Talk”
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)”
Lil Tecca – “Ransom”
Lizzo – “Truth Hurts”
Miley Cyrus – “Mother’s Daughter”
Post Malone ft. Young Thug – “Goodbyes”
ROSALÍA & J Balvin ft. El Guincho – “Con Altura”
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – “Señorita”
Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down”
The Chainsmokers & Bebe Rexha – “Call You Mine”
Young Thug ft. J. Cole & Travis Scott – “The London”
New York Film Academy (NYFA) Alum Alexandre Kyriakidis grew up watching movies, and eventually, started making his own. Kyriakidis attended NYFA’s 8-week and 12-week workshops in 2001 before going on to shoot multiple short films as well as over 50 music videos across the globe.
Kyriakidis hails from France from Greek and American parents, and has lived both in Europe and California, watching movies from his grandmother’s vast film collection nearly as early as he can remember. Those movies both inspired and influenced his own projects, which he started making at a young age and continues to make today.
Filmmaking runs in the family — Kyriakidis’s aunt is producer, director, and Oscar-winning actress, Jodie Foster. While Kyriakidis says their artistic sensibilities differ greatly, Foster has still appeared in some of his favorite films.
The New York Film Academy spoke with Alexandre Kyriakidis earlier this year about his background, his work, and about the four movies that had a lasting impact on his filmmaking aesthetic:
New York Film Academy (NYFA): Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what brought you to New York Film Academy?
Alexandre Kyriakidis (AK): I was born in France from a Greek father and an American mother, and have been living in Europe most of my life with some extended periods in the USA, in California mostly. I started making backyard films in high school until landing an internship at 14 years old for the French visual effects company DUBOI (they don’t exist anymore), who were doing Alien: Resurrection at the time.
What brought me to NYFA was that after graduating from high school I couldn’t find a film school that I liked; most of them would rely too much on theory and not enough on practice, and I also didn’t want to sit in classes for hours learning about the films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder for example, when I had already seen these films and built my own film education since I was a kid.
But then I learned about New York Film Academy and it suited me perfectly; it was all about practice and hands on, where just after the first day you would already touch and use the most important tool in filmmaking — the camera. It was all about living, breathing, and dreaming films.
NYFA: What was your time at NYFA like?
AK: It was the best time in my life, because nothing around me was important, nothing else mattered but films, and I was surrounded by people just like me — people who loved films more than anything.
I also met some of the most amazing people in my life, other students with whom I shared the same passion, other students with whom I can talk about movies that weren’t just blockbusters, and students from all over the world who became friends and with whom I still communicate today.
NYFA: Why have you decided to focus on directing?
AK: I always wanted to tell stories, to make movies, but I wanted to be the person who was in charge of the creative aspect — deciding what was going to be on the screen, basically put on the screen what is in my head — and that is why I wanted to become a director.
I have had many influences from when I was a kid, and even today I’m influenced by many great filmmakers. But when I was a kid, four movies had a big impact on me, and three were directed by the same person.
First was Raiders of the Lost Ark by Steven Spielberg. I think I saw that film on VHS when I was four or five years old, and I remember seeing it in Greece at my godfather’s home. Looking back at it today, it’s a harmless film, but … leaves a big impact on you as a kid.
The other film was Robocop, that I saw on VHS at six, and when I first saw it, it felt like if I was watching something forbidden, something I wasn’t allowed to see … Then when I was eight, Total Recall was being replayed in Greece one night on a giant screen on the beach, and my dad and godfather took me to see it.
And then when I was ten, I was in Los Angeles one summer and my grandmother showed me Basic Instinct. So as you have guessed, Paul Verhoeven had a big impact on me.
After that my grandmother, who owned at the time a huge film collection, started to show me everything she owned, from the films of Werner Herzog, to the classic Italian films like Last Tango in Paris, as well as the films of Akira Kurosawa, the films of Stanley Kubrick, French films, German films, Soviet films — I basically saw everything, and I mean absolutely everything.
So my film education came from there, and it’s after seeing all these great works of art that I wanted to make films myself.
AK: I had always wanted to make music videos, but never really knew how to get into it. All I knew is that great directors like David Fincher, for example, started in music videos and still make some once in a while.
In my case, there is this guy I know in England who was starting his own music company after owning an event company for whom I shot videos in nightclubs, and he asked me to make a music video for a Romanian singer.
And I had never worked on a music video before, never learned how to make a music video, so really I didn’t know much, but I told him I would do it. A few weeks later we were shooting on the Mediterranean with a skeleton crew and a Canon 5D camera.
And after the success of that music video, a second music video was made for the same singer; again it was a success, eventually new artists were signed up, mostly metal and hard rock, so I ended up doing more music videos.
Eventually other music companies from all over Europe, even Russia, contacted me, and I made music videos for them. Some being hits, some doing well, others doing less well, and once in a while there is a controversial one that ends up in flaming internet debates.
Now even after making 50 music videos, I still feel that I’m learning more every day, and each one of these 50 are like making a new short film each time. A good thing about music videos is that they allow you to experiment, to test new tools or to try things you would never dare doing in a movie.
NYFA: What kind of music videos do you prefer working on? Is there a particular genre of music you feel lends itself better to the medium?
AK: I have done mostly rock, metal, and gothic music videos, but I have also done a lot of pop music videos in Eastern Europe, in Southern Europe, and in Russia. My first music video was a pop one.
My taste in music is rock with a preference for ’90s and ’80s rock. I have always been a rock fan, so I’m always enjoying making rock music videos.
But I still feel pop music videos are the ones that are the most fitted for music videos, because the songs are often so overproduced and have so much Auto-Tune in them that they are often recorded with a music video already planned.
Rock music is made for the stage, pop is made for the screen.
NYFA: Can you tell us about your short films? What are they about and what inspired you to make them?
AK: My first short film, Blues Stop was made right after NYFA, shot on Super 16mm. It’s a thriller about a Bible salesman who falls for a psychopathic, beautiful female serial killer who ends up framing him for murder. The film was never shown in its home country of France, but it was screened in festivals all over the world, including in Los Angeles.
My second short film, C22, made many years after my previous one, is a sexual thriller with a dose of action, a dose of horror — it’s about a kidnapping gone wrong. This film once again didn’t get shown in any festivals in France, but was shown in festivals all across the world, including North America.
And my third short film, Sfagi, is just a small-budget martial arts action movie about capturing a fugitive. Originally it was just going to be a demo reel for a group of martial artists and stuntmen, but I managed to convince them to make a short film.
You can check out Alexandre’s film below, though speaking with NYFA, he made it clear that since it was his first film straight out of school, he finds it very hard to share with anyone these days.
“I will always be proud of it,” he says, “on the other I have made so much progress since.”
But even in his first film, his talent is evident and shows the potential of his craft that would come later. Alexandre also made sure to give props to his experienced crew, many of who had just come offLove Actually and Neil Jordan’s The Good Thief. The director of photography of the film was focus puller on Star Wars: A New Hope.
NYFA: Besides Raiders and the films of Paul Verhoeven, what are some of your other favorite films or types of films?
AK: I don’t have a type of film, I like any film — science fiction, drama, horror, action, or comedy. I can enjoy just as much a classic heavy duty drama just like I can enjoy an old ’70s exploitation film.
But my all time favorite film, the one that is all the way up there, would be Gone with the Wind and then I would say the following: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Blade Runner (the original one), Ran, Suspiria (the original one), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Léon: The Professional, Schindler’s List, and I can go on because I have actually done a list of my 200 favorite films of all time. But as you can see in just these titles, it’s very diversified.
NYFA: What did you learn at NYFA that you’ve applied directly to your filmmaking?
AK: I learned to think and not be impulsive. By that I mean back when I was at NYFA we still shot on film, meaning that each time we pressed the camera trigger it would mean money being lost — so if you failed your shot, or if an actor messed his lines, that is money lost that you will never see again… While today with digital we can shoot all day; sure it saves a lot of money, but you end up not thinking as much anymore before shooting. While I, because I learned on film, I tend to treat digital the same way I learned to treat film.
Also the fact that NYFA is very hands on, I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty… how many times was a prop in the way and I would just go and move it myself, instead of having the 1st AD call the Prop Master so he would come and move it? How many times have I picked up the camera myself and taken the shot myself, and little details like that?
NYFA: What other projects are you working on or do you plan to work on?
AK: I have been trying for years now raising enough money to make a feature film, it’s a vampire film — it’s at the same time a sexual thriller, a horror, and a romantic film. But it’s not easy.
I’m also trying to make another short film named Femme Fatale that is a tribute to the old “film noir” movies of the ’40s and ’50s. And I’m trying to finish a script named The Lobster Shift that is a mix between After Hours by Martin Scorsese, Into the Night by John Landis, and the Japanese anime Cat’s Eyes.
NYFA: How has your aunt, Jodie Foster, as either an actress or director, influenced your own work?
AK: Our works are the total opposite — she’s more cerebral than me while I’m more impulsive and react more by instinct. And you can notice it in her films, her films as a director are always very character-driven, while my works are more visually driven.
As an actress she happens to be in three of my all-time favorite 100 films — Taxi Driver of course, Silence of the Lambs obviously, and Bugsy Malone, a forgotten gem that happens to be Alan Parker’s first film.
It’s not an influence, but each one of my works — being a music video or a short film, even my scripts — she’s always the first person to see them (even sometimes before the actual producers or bands) or the first reader, especially when it comes to scripts; her advice and opinions are very precious, and help me to make them better.
NYFA: What advice would you give to students just starting out at NYFA?
AK: Be ready to live films 24/7 … try not going out at nights and have fun learning about your passion, and you are all in good hands.
The New York Film Academy thanks alum Alexandre Kyriakidis for taking the time to answer our questions and looks forward to following his continued success as a filmmaker!