Before he unexpectedly passed away last summer, New York Film Academy (NYFA) 1-Year Screenwriting conservatory and BFA Acting for Film alum Elan Vega lit up the lives of everyone around him, especially his NYFA classmates. His positivity, hard work, and commitment to the arts now lives on through NYFA’s Elan Vega Award, and it was no surprise that the award’s first recipient was NYFA 1-Year Filmmaking conservatory student and BFA Acting for Film grad Michael Johnson.
Both Johnson and Vega graduated from the BFA Acting for Film program at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus. Both alumni also sought to expand their artistic talents into other avenues; in Spring 2019, Johnson enrolled in NYFA-LA’s 1-Year Filmmaking conservatory while Vega began studying in the 1-Year Screenwriting conservatory. Vega was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps who had a huge heart and who personified service, perseverance, and passion. Johnson is also a military veteran, having served in the US Army, and shares these same virtues, making him the perfect choice to receive the inaugural Elan Vega Award.
NYFA alum and Elan Vega Award recipient Michael Johnson
The award will be distributed each semester by New York Film Academy in Vega’s honor to students that embody Vega’s kindness, selflessness, and thoughtfulness, students who have demonstrated the desire to help their fellow artists whenever and wherever needed, as Vega had done so many times. Vega loved the process of storytelling, our community, and the friends he made at NYFA, and elevated both his classmates and his program with his enduring attitude.
To that end, the Elan Vega Award includes both a beautifully-crafted plaque and a financial grant to help recipients further their studies and artistic pursuits. Johnson received the award in February in a ceremony attended by, among other NYFA senior faculty, actor and NYFA Master Class instructor Matthew Modine.
Michael Johnson receiving the Elan Vega Award with senior NYFA faculty
Like Vega, Johnson is beloved by his peers in the NYFA community, as well as his instructors and other faculty and administration. While the tragic passing of Vega will never be forgotten, his spirit living on through his friends and through future graduates of NYFA who embody that spirit is something to celebrate. Friends and classmates of both Vega and Johnson were glad to see Vega’s memory honored by Johnson, who gave a heartfelt acceptance speech at the award ceremony.
New York Film Academy congratulates 1-Year Filmmaking conservatory and BFA Acting for Film grad Michael Johnson on receiving the inaugural Elan Vega Award and honoring the spirit of NYFA alum Elan Vega.
NYFA alum and Elan Vega Award recipient Michael Johnson
Without a doubt, the spread of the COVID-19 virus is at the top of TV newscasts around the world. That’s not surprising. That said, it is “business as usual” for the Broadcast Journalism department. And even if we can’t meet in Manhattan, my office in cyberspace is functioning just fine.
The Broadcasting Department connecting online
Something else that has been transformed is the U.S. Presidential race. Big campaign rallies have been cancelled, until further note. But, before they were, NYFA Broadcast Journalism grad Celina Liv Danielsen was traveling throughout the United States for Denmark’s TV2, and was able to capture when President Donald Trump arrived in New Hampshire.
NYFA Alum Celina Liv Danielsen captures Donald Trump at his campaign rally in New Hampshire.
As voters were getting ready for Super Tuesday and the selection of Democratic convention delegates in 11 different states, NYFA alum Karen Hua covered a Bernie Sanders rally in California for the NBC affiliate station in Bakersfield; note that she covered this event solo and posted on social media. TV news reporters are now expected to do so, as such
postings are essential to building and maintaining audiences.
Meanwhile, Brazilian Broadcast Journalism graduate Livia Fernanda had a far more pleasant assignment. She got to cover Carnival in Saō Paulo… but everything ended at midnight with the arrival of Ash Wednesday.
NYFA Alum Livia Fernanda covers Carnival in Brazil
Former NYFA student Suzane de Oliveira works for the French news agency AFP in Rio de Janeiro. An important part of her job is taking international AFP stories and repackaging them for the Brazilian TV market. Certainly one of the most moving stories I have seen in a long time was about a father in Syria, who found the best way to keep his young daughter calm as their town was under artillery and aerial bombardment was to make her laugh. Every time an explosion took place nearby, the two would burst into exuberant laughter.
Of course, some of our Brazilian grads (like some of our Danish grads) find their way back to New York City. Mariana Janjacomo was reporting from in front of the New York Stock Exchange recently, explaining the confusing economic news. She works for Jovem Pan, the main Brazilian radio station based in São Paulo. It is also the largest network of radio stations in the southern hemisphere and Latin America. Like other legacy media companies, they’ve branched out into online video news.
Thanks to all of you that passed along information about the NYFA Moscow Journalism Summer School (JSS). We received more than three times as many applications and queries as we have available openings. Successful candidates will be notified later this month.
Finally, if the Cannes Film Festival takes place this May (and right now, that is a big “if”) my independent feature film Invisible Love will be part of the Marche du Film. I must admit I was seriously surprised when I received a copy of the latest poster for the film, and discovered I got top billing! If anybody’s names should be up there, it ought to be Vietnamese actress Hoàng Phượng and NYFA Acting for Film alum Kazy Tauginas. They portray the two characters seen walking on a beach, near Da Nang in Viet Nam, in the poster.
In the interest of promoting social issues and international diversity, Netflix has curated a series of six films from Saudi Arabia, including two shorts by New York Film Academy (NYFA) alumni, Mohamed al Salman and Meshal Al Jaser. The series of six Saudi films is entitled Six Windows in the Desert and was made available last month in 190 countries.
The release is part of an extended effort by Saudi Arabia to expand its cinema culture. Last year, a feature film by NYFA alumnimade history by becoming the first Saudi film to screen in a professional theater in Jeddah since the nation lifted its 35-year-long ban on cinemas in 2018. With Six Windows, Netflix aims to “shine a light on thought-provoking subjects with a focus on social themes.”
One of the films in Six Windows in the Desert is the 2019 short 27th of Shaban, written and directed by Mohamed al Salman. The film follows two characters–Mohammed and Nouf–who go on a date, an act prohibited in Saudi Arabia. “It’s a simple love story in a very unique and complex culture,” says al Salman of his film. al Salman first attended NYFA’s 1-Year Filmmaking conservatory last fall.
“Cinema is just starting in Saudi Arabia,” he adds, “and I thought we have too many stories in the 2000s that were never told, which I remember vividly. I thought it’s interesting to tell and watch ourselves in the past, especially in a time where the Saudi society is changing considerably.”
Is Sumiyati Going to Hell? is another of the six films in the series, directed and co-written by BFA Screenwriting alum Meshal Al Jaser. The film tells the story of a maid named Sumiyati through the perspective of a family’s youngest child; Sumiyati previously won Best of the Month at the 2017 Gold Movie Awards. Al Jaser, who studied at NYFA’s Burbank-based campus, was recently nominated for the Grand Jury Prize for Best Short Film at the Sundance Film Festival for his film Arabian Alien.
Six WIndows isn’t just a major spotlight for Saudi films, but for short films as well. Arab News quoted NYFA MFA Filmmaking alum Abdulelah Al-Qurashi, who described the new series as a great opportunity for short films, “because we usually don’t see them. Short films are usually displayed at festivals.”
New York Film Academy Filmmaking alum Sultan Al-Salami, who worked on Is Sumiyati Going to Hell?, is thrilled to see Netflix recognize Saudi cinema. “Saudi has a massive amount of talent,” he tells NYFA, before rattling off a list of Saudi directors, producers, and writers, including Sara Alnawasra, Mississippi Ibrahim,Bader Alhomoud, Mahmoud Sabbagh, Haifaa al-Mansour, Malik Nejer, Ali Kalthami, Abdulaziz Alshlahei, Khaled Fahad, Hana Alomair, Dina Naji, Nawaf Alshubaili, and, of course, Sumiyati writer and director Meshal Al Jaser.
New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA alumni Mohamed al Salman and Meshal Al Jaser on their success and encourages everyone to check out their films as part of Six Windows in the Desert, currently available on Netflix.
On Friday, February 21, New York Film Academy (NYFA) welcomed NYFA MFA Screenwriting grad (Class of ’18) Elon Joi Washington, Development Manager at Monkeypaw Productions, and co-founder of Black Film Allegiance. Terah Jackson, ABA Club co-advisor, screenwriting instructor, and NYFA LAS instructor, moderated the event.
Washington is a screenwriter and story analyst with a passion for shedding light on untold narratives. She studied English, Film and Media at the University of Florida, Film and Television at Savannah College of Art and Design and graduated from New York Film Academy’s MFA Screenwriting program. She is the founder of the Black Film Allegiance, a virtual platform promoting collaboration and creative opportunity for up-and-coming filmmakers. Additionally, Washington currently works as Development Manager at Monkeypaw Productions.
Following a quick clip of Washington promoting the Black Film Allegiance, Jackson opened up the Q&A by touching upon the students’ interest in Washington’s screenwriting background. He asked, “This idea to become a writer and move into film, when did that start for you?”
Washington shared, “I always enjoyed writing. In undergrad I would do open mics as different character roles, and that’s what I started falling in love with character work. I was an English major with a film and media concentration and towards the end my school let me do some production work and I really enjoyed it. But, I was always more interested in what was on the page because it’s where I felt most comfortable creatively.”
Jackson then asked what type of stories Washington found herself most engaged in. She replied, “I like stories that revolve around social events and messages that matter to me; especially things that are quite researched. The genres I enjoy are docudrama, horror, psychological thrillers; however, I will do a sci-fi if there’s a bigger message attached to it, but it has to be grounded in truth with something that I know is happening today. Then, I’ll elevate that story in some type of way through a genre like horror.” She continued, “If there’s a research component, that’s usually the part that will draw me in and then the bigger message and character come after.”
Speaking on her time at NYFA, Jackson asked, “Looking back, what were the opportunities here at NYFA that prepared you for what you did after school?”
Washington answered, “There are so many resources here that I appreciate, partially because it’s so intimate here and the professors are so hands-on with your growth professionally and as a student. Part of what I appreciated was that opportunity to have one-on-one meetings, even as an alumna. The access you have as alumni is unparalleled. ” She continued, “Also, what you do with the network you’ve built here can really change the course of your post-grad experience. Just having a community and being here created such great connections for me.”
The Q&A then opened up to student questions. One student asked, “When you submit a script to Monkeypaw Productions, what is it they’re looking for in order to move forward with a story?”
Washington responded, “In terms of what Monkeypaw looks for–it’ts genre, underrepresented voices, and a focus on social issues of course, but in a way that’s fun.” She added, “When you’re dealing with difficult issues, you don’t want it to be like medicine, you want it to be rewatchable. It’s always that component, which is a very specific formula and very difficult to find.”
New York Film Academy thanks MFA Screenwriting alum Elon Joi Washington for joining sharing her time and expertise with our students!
New York Film Academy (NYFA) Photography alum Jon Henry has won one of photography’s most prestigious honors—the Film Photo Award.
NYFA Photography alum Jon Henry
The Film Photo Award is sponsored by Kodak Alaris and Kodak Professional and is awarded twice a year, providing three distinct grants of Kodak Professional Film and complimentary film processing by Griffin Editions to photographers who demonstrate a serious commitment to the art and who are motivated to continue the development of still, film-based photography in the 21st century.
During each Spring and Fall award cycle, two Visionary Project Awards and one Student Project award are granted to winners selected from emerging, established, and student photographers worldwide, who are 18 years old or older.
Henry enrolled in the 1-Year Photography conservatory at NYFA’s New York campus in Fall 2010. In his visual artwork, he focuses primarily on the American black family and the community at large, as well as the representation of athletes in fine art. His work has been featured in in ArtExpo New York, Smack Mellon’s Hot Picks 2017, and Miami’s Spectrum Art Show, as well as on the covers of Jungle and PDN magazines.
The Film Photo Award was awarded to Henry for his series Stranger Fruit, using the imagery of Michelangelo’s Pietà as a response to the ongoing, senseless murders of African American men by police officers across the United States. To capture the haunting images, Henry travelled across the country for five years and plans to continue for at least another two years through various additional locations, including New Orleans, Nashville, and throughout Texas in 2020.
New York Film Academy congratulates Photography alum Jon Henry on winning the prestigious Film Photo Award from Kodak and looks forward to seeing his continued work in the field!
Case in point: Most of you already know that the film Parasite was the surprise big winner at this year’s Academy Awards. Well it just so happens that independent film/entertainment reporter and NYFA alum Federica Polidoro did an EXCLUSIVE interview with the South Korean director behind this brilliant film, Bong Joon-ho.
Joelle Gargulio was a member of the very first NYFA Broadcast Journalism graduating class. From there, she started an entry level job at NBC Interactive, then worked her way up to a reporting/producing role on the Weekend Today show.
Here she is hosting the #PopStart segment on a recent Saturday morning (Note the cross-platform distribution).Television isn’t just television anymore!
Speaking of cross-platform distribution…Gillian Kemmerer was already an accomplished print journalist when she enrolled at NYFA, but wanted to become a multimedia journalist (MMJ). These days, she is covering sports and business, with a special emphasis on international hockey. She just passed an important milestone on Twitter and now has over 35,000 followers.
Gillian Kemmerer being filmed for a hockey segment.
Over the years, we have had a number of talented Brazilian students in the Broadcast Journalism department. Daniella Gemignani was already working for Brazilian media powerhouse Globo when she came to NYFA to study Broadcast Journalism, but she wanted to deepen and expand her skill-set. Recently, she celebrated her fifth anniversary with Globo.
Another Broadcast Journalism alum, who took a short-term workshop at NYFA, Daniel Fideli, recently recounted his final graduation project for the workshop back in 2014. “NYFA was such an intense experience,” he remembers, “I tend to say that those two months were more useful for me than my four years at university.”
Meanwhile, we also have an update from the Broadcast Journalism department’s “ambassador to the red carpet,” NYFA alum Bryanna Reynolds:
Finally, this July, Evgenia Vlasova and myself are teaching a 3-Week Journalism workshop in Moscow. Are you Russian? An early career journalist? A university student starting your senior year in September? (Or do you know someone like that?) Full scholarships are available, covering tuition, housing and transportation. Find more information at: http://nyfajss.com.
New York Film Academy (NYFA) 3D Animation & VFX alum Daniela Lobo Dias has been doing animation work on some of Hollywood’s biggest movies since graduating NYFA in 2015 , including the hotly-anticipated Sonic the Hedgehog movie.
“Daniela was a spectacular student whilst enrolled in NYFA,” says NYFA Animation and VFX faculty Robert Appleton, “where she—along with three other outstanding female students—created an incredible final project.”
After graduating, Lobo Dias interned at a top animation company in New York before relocating to the West Coast and then Canada. She has worked on special effects-heavy films such as Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Venom, Ad Astra, Bumblebee, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, and recently, Cats.
Her latest film is Sonic the Hedgehog, a mix of live-action and animation that adapts the wildly popular Sega video game franchise about a snarky blue hedgehog that outruns the bad guys at lightning speed. The film stars Jim Carrey as Sonic’s live action nemesis Dr. Robotnik, with Ben Schwartz voicing a completely animated Sonic. Sonic the Hedgehog is directed by Jeff Fowler and co-stars James Marsden, Adam Pally, and Tika Sumpter.
Lobo Dias worked as a layout artist on the film, with her primary tasks being blocking out CG elements (such as characters and environment assets) over the live action plate, creating projection camera setups to integrate live action plates into CG environments, and creating final camera animation with character blocking for full CG shots.
With Sonic coming out on Valentine’s Day, the animation had to be completed well before its theatrical release. In the interim, Lobo Dias worked on the upcoming Disney film Jungle Cruise, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Emily Blunt. She is currently working on the upcoming sequelGhostbusters: Afterlife. Her hard work at NYFA has certainly paid off.
“You get out of NYFA what you put in,” says Lobo Dias. “When you show up each day with enthusiasm and a readiness to listen and learn, you’re planting seeds with your teachers and classmates that blossom into a professional network.”
Lobo Dias is quick to express her gratitude for those who helped her along the way, however. “I am very grateful for my teachers at NYFA who not only taught me the skills I needed,” she adds, “but also nurtured my potential, and then gave me my first industry opportunities. A special shoutout to Rob, Boaz, Gavin, Tim, and Phoebe!”
New York Film Academy congratulates 3D Animation & VFX alum Daniela Lobo Dias on the release of Sonic the Hedgehog and looks forward to seeing the blockbusters she’ll be working on in the future!
The 2020 Awards Season culminated with a groundbreaking Best Picture win for South Korean film Parasite at the 92nd Academy Awards on Sunday, February 9. The win for the critically-acclaimed film by Bong Joon Ho was the first time in Academy history that a foreign language film took home the top prize.
The film also won Best International Feature Film, as well as Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Bong, who shared the latter with Jin Won Han. The multiple wins for Bong follows years of critical acclaim for previous efforts including Snowpiercer and Okja.
New York Film Academy (NYFA) Broadcast Journalism alum Federica Polidoro was able to interview Bong Joon Ho right after last year’s Cannes Film Festival, where Parasite won the Palme d’Or. The interview was an Italian video exclusive and released on Il Sole 24 Ore.
Parasite wasn’t the only win for diversity at the Academy Awards. With Hair Love winning Best Animated Short, producer Karen Rupert Toliver became the first black woman to win an Oscar in an animation category. Jojo Rabbit director Taika Waititi was the first indigenous person to be nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, and when he won, became the first person of Maori descent to win an Oscar.
Other notable news from this year’s ceremony includes the announcement of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which will open its door in December of this year. Netflix also celebrated on Sunday, with Laura Dern’s Oscar win giving the streaming giant its first Academy Award in any acting category. Dern won for Netflix’s Marriage Story, co-starring previous NYFA guest speaker Adam Driver.
At this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, the NYFA community celebrated a win as well, after seeing several alumni, faculty, and guest speakers involved with Oscar nominees across many categories. Toy Story 4, co-starring previous NYFA guest speaker Tony Hale, brought Pixar another trophy for Best Animated Feature.
New York Film Academy congratulates all the winners at this year’s Academy Awards, and looks forward to seeing even more international diversity included in the future!
Best Picture Ford v Ferrari The Irishman Jojo Rabbit Joker Little Women Marriage Story 1917 Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Parasite – WINNER
Lead Actor Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Adam Driver, Marriage Story Joaquin Phoenix, Joker – WINNER Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes
Lead Actress Cynthia Erivo, Harriet Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story Saoirse Ronan, Little Women Charlize Theron, Bombshell Renee Zellweger, Judy – WINNER
Supporting Actor Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes Al Pacino, The Irishman Joe Pesci, The Irishman Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – WINNER
Supporting Actress Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell Laura Dern, Marriage Story – WINNER Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit Florence Pugh, Little Women Margot Robbie, Bombshell
Director Martin Scorsese, The Irishman Todd Phillips, Joker Sam Mendes, 1917 Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Bong Joon Ho, Parasite – Winner
Animated Feature How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Dean DeBlois I Lost My Body, Jeremy Clapin Klaus, Sergio Pablos Missing Link, Chris Butler Toy Story 4, Josh Cooley – WINNER
Animated Short Dcera, Daria Kashcheeva Hair Love, Matthew A. Cherry – WINNER Kitbull, Rosana Sullivan Memorable, Bruno Collet Sister, Siqi Song
Adapted Screenplay The Irishman, Steven Zaillian Jojo Rabbit, Taika Waititi – WINNER Joker, Todd Phillips, Scott Silver Little Women, Greta Gerwig The Two Popes, Anthony McCarten
Original Screenplay Knives Out, Rian Johnson Marriage Story, Noah Baumbach 1917, Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino Parasite, Bong Joon-ho, Jin Won Han – WINNER
Cinematography The Irishman, Rodrigo Prieto Joker, Lawrence Sher The Lighthouse, Jarin Blaschke 1917, Roger Deakins – WINNER Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Robert Richardson
Best Documentary Feature American Factory, Julia Rieichert, Steven Bognar – WINNER The Cave, Feras Fayyad The Edge of Democracy, Petra Costa For Sama, Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts Honeyland, Tamara Kotevska, Ljubo Stefanov
Best Documentary Short Subject In the Absence, Yi Seung-Jun and Gary Byung-Seok Kam Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone, Carol Dysinger – WINNER Life Overtakes Me, Kristine Samuelson and John Haptas St. Louis Superman, Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan Walk Run Cha-Cha, Laura Nix
Best Live Action Short Film Brotherhood, Meryam Joobeur Nefta Football Club, Yves Piat The Neighbors’ Window, Marshall Curry – WINNER Saria, Bryan Buckley A Sister, Delphine Girard
Best International Feature Film Corpus Christi, Jan Komasa Honeyland, Tamara Kotevska, Ljubo Stefanov Les Miserables, Ladj Ly Pain and Glory, Pedro Almodovar Parasite, Bong Joon Ho – WINNER
Film Editing Ford v Ferrari, Michael McCusker, Andrew Buckland – WINNER The Irishman, Thelma Schoonmaker Jojo Rabbit, Tom Eagles Joker, Jeff Groth Parasite, Jinmo Yang
Sound Editing Ford v Ferrari, Don Sylvester – WINNER Joker, Alan Robert Murray 1917, Oliver Tarney, Rachel Tate Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Wylie Stateman Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Matthew Wood, David Acord
Sound Mixing Ad Astra Ford v Ferrari Joker 1917 – WINNER Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Production Design The Irishman, Bob Shaw and Regina Graves Jojo Rabbit, Ra Vincent and Nora Sopkova 1917, Dennis Gassner and Lee Sandales Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Barbara Ling and Nancy Haigh – WINNER Parasite, Lee Ha-Jun and Cho Won Woo, Han Ga Ram, and Cho Hee
Original Score Joker, Hildur Guðnadóttir – WINNER Little Women, Alexandre Desplat Marriage Story, Randy Newman 1917, Thomas Newman Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, John Williams
Original Song “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” Toy Story 4 “I’m Gonna Love Me Again,” Rocketman – WINNER “I’m Standing With You,” Breakthrough “Into the Unknown,” Frozen 2 “Stand Up,” Harriet
Makeup and Hair Bombshell – WINNER Joker Judy Maleficent: Mistress of Evil 1917
Costume Design The Irishman, Sandy Powell, Christopher Peterson Jojo Rabbit, Mayes C. Rubeo Joker, Mark Bridges Little Women, Jacqueline Durran – WINNER Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Arianne Phillips
Visual Effects Avengers: Endgame The Irishman 1917 – WINNER The Lion King Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
This year, the Photo Arts Conservatory at New York Film Academy (PAC at NYFA) participated in Photo LA, the annual event that links local and global artists and thinkers by sharing work to create an encompassing photographic experience. Students, alumni, and faculty were able to showcase their work alongside galleries, artists, collectors, dealers, and publishers.
PAC at NYFA curated an exciting show representing the values, aesthetics, and the intellectual rigor of our students, alumni, and faculty. The work shows our strong commitment to facilitating an education that combines fine art and commercial skills with critical theory and contemporary issues. We are thrilled to be a community of global visual storytellers, made up of students and faculty from around the world.
Additionally. PAC at NYFA also produced, hosted, and moderated three panels at FOCUS Photo LA. Our first panel featured photographer and NYFA faculty Lane Barden discussing his work in the MONUMENTality exhibition at the Getty. Frances Terpak, Curator of Photographs at the Getty Research Institute, joined the discussion, sharing her process of curating the show and the ideas behind it. Also there to deepen the conversation was Roberto Scheiberg, architect from the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design, who was present and an active player in the funding and exhibiting of the Linear City project at Woodbury University’s gallery in Hollywood (Wuho).
Our next panel was called Social Media Giants: Thoughts and Advice on Instagram, which featured Baz Here (NYFA MFA Photography student), Maddie Smith (BFA Photography student), and Alejandro Ibarra (MFA alum and NYFA instructor), who all have strong Instagram followings. Silvi Naci, artist, curator, and NYFA faculty, moderated the discussion exploring their use of Instagram as a platform, how they got their following, and what they saw the future of Instagram to be for photography.
Our last and totally sold out panel was a round table discussion called Photo Reps: The Inside Scoop on Intersectional Trends in Advertising. Artist reps and photo producers discussed their experiences in finding and representing diverse photographers and the roles women and people of color take in the making of commercial imagery. This panel featured Maren Levinson (RedEye), Jigisha Bouverat (BOUVERAT COLLECTIVE), Jen Lamping (Director of Photo Production at RPA), and Clarissa Garrett (Producer at 72andsunny), and was moderated by artist and PAC at NYFA faculty Amanda Rowan.
Artists from PAC at NYFA that exhibited at Photo LA included:
Changhao Song, BFA Alum Eric Magana, BFA Student Baz Here, MFA Student Dia Yunzhi Wang, MFA Alum Oluwasegun Oladele-Ajose, 1-Year Conservatory Alum Suge Hou, BFA Student Yilin Li, MFA Alum Jon Henry, 1-Year Conservatory Alum and Faculty Mengmeng Lu, BFA Alum and Faculty Angel Alvarado, Digital Lab Coordinator Amanda Rowan, Faculty Andre Keichian, Faculty Jackie Neale, Faculty Lane Barden, Faculty Kean O’Brien, Co-Chair Naomi White, Co-Chair
Easy Living, the debut feature film by New York Film Academy (NYFA) BFA Filmmaking alum Orso Miyakawa and his brother Peter—and shot by NYFA BFA Filmmaking alum Andrey Nuzhnyy, is screening at this month’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival as an Official Selection.
The film is self-described as a melancholic, coming-of-age comedy about a fourteen-year-old boy, his older sister, and a bizarre American tennis teacher who come up with an absurd plan to help a migrant sneak across the border. It recently had its premiere at the Torino Film Festival in Turin, Italy.
Orso Miyakawa and Andrey Nuzhnyy met during their first year together at NYFA’s New York campus. Together, Miyakawa and Nuzhnyy moved to Los Angeles a year later to complete theirBFA in Filmmaking studies at NYFA’s Burbank-based location.
NYFA BFA Filmmaking alum Orso Miyakawa
“We always worked on each other’s projects,” says Miyakawa of his time with Nuzhnyy at NYFA, “we watched hundreds and hundreds of movies together, and most importantly, we developed a similar sense of humor—which I believe is the key to understanding why we collaborate so well with each other.”
After graduating and working on various film sets around the world, Miyakawa and his brother Peter, who also collaborated on several NYFA projects, returned to their home country of Italy where they started a production company with their friends, family, and Nuzhnyy. Their company, Wise Pictures began producing short films and music videos before moving onto international feature films and collaborating with artists like Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name, Suspiria)
Their film Easy Living kicked off its festival run with its premiere at Torino, one of the largest fests in Italy. The film, written and directed by the Miyakawa brothers, was inspired by their childhood home, a small seaside town on the border between France and Italy.
NYFA BFA Filmmaking alum Andrey Nuzhnyy
Despite its specific, personal roots, the Miyakawa brothers have always aimed for the film to reach a universal audience. “The movie takes place around the Italian border with France,” Miyakawa tells NYFA, “but it could easily be transported to the US border with Mexico and work perfectly fine.”
Easy Living will screen atSanta Barbara International Film Festival, one of California’s most prestigious cinema fests, on Monday, January 20 at 4:30 p.m. local time. The film will screen two more times at Santa Barbara, on Tuesday, January 21 at 2:40 p.m. and Wednesday, January 22 at 8:20 a.m.
New York Film Academy congratulates Peter Miyakawa and New York Film Academy (NYFA) BFA Filmmaking alumni Orso Miyakawa and Andrey Nuzhnyy on Easy Living and encourage everyone in the Santa Barbara area to check out the film!