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New York Film Academy Faculty

FACULTY

Producing Department

Ashley Bank Ashley Bank
Co-Chair of the Producing Department

Ashley Bank has been working in the entertainment industry virtually her entire life, as an actress, producer, stand-up comedian, and writer. She is a graduate of New York University, with a B.A. in Film, Journalism, & Political Science. She is also a graduate of The Second City Conservatory.

As an actress, Bank has appeared in over 40 commercials, and has guest starred on TV shows like Family Ties, My Two Dads, Frasier, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She’s also appeared in numerous TV movies, working with greats like Henry Winkler, Dolly Parton, and Raquel Welch, as well as in the film The Monster Squad.

Bank has produced several award-winning short films, one of which won the prestigious NYU Wasserman/King Award, and another of which was sold to the IFC Channel. She also worked as a producer for CBS News/48 Hours, and later for CBS News’ documentary department, working on documentaries for The History Channel, The Food Network, A&E, Discovery, and ESPN.

Ashley continues working as an actress and a writer, recently appearing with her sketch comedy group at the LA Comedy Festival and in several plays, as well as performing stand-up at The Improv and The Comedy Store. She recently appeared in a production of The Country Club, and directed Don’t Dress for Dinner with her theater company Accidents Happen.
Roberta Colangelo Roberta Colangelo
Co-Chair of the Producing Department

Roberta Colangelo-Zawinul received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the Academy of Fine Arts, Milan, Italy, and holds an ABA-approved Paralegal certification from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has taught at the New York Film Academy for the past four years for both the Producing and Documentary departments.

Colangelo-Zawinul was the founder and president of Focus Documentaries, a production, distribution and legal services consulting company in Milan, Italy. From 2000 to 2005 she managed the worldwide exclusive catalog of the Vatican and co-produced a documentary entitled The Vatican – How the Smallest Kingdom in the World Works, making her the first female producer to work with the Vatican.

She has extensive experience in contract administration, has liaised directly with business and legal affairs professionals, mediated contract negotiations, and represented clients’ projects at the most important industry markets.
Joseph Bonier Joseph Bonier
Sound

An active sound mixer and sound designer, Joseph graduated with a B.A. from the University of Maryland. Joseph also has a degree in Recording Engineering from the Recording Connection. He has worked as boom operator and sound mixer for numerous features, TV shows and shorts. He also worked as an engineer at Avalon studios in Washington D.C. and Matrax productions in Philadelphia.

Lydia Cedrone Lydia Cedrone
Feature Track

MBA, NYU Stern School of Business and BA, Boston College. Film producer, with credits including the MGM release THE BETRAYED. Former executive at The Walt Disney Co., Trimark Pictures and Savoy Pictures. Managed finances on more than two-dozen studio films. Oversaw company operations for Michael Man and the film ALI, starring Will Smith. Longtime Chair and current Interim Chair of NYFA Producing Program, and Head of NYFA MFA Feature Tracks. Has developed extensive workshop curriculum and travelled internationally to conduct producing workshops abroad.
Denise Carlson Denise Carlson
Producing, Thesis Advising, Advanced Pitching

Former Disney executive, overseeing more than 40 Disney Channel movies, including the mega-hit HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL. BFA Rollins College, Masters in Counseling Psychology from Ryokan College.
Jim Coane Jim Coane
Producing Reality Television

Jim Coane is an Emmy award winning television producer, writer, director and development executive. He is credited as executive producer, developer and director on many network, syndication and cable series, including Dragon Tales, Walking the Bible, America's Most Wanted, Totally Hidden Video and Futurequest. Coane has executive produced hundreds of series' episodes, specials and pilots for all the networks as well as cable and international broadcasters. He is the creator and Executive Producer of the multi-award winning animated PBS series Dragon Tales. He worked on staff in overall producer deals at Sony Pictures Television, Fox Television Studios and was president of the production division of Unapix Productions.
James Coburn James Coburn
Sound

James H. Coburn IV, C.A.S., has been working in production sound for over 20 years, mixing such independent features as Free Enterprise (1998) with Eric McCormack and William Shatner, All's Faire in Love (2009) with Christina Ricci and Ann Margret, and The Bronx Bull (2013) with William Forsythe and Joe Mantegna. His TV work includes Black Scorpion produced by Roger Corman, and reality show Guru2Go on Discovery Networks channel Health TV. He served on the Board of the Cinema Audio Society for seven years, and was instrumental in creating the CAS Technical Achievement Awards honoring innovation in the equipment and software used by production and post-production sound mixers. Before moving to NYFA, from 2008-2015 James shared his enthusiasm for sound with students at LAFS. He teaches the fundamentals of production audio — utility sound, booming, recording & mixing — emphasizing capturing performance, and the importance of production sound in enhancing and supporting the director's artistic vision.

Alan de la Rosa Alan de la Rosa
Screenwriting

Won the Jack Nicholson Prize in Screenwriting and the Audience Favorite Award at the UC Shorts Competition. Developed and managed projects as a creative executive at Lemon Films USA. Produced live children's theater events and live corporate events. Wrote and produced an independant feature film which has been distributed digitally. Writer and ghostwriter of various screenwriting assignments.
Kevin DiNovis Kevin DiNovis
Business Practices, Marketing & Distribution

Kevin DiNovis studied dramatic craft with Pulitzer Prize winning absurdist playwright Edward Albee. His first feature film, SURRENDER DOROTHY (1998), won the Grand Jury prize for Best Feature at Slamdance, Chicago Underground, and New York Underground Film Festivals. DiNovis has also adapted the bestselling thriller LOVES MUSIC, LOVES TO DANCE for USA Networks, wrote DEATH & TEXAS with Academy Award nominee Charles Durning, and teamed up with former Paramount President, Frank Yablans on the adaptation of bestseller, SOUL SURFER. Has served as a long term judge for the Slamdance Screenplay Competition, discovering the scripts THE WOODSMAN AND MARIA, FULL OF GRACE. First writer selected to inaugurate Marvel Studio's Writers Program.
Josh Eiserike Josh Eiserike
Screenwriting

Josh is a writer/cartoonist who has written for the HUB animated series “G.I. Joe: Renegades” and MAD Magazine. He has developed pilots and features with various production companies. Josh’s first comic book “Class of ‘99” won an Ignatz award (the Independent Spirit Award of comics) and his subsequent graphic novel “Anyone But Virginia” is currently distributed by Alterna Comics. MA in journalism from the University of Missouri and an MFA in film production from USC.
Rick Greenwood Rick Greenwood
Cinematography and Directing

Cinematographer and producer, known for Hunger Games: Tribute Johanna (2013), Hinnon Valley (2010) and 4 Dead Girls: The Soul Taker (2012)
Denise Hamilton Denise Hamilton

Denise Hamilton is a writer-producer for TV, whose work has been produced for NBC and CBS affiliates in New York and Boston, the Discovery Channel, the Fox Family Channel, E! Entertainment, de Passe Entertainment, and Quincy Jones-David Saltzman Entertainment. Ms. Hamilton wrote and produced the documentary Ngone’s Story: A Tale of Africa’s Orphans for the NBC/IBC series Horizons of the Spirit. Ms. Hamilton was coordinating producer for both the ABC-TV documentary Motown 40: The Music is Forever, and WNBC-TV’s For Peace Sake: Youth Speaks Out, which won three local Emmys. She also was the writer and field producer of two hour-long documentaries on Rwandan refugees for GBGM Productions: A Harvest of Love and Refugee Camps of Zaire, which aired on the Odyssey Channel; as well as Nicaragua, a one-hour documentary on missionary work in that country. For the past nine years she has served as co-chairperson of the Black Association of Documentary Filmmakers-West. B.F.A. Theater, Howard University, M.A. Education, NYU.

Greg Hemstreet Greg Hemstreet
Budgeting and Entertainment Accounting

Senior production executive at Universal Pictures, overseeing production finance on numerous high profile films including THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS franchise. Liaise between Universal Pictures and co-production entities such as Blumhouse Productions, Legendary Pictures and Judd Apatow Productions. BS University of Southern California.
Travis John Hoffman Travis John Hoffman
Master's Lighting, Advanced Grip Workshop, Master's Camera Technique

Travis Hoffman found his love for photography while traveling the world and watching films with his father. Some years later he received his B.S. in Cinematography from Full Sail University and his MFA in Photographic Theory at the Brooks Institute of Photography. He has had the opportunity to lens such artist as Jennifer Lopez, Neyo, Snoop Dogg, Katy Perry, David Guetta, Bret Michaels, Ice Cube, Diana Krull, Katrina Bowden and Malcolm Goodwin. His client list includes NBC, NIKE, A&E, History Channel, EMI Music and Universal Music Group.

His inspiration comes from all the beauty in the world that most people seem to miss. Travis draws upon his expertise in the fields of lighting, composition, art and design. This broad-based understanding of technique and visual storytelling contributes to his unique perspective and signature photography style.

David Jackson of NYFA Film School faculty David Jackson
Directing

Masters Program, Film Production, USC School of Cinematic Arts; President’s Fellow, Film Production, Rhode Island School of Design; BA, General Studies, University of Kentucky. Director of over 100 prime time episodic television shows including CSI:NY, Supernatural, and Vampire Diaries. In addition, David has directed 20+ TV movies and independent features. He is a member of the DGA and WGA, having won the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for best TV drama (The Equalizer), and a DGA nomination for best Children’s Program (Buffalo Dreams) for Disney Channel.

Susanne Kent Susanne Kent
Acting for Producers

Series regular on “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse,” “St. Elsewhere,” “The Garry Shandling Show,” and “Brotherly Love.” Voice actor on “Rugrats,” “The Wild Thornberrys,” and “Rocket Power.” Over 30 film credits, including “Middle Men,” “Honey, I Blew Up the Kid,” “Nuts,” “The Boost,” and “History of the World: Part I.”
Matt Kohnen Matt Kohnen
Thesis Advising

MFA in Film Production, USC; BA in Theatre/Playwriting, University of California, Irvine. Director/writer of feature film “Wasting Away,” winner of awards at 6 festivals worldwide. Directed short films with Academy Award-winning producer Rob Fried.
Justin LaReau Justin LaReau
Producing, Thesis Advising, Feature Track, Film Production

BS in Economics, Illinois State University, MAT in Teaching, Olivet Nazarene University and MFA in Producing, New York Film Academy. Founded Zoe and Pebbles Productions in 2013. LaReau's feature: A Demon Within (2016) to be distributed by Blue Fox Entertainment. Currently in development on several feature projects.
Emerson Machtus Emerson Machtus
Business Practices

EMERSON MACHTUS was born into the film business. He has lived extensively in Europe, South America and the Caribbean, speaks Spanish natively and has multiple passports. Emerson has been actively working in the International Film Business for over 15 years in different capacities including film production, creative development, acquisitions, international sales, film distribution and financing in Mexico, Spain, London and Los Angeles. He’s produced and been involved at different stages of production on projects of many sizes and budgets from Studio to small indies. He wrote and produced the documentary “From River To Sea”. He has acquired European and Latin American rights for multiple titles and bought movies like David Ayers's "Harsh Times" starring Christian Bale for the domestic US market. He has represented international film distributors, film buyers and media companies as well as multiple film producers and content creators world-wide. He has consulted with a major internet company on development of digital content and media and is currently a principal of Foton Pictures.
Stephen Miele Stephen Miele
Entertainment Law, Business Affairs

JD, Glendale University College of Law; BA, State University of New York, Albany. A practicing lawyer for more than 25 years, with clients including songwriters, musicians, actors, business and personal managers, producing companies, banking institutions and manufacturers. Appointed and acted as judge pro tem for the Los Angeles Superior Courts.
Jennifer Penton Jennifer Penton

Jennifer has worked at Warner Brothers, Klaspy Csupo, and Yahoo!, and on special projects for Disney. She has also worked with many independent filmmakers as an editor and web developer. One of her greatest joys is to help students explore their creativity and gain the technological tools to express themselves through live action and animated motion pictures. Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing from UCLA ,and a master’s degree in Film with an emphasis in experimental animation from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

Tony Schwartz Tony Schwartz
Producing and Thesis Advising

Longtime assistant director and line producer for television and films, including TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES, FREAKS AND GEEKS, THE UNIT and CSI: NEW YORK. BA California State Fullerton. Served two years as Chair of Producing.
Aved Savouiian Aved Savouiian
Budgeting and Entertainment Accounting

Working with major studios such as CBS, NBC, Fox sports as executive director, manager, senior auditor.
Tina Ward Tina Ward
New Media

Writer and director on several short films, including IN THEIR ABSENCE, which was awarded five times both domestically and abroad and was named one of the best short films of the decade by Festival de cortos Míra Les in 2011. Creator of one of the web’s first hit indie drama series ANYONE BUT ME, winning the first ever Writers Guild of America Award for Original New Media. Creator of several award-nominated web series, including PRODUCING JULIET, which made its world premiere at the Raindance Film Festival’s London WebFest. Tina continues to be very active in the world of streaming series.
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