New York Film Academy
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New York Film Academy Faculty


Producing Department

Rich Thorne Rich Thorne
Department Chair

Rich Thorne has been an award winning film and television producer and director as well as a Senior VP/Production Executive for 20th Century Fox – and President/Creative Director for two of the largest post-production-visual effects companies in Los Angeles. Directing credits include “Dr. Dolittle 3”, multi-awarding winning Indy feature “Mother Ghost”—Second Unit Directing for “Daredevil”, “Behind Enemy Lines’,“Dr Dolittle 2”, “Dragonball Evolution”, “Shallow Hal”, “Dude, Where’s My Car”. Production Executive credits on films including: “X-Men” and “X2”, “Fight Club”, “Fantastic 4”, “I Robot”, “Anna and the King”, “The Day After Tomorrow”, “Alien vs Predator”, “Kingdom of Heaven”, “Garfield”, “Elektra”, “Planet of the Apes”, and many more. Directed for “Walker, Texas Ranger”, and contributed to 10 years of VFX production for “Star Trek: TNG”, Star Trek: “Voyager”, and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Lydia Cedrone Lydia Cedrone
Head of MFA Feature Productions

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.
Ashley Bank Ashley Bank
Producing, Documentaries and Thesis Advising

Ashley Bank is an actress, stand-up comedian, producer, and writer. She has appeared in over 40 commercials, and guest stared on TV shows like Family Ties, My Two Dads, Frasier, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She’s appeared in numerous TV Movies, working with greats like Henry Winkler, Dolly Parton, and Raquel Welch, as well as the feature film The Monster Squad. She has worked as a producer for CBS News/48 Hours, and for CBS News’ documentary department, for The History Channel, The Food Network, A&E, Discovery, and ESPN. BA in Film, Journalism, & Political Science from NYU and a graduate of The Second City Conservatory.
Edward Bates Edward Bates
Business Practices, Producers Craft

Produced Sundance Film Festival competitors, "The Last Time I Committed Suicide" (Keanu Reeves, Adrian Brody), "Fall Time", and "Kingdom Come" (LL Cool J) in his longterm relationship with Fox Searchlight and Fox. For television, Bates Executive Produced "Fallen" (Bryan Cranston) for ABC Family, amongst other projects he has developed and sold. Manages writers, developing and selling screenplays and pitches.
Paul Brown Paul Brown

MA, Oxford University. BA, University of California, Berkeley. Phi Beta Kappa Honors. An award-winning writer, director, and producer, Paul Brown has worked in film and television for over 30 years.

Paul has written, produced, or directed over 100 movies, network television dramas, and TV pilots, working on such series as “The X-Files,” “Quantum Leap,” the new “Twilight Zone,” “Star Trek Voyager” and “Enterprise,” as well as directing a music video starring Beyoncé.

Paul has received nominations for three Emmy and three Golden Globe awards, and won the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best TV Drama Script. He also received the Ark Trust’s Genesis Award for Best TV Drama Script about animal rights. He also created Disney’s world-wide hit movie “Camp Rock” and, most recently, directed and co-wrote feature film “Heaven’s Rain,” set in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest.

As a teacher for the New York Film Academy, Paul frequently gives writing workshops in Europe, Russia, Australia, and Latin America. As an actor, he has worked in various television series, and played a zombie in Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”
Denise Carlson Denise Carlson
Producing, MFA Feature Track and Thesis Advising

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.
Roberta Colangelo Roberta Colangelo
Business Practices

BA Academy of Fine Arts Milan Italy, Paralegal Certificate, UCLA. Robi has been a producer’s representative, an associate producer and president of her own company, Focus Documentaries. She works to help documentary filmmakers to draft deal memos, negotiate distribution rights and write and review contracts.
Alan de la Rosa Alan de la Rosa

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.
Stephen Desmond Stephen Desmond

Professional Screenwriter who has written or developed projects with producers and executives at major production companies including Imagine Entertainment, DreamWorks Animation, Gran Via Productions, Treehouse Pictures, Davis Entertainment, and Preferred Content, amongst others. Voted by producers, agents, and executives for inclusion on the prestigious 2015, 2013, and 2011 “Hit List”, honoring the best spec screenplays of the year, and the “Young and Hungry Writers List”, honoring the top up and coming writers in Hollywood. Represented by APA and the Gotham Group.
Kevin DiNovis Kevin DiNovis
Screenwriting and Screenwriting in MFA Feature Track

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

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.
Keith Fraser Keith Fraser
Entertainment Law and Business Affairs

Prominent Entertainment and Intellectual Property lawyer representing Producers, Directors, Actors, Authors and Artists in a wide variety of matters including the protection and licensing of creative works, production counsel, copyright and trademark clearances, and infringement litigation.
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)
Mitchell Gutman Mitchell Gutman
Developing the Feature Business Plan & TV Show Bible, Pitching and Documentary

MFA in Film Production, Columbia University; BA, University of California, Berkeley. Producer with several projects in various stages of development and post production. Former executive at Little Engine Productions. Worked in production on several television shows, including LAW & ORDER, and analyzed scripts for Happy Madison and Tribeca Films.
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.
David Jackson of NYFA Film School faculty David Jackson

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
Directing, Cinematography and 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 and MFA Feature Track

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 and MFA Feature Track

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.
Matteo Nurizzo Matteo Nurizzo
Editing and Post Production

Master of Science in Industrial Design and Fashion Management at the Politecnico di Milano ITALY. Director and Editor of "Style In Frames". client: Comune di Milano. The Documentary-Montage explores the changes, in the city of Milan (Italy ), of fashion, culture, architecture and music, using to convey the research, movies shot in MIlan from 1920 till 2004. Founder of "King Milano" a Graphic-Video-Audio company. Worked at Lillisimone as graphic and video artist, with clients including Alfa Romeo. As videographer and editor, clients included BM Factory, Banque PSA Finance, Castiglioni. Avid certified.
David O’Leary David O’Leary
Screenwriting and Thesis Advising

BA Vassar College. Former production executive and staffed at Rogue Pictures, Warner Bros., and Industry, The Gersh Agency, Village Roadshow and Silver Pictures. Currently writing films for Offspring Entertainment and Original Film.
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.
Nick Sivakumaran Nick Sivakumaran
Directing and Thesis Advising

MFA in Film Production, USC School of Cinema/TV; BA in Biology and Psychology, University of Rochester. Writer/Director of award-winning short film, "Diwali". Screened at over 30 international film festivals, a recipient of a Director's Guild of America Student Film Award and invited to the 2002 Cannes Film Festival as part of the Kodak Emerging Filmmaker Showcase. Also won commercial contests for clients, Chevrolet and Lifestyles Condoms and recently wrote a stage musical that had a six week run in Hollywood.
Tom Sternberg Tom Sternberg
Guest Lecturer

Acclaimed film producer with credits including APOCALYPSE NOW, THE BLACK STALLION, Wayne Wang’s EAT A BOWL OF TEA, David Lynch’s LOST HIGHWAY, Anthony Mighella’s THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY (Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow), UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN and Kenneth Branagh’s SLEUTH from a script by Harold Pinter, with Jude Law and Michael Caine.
Igor Torgeson Igor Torgeson
Editing, Post Production and Thesis Advising

MFA Film, Boston University; BA Journalism, George Washington University. Freelance editor and actor in Los Angeles. Has edited for clients including the Gameshow Network, National Lampoon, McGraw-Hill Publications, Southern California Gas Company, and Cessna Aircraft. Commercial credits include campaigns for Citibank and Brighthouse Networks.
Ian Valentine Ian Valentine
Producing Reality Television and Thesis Advising

Seasoned Television Executive who has overseen thousands of hours of original production of reality and scripted series, movies, and mini-series. In addition, have worked as a packaging literary agent at ICM. Have personally produced television shows for SyFy Channel, VH-1, and NBC Sports.
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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