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New York Film Academy Faculty

FACULTY

Producing Department

Neal Weisman

Neal Weisman

Chair of Producing Department

Neal Weisman is an award winning film and television producer with over twenty years of international experience.

Producing credits include The Politician’s Wife (BAFTA and International Emmy Awards for Best Drama Serial, Peabody Award), Seeing Red (Christopher Award), and My Kingdom starred Richard Harris in his last leading role. Let’s Talk About Sex, a documentary about adolescent sex in America, was recently broadcast on TLC, digital and DVD release through New Video. Vice President, Edward Pressman Film Corporation: Oliver Stone’s Wall Street (Academy Award, Best Actor) and Talk Radio, Barbet Schroeder’s Reversal of Fortune (Academy Award, Best Actor), Taviani Brothers’ Good Morning Babylon (Cannes Film Festival), Fred Schepisi’s Plenty, David Byrne’s True Stories, David Hare’s Paris By Night, Alex Cox’s Walker, Charles Burnett’s To Sleep With Anger (Director’s Fortnight, Sundance), and Kathryn Bigelow’s Blue Steel (Berlin Film Festival, Sundance).

MFA Production, University of Southern California School of Cinema, BA, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. A dual US/UK citizen, he is based in New York City.

Nick Yellen

Nick Yellen


Nick Yellen is Co-Chair of New York Film Academy’s Producing Department. Nick founded NYCA, a Manhattan based literary agency representing screenwriters, directors, playwrights, TV writers, and novelists where he has set up projects at almost every major studio and TV network.

Nick co-founded Edwards-Yellen Entertainment (EYE), a literary management/film and television production company based in Los Angeles. While with EYE, the company had a 2-picture production deal with ABC-Productions. He produced I Know What You Did with Rosanna Arquette, the VH1 TV movie Out of Sync, Retribution for the SAT1 cable network, and the James Franco feature If Tomorrow Comes. EYE also had development deals with many of the major networks and studios including ABC, Hearst Entertainment, VH1, Phoenix Pictures, Edward R. Pressman, Warner Bros., Alan Landsberg Productions, The Wolper Organization, Lifetime Network, All Girl Productions, and Wilshire Court among others. Nick also worked on the movie Intent for Columbia/Tri-Star.

Theatrically, Nick helped produce the musicals Lucky in the Rain, for the Goodspeed Opera House and Say Yes at the Berkshire Theatre Festival. Nick was also a founder of Quinzer, Inc., an Application Service Provider with an exclusive contract for ABC Radio Networks. Nick started his career in film and television at International Creative Management (ICM), then the world’s largest talent agency. After leaving ICM, Nick managed the Geffen Records recording artist Graveyard Train. Nick began his career as an FM-Radio disc jockey in Saratoga, NY and San Antonio, TX.

Arsenio Assin

Arsenio Assin

Cinematography

Arsenio G. Assin received his BFA from City College of New York's Picker Institute in Film and Media Studies. He worked for several years in the varied areas that New York offered, ranging from music videos, documentaries, commercials, industrials, ENG. and independent shorts and features. It was during this time that he explored the different departments, working as a grip, sound, electrician, AC, and eventually DOP. He has also worked from bigger productions, such as an AC for the New York crew of Eyes Wide Shut, to the smaller productions of independent companies such as Troma Entertainment. He believes that it was this varied work experience which gives him insight into the challenges that face new and upcoming filmmakers.

Benjamin Cohen

Benjamin Cohen

Writing/Editing/Studies Instructor

Ben Cohen is a Brooklyn-based comedy filmmaker. Born in the Bay Area and raised in Atlanta, Ben Cohen has been writing and directing since 2004 and teaching since 2009.

He attended the undergraduate University of North Carolina Wilmington film school and graduated from Georgia State University with an MA in Film Production & Screenwriting. He also studied Sketch and Improv Comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and French Culture at The University of Paris - La Sorbonne.

As co-creator of the Godamsterdam independent pilot following two TV-obsessed unemployed girls in 1992, Ben has appeared on CNN and The Examiner who called him, “One of the best filmmakers Atlanta has and will produce.” He is also an active member of the WGA.

Most recently, Ben was featured on College Humor. You can see more of Ben’s work at TheRealBenCohen.Com. In addition to filmmaking, Ben teaches Screenwriting, Editing, and Cinema Studies at the New York Film Academy.

Richard De'Angelo

Richard D'Angelo

Line Producing Essentials, Producing Reality TV, Editing

Richard earned a Masters of Art in film and theater from Long Island University, C.W. Post. He directed and produced his master’s thesis screenplay, First Person, as a feature film, which screened at the Cannes Film Festival, and won awards at festivals in New York and Los Angeles. As a freelance editor, Richard has worked on projects for clients such as TLC, MTV Studios, MSG Network, Food Network, and the US Government. He produced the cooking show, Firehouse Kitchen (in conjunction with CBS TV) and the reality TV series Two Kings (with Bogner Entertainment). Richard’s production company RDA productions has continued to managed and produce films for directors internationally and domestically in hopes of keeping the independent film spirit alive. Richard is a member of the Directors Guild of America and the New York Producers Alliance.

Darren Dean

Darren Dean

Producer's Roundtable, Case Study

Darren Dean was born and raised in Northern New Jersey, where he still resides. He is a graduate of William Paterson University. Prior to entering the world of film, Dean was a respected journalist and frontman for the popular New York-based rock band, Shot. Dean’s first foray into film was the multi-award winning short film “Sleep Over,” which caught the attention of director Sean Baker, leading the two to work together on Prince of Broadway. Dean also Produced Alrick Brown's Sundance Award-Winning feature, Kinyarwanda. He is currently developing the big-screen adaptation of Will Eisner's A Contract With God. Dean is an Independent Spirit Award nominee. Darren's most recent release is the award-winning Tangerine, the first feature shot completely on the iPhone.

Umut Ermec

Umut Ermec

Sound Recording

MFA in Recording Arts and Technologies, Middle Tennessee State University. Pre-Master's in Music Production and Recording Techniques, University of Stavanger, Norway. BS in Electronics Engineering, University of Istanbul, Turkey. Has worked as a recording/mixing/FOH/monitoring engineer and a sound designer for various music and film projects.

Adi Ezroni

Adi Ezroni


Adi Ezroni is a NY film producer. Adi's latest producing credits include Kelly & Cal starring Juliette Lewis; A Late Quartet with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christopher Walken; and The English Teacher, with Julianne Moore. Adi is the recipient of the 2008 US State Department Global Hero Award for raising awareness to child trafficking through film and social action. Adi is also an Israeli actress. Most recently, she can be seen as one of the lead actors in Prisoners of War, the original Israeli series upon which Homeland is based.

John Foster

John Foster


As a Director of Photography for film and video, John Foster has shot eighteen feature films. He has been nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards, and the films he has shot have won many awards, including the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the duPont-Columbia Journalism Award.

Aside from his work as a cinematographer, John also received filmmaking grants from the American Film Institute and the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Ivan Julian

Ivan Julian

Sound Recording

Ivan Julian is a guitarist and bassist, founding member of the seminal Punk/New Wave group Richard Hell and the Voidoids, The Outsets and Lovelies. He has performed with the Isley Brothers, The Clash, Matthew Sweet, and Shriekback.

Kate Kirtz

Kate Kirtz

Intro to Screenwriting, Screenwriting Fundamentals

Kate Kirtz is a writer, director, script doctor, and instructor of narrative theory for screenwriting.

Kirtz attended the Columbia graduate film program, where her screenplay Jealous was honored as a Faculty Selects Script. Jealous was selected for the Emerging Narrative Script Market in the IFP'S 2008 Market Week, was a Quarterfinalist in the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, received an Honorable Mention in The Writer's Network Screenplay Competition, and was a Second Round Finalist in the Austin Heart of Film Screenwriting Competition.

Kirtz co-wrote the screenplay for the ensemble dramedy Gabi On The Roof in July, which was the Opening Night Film and won the Best Picture and Best Actress awards at the 2010 Brooklyn Film Festival. Gabi has since won Special Programmer's Awards at the Sidewalk and IndieMemphis festivals and screened at the Los Angeles Film Festival, among many other awards and screenings.

Kirtz is producer and director of the documentary feature film Jane: An Abortion Service, which played in competition at the Sundance, Edinborough, and New York Film Festivals, and was broadcast on PBS and internationally. Jane received the Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media Distribution Grant, the ITVS Production Grant, the Center For New Television Post Production Access Grant and the NEA Regional Artists Fellowship Production Grant. It has been honored with the Silver Apple Award for Best Educational Video at the National Educational Media Festival, among many other awards.

Kirtz was story consultant on director Eric Drath's feature documentary Renee, which premiered at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, and went to HotDocs, Los Angeles, and Frameline Film Festivals, among others. She also consulted on We are the Hartmans, which premiered at the Atlanta Film Festival, The Hollow Tree for filmmakers Ruben Amar and Lolas Bessis, Randy Dottin's Indelible and Liz Hinlien 's Getting Tommy Laid, among others.

Kirtz's thriller screenplay Heartbeat made the second round of consideration for The Sundance Institute Screenwriter's Lab, and was a second round pick in the 2011 Austin Heart of Film Screenplay Competition. Kirtz is currently developing her dark comedy script Be The Monster as her fiction directing debut.

Ben Maraniss

Ben Maraniss

Treatment Writing, Screenwriting Fundamentals

Ben Maraniss is a New York-based writer and producer. After receiving his MFA in Film and Television Writing from The University of Southern California, Ben joined Spaceman Media where he wrote, produced, and directed hundreds of commercials, interstitials, and shorts for AMC and Viacom Media Networks, while developing series television shows for Comedy Central and Robert Colesberry Productions. In addition to his film and television work Ben has worked as a feature writer for the N+1 Film Review, and, since joining Scrollmotion in 2008, he has co-written and co-produced the breakthrough narrative application First Things Last which was featured at the American Film Institute’s Digifest.

Dorottya Mathe

Dorottya Mathe

Documentary Production

Dorottya Mathe is a freelance producer originally from Hungary where she worked in the entertainment business for 7 years before moving to NY in 2007.

Dorottya is a Producer with New York based An Films and contributed on a variety of their projects such as the Popsci web-series, a video dance-theatre piece Impermanent Collection: The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Sing For Hope: Pop-Up Pianos documentary. Currently, in association with An Films Dorottya is completing her feature documentary Devoted To Dance.

Dorottya is the New York Producer of “Metamorphosis: Immersive Kafka”, an experimental interactive short film shot entirely with 360 degree spherical camera, she co-produced Pardon Us for Living but the Graveyard is Full, a retrospective music documentary on garage-rock band the Fleshtones. Producer for David Michalek on slow-motion video performance-portraits including Portraits in Dramatic Time commissioned by the 2011 Lincoln Center Festival featuring Alan Rickman, William H. Macy, Liev Schrieber, Holly Hunter, Ludivine Sagnier, Lili Taylor, etc. and Figure Studies premiering at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

In collaboration with Director Kevin Arbouet, Dorottya is developing a New York based treasure hunt game show Clash for Cash: NY. Dorottya is a Producing Instructor at the New York Film Academy’s Documentary Department since 2010.

Marcia Mulé of NYFA's New York Producing School

Marcia Mulé

Marcia Mulé is President of Marcia Mulé Productions, Inc where she is currently developing new series concepts under an overall development deal with MY Entertainment. Formerly Head of Programming at Engel Entertainment where she oversaw the company’s programming slate, Marcia lent her editorial hand over the first two seasons of Animal Planet’s North Woods Law, and was also instrumental in developing and selling Untying The Knot, now going into season two on Bravo. In addition to her role as Head of Programming, Marcia oversaw multiple casting efforts, sizzle production as well as paid development presentations and pilots for VH1, Bravo, Travel Channel, Cooking Channel, Lifetime, and Science Channel.

Prior to joining Engel in 2011, Marcia was VP/Head of Programming at True Entertainment, an Endemol company, where she oversaw Bravo’s ratings blockbuster The Real Housewives of Atlanta for two seasons. She also helped cast and launch Logo’s hit docu-series, The A-List: New York. While at True Entertainment she played a key role in revamping the formats of Whose Wedding is it Anyway? for the Style Network, launched the competition build series, Catch it Keep It for Discovery’s Science Channel and Emergency Level One, for TLC, a verité series set in one of the Nation’s busiest trauma wards.

In 1997, Marcia co-founded Picture This Television, a full service production company best known for Bravo’s hit series, the two-time Emmy Award® winning Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List and Celebrity Poker Showdown. During her eleven years as co-owner, Picture This Television developed and produced programming for Bravo, Lifetime, Oxygen, MTV, HGTV, Food Network, WeTV, Logo, PBS, and Buena Vista. Upon its inception, the company launched TV411, a groundbreaking educational series targeting the nation’s 90 million functionally illiterate adults. Over the course of three seasons, the series won two Emmy® Awards and became one of the largest literacy initiatives in the country.

Marcia is a member of The Producers Guild of America, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and is on the strategic council for the Television Fine Arts Dept. at The State University College at Buffalo, her alma mater where she is also an Adjunct Professor. Under her own production shingle, Marcia Mulé Productions, Inc she recently completed an educational cooking web series funded by The National Science Foundation now playing on www.TV411.org.

Elena Paul

Elena Paul

Entertainment Law

Ms. Paul grew up in Gainesville, Florida and graduated from the Gainesville Public High School. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Davidson College, phi beta kappa, and her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. She is a legal and business advisor to many arts and cultural organizations as well as serving on the Board of Directors of The Friends of The French Culinary Institute, The Sculpture Center, Slow Lab, The Center for Photography at Woodstock and Ballet Next. She acts as a mentor for The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in its Arts in Crisis Program and is a member of The Art Collection Advisory Committee for Davidson College. Ms. Paul serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Producing and Documentary Programs at the New York Film Academy and taught at Fordham Law School, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Pratt Institute of Art & Design and Brooklyn Law School.

Golan Ramras

Golan Ramras


Golan Ramras is an award-winning writer/producer who has been a development and production executive for over a decade, most recently with Hero Pictures (Vanity). Prior to Hero, Golan was Director of Development at Marvel Studios (Iron Man) and Kadokawa Pictures USA (One Missed Call), and Creative Executive at Doug Liman's Hypnotic Entertainment (Mr. & Mrs. Smith).

The one-hour television series Golan co-created, *anonymous, was recently set up with Brett Ratner’s Rat Entertainment. As a writer/producer, Golan’s latest feature, The App, is in post-production, and his previous feature, The Factory, recently found worldwide distribution. His next film, Falling, begins production in April 2015, and his follow-up feature, Snuff (adapted from the novel by Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk) is in pre-production. This is in addition to his numerous short films that are winning awards at film festivals worldwide.

As a producer, Golan is currently prepping Einstein, written by Oscar winner Ronald Bass, Silent Knights with Oscar nominee J. Todd Harris and Oscar winner Marlee Matlin to be directed by Oscar winner David S. Ward, and Battlecreek with acclaimed filmmaker Alison Eastwood, amongst others.

William Tyler Smith

William Tyler Smith

Directing for Producers

William Tyler Smith describes himself as a "very independent" documentary, reality and fiction filmmaker based in New York City. Mr. Smith holds an MFA from UCLA Graduate Film & Television School. To date, he has directed five feature films and numerous short films across many different genres. His films have won awards at international festivals and have been broadcast, streamed and distributed on DVD all over the world. He has also directed and shot reality shows for TLC, Bravo and Discovery Health. His narrative feature, Kiss Me Again, premiered at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival and has sold internationally. Billy's first feature documentary, The Third Mind, about the artistic collaboration of The Doors keyboardist, Ray Manzarek and Beat Poet, Michael McClure premiered at the Venice International Film Festival and was broadcast on the Sundance Channel. His second documentary feature, Imagine a School…Summerhill, about A.S. Neill's influential democratic free school and their battle against the Labour Governments attempt to close them down, is enjoying a successful video-on-demand run. He is currently in post-production on a film, Third Mind Blues, about Ray Manzarek and Roy Roger's creative collaboration, from songwriting to recording to live performances. Billy has also been following The Flamin’ Groovies, an influential power pop band from the 70's, for a documentary currently in production. The Incredible Flamin’ Groovies Movie is scheduled for a 2017 release.

Paul Warner

Paul Warner

Acting for Producers

Paul Warner is a director and writer, who most recently directed a new dance theatre opera, Women: The War Within at The Baryshnikov Arts Center where he was the recipient of a 2013 Princess Grace Foundation Works In Process grant that funded his developmental residency. Warner has directed over fifty theatre and film productions including the award-winning short “In the Name of The Father” (Sundance), and the feature Fall Time (Lionsgate), starring Mickey Rourke and David Arquette, which premiered at the Sundance Festival and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. In 2012 he produced and co-wrote the award-winning short, ‘The Puritans,” directed by Sean Robinson. Next, he will direct Reclaiming Eden from a screenplay co-written with Robinson. The LGBTQ Academy of Recording Arts commissioned Warner to direct the 25th anniversary of the OUTmusic Awards in 2014, as well as to produce a documentary celebrating the history of LGBTQ recording artists, which will be directed by long time collaborator Sean Robinson. He directed the actors and served as Creative Consultant for visual artist David Michalek's 2011 Portraits in Dramatic Time—a series of slow-motion cinematic shorts featuring performers from all performance mediums, including Holly Hunter, Patti Lupone, Alan Rickman, and Wendy Whelan for The Lincoln Center Festival. Warner is grateful for the support of the Princess Grace Foundation, beginning with a fellowship for his Second Stage Theatre residency, followed by a Statue Award, and now, the Works-in-Process grant. He is an alum of the Drama League Directors Project in addition to the recipient of a Cite-Read fellowship to develop a new translation of Nelson Rodrigues’ Wedding Dress, for which Warner’s production garnered seven Drama-Logue Awards, including best direction. He has directed more than fifty new and classical works for the stage. Favorite projects include: Out In America (Daryl Hannah and Stephen Baldwin), Mercury by Gary Sunshine (HERE/Eve Ensler), and Chinese Cabaret in collaboration with composer Peter Melnick at the LA International Festival under the artistic direction of Peter Sellars. Training: Harvard, B.A., the American Film Institute, M.F.A in Filmmaking. In addition to his many years teaching Directing and Acting at the New York Film Academy, Paul has taught at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and SUNY Purchase.

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