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New York Film Academy About Us

FACULTY

Filmmaking Department

Herschel Faber Herschel Faber
Chair of Filmmaking

Herschel Faber has worked extensively in film and entertainment. He had a number of screenplays optioned and made, one being the cult hit "Mac and Devin go to High School," (Anchor Bay) which stars Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa and Mike Epps. Faber wrote, directed and produced "Cavemen," a feature-length romantic comedy starring Skylar Astin ("Pitch Perfect"), Camilla Belle ("10,000 B.C."), Chad Michael Murray ("One Tree Hill") and Jason Patric ("The Lost Boys"). The film was released theatrically by Well Go USA in 2014 and on VOD in a partnership with Warner Brothers. Faber relocated to Miami to make Florida-centric films under his Fascination Films production banner.

Faber received his MFA in Film from Columbia University, where he won the "Zaki Gordon Award" for screenwriting and placed at the semi-finalist level in the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship and Austin Film Festival.

Miguel Parga Miguel Parga
Directing, Screenwriting, Acting for Film, Acting for Directors, Film Craft

Miguel started his career while still in college as a teacher's assistant for the NYU Acting Program at Tisch before working the overnight shift for ABC News, building graphics for them at first and moving up the ranks during his eight years at ABC. He covered such dramatic stories as the impeachment of President Clinton, the millennium, the death of Lady Diana, JFK Jr., Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, the 2000 elections, and 9/11. Miguel won an Emmy and a DuPont Award for his work on the millennium Celebration and a Peabody Award for the first 100 hours of 9/11 coverage.

In 2003, Miguel moved to LA where he started translating commercials for NBC and Telmundo, moving up to producing and directing spots for Pepsi, Canon, Hechts, Fisher-Price, Bud Lite, and the People Choice Awards, amongst others. Miguel soon hooked up with Josh Oppenheimer (Sahara and A Sound of Thunder) who gave Miguel his first job as a feature screenwriter in LA, penning a romantic comedy optioned by Julia Pierrepont and Rodney Wilson.

Miguel moved back to New York in 2007 and began teaching acting, directing, writing, and editing at NYFA. He was also the director for the Summer Programs at Harvard University from 2010-2012 and Mumbai, India in 2011. He has directed 21 films, with many having been featured in festivals across the U.S. His first novel, Blood Laws, was published in 2013 by Anaphora Literary Press.

Peter Baloff Peter Baloff

Peter Baloff has written and produced movies and television shows for most of the major studios and networks, including Universal, Disney, NBC, and Fox.

​ Peter started his writing career as a playwright. After winning the Norman Lear Award for Playwriting and the David Library Award for Playwriting, he moved to Los Angeles to write for film and TV. Over the past 25 years, Peter has sold over a dozen screenplays (six produced) and worked on numerous network television shows and network specials. Quicksand; No Escape (Universal) won the Writers Foundation Award for Best Screenplay in 1992. The Undertaker recently optioned, was cited by the Writers Guild of America, West as one of the top-10 unproduced comedies.

Peter has taught Screenwriting for the U.C.L.A. Writers’ Program and currently teaches Screenwriting for the New York Film Academy. Over the years he has participated as a panelist at well-known film festivals across the country and has served as an adjudicator for the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival, an outstanding program, which cultivates nurturing mentorships between entertainment professionals and college students all across the country.

In addition, Baloff has directed over 200 national commercials and long-form shows for some of the world’s largest advertising agencies and Fortune 500 companies. Peter earned his MFA from the University of Florida, where he received the Presidential Recognition Award and recently was honored with the Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award.
Kevin Ondarza Kevin Ondarza

Kevin Ondarza is a Miami based independent filmmaker, whose films have played in festivals all over the globe. Projects he has worked on have aired on both HBO and PBS. He is a driving force of local film initiatives that emphasize on building Miami’s cinematic voice nationwide.
Kevin Berriz Kevin Berriz

Kevin Berriz is a Cuban-American Cinematographer based in South Florida. He holds a Master’s Degree in Film from the California Institute of the Arts and has lensed short films, music videos, and feature films which have won awards as well as distribution through HBO and PBS. He is a Scuba-certified Eagle scout whose passion for film- making lies in the intersection of art and science. Those who know him are well aware of his loves, ranging from the signal processing of the digital sensor to the implications of representative experiences.
Ronald Baez Ronald Baez

Ronald Baez is an Afro-Latinx screenwriter, director, and award-winning immersive media artist from Miami, FL. His current and previous short film projects continue to screen at film festivals worldwide including HBO’s New York Latino Film Festival, the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival, the Miami Film Festival, the Borscht Film Festival, and The Norton Museum of Art. Several of Baez’s short film projects have been distributed for national television broadcast by PBS as well as online via Apple TV & Roku by Seed& Spark SVOD. Baez’s award-winning immersive media projects have been exhibited at the 2020 MIT Reality Hack XR Hackathon, the Florida Museum of National History, and the National Association of Broadcasters Conference (NAB Show). Baez is also a founding member of the White Elephant Group, a Miami-based filmmaking collective, and also serves as the Artistic Director of the After School Film Institute, a nonprofit organization mentoring at-risk, inner-city students in South Florida.

Adam Coplan
Adam Coplan

Adam Coplan’s resume boasts senior executive posts with three of the most prolific producers in the industry, Joel Silver, Scott Rudin, and John Davis. Beginning as Story Editor at Silver, then running development at Rudin as Vice President before moving on to Davis, Adam worked on scores of critical and commercial hits such as The Matrix, Wonder Boys, The Truman Show, A Simple Plan, In & Out, Sleepy Hollow, I, Robot, Alien vs. Predator, and Behind Enemy Lines among many others. Coplan left to work as an independent producer, setting up Flash Gordon at Universal where he also produced The Express. Switching to the creative side, Coplan wrote and directed the feature film It’s Dark Here.

He began teaching in UCLA’s Extension Program, where he honed his approach of mixing academics with the practical. His first book, “Being Professional,” was published in 2016. Final Draft asked him to adapt his Road Map outlining system into a template for their software. After an adjunct position at Chapman and various guest lecturing spots, Coplan settled in Miami and joined NYFA. He continues to write and has several projects in various stages of development.
Dr. Mark Woods Dr. Mark Woods

Dr. Mark Woods holds a Ph.D. in Film Studies from the Film School for Wales and a B.A. in Liberal Studies / Film Studies Certificate from Florida International University, F.I.U., ‘cum laude.’ He is a qualified British lawyer, holding the LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law ‘with Distinction’ from Glamorgan Law School and the British Graduate Diploma in Law. Dr. Mark Woods serves on the faculty of the New York Film Academy (NYFA), South Beach Campus, having previously lectured abroad for 13 years, on the faculty of the British Creative Skillset Screen Academy, Cardiff, U.S.W., the F.I.U. Czech Film Study Abroad Program – Prague, and on the faculty of the University of Molise, Italy. He is an External Examiner for the International Baccalaureate in Film (IB) in Geneva, Switzerland. Dr. Woods has worked with the Miami International Film Festival and served on boards including IFP/Miami, Outshine Film Festival (formerly MGLFF).
Luisa Ibañez Luisa Ibañez

Luisa Ibañez is a Content Producer and member of The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. She has more than twenty-five years of experience in the US and LATAM media industry, including an overall of 1000 hours of content produced in different formats for diverse audiences and three International Emmy nominations for projects premiered on the US primetime. From this journey, she understands the expectations of diverse audiences in Latin America, Spain and Latinos in the US. Credits as Content Producer, Planning Manager, and Operational Producer on the successful Hispanic TV Series and telenovelas from NBC Telemundo, Univision, Televisa, and Movistar prove her high-quality deliveries in projects distributed in more than 100 countries and over 35 languages.
Daniel Abrusci Daniel Abrusci

Daniel Abrusci is a multi-awarded audio engineer with over 12 years of experience. He has worked in recognized studios such as Quad Studios (Nashville, USA), 10K Islands (Los Angeles, USA), and Red Squid Studios (Miami, USA). Daniel started learning pro tools in 2007 right after graduating high school and he was working in post-production by 2008. He graduated from SAE Nashville in 2010 and got a Bachelor’s degree in SAE Madrid in 2012. In 2013 received a Master’s degree in sound design and mixing for film, TV, and Video Games. He enjoys recording and mixing music, doing sound design, and mixing a variety of projects like feature films and documentaries. Some of his credits include working with the BBC, NBC, History Channel, Nickelodeon, Enrique Iglesias, Marta Sanchez, and Major Lazer.
Eddy Moon Eddy Moon

Eddy Moon is a Latin-American producer, editor, and colorist, with over a decade of experience, based in Miami, Fl. Moon received his Bachelor’s in Film Production at the Art Institute and then pursued his Masters in Global Strategic Communications at Florida International University. Moon’s work concentrates on storytelling at an international level, by molding a story out of the most human language, visuals, and color. He worked in the editorial department of MTV and Nickelodeon, before deciding to start a production company with some of his closest collaborators, the White Elephant Group Films.

Working with his film collective, he has not only edited and color graded multiple productions but has also produced various short films, commercials, and music videos. His 2018 film, Scenes From Our Young Marriage, premiered at the Borscht and Miami Film Festivals, before being distributed by PBS broadcasting. His 2020 film A Postcard to Nina has screened in festivals and museums across the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Dustin Nakoa-Haider
Dustin Nakoa-Haider

Dustin is a two time Emmy nominated filmmaker from Chicago. He has received grants from Sundance/ESPN, Film Independent/Netflix, EFILM/Company 3 and is a fellow of Film Independent’s documentary lab for his debut feature, Shot in the Dark (Exec. Produced by Dwyane Wade and Chance the Rapper). His shorts featuring Jay Z, Robinson Cano, Kendrick Lamar, and others have garnered millions of views online. He produced Sports Illustrated’s film 89 Blocks (Exec. Produced by Lebron James). He acted as Senior Producer on the third and fourth season of the Netflix Original series QB1: Beyond the Lights for Pete Berg’s Film 45. Most recently he directed the short documentary series, Dear Chicago, in promotion of the 2020 NBA All-Star Game. Dustin is a co-founder of the production collective Bogie.
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