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  • New York Film Academy Australia Filmmaking Alum Josh Hale Shoots Second Feature on Gold Coast

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Australia alum Josh Hale just completed production of House of Inequity, his second feature film, on the Gold Coast of Australia.

    Australia’s Gold Coast is known for its beautiful natural scenery, so it might not be the first place you’d think of when choosing a location for a creepy horror film, but that outside-the-box thinking is part of what makes Hale such a talented filmmaker.

    Hale attended New York Film Academy Australia in 2014, taking the Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media in Filmmaking program at the Gold Coast campus, where students have the opportunity to shoot on the Village Roadshow Studios backlot. Before then, he was shooting skateboard videos, but felt inspired to do more with the medium. 

    “I tried to make my own film in 2009 and failed miserably,” Hale tells the Gold Coast Bulletin. “I was overly ambitious. I didn’t know anything except I wanted to make a film. I always loved writing so it was a natural progression.”

    Josh Hale

    After graduating, Hale wrote and directed his first feature, a comedy entitled Digital Athletes: The Road to Seat League, which won several awards at multiple festivals, including the NYC Indie Film Awards, Festigious International Film Festival, IndieFEST Film Awards, and Los Angeles Film Awards.

    “Josh utilized his hands-on training with NYFA Gold Coast to go make a feature film right out of college,” NYFA Gold Coast Director Tasha Cooper stated after the North American premiere of Digital Athletes. “He’s one of our success stories and we’re very proud of his recent achievements.

    His sophomore effort, House of Inequity, was shot in two distinct locations on the Gold Coast—Jacobs Well and Helensvale. The independent film is being financed by an American investor; Hale also received a film grant from the Australian Government. 

    Josh Hale House of Inequity

    House of Inequity, was written in 16 days, and shot over several months across both Gold Coast locations. Filming recently wrapped on the US-Gold Coast co-production, and House of Inequity is expected to premiere later this year. And Hale isn’t slowing down—he is currently producing two other films, including a documentary.

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA Australia Filmmaking alum Josh Hale on his latest work, House of Inequity, and looks forward to seeing the completed version later this year!

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    August 16, 2019 • Film School, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 191

  • Representatives from the Chinese Consulate General in New York Visits New York Film Academy (NYFA)

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    On July 31, Counsellor Jun Yang and Consul Wenhua Wang from the education section of the Chinese Consulate General in New York visited New York Film Academy (NYFA).

    Chinese Consulate General Visit

    During their visit, the esteemed officials first took a look around the New York campus of New York Film Academy, located at Battery Park with breathtaking views of New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty. After their tour, Counsellor Jun Yang and Consul Wenhua Wang exchanged ideas with NYFA President, Michael Young; Executive Vice President for the China Region, Dr. Joy Zhu; and Principal and Owner, Jean Sherlock. By the end of the day, they had come away with a better understanding of NYFA. A week earlier, senior members of New York Film Academy visited the Chinese Consulate General.

    The Chinese Consulate General in New York has highly praised New York Film Academy for the achievement it has made in terms of film and TV art education, and has thanked the institution for its outstanding contribution to cultural and artistic communication between China and America.

    There was an in-depth discussion on educational communication and cooperation between China and the United States as well as development of international art education. Counsellor Jun Yang shared some advanced experience from schools on educational cooperation between China and America and made many valuable suggestions for further cooperation and international art education development for New York Film Academy.

    Chinese Consulate General Visit

    The visit of Counsellor Jun Yang and Consul Wenhua Wang has encouraged Chinese students at New York Film Academy and is an affirmation of what NYFA has done for film and TV art education.

    New York Film Academy thanks Counsellor Jun Yang and Consul Wenhua Wang from the Chinese Consulate General in New York for taking the time to see our campus and share their ideas on education.

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    August 16, 2019 • China, Film School, International Diversity • Views: 246

  • ‘Absurd Person Singular’ Concludes Summer Series of Student Directed Plays at New York Film Academy (NYFA)

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    The Acting for Film department at New York Film Academy Los Angeles (NYFA-LA) finished off their very successful Summer Series of Student Directed Plays with the amazing production Absurd Person Singular, written by Alan Ayckbourn and directed by BFA Acting for Film student Iunia Dinu, mentored by instructor Riley Steiner.

    Absurd Person Singular is a 1972 play divided into three acts, documenting the changing fortunes of three married couples. Each act takes place at a Christmas celebration at one of the couples’ homes on successive Christmas Eves.

    “Taking a play from paper to stage takes a lot of hard work, teamwork, and structured creativity,” says student director, Iunia Dinu. “In a world that is fueled by constant distractions, I wanted to help tell three important stories through an entertaining medium. Alan Ayckbourn’s phenomenal comedic writing made it almost easy for us to get into the groove of the play. I wanted to tackle the issues of gender equality within marriages, specifically focusing on ignorance, power struggles, and ambition.”

    Absurd Person Singular
    Dinu adds, “Overall, it was a fantastic experience where I learned about the importance of having a clear direct vision, how to communicate ideas over to my actors, and how to work collaboratively with other people in a structured creative environment.”

    Gloria Kare, a BFA Acting for Film student, had a blast, saying, “What a pleasure and an unforgettable experience to have worked in such a demanding and fun play!”

    Michael Murdasanu, another BFA Acting for Film student, agreed, calling the production “something that was really fun and challenging. I’ll never forget the experience.”

    Absurd Person Singular Absurd Person Singular

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    August 15, 2019 • Acting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 182

  • New Wave of Chinese Talent from New York Film Academy (NYFA) Win Big at Los Angeles Shorts International Film Festival

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    On July 25, the LA Shorts International Film Festival held its final awards ceremony, where alumni from New York Film Academy (NYFA) swept the entire “Chinese New Wave” film category.

    Alumni Shi Tanxuan and Jin Lingxi were awarded “The Best Chinese New Wave Filmmaker” award and “Special Mention in the Chinese New Wave,” respectively. The films of both alumni beat out several highly competitive films from other prominent and respectable film and art universities. 

    Shi Tanxuan started the MFA in Filmmaking program at New York Film Academy in Summer 2017 at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus. His film, Lip Reader: Game of Detective, which he wrote and directed, has a cast and crew of several other Chinese students and alumni from NYFA, including:

    General Executive ProducerLip Reader: Game of Detective - Shi Tanxuan
    Peipei Duan
    2017 Fall MFA Producing

    Second Unit Director
    Kaibo Xu
    2017 Fall MFA Filmmaking

    1st & 2nd Assistant Director
    Fei Chen
    Mengmeng
    2018 Fall BFA Filmmaking

    Post Supervisor
    Cherry Cao
    2015 Fall MFA Filmmaking

    Post Production Coordinator
    Zhenghao Yang
    2016 Fall MFA Filmmaking

    Cast:
    Klay Li
    2016 Spring MFA Filmmaking

    Demi Ke
    2015 Spring MFA Acting for Film

    Xinran Cao
    2018 Summer MFA Acting for Film

    Yiwen Sun
    2016 Fall BFA Acting for Film

    Jiani Yang
    2017 Fall BFA Acting for Film

    Shi’s previous work has earned several awards and accolades, including from the Beijing University Student Film Festival, the Guangzhou University Student Film Festival, and other domestic and international film festivals. 

    Jin won for his film, The Outlying Islands, which was also produced and shot by a group of NYFA alumni. Production took place at the gorgeous Shengsi Islands in Zhejiang province, China. The film perfectly showcased the specific vision and style of Jin, who recently graduated from New York Film Academy with a BFA degree in Filmmaking. The crew of The Outlying Islands included multiple NYFA alumni:

    Producer
    Zexia Wang
    2015 Spring MA Film and Media

    Screenwriter & Assistant Director
    Jingwei Zhou
    2016 Spring MFA Filmmaking

    Cinematographer
    Gaofei Zheng
    2013 Fall MFA Cinematography

    Colorist
    Egor Povolotskiy
    2013 Spring MFA Cinematography

    The film has received several awards and accolades at various film festivals, including the Singapore International Short Film Festival, Shanghai Pride Film Festival, and other domestic and international film festivals.

    The Los Angeles International Short Film Festival (LA Shorts) is one of the world’s largest international short film festivals. It was founded in 1997 and has been successfully held 23 times, with more than 300 films per year. LA Shorts is hailed as the largest international short film festival on the West Coast and not only has a high degree of recognition in the American film industry, but also is accredited by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) and the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. LA Shorts is an official qualifying event for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) short film awards.

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA alumni Shi Tanxuan and Jin Lingxi on their awards at the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival!

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    August 15, 2019 • China, Film Festivals, Film School, Filmmaking • Views: 208

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking Alum Roshni Bhatia Wins WINGS Grant from Zonta Club

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking alum Roshni Bhatia was recently a Guest of Honor at the Zonta Club of Burbank and was awarded their WINGS grant, allowing her to focus more on directing and shepherding her film Plasmid through the festival circuit.

    Roshni Bhatia

    (from L to R): Zonta President Gloria Salas, Roshni Bhatia, Marva Murphy

    Plasmid is a horror short about a young nurse fighting to survive after her house is invaded by an unearthly intruder. The film has been widely met with praise, and will screen next on August 27 at the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival.

    The film was written and directed by Bhatia, who attended the 1-Year Filmmaking conservatory in 2017 at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus.

    The WINGS grant program is the signature service project of the Zonta Club of Burbank Area and helps women who have overcome adversity or a life-changing setback better their lives through education with one-time financial assistance. The next application deadline is September 30.

    “The award allows me to make more short films while studying,” remarks Bhatia. “With the award, I can continue to work with great people creating cinematic and pithy shorts with (hopefully) an interesting story to tell.”

    Bhatia was the only one considered for and awarded this year’s grant. “It was Zonta Club of Burbank’s wonderful opportunity to contribute to the education of a NYFA former student,” says Marva Murphy, Chair, WINGS Committee. “Our WINGS grant offers assistance and encouragement for a brighter future.”

    Part of what makes Bhatia worthy of the award is her perseverance and determination. “One will face endless obstacles and sometimes reasons not to do something, just because they’re waiting for the right moment or the right person to do it for them,” Bhatia says. “To go out there and not just think about it, but to just do it, is the hardest, yet most rewarding part.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates Filmmaking alum Roshni Bhatia on winning the Zonta Club WINGS grant and wishes her success as she continues screening Plasmid in the festival circuit.

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    August 14, 2019 • #WomenOfNYFA, Film School, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 319

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Alum Sam LaFrance Featured in Road Theatre Company’s Summer Playwrights Festival

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    Lost Boy, a play written by New York Film Academy (NYFA) Acting for Film alum Sam LaFrance, was recently featured in Road Theatre Company’s Summer Playwrights Festival.

    LaFrance attended the 1-Year Acting for Film conservatory at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus in 2008. He currently works as the building manager for NYFA-LA’s Barham building.

    Lost Boy tells the story of a man being released from prison after kidnapping several children 22 years earlier. The play was previously part of NYFA’s 2019 Winter Series of Student Directed plays. LaFrance directed the production, mentored by full time instructor David Robinette.

    “I saw a few Student Directed Plays and figured this would be a good opportunity to workshop one of my own projects,” LaFrance told NYFA. “It’s a great opportunity for anyone who loves theatre. You are completely immersed in it and that’s an amazing feeling.”

    The tenth annual edition of the Road Theatre’s Summer Playwrights Festival staged nearly 40 staged readings of new plays in just eight drama-packed days. The festival concluded on August 4, after staging readings at both the Historic Lankershim Arts Center Theater and Gallery and the Road Theatre’s 77-seat venue in the NoHo Senior Arts Colony. The fest is considered one of the largest playwright festivals in the nation.

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA Acting for Film alum Sam LaFrance on the success of his play Lost Boy and looks forward to future productions!

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    August 13, 2019 • Acting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 226

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Australia Students Participate in VIVA Surfers Paradise Parade

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    Last month, New York Film Academy (NYFA) Australia students participated in a street parade as part of VIVA Surfers Paradise, a week-long festival held in Australia’s Gold Coast.

    VIVA Surfers Paradise

    VIVA Surfers Paradise is described as Australia’s ultimate tribute artist festival, and consists of multiple live performances and other events over the course of a week, including tributes to Elvis, Elton John, Queen, and The Beatles. This year’s event had an overall attendance of more than 132,000 visitors. 

    For the VIVA Surfers Paradise street parade, there were around 50 different groups and floats, including New York Film Academy, which has a campus on the Gold Coast. Additionally, six student actors from NYFA played zombies as part of a “fest-evil” float. The NYFA float included three students, representing two actors and a director, from NYFA-Australia’s Diploma and Advanced Diploma programs.

    The parade was a huge hit, with large crowds filming and photographing the various artists and floats that passed by.

    “The team’s professionalism, punctuality, and dedication to ensuring they remain in character for the whole duration of the parade is a testament to the students and mentors at the Academy,” says Ian Maclachlan, NYFA-Australia Operations Manager.

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    August 13, 2019 • Acting, Community Highlights, Film School, Filmmaking • Views: 234

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking Alum Dhruv Sachdev Continues Winning Awards

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    Dhruv SachdevNew York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking alum Dhruv Sachdev has been very successful since taking the 1-Week Filmmaking Workshop, winning several awards for Redrum and A Gift of Love: Sifar.

    Both films adapt classic American authors; Redrum is based on a story by Edgar Allen Poe while Sifar is based on The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry. Sachdev’s next film will be an adaptation of O. Henry’s The Last Leaf.

    Sachdev, who originally hails from New Delhi, India, attended the Filmmaking Workshop in 2016 at NYFA’s New York campus. “At NYFA we were taught a basic rule,” says Sachdev, “that every scene, every shot, or every dialogue has to strike a chord with the audience—and that can only be done by a filmmaker who understands which emotion is to be captured. Thus, we not only learned the technicalities of filmmaking, but in the process also learned to observe the complexity of emotions.”

    Sachdev took that lesson to heart, and his work has been recognized at multiple festivals for its strong craftsmanship. Here is a list of the awards and nominations won so far by A Gift of Love: Sifar:

    Winner – CKF International Film Festival, England – Best Feature
    Winner – Crown Wood International Film Festival – Best Indian Feature
    Winner – Cult Critic Movie Awards – Best Debut Director
    Winner – Calcutta International Film Festival – Best Debut Director
    Winner – Mahul Woods International Film Festival – Outstanding Achievement Award – Best Feature
    Winner – Mahul Woods International Film Festival – Outstanding Achievement Award – Best Debut Director
    Winner – L’Age d’Or International Arthouse Film Festival
    Winner – Virgin Spring Cinefest
    Winner – Five Continents International Film Festival, Venezuela – Best Independent Feature
    Winner – Five Continents International Film Festival, Venezuela – Best Actress in a leading role
    Winner – Five Continents International Film Festival, Venezuela – Background Score
    Winner – Gold Movie Awards – London – June 2019 – Best Producer
    Winner – Los Angeles Film Awards
    Winner – Druk International Film Festival – Best Debut Director
    Winner – Druk International Film Festival – Best Feature
    Winner – Druk International Film Festival – Best Actress
    Winner – South Film and Arts Academy Festival – Best Drama Feature
    Winner – South Film and Arts Academy Festival – Best Screenplay Honorable Mention
    Winner – South Film and Arts Academy Festival – Best Lead Actress in a Feature Film
    Winner – South Film and Arts Academy Festival – Best Actor in a Supporting Role
    Winner – South Film and Arts Academy Festival – Best Cinematography Honorable Mention
    Winner – South Film and Arts Academy Festival – Best Editing Honorable Mention
    Winner – South Film and Arts Academy Festival – Best Production
    Winner – South Film and Arts Academy Festival – Best Art Direction Honorable Mention
    Winner – Bacalar International Film Festival, Mexico
    Finalist – Oniros Film Awards (award pending)
    Semifinalist – Near Nazareth Festival – Israel
    Official Selection – Rome Independent PRISMA Awards
    Official Selection – Miami Independent Film Festival (award pending)
    Official Selection – Berlin Flash Film Festival (award pending)
    Official Selection – New York Aphrodite Film Awards (award pending)

    “Once you start understanding human emotions,” Sachdev adds, “your journey towards being a filmmaker begins.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates Filmmaking alum Dhruv Sachdev on his growing list of accolades and looks forward to his upcoming projects!

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    August 13, 2019 • Film School, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 324

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) MFA in Producing Student Phoebe Wang Awarded Movie Magic Scholarship 

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) MFA in Producing student Xiaoxiao (Phoebe) Wang was recently awarded the Entertainment Partners’ Movie Magic Scholarship Producer Award Certificate. At the ceremony, Wang was also presented with a check for the amount of $1,450.

    The Scholarship is provided by Entertainment Partners, a company that puts technology front and center for the entertainment industry. Movie Magic is a software program for production professionals, helping with film budgeting and software, and is an industry standard.

    Wang, who originally hails from China and is currently enrolled at the producing school in NYFA’s Burbank-based campus, demonstrated a comprehensive understanding and skillful use of the software’s features, and earned the Producer Award Certificate. Wang plans to invest the award money in her current production project, entitled The Beauty.
    Phoebe Wang Featured

    Wang isn’t the first NYFA student to pick up the prestigious scholarship; last year MFA in Filmmaking students Katherin Hussein and Robert (Bobby) Gutierrez each picked up the Movie Magic award.

    New York Film Academy congratulates MFA Producing student Phoebe Wang on winning the Entertainment Partners’ Movie Magic Scholarship Producer Award Certificate and looks forward to seeing the completion of The Beauty!

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    August 8, 2019 • Producing, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 372

  • Off-Broadway Show by New York Film Academy (NYFA) Documentary Instructor James Lecesne Available on Audible

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    The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, the Off-Broadway show by New York Film Academy (NYFA) Documentary Filmmaking Instructor, is now available to listen to on Audible, Amazon’s audiobook platform.

    Both written and performed by Lecesne, the story unravels around Leonard Pelkey, a tenaciously optimistic and flamboyant 14-year-old boy who goes missing from a small town on the Jersey Shore. Leonard becomes an unexpected inspiration to the townsfolk, who begin to question how they live, who they love, and what they leave behind. Sound design for the production was done by Christian Frederickson, with original music by Duncan Sheik.

    The New York Times says that The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey will “leave you beaming with joy … a superlative solo show … Mr. Lecesne is a writer of wit and keen observational skills, who here unfolds a dark tale that shimmers with the needling suspense you associate with the best police procedurals.”

    Much of Lecesne’s work focuses on LGBTQIA+ themes, including his screenplay for the Academy-Award winning short, Trevor. That film directly led to his founding of The Trevor Project, an American non-profit organization focused on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. Lecesne also wrote for Further Tales if the City, Will and Grace, and Vicious, starring Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi.

    The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey by NYFA Documentary Filmmaking instructor James Lecesne can be found on Audible here. New York Film Academy encourages the NYFA community to check it out today!

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