• NYFA Veteran Students March in Veterans Day Parade

    veterans day parade
    Once again, the New York Film Academy and its veteran students marched in New York City’s Veterans Day Parade down 5th Avenue, which included over 600,000 spectators showing their full support. The annual event honored those who have fought for our freedom and included over 21,000 participants.

    NYFA Acting student Jessica Gordon with Actor, Ronald Ermey

    NYFA veteran students that participated in this year’s parade were:

    • Justin Ford: One Year Producing
    • Dean Torres: One Year Acting for Film
    • Tyric Jackson: Two Year Acting for Film
    • Maria Ortiz: One Year Screenwriting
    • Robert Johnson: One Year Filmmaking
    • Michael Thomas: One Year Filmmaking
    • Carlos Lobaina: One Year Filmmaking
    • Jessica Gordon: One Year Acting for Film
    • Shane Velez: Evening Acting for Film
    • Peter DeJesus: One Year Acting for Film
    • Alexis Maldonado: One Year Filmmaking
    • Justin Flemming: One Year Filmmaking
    • Brett Yuille: Two Year Acting for Film

    As film and acting connoisseurs, it was easy for our students to spot Ronald Lee Ermey, who brilliantly captured the character of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket. Ermey’s masterful improv was due in large part to the fact that he was actually a former Gunnery Sergeant in the Marine Corps. A strength that Kubrick was able to take full advantage of.

    Aside from the celebrity sightings, the students had a wonderful time marching with their fellow students and military peers on one of Manhattan’s most famous avenues.

    “The parade was a great opportunity for our veteran students to honor those whom they served with and those who served generations before,” said NYFA NYC Director of Veterans Affairs, Joshua Birchfield. “It also gave them the opportunity to thank the community of New York City for their support. Our veteran students truly came out to show their appreciation and how NYFA is contributing to their life after military service in a positive and meaningful way.”

    The students finished the event feeling energized, supported and revitalized — which was the intent of the parade — mission accomplished.

    NYFA has been listed as a Top Military Friendly School by We work with the Department of Veterans Affairs and many of our programs are approved for post – 9/11 GI Bill benefits at both New York City and Los Angeles campuses. Our Los Angeles campus also participates in the Yellow Ribbon program. If you’re a veteran interested in studying one of our hands-on creative programs, please visit our Veterans Benefits page for more information.

    November 12, 2014 • Acting, Community Highlights, Filmmaking, Screenwriting • Views: 1075

  • Award-Winning Commercial Filmmaker Transitions to Feature Film

    BrunoWith years of success in the commercial directing world, including a “best advertising” award at the Garden State Film Festival for the commercial Flanm by Coca-Cola and several awards for the advertising campaign Big Shake that has been a viral success on the Internet, New York Film Academy 8-Week graduate, Bruno Mourral, has decided to venture into the world of feature filmmaking.

    Bruno had been working as a professional prior to enrolling at NYFA, but wanted to truly hone his skills over an 8-week summer program. “It helped me strengthen my knowledge of filmmaking,” said Bruno Mourral. “I mostly made good contacts in the filmmaking industry. They gave me the opportunity to partner up and create Maninhat, a production company based in New York City. We worked internationally with several big brands such as Sony, Sports Illustrated, Nissan and others.”

    Since 2005, Bruno has had the idea for his feature, Kidnapping Inc., which he initially intended to have a rather serious tone. During his time at NYFA, he went ahead and worked on an idea for a short-film revolving around the theme of Kidnapping. Though, his tone shifted to that of a dark comedy.

    Last year, Bruno decided to team up with two screenwriters to help him develop a feature based on that short story. “The experience of working with two people who shared the same ideas and passion was great. This helped me bring the movie to a whole other level. Today, we are very pleased with the Kidnapping Inc. script.”

    Based on actual events, Kidnapping Inc. is a dark comedy, satirizing the Haitian society’s epidemic of kidnapping. The movie is about two deliverymen working for the largest kidnapping corporation in Haiti. While delivering the wealthy senator’s son, the duo foolishly misunderstand each other and one of them ends up killing the boy. Trying to fix this mess, they stumble upon the senator’s son look-alike, which sets them on the craziest kidnapping of their lives.

    Bruno is currently in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign, in which he hopes to raise $150,000. To learn more about his fundraiser, CLICK HERE.

    If he raises the funds to film the feature, his goal is to introduce the film to several festivals and find distribution deals to make this movie accessible to the world. He also wants this movie to be a premiere for the rebirth of the Haitian film industry.

    Watch below for a sneak peek of Kidnapping Inc.

    November 11, 2014 • Acting, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1212

  • NYFA Alumnus Jesse Kove Screens ‘As Night Comes’

    As Night Comes

    NYFA Alumnus (Actor/Producer) Jesse Kove, along with (Director/Writer/Producer) Richard Zelniker, and other cast members Luke Baines, & Myko Olivier, all from the Upcoming Feature Film “AS NIGHT COMES”.

    On Tuesday, November 4th, New York Film Academy Alumnus (Actor/Producer) Jesse Kove, along with (Director/Writer/Producer) Richard Zelniker, and other cast members Luke Baines and Myko Olivier, all from the Upcoming Feature Film, As Night Comes, visited the New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles branch to screen their film and participate in a Q&A with BFA Acting, MFA Acting, BFA Filmmaking, and other degree and short term program students. The film follows a troubled 17-year-old Sean Holloway as he falls in with a group of teenage outcasts called ‘The Misfits,’ whose charismatic leader, Ricky, takes him under his wing. As Sean becomes more and more entangled in the gang’s anarchist ways, things begin to spiral out of control, and Sean realizes Ricky is a ticking time bomb on a rampage of revenge.

    During the Q&A, NYFA alumnus and co-star/producer Jesse Kove talked about the types of obstacles the crew and cast encountered during production and how they overcame them to produce such a solid product. As anyone who has ever attempted to make a film knows, it’s not an easy task–add a large ensemble cast, plenty of action, multiple locations, and top notch costume and production design and the odds are stacked almost completely against you. However, it was clear that all parties involved in the making of AS NIGHT COMES embody the “no matter what” mentality required to do this type of impossible. Not only that, but what they did was darn good too.

    As Night Comes opens Friday, November 14 to a limited theatrical release in Los Angeles at the Laemmle’s Music Hall in Beverly Hills. For tickets, please visit: The film will also be available on several VOD platforms December 5th via Gravitas Ventures Distribution. 

    We wish Jesse Kove, Richard Zelniker and the whole cast and crew of AS NIGHT COMES the very best in their future filmmaking endeavors.


    November 10, 2014 • Acting, Producing • Views: 738

  • A Discussion with Award-Winning Author & Instructor Michael Fuller

    michael fullerNew York Film Academy Los Angeles Instructor Dr. Michael Fuller (English 101) was recently honored the Book Publicists of Southern California IRWIN Award for Best Fiction for his new novel, Legacy.

    The book has received praise from critics, including a Midwest review which said of Michael‘s book that it was a “superbly crafted and thoroughly original novel. Legacy is a fascinating read from beginning to end and documents Michael Woodworth Fuller as an author of considerable and impressive talent. Very highly recommended for personal reading lists.”

    We had a talk with Dr. Fuller about his writing career, his book, and any advice he would give to our writing students.

    NYFA: Would you mind telling us a bit about your background and how you got into writing?
    I started writing when I was thirteen. I was given a diary that had one page for each day of the year. I made myself write every day. I didn’t now why. Because of my obsessive-compulsive nature, I thought then it was because I had to fill the page. I still have the diary. Also, when I was at sea, I wrote a journal –influenced, of course, by Joseph Conrad – I remember in high school sitting after school while my English teacher, Mr. Englander, talked with a colleague, grabbing any scarp of paper I could find and scribbling something about something that had something to with something I knew nothing what about. Didn’t matter. Scribbling was the thing. At San Francisco State, after the service, I was admitted into an English class that I have since perceived as consisting of high-school brain children (what would be AP students today) and found that I could keep up with them and write, write, write and receive double A’s on my papers – went into the creative writing program for 6 units ‘till I found there was nothing more I was capable of learning from them. Desperate to find something, I went into the theater department was consumed by it, but all the time knew in my soul of souls that I was doing this activity until I learned how to write.

    NYFA: You’ve written across a variety of mediums, including poetry, drama, non-fiction, film, television, and with Legacy, fiction. Do you feel your style changes on what medium you’re writing for, or are you able to explore certain themes or styles in one medium that you are not able to in another?
    The medium mandates style changes because each medium has its own format. Certain themes drive the work – perhaps it is one single theme in different formats or media – it is the theme that mandates the medium for its expression.

    NYFA: As a professor at NYFA, what advice do you give your students in approaching different styles of writing or distinct mediums? What lesson or piece of advice do you think applies across the spectrum of writing?
    The first and foremost advice is that “writing is rewriting what you have rewritten.” It is Trigorin’s impulse that applies across the spectrum of writing. As he says in Chekhov’s play, The Sea Gull, “I must be constantly writing, writing, writing.” And so it is. As Gene Kelly says in Singin’ in the Rain, “Gotta sing, gotta dance.” Gotta have a gotta to write, sing, dance, act, direct, paint, draw, design, sculpt, compose, and/or any of the other arts I haven’t mentioned.

    NYFA: What was your process in writing Legacy? Are you the type of writer who writes daily or at a fixed time, or do you compose when the inspiration comes? How do you lay out a narrative of this size?
    My friend, Richard Russell Ramos, actor and director in New York and regional repertory summed up all the formulas for acting (“acting is believing” and all the rest of them) by saying, “Acting is acting.” And so it is with writing. Writing is writing. One has one’s most creative hours of the day – for some it is early morning, others, late at night – and you sit and do what you gotta do. Some people plan everything before they write a single word – others do detailed character analyses, others plot, others write the ending before they begin, others write and discover as they are driven by the work – for me, an idea or a feeling comes that there is a story somewhere there – sometimes words just come, a sentence that must be written and once it is, another sentence follows, and then another, and finally, the thing evolves and eventually, it comes together or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t good-bye to it – let it go and go on to something lese. Sometimes it won’t let you go, so you keep on keepin’ on. Then, come the disciplines of craft that you must obey.

    NYFA: What was the inspiration behind the story of Legacy? Did your own personal history in the US Navy have any bearing on penning a story about the after-effects of war, as felt by those who both saw combat and those who did not?
    The inspiration of what Legacy actually was came with the title very late in the work. There were some personal experiences that I drew upon- who doesn’t – but the dictum is true: “My life may be a story, but my story is not my life.” All work in whatever art form is autobiographical because it comes form you – who else is it going to come from? No one can write like Hemingway or Faulkner or Baldwin or Welty or Hurston because no one is they; one is one’s own self and that is the resource. In relation to the after-effects of war – I am not a combat veteran – but the military does provide a sense of being and camaraderie, of going forth that no other venue provides. Combat is unique to those who have experienced it.

    NYFA: Were there any particular writers, artists, or works of art that helped to shape the themes and stories within Legacy?
    Follow-Up: What were the over-arching themes or ideas you knew you wanted to explore before even sitting down to write Legacy?
    Writers: Conrad, Hemingway, Shakespeare, Cheever, Faulkner, Baldwin, Agee (Let Us Now Praise Famous Men), and Steinbeck.

    The socio-political dynamics of the times – 1950s through the 60s particularly (the Vietnam era being prominent), and the consummate stupidity of those in power. Eventually, the absolute miracle of the human being to transcend ruination dominated everything. This, of course, took a very, very, long time.

    NYFA: In addition to fiction, you also write historical non-fiction, such as your book looking at the legendary Idyllwild Arts. What eras of history or historical topics are you drawn to?
    All times are of interest if the story is contained therein, but mostly, I would say from late 19th century to the present 21st.

    NYFA: You have extensive experience in the theatre, both as a director and writer. What skills or opportunities does the theatre allow you to explore as a creative that your other disciplines do not?
    I have never written for the theater as much as I have loved the theater and still do love it. Perhaps one day I shall DARE to write a play – what the theater has taught me more than anything else is dramatic structure and conflict that drive the action forward to catharsis.

    Regarding the theater, writing, and catharsis, my close friend Garry Michael White (Scarecrow, Golden Palm, 1975) some of whose plays I have directed, says this of catharsis: “I have seen many plays this season, and most of them fail to interest me. Not because of production values, not because of the acting, not even because of inept directing: it is the writing. I’ve asked myself repeatedly why this is, and I think the answer is a simple one. The person making the final decision to mount the play has not answered this one question: Where is the catharsis? That might seem like an antiquated question, but I would argue with anybody that it is not. It is as true as when Aristotle posited it 2700 years ago. Where is the catharsis? Theme does not make catharsis. Trend does not make catharsis. Clever plot twist does not make catharsis. You must feel it in the life and destiny of a character and if you cannot do that do not mount the play. A comedy can have catharsis (“Noises Off”). So can a satire (“The Miser” “M Butterfly”), as can drama which is arguably not a tragedy (“Streetcar”) and so can the simplest little situational encounter (“The Zoo Story”). I have seen one play in the last year which brought me to the level of those pieces, “The Mountaintop” which chronicles Martin Luther King’s last night alive, in a motel room. Two actors, one cheap set. Catharsis. Successful theatre.

    NYFA: In addition to your upcoming collection of short stories, Five!, what other projects do you have in the pipeline?
    Five! is now Six! and it may be even or eight. How Do You Learn ‘Em To DO Some of that Stuff? is a handbook of grammar – a practical hands-on guide to using grammar as a tool – grammar is nothing more than a bunch of tools people use – not a bunch of rules that people memorize. I utilized this approach when I taught English in high school (which I truly adored doing! Yes, high school is true epiphany!) and am still utilizing in classes I teach at NYFA. Seems to work.

    NYFA: Do you have any parting words of advice for aspiring writers and how one can develop a singular voice and style?
    Of course, everyone, at some time, wishes to sell what he or she writes and to be known for that writing. In the end, however, if that is why one writes, if one does not achieve those dreams, one will suffer greatly because in the long run and at the end of the line, that disgusting bumper sticker that said, “He who dies with the most toys, wins” is an egregious lie. He who dies with the most toys dies just like everyone else. Moss Hart was right: you can’t take it with you. What you do take is who you are. In the end some writers make money and acquire fame, others don’t.. Sometimes it’s because you have talent or don’t; often, it’s the roll of the dice, as the say. Those symbols of success don’t really matter. It’s the WORK that matters. My wife and I know someone who is an absolutely horrible singer. That does stop him from going to class, practicing, and singing? No. And it shouldn’t. This no-talent person has what it Takes- the courage to keep on keepin’ on because he has to, and so he does. He deserves great respect. As Arthur Miller said of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman: “Attention. Attention must be paid to such a man.”

    Write. Don’t worry about being a writer. Just write. In addition, READ, READ, READ the great writers. Learn form them. Learn dramatic structure, learn what makes character, conflict, rising and falling action, all those things that people tell you but cannot truly teach you – suffer with your bad work – most of it will be bad – have the guts to throw out what does not work – learn the what the different forms of writing – or media – mandate. You DO have to have skills and discipline – and write. The one four-letter word ending in K that means anything is WORK. Gotta live for THE WORK. Worrying about what to say next, worrying about whether it’s any good or not, worrying about whether someone’s going to buy it, or if you’re going to become rich and famous, railing against the world are all waste of time. Writing isn’t.

    November 5, 2014 • Acting, Screenwriting • Views: 1371

  • Renowned Casting Director John Levey Visits NYFA

    john levey

    New York Film Academy students gathered this week to view the pilot episode of Showtime’s hit TV series Shameless, and participate in a Q&A with the show’s illustrious casting director John Levey. The Q&A was moderated by NYFA LA’s Dean of Academic Advising Mike Civille.

    John Levey 2

    Mike Civille with John Levey

    John Frank Levey is a casting director for John Welles Productions and is one of the most respected in the industry. Levey has won four Emmy awards (ER and West Wing) and is the recipient of the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Casting Society of America. Levey is best known for his casting credits for hit TV shows like Southland, ER, The West Wing, China Beach, Third Watch, and Shameless (currently airing on Showtime). Levey started his career as a theater director with the NEA fellowship at the Mark Taper Forum and continues to direct theater in Los Angeles today.

    John stressed the importance of working with a casting director in low-budget films. The role is often considered nonessential given the restrictions on this level. Although a student film, for instance, may not be able to afford to hire John, the production could work with his assistant who has access to his knowledge. Having an expert to “people” your film (as John puts it) is just as important, if not more, as having a cinematographer, production designer, or digital editor. After all, it’s the characters who keep the audience’s interest.

    When asked what John focuses on most during an actor’s audition he said “the life within them.” John often “plays the fool” in the audition room to keep a light atmosphere in which the actors feel comfortable in allowing their true self to come out. It’s a talent for allowing magic to happen and identifying the right flavor of persona that John has refined throughout his career.

    Actors in the audience were interested in knowing how they could get the attention of a prominent casting director such as John. His answer to this question was simple, “Do the work!” There is no substitute for this. Any other explanation for why an actor hasn’t been discovered, for instance, “I don’t have the right agent,” is just an excuse. It is your hard work and talent that will bring you success and nothing more.

    John is currently casting for his fifth season of Shameless.

    Levey 3

    October 24, 2014 • Acting, Guest Speakers • Views: 968

  • Actor Ronen Rubinstein Returns to His Alma Mater

    Ronen RubinsteinNew York Film Academy Acting for Film graduate Ronen Rubinstein has come out of the gates running. Since graduating from NYFA, he’s appeared in a few features, including It Felt Like Love, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and landed him representation with Radius Entertainment and The Gersh Agency. Last night, Ronen returned to his alma mater to screen the film and discuss life “in the real world.”

    The independent feature truly captures the raw emotions of a teenage girl coming into her sexuality without a mother in her life. The lead, Lila, fixates herself on an older boy, Sammy, played by Ronen. Sammy is the kind of guy who seems to be willing to sleep with any girl at the party and yet Lila becomes infatuated with him. Given the somewhat misogynistic nature of Sammy’s character, Ronen initially found the role challenging.

    “I would take pieces of people I knew in high school and mold them into the character of Sammy,” said Ronen. “I actually knew a lot of ‘Sammys’ in high school, but was afraid to talk to them.”

    With no real rehearsal time and a first time director, Eliza Hittman, Ronen was able to tackle the part in what became an unprecedented nineteen day film shoot in Brooklyn. In the feature film world, that’s almost unheard of. Nevertheless, the film found itself at Sundance, screens across the country, and is currently available on Netflix. Ronen says that Sundance really propelled his career and confidence in the business. Seeing the likes of Robert De Niro, James Franco and Robert Redford gave Ronen the inspiration and confirmation that a career in acting was the right path for him.

    Ronen provided a unique prospective to students on life after acting school. Given the fact that Ronen is only two years out of NYFA, it was refreshing to hear first-hand the possibilities of being a working actor right out of school. One piece of advice that Ronen learned at NYFA: “You can’t judge your character. If you judge them, you won’t be able to properly portray what they’re doing in the film.” As an example, if you’re asked to play a murderer in a film and go in with a negative attitude towards that person, the ability to truly capture that person will be extremely difficult.

    While reflecting on his time at NYFA, Ronen recalled one of his favorite instructors, Paul Warner. What he loved most about Paul was that he never sugarcoated anything—much like the real world. Having that critical tutorage is a key to success.

    In addition to It Felt Like Love, Ronen will be appearing in the features Condemned and Some Kind of Hate. Not only that, he will be appearing in season 3 of Netflix’s hit show, Orange is the New Black.

    If you were unable to attend the Q&A with Ronen, you can watch it in its entirety below.

    October 23, 2014 • Acting, Guest Speakers, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1165

  • Instuctor Deena Selenow Selected to SPARK Leadership Program

    deena selenowThe New York Film Academy is pleased one of its Acting Instructors, Deena Selenow, was selected among arts leaders across the country to be one of ten participants in the SPARK Leadership Program. SPARK intends to create a more diverse theatre landscape by supporting the professional development of exceptional rising leaders of color who aim to take on executive leadership positions in artistic, management or producing roles at U.S. not-for-profit theatres. Given NYFA’s diverse student body, SPARK’s development initiatives work hand-in-hand with our philosophy.

    Building on the success of Theatre Communications Group’s Young Leaders of Color Program, this pilot program will provide ten leaders who self-identify as leaders of color with the opportunity to participate in a three-tiered curriculum:

    • Knowledge & Skills-Building: SPARK will provide the necessary practical skills for success in leading a not-for-profit theatre organization.
    • Networking & Professional Connections: SPARK will provide opportunities to develop empowering relationships with mentors, sponsors and career influencers, as well as with peers who are pursuing similar career goals.Self
    • Awareness & Inclusion Training: SPARK will provide tools and resources to empower participants and ensure they promote diversity, inclusion and equity in their work.

    “I’m thrilled to have been selected for this exciting program, focusing on both the present and future of diversity and inclusion in the performing arts, as well as my role as an agent for change in our evolving American cultural landscape.” – Deena Selenow

    Aside from her teaching at NYFA, Deena Selenow has directed opera, theater, concerts, puppetry, performance installation and site-specific happenings in Los Angeles at REDCAT, Highways Performance Space, Company of Angels, Machine Project and CalArts; and in New York at Dixon Place, NYTW’s 4th Street Theatre, CSV Cultural Center, NYU and various locations in Harlem, Midtown and Lower Manhattan.

    Deena was a recipient of the 2006 Baryshnikov Art Center Multi-Disciplinary Artist Fellowship, the 2009/2010 New York Theatre Workshop Emerging Artist of Color Directing Fellowship, and was a participant in the 2013 Walt Disney Imagineering/CalArts Educational Initiative.

    Congratulations, Deena! We’re proud to have you on our team.

    October 9, 2014 • Acting, Community Highlights • Views: 749

  • Superstar Molly Shannon Visits NYFA

    Molly Shannon

    Actress Molly Shannon visited New York Film Academy Los Angeles and talked to students after screening an episode of the TV show Enlightened (for which she was nominated for an Emmy) and a few of her legendary Saturday Night Live sketches. The Q&A was moderated by Tova Laiter. Molly was radiant and so generous to give students advice on how she navigated the daunting terrain of the entertainment industry and succeeded. Students cheered loudly when Molly ran down the theater aisle and took the stage.

    Molly reminisced about her early days in Hollywood when she would walk up and down Sunset Blvd., handing out her head shots because she didn’t know anyone in town. Oddly enough, this strategy got Molly her first agent. From there, she landed a few substantial gigs like a small, one-time roll on Twin Peaks and a commercial spot. All the while Molly continuously hustled within her career and would do odd jobs and waitress to stay afloat financially.

    It wasn’t until she hit a big dry spell of acting work and had decided to set auditioning aside for a while — to work on developing her own characters on stage with a group of friends — that she finally got her big break and was hired on Saturday Night Live. Being on SNL was like climbing a treacherous mountain, according to Molly. Because the show was live and so much was a stake, the experience was both terrifying and extremely exhilarating. She now enjoys the more subdued, intimate atmosphere of single camera television shows and feature films. Family, friends, and the love of her craft remain of central importance for Molly so she is always grounded in things that are stable. In this way she can go up and down the roller coaster of success and failure and not be effected. This is very apparent from Molly’s incredibly positive demeanor.

    At the end of the Q&A, Molly received a standing ovation from students. She stayed afterwards to take pictures with every student who asked her.

    molly shannon nyfa

    October 8, 2014 • Acting, Guest Speakers • Views: 1080

  • Congrats to our Degree Program Graduates in Los Angeles!

    2012 graduates

    September 2012 MFA and AFA Filmmaking Graduates

    New York Film Academy Los Angeles September 2012 MFA and AFA Film Graduates gathered at the Harmony Gold Theater in Hollywood, California dressed in cap and gown and walked on stage to receive their diplomas. Art Helterbran (Chair of the Filmmaking Department), Mike Civille (Dean of Academic Advising), Adam Finer (Chair of Industry Outreach and Professional Development), and Eric Conner (Dean of Students) spoke to the graduates, offering moving words of encouragement for the future. The Commencement Speaker, Harley Peyton (Producer and writer for television shows Twin Peaks and Dracula and feature films Bandits and Friends with Benefits), inspired the graduates with very practical advice for navigating the entertainment industry. Mr. Peyton was extremely surprised and touched when Eric Conner presented him with an Honorary MFA Degree in Producing from the New York Film Academy. Graduates and their family and friends assembled at Bugatta Supper Club afterwards for a fun celebration.

    acting graduates

    BFA, AFA, and MA Filmmaking and Acting Graduation in Los Angeles

    NYFA graduates from the September 2012 BFA Film and Acting, September 2012 MA Film, and March 2013 AFA Acting programs received their degrees during an exciting commencement ceremony at the Harmony Gold Theater in Hollywood California. Dan Mackler (NYFA Los Angeles Director), Lynda Goodfriend (Acting Department Chair), Art Helterbran (Filmmaking Department Chair), Adam Finer (Chair of Industry Outreach and Professional Development), and Louis Fantasia (Dean of Faculty) presided on stage and spoke to the graduates, reminiscing of their time together and encouraging them to pursue their future careers with as much enthusiasm as they did their degrees. The Commencement Speaker, Yuri Lowenthal (one of the most prolific voice over actors in Hollywood and the voice of famed cartoon character Ben Ten), gave a rousing and entertaining address to graduates about the importance of constantly producing work and always finishing what you started. Family and friends in attendance erupted in applause and cheers when degrees were officially conferred upon the graduates and they threw their caps in the air.

    Master's Degree

    Master of Arts Filmmaking Degrees Conferred Upon NYFA Graduates

    On a beautiful day in Hollywood, California, NYFA Los Angeles Master of Arts Film graduates sharply dressed in cap and gown, walked the stage at the Harmony Gold Theater and received their diplomas in front of an audience of proud family and friends looking on. Dan Mackler (NYFA Los Angeles Director), Eric Conner (Dean of Students), Mike Civille (Dean of Academic Advising), Adam Finer (Chair of Industry Outreach and Professional Development), and Louis Fantasia (Dean of Faculty) were in attendance and addressed the graduates, congratulating them on their significant accomplishment and giving sage advice for the future. The Commencement Speaker, Maureen Milligan (who has produced for television shows such as One Tree Hill, Reign, and Eastbound and Down), spoke to the graduates about the importance of pursuing work that incites a spark of inspiration inside them, which coined as “alchemy.” Congratulations to these New York Film Academy Master of Arts Film graduates and the best of luck pursuing your dreams!

    Below is a list of all of our graduates:

    MFA in Filmmaking

    • Khaliel S. Abdelrahim
    • Siddhant Adlakha
    • Ao Ni MGL
    • David Betran
    • Luca Brinciottimf
    • Sharice Nicole Bryant
    • Gabriel Alicto Chavez
    • Bruce Sze Han Chen
    • ChunYu Chu
    • Massiel Leonor Cordero Núñez
    • Christiano Dias
    • Corinna Elwood
    • Daniel Chinweze Enenta
    • Badr Farha
    • Abhijit Gajwani
    • Aurélien Heilbronn
    • Matt James Hielsberg
    • Kuei-Chieh Hsu
    • Zhifan Huang
    • Kirill Iakimetc
    • Denise Ntombikayise Khumalo
    • Ruchi Kishore
    • Ji Li
    • Jiayi Liang
    • Shangyuan Liao
    • Jiaqi Lin
    • Di Liu
    • Miao Liu
    • Ivan Sergeyevich Lopatkin
    • Yiting Lyu
    • Utku Macuncu
    • Andrew John Messersmith
    • Yusuke Nagasaki
    • Daria Nazarova
    • Nigina Niyazmatova
    • Batuhan Ozbek
    • Kyle David Pavlin
    • Jeremy Paul Pelsinki
    • Laura Elisa Pérez Rebullén
    • Lingling Ruan
    • Michelle Sainz Castro
    • Maral Servat
    • Shaik Nazrin Shah Bin Abdul Rahim
    • Muhan Shen
    • Nuo Shi
    • Nathália Pereira Guerra Simões
    • Song Song
    • Anvita Sudarshan
    • Suleyman Suleymanoglu
    • Huanglizi Sun
    • Yu Sun (Max)
    • Yu Sun
    • Nicci Thompson
    • Chia Ying, Tsai
    • Sevgi Tumen
    • Javier Urtasun
    • Arturo Alejandro Vargas
    • Heran Wang
    • Jing Wen
    • Beixi Wu
    • Shuai Yang
    • Xi Yang
    • Bo Yao
    • Oxana V. Yatsenko
    • Yuki Yoshimatsu
    • Liping Yu
    • An Zhang
    • Xiaoyu Zhang
    • Yating Zhang
    • Zhang Yi
    • Difei Zhou
    • Gabriela Zogall

    AFA in Filmmaking

    • Ikem Mfon Chukwudifu
    • Diana Maritza Guerrero
    • JayRex Hale
    • Alejandro Kahuam Lopez
    • Ryan Kenny
    • Roman Kolesov
    • Denis Kulikov
    • Euphrasie Leloup
    • Victor Olea
    • Paul Renna
    • Reghis Reginauld F. Romero V
    • Petros Skevis

    BFA in Filmmaking

    • Abdullah Ahmed Badeeb
    • Ge Zhen
    • Yang Jin
    • Liu Jiaqi
    • Mukhomedzhan Ruslan
    • Vladislav Nikitin
    • Christopher Payne Medina
    • Natalia Sofia Raful Guzmán
    • Feiyang Sun
    • Lilian Teplan
    • Kuan Wang

    BFA in Acting

    • Xizi Chen
    • Kenneth Michael Huitt
    • Judith Morales Martinez
    • Gabriel Uzcategui
    • Maegan Christine Wilson

    AFA in Acting

    • Kelly W Auble
    • David Alanson Bradberry
    • Paulina Garcia Matar
    • Mario J. Lozano-Pacheco
    • Christin Muuli
    • Gabric Ramos
    • Samat Turgunbaev
    • Victoria Sage Watlington

    MA in Film & Media Production

    • Adeyemi Hafeez Adesoji
    • Meshari Abdullah B. Albarrak
    • Yiru Chen
    • Robin de Corbière
    • Alon Golan
    • Guanyu Hu
    • Yue Hu
    • Lili Huang
    • Sujith John
    • Veddaant P Joshi
    • Anqi Li
    • Xinyi Liu
    • Matias Azevedo Lovro
    • Khachatur Martirosyan
    • Takafumi Sakabe

    MA in Film & Media Production

    • Hagar Mostafa Ali
    • Abdullah Alrachid
    • Marija Apchevska
    • Emilio Sebastiano Caccetta
    • Valeriya Elenskaya
    • Mengxue Gu
    • Soraya Adeline Hajjaji
    • Eduardo Hidalgo Caballero
    • Yue Huang
    • Jin Ye
    • Zhen Li
    • Cunyang Liu
    • Adam Paul Marino
    • John McCain
    • Soni Mizrahi Tuvachi
    • Sandra Prieto Murcia
    • Carlos Rodriguez Izaguirre
    • Zhanbo Shang
    • Yichang Sun
    • Deniz Tokdemir
    • Wang Tian
    • Wang Ying
    • Zhixin Weng
    • Tianyi Wu
    • Liye Yan
    • Zijian Zhang
    • Yao Zhang
    • Yizhao Zhang
    • Ji Zhe


    October 6, 2014 • Acting, Community Highlights, Filmmaking • Views: 1203

  • Fort Bliss Screening with Michelle Monaghan and Gbenga Akinnagbe

    Fort Bliss Screening

    One of the most common approaches for actors to take on their character in a given scene is to ask themselves the five W’s: Who, what, when, where, and why. Such was the advice from our recent guest and star of Fort Bliss, Michelle Monaghan. Michelle, who recently starred in HBO’s True Detective, played the leading lady whose character returns home from an extended tour in Afghanistan and struggles to rebuild her relationship with her young son. “I couldn’t believe what an amazing role this was,” Michelle told to a full house of New York Film Academy students. “The script was near perfect and completely original.”

    Our other guest, actor Gbenga Akinnagbe, known for playing Chris in the HBO hit The Wire, wholeheartedly agreed with Michelle in terms of the material’s originality. To them, one of the most important aspects of the film was its ability to inform the audience of the difficulties soldiers face when returning home from combat. The two of them went to the actual Fort Bliss to sink their teeth into the environment and ultimately film at the location. The film’s authenticity really shined on the screen.

    Gbenga and Michelle were gracious guests, answering insightful questions from students and our moderator, Acting for Film Chair, Glynis Rigsby. Of all of the advice that was given, one that stood in particular from Michelle was in regards to the actor’s audition process, “If I can at least make a connection with the casting director, that’s a plus.” She added, “Don’t be so hard on yourself. Remember, they want you to get that job. After all, they invited you.”

    As for Gbenga, his wisdom was to not wrap yourself up into the business too much. “Do and value things outside this business.” His advice came after his years of experience, noting how stressed actors can become when their entire life becomes ‘the industry’. Indeed something to think about when embarking on such a strenuous and competitive field.

    You can watch the Q&A in its entirety in the video below.


    September 19, 2014 • Acting, Guest Speakers • Views: 1251