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  • 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: 931

  • 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: 1359

  • 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: 1621

  • 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: 1561

  • Acting Grad Releases Book on Creativity, Neuroscience and Virtuality

    Creative Synapse

    One year after his book presentation at Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, New York Film Academy Acting for Film graduate, Dr. Ariel Orama Lopez, published his new theoretical framework in an English Collection Edition: CRËATIVE SYNAPSE: CRËATE.YOUR.UNIVERSE© (English Ed., 2014). It is the first theoretical framework that explains the behavior of the human being by integrating the following variables: creativity, the recent findings in neuroscience, and the new influence of the virtual universe. The English version of the book includes new applications and exercises for the development of creativity from different perspectives, directed to actors, filmmakers, artists in general, parents, students, academics and scientists. The book made him an honoree of various recognitions, among them the dedicatory for his approach, engagement and investigation in creativity. This honor was received on behalf of the Universidad Politécnica de Puerto Rico and Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico (5to Premio del Presidente) for his approaches in the arts, coaching and psychology.

    During his time at NYFA Los AngelesActing for the Film school, Ariel performed in fourteen short-films. Now, he is a collegiate actor of the Colegio de Actores of Puerto Rico, a certified Executive Coach (specialized in Crëative Life Coaching) from TISOC, Barcelona, Spain and a licensed clinical psychologist. He was selected as a finalist of Taller TELEMUNDO: Actores, in Miami, directed by Oscar nominated Mexican actress, Adriana Barraza.

    Ariel hopes that someday his book will be used as a reference by NYFA‘s acting and filmmaking students.

    September 2, 2014 • Acting, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1391

  • Acting Alumni Spotlight: Mia Ella Jordan Stars in ‘Basketball Girlfriend’

    Mia Ella Jordan

    Within two months of graduating from New York Film Academy’s One-Year Acting for Film Conservatory, Mia Ella Jordan was cast in the feature film, Basketball Girlfriend, which is now available to rent on RedBox. She was also in Jez Dior’s music video, Who Drank My Whiskey, which, at one point in time earlier this year, was the #1 song trending on Twitter. Aside from those two projects, she was the lead actress in the short, I-589, which premiered at the LA Indie Film Festival.

    Hailing from Santiago de Chile, Mia had originally auditioned with Basketball Girlfriend director Jean-Claude La Marre for another project and, some time later, he called her in to audition for the role of Jenny and cast her that day. This is fairly common in the industry, so don’t get too discouraged when you don’t land the initial audition. Maintain strong relationships with directors and casting directors.

    Mia had been working in theatre for quite a while and while she loved it, her heart was in film. After attending an international school fair in Santiago, she was drawn to NYFA. Mia felt the Acting for Film courses were the perfect compliment to her previous acting training in theatre.

    “The Meisner technique has been the most useful to me in terms of auditioning and being on-set,” said Mia. “I’ve heard from a lot of actors and even some agents that Meisner doesn’t help in auditions, but to me listening is everything because it sustains my being in the present and so it instills me in my truth.”

    Mia eventually hopes to reach a point in her career where she can choose specific roles that truly resonate with her. As an actress, she believes she has a wonderful responsibility with the audience and wants to honor it by creating and being a part of projects that truly inspire and make a difference.

    Recently, Mia finished acting in another music video for Jez Dior’s single, Clean Me Up. She’s also finishing up filming a short film, I Forgot You Were Here, where she plays a blind woman in a troubled relationship. “I love it because it’s not moral and I believe art never should be,” she says.

    Check out Mia Ella Jordan in Jez Dior’s Who Drank My Whiskey.

    August 13, 2014 • Acting, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1228

  • Good Samaritans Jump into Action in Los Angeles

    New York Film Academy students are often told to find compelling film stories in the news, but it’s rare when our students become the news. Two days ago, while walking down a Hollywood street, two 4th semester NYFA AFA Acting students, Mario Lozano and Kelly Auble, heard screaming coming from a nearby hotel. A mother and her two children were drowning in the hotel pool. A third and fourth child stood by the pool, screaming. Without hesitation, both NYFA students went into action.

    “I believe Kelly jumped into the pool and helped pull out the bodies and administered CPR,” said NYFA Instructor, Brian Beery. “Mario stood by and protected the kids and the father, who later returned to the hotel.”

    It’s wonderful hearing about how heroic our students can be! You can see Mario and Kelly in this KTLA video news clip below.

    August 8, 2014 • Acting, Community Highlights, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 856

  • Desperate Housewives’ Zane Huett Speaks at NYFA Los Angeles

    zane huett

    New York Film Academy Los Angeles students recently had the pleasure of speaking with actor Zane Huett from the hit T.V. series, Desperate Housewives. Huett played (Golden Globe Winner & Academy Award Nominated Actress) Felicity Huffman’s son “Parker Scavo” as a series regular for five years. We talked to a packed room of NYFA students comprised of teen camp acting and filmmaking students. The audience was first treated to a highlight reel of Zane Huett, showing clips from Desperate Housewives to his most current feature films such as Dear Lemon Lima, starring alongside Academy Award-Winning actress Melissa Leo, to his most current web series project, Blooob. Our young students were enlightened with Zane’s experience, having stared in the business at a young age of 4 years old. It’s hard to imagine being on a hit show at such an early age! We also discussed certain tips and advice he received while working alongside award-winning actresses such as Melissa Leo and Felicity Huffman.

    Throughout the Q & A, students were able to ask Zane Huett questions from tips to getting an agent to any pitfalls or highlights of childhood stardom. In addition to his acting, Huett plays bass and sings in his new band, The Boulevards.

    After the Q & A session, he was delighted to spend time, take photos and sign autographs with some of the NYFA students who were also fans of his work.

    August 5, 2014 • Acting, Guest Speakers • Views: 1056

  • Associate Chair Adam Moore’s ‘The Pinkertons’ Attaches Angus Macfadyen

    angus macfadyen

    Angus Macfadyen in Braveheart

    Some great news coming out of of New York Film Academy Los Angeles campus as Associate Chair of Screenwriting, Adam Moore’s series The Pinkertons, which he co-created with Kevin Abrams and wrote the pilot for, has just attached Turn co-star Angus Macfadyen to play one of the leading roles. The show is currently in pre-production in Canada and set to premiere this fall in first-run syndication in the U.S. The series has been cleared in more than 85% of the country by Rohrs Media Group on station groups including Tribune, Weigel, Hearst, LIN, Meredith, Cox and the CW PLUS.

    The 22-episode action-adventure detective series draws on the real cases of Pinkerton Detective Agency. The series follows founder Allan Pinkerton (Macfadyen), his son, William, and America’s first female detective, Kate Warne, as they solve crimes throughout the 1860s “Wild West”. Interestingly enough, Pinkerton is known for revolutionizing detective work through his development of surveillance, undercover work and the mug shot).

    Moore and Abrams also serve as executive producers and writers, alongside Canadian showrunners and executive producers Larry Lalonde and Phil Bedard (Murdoch Mysteries). Amuse Group USA – a subsidiary of a Japanese entertainment company Amuse Inc. – is also co-financing the project. Zodiak Rights, the international distribution arm of Zodiak Media, will handle international distribution.

    Congrats to Adam Moore for bringing his vision to the screen and we’re all looking forward to watching The Pinkertons this fall!

    July 25, 2014 • Acting, Community Highlights, Screenwriting • Views: 1019

  • Nasser Bin Hamad International Youth Creativity Award

    Nasser Bin HamadThe Cultural Office at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain in Washington DC would like to inform our international New York Film Academy students and alumni about the Nasser Bin Hamad International Youth Creativity Award in six areas: Science, Architecture, Graphic Design, Art, Photography and Filmmaking.

    The aim of the award is to attract and develop young talent while reducing the obstacles that face many of today’s youth may face by giving them an opportunity to express themselves, their talents and their creativity.  Moreover, to strengthen the relationship and ties between the youth of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the youth from all around the world, to enable and promote the exchange of experience between youth all over the world and spread the spirit of the competitiveness to create a positive worldwide competition among the participants.

    The Prize is intended for all nationalities between the ages 14 – 30 years old with the awards reaching​up to $11,000.00 USD for each category. The participation is categorized into three age groups for each of the six areas mentioned above.

    The Deadline for Submission is September 1st, 2014. For more details on how to participate and submit your applications please check the official website for the Award: www.nbhaward.bh

    NBH Award

    July 22, 2014 • Acting • Views: 903