• “Trumbo” Screening with Emmy Award-Winning Actor Bryan Cranston

    The New York Film Academy enjoyed a special evening with Bryan Cranston, the star of Breaking Bad, Malcolm in the Middle and, more recently, the movie Trumbo, a historical film about one of the most successful screenwriters of the 1950’s-70’s, Dalton Trumbo, who endured more than a decade of hardship (blacklisting and prison) for standing up to the American anti-communist movement that tried unsuccessfully to force him to name communist party members within the film industry.


    The capacity crowd filled the 550-seat Ross Theater on the grounds of Warner Bros. Studios to watch the movie Trumbo, and afterward to listen to the life lessons of the veteran actor, hoping to gain some unique insight into the craft and its impact on their own lives and careers. Bryan did not disappoint.

    Following the screening, Bryan Cranston entered the theater to a standing ovation, and was accompanied by producer Tova Laiter, who moderated the event. Cranston spoke of the journey to becoming an actor, specifically the commitment and perseverance that one must have in order to succeed. He also talked about the arbitrary deadline that many of us set, saying, ‘I’ll give it two years.” He disagreed with that sentiment, saying that “You’re either in or you’re out.” Using the poker reference, he said, “It means you’re all in.” He added later in the address that “not trying is failing.”

    Regarding obtaining work, Cranston spoke at length about shifting the paradigm when walking into an audition (or any meeting for that matter). We should be thinking about how we can offer our talent to that project, and not be thinking about getting the job.

    bryan cranston

    He counseled the audience, composed of students from all disciplines, “Don’t put yourself in a position of need. You’re there to give them something.” The same goes with not getting the role — believe that something better is going to come your way and you are lucky you didn’t get the other job (as happened to him throughout his career).

    Cranston responded to questions from audience members, some of whom asked about the character Walter White from Breaking Bad. He said that his ability to visualize the character came from the quality of the writing, which he called brilliant. He answered another student question by saying that an actor’s home life should be clean and strong so they can then go out and put the variety and excitement into the roles they choose. He counseled the young actors to “put in the hours,” and show up to jobs on time and prepared.

    New York Film Academy thanks Bryan Cranston for taking the time to share his wisdom and inspire our students. It was truly an unforgettable night.

    May 5, 2016 • Acting, Guest Speakers • Views: 5255

  • Acting Alumni Meet with Talent Agents & Managers at Inaugural Industry Showcase

    nyfa alumni
    On Thursday, April 28th, New York Film Academy Los Angeles campus proudly presented their inaugural Alumni Industry Showcase at NYFA Theater. This showcase represented the very best from the AFA, BFA and MFA programs who graduated from January 2015 through January 2016. The evening was filled with short live scenes, a short film, songs and improv.

    “Our goal is to showcase our students to be competitive with all the top schools in the country. What sets NYFA apart is our focused Acting for Film training and international diversity,” said Anne Moore, director of the showcase and Associate Chair of Acting/Departmental Programming.

    “This showcase is right on par with any other showcase we’ve seen this season. We found a lot of talent here,” said a rep from ABC casting.

    Overall, the evening was a success with reps attending from ABC, NBC, and CBS casting as well as managers and agents from such agencies as UTA. Alumni have all ready been contacted from casting at CBS for meetings.

    May 2, 2016 • Acting, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1665

  • New York Film Academy Participates in Sexual Assault Prevention Week

    Hanna Cowart

    Winning poster from NYFA photography student, Hanna Cowart

    In order to bring awareness to our campus, New York Film Academy dedicated this week, April 25 – April 29, to Sexual Assault Prevention. As part of the week, awareness flyers, stickers, and monitors were used to spread awareness on the subject. Photography student, Hanna Cowart, won our Sexual Assault Prevention Contest by creating the thought provoking poster seen above. An Honorable Mention to the contest was the 30-second “You Are Not Alone” video, created and acted in by NYFA students, which can be seen HERE.

    Additionally, the Academy held two informative workshops on Self-Defense and Sexual Assault Awareness.

    Self-Defense Workshop with Michael Acosta

    First, NYFA welcomed Michael Acosta, a martial artist for over 20 years. Acosta provided students and faculty with a hands-on lecture and demonstration on how to properly and effectively defend yourself in a harmful situation. He began by introducing what is considered an uncomfortable or even dangerous situation. While it may vary from person to person, there is usually no mistaking the point in which someone is in serious danger. It’s in these moments that Acosta showed how to not only escape those situations, but to effectively defend one’s self through martial arts techniques.


    “I believe that martial arts is useful as a tool to develop discipline, self-confidence, and commitment,” states Acosta. “I have seen it help kids and adults overcome their insecurities, improve focus, and achieve the goals they set for themselves.”

    Students learn best through experience and muscle memory. The martial arts teaching focuses on mastering basic techniques by using people in group exercises and mentally preparing them for real world situations where they can be used for self-defense.

    michael acosta

    If you’re unsure of whether you’re in a potentially harmful situation, the chances are that your intuition is right. “If somebody is encroaching on your space, you need to say something,” says Acosta.

    One piece of advice that stood out just from a general standpoint is the fact that we’re usually preoccupied with our own personal space—social media and smartphone interaction—that we sometimes forget about the world of interesting people around us. Acosta concluded, “the more you interact with people, the more comfortable you get.”

    NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault Guest Speaker

    From the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault, NYFA welcomed Senior Campus Sexual Assualt Coordinator, Jeenie Yoon. The Alliance’s mission is to build the capacity of communities, organizations, and institutions to advance the right to live free from sexual violence and reduce the harm it causes individuals, families, and society. Ms. Yoon provided a power-point presentation and lecture highlighting what is considered sexual assault and how serious the issue can be. Using film and television series as examples—like Game of Thrones, Girls, Goldfinger, and others— Yoon was able to properly define when a man or woman crosses the line and becomes a sexual predator. The most alarming message is the fact that most victims are not speaking up.

    assault speaker

    Her talk, and the week in general, was specifically designed to make people aware of sexual assault and to realize that it is more common than we often think. So, if it is or has happened to you, we encourage you to speak up!

    For more information on the NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault, please visit their website at:

    April 29, 2016 • Acting • Views: 1122

  • Students at NYFA South Beach Support Local Veterans Charity

    On Friday April 22, students and staff of the New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA) South Beach Campus provided the filming and photography in support of the 3rd Annual Golf Fundraising event, which raised nearly $60,000 in funding for local veteran service organizations.

    The Charity Classic is an event organized by Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), in association with the mergers and acquisition and corporate community, to help raise awareness and funding to support veteran homelessness, veteran reintegration, and veterans and service members with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury.

    golf charity

    On the left corner of the check is Jim Duffy, ACG’s Founder. To the right is Colonel Jack Jacobs and Lt. Colonel Tony Colmenares. Surrounding are volunteers and staff of Project 22.

    As a proud backer of the ACG Charity Classic this year, NYFA staff colleagues Richard Crites, Kyle Fritsche, and Gabriel Cacabelos, as well as NYFA students Samuel Romero, Florencia Portieri, Martina Marcet, and Eleni Nolas spent the day visually documenting the event, which will be used to further promote the Foundation’s future benevolent activities. The students who generously lent their time and talents for this important cause hailed from Argentina, Mexico, and Venezuela — representing the truly international nature of NYFA South Beach, and the College in general. NYFA’s Veteran Service Coordinator, Jhonson Simeon, led the team.

    Additionally, Colonel Jack Jacobs, NYFA’s Chair of Veterans Advancement Program, and Medal of Honor recipient, was on hand to meet with the nearly 300 participants. The acclaimed film, stage, and television actor, Stephen Lang, who was in Miami for the NYFA premiere screening of his film Beyond Glory, also contributed to the day by welcoming the donors and being available for photographs. Mr. Lang is best known for his recent role in Avatar and Gods and Generals.

    golf classic

    (from left to right) Mike Davis, Steve Katona, Stephen Lang, Steve Paoloni, Jim Griffin, and Colonel Tony Colmenares

    This year’s recipient organization of the monies raised by the ACG Annual Fundraising Golf Classic is the “22 Project,” which is a registered 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to providing advanced medical treatment to rehabilitate service men and women in order to allow these deserving veterans an opportunity to function to the best of their ability in a peacetime environment.  The 22 Project is named because on average 22 veterans commit suicide each day.

    The New York Film Academy was delighted to be a part in this worthwhile endeavor, and the College thanks ACG and Project 22 for inviting us to participate.

    For more photos from this event, check out our Facebook Gallery Here.

    April 29, 2016 • Acting • Views: 1326

  • NYFA South Beach Campus Hosts Premiere Screening: “Beyond Glory”

    A red carpet, lights beaming into the sky, celebrities and local dignitaries posing for photographs—this was the scene this past Saturday night at the City of Miami’s historic Manuel Artime Theater, where the New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA) South Beach campus held a Hollywood-style film event in support of the veterans community of South Florida.

    nyfa south beach jacobs

    NYFA is grateful to have partnered with the City of Miami’s Office of Film & Television, Miami Dade College, and 8180 Films in presenting the documentary film, Beyond Glory, written and performed by the award-winning stage and screen star, Stephen Lang. The film was directed by Larry Brand, narrated by Gary Sinise, and was executive-produced by multiple film-industry award-winners, James Cameron and Jon Landau.

    Beyond Glory tells the stories of eight veterans from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. It renders first-hand accounts of valor that resulted in the awarding of the nation’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor. The oral histories of these eight men are brought to life through Lang’s commanding performance. The Wall Street Journal’s entertainment critic reported the experience as, “One of the richest, most complex pieces of acting I’ve seen in my theater-going life”. On hand Saturday for the Q & A with Mr. Lang was NYFA’s-own Colonel Jack Jacobs, the College’s Chair of the Veteran’s Advancement Program. The conversation, which was moderated by Maylen Dominquez, Associate Chair of Filmmaking at NYFA’s South Beach campus, was an inspirational exchange between the actor and Colonel Jacob’s, who is one of 75 living Medal of Honor recipients. Both Col. Jacobs and Mr. Lang personally knew the Medal of Honor recipients portrayed in the film, and there was a wonderful exchange of stories both of the battlefield valor and the colorful characters of the men.

    colonel jacobs

    The program began with a celebration of the collaboration between the City of Miami and NYFA. Mayor Tomas Regalado presented the key to the City of Miami to Colonel Jacobs in recognition of his valor in service to the country. The Mayor also presented Mr. Lang with a special certificate of appreciation. Lt. Col. Antonio Colmenares, the Director of Veteran Services in the City of Miami, spoke passionately about the need to support local veterans and joined the Mayor and others in welcoming the New York Film Academy to the South Florida community. NYFA’s VP and South Beach Director, Elli Ventouras, spoke about the College’s facility in South Beach, opened last September, which offers degree programs and workshops in filmmaking, acting, and photography, among other professional disciplines.

    It was a special evening, enjoyed by many Miami citizens—including those in military service—as well as NYFA faculty and students.

    You may view the entire photo album of our photo booth on the NYFA Facebook page by clicking HERE.

    For more images from the event, please click HERE.

    April 25, 2016 • Acting, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 1339

  • Acting Grad Gianlorenzo Albertini Cast in “ONE: The Hip Hop Dance Musical”

    albertiniItalian actor and New York Film Academy BFA Acting for Film alumnus Gianlorenzo Albertini’s acting, singing and dancing chops caught the eye of the producer of a major hip-hop opera that has been over sixteen years in the making, landing Albertini a part in the first fully-staged production of “ONE: The Hip Hop Dance Musical,” by Walter Robinson, scheduled to premier in Los Angeles in the summer of 2016.

    The retelling of the story of Exodus began as “Moses,” a gospel opera first performed in Boston in 1999. The piece was performed in a concert or workshop setting several times over the past twenty years. For the past several months, Robinson has been work-shopping the piece in the Philippines with support of a three-year grant from Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation.

    “I feel incredibly thankful and honored for being able to be a part of this project,” says Albertini. “It is very exiting because Walter is the creator and writer, and I was overwhelmed to find out that this was the first fully realized production. I felt compelled to start working with Walter, especially after I read the script. It explores the innocence of the human condition through the seduction of money, drugs and power.”

    “I believe God is Love,” says the young actor, who is about to start two months of rehearsals for the production. “‘ONE’ translates various passages of the Bible with a modern and artistic approach that carries along the core of the musical. I appreciate that the musical translates the Bible passages in a modern way that is easily accessible by the young people who are the target audience of the play.”

    This isn’t the first time producers and directors have recognized Albertini’s musical gifts. A conservatory-trained classical guitar player, Albertini also lent his composition and performance skills to his own award-winning short film, “Immortality In Blue,” an exploration of Pablo Picasso’s “Blue Period.” Albertini’s guitar performances were also captured along with his performance in the short film “Sound of Silence,” released in 2015.

    April 20, 2016 • Acting, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1108

  • Adam Zucker Screens “The Return” at New York Film Academy

    adam zucker

    Last week, the New York Film Academy, in association with the City Congregation for Humanistic Judaism, presented a special screening of Adam Zucker’s documentary, The Return. The film follows the lives of four young women who are representative of a generation of Poles who were raised Catholic only to discover they were Jewish in their teens. The film highlights their struggle to create a living Jewish identity and community in a virtual vacuum—within the country that was once the epicenter of the Jewish world.

    Introducing the event was NYFA Senior Executive Vice President, David Klein and moderating the Q&A after the screening was NYFA Documentary Chair, Andrea Swift. Zucker’s most recent film, Greensboro: Closer to the Truth (2007) screened at over 35 festivals in the U.S. and abroad, and received the Audience Award for Best Feature at the Rome International Film Festival and Best Documentary at the Dead Center Film Festival. In addition, the film’s Audience Engagement effort, The Closer to the Truth Project, is facilitating the film’s use as a catalyst for change in communities across the U.S.

    Adam has edited numerous award-winning documentaries, including Rory Kennedy’s American Hollow (Sundance Film Festival and HBO) and Homestead Steel Strike (History Channel, Ten Days That Changed America series), Michael Kantor’s Broadway: The American Musical (PBS), Madison Davis Lacy’s Richard Wright: Black Boy (PBS), Ken Burns and Steve Ives’ The West (PBS), Dori Berinstein’s Show Business (Tribeca Film Festival and Showtime) and Josef Astor’s upcoming Lost Bohemia.
    adam zucker

    Sr. VP David Klein, Andrea Swift, and Adam Zucker

    As for the film of the evening, The Return, Zucker says, “How did I end up spending four years traveling across three continents to track the lives of four young Polish women as they explored their newfound Jewish roots? Because that’s what I do. I’m a documentary filmmaker. I try and get into the lives of people and make sense of their various turns and choices: the stories of how people change over time.”

    The Return has already screened in over eight different countries and will be screening at DOC NYC this upcoming November, 2016.

    April 19, 2016 • Acting • Views: 1279

  • NYFA South Beach’s Movement Club Performs at Olympia Theater

    New York Film Academy South Beach Instructor Susie K. Taylor founded The Movement Club as an outreach organization of students whose purpose is to spread light through the “healing art of acting.” Late last month, The Movement Club put on an all-female performance called “Freedom is Beauty!! #F.I.B. at Olympia Theater in Miami, Florida.

    movement club

    “The New York Film Academy South Beach is excited to be a part of the Celebration of Women’s Month at the Olympia Theater in Downtown Miami,” said NYFA South Beach Director, Elli Ventouras. “Under the guidance of our inspirational Movement Instructor Susie K. Taylor, the female performers of our Movement Club will perform an Interpreted Dance. Susie has really motivated our students to reach their full potential!”

    “In the Lobby Lounge…ETC!” is Olympia Theater’s very own homage to classic Vaudeville and variety shows. Anything from sketch comedy to alternative entertainment, burlesque and improv. Produced by the Front Yard Theatre Collective, this month’s “ETC!” featured an epic collaboration of all-female, Miami based performers, celebrating Women’s History Month.

    olympia theater

    “When I founded the Front Yard Theatre Collective, I never imagined we would find a home in the historic Olympia Theater,” said Gabriela Fernandez from The Olympia Theater. ‘Thanks to “In the lobby lounge…ETC!’ we can maintain our primary goal of offering free quality entertainment for the benefit of our community.”

    NYFA’s group performed Pick A Song, a game where a lucky audience member offers up his or her favorite song and the F.I.B creates a couture movement piece for that specific song.

    movement performance

    The experience was wonderful and Susie K. Taylor was “beyond thrilled with the students” as they joyfully applied their class work to their performance.

    Congrats to The Movement Club on putting on another successful performance. We look forward to the next show!

    April 12, 2016 • Acting, Community Highlights, Musical Theatre • Views: 1312

  • NYFA Welcomes Award-Winning Italian Filmmaker Nanni Moretti

    Considered one of the most original Italian filmmakers over the past several decades, it’s hard to think of a more accomplished international guest speaker than Italian director, Nanni Moretti. In 1976, Moretti released his first feature film, Io sono un autarchico, and never looked back. From that point on, Moretti became a professional filmmaker, eventually gaining international acclaim with his film, Sogni d’oro, which won the Silver Lion at the 38th Venice International Film Festival. Moretti was also awarded for La messa è finita, which won the Silver Bear – Special Jury Prize at the 36th Berlin International Film Festival and La stanza del figlio, which won the Palme d’Or at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival.

    moretti panel

    In an event moderated by NYFA President Michael Young, students from the New York Film Academy in New York were treated to a screening of his 1993 film Caro diario—which awarded Moretti with Best Director at Cannes—followed by a Q&A with Moretti. Like so many of his films and similar to Woody Allen, Moretti writes, produces, directs and stars in the semi-autobiographical film. Presented in three chapters, Moretti uses the experiences of traveling on his motor scooter, cruising with his friend around a set of remote islands in search of peace to finish his new film and consulting doctor after doctor to cure his annoying rash to cast a humorous look at his life and those around him.

    While bouncing around from doctor to doctor, Moretti eventually discovers he has a lymphatic system tumor on his lung. Based on his actual battle with the illness, Moretti told a full house of students that he only wanted to tell of his struggle if it was delivered in the appropriate tone—dry and ironic.

    nanni moretti

    Most of Moretti’s films are very personal and yet universally relatable. Admitting there’s no calculated plan to succeed in that regard, Moretti says he writes and creates films about his life, his experiences and his neuroses, each a terrific starting-point for a screenwriter staring at a blank page.

    As a kid who began making short films on Super 8, Moretti recommends the current generation of up and coming filmmakers band together with a crew and shoot on video. And while it may be enjoyable at moments to work alone, Moretti says, “In the long run, working alone can be very tiresome and boring.”

    Be sure to check out his most recent award-winning film, Mia Madre, which stars Moretti, Margherita Buy and John Turturro.

    April 5, 2016 • Acting, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers, Producing • Views: 1496

  • Bruce Wagner Discusses Personal Journey After “Maps to the Stars” Screening

    This past Tuesday, New York Film Academy students welcomed screenwriter, novelist, and director Bruce Wagner to the NYFA theatre, following a screening of his film, Maps to the Stars. David Cronenberg directed the film, which stars Julianne Moore (for which she won the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress), John Cusack, Mia Wasikowska, and Robert Pattinson. The Q&A was moderated by producer Tova Laiter and NYFA Instructor David O’Leary.

    bruce wagner

    While discussing his writing, Wagner said, “I’m interested in people in extremes: fame and anonymity…the very rich and very poor, night and day.” He referenced the fact that Pattinson’s character is somewhat autobiographical, as he was once a struggling writer waiting for his break while driving both an ambulance that picked up the disfranchise dead and injured and also a limousine driver for celebrities in Beverly Hills.

    He also spoke about the fact that much of his writing concerns Los Angeles and the film industry, saying, “I write so much about this town, so I’m considered a Hollywood writer. I’m from here—it endlessly ignites me.” He added the fact that if he grew up in Detroit, he’d write about the auto industry.

    bruce wagner

    When asked by a student about working with a director, and the fact that each party would have their own vision of the film, he spoke fondly of the fact that he was invited on-set of Maps to the Stars—which “doesn’t always happen.” He also told a story about how he kept asking the script supervisor “what are you doing next” and he was encouragingly told by Cronenberg to start saying “what are WE doing next.” Overall, when it comes to turning your writing over to a director, he advised students that “you have to surrender.”

    Another student asked how Wagner balanced his artistic integrity with the need to pay the bills. Wagner said, “We all have to do what we have to do. The only way I survived was by exploring the darkest [possibilities] of what could happen to me and projecting it into my work…(transference of sort)” or “you do one for them, one for you.”

    April 4, 2016 • Acting, Guest Speakers • Views: 1334