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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking & Cinematography Alum Jean de Meuron Invited to Join Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)

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    Earlier this month the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) invited 842 new members to join its rankings, including Oscar-nominated New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking & Cinematography alum Jean de Meuron.

    Megan Jean de Meuronde Meuron was previously nominated in 2017 for an Academy Award for the short film he executive-produced, La femme et le TGV. de Meuron hails from Switzerland and first enrolled at New York Film Academy in 2009, taking several workshops, including in Filmmaking. He followed his short-term studies with NYFA’s 1-year Conservatory in Cinematography. His latest project, sci-fi epic Megan (co-produced with Giuseppe Mercadante and Olcun Tan and directed by Greg Strasz), recently won a Telly Award for its proof-of-concept short. It’s no surprise the highly talented filmmaker has been tapped to join AMPAS.

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the body of producers, directors, screenwriters, actors, and other filmmaking industry leaders. Every year, AMPAS members vote on the Academy Awards embodied by the iconic golden statuette, Oscar.

    Over the past few years, due to a demand from the public to catch up to to the current cultural landscape, AMPAS has been inviting more women and people of color to diversify its body, which has been historically dominated by white men. According to The Hollywood Reporter, this year’s 842 invitees include members from 59 countries, half of whom are female and 29 percent of whom are people of color.AMPAS

    Invitees often include previous Oscar winners and nominees, as well as up-and-coming Hollywood stars. The 2019 list of invitees includes directors Jonathan M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), and performers Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Sterling K. Brown, Gemma Chan, Tom Holland, Claire Foy, Will Poulter, Lady Gaga, and Adele.

    “I am incredibly humbled and grateful to have been invited to join the Academy as a member of the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch,” de Meuron tells NYFA. “It is such an honor and privilege to be a part of this organization of which many filmmakers, creatives, and executives belong to that have influenced as well as inspired me—and continue to do so.”

    New York Film Academy is incredibly excited for Filmmaking & Cinematography alum Jean de Meuron and congratulates him on his invitation to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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    July 9, 2019 • Cinematography, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 554

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking & Cinematography Alum Jean de Meuron’s Short ‘Megan’ Wins at the 2019 Telly Awards

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    Megan Jean de MeuronNew York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking and Cinematography alum Jean de Meuron can add another award to his mantle—his short film Megan was a Silver Winner at the 40th Annual Telly Awards.

    de Meuron hails from Switzerland and first enrolled at NYFA in 2009, taking several workshops, including in Filmmaking, before following his short-term studies with NYFA’s 1-year Conservatory in Cinematography. Since then, he’s been hard at work making award-winning projects. In 2017, he executive-produced the short film La femme et le TGV, which earned an Academy Award nomination. 

    Megan, a short film that also serves as a proof of concept for a feature science fiction epic in the vein of J.J. Abrams’s popular Cloverfield series, was a Silver Winner in the General – Online category. The proof of concept features breathtaking action bolstered by perfectly executed special effects, including a harrowing helicopter crash and the appearance of a colossal, ominous spaceship.

    The short was directed by Greg Strasz and produced by de Meuron, along with Giuseppe Mercadante and Olcun Tan. Megan previously won four awards at the 2018 Pitch to Screen Film Awards: Best Proof of Concept, Best Director, Best Cinematographer, and Best Editor, as well as Best International Sci-Fi Short at the 2018 London International Short Film Festival.

    “I am deeply honored, proud, and humbled that my team and I won a Telly Award,” de Meuron says of Megan’s Silver trophy. “This came as a complete surprise since companies like Disney, Lucasfilm, Netflix, Paramount, Viacom, CBS, DC Entertainment, and so forth were also honored for their work in various categories. We share the Silver Winner Award with CBS in the category 2019 Online: General Viral.”

    The Telly Awards were founded in 1979 to recognize achievements in local, regional, and cable television commercials with non-broadcast video and television programming included shortly after. The Telly Awards have kept up with the times and now embraces media content that can be seen on all screens—from the theater to your smartphone. This also includes awards for VR, television commercials, web series and branded content. This year’s event had a record-breaking amount 12,000 entries, of entries, from from all 50 states and five continents.

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) congratulates Filmmaking & Cinematography alum Jean de Meuron on the success of Megan and its Silver Winner Award at the 40th Annual Telly Awards!

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    June 21, 2019 • Cinematography, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 538

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography Alum Olga Vazquez Puertas Keeps Busy Behind the Camera

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography alum Olga Vazquez Puertas is keeping busy behind the camera, getting steady work in the camera department and as a director of photographer on numerous projects.

    Puertas hails from Spain and graduated from the 1-year Cinematography program at NYFA’s New York campus in 2011. “Since childhood, filmmaking has been my passion,” Puertas says on her website’s bio. “Early on, I discovered that what I really love is to speak through visual storytelling. I like to solve challenges collaboratively; controlling the light, composition and frame, achieving the look, mood and tone needed for each project.”Olga Vazquez Puertas

    Recently, Puertas has worked for automaker Audi, and filmed an ad with Kevin Hart for his game, Gold Ambush. She has served in the camera department on such films as Thoreau (2018), Night and Day (2015), On Golden Years (2014), Taste of Honey (2013), and The Therapy (2013).

    Additionally, she has worked as director of photography on Hooked (2019), Vedic Nights (2018), Love and Bullets (2017), A Lonely Woman (2018), Pinsky (2017) and the upcoming projects Asking for It, Treasure Trouble, and A Cute & a Button.

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA Cinematography alum on her busy resume and looks forward to seeing what she works on next!

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    June 12, 2019 • Cinematography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 746

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography Students Shoot LGBTQIA+ Themed Alexa Workshop

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography Students recently shot a workshop with the Alexa camera rig that was—appropriately for Pride Month, LGBTQIA+ themed.

    The Arri Alexa is a high-end camera that was introduced in 2010 and was camera manufacturer Arri’s first major digital cinematography apparatus. The Alexa is the camera of choice by many professional Hollywood filmmakers, and is used in high-budget feature films, television shows, and commercials throughout the industry.

    NYFA’s Cinematography students are taught with these major rigs, including the Alexa, the RED, and 35mm film. For their most recent Alexa workshop, the students filmed a short with an LGBTQIA+ theme. 

    The film told the story of a young woman named Allison, coming from her father’s funeral with what seems to be her boyfriend. It is soon revealed that he is not actually her boyfriend, but a platonic male friend Allison is using to hide her lesbian relationship with another woman—Rachel—from her family.

    LGBTQIA+ Alexa Workshop
    Allison and Rachel have a confrontation, with Allison storming out of the house to avoid a fight. They eventually reunite on a pier by the harbor, where Rachel tells a story about how she sought revenge toward an aunt that made her life impossible after her coming out, but then decided it was not worth it and that it was her aunt living the miserable life, not her. The film ends with Allison revealing she came out to her sister and, somewhat unexpectedly, her reaction was that she wanted to meet Rachel. 

    The two actresses playing the leads are both NYFA alumni. “They delivered quite a strong performance, and the cinematography work is quite interesting,” says NYFA Chair of Cinematography Piero Basso.

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    June 11, 2019 • Cinematography • Views: 470

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) MFA Alum Bob Nguyen Wins Cinematographer of the Year & Best Feature Film at the Australian Cinematographers Society Awards

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    Song Lang, the highly lauded Vietnamese feature film, picked up two major prizes at the Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) Awards—Best Feature Film and 2019 Cinematographer of the Year—adding two more major awards to the growing list of accolades for New York Film Academy (NYFA) MFA Cinematography Alum Bob Nguyen.

    The film was shot by Nguyen, directed by Leon Le, and co-written by Le and Minh Ngoc Nguyen. It tells the story of an underground debt collector and a “reformed theatre” opera performer (known in Vietnam as cải lương) who form an unlikely bond in 1990s Saigon. 

    Nguyen enrolled at New York Film Academy’s Burbank-based campus in January 2013, where he earned his MFA and quickly networked with other students and served as director of photography on several short films. Using this network after graduation, Nguyen continued to find work around the world, including Italy, Australia, and Vietnam.

    For his work on the feature film Sut, Nguyen won the 2016 Golden Kite Award for Best Cinematography, the highest award for cinema in Vietnam, equivalent to an Academy Award.

    Bob Nguyen
    The Australian Cinematographers Society Awards are the highest honors for cinematography in Australia. The ACS was established in Sydney in 1958 to further the advancement of cinematography in all fields and to keep its members informed about new camera and lighting equipment and technology as well as provide a forum—through meetings, demos, and seminars, etc.—for its members to exchange ideas and network.

    “It is a major honor to be named Cinematographer of the Year by the Australian Cinematographers Society, and it is impressive that Bob has received this award so early in his career,” says Mike Williamson, NYFA-Los Angeles Associate Chair of Cinematography. “The ACS is a prestigious organization that counts many great cinematographers among its ranks, and it’s a significant achievement to receive this level of recognition from his peers.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates MFA Cinematography Alum Bob Nguyen on winning the Best Feature Film and 2019 Cinematographer of the Year ACS Awards and looks forward to seeing what he works on next!

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    June 10, 2019 • Cinematography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 644

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) MFA Cinematography Alum Tian Liu Builds Impressive Portfolio

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    Since graduating from the New York Film Academy (NYFA) MFA in Cinematography program, alum Tian Liu (Fall 2015) has been keeping very busy. Liu has been steadily growing her career as a filmmaker and building her portfolio with credits as a photographer, producer, and cinematographer on several professional projects.

    Tian Liu
    Liu was born in China, where she studied sports journalism. While teaching orphans math as a volunteer in Kenya, Liu felt inspired to photograph their experience. After those images were professionally published, Liu realized she wanted to become a filmmaker. “I realized that images have power,” Liu tells NYFA. “It can tell others a story, it also can help people and give people a better life. I love telling stories and I want to be a visual artist.”

    Following her dream, Liu opened a photo studio and enrolled at New York Film Academy. At NYFA, Liu earned her MFA in Cinematography while studying under Chair of Cinematography Tony Richmond, ASC, BSC (Don’t Look Now, The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Sandlot, Legally Blonde).

    Tian Liu
    “Without NYFA,” Liu says, I would not have been able to become a female Chinese cinematographer and do the kind of work I find so fulfilling.”

    The Piano, Liu’s thesis film completed at NYFA, has screened at over 35 film festivals, and has picked up an impressive 28 awards for Best Cinematography. Additionally, she has worked on over 40 film projects that used 16mm and 35mm film, and has shot several films as director of photography. Recently, Liu worked on a feature film in Louisiana, as well as a camera operator for Oscar-nominated cinematographer Dean Cundey, ASC (Jurassic Park, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?) on the feature documentary Motionless. Liu has also worked in New York City for the United Nations and an esteemed advertisement firm.

    Liu has also found success as a photographer publishing her work in high-profile magazines and newspapers, including China Daily. Over 40 images she’s shot have been featured in Vogue Italia.

    In addition to her work behind the camera, Liu has been a strong voice for female cinematographers, and recently gave a talk at USC about working in the industry as a female, Chinese cinematographer. While the film industry works to course correct issues of gender inequality, women still make up a distressingly small proportion of working professional cinematographers.

    New York Film Academy congratulates MFA in Cinematography alum Tian Liu on her continued success in the industry and thanks her sharing her experiences with the filmmaking community.

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    May 9, 2019 • Cinematography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 965

  • ‘Broad City’ and ‘Russian Doll’ Both Feature Work from New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography Alum Rebecca Rajadnya

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    What do Comedy Central’s smash hit Broad City and Netflix’s bloody comedy-drama Russian Doll have in common? Both feature camerawork from Rebecca Rajadnya, New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography alum. Since completing the NYFA program in 2009, Rajadnya has worked on a staggering number of productions, with more than 50 credits to date.

    After working on a number of shorts and feature films, Rajadnya joined the crew of Broad City in 2017 as first assistant camera for 11 episodes. The show, which was executive produced by Amy Poehler, was nominated for five Critics’ Choice Television Awards and one MTV Movie & TV Award. The show was praised for its focus on two female leads, with Vulture saying it was “heartening to watch an entire series devoted to female friendship.”

    Following her work on the comedy, Rajadnya worked as first assistant camera on Netflix’s comedy-drama series Russian Doll for the full run. The show has received top marks from critics, with Time calling it “2019’s best new show to date” and Vox raving that both the show and the lead actress are “terrific.”  

    Piero Basso, NYFA Chair of Cinematography, spoke about Rajadnya’s talent, saying “Rebecca is a wonderful camera assistant. A perfect example for equality in the field. She is within the best focus puller I have met in my career. She is attentive, effective, professional above all, while keeping a pleasant and lovely attitude on set. With her on the side of the camera, you know your back is covered and you can concentrate on being creative.”

    Next up on her roster is Hustlers, an upcoming drama with a full roster of A-list stars including Constance Wu, Julia Stiles, and Lili Reinhart. The film was inspired by a New York Magazine article about a group of former strip club employees who join forces to turn on their former clients. Stiles went on record to ET about her enthusiasm for the project, saying, “I was dying to be a part of this movie. I told Lorene Scafaria, the director, when we met, ‘I will do anything. I will do craft service, I will make coffee for the crew, I don’t care. I just want to be a part of it, because it’s such an interesting story.'”

    The New York Film Academy congratulates Rebecca Rajadnya on her continued success, and looks forward to seeing her future projects!

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    May 7, 2019 • Cinematography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 758

  • New York Film Academy New York (NYFA-NY) Chair of Cinematography Piero Basso Shoots New Features & TV Series

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    It’s been a busy year for cinematographer Piero Basso, AIC—in addition to becoming the new Chair of Cinematography at New York Film Academy New York (NYFA-NY), Basso has recently seen the premieres of two feature films he worked on as director of photography and will soon be seeing the debut of a television series he shot.

    Basso, who originally hails from Italy and was an instructor at NYFA for years before becoming Cinematography Chair, served as director of photography for the feature film Working Man. The film received a strong welcome at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, with Basso’s cinematography especially highlighted in a positive review from The Hollywood Reporter. 

    With a solid cast and great looking photography, the film is expected to have a strong run on the festival circuit and will hopefully reach a larger and larger audience.

    Piero Basso
    Dafne
    , a feature film Basso shot in Italy last summer, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in the Panorama section and went on to win the prestigious FIPRESCI award for Best Feature Film of Panorama. 

    The film has an upcoming release in Italy and has been already sold in several countries around the world (France, Spain, and Japan, to name a few), and will also most likely have a very strong festival presence. The film has been very well received by critics, including a positive review covering the film’s award-winning premiere at Berlin.

    In addition to the two features, Basso also shot a high-profile television series for one of Italy’s major networks, RAI. The series was shot over a year ago but its upcoming premiere will coincide with the tenth anniversary of the Aquila Earthquake, which is the fictional drama’s subject. Basso served as cinematographer for all 12 episodes of the high-quality series, which will be premiering later this Spring.

    These projects haven’t distracted Basso from his new duties as Cinematography Chair, however. “Since I became the Chair of the Cinematography department last fall I have been crazy busy figuring out how to run the program and make sure the student experience is at its best as it was with my predecessor,” Basso tells NYFA. “But now it’s starting to feel like the time to work on expanding and promoting the program to make sure it will find even better and more students in the future.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA-NY Chair of Cinematography Piero Basso on the premieres of his work and looks forward to seeing his further success in both cinema and with our students right here at NYFA!

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    March 2, 2019 • Cinematography, Faculty Highlights • Views: 166

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Screens ‘RBG’ and Holds Q&A with Cinematographer / NYFA Instructor Claudia Raschke

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    On Thursday, February 7, New York Film Academy (NYFA) screened the critically-acclaimed, crowd-pleasing, box office documentary hit, RBG, with the film’s cinematographer and instructor for the NYFA Documentary Filmmaking program, Claudia Raschke participating in a Q&A with students afterwards.

    RBG tells the story of Supreme Court Justice and surprise millennial icon Ruth Bader Ginsberg (aka “The Notorious RBG”). The Flatbush, Brooklyn-born Justice was appointed by Bill Clinton in 1992, becoming only the second woman to serve at the highest federal court in the United States. Ginsberg still serves on the Court and is currently the second-most senior Justice.

    The film was directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen and has been nominated for and won multiple awards since its debut at Sundance. It is currently nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature; “I’ll Fight” by Diane Warren, from the soundtrack of RBG, is also up for an Oscar for Best Song.

    Director of photography Claudia Raschke has worked on four other films previously nominated for Academy Awards, as well as Peabody, DuPont, and National Board of Review Award winners. Her oeuvre includes acclaimed documentaries as varied as My Architect, about Louis Kahn, Mad Hot Ballroom, which focuses on a New York dance program, and Particle Fever, which tracks the experiments of the Large Hadron Collider that ultimately discovered the Higgs boson (aka the “God particle”).

    RBG

    Students were thrilled to pick Raschke’s brain at a Q&A following the RBG screening. Here’s what some NYFA Documentary Filmmaking students had to say after the event:

    Working with Claudia has been a dream come true in more than one way. Every step you take with the camera in your hand and every little movement you add with the camera while you are shooting should have a thinking behind it. That is the approach with which students like me have had the fortune to learn at New York Film Academy with Claudia. Making every second of the story powerful through visual storytelling is what Claudia is capable of making you learn. She is an inspiring teacher and an even more motivational person! 
    – Kuldeep Sah Gongola (‘18
    )

    There is so much attention to detail in Claudia’s teaching; she prepares you for any situation. When I went to see RBG, I bragged about how Claudia taught us to light interviews and how she kept the lights from reflecting off of the Justice’s glasses. It is easy to see why her work is so esteemed. She gives honest and practical feedback but her compassion for every student and their films is what makes her classes so great.
    – Ti Cersley (’17)

    Having the opportunity to work with renowned professionals in their field one-on-one is priceless! It’s what sets NYFA apart from other great programs around the world.
    – Mark Humphreys (’18)

    Being taught by Claudia is an amazing space to be in. She allows for creativity and ideas to grow in a playful way. Being taught by a female cinematographer who’s worked her way up in a male-dominated industry is very inspirational to watch and learn from.
    – Mollie Moore (’18)

    The New York Film Academy thanks Documentary Filmmaking cinematography instructor Claudia Raschke for speaking with students and congratulates her on all the success RBG has seen so far! 

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    February 18, 2019 • Cinematography, Documentary Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 1161

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Alum Jameelah Rose del Prado Lineses Wins Best Cinematography Award

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailJameelah Rose del Prado Lineses has won several awards for her various film projects since attending New York Film Academy (NYFA), and last October, she added another. At the 8th Annual International Film Festival Manhattan, Lineses earned the Best Cinematography Award for her music video, Atareek.Jameelah Rose Lineses

    The 2018 International Film Festival Manhattan (IFFM 2018) opened on October 17 and ran until October 21, with its awards ceremony held on October 18 at the Philippine Consulate in New York City. Lineses screened Atareek at the Producers Club Theaters, just a few blocks from Times Square. Saudi Vice Consul of the Saudi Arabian Consulate, Mazin AlMouallimi, was in attendance at the event.

    Atareek is “a journey to the colorful streets of Old Balad” that explores “the beautiful history of the city’s rich culture and heritage.” It was the only film representing Saudi Arabia at this year’s festival, and was shot, directed, edited, and produced by Lineses, who was assisted by her mother throughout the shoot.  

    Lineses picked up a lot of the skills necessary for filmmaking, from pre-production through post-production, at the New York Film Academy, which she first attended in June 2011 when she enrolled in the 8-Week Filmmaking workshop. Two months after that, she deepened her studies and attended the 1-Year Filmmaking program at NYFA’s New York City campus.

    Atareek was filmed in 2017 entirely in Jeddah during the Atareek festival and is the third production Lineses has made that features Historic Jeddah. Her previous films, Historic Jeddah and Our Journey to Hijaz, have garnered significant praise from multiple festivals in the last several years. 

    In addition to Atareek, Lineses worked on two other films that were Official Selections at IFFM 2018. She was Associate Producer on Reunion as well as Assistant Director, Editor, cast member, and one of the producers of Mindanao. 

    New York Film Academy congratulates Jameelah Rose del Prado Lineses on her film Atareek and her latest award win!  

    UPDATE (June 21, 2019):

    New York Film Academy is proud to announce that Jameelah Rose del Prado Lineses’s Atareek is now an Official Selection at the 15th Annual Houston Asian American and Pacific Islander Film Festival in Houston, Texas (HAAPIFEST), where it will compete in the music video category. HAAPIFEST runs from June 20 – June 28, 2019, and this is the first time the Houston Asian American and Pacific Islander Film Festival will have a music video category. Atareek will be screened on June 28, which is the closing ceremony and Arts Night of HAAPIFEST. You can find tickets here. The June 28 HAAPIFEST screening will be held at:

    Chinese Community Center
    9800 Town Park Dr.
    Houston, TX 77036

    Congrats again Jameelah!

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    November 30, 2018 • Cinematography, Film Festivals, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1752