Documentary Filmmaking
Category

  • NYFA Welcomes Hire Heroes USA

    On June 24, The New York Film Academy College of Visual and Performing Arts (NYFA) Veteran Services Department was fortunate to collaborate with Hire Heroes USA (HHUSA) to host a daylong exclusive employment workshop for NYFA’s veteran students. The NYFA military students also benefited from one-on-one time with the Transition Specialists from HHUSA.

    Hire Heroes and New York Film Academy

    Hire Heroes visits the New York Film Academy

     

    6B2A0174

    Hire Heroes USA is a nonprofit that provides free, expert career coaching and job sourcing to hundreds of transitioning U.S. military members.

     

    Hire Heroes USA is a nonprofit that provides free, expert career coaching and job sourcing to hundreds of transitioning U.S. military members, assisting veterans and spouses with finding employment.

    The first half of the eight-hour workshop was a practicum related to resume theory, networking techniques, and how to affectively prepare for an interview. Representatives from Hire Heroes USA, Jamie Rimphanli and Walter Serrano, coached veteran students on how to properly format their resumes and discussed, in-depth, the importance of networking and how to prepare for a job interview.

    For the second half of the workshop, industry professionals from Disney Studios, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Legendary Entertainment, and Plan A Locations joined the workshop for a moderated Q&A panel discussion. Panelists discussed how they began their careers in the entertainment industry and how they’ve navigated their careers for success.

    Highlights from the day included an exercise that had all of the participants do a speed networking session. Also, HHUSA brought a photographer who took professional head shots for the veteran students’ LinkedIn pages.

    “We felt that this training and these types of vet student-centric activities are increasingly important because they help prepare our students to meet with HR/Talent Acquisition teams from the major studios,” explained NYFA Director of Veterans Services Department John Powers.  

    Retired Army veteran and MFA cinematography student Bryan Hudson stated, “The Hire Heroes USA workshop was a fantastic forum to introduce veterans with industry insiders and provide the opportunity to learn from them. The event was beneficial to everyone involved about learning the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of the interview process and how to break into the entertainment industry. One thing that I learned from the workshop is to establish relationships that will be beneficial to both parties. Thank you to the NYFA Veterans Department for putting on this marvelous event, and I hope that this will be the first of many events with Hire Heroes USA.”

    The NYFA Veteran Services Department is extremely grateful to Hire Heroes USA for partnering with us to bring this wonderful opportunity to NYFA veteran students.

  • NYFA Grad’s Doc “ED Vs IT” Now Available on Amazon Prime

    In an age where information is readily available through everyday technology, former New York Film Academy student Atif Ali Khan’s documentary “ED Vs IT: SOS” explores the role of education in an information driven age — how we have to dissect and deploy the online IT tools to create a giant technological leap forward to educate our next generation. The documentary investigates how, if we don’t make the amends, our lives will be controlled by robots.

    attic khanKhan’s thought-provoking documentary, which is now available on Amazon Prime, has peaked our curiosity, leading us to an interview with the director to find out more about him and his film.

    Congrats on your recent documentary, “ED Vs IT”! Let’s begin by telling us where you’re from, and what brought you to NYFA?

    Originally from Pakistan, NYFA was my ticket to Hollywood. It is where you get firsthand exposure with industry professionals, who have not only “been there and done that,” but are also actively involved in various projects too. They also recommend you, if you have outstanding skills.

    In fact, for me it became a mode of networking with the top notch professionals in Hollywood. NYFA surpassed my expectations of what I had envisioned. The faculty not only gives you the hands-on skills, but they teach you the creative process of storytelling. A giant leap in confidence. Shooting at Universal Studios backlot was a dream. From the Golden Age of Cinema to the Silversceen VOD age of today, I saw it all from the Kodak Theater, where the Oscars are held, to the actual locations where top-grossing movies are made. We embraced it all during our thesis film project.

    They were shooting “Modern Family” and Sofia Vergara was right behind our shooting location on the European set. I recovered all the money I had invested at NYFA within two months of my graduation with a bunch of projects. It is that good. It is like an interneship at Paramount. The NYFA jacket is an easy pass to enter anywhere — be it press coverage or a movie set.

    New York is the TV hub of the world and doing it at the LA Campus I got exposed to film fraternity of the highest cadre in the world. Needless to say, I received a host of discounts against my NYFA student ID from B&H to Amazon and from Best Buy to Apple. I got many projects just by “name-dropping” NYFA. It is the most respected name be it Tokyo, China, Italy, Abu Dhabi and from the East to the West Coast. Ten years from now, every film project in the world will have a NYFA alumni in one form or another.

    Additionally, I became friends with Craig Fox, in New York, who is a leading stand up comedian and whom I later found is a teacher of Acting for Film at NYFA in New York. He introduced me to a range of actors, who are either studying at NYFA or are graduates. All are very active on Broadway (theater) and the improv scene in New York.

    How did this documentary “ED Vs IT” come about? What drew you to this subject?

    I saw online platforms emerging at a dynamic pace, from entertainment to mobile and from Amazon to banks.

    The production design tips, given by my teacher Jack Daniels at NYFA, really came in handy. I did all of the production from shoot to special FX and editing. Finally, the film was made on a shoe string budget with no production compromises at all. You really don’t need a studio to back your project — if you learn the NYFA guerrilla filmmaking.

    What do you hope to achieve with this documentary? What is your overall message?

    It is a wake up call. Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence is steering forward at an alarming pace. Automation is taking over human capital way faster than ever anticipated. We need to overhaul the outdated education modules with a sense of urgency. We can’t stay complacent as self-driving cars and automated businesses are quickly replacing human resources. If we don’t take active measures there will be a resource apocalypse, which might lead to a ‘Terminator sort of situation’ where robots will be used as bodyguards and there will be no checks and measures in place for their legal litigation. People will fight amongst themselves, with machines to win their livelihood.

    Do you think NYFA’s training was useful in terms of being able to create this documentary?

    Absolutely, it is like assisting a movie with Stanley Kubrick. If you follow how they instruct and “walk you through” various technical nuances, you will develop a huge conceptual framework overnight. It is like a firsthand experience because they run you through all the litmus tests of past, present and future of filmmaking. I learned from NYFA how to stage a scene, how to convert my vision into telling my story with words and visuals. Like I said earlier, NYFA is a lifestyle; it is a fraternity where recommendations are made, where your teachers and former students all interact and integrate to create a future for you in media industry. With future of video so bright with Netflix, Amazon Video, YouTube and MSM (Mainstream Media), I think I did myself the best favor of my life to enroll at NYFA. Every penny that I invested has given my 1000% returns and I am just in the second year of since graduating.

    My teacher Brendan Davis at the LA campus taught me that ‘film is a collaborative art’ and it really helped me to liaise with people whom I interviewed for the documentary. I was cultured about the artist protocols in terms of getting work done on time and drawing the best talent out of voice-over talents who narrated my project. Without NYFA I wouldn’t have been able to bring it all together.

    I also now provide stock footage to famous Video Blocks that outsource for more than 15 leading TV channels including Discovery, MTV and History.

    How did your relationship with Amazon Prime come about?

    Documentary is the next big thing. After winning several Oscars, Oliver Stone recently made a documentary about Putin for Showtime. Every evening I see at least one documentary on Amazon or Netflix. While Netflix distribution is rather lengthy, I sent my demo to Amazon Studios and got an instant approval. Amazon Studios is an amazing platform where you can DIY everything from script to approval and release.

    Studying at NYFA I got the membership for Without a Box. Not only did I learn how the film industry in VOD age works, but I also learned how to submit my film to festivals across the globe in a tapeless format. My student film (that I wrote, directed & produced at NYFA) went on and got selected in the pro categories across the globe and got top spots in London Intl. Film Festival and various others. Building on that experience and response, I have now submitted this documentary in many Oscar qualifying film festivals. So I am keeping my fingers crossed for the next level.

    Are you currently working on any other projects?

    Yes, I am working on a psychological horror feature film, based in NY. I am using improv actors and special FX like Neon Demon to create a new wave feature project. The project named “Disowned” is starring Michael S. Benjamin and Heather Cole as the lead.

    I am also covering IIFA (International Indian Film Academy) Awards on July 16, 2017 at MetLife Stadium, New Jersey. IIFA is the equivalent to Oscar for Bollywood film industry. I also provided press coverage to their conference at Sheraton Times Square on June 1, 2017 — live streaming from Mumbai.

    Lastly, as a follow up to the script I wrote for the documentary, I have been offered a writing deal to the book covering the same theme but a step forward in terms of its criticality. “Automation vs. Autocracy.”

  • NYFA LA Filmmakers and Game Designers Meet with Composers

    On Monday, May 8th New York Film Academy students from the Documentary, Game Design, and Filmmaking gathered to do a one-on-one meet and greet with composers from the Academy of Scoring Arts and the Los Angeles College of Music.

    composers

    Students went round robin style as they interviewed with the twenty different composers. They described their projects, what they hoped the music would achieve, listened to samples, and spoke about the best way to connect and communicate with composers when working on a project.

    Head of Documentary and organizer of the meet and greet, Barbara Multer-Wellin, was excited to have students explore original music for their projects. “A good score can change the way an audience feels about what their viewing,” she said. “A great score can make a picture. Cultivating these relationships early is vital for our students.”

    _M6B7311

    One student, Juanita Alvarez described the experience as one her favorite opportunities at NYFA. “The only thing I can’t get at NYFA is a film score,” said Alvarez. “Originally, I had placed fair use music I found online over the film. But after meeting not one, but four great composers tonight and hearing what they could do for my project, I’ll be making room in my budget for an original score.”

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank the composers who took the time to speak with our students.

    May 26, 2017 • Community Highlights, Documentary Filmmaking • Views: 1972

  • NYFA Documentary Alumna’s “Unwelcome” to Premiere at Seattle International Film Festival

    With experience covering the Syrian War and training at the Documentary School at the New York Film Academy, director Ida Theresa Myklebost takes us up-close and personal into a makeshift refugee camp in Greece where a young boy, Menwar, and his family face the biggest decision of their lives. “Unwelcome” captures his emotional journey and his flight from the devastating conditions in Syria. His story will turn everything you thought you knew about the Syrian refugee crisis on its head. And now, the film will have its North American Premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival on May 27, 2017 at 6pm.

    unwelcome

    “In times when people become overwhelmed with negative media and fear for potential terrorist attacks, it is important to remember who the actual vast majority of these refugees are, and who really gets their lives destroyed by the terror organizations,” says Myklebost. “The children of Syria have had their lives turned completely upside down. These are the real victims of ISIS and the other terrorist organizations. They are the ones who are being pulled into this war completely against their will, and who have no power to escape.”

    Myklebost is a Norwegian journalist, with background from some of the country’s largest TV-stations. She wanted to go deeper and explore the human stories behind the state news. In 2015 she moved to New York to pursue documentary filmmaking at New York Film Academy.

    “Although I have a lot of experience in the media world and have worked under high pressure situations covering among others the Syrian war, the knowledge and training I got from NYFA was indispensable,” said Myklebost. “Mainly, I learned to organize on a larger scale, planning a three continental shoot.”

    She traveled directly from New York to India to shoot a film that had to be coordinated with her later shoot in Greece. Once in Athens, she led a team, keeping a cool and organized head under high pressure.

    Myklebost listed some of the complications, saying, “The police tried to take our passports away, the camp got cleared, we met a few threatening characters who didn’t like us filming, human smugglers and frustrated people talking about ISIS, planning a budget, dealing with many people in chaotic and sometimes dangerous situations, and planning a film while in the field.”

    I am really content with how I went over all the shots every night, and saw what we had and didn’t have,” said Myklebost. “I thought out what stories we might be onto and made detailed storyboards, so when I got back to New York, there were no surprises and I could just stitch the film together. These are the skills NYFA taught me. I’ve always been a go-getter, and a hard worker, but NYFA pushed me further. They took the skills I already had and offered me an opportunity to see how far I could go with this. They became a platform where I could bounce my ideas, discuss solutions, learn from the professionals and their experiences; and thus enter the field that much more prepared. The true lesson I take away from NYFA is to finally understand the value and importance of good and thorough pre-production. If you know what you want and how to get it (and how to get it if the first plan doesn’t work, or the second or the third), then the process of making movies in the field, and on the run, becomes that much more enjoyable. It’s hard work, but it feels like play if you’re well prepared.”

    May 24, 2017 • Documentary Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1561

  • International Documentary Association Virtual Reality Event at NYFA LA

    This past week the New York Film Academy sponsored a special event for members of the International Documentary Association (IDA) at the NYFA’s Los Angeles Campus. Entitled, VR 101 for Documentary, the workshop was moderated by VR Director and Cinematographer Celine Tricart and featured speakers from ground-breaking VR production company The Emblematic Group, and a VR camera demo from AbelCine, a leading provider of equipment and services to the production, broadcast and new media industries.

    IDA Event

    Virtual Reality has been threatening to conquer the gaming world for decades but new cellphone technology used with inexpensive VR viewers like the Google Cardboard have allowed for first widespread distribution of Virtual Reality projects, particularly documentaries. Platforms like the New York Times, OpDocs, Jaunt VR and Frontline VR, are releasing new material often called “immersive journalism.” The goal of NYFA’s VR Workshop was to allow IDA documentarians to “look under the hood” of VR to begin to understand what it takes to direct, produce and edit in this new medium.

    In VR and all 360-degree formats virtually all the film grammar developed over one hundred years of “flatties” or 2-dimensional films do not apply. No cutting to a close-up or a wide shot, in fact not much cutting at all for fear of inducing motion sickness in the viewer. All the “tricks” filmmakers use to direct the attention of the viewer are not possible in a 360-degree universe where the viewer decides what to look at when, and to some extent for how long.

    ida nyfa la

    Using sound and light to direct the viewer’s attention, defining the difference between 360 video and VR, and creating a new cinematic language were key talking points for the speakers. Senior Producer of The Emblematic Group Cedric Gamelin and Marketing Manager Ivana Coleman expounded on the possibilities of storytelling in this new medium, showing the audience examples of the Emblematic Group’s work in both live action and animated VR documentary shorts. Nicholas Samero and Sean George of AbelCine demonstrated a number of different VR cameras, from the 2-camera Kodak 4K 360 to the 8 -camera Nokia Ozo, and the 24-camera Jaunt VR.

    The afternoon was spent in a NYFA edit room where Tricart took participants through the post –production workflow for VR that includes downloading the media from all of the cameras, stitching the images from the various cameras together, editing scenes together, and outputting the edited media. Then each participant was able to view the VR scenes they had cut together.

    nyfa ida vr

    Barbara Multer-Wellin, Chair of Documentary for the Los Angeles campus recommend checking out the Op-Docs Video Channel, Jaunt VR, and Frontline VR to begin exploring Virtual Reality Documentaries. Multer-Wellin has already begun to include elements of VR in her classes and hopes to expand the program soon.

    When asked what she learned from the presentation Multer-Wellin said, “We (filmmakers) are used to having a lot of control. In VR, you’re giving the audience the control with the ability to make cuts themselves with their eyes. This is exciting but it is also kind of scary.” Celine Tricart said she loves VR because. “It’s like the very beginning cinema. All the rules have been thrown out the window and we’re making it up as we go along.”

    April 14, 2017 • Community Highlights, Documentary Filmmaking • Views: 1699

  • NYFA MFA Documentary Student’s “The Incursion” Featured on KTLA TV

    With over ten years of experience in both the communications and production industry in Jamaica, Sasha Gay Lewis set out to pursue documentary filmmaking by enrolling in the MFA Documentary program at the New York Film Academy Los Angeles. Lewis has directed, produced, filmed, edited and written a number of documentaries and commercials in Jamaica, Belize, and California.

    sasha on ktla

    Her most recent documentary, which was highlighted on KTLA TV in Los Angeles, is called “The Incursion.” The documentary is an immersive experience that chronicles the events of that deadly day, the emotional drama and personal trauma the residents’ endured and its lingering effects on their lives today.

    On May 24, 2010, a joint police/military operation called “Operation Garden Parish” and famously known as “The Incursion” was launched in Tivoli Gardens — a Jamaican inner-city community described as the ‘mother’ of all ghettoes — to capture the notorious and untouchable drug lord, Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke. This search climaxed in a deadly clash between the security forces, residents and supporters of Coke, resulting in over 150 civilian deaths. For many of these residents, Coke was a protector and provider. He gave them jobs, created social programs for the children, and took care of the elderly.

    “I was in Jamaica working as a journalist and a producer and at the time the facts about the raid didn’t add up for me,” Lewis. “The journalist in me prompted me to investigate further and the more I researched, the more I wanted to know. It is said that as a documentarian you pursue the things that makes you upset and / or curious about and this was it for me.”
    the incursion

    Still from the documentary “The Incursion.” The Incursion examines the 2010 government raid on an inner-city community in Jamaica that resulted in the death of 150 people.

    Additionally, the victims were being told that their experience was false and that they deserved what they got. Nobody deserves to experience such acts of injustice and violence. The fact that it was carried out by those whose job it is to serve and protect is asinine and a dereliction of duty.

    In 2016, an inquest into the operations of the security forces revealed that the events of May 2010 left enduring physical, psychological and emotional scars on the residents of Tivoli Gardens and that although the operation of the security forces was justified, the manner of its execution by the security forces was “disproportionate, unjustified and unjustifiable.”

    sasha gay lewis

    Director and Producer of the documentary film “The Incursion,” Sasha-Gay Lewis on location in Tivoli Gardens, Jamaica with subjects of her film.

    “I would not have been able to create this documentary without coming to NYFA,” said Lewis. “I was always a storyteller, but through courses such as directing and writing the documentary, I was able to strengthen my storytelling, directing, and producing skills. This was a documentary seven years in the making and being able to workshop it for an entire year made all the difference.”

    “We are living in a story driven world where stories connect and in many cases provide release and healing,” she added. “I am happy that through all the support afforded to me by the Documentary Department of NYFA, I am able to make my contribution even as I pursue my passion and what I believe to be my purpose. I could spend the rest of my life doing this.”

    “The Incursion” is in the final stages of post and will be complete by the end of March 2017. The trailer will be out the first week in April 2017, and it will start its festival run shortly after.

    March 16, 2017 • Documentary Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2417

  • NYFA Alumni’s “I Am a Politician” to Air on HBO

    New York Film Academy alumni Susana Matos and Javier Colon have just finished their latest film “Yo soy un Politico” (I am a Politician). The film is about Carlos, an ex-convict looking for a job where he can make a lot of money without putting in a lot of work. After discussing it with his cellmate, they decide that the only job that fits that description is governor of Puerto Rico.

    The filmmaking duo presented their film at the New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus on Saturday, March 4. The film will also screen at the Chicago Latino Film Festival and the San Diego Latino Film Festival. It will begin airing on HBO starting this September 2017.

    We had the opportunity to talk to both Matos and Colon after the screening to get more insight into how the film came about.

    Tell us about what drove you to make “I Am a Politician.”

    Susana: Javier’s first movie was titled “I am a Director.” When he produced that movie, there was an ongoing conversation about how to make a trilogy of these I am… films. The character could be a different profession every time. It could be “I am a Regueton Artist,” “I am a Doctor” so when the election year rolled around we settled on “I am a Politician.” I wrote the first 25 pages as a draft to motivate Javier into doing the film and he liked them so we finished the script… and began working on preproduction.

    Was this a collaborative effort in terms of writing and directing? Were you both writer/directors on this film or did you have different roles?

    Javier: It was a collaborative effort. The Idea for this film was on the drawing board since I shot my first film I am a Director. I didn’t really want to do a sequel to that film but Susana began throwing ideas around for this story. One day she just sat down and wrote 20 something pages, I liked them so we finished the script together.
    Even though I have the directing credit on the film, Susana was a very big part of the directing process and decisions during the shoot. And beside being a writer, she was one of the producers of the film.
    carlos en campana
    How were you able to raise funds to produce this film?
    Susana: With Javier’s first feature film “I am a Director” he got distribution from Starz, Sundance, Canal +, and Croatia. Thanks to his reputation with the 1st film, we were able to raise funds through private investors.
    How did the meeting with HBO come about? Can you tell us a little bit about that process of selling your film
    Susana: With the first feature, Javier acquired a sales agent. He was very interested in our future projects.  In 2015 we went to Argentina for a Film Market, and we told him our idea; he loved it and signed a sales contract with us. He shopped the film around and sold it To HBO

    Talk about audience reactions to the film? Is the reaction what you expected or was it different? How? 

    Susana: We are so pleased with Saturday’s screening at the New York Film Academy. We had a full house! It was the first time we had so many people watching the film whose first language was not Spanish and we were happy to hear them laughing.

    Javier: We definitely did not expect that many people to come watch our film and laugh as much as they did.  It’s a comedy with subtitles, so we weren’t sure if English speakers would understand the humor, but based on the comments we received after the screening, seems like they really enjoyed it.

    What was the message you were trying to leave for the audience in this film?

    Javier: When we began writing this film, we knew we wanted it to have a positive message. Susana’s favorite directors are Matt Stone and Trey Parker. In the style of South Park, we wanted to create a satire with a message. The message in I am a Politician focuses on not waiting for politicians to fix our problems. We all should be part of going out there to make a change.

    carlos for independence

    What was the biggest hurdle in completing this project?

    Susana: The biggest hurdle is taking on a film with a very limited amount of money. So many people helped us because they believed in us but I would have loved to pay people well for the work they put in. Which is why we always like to take the time to thank our crew and cast for being a part of this project.

    What are you most proud of in this film?

    Javier: The HBO sale is the first thing that comes to mind, but, also, whenever we watch a screening of the film and I hear someone laugh. It amazes me that I wrote and created something that makes people laugh.

    Would you say your NYFA experience was useful in terms of being able to create this film?
    Javier: I actually took a digital course in filmmaking in 2002 in New York. At that time my plan was to be an editor, NYFA help me realize that what I truly wanted was to be a director and tell stories. Im 100% sure that if it wasn’t for that small course, first I wouldn’t be in the situation that we are right now, and most importantly, I wouldn’t have met Susana
     
    Susana: The NYFA filmmaking course helped me develop my skills as a director and for me the greatest asset was the people I met on the program. My classmates are still part of my work. 
    What’s up next for you guys? 

    We’re working on getting the funding for our next project, “Who Cares?,” a road trip dramedy with the tone of “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Slumdog Millionaire.” Our goal is to begin pre-production at the end of this year.

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Susana Matos and Javier Colon for taking the time to discuss their work. You can learn more about this dynamic duo on Facebook.

    March 14, 2017 • Documentary Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2133

  • Producer Carolyn Hepburn Holds Master Class and Screening of “Weiner” at NYFA

    Producer Carolyn Hepburn from Motto Pictures, whose “Life, Animated” was nominated for an Oscar this year, screened her other huge 2016 hit, “Weiner” at the New York Film Academy’s New York theater.
    carolyn hepburn

    Hepburn joined Motto Pictures in 2010 where she currently works as a producer and production executive. Carolyn produced “3½ Minutes,” directed by Marc Silver, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and won the Special Jury Prize for Social Impact. She executive produced “Art and Craft,” which premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and was shortlisted for the 2015 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

    In 2013, Carolyn was the line producer for two Motto films that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival: “God Loves Uganda,” shortlisted for the 2014 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, and “Gideon’s Army,” winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s Best Editing Award. Carolyn is currently co-producing Ivy Meeropol’s documentary “Indian Point,” which will premiere at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, and “The Punch directed by Andre Hörmann. She is also line producing the documentary “Life Animated,” directed by Roger Ross Williams. Prior to joining the Motto team, Carolyn produced a wide range of documentary projects for WNET, National Public Radio, and the United Nations as well as innovative experiential media for Spark Productions.

    “Weiner,” by Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg, is about Anthony Weiner’s campaign for Mayor of New York City during the 2013 mayoral election. At first his campaign is going well, with many New Yorkers willing to give him a second chance, putting him near the top of a crowded field. However, the mood shifts when his online sexual activity resurface, including explicit text conversations with women that occurred well after his resignation from Congress.

    Following the screening, Hepburn followed took part in a  well-loved, intimate master class with the documentary students.

    Students from both current conservatories, and the 6-week workshop as well as several grads and faculty were privy to the private screening and conversation in NYFA’s new state of the art theater.

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Carolyn Hepburn for time and wisdom.

    March 10, 2017 • Documentary Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 1895

  • NYFA Student’s Documentary “Soul” Screening at Berlin International Film Festival

    pedro peiraThe Berlin International Film Festival is underway, and we’re thrilled to see New York Film Academy Los Angeles Fulbright student Pedro Peira is Executive Producer of the documentary film “Soul,” which will be screening at the festival this Sunday, Feb. 12 and Monday, Feb. 13.

    The Spanish documentary, from filmmakers José Antonio Blanco and Ángel Parra, focuses on Eneko Atxa, a three Michelin star chef who runs a restaurant complex near Bilbao in the Basque region. His exploration of the “soul” of cooking has him traveling to famous colleagues in Catalonia and Japan. Throughout the documentary, some of the most relevant personalities of international gastronomy such as Michael Ellis, manager of the Michelin guide, or Joël Robuchon, the chef with the most Michelin stars in the world, take us into the secrets and the vicissitudes of a profession based on effort, which is continually being reinvented and requires huge sacrifices.

    pedro peira
    “What I’ve mainly learned from NYFA is to be able to tell stories,” said Peira. “Of course I’ve learned about image and sound, which are also important, but being able to include some kind of drama in a story stands out above the rest. As a matter of fact, during the final editing process of ‘Soul’ I would call the director while he was editing the film and, after watching the cuts together, he applied what I was discovering at NYFA. I think is has helped the film.”

    “SOUL” Trailer from Festimania Pictures on Vimeo.

    “Even though I’ve just finished my first semester at NYFA, I’ve felt an evolution in my work,” added Peira. “When I arrived, my approach to documentary was an informational one. After screening my final project of the semester, I felt that I had started to be able to generate emotions. When people laugh or cry when watching your films, you know you have been doing something right.”

    For tickets and more information on “Soul” and its screening at the Berlin Film Festival, CLICK HERE.

    February 10, 2017 • Documentary Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2875

  • Former NYFA Student Peyman Umay Earns Fashion Group International Rising Star Award

    The world of fashion gathered at Cipriani 42nd Steet for the Fashion Group International’s Rising Star awards, which included the Oscar-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg, who delivered the keynote address and some comic relief for the up-and-coming talent.

    The Rising Star awards focuses on celebrating emerging forces in fashion, beauty and related industries for their creativity and vision. This year’s Menswear prize was awarded to former New York Film Academy student Peyman Umay.

    peyman umay

    After designing for high-end brands in Europe and the U.S., Umay founded Peyman Umay brand in 2011 offering luxury men’s made-to-measure clothing, by appointment only. Within two years, through his passion, hard-work and colorful agenda; Peyman created a loyal clientele by combining his fashion design background with unique services that no other brand does. Realizing the need and not being able to resist the consistent demand, He launched women’s made-to-measure line in 2013 and finally men’s ready-to-wear collection in 2015, opening the first Peyman Umay retail store in Aspen, Colorado. Having recently penned his first book, the New York based designer shares his secrets in “Dressing Well” that will be published soon.

    “I’m truly honored to win this award from an organization that has such an impact in the fashion industry,” said Umay. “This is such an amazing acknowledgement, a significant milestone for me because getting here wasn’t easy at all. I had nothing but pocketful of dreams when I first moved to the U.S. People called me ‘dreamer’ but I was the one who never slept. There were some people though who were present during all of my struggles, who witnessed everything I went through, which is why they know more than most as to how much this award means to me. I’m so grateful and I will never take this award granted.”

    Umay’s bespoke line has stirred quite the celebrity buzz, due to his impeccable eye for detail. His clientele includes actors Mickey Rourke, Jeremy Piven, singer John Legend, Dave Diehl of the New York Giants, CBS evening news anchorman Scott Pelley, celebrity chef Todd English, Ryan Serhant from “Million Dollar Listings,” Sonja Morgan from “The Real Housewives of NY” and a host of other affluent people of the U.S. Peyman Umay has been featured in TV shows such as “Design Star,” “The Real Housewives of NY”, “Million Dollar Listings” and “The Celebrity Apprentice.”

    Upon graduation from Acting for Film at NYFA, he has been in four movies, two short (“Capital Inferno” and “The Cabin”) and two feature movies (“Fairy Tale of New York” and “Ask Uykusu” [Turkish]) all of which are in post production at the moment. His first feature movie is being released on March 17th, the second one on May 19th of 2017.

    February 8, 2017 • Documentary Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1729