New Heaven, the final film project of New York Film Academy (NYFA) 4-Week Filmmaking Workshop alum Swati Chugh, has been steadily amassing awards since recently entering the international festival circuit.
Chugh is originally from India and made the film in April 2019 as part of graduating the 4-week Filmmaking Workshop at NYFA’s Burbank-based campus. New Heaven is about a middle-aged woman who is struggling to come to terms with aging and mortality. The film explores how she finds fulfillment while dealing with the memories of her younger days.
“As a filmmaker,” Chugh tells NYFA, “I want to tell stories that bring hope and inspiration to the audience. If I manage to touch hearts and inspire people to view things differently, I believe my purpose is met. New Heaven is one such story … Age is a factor that affects us all and many times we tend to get stuck in the past on how we used to look earlier versus how we look like now … The story shows [the protagonist’s] struggles, conflict, and journey towards getting her self-worth back.”
Since entering the festival circuit, New Heaven has won:
Best Silent Film – Crownwood International Film Festival, India
Best Silent Film – Druk International Film Festival, Bhutan
Best Super Short Film – Five Continents Film Festival, Venezuela
Special Mention Editing Short Film – Five Continents Film Festival, Venezuela
Semifinalist for Best Writer – AltFF Alternative Film Festival, Canada
Semifinalist for Best Actress – AltFF Alternative Film Festival Canada
Official Selection – Florence Film Awards, Italy
Official Selection – CKF International Film Festival, UK
Official Selection – Berlin Flash Film Festival, Germany
The film was a collaboration between multiple New York Film Academy alumni, including co-star Omega Melhem (8-Week Acting for Film), actor and director of photography Jialu Liu, (4-Week Filmmaking), and assistant camera Matias Alvarado (4-Week Filmmaking). Chugh praised both her cast and crew as well as the NYFA faculty who helped teach her the filmmaking craft.
“The filmmaking course at NYFA was beyond what I had expected,” adds Chugh. “It was a fast-paced course, but that is what made it so exciting.”
New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA Filmmaking alum Swati Chugh on the growing list of accolades for New Heaven and wishes her ongoing success as she continues her filmmaking endeavors.