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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) MFA Game Design Alum Drew Fletcher Works on ‘Avatar’ Game

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    Drew Fletcher, graduate of the MFA in Game Design program at New York Film Academy (NYFA) is working on the video game adaptation for the massive blockbuster Avatar franchise. The game is being produced by FoxNext.

    The game, being developed for mobile, is called Avatar: Pandora Rising, and is based on the 2009 film Avatar, the 2009 Best Picture nominee that held the all-time box office record for nearly a decade. Two sequels have already been filmed with director James Cameron, with subsequent sequels already in pre-production. 

    Fletcher, who earned his MFA in Game Design from NYFA’s Los Angeles campus after enrolling in 2015, is working on the game as a QA Tester. His responsibilities include playing the game to seek and log any functional or gameplay bugs. His work on Avatar: Pandora Rising is specializing as the QA pro for combat play; the combat system being developed is similar to Clash Royale.

    Fletcher, who knows the ins and outs of the game even outside its combat play, describes Avatar: Pandora Rising as a “4x game. The objective of our game is to gain resources, build up your army/commanders, build up your alliance and rule Pandora. Similar games to ours in different parts are Rise of Civilization and Clash Royale.”Drew Fletcher

    He enthusiastically adds, “For more information download the game early next year!”

    In addition to Avatar, Fletcher is working on a personal project, saying it is “a mix of color theory and Paper Mario.” While pursing his career in game design, he’s also working on the side researching voiceover acting. 

    Giving advice to current and future NYFA students, Fletcher says, “NYFA gave you the tools to succeed, but the road to your dreams will be long—but worth the fight!”

    New York Film Academy congratulates MFA Game Design alum Drew Fletcher on his cool job and looks forward to seeing his future work as a game designer! 

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    October 3, 2019 • Game Design, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 769

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Photography Exhibit a Huge Success at This Year’s Photoville

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    This year’s Photoville was yet another huge hit, including the exhibit by the New York Film Academy (NYFA) Photography department. The annual photo festival held at Brooklyn Bridge Park took place from September 12 – 22. Produced by United Photo Industries, this is the festival’s eighth year.

    Photoville 2019

    The crowds were in full force this year, with over 100,000 visitors checking out the varied and beautiful work at Photoville. In addition to exhibits held in the fest’s trademark re-purposed shipping containers, the event included panels, walking tour guides, workshops, and delicious food from Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Roasting Company. Photoville also included an Education Day, participated by several artists, schools, and organizations. 

    The exhibit from the Photo Arts Conservatory at New York Film Academy (PAC at NYFA) was curated by NYFA Photography Chair David Mager and Joan Pamboukes, and featured works from NYFA students, alumni, and faculty. NYFA’s container exhibit was made up of art from FAYN, NYFA’s collaborative photography magazine. FAYN, produced by PAC at NYFA, is published three times per year, and features students, faculty, and alumni whose work explores contemporary concepts in art and culture.

    Photoville 2019

    “The turn out at Photoville this year was incredible, with lots of positive comments about the gallery,” says Mager. “One of the highlights was the guided walks provided by Photoville; we had around six artists on site to talk through their projects with the tour. It was an amazing experience.”

    New York Film Academy was thrilled to participate in another successful edition of Photoville and looks forward to another amazing fest next year!

    Photoville 2019

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    October 3, 2019 • Photography • Views: 783

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Acting for Film Alum Dr. Ariel Orama López Films Award-Winning ‘One’

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    One—an experimental film about Hurricane Maria and the devastation it wreaked on Puerto Rico in 2017—filmed by New York Film Academy (NYFA) Acting for Film alum Dr. Ariel Orama López, has been steadily accruing awards since its completion.

    The film already has over 36 international laurels and ten international prizes, including from Belarus, Australia, Spain, Italy, the Philippines, Morocco, Peru, Chile, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, as well from festivals in New York and Los Angeles. It has screened on every inhabited continent in the world.

    Dr. Ariel Orama López
    One
    is the second of three short films, along with Esteban and Boxers, that compose the collective project titled “Hydrographic Triptych: Cinematography of Water” and was presented in August on Por Amor al Arte Fest at Centro de Convenciones de Puerto Rico.

    The film also includes the voices of international actresses Gilda Haddock, Amneris Morales, and Belange Rodríguez. The distinguished late tenor, Master Antonio Barasorda, the mezzo-soprano Vianca Alejandra, AG Orloz, and singer Danny Rivera are parts of One’s unique musical elements.

    Lopez directed One, as well as serving as its protagonist. He attended NYFA’s 1-Week Acting for Film workshop in 2011, an experience and education that has stayed with him ever since.

    “The opportunity to have been trained in Acting for Film by NYFA-Los Angeles allowed me to meet great masters of the different facets inherent in filming, an experience I will never forget,” says Dr. Lopez.Dr. Ariel Orama López He continues, “All the learning acquired at NYFA is reflected in my surrealist and experimental style as a director/actor, added to the commercial vision that I intend to promote in this new project. NYFA is not only the best school of fine and pure art in the film world, but also the most unforgettable experience I’ve had in my entire life related to the Seventh Art. My best wishes to all those who are part of my unforgettable alma mater and to those that establish new paradigms with their creativity, innovation and substantial art.”

    Lopez, who is also a professor at the University of Puerto Rico and the University of the Sacred Hearth, has received more than 50 laurels and multiple prizes for his roles as an actor, director, and producer. Recently, he was awarded as one of the Top Ten Young Persons of Puerto Rico. He is currently working on the film Ysla, with distinguished actors from the island.

    Ysla is a collective of thirteen stories that revolve around Christmas Eve, days before the transition to the year 2020. “The film Ysla seeks to provoke reflections on what we will be as islanders, after 2020, with a cast of 65 actors and actresses that are participating actively in filming, theatre, and publicity,” states Dr. Lopez. 

    He adds, “I believe that the film industry has evolved with the new achievements of Latinos. The strong presence of young directors who were awarded in the Short Film category at the 2019 Oscars is also evidence that there is a substantial group of creatives who recognize the immense value of telling stories through the cinematographic universe, from aesthetics, innovation, verisimilitude and diversity, in all its spectra. And we are celebrating this effort.”

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    October 2, 2019 • Acting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1182

  • A Banner Year for New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking Alum Alfonso Perugini

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    For New York Film Academy (NYFA) alum Alfonso Perugini, 2019 is shaping up to be a banner year.

    Since graduating the 2-Year Filmmaking conservatory in 2015, Perugini has worked on several Italian film productions, including some with well known Italian actors like Giacomo Rizzo, Pietro De Silva, Yuliya Mayarchuck, and singer Cheryl Porter, among many others. 

    Perugini also acted in the webseries Garganta, directed by Modestino Di Nenna; the first episodes are now online. Thanks to a respected cast well known from the Italian theatre and television scenes, including Francesco Paolantoni and Antonio Fiorillo, the comedy already has a dedicated following. The immediate success of Garganta has convinced producers Danilo Battista and Rossella De Falco to set up a second season.

    Perugini has also recently released the pilot episode of Hotblade, filmed earlier this year and produced by 16NONI Produzioni Visive and directed by Luigi Borriello. Hotblade is a highly innovative and experimental product for Italy, combining the crime genre with action, humor, erotic, and Asian genre cinema. Perugini is also an associate producer of this ambitious project, and stars in the series alongside model Anna Montella, who plays the role of the heroine Hotblade. Perugini plans to release an English translation of the series as well, anticipating an American audience.

    Uno zio tutto mio, a comedy and Perugini’s fourth feature film as a director, was also announced in a press conference in the Town Hall of Grassano, in the province of Matera, in southern Italy. The film is produced by Pio Volpe for PFOX Produzioni, executive produced by Nancy Mastia, and written by Brando Improta. The film recently shot sequences in Naples, Sorrento, and Matera.

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) congratulates Filmmaking alum Alfonso Perugini on a banner year filled with exciting projects and looks forward to the completion and release of Uno zio tutto mio!

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    October 2, 2019 • Film School, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 749

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Musical Theatre Alum Lisa Monde Stars in Off-Broadway Anne Frank Musical

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    Lisa Monde, an alum of the Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre at New York Film Academy (PCMT at NYFA) recently appeared in Anne Frank, The Musical, an Off-Broadway limited production that ran in September. 

    Monde plays Edith Frank, the mother of Anne Frank, the teenage girl whose posthumous diary has become one of the most read and discussed stories of the Holocaust. The production was the domestic Off-Broadway premiere of a successful French musical, and featured a dozen artists recreating the life of Anne Frank with music and lyrics written by Jean Pierre Hadida.

    Lisa Monde
    Monde hails from Russia and was one of the very first alumni of NYFA’s Musical Theatre program, having attended the 1-Year conservatory in 2009 at NYFA’s New York campus. She is an award-winning actress, singer, director and writer, who began her career in Europe and has since worked Off-Broadway in various plays and musicals. 

    Her credits include Dali’s Dream (Coco Chanel); Arsene Lupin VS Sherlock Holmes (AJ Raffles Holmes); The Elizabeth Taylor Story (Elizabeth Taylor); Ghost Writers (Mary Shelley); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hippolyta); Of Mice and Men (Curley’s Wife); La Cage Aux Folles (Jacqueline); Dracula. Finding of a Shadow (Mina Murray); Teach Me How to Die (Poet); True Confessions of the Straight Man (Rebecca, various); and Romeo and Juliet (Lady Capulet).

    Additionally, Monde has appeared in the web series Existentialism and Callie and Izzy and starred in the feature film The Most Dangerous Man UVX by Future Proof Productions, which is set to premiere later this year. Monde has also has produced, written (book and music), and directed eight staged musicals and seven plays.

    “I am very honored and excited to be playing the part of Edith Frank,” says Monde of her latest role. “First of all, playing Edith is a challenge, in the best possible way. I remember, how when I studied at NYFA, we did character work and learned how to prepare as actors—thorough research, lots of reading, trying out different approaches and emotions for the character. And I do the work every time and apply those skills in my career pretty much every day!

    “Since it’s a musical—it’s not just about telling the immortal story of Anne Frank and her life in the Secret Annex, but also about expressing the feelings and complex emotional states of characters through music,” continues Monde. “Which brings me to the second exciting challenge—music. The composer and author of Anne Frank, The Musical, Jean-Pierre Hadida, has created a very complex musical score, which is meant for singers with great technique and extensive vocal ranges … I really hope that thanks to the rich musical material, very important story—which we all should remember and never forget—and an interesting creative approach of the director/producer, David Serero, this musical will extend its run and find its way to Broadway!”

    Lisa Monde Anne Frank
    Monde was joined in the cast of Anne Frank, The Musical by David Serero (Otto Frank), Kristyn Vario (Anne Frank), SaraKate Coyne (Margot), Wendell Hester (Peter), Jacob Waid (Herman Van Pels), Mackenzie Tank (Augusta Van Pels), Erik Contzius (Fritz Pfeifer), Jordan Flippo (Miep), Alex Schecter (Slammer and U/S), and Emily Samuelson (Ensemble and U/S). The production was directed by David Serero and adapted into English by Dylan Hadida. Performances were held at the Center for Jewish History and ran from September 11 – 24, 2019.

    New York Film Academy congratulates PCMT at NYFA alum Lisa Monde on her latest role and wishes her success as her career, both on- and off-stage, continues to grow!

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    October 1, 2019 • Musical Theatre, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 347

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) 3D Animation & VFX Instructor Kelley Williams Works on ‘Frozen II’

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    A new trailer for the Disney film Frozen II was recently released, featuring animation work from New York Film Academy (NYFA) 3D Animation & Visual Effects instructor Kelley Williams.

    Williams has been teaching at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus for six years as part of the 3D Animation & VFX school’s award-winning faculty of professional animators and effects artists. She currently works with students on thesis production. Williams has a great deal of experience as a character TD, rigger, and modeler.

    Frozen II is the highly-anticipated sequel to Frozen, the animated film about two sisters that became an instant Disney classic when it was released in 2013. Williams worked on the scene-stealing snowman character, Olaf, who is seen at the end of the latest trailer for Frozen II.

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA 3D Animation & VFX instructor Kelley Williams on her latest work and looks forward to the release of Frozen II later this year!
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    October 1, 2019 • Acting • Views: 812

  • Short Close-Up Interviews New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography Alum Anna Vialova

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography alum Anna Vialova was recently interviewed by Short Close-Up Film Magazine.Anna Vialova

    Vialova hails from Ukraine, and first attended New York Film Academy in July 2015, enrolling in the 8-Week Filmmaking workshop at our Burbank-based campus. She followed that up in Spring 2018 with the advanced and rigorous studies in the 1-Year Conservatory at NYFA’s Cinematography school.

    Credits as a cinematographer include Devour, I Just Wanted to See You, Silent Voices, Things That Fall, and No Longer Perfect. Vialova also shot her own film, Brave. New., which she directed and produced. Additionally, Vialova is an accomplished photographer, and has had photos published in ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue UA, and L’officiel.

    Short Close-Up is an international, independent online magazine that covers a variety of culture, including, narrative, documentary, animation, music video, experimental, fashion, commercial, and mobile. Short Close-Up shares the experiences of established filmmakers by publishing in-depth profiles and interviews by the most in-demand filmmakers working today.

    In the interview, Vialova spoke about what inspired her to become a filmmaker, the important of collaborating on set, and the role film festivals have played in her life. She also asked about the relationship between a filmmaker and the artist, telling Short Close-Up, “I feel that the best thing I can do is to stay honest with my audience and myself. I don’t shoot scripts I don’t like. If I don’t feel connected to the story it will be disrespectful to director and audience to shoot it, because I won’t be able to tell the story in a best way.”

    New York Film Academy wishes Cinematography alum Anna Vialova the best of success as her career continues forward, and encourages everyone to check out her full interview with Short Close-Up here.

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    September 26, 2019 • #WomenOfNYFA, Cinematography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 921

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Musical Theatre Alum Audrey-Louise Beauséjour Voices Nala in French in ‘The Lion King’

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    Audrey-Louise BeauséjourNew York Film Academy (NYFA) Musical Theatre alum Audrey-Louise Beauséjour has dubbed the singing voice for Nala in the French audio track for Disney’s live action remake of The Lion King, filling in for Beyoncé who played the role in English this summer.

    The Lion King, which releases digitally on October 11 and on home video on October 22, was one of several successes for Disney in 2019, grossing over a billion dollars at the box office. Several audio tracks have been recorded in non-English languages so people around the world could enjoy the movie’s famous musical numbers, in addition to its incredible visuals.

    The film, a remake of the animated 1994 classic, employed a unique, state-of-the-art virtual reality set to bring the African savannah to life—technology partially developed by NYFA Game Design alum Guillermo Quesada. Directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man, The Jungle Book), the 2019 Lion King co-stars Donald Glover, Beyoncé, James Earl Jones, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, and John Oliver in the original English track, among several others.

    NYFA alum Audrey-Louise Beauséjour was a natural choice for the role of Nala, the love interest of main character Simba. The Canadian-born musician and singer enrolled at the Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre at New York Film Academy (PCMT at NYFA) in Fall 2018, studying at our New York campus.

    New York Film Academy congratulates musical theatre alum Audrey-Louise Beauséjour on her French-language singing role for Disney’s The Lion King!

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    September 26, 2019 • Musical Theatre, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 727

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Partners With Tina Knowles-Lawson & Richard Lawson To Lift Up Angels and Warriors

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    Last month New York Film Academy (NYFA) partnered for the second time with the nonprofit WACO (Where Art Can Occur) Theater Center to instruct youth in acting and filmmaking. 

    The 1-Week Filmmaking camp was held in August at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus, the second part of a 2-Week summer intensive on-camera acting and filmmaking camp at Richard Lawson Studios. A graduation ceremony was held at NYFA at the end of the course.

    WACO 2019

    Tina’s Angels and Richard’s Warriors are two of WACO’s esteemed programs. Located in the NOHO Arts District, WACO is dedicated to the empowerment of people within the diverse communities of the greater Los Angeles area.

    Tina’s Angels is a mentorship program for young teenage girls, who are assigned a mentor hand-picked by Artistic Director, Tina Knowles-Lawson. Lawson is the mother of pop superstar Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. Richard’s Warriors is a mentorship program for young teenage boys, who are assigned mentor hand-picked by Artistic Director, Richard Lawson. The mission of both programs is to help youth who have potential and desire to live a successful productive life but do not have the guidance, financial ability, or access to the road map to get there.

    NYFA partners with WACO to help the programs give these young teens the training and tools to fully actualize aspirations, and transcend limitations and borders to distribute their work in a variety of mediums and deliver their message to anyone, anywhere.

    WACO 2019

    After completing the intensive program, the students came away with more confidence and a passion for the arts. Here are what some of the graduates had to say:

    Ariel (Tina’s Angels): “I might get into filmmaking more because I like it. At first, I was unsure because I never did it before. but it is actually fun.”

    Carlos (Richard’s Warriors): “I’ve actually learned a lot. I didn’t think of this as a career but now I am, and I want to learn more about film directing and I hope maybe to become one.”

    Destiny (Tina’s Angels): “I’ve realized that I’m usually my own obstacle. I stop myself from being a more positive individual and thanks to the mentors who are really helpful, I’ve learned a lot more about myself and I’m really grateful for all you guys.”

    Steven Foley, WACO Director of Operations and Production, was also thrilled at the success of the camp. “I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you and NYFA for being integral partners in ensuring that the students from our Angels and Warriors program who participated in our two-week film camp had an amazing experience,” Foley told Veronika Kurshinskaya, NYFA Community Outreach Manager. “The week that we spend at NYFA and the instruction and resources that you all provide are a great benefit to the students and to WACO.  We look forward to continuing our partnership with you all.”

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    September 24, 2019 • Diversity, Outreach • Views: 924

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Alumni Meet Up in Manila

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    This week, 20 alumni from New York Film Academy (NYFA) met up for dinner in Manila, capital of the Philippines.

    Also present at the event were Jim Miller, NYFA Vice President, Strategic Initiatives; Jonathan Whittaker, Chair of Short-term Intensive Programs; and Tami Alexander, NYFA Vice President, Middle East & North Africa.

    manila alumni 2019

    The alumni were a fun, diverse group, and came from a variety of NYFA programs, including short-term workshops, long-term conservatories, camps, and the MFA program. Both the New York and Los Angeles campuses were represented, as well as several graduation years.

    Over the meal, the alumni got to know one another better, and shared what they have been up to since graduating NYFA. Some of the alumni achievements included acting in professional shows, releasing music on Spotify, filming multiple feature films, and winning Best Actress at the CINESB Film Festival. One alum shared that they will be heading the cultural events of the upcoming biennial South East Asian Games, hosted this year by the Philippines.

    manila alumni 2019

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    September 23, 2019 • Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 787