Jim Miller
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  • NYFA’s Leadership Meets with Major Hollywood Studios to Increase Opportunities for Student Veterans

    Founded in 1992, the New York Film Academy College of Visual and Performing Arts (NYFA) has a long history of supporting the military and veteran communities. The College has been privileged to enroll more than 1250 veteran students at our campuses in New York City, Los Angeles, CA and South Beach, FL., since 2009.

    In order to increase the support services to student veterans, in 2014, NYFA appointed the honorable Colonel Jack Jacobs, Medal of Honor recipient and on-air military strategist for NBC/MSNBC as the Chair of NYFA Veterans Advancement Program.

    nyfa veterans

    Recently, Colonel Jacobs and NYFA’s senior leadership met with several major studios including SONY Pictures, NBCUniversal, DreamWorks, and Voltage Pictures to increase support in helping NYFA student veterans obtain internships and employment opportunities.

    The entertainment and media industry leaders that the NYFA delegation met all spoke very highly of the veterans that they have employed in their companies, and expressed keen interest in partnering with NYFA as an obvious pathway to hire additional well-trained veterans that have been educated in the fields related to filmmaking.

    “Veterans are some of the most creative people in the visual and performing arts,” states Colonel Jacobs empathically. “They are strong leaders and their life experiences will be an asset to any company that hires them.”

    NYFA’s Veterans Advancement Program continues to bring unique opportunities to its veteran students. As an example, NYFA provided veteran students the opportunity to work on the production of the New York City Veterans’ Day Parade in collaboration with the United War Veterans Council (UWVC).

    On another occasion, veteran students worked with LA Mayor Garcetti on his 10,000 Strong Hiring Initiative by filming the major event and interviewing the Mayor and other VIP participants. This activity was held in celebration of Mayor Garcetti’s one-year anniversary of the launch of the 10,000 Strong Hiring Initiative. The New York Film Academy received a Certificate of Appreciation from Mayor Garcetti on behalf of the city of Los Angeles and its residents for delivering impactful media services.

    Veterans also had the good fortune to produce a video for the California Department of Veterans Affairs for service members transitioning out of the military. Other projects have included directing, producing and filming public service announcements—on a pro-bono basis— for veteran non-profit organizations. All of these opportunities provided many of the veteran students with their first chance to work on professional productions.

    Colonel Jacobs noted, “We hope that by developing these relationships we will be able to help more student veterans and add to the number of veterans that graduated from NYFA that are currently working and finding success in the industry.”

    -Jim Miller and John Powers

    April 12, 2017 • Community Highlights, Veterans • Views: 2177

  • NYFA Hosts Dinner at Miceli’s for Foreign Fulbright Students

    Last week, the New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA) hosted a special dinner for new and continuing Foreign Fulbright students who are attending graduate programs in Filmmaking, Photography, Screenwriting, Documentaries, and Film and Media Production. NYFA is proud to be hosting Foreign Fulbright Grantees from seven countries (Lithuania, Spain, Egypt, Finland, Indonesia, Angola and the Dominican Republic) currently; in recent years NYFA has welcomed more than 50 Fulbrighters to our campuses in LA and NYC. NYFA Fulbrighters have hailed from Bahrain, Angola, Indonesia, Egypt, Spain, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Finland, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Switzerland, Vietnamese, Ecuador, France, Sri Lanka, Russia, Paraguay, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Zambia.

    micelis nyfa

    Left to Right: Monika Sedziute (Lithuania), Miguel Cruz, Pedro Peira (Spain), Abdallah ElDaly (Egypt), Marcus Louis Fien, Lotta Lemetti (Finland), Melarissa Sjarief (Indonesia), Jose Siles, Hugo Salvaterra (Angola), Amalia Ramirez (Dominican Republic)

    The March 3 event took place at Miceli’s, a classic Hollywood venue, which was established in 1949.

    In this wonderful setting with live piano music and waiters singing movie classics — as well as songs from the recent hit film “La La Land” — our Fulbrighters had the opportunity to share interesting conversations on diverse topics, with, of course, filmmaking being the shared passion.

    Hugo Salvaterra (Angola) MFA Filmmaking

    Hugo Salvaterra (Angola) MFA Filmmaking and Pedro Peira (Spain) 1YR Documentary

    Current NYFA Fulbrighter Pedro Peira (Spain), who had just returned from The Berlinale (The Berlin International Film Festival), shared anecdotes of the festival, as well as the implications of having one of his movies: “Soul,” selected to open one of the headline spots at the Festival.

    José Siles, President of the Fulbright Alumni Association of Los Angeles, spoke with our international scholars about all of the enrichment and networking opportunities that the rich Fulbright community of LA has to offer. As a researcher at NASA, José shared with us many interesting details about the recent discovery of exoplanets orbiting the star Trappist-1, which NASA published last week.

    Jose Sila

    Jose Siles, NASA researcher and President of Fulbright Association LA Chapter and Monika Sedziute (Lithuania) MFA Photography.

    Hugo Salvaterra (Angola), our the most recent Filmmaking Fulbrighter to join the LA cohort, recently transferred from a semester at the NYFA NYC campus and delighted to meet his LA peers, and share his first impressions with other scholars in the different fields related to filmmaking.

    In a lively discussion with the scholars, Miguel Cruz, NYFA´s Director of Fulbright Initiatives, and Marcus Louis Fien, Senior Admissions Specialist & Manager of Fulbright Admissions, shared future initiatives that NYFA is planning, including a Fulbright Film Festival to be celebrated later this year.

    Lotta Lemetti (Finland), BFA Photography.

    Lotta Lemetti (Finland), BFA Photography.

    At the special invitation of NYFA’s leadership, on Monday, March 6, the current cohort of Foreign Fulbright Students attended a special NYFA screening of the Academy Award nominated film “Hacksaw Ridge” and had the thrill of meeting acclaimed actor Mel Gibson, the film’s Director, who came to NYFA to discuss the project.

    March 9, 2017 • Community Highlights • Views: 2438

  • NYFA Welcomes a Group of Enthusiastic Italian Students

    An exceptional group of Italian students recently graduated from the 4-Week Producing Program at New York Film Academy’s New York City campus. The students, all from the Lazio Region of Italy—most whom reside in Rome—attended NYFA as a result of being awarded special fellowships from the Roma Lazio Film Commission’s Torno Subito (“Be Right Back”) program. The Torno Subito program was created to fund projects submitted by Italian university students or graduates, aged 18 to 35 years, with the interest in taking advanced training courses, and upon completion, return home to use their newfound skills in the workplace. Also involved in this educational initiative is AssForSeo, an Italian employment guidance organization.

    nyfa italian students

    In addition to the students enrolled in the Producing Department at NYFA New York’s campus were dozens of students in the Filmmaking, Documentary Filmmaking, Animation, Broadcast Journalism, Screenwriting, Digital Editing, and Acting for Film programs. Both the New York and Los Angeles campuses of NYFA hosted this wonderful group of talented young Italians.

    NYFA Producing Chair Neal Weisman declared, “It was a pleasure having this group in our 4-Week Intensive producing workshop. They were very engaged, enthusiastic, and curious – of course they were, they’re Italian!”

    nyfa italian students

    After graduating from the NYFA program, the students are headed back to Rome where they will work at various industry internships. Most positions are with prominent Italian film production companies, where they will assist in the creation of a wide variety of film projects. The NYFA LA Campus Director, Dan Mackler, was effusive in his praise for the visiting students and stated, “Integrating seamlessly with our large international student community—currently representing nearly 80 countries—the Torno Subito students brought wonderful energy to our school. We expect great film industry success stories to come from these special NYFA alums.”

    NYFA is proud to participate in this program and looks forward to future collaboration with a variety of international partners.

    February 7, 2017 • Community Highlights, Producing • Views: 2202

  • NYFA Producing Department Students Tour NBC Studios At 30 Rock

    A group of One Year Producing students recently toured the NBC studios at legendary 30 Rockefeller Plaza led by NBC and MSNBC on air talent and editorial consultant Col. Jack Jacobs. Colonel Jacobs is the Chair of the NYFA Veterans Advancement Program, and is one of our nation’s most decorated military servicemembers—including being a recipient of the Medal of Honor, which is the nation’s highest military award.

    nbc news

    photo by Marc Frattini

    NYFA producers and Department Chair Neal Weisman got a behind the scenes look at the various newsroom and studio sets for such iconic television shows as the “Today Show,” “NBC Nightly News,” “Morning Joe,” “AM Joy,” “The Rachel Maddow Show,” and a glimpse of the famed “Saturday Night Live” studios. Already familiar with multi-camera studio broadcast techniques from their television production classes at NYFA’s New York City Battery Park campus, students got up front and personal with the state-of-the-art professional control rooms, switchers, robotic cameras, and other equipment that bring NBC shows into the nation’s living rooms every day.

    nbc tour nyfa

    photo by Marc Frattini

    Mr. Weisman stated, “in keeping with the Producing Department’s philosophy of emphasizing practical and pragmatic knowledge, skills, and tools — nothing beats observing world class professionals at work. This has been an invaluable experience for our producers as they get ready to enter the Industry.”

    January 18, 2017 • Community Highlights, Producing • Views: 1320

  • NYFA: In Celebration of International Education Week (November 14-18)

    For those of us deeply engaged in of the field of international education, last week was analogous to the film industry’s Academy Awards week. This year’s International Education Week (IEW) highlighted the international education community’s efforts to increase the number of students and scholars that cross borders worldwide and, with exuberance, showcased the scores of success stories pertaining to this global exchange of knowledge. The week was also full of discussions and musings about possible changes to the sector that may occur when the new administration begins working in Washington, DC in six weeks.

    International education holds an important place here at the New York Film Academy (NYFA), where more than 50% of the School’s enrollment is international; tens of thousands of visual and performing artists from nearly 120 countries have studied at NYFA since its founding 25 years ago, including dozens of Fulbright Foreign Students.

    For the 2nd year in a row, NYFA is proud to be ranked in the top 5 ‘SPECIAL FOCUS INSTITUTIONS’ that host international students, according to the Open Doors Report, an annual report issued by the Institute of International Education (IIE) that was released last week by IIE and the U.S. Department of State. In the 2015-2016 academic year NYFA hosted 1,492 foreign students in the College’s degree programs, and also welcomed nearly 2,000 additional international students to non-degree and short-term programs that were not counted in the Open Doors Report data.

    On the outgoing side of international education, for two decades NYFA has offered a wide range of study abroad programs at four permanent international locations (Paris, France; Florence, Italy; Gold Coast, Australia; and Sydney, Australia), as well as at many satellite locations, including Kyoto, Japan; Beijing, China; and Amsterdam, Netherlands.

    This year, NYFA made great strides in increasing study abroad opportunities by launching unique faculty led international ‘excursion’ programs, which included NYFA trips for students in the Photography and Documentary Filmmaking Departments. A total of 73 students traveled to Belize, Cyprus, and the Dominican Republic to experience unique aspects of these cultures as well as witness and develop a better awareness of important and critical events currently happening in the countries. This was part of NYFA’s commitment to the Generation Study Abroad Initiative — an undertaking to increase the number of U.S. students studying abroad.

    The New York Film Academy highlighted its study abroad opportunities and accomplishments during the national celebration of International Education Week by hosting a social media contest: NYFA students and alumni had the opportunity to submit photographic representations of what “home” means to them via Facebook or Instagram by including the hashtag #NYFAInternational and tagging @NewYorkFilmAcademy. This contest was open to all current NYFA students (nearly 8,500) from the U.S. campuses in New York, Los Angeles, and South Beach, Florida, as well as students studying at all of our locations abroad in Florence, Italy; Paris, France; and Gold Coast and Sydney, Australia. The winner was announced this past Saturday and the image can be seen here.

    Michael Young, President of NYFA, recently stated, “the power of storytelling is not owned by any one nation, it is an art form the entire world needs in times of peace and stability, and even more so during chaos and uncertainty. Thanks to the most powerful form of communication that exists, we expect our students to be the voices that will be heard through the noise.”

    Like making lemonade from lemons, visual and performing artists have the opportunity to make lovely music — i.e. films, photographs, and performances — from all of the noise now out there.

    November 23, 2016 • Community Highlights • Views: 2220

  • Ralph Gibson, Chair of NYFA’s Department of Contemporary Photography, Opens Major Exhibition in Paris

    gibson and serrano

    Renowned American Photographer Andres Serrano and Ralph Gibson, Paris 2016

    Recently, the renowned photographer, and NYFA’s Chair of the Department of Contemporary Photography, Ralph Gibson, opened a major photography exhibition at the prominent Galerie Thierry Bigaignon in Paris.

    The famous American photographer exhibited a new series of large-format color photographs entitled Vertical Horizon. Gibson, best known for his black & white monochrome images of the human form, has also often explored architectural elements in his works. The works in this exhibition evolved from the time that Gibson began doing color digital photography some years back.

    As the gallerist Thierry Bigaignon states, “Ralph Gibson’s images highlight the idea of boundaries and opposition. They’re visual oxymorons, so we decided to title the exhibition Vertical Horizon, which perfectly encapsulates these concepts.”

    gibson and clark

    Ralph Gibson and Larry Clark, filmmaker and photographer, at the opening of L’ Histoire de France at the Hotel Scribe, Paris. Nov -4, 2016

    Gill Mora, one of the world’s most important art critics and historian of American photography, recently commented on Gibson’s new photography series, “Ralph Gibson is without doubt the most European of American photographers, and knows our culture perfectly. His mastery of composition, halfway between graphic artwork and abstraction, has never precluded the sensuality that is the particular trademark of his photographs. It is time to rediscover Ralph Gibson.”

    At 77, Ralph Gibson is as active as ever — both in his studio and at the New York Film Academy. In addition to lecturing to NYFA students, Gibson also takes on a mentoring role to students as part of a unique mentorship program that NYFA established for long-term photography students.

    November 17, 2016 • Faculty Highlights, Photography • Views: 1615

  • NYFA Africa Tour: Johannesburg, South Africa

    The New York Film Academy’s Africa tour, which included NYFA instructors and staff, was an exciting opportunity to further bridge our hands-on intensive pedagogy in the visual and performing arts with the film traditions and cultures of Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria.

    Jim Miller

    Jim Miller, NYFA V.P. of Strategic Initiatives, and Lizzie Sack, Asst. Director of Outreach meets with Ms. Selaelo Maseko, Public Affairs Section (U.S. Consulate General/Johannesburg (2nd from left), and Melanie Chait, CEO, Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking (3rd from left)

    Throughout the four-week tour, we met more than 1,000 African students.

    While sitting in a meeting at the U.S. Consulate in Johannesburg, South Africa with Consul General, Christopher Rowan, and his wonderful staff of the Public Affairs Office, we were asked the question, “How did the New York Film Academy select these four countries to visit?”

    nyfa in johannesburg

    NYFA took a number of factors into consideration in deciding to bring NYFA Master Class Workshops – which also included information sessions, auditions, and portfolio reviews – to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Lagos; Abuja, Nigeria; and Accra, Ghana. We researched the potential “new frontiers” of international higher education recruitment, including reviewing the Open Doors Report that is published annually by the Institute of International Education (IIE). And, because NYFA is one of the world’s oldest private international visual and performing arts schools, we have 25 years of enrollment data, along with requests for information, which we mined. Interest among the four selected countries has been exceptionally high and NYFA wants to help support the talent and creativity of these interested young actors and filmmakers.

    nyfa in johannesburg

    In Johannesburg, NYFA’s Chair of Short-term Programs, Professor Jonathan Whittaker, conducted a 6-hour Master Class titled, “The Anatomy of a Scene.” This workshop was free and open to the filmmaking community, and was hosted by The United States Consulate General, EducationUSA, and NYFA’s local partner, Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking.

    We expect that these private-public international partnerships in each country will last far beyond this trip, and that it is the beginning of fruitful collaborations that will benefit many gifted African visual and performing artists.

    October 4, 2016 • Road Show • Views: 2547

  • San Diego Padres Invite NYFA Veterans for Late Season Showdown vs Boston Redsox

    padres

    NYFA veteran students before the first pitch.

    Student Veterans from the New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA) were invited by the San Diego Padres as special guests of the organization to attend the Labor Day game against the Boston Redsox.

    The Padres’ Matt Coy, Senior Director, Content & Presentation, gave the NYFA veterans a VIP tour of the production booth. The students had the wonderful opportunity to engage with the Padres’ production staff and learn more about the cameras, equipment, and technology that they use to broadcast the games.

    Doug Prideaux, NYFA BFA Acting student, stated, “This was an amazing opportunity to attend my first Major League Baseball game with my fellow veterans. To be able to learn more about the behind the scenes production of each Padres game was an incredible experience.”

    padres field

    View from the San Diego Padres’ Production Booth

    The San Diego Padres are very supportive of the military and veteran communities often hosting veterans’ appreciation events each season. NYFA’s Office of Veterans Services is grateful for the support that the San Diego Padres provide to the military community and student veterans attending the New York Film Academy.

    September 12, 2016 • Community Highlights, Veterans • Views: 2082

  • NYFA Welcomes Master Sergeant (Retired) Juan Duenas to Support Veterans Services Department

    Juan Duenas

    Master Sergeant (Retired) Juan Duenas with Colonel Jack Jacobs, Medal of Honor Recipient, and Chair of NYFAs Veterans Advancement Program

    The New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA) is delighted to announce that Master Sergeant (Retired) Juan Duenas has joined NYFA as the Veterans Coordinator at the College’s South Beach campus.

    “The College is extremely pleased to have MSgt (Ret.) Juan Duenas become part of the NYFA’s Office of Veterans Services team,” stated Colonel Jack Jacobs, Chair of NYFA’s Veteran Advancement Program. “His long and illustrious career in the military, and his continual commitment to supporting troops when they transition out of active duty service, will mean that MSG (Ret.) Duenas will be a tremendous asset to the veteran students studying at NYFA”.

    MSG (Ret.) Duenas served in the United States Air Force Reserves for more than 25 years — retiring in 2007. From Nov. 1979 to May 2007 he served in the 482 Weapons System Security Flight at Homestead Air Force Base Fl. MSG (Ret.) Duenas also served as a Security Police Member conducting security protection of resources, was the Supply NCO for 9 years, Mobility NCO for 6 years, and Training & Quality Control Senior NCO for 8 years training over 100 Security Police members in 32 subject areas.

    Since 1979, MSgt (Ret.) Duenas had many overseas deployments, which included Germany, England, South Korea, Turkey, Brazil, and in 1999 was activated to Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base in Kuwait handling security and force protection.

    After 9/11, MSgt (Ret.) Duenas was called to active duty for two years to work with Central Command on Homeland Security issues. He has also deployed for humanitarian missions to El Salvador and the Hurricane Katrina Disaster support efforts. Additionally, MSgt (Ret.) Duenas served as committee member and coordinator for several Homestead Family Days in which over 2000 military personnel and their families attended.

    Currently, MSgt (Ret.) Duenas is a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10212, American Legion Post 133, Freedom Veterans of America, and supports the City of Miami Mayor’s Veterans’ Initiatives.

    September 8, 2016 • Community Highlights, Faculty Highlights, Veterans • Views: 2429

  • 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, Veterans • Views: 1920