Joelle Smith
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  • NYFA LA Welcomes Writer & Producer Neal Baer as Guest Speaker

    On Wednesday, June 21, Neal Baer came to the New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus to talk about his illustrious career in television. Baer has the distinction of being a key figure in two groundbreaking series. He was a writer and producer on both “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” and “ER.”  Director of the Q and A series, Tova Laiter, hosted the evening.

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    Students filled the Riverside Theater to hear Baer speak about the history of the television industry. Many of the students were surprised to learn that “ER” once enjoyed an incredible share of the market. “There’s no drama airing today that comes close to having 40 million viewers. Not even ‘Game of Thrones.’”  

    Of course, a huge portion of the show’s success was the wildly talented and relatively unknown cast, including George Clooney. Baer recalled the excited fan reaction to seeing Clooney in a tuxedo. So mad was the fury, that Baer made sure to include a scene with him in a tuxedo in “Hell or High Water.” The episode went on to be the show’s highest-rated and even earned Clooney an Emmy nomination.

    “I’ve had a very different career than my friends. I’ve only ever been on four shows,” Baer said after being asked about his incredible trajectory. “I started in 1994. That’s twenty-three years. I don’t know anybody else who has done four shows straight through.”

    Whether it was talent, luck, or a combination of both that kept Baer on top, he always made sure to use the best of the time he had. “I loved SVU because every week I got to explore. You had to get into the story through a murder or assault but then I could do a show about teen access to abortion. They let us do amazing things with guns, homeschooling, HIV deniers, euthanasia, everything I was interested in was put into the show.” 

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    That inspiration translated into his hiring practices as a showrunner. Baer was fond of calling obscure actors from childhood favorites to come on the show. Carol Burnett chastised him when he called to ask her on the show: “You used to watch me with your parents on weeknights, didn’t you?” Once, Debbie Reynolds even shared a saucy story about Ava Gardner with Baer.

    “How could you not want to bring these people on your show,” Baer said. “I’ve been very blessed to work with incredible people.”

    One student asked if Baer had any advice for students looking to break into the industry. Baer responded, “They’ve made it very difficult to be a director. I think what you have to do if you want to work, as a director, is shadow. You attach to a director and you just become their shadow. You’ll go to casting meetings, location scouts, anything the director does, you’ll be there.”

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Mr. Baer for taking the time to speak with our students.

  • NYFA Alumnus Anthony James Faure Releases “Kids With Guns”

    Anthony James Faure worked in the film industry for five years before coming to the New York Film Academy. When he started the 1-Year Filmmaking Program he was also starting the post-production process on his latest film, “Kids with Guns.”

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    Using Paris, France, as a backdrop, he shot the feature film over the summer of 2014. The story follows Arno and Mo, two unimportant drug dealers who happen upon a bag filled with MDMA. They decide to sell the trendy drug to the Parisian Golden Youth. Soon they’re forced to navigate the dangerous territory between the real owner of the bag and an overzealous cop that swore to stop him.

    The French thriller was produced with a budget of just €30,000, or around $35,000 in U.S. dollars. He earned the majority of the money via crowd-funding sites, personal savings, and a few grants. Then entire cast and crew worked on a volunteer basis.

    Faure attributes much of that success to his friend and producing partner Antony Renault. Faure said of the experience, “We were trying to get a short film produced in France for a long time. During that time, we wrote ‘Kids with Guns.’ Once the script was done we thought we should just shoot it. It’s that spontaneity that makes the essence of our film: we wanted to shoot now.”

    Faure’s scrappy nature had earned him great footage, but turning it into a film would be an entirely different process. “NYFA helped me in my rewriting process during postproduction. Indeed, after the course I took at NYFA, my understanding of film had evolved, and I managed to use that new knowledge in the editing.”

    The visual effects artist, postproduction manager, and sound mixer for “Kids with Guns” were all students Faure met at NYFA. He enjoyed his experience at NYFA so much he’ll be returning next semester: “I will never stop learning. I have a few feature film ideas and treatments I’ve been working on for a while, going back to NYFA in the screenwriting course will hopefully give me that little push I need to execute them.”

    TEASER KIDS WITH GUNS from Les Films de l’Ours on Vimeo.

    Faure’s next project is a superhero story. “Super Zeroes” is the story of superheroes forced into retirement by a world tired of the destruction their crime fighting causes. They retire to Trinidad-and-Tobago but a crime committed on the island will force them to work together, even if their powers are a bit rusty. NYFA alumni Jolene Mendes and Chloe Na will work with Faure as producers, Sashank Sana is the director of photography, Carolina Lara will do production design, and Daniel Techy is editing.

    The New York Film Academy would like to congratulate Faure’s success. To learn more about Faure click here.

  • NYFA Alumnus Todd Lien Talks “You Have More Friends Than You Know” on NYFA Hour

    On Thursday, June 13, New York Film Academy alumnus Todd Lien appeared on the NYFA Hour for a special Pride month interview. The Popcorn Talk Network was proud to host the filmmaker, who in the past year has worked as a composer, writer, director, and actor.

    Lien’s latest project is a music video for Jeff Marx song “You Have More Friends Than You Know.” The song has been performed on Ryan Murphy’s Fox hit “Glee” and was created for the It Gets Better Organization.

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    When Lien first heard the song he was reminded of a good friend who lost his battle to depression. His friend was openly gay and married, but his family didn’t support him. He took his life. Lien wanted to re-write the story even it was just fictional. “What would have happened if I had reached out?” Lien asked.

    So, he announced his intentions to create a music video on Kickstarter. Marx caught wind of the campaign and donated the majority of the money to get the project made.

    Lien then took the original score and arranged it for members of the NYFA – LA Glee Club. Each voice was recorded individually and then mixed together. Lien also acted in the video, asking a fellow NYFA graduate to direct the video.

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    The music video for “You Have More Friends Than You Know” can be viewed here. To watch Todd Lien’s entire interview on Popcorn Talk’s NYFA Hour click here.

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Mr. Lien for sharing his powerful story and his incredible work.

    June 20, 2017 • Academic Programs, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 371

  • A Q&A With “The Road” Cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe

    On Tuesday, June 13, the New York Film Academy welcomed Javier Aguirresarobe to the Riverside Theater. His son, cinematographer Jon Aguirresarobe (“Hunter Gatherer”), was there to translate.

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    Aguirresarobe is a world-renowned director of photography known for his work on such great films like “The Others,” “Vicky Christina Barcelona,” “Blue Jasmine,” “Goya’s Ghosts,” and “The Promise.” So, why did he pick “The Road,” a film from 2005, to show the students?

    Aguirresarobe shared that the book behind “The Road” was very special for him. He felt that telling this story was the perfect way to begin working in the United States. “The director (John Hillcoat) had already seen my movies at that time. So he thought I was the right one to do this movie, which he considered very special because it was the world after an apocalypse.”

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    “I asked the producer why they had picked me for the job,” Aguirresarobe said. “I could understand the director being interested, but what did the producers want me?” The producers responded that they wanted to do a more European-style movie.

    The director and cinematographer agreed that they wanted a more “realistic vibe” than a typical American film. One way they tried to achieve that look was by removing the sun. “The lack of the sun in the movie is one of the most challenging aspects of the film,” shared Aguirresarobe. But the aesthetic helped create a sense of complete and utter doom that quickly enwraps the crowd.

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    At first, Aguirresarobe was extremely troubled by this obstacle. “I was worried because I knew what kind of movie I wanted to do, but I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it.”

    He studied American films that were shot in Mexico. A lot of them had day for night shots, and Aguirresarobe played around with this to figure out the algorithm. He discovered that, back in the day, filmmakers would burn big piles of gasoline in order to create thick black clouds that could block out the sun. This is no longer a legal option, but Aguirresarobe did pitch it to the director as a joke.

    Aguirresarobe described himself as lucky to have pulled off the look. The time of year became a large factor in the shoot. The lack of greenery helped sell the idea of a dead Earth. “I wanted to respect the spirit of the book.”

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    Aguirresarobe also felt the lead actors helped cement the book’s spirit onto celluloid. “One of the best things in the movie is Viggo Mortensen. He went at the move with full energy. You can see all of that intensity on the screen.”

    Aguirresarobe joked with students that he would share a few tips and tricks, but in the age of digital, they might seem historic. This did not deter anyone in the audience. One student asked, “Can you talk about how you did that marvelous close-up on Robert Duvall in that speech and the eyes … Was that done in camera or in post-production?”

    Not missing a beat Aguirresarobe confirmed that the shot was done in camera. “Everything is done in camera. Duvall did have contact lenses to make it seem like he was blind.” Flame bars were used to get the look in the eyes. He said he learned a lot on those nights.

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    He began experimenting with real fire and the bars to create a better look. “Using the fire as a key light creates a horrible image. It creates a very intense red. The shadow gets very rough,” he said.  So he would mix the natural and the artificial to create a natural look.

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank both Jon and Javier Aguirresarobe for taking the time to speak with our students about their craft. Javier Aguirresarobe’s next film is Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok.”

    June 19, 2017 • Acting, Guest Speakers • Views: 735

  • NYFA Alumnus Alon Jawal Film “Visitors” Tours Festivals

    New York Film Academy Alumni Alon Juwal has been on a veritable tour with his short film, “Visitors,” which has received nominations from the Newport Beach Film Festival, Phoenix ComicCon, USS Film Festival, New Hope Film Festival, and the New York City International Film Festival.

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    Juwal received the award for Best Director of a Sci-Fi Short at the New York City International Film Festival and an Honorable Mention at the Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival. The film has earned numerous nominations including Best Sci-Fi Short at Phoenix ComicCon and Best Student Short at the Vail Film Festival.

    “Visitors” follows characters George, Cole and Kayleigh, an estranged family who come together at a remote and isolated farm. Cole and Kayleigh find themselves facing a series of strange events and a group of uninvited visitors with mysterious and sinister intentions. An old, forgotten bond rekindles, and a once broken and divided family begins piecing itself together in order to survive, overcome and become whole again.

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    “‘Visitors’ was basically my way of fusing all of the sci-fi films I grew up watching as a child adding a bit of a personal twist and eventually creating something that is truly unique and original,” Juwal said in an interview via email.  “I wanted to make something that felt truly authentic, and in order to do that, I had to find the strength to expose my deepest feelings. Even a thriller needs a bit of a personal touch to fully connect with a viewer, so my personal touch to the story was the complex relationship I have with my father, and how his separation from my mother affected our family.”

    That relationship became the guiding light for the film. Grounding this film in a core that would touch viewers was Juwal’s main goal. “‘Visitors’ is a sci-fi thriller on the outside, but on the inside, it speaks of values such as family, loyalty and most importantly, forgiveness,” Juwal said. “When people leave the cinema, I don’t want them to think about aliens or tractor beams. Instead, I hope they will be thinking about their families.”

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    His impressive festival run was influenced by a gambler’s spirit: “You can’t win the lottery without buying a ticket.” He narrowed his focus to festivals that had the science fiction genre at the forefront of their thinking. “I carefully chose festivals that I believed showcased emerging talent (and) had the power of pushing our film forward.”

    Through all the screenings, conventions, and conferences, a lot of hands are shaken. Each handshake usually comes with a note about the film. All that criticism has worn down many great filmmakers but Juwal takes it all in stride. “When you make a film you are sometimes blind to many of its shortcomings. I can definitely say that I have learned a lot from every single screening. It’s always great to hear a positive comment, but the negative ones are the ones you end up learning from the most, and they are also the ones that make you grow as an artist.”

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    Lessons learned and classmates met at the New York Film Academy were instrumental in the completion of the project. Juwal reflected, “My time at NYFA taught me many things, but most importantly, it taught me the power of collaboration. I have many shortcomings as a director, and I fill those shortcomings with talented people who complete me. In the case of ‘Visitors,’ many of these people were my classmates.”

    Juwal’s next film, “A Golden Heart,” will tell the story of an 11-year-old boy who, after learning of his mother’s illness, sets off on a journey to find a rare flower that is rumored to have magical healing powers. Look for “Visitors” on Amazon Video Direct once the film has completed its festival circuit. To follow the film’s progress, follow “Visitors” on Facebook.

    June 15, 2017 • Film School, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1183

  • Thomas Ian Nicholas & Brian Metcalf Screen “The Lost Tree” at NYFA LA

    On Monday, March 12, New York Film Academy students at the Los Angeles campus were treated to a screening of “The Lost Tree” followed by a Q&A with writer and director Brian A. Metcalf and producer Thomas Ian Nicholas.

    “The Lost Tree” follows a man who, after surviving a terrible accident, abandons his old life for a secluded cabin in the woods. Soon enough he learns that the area isn’t safe. The suspenseful thriller stars Michael Madsen (“Reservoir Dogs,” “Kill Bill: Vol 1,” and “The Hateful 8”), Lacey Chabert (“Mean Girls,” “The Wild Thornberrys” and “Party of Five”), Scott Grimes (“American Dad,” “ER,” and “Party of 5”), and Thomas Ian Nicholas (“Rookie of the Year” and “American Pie”).

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    NYFA Instructor Tim Fallon moderated the Q&A. He started off the evening by asking Metcalf and Nicholas about how they started working together. Nicholas answered, “Initially, Brian called me and asked me if I wanted to start working on something.” When Nicholas asked what the movie would be about Metcalf didn’t have a clue: “We’ll figure it out as we go along.”

    “It’s a funny thing,” Metcalf said. “This is not what this [script] was intended to be. We just wanted to work on something together.” Nicholas knew of an incredible cabin in the woods. They decided to make that the center focus of the script and the film blossomed from there.

    “The cabin isn’t anything like we portray it in the film. Now, I’ll never be able to go back there again. So, thanks, Brian,” Nicholas joked. “This gave us the ability to work with what we had. You have to get creative when you work with a tight budget.”

    Metcalf chimed in, “We might have wished to have more actors for certain days or more time to shoot, but, at the end of the day, you have to use what you have.”

    One student asked, “What is the best advice you have ever received?” Metcalf had a simple answer: “The first attempt you will fail. You have to get to work to get to the point where you’re consistently making good art. If you can’t take rejection than this industry isn’t for you.”

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Mr. Metcalf and Mr. Nicholas for taking the time to speak with our students. To learn more about their production company, Red Compass Media, click here.

    June 15, 2017 • Film School, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers, Producing • Views: 1218

  • NYFA Arab Club Celebrates Ramadan

    On Friday, June 2, the New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus was home to a Ramadan Celebration hosted by the Arab Club. Students gathered in the Riverside Building to learn about the cultural tradition, partake in an authentic meal, and play board games.

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    Hot coffee and dates were placed on top of carpets that covered every inch of available space. Beautifully colored glass lanterns illuminated the faces of students and faculty as the lobby began to fill. One student could be overheard saying, “This feels like home.”

    Chair of NYFA CARES, Mason Richards gave a brief speech before the festivities welcoming the students. “It’s event like these the make NYFA great. We strive for this level of inclusivity everyday. It’s important that we continue to strive to educate one another about our individual colors. This is a perfect first step.”

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    President of the Arab Club, Anmar Bajaba, also gave a brief speech highlighting the joys of the season. “Something magical happens when you’re starving. You remember there are people all over the world who don’t have food. Fasting makes you feel closer to those suffering and encourages you to help those in need.”

    Members of the Arab Club will also be passing out snacks and treats to the student body at the end of Ramadan to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr. The New York Film Academy would like to thank all those who participated and made this event so special.

    June 9, 2017 • Community Highlights • Views: 1494

  • NYFA BFA & MFA Photography Student Showcase at Bergamot Station

    The Los Angeles campus held an exciting showcase of the New York Film Academy’s top BFA and MFA graduating photography student’s work entitled Tracing Nuance. Held at the historic Bergamot Station in Santa Monica from May 27th to June 7th the exhibition highlighted the range of talent emerging from NYFA’s student body.

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    MFA graduate Alejandro Ibarra’s, “Piece by Piece,” challenges the terms “traditional” and “non-traditional” families and addresses the irrelevancy of sexual orientation as it pertains to what constitutes a family. His work explores the themes of equality, sexuality, family and identity.

    This is Ibarra’s first gallery showcase. He said of the experience, “Exhibiting in a gallery is a new experience for me, and it’s mind-blowing to see how different the work feels as a proper object hanging on a wall; it becomes more real somehow and elevates the piece. Seeing people react to your work as they make their way through the gallery is slightly nerve-racking because you keep wondering what they’re thinking and if the message of the work is being conveyed.”

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    Though his nerves may have been on edge the experience has been eye-opening, “It’s also incredibly inspiring to be in a group exhibition because you can find relationships between your work and another artist’s work, while also noticing the uniqueness in the artist’s voices.”

    MengMeng Lu, BFA Photography, is also showcasing for the first time. Her series of photographs explores visual dichotomy. She said of her work, “My project explores the connection between external appearance and internal sense of self… searching for a common ground among a diverse group of people. Each photograph proves that it is impossible to replicate perfectly. We are each our unique selves.”

    MFA Silvia Catalina Quintero Torres was also moved by seeing her art hang at the Bergamot. “Having this piece shown in a gallery means more than I can put into words,” she said. “It shows me, and others, that work that makes a statement against the status quo is not only relevant but also interesting. It shows that the boundaries of the art world are still yet to be determined and that we all have a space in that world.”

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    Torres selection entitled, “Tras los Muros,” is a collaborative piece that explores the concepts of shared authorship, social commentary and a critique towards the prison institution; by allowing people who have been in prison to photograph their realities after being released.

    There are many more outstanding artists being featured. The exhibit closes today (June 7) so don’t delay in getting to Santa Monica to see all of our talented graduates.

    Featured Artists:

    MFA

    Alejandro Ibarra

    Silvia Catalina Quintero Torres

    Seham Sultan

    Sara Alsahaly

    Ebtehal Akram Farhat

    Chun Hsun Huang

    BFA

    Wai Yan Lau

    Edward Vincent Rubia

    Kivansh Choksi

    MengMeng Lu

    June 7, 2017 • Photography, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1348

  • NYFA LA Graduation at Harmony Gold Preview House

    Over the long weekend, the Los Angeles campus of the New York Film Academy saw two hundred students turn into graduates as they crossed the stage of the Harmony Gold Preview House to collect their degrees.

    Three separate ceremonies were held to accommodate the large student body and their families. Mike Seville, Anne Moore, and Rich Thorne each presented an Address to the Graduates sending messages of pride and hope one last time to their students.

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    World-renowned talent came to NYFA to give the commencement speech to the graduates. The woman responsible for the “Murder House” finale of “American Horror Story,” Jessica Sharzer, gave one of the speeches. Sharzer won a Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Screenplay for the episode entitled “Afterbirth.” Sharzer, a former NYFA student, spoke highly of her time with NYFA where she also taught at its Princeton, New York, and Paris locations. She encouraged students to have a value system in place. Know what’s working and what stakes are worth risking.

    Joshua Bitton gave the first commencement speech of the day. A common thread throughout his speech was having the confidence to pursue one’s dream. Bitton is perhaps best known for his role as Sgt. J.P. Morgan in “The Pacific” on HBO, but many outside of the industry might be surprised to learn Bitton is also a sought after acting coach.

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    Bitton ended his speech by saying, “An MFA program is tough. I’ve been there. But it’s also an artist’s dream. You wake up and every day you create. You focus on furthering your expression. Out there it’s a business. You must learn how to play that game or get a team around you that can do it for you. But always remember what drew you to this — the desire to express yourself and create. It is brave and it is beautiful. It is you and you are enough.”

    The final Commencement Speaker was Martha Coolidge. The pioneering director of “Valley Girl” and “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge” shared her pioneering experience of breaking into the industry stating, “Although there was no working female directors in Hollywood or anywhere I could name in this country. I did have women in my classes and the world was changing. All of us filmmakers were very excited about that and felt it would be very quick. We’re still talking about what it’s like to be a woman director. So it wasn’t quite as quick as we’d hoped.”

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    The speed was slow but Coolidge was not content to conquer just the silver screen. She’s been dominating the television screen, as well as having directed stand out episodes of “Angie Tribeca,” “The Night Shift,” “Madam Secretary,” and “Sex and the City.” She advised students to strengthen their relationships, never be afraid to ask questions, and embrace competition. “You can’t just sit and wait. You have to be a self-starter or it will never happen.”

    The New York Film Academy would like to congratulate all the graduates who crossed the stage over the weekend. As you enter the phase of your professional career we hope you come back to the place where it all began and that you share your knowledge with the next generation. Good luck in all your future endeavors.

    Graduating Class of 2017

    MFA in Acting

    Areg Antonyan, Youn Hee Cho, Claire Xuewei Cui, Roberto Jadue, Zijing Ke, Yulia Konashevich, Kensiwe Mathebula, Paul McKenna Jr, Daniella Mendoza, Jonathan Neal, Anastasiya Serada, Alina Smolyar, Yifan Xu, Zheyu Zhang, Zandi Zim

    BFA in Acting

    Maria Fernandez Arras Salvoch, Christina Barron, Kiara Beltran, Kassie Bey, AnnaLuisa Capasa, Calvin Ripley Chelberg, Tiffany Alexis Clare, Daniel Colt, Kevin Dary, Chiara Sofia Ferarro Brenner, Atli Fjalarsson, Ximena García Gonzalez, Miranda Guzman, Kira Hagi, Alessandra Hajaj, Alston Huff, Pilar Irigoyen, Dominique Jeswal, Finoa Ketter, Alvin Lee, Kylar Miranda, Stefanie Morosini, Ella Mun-Gavin, Jonas Olsen, Masato Di Santo, Stephanie Quintero, Micaela Reis, Juan Felipe Restrepo Salamanca, Eric Ronn, Jose Francisco Saldaña, Bianca Schrader, Josephine Marie Siwko, Dulce Sosa, Jahnessa Vasquez, Justin Michael Vasquez, Victoria Watlington, Tyler Williams, Casey Wohlgemuth, Jazell Young, Damir Zharkimbekov,

    AFA in Acting

    Daniel Annerl, Mack Bates, Kate Bolshakova, Corinna Marianna Camero Gonzalez, Selma Cisneros, Camila Echeverri Duarte, Nicole Fahel, Kevin Flores, María José García, Lika Idrisova, Newton Benjamin Kitaura, Joao Pedro Lopes Paneguini, Damon McKinnis, Emily Morrison, Kyle Promisson, Cam Rafidison, Victoria Ribeiro, Nuria Roca, Marie Senghore, Qusay Sultan, Shantell Woods, Alissa Ylitalo,

    MFA in Producing

    Amari Agee, Batool Hassan Alarfah, Mujahed Aljumaiaah, Larissa de Rosa Beck, Xiangrong Du, Thomas Freeman, Yizhen Hou, Ah Reum Jung, Jiagyue Lin, Junhao Ma, Zoé Pelloux, Nikita Sapronov, Yoselin Solorzano, Huidi Sun, Sventlanova Natalia, Zhikun Yu, Jihan Zhang, Ziyi Zhao.

    BFA in Producing

    Magnea Helgadóttir, Davin Tjen, Lok Kwan Woo

    MFA in Screenwriting

    David Castillo, Zenana Coombs, Lindsey Hall, Anna Kriegel, Antonina Kshanovska, Tiffany Lewis, Queenian Nneka Okagu, Rachna Sukuru,

    BFA in Screenwriting

    Jordan Chyzowski, Elias Kofoed-Hansen, Michael Levin, Zara Lewes, Daniela Mayorca, Anastasia Mezikaeva Cermeño, Michael Sweeney, Doug Terra

    AFA in Screenwriting

    Audrey Cornett, Sergio Cox, Eric Obaro, Adam Zagri

    MFA in Photography

    Sara Al Sahaly, Ebtehal Farhat, Chun-Hsun Huang, Alejandro Ibarra, Silvia Catalina Quintero Torres, Seham Sultan,

    BFA in Photography

    Kivansh Choksi, Edward Vincent Rubia, Mengmeng Lu

    MFA in Game Design

    Zhongpeng Shao

    BFA in Game Design

    Junliang Zhang

    MFA in Filmmaking (Feature Track)

    Yesser Laham, Rafael Nani Pires

    MFA in Filmmaking

    Musab Omair Alamri, Gabriela Bueno, Yue Chen, Valéria Costa, Yiheng Guo,

    Hu Yiduo, Hawar Karim, Kuan Wen Wei, Yu Liu, Chiyuan Ma, Joshua Tre Van, Tianze Wang, Xiao Zi Jun, Yao Yu, Yuehan Zhang, Dulat Zhumagazin

    MFA in Film and Media

    Joud Al-Rashid, Syed Ahsen Ali, Qiuyu Chen, Jasmine Chiswell, Carlos De Anda, Jiufang Ding, Victoria Gagieva, Ashley Hargrove, Fang He, Yanzhu Li, Christina Nijim, Farid Rasul, Sommer Saqr, Twisha Thakar, Yuheng Tong, Nataliya Tsvetkova, Cheng Yang, Yumeng Zhang

     BFA in Filmmaking

    Jaquece Jamaar Abraham, Edoardo Achilli, Issa Al-Zadjali, Khalid Alahmari, Fernando Amarante Ibarra, Bakyt Angsabay, Talha Bin Abdulrahman, Shu-Chieh Chu, Fady Elmankabady, Trokon Victor George, Rochel Goldsmith, Anatole Lardeyret, Brandon Lee, Matheus Ronn Leite, Xuejiao Liu, Emmanuel Maldonado, Bruno Paolucci, Chang Hyun Park, Dominic Polito, Aysha Radwan, Alejandro Seri, Tianzuo Zhang

    AFA in Filmmaking

    Peter Farquhar, Brooke Marshal Hagen

    June 2, 2017 • Community Highlights, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 566

  • NYFA LA Holds Annual Producing Pitch Fest at Andaz Hotel

    On Wednesday, May 17 graduating Producing students gathered in the grand Panorama Ballroom at the Andaz Hotel on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood for the New York Film Academy’s annual Pitch Fest. Veterans of the Hollywood film industry spread across the hall to hear what could be their next project. The extravagant evening was organized by Rich Thorne, Producing Department Faculty Chair and Heather Ritcheson, Producing Coordinator.

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    Each student was allowed three minutes to present their films to each professional volunteer. They could pitch one project with a teaser presentation or pitch two projects. Afterward, students had twenty minutes with their professional advisor for critique, advice, marketing advice, and possible partnership. Volunteers were asked to hold nothing back from the students. Only honest opinions and expertise were acceptable.

    At the end of the night, there was serious interest in three projects from visiting producers. “For those who didn’t get interested in their projects they got the benefit of real-world advice and a lot of them said the difference between pitch fest with the faculty two semesters ago and this one with the professionals was immeasurable,” Richeson said.

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    When asked her thoughts on the evening, Volunteer April Wright, Programmer for Sundance and AFI Fest, Foundation Manager at Women in Film said, “I was impressed with the professionalism of the students and the caliber of their ideas.”

    Marlon Schulman, Founder, and CEO of Horror Equity Fund, Producer and Attorney felt similar stating, “Thanks for the terrific education and prep the graduates clearly had experienced. It allowed us to hear pitches that were interesting, well-prepared and yet open to suggestion, perspective, and possible improvement. Great!”

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    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Michael Barlow, Kimberley Browning, Brian Herskowitz, John Morrissey, Diana Romero, Arnold Rudnick, Marlon Schulman, Rich Thorne, Russ Ward, and April Wright. We’d also like to congradulate all of our graduating producers including Amari Agee, Batool Hassan Alarfah, Mujahed Aljumaiaah, Larissa da Rosa Beck, Xiangrong Du, Thomas Freeman, Yizhen Hou, Ah Reum Jung, Jianhyue Lin, Junhao Ma, Zoe Pelloux, Nikita Sapronov, Yoselin Pamela Solorzano, Huidi Sun, Zhikun Yu, Jihan Zhang, Ziyi Zhao.

    May 31, 2017 • Community Highlights, Producing, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1174