Robert Cosnahan
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  • New York Film Academy & EducationUSA Pakistan Celebrate International Education Week 2021

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) was honored to be involved with EducationUSA, the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP), and the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, to celebrate International Education Week (IEW) with film as a vehicle to bridge mutual understanding between the United States and Pakistan.

    For the third year in a row, Professor Piero Basso, NYFA’s New York Campus Chair of Cinematography, led a team of NYFA faculty judges for the filmmaking competition ‘Filminute‘, which was created to help Pakistani students improve their communication skills and unleash their creative potential. Budding filmmakers between the ages of 15 to 18 submitted one-minute films with their unique interpretation on the theme: ‘if these walls could talk.’

    On November 18th, EducationUSA Pakistan held a virtual event to celebrate each film and the award-winning filmmakers. At the event, NYFA Professor Piero Basso provided remarks to the online attendees. He began, “As an educator, it’s always a reason of joy to see the young, new generation creatives expressing themselves in films and willing to take risks, explore creative storytelling, and to not be shy of talking about challenging topics. The theme ‘If These Walls Could Talk’ inspired some filmmakers to confront extremely serious and difficult subjects with a remarkable maturity”.

    Further encouraging young Pakistani filmmakers, Professor Basso stated, “One of the greatest qualities of these movies is the willingness of the filmmakers to find ways to express themselves without the fear of judgment, especially on the technical elements. As the Chair of the Cinematography Department at NYFA’s New York campus, I watched several portfolios and you can often notice in older applicants the fear of submitting work less than technically perfect. Personally, I admire the freshness of younger filmmakers less bothered by the fear of judgment on how they set the camera and more focused in sharing their stories. They produce movies that are imperfect and raw, but intense, true to themselves and a pure expression of their creativity.”

     

    About EducationUSA:

    EducationUSA is the official U.S. government source of information on U.S. higher education. It offers accurate, comprehensive, and current information on accredited postsecondary institutions in the United States, and free guidance and assistance to students interested in applying to U.S. colleges and universities. In Pakistan, EducationUSA is hosted at USEFP, a bi-national commission established in 1950 by the Governments of Pakistan and the United States. USEFP also administers the prestigious Fulbright Student Program and several other scholarships and fellowships for Pakistani students interested in studying in the United States.

     

    About United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP):

     USEFP is guided by a binational commission composed of an equal number of Pakistanis and Americans, with the Chair alternating each year between a Pakistani and an American. USEFP is one of 49 “Fulbright Commissions” located throughout the world. Since 1951 when the first group of Pakistani grantees traveled to America and in 1952 when the first American grantees visited Pakistan, the USEFP has fostered mutual understanding between the people of Pakistan and the people of the United States through educational and cultural exchange. More than 8,000 Pakistanis and around 935 Americans have participated in USEFP administered exchange programs.

    The Foundation receives support and counsel from both the Pakistan and U.S. governments, but it is not an agency of either. The Foundation supervises a variety of programs that send Pakistani students and scholars to American campuses while bringing American scholars to universities in Pakistan. The goal of all USEFP programs is to help Pakistanis learn more about the U.S. and to help Americans learn more about Pakistan and its people.

     

    About New York Film Academy:

    New York Film Academy

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) is a leading film, media, and performing arts college that offers hands-on intensive undergraduate and graduate degree programs, certificates, and workshops across a multitude of areas of study in New York City, Los Angeles, South Beach/Miami, Gold Coast (Australia), Florence (Italy), Beijing and Shanghai (China), and more. Its programs are accelerated and NYFA students can complete a four-year BFA degree in three years. NYFA’s online program offerings allow students the opportunity to advance their creative and technical skills in NYFA’s “Hands-Online Workshops,” available across NYFA’s film, media, and performing arts disciplines.

    NYFA is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). This accreditation extends to all NYFA campuses in the United States and overseas.

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    November 29, 2021 • Community Highlights, Contests, International Diversity • Views: 162

  • NYFA Accepting Applications for 2022 One-Year Conservatory, MFA & Short programs in Documentary Filmmaking

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) is accepting applications for 2022 One-Year Conservatory, MFA and Short programs in Documentary Filmmaking.

    Apply now for a remaining spot in the 1-Year Conservatory in Documentary Filmmaking starting in Fall 2022.

    The 1-Year Conservatory in Documentary Filmmaking is the flagship program of NYFA’s Documentary Filmmaking Division.

    • Learn to make films by making films.
    • One-year intensive and extremely hands-on.
    • Award-winning filmmakers teach new filmmakers through workshops, lectures and real-time mentoring as students make their own films.
    • Make 6 short nonfiction films and digital media pieces and develop a TV series.
    • Faculty work has won and been nominated for multiple Academy Awards and Emmy Awards, among many top honors.
    • Alumni have won an Emmy Award and been nominated for Emmy and Academy Awards. They have been honored at major film festivals around the world including Sundance, Cannes, Berlin and Toronto Film Festivals.

    NYFA accepting applications for documentary filmmaking

    Perfect for:

    Graduates of a short term NYFA Documentary Workshop

    • NYFA Documentary Workshop tuition is deducted from Conservatory Tuition.
    • Films made in the workshop can be submitted as part of an application for a Talent Based Award.

     Professionals ready to pivot and finally pursue their documentary dreams

    Alumni include former teachers, journalists, military veterans, researchers, anthropologists, and motion picture professionals of various stripes. Others have had jobs in international development, technology, criminal justice, and higher education, among many others.

     Gap Year

    •  College aged students who aren’t ready to start college can spend a year making documentary films.

     Alternative to college

    • Some students choose the Conservatory over traditional academics.
    • Single intensive year vs multi-year investment.
    • Focus solely on the practice of non-fiction filmmaking.

     Activists

    •  Make a movie, change the world (a little bit).
    • Alumni have used documentaries and nonfiction content to create real change.

     World Travelers

    • Because the world is awesome and documentary filmmaking can be an exceptional passport.

    Filmmakers

    • Many fiction filmmakers got started by making documentaries.
    • Others move back and forth between the two.

     Graduates of a different discipline

    • Students have come with degrees in business, social sciences, journalism, psychology, international studies, the arts, health sciences, and information technology, just to name a few.
    • Some use documentaries to share their vocation with a broader audience.
    • Others want an additional area of expertise.

    MFA in Documentary Filmmaking

    • Apply to our 2-Year degree program offered on the Los Angeles campus.
    • Our intensive curriculum prepares candidates with advanced knowledge about independent documentary filmmaking.
    • Apply for credits from a New York City 1-year non-degree program for advanced standing in the MFA program.
    • Fall ’22 is the next start date for the second year.

    6-Week Documentary Filmmaking Workshops

    • Start dates slated for February, May, July and September.
    • Introduction to the basics of Documentary Filmmaking.
    • Created for students who can’t take a year off for the Conservatory.
    • Some try out a workshop and before the Conservatory.
    • Graduates of Online Workshops who want an intensive, live experience.

     Online Documentary Filmmaking Workshops

    4-Week Intensive Online Programs in Documentary Filmmaking/Social Media Micro Docs

    • Start dates slated for January 10th, March 7th, May 9th, June 6th, July 5th, August 1st, and September 6th.
    • Introduction to the basics of Documentary Filmmaking & Micro Docs.
    • Created for students who aren’t able to travel to NYC for an in-person program.
    • Learn how to use your smartphone to shoot 3 documentary films or micro docs.

    15-Week Part Time Online Programs in Documentary Filmmaking/Social Media Micro Docs

    • Start dates slated for January 10th, May 2nd and August 29th
    • Introduction to the basics of Documentary Filmmaking & Micro Docs
    • Created for students who aren’t able to travel to NYC for an in-person program
    • Learn how to use your smartphone to shoot 3 documentary films or micro docs

    To learn about all of NYFA’s Documentary Filmmaking programs, visit the Documentary School website. Ready to apply? Click here to submit your application.

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    November 29, 2021 • Documentary Filmmaking • Views: 272

  • NYFA Screenwriting Instructor Paul J. Salamoff Wins at 46th Annual Saturn Awards

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    Paul J. Salamoff, writer, director, and New York Film Academy (NYFA) Screenwriting Instructor, received recognition for his latest feature film, Encounter (2019), at the 46th Annual Saturn Awards. The film was awarded ‘Best Independent Film’ at the Awards Ceremony and features a star-studded cast. The Saturn Awards, presented by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films, recognizes great work in the genres of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror. The non-profit organization was founded in 1972 and just a year later organized the first annual Saturn Awards.  

    Encounter stars Luke Hemsworth (Westworld), Anna Hutchison (Cabin in the Woods), Tom Atkins (Lethal Weapon, Halloween III, Creepshow), Cheryl Texiera (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Glenn Keogh (Transformers: Age of Extinction), Vincent M. Ward (The Walking Dead), and Christopher Showerman (George of the Jungle 2). The film was produced by Amy Bailey and distributed by Vega Baby. 

    Encounter follows the story of a wheelchair-bound artist who, after having lost everything in a car crash (including his daughter), experiences hardship once more when his friends discover an otherworldly object crashed in a rural field. He continues to investigate in order to confirm if the strange alien life form has nefarious intentions or if it could be the key to getting back what he once lost. 

    Salamoff, the writer and director of Encounter, describes the film as “a deeply personal film to me and was shaped by the films and filmmakers that have inspired me over the years. Even though it is about loss, grief, and the fear of the unknown, ultimately it’s about hope.” The film is now available for viewing on Amazon Prime, Tubi, and released on Special Edition Blu-Ray.

    Screen still from Bob Salamoff’s Encounter (2019)

    Screen still from Paul Salamoff’s Encounter (2019)

    The film was inspired by legendary science fiction shows and movies including, The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Gattaca, Solaris, Another Earth, Moon, Ex-Machina, and Arrival. Salamoff explored themes of loss, grief, and fear of the unknown in Encounter, with the underlying story surrounding the subject of hope. 

    An industry expert with over 30 years of professional experience in film, television, video gaming, and commercials, Salamoff has worked as a writer, producer, director, executive, comic creator, storyboard artist, and make-up FX artist. He was recently named one of The Tracking Board’s Top 100 up & coming Screenwriters and has developed projects with Mosaic Media Group, Hollywood Gang, Blumhouse, Wigram Productions, Silver Pictures, Valhalla Motion Pictures, Vertigo and Eclectic Pictures. 

    Screen still from Bob Salamoff’s Encounter (2019)

    Screen still from Paul Salamoff’s Encounter (2019)

    Salamoff is the author of ‘ON THE SET: The Hidden Rules of Movie Making Etiquette’ and the graphic novels ‘Discord,’ ‘Tales of Discord,’ ‘Logan’s Run,’ and issues of ‘Vincent Price Presents.’

    New York Film Academy congratulates Paul Salamoff for his much-deserved win and recognition for the film Encounter at this year’s Annual Saturn Awards.

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    November 23, 2021 • Community Highlights, Faculty Highlights, Screenwriting • Views: 236

  • NYFA Instructor Claudia Raschke is DP for ‘Fauci,’ ‘My Name Is Pauli Murray’ & ‘Julia’

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    Following her work on the Oscar-nominated documentary, RBG and the Emmy and Sundance-winner, Boys State, cinematographer and NYFA Filmmaking Instructor Claudia Raschke has three new films out this Fall: Fauci, My Name Is Pauli Murray, and Julia

    NYFA Filmmaking Instructor, Claudia Raschke

    NYFA Filmmaking Instructor, Claudia Raschke (above)

    The National Geographic Documentary Film Fauci follows the life and career of Dr. Anthony Fauci through his experiences as an infectious disease specialist and his response to AIDS, Ebola viruses, and most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. Raschke shares about her experience filming on Fauci: “I was in awe of the huge responsibility and leadership Dr. Anthony Fauci shouldered for our nation. Keeping his brilliant mind sharply focused in a highly politicized COVID-19 pandemic made me see what it takes to be a legend.” 

    Following its premiere at the Telluride Film Festival, the film was released in theatres and is now available for streaming on Disney+.

    Fauci Claudia Raschke on Set

    NYFA Filmmaking Instructo, Claudia Raschke (left) on set filming Dr. Anthony Fauci for the documentary ‘Fauci.’

    Raschke recently teamed up once again with female co-directing team Julie Cohen and Betsy West to shoot My Name Is Pauli Murray. After premiering in January at the Sundance Film Festival, the documentary feature has since been picked up by Amazon. 

    My Name is Pauli Murray captures the forgotten but brilliant queer, Black legal scholar and activist, Pauli Murray, who influenced former Supreme Court justices Thurgood Marshall and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Raschke added that “Capturing the passionate determination of civil rights activist Pauli Murray makes me appreciate how far we have come and how important it is to pass the knowledge over to the next generation because the fight is not over.” 

    The film is now available to stream on Amazon Prime.

    NYFA Filmmaking Instructor, Claudia Raschke

    NYFA Filmmaking Instructor, Claudia Raschke (right) on set filming for ‘Julia.’

    Julia, a portrait of groundbreaking chef Julia Child, which Variety noted was “richly shot by Claudia Raschke,” premiered at the Telluride Film Festival in September. Once again, working with co-directing team Cohen and West, Raschke noted how Julia has impacted her as a cinematographer, “The joie de vivre and culinary passion of Julia Child made it possible to find adventure, romance, and a trailblazing career. It revolutionized the way Americans eat and created a new role model for women. She is such an inspiration to me, and my career as a cinematographer, in which 96% are men, and only 4% are women according to the latest Celluloid Ceiling report of 2020.”

    Julia is now out in theatres. 

    NYFA Filmmaking Instructor, Claudia Raschke

    NYFA Filmmaking Instructor, Claudia Raschke (above)

    Raschke has been a Faculty Member of the NYFA Documentary Filmmaking Department since 2014. Amanda Brzezowski, Assistant Chair of the Filmmaking Department, Documentary Division describes Raschke, “Not only is Claudia an incredibly talented cinematographer, she’s also an exceptional teacher. Our students love learning from her and getting to work with her as they develop their own cinematic and visual approach.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates Claudia on all her successes and hits this Fall.

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    November 22, 2021 • Community Highlights, Faculty Highlights • Views: 275

  • NYFA Documentary Filmmaking Grad Lucia Florez Awarded National Geographic Explorer Grant

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Documentary Filmmaking graduate, Lucía Flórez, was recently awarded the prestigious National Geographic Explorer grant for her upcoming film Shirampari, about indigenous Amazonian fishermen. The project was awarded additional financial support from a grant made by the 10ARTS Foundation.

    The film follows Ashéninka leader, Arlindo, as he teaches his 11-year-old son their community’s tradition of catfishing using just a hook. The story of Arlindo weaves together numerous social and environmental issues such as the uncurtail destruction of the Amazon, the impact on native communities that rely on the habitat that is being stolen, and the threats and denial of human rights by powerful groups against the activists and community organizers.  

    NYFA Documentary Filmmaking Grad Lucia Florez Awarded National Geographic Explorer Grant

    Photo Credit: Christian Luglio / El Taller

    Flórez is joined by Chemi Pérez, a NYFA Filmmaking graduate, who took over the producing role for the project and met Florez while they were studying together in Los Angeles. Both Flórez and Pérez attended NYFA’s MFA Programs as grantees of the prestigious U.S. State Department’s Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Program — Flórez with the support of the Peruvian Fulbright Commission, and Pérez with support by the Spanish Fulbright Commission.  Both of these outstanding graduates were also awarded the distinguished Matthew Modine Masters Scholarship (MMMS) by NYFA. “NYFA has supported us since the beginning,” Flórez shared, “Learning at NYFA gave us more tools to be able to tell the story.”

    The team shared that the project could only be filmed during a two-week window in the summer due to the water level and conditions. It took the crew several days to get to the remote shooting location via multiple planes, overnight stays in the jungle, a 5-hour boat ride upstream (and dislodging the boat when it repeatedly got stuck in the low tide), and a long hike to the campsite.

    NYFA Documentary Filmmaking Grad Lucia Florez Awarded National Geographic Explorer Grant

    Photo Credit: Christian Luglio / El Taller

    Pérez and Flórez shared the urgency of telling the story at this moment and in showcasing a story that highlights the importance of legacy and conservation. According to Flórez, “It’s a pristine part of the Amazon. The amount of wildlife you see there is amazing. That area will change in the next 10 years… it’s not going to look this way ever again.”

    The film is currently in post-production with plans for a festival run in the Spring of 2022.

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    November 22, 2021 • Community Highlights, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 330

  • Nika Nikanava’s ‘Generation 328’ Wins Best Student Short at 2021 Woodstock Film Festival

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    Generation 328

    Screen still from Nika Nikanava’s short film, ‘Generation 328’

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Documentary Filmmaking graduate, Veranika (Nika) Nikanava, won “Best Student Short” at the 2021 Woodstock Film Festival with her short film, Generation 328.

    After passing in a tragic hiking accident in Alaska before she could see the film fully finished, Nika’s classmates and other graduates from the NYFA Documentary Filmmaking program worked together to complete the film and submit it to film festivals on her behalf.

    Veranika Nikanava

    Veranika Nikanava (above), NYFA Filmmaking student and posthumous winner of “Best Student Short” at the Woodstock Film Festival

    Anna Panova, one of Nika’s classmates, worked on post production and production of the film. Panova shared that for the graduates supporting the film, “it was important to work on this film as a memory and tribute to Nika’s life. It’s not about us, it’s about her… and making sure that the work of her life is getting proper recognition and is not forgotten. Even though she’s not with us anymore, her work continues to live.”

    Generation 328 is a character-driven documentary following a group of mothers as they defy Europe’s last dictatorship, fighting to free their children from draconian sentences in brutal Belarusian prisons. Under article 328, it is common for young Belarusians to spend around ten years in prison for possession of less than a gram of marijuana. 

    Film Poster for Generation 328

    Film poster for ‘Generation 328’

    The story of Generation 328 is also one that was very personal to Nika. Originally from Belarus, she had a deep passion for telling stories about unheard heroes and was deeply concerned about human rights issues in her home country. Many of Nika’s acquaintances had been detained or knew someone that had been detained under article 328.

    The film had its world premiere at DOC NYC in 2020 and has since been screened at festivals around the world, including the Anchorage International Film Festival, the Ghent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival in Belgium, and the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival in Canada.

    You can read more about the film or follow Generation 328 on Instagram.

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  • NYFA’s Chris Moore Attends New York City’s Veteran’s Day Reception

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    New York Film Academy’s Division of Veteran Services (DVS) attended New York City’s Mayor de Blasio’s 2021 breakfast reception in honor of Veterans Day. Over 250 veterans and active service members attended the Veterans Day breakfast, including NYFA’s DVS Director, Command Sergeant Major (ret.) Christopher Moore. Mayor de Blasio’s remarks were inspiring and addressed some of the divisions our society is facing, “there are a lot of challenges, and in some ways, it has become a little too fashionable to talk about our divisions. I look around the room right now, I don’t see any divisions. I don’t see any negativity. I don’t see people who can’t work together or find a common bond. To every veteran in this room, to every veteran in this city, to every veteran in this country – we march with you.”

    James Hendon, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services, also provided motivating remarks. The Commissioner welcomed everyone including the New York Film Academy. The Commissioner went on to say, “in a time of many challenges, the armed forces continue to be one of the things that people across the board can respect and believe in. So, I wanted to ask you to salute everyone in this room.”

    NYFA’s DVS Director, Chris Moore, also attended the New York City Veterans Day Parade where roughly 200 marching units, including bands, floats, vintage vehicles, and New York Governor Kathy Hochul marched up Fifth Avenue from 29th Street to 45th Street. The in-person Veterans Day Parade returned for the first time in 2-years. The parade honored all the brave men and women both past and present.

    In the past 10 years, NYFA has proudly welcomed nearly 2,500 veterans and servicemembers’ dependents as students at NYFA; the NYFA community is grateful to each for their service to our country.

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    November 17, 2021 • Faculty Highlights, Veterans • Views: 435

  • Gianluigi Carella To Become A Director for Stept Studios

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    NYFA Filmmaking alum Gianluigi Carella joined the directorial roster at Stept Studios, a creative and production studio known for its advertising. Carella is a graduate of NYFA’s 1-Year Filmmaking conservatory program in New York City. The Italian filmmaker’s body of work includes a myriad of filmmaking jobs. He has worked on popular music videos as well as commercial videos for international brands, including Tommy Hilfiger, Samsung, T-Mobile, Prada, Gucci, Dior, Tom Ford, Tiffany & Co., and Spotify. 

    Filmmaker Gianluigi Carella

    Filmmaker Gianluigi Carella

    According to the filmmaker, “Having signed with an agency like Stept has definitely given me access to certain bids and opportunities. I also signed with Nicholas Berglund in Europe for commercial rep and I am represented by Forager.tv as an editor.”

    Carella was first recognized within the industry for his editing on the VMA-nominated ‘Rule The World’ music video for Ariana Grande, featuring 2Chainz. 

    The filmmaker has a forthcoming project, also produced by Stept Studios, for Oakley and is directing a feature documentary for Amazon on Bella Thorne. The documentary features Benji Mascolo and Bella Thorne. The Leone Film Group-produced film is currently in pre-production and will be available on Amazon Prime Video. 

    Filmmaker Gianluigi Carella

    Filmmaker Gianluigi Carella

    Stept Studios prides itself on the creative content its directors produce. The studio provides services in strategy, production, and post-production. Per their website, their team of directors “represent the next generation of storytellers.”

    An article from Shoot details Carella’s extensive and equally impressive career thus far. The NYFA alum started as an editor for Forager after he graduated from NYFA. He began making a name for himself after working on Ariana Grande’s ‘Rule The World’, which would earn Carella a great deal more work. 

    Carella made his directorial debut with the film, The Blind Man’s Ball. Since then, he’s directed many music videos for international artists (including Princess Nokia, Anna, Rich the Kid, Irama, and Sofia Reyes). In the commercial world, the NYFA alum also worked on a series of films for Lux Hotels, Audi, Cartier, and Donna Karan. Additionally, Carella directed and edited an ad for the Riot Games and Mercedes-Benz partnership too. 

    Carella’s advice for students is to get ready for when the opportunities come. The filmmaker says, “If I hadn’t spent so many endless nights smashing my head on the keyboard trying to understand how certain things are done, prepping my website, working on specs and personal projects to show my skills, I wouldn’t have been able to get hired and get noticed. When they come to you, you need to have your stuff together, something to show. Use every single school project as something you could potentially show to a client, go simple and clean, AND LEARN EDITING.”

    The New York Film Academy congratulates Gianluigi Carella for his impeccable work in the film industry and looks forwards to his upcoming projects.

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    November 5, 2021 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 384

  • Nidhie Sharma Shoots Homemade Trailer For Her New Book, Invictus: The Jungle That Made Me

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    Nidhie Sharma, a NYFA 1-Year Filmmaking alum, is building an impressive career as a filmmaker and as a best-selling author. Sharma worked on multiple projects in varying roles spanning her career, ranging from producing to co-directing to writing, but now she adds author to her CV. Her new book Invictus: The Jungle That Made Me was released on August 10th, 2021. You can see the trailer for her new book below. 

    Sharma has worked as a writer for the web series Inside Edge. Sharma has directed three climate documentaries for Current TV founded by Al Gore, creator of the Oscar-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. Her list of short films includes Kids Bank of India and Mask in the Mirror.

    She was also Associate Director on the second season of the Indian series adaptation 24, an action thriller show. Sharma has worked with national award-winning filmmaker Sudir Mishra and associate producer/director Melora Hardin’s indie feature You.

    Filmmaker and Author, Nidhie Sharma

    Filmmaker and Author, Nidhie Sharma

    The filmmaker’s literary debut came with her book Dancing With Demons, published by HarperCollins in 2014. Sharma’s latest book Invictus: The Jungle That Made Me made the Outdoor Survivor bestseller charts since its release was first announced.. 

    The alum shared with us that while filming the trailer Invictus, she used only her iPhone as Mumbai was under strict lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

    Sharma reflected on her creative journey, saying that thus far it “has been an interesting one” and recalled her days starting out at NYFA. The Filmmaker and Author has a passion for wildlife conservation and gender rights, describing them as “themes that regularly recur in [her] stories”. 

    New York Film Academy congratulates Nidhie Sharma on the success of her new book and future endeavors.

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    November 3, 2021 • Community Highlights, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 422

  • ‘Don Filipo’ by Tim Muñoz Finds Success on Festival Circuit

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    NYFA Acting For Film alum Tim Muñoz directs and writes a recent favorite among the festival circuit. His most recent work, Don Filipo (2021), is a feature-length homoerotic, horror film starring Beverly Benny, Dindeth Ditablan, Rap Robes, Megan Sharpe, and newcomers Adrian Arias and Luis Padilla

    don filipo movie poster

    Don Filipo (2021) Directed and Written by Tim Muñoz

    The story takes place in a remote village gripped with fear after its residents go missing one by one. A young nurse visits the town to look after an ailing town resident, Don Filipo, as terrifying events start to unfold.

    The film premiered at the Philippine Cinemalaya film festival in 2021, and has been showcased across numerous festivals globally. Don Filipo was screened and won ‘Best LGBTQ Film’ at the Stockholm City Film and Luleå International Film Festivals in Sweden, and the Mabig Film Festival in Germany. The film was also named ‘Best International Feature Film’ at the Uruvatti International Film Festival in India. Per a statement from the director about the film, “…I hope it also opens awareness about its message of inclusivity.”

    Tim Muñoz

    Director and Screenwriter Tim Muñoz (above)

    The Phillippines-born director is an alum of the NYFA 1-Week Acting for Film Workshop. His directorial credits include Lodi (2018),  Hombre (2017), and Estranghero (2016). Muñoz maintains a love for independent filmmaking, classic films, and the French New Wave genre. Following fifteen years of work as a director and screenwriter for ABS-CBN and TV5, he transitioned to directing independent films. With close ties to his home country, Muñoz often travels back to the Philippines to create films. He takes inspiration from directors and filmmakers including James Wan, (Annabelle, The Conjuring), and Filipino horror film classics like Patayin sa Sindak si Barbara and Feng Shui

    Don Filipo is a success among critics as well as movie-goers:

    Top Review of Don Filipo on IMDB | May 2021 

    “I have come across a few American-made gay-themed horror movies and I am always left disappointed by the amateurish acting and banal script. Don Filipo, on the other hand, has won me over on so many levels. I find the story quite riveting in its presentation. It is not about originality, but the proper use of directing. The actors did a fantastic job capturing the scenes that even though the movie did not have the benefits of Hollywood special effects, the pacing, lighting, background music and the actors presence make each scene authentic and interesting. Kudos to the writer and director because this was a gay-themed horror done tremendously well.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates Tim Muñoz for the success of Don Filipo and the project’s and his deserved awards across the festival circuit.

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    October 28, 2021 • Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 653