Robert Cosnahan
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  • NYFA Alum Tyler D. Lambert Premieres Web Series at The American Black Film Festival


    In 1997, after an illuminating trip to a leading film festival, Jeff Friday founded The American Black Film Festival(ABFF). Since opening its doors in Miami, ABFF has been dedicated to recognizing Black talent and showcasing quality film and television content created by and about people of African descent. Friday created the festival as a vehicle to strengthen the Black entertainment community by sharing resources, knowledge and fostering artistic collaboration. Today the festival is an Oscar-qualifying, HBO-sponsored, trusted destination for Black filmmakers.

    This year, NYFA Acting for Film and Producing Alum Tyler D. Lambert, premiered his award-winning web series, Jonathan’s World, at the American Black Film Festival where he also won the award for Best Web Series.

    Jonathan Stewart is a creative genius on a mission to self-discover. In 1990, during his freshman year at Wildcat University, Jonathan comes back from the future and gives his younger self a magical potion with the hope of getting a happy ending with his dream girl. However, when Jonathan takes a sip of the potion he begins to experience side effects as he’s placed under a spell. Jonathan’s soul becomes haunted. The side effects worsen and Jonathan becomes a test subject for the antidote in hopes that the side effects will subside and that he will be the perfect guy he’s wanted to be all along.

    New York Film Academy congratulates Tyler D. Lambert on Johnathan’s World and his participation in The American Black Film Festival!


    June 24, 2022 • Acting, Producing • Views: 88

  • NYFA Alumni Take Center Stage at Dance with Films


    NYFA Alumni Take Center Stage at Dance with Films


    This June, LA’s defiantly independent film festival, DANCES WITH FILMS (DWF:LA), celebrates 25 years of championing innovation, talent, and creativity with a 2022 lineup that founders Leslee Scallon and Michael Trent call “the most dynamic and diverse we’ve ever seen.” And New York Film Academy filmmakers will be a big part of the celebration taking place June 9-19 at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

    First up is BFA Filmmaking alum Theresa Eschbacher’s intermediate film Earthshine, an official selection of the Global Shorts program. The film tells the story of Syrian refugees who are welcomed to their newly assigned shelter – an isolated cabin hidden amidst the idyllic Austrian alps – only to face a difficult new reality. The film will screen on Monday, June 13, at 4:45 pm in Global Shorts Group 2.


    MFA Filmmaking alum Viviana Garibay’s thesis film Photosynthesis, which was produced by alum Aastha Verma, will make its world premiere in the Shorts program. It is the story of a young man left alive on the planet with only one other person, and they must come to terms with their ideals, their struggle to prevent human beings from going extinct, and their loneliness. The film will be shown on Tuesday, June 15, at 5 pm in Fusion Shorts Group 3.

    One-Year Screenwriting Alum Ushmey Chakraborty wrote, directed, produced, and starred in Gay, Asian, Immigrant, which was also produced by alum Virginia Blatter. True to its title, the film follows the story of a gay, Asian immigrant who lands a job by perpetuating a harmful stereotype. When his boss shows up at his doorstep, he must keep up the lie in front of his potential lover, and that’s where the story unfolds. It will screen on Saturday, June 18 at 3:45 pm in Pilots-Web Group 3.


    Three NYFA alumni – Nathan Hacker (Assistant Director), Rayt Kiya (Visual Effects Artist), Sarah Brine (Associate Producer) – worked on director Donovan Griffiin’s feature Nick Broms:What’s The Rush? Premiering on Friday, June 17, at 9:15 pm, the documentary follows Downhill Skateboarding Junior World Champion Nick Broms on a thrilling journey along the coast of California in preparation for his most gnarly ride yet.

    In addition to these official selections of films by NYFA filmmakers, MFA Feature Track Filmmaking alum Meital Cohen Navarro worked on this year’s festival as a documentary programmer. Her film Over My Dead Body appeared in the 2021 edition. “Dances With Films is certainly one of the best independent festivals around,” said Crickett Rumley, Senior Director of NYFA’s Film Festival Department. “They are known both for their excellent programming and for providing tremendous support for new filmmakers launching their films into the world for the first time. I’m thrilled that so many of our NYFA alumni get to have the DWF experience this year and am certain they will gain much from it.”

    The New York Film Academy congratulates our alumni on their participation in this year’s Dances With Films festival.


    Please note: NYFA does not represent that these are typical or guaranteed career outcomes. The success of our graduates in any chosen professional pathway depends on multiple factors, and the achievements of NYFA alumni are the result of their hard work, perseverance, talent and circumstances.


    June 14, 2022 • Film Festivals • Views: 222

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Signs Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Xiamen University (XMU), China


    New York Film Academy (NYFA) and Xiamen University (XMU), one of the top academic institutions in Southern China, held a virtual Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony on June 7, 2022. Representatives from the two institutions gathered virtually.

    The ceremony was attended byProfessor Zongyi Zhang, President of Xiamen University; Jun Yang, Education Counselor at the Chinese Consulate General in New York; Michael Young, President of New York Film Academy; Dr. Joy Zhu, Executive Vice President for the China Region of New York Film Academy; and faculty and staff from both institutions.

    The agreement’s goal is to foster and support mutual academic, research, and cultural exchanges, as well as to maintain tight partnerships between the two institutions to improve educational value. Furthermore, the MOU intends to provide new and exciting opportunities for XMU students to further their studies at NYFA.

    “We will undertake many significant activities, including facilitating educational and academic exchanges between the two institutions, as well as providing learning opportunities for those seeking workshops, degrees, and other learning experiences in the performing and visual arts,” said President Young. Moreover, with enthusiasm, he said “I hope that in the days ahead we take bold steps together to develop stronger relationships and friendships.”

    Xiamen University (XMU), established in 1921 by Mr. Tan Kah Kee, is the first university founded by a Chinese person overseas in the history of modern Chinese education. XMU has long been listed among China’s leading universities on the national 211 Project, 985 Project and Double First-class initiative. With a graduate school, 6 academic divisions consisting of 33 schools and colleges, and 16 research institutes, XMU boasts a total enrollment of nearly 44,000 full-time students with 20,000 undergraduates, 18,000 graduate students working towards a master’s degree and 5,000 doctoral candidates. XMU currently has a faculty of over 3,000 full-time teachers and researchers. Nestled snugly between green hills and the blue sea, XMU is renowned as China’s most beautiful university for its excellent education facilities and beautiful environment.


    June 10, 2022 • Filmmaking • Views: 74

  • Q&A with MFA Filmmaking Alum Felipe Holguin


    Since graduating, New York Film Academy (NYFA) MFA Filmmaking alum Felipe Holguin has been making ground-breaking work, capturing sincere and comical portraits of people in and around his native Colombia. 

    Holguin recently wrapped his most recent project, La Suprema. Holguin spoke with NYFA about the road to his production company, Cumbia Films, and the inspiration behind La Suprema.

    New York Film Academy (NYFA): Can you tell us a bit about yourself, where you’re from, and what brought you to New York Film Academy?

    Felipe Holguin (FH): I was born in Bogota, Colombia, and currently live in Cartagena with my wife and my 5 year-old daughter. We’ve had our own production company, Cumbia Films, since 2009. In 2007, I was living in Sao Paulo, Brasil, and looking to get a masters degree in filmmaking. A friend told me about NYFA and I was immediately interested in living in NY and LA so I began the application process. The rest is history.

    NYFA: What projects have you worked on since graduating? Have you won any awards or been showcased in any festivals or competitions?

    FH: Yes. My short film Mañana (Tomorrow) was made during my first year in NYFA and it went to many film festivals around the world and won two Honorable Mentions. With Mañana, Cumbia Films was born. After NYFA, I worked in Los Angeles for some years as 1st AD in multiple projects and directed music videos and commercials. I was part of Film Independent’s Project: Involve program in the Directing Fellowship in 2012. In 2013, we moved back to Colombia and established our company in Cartagena with my wife and partner, where we offer production services for national and international projects. Between 2015 and 2017, I directed 2 feature documentaries funded by the Colombian government: La Suerte Del Salao (Unlucky Luck) and La Cachera.

    NYFA: Tell us more about your latest project & how you got involved in the project?

    FH: In La Suprema, set in a town erased from the maps where there is not even electricity, a teenage girl dreams of being a boxer. When she learns that her uncle will box for the world title and the event will be televised, she and the community go out of their way to watch the fight, while fighting for her dignity and against oblivion.

    This comedy-tinged drama takes place in the early 2000s, before the internet and mobile phone boom, in a humble town, located far from any city, in Bolívar, Colombia. The film is inspired by the true story of Antonio Cervantes aka Kid Pambelé, who achieved the first world boxing title for Colombia, becoming a national hero, putting San Basilio de Palenque on the map.

    La Suprema is a village in the Matuya district, surrounded mostly by palm oil crops. The community faces problems that go beyond the fiction of this film and it is the ideal location to narrate this story that uses fiction to talk about reality. It represents social challenges and universal values of equity, diversity, inclusion, justice, empowerment, freedom, unity, love and acceptance.

    In 2020, we applied to the Film Fund (FDC-Proimagenes) and won 1 of the 2 awards given for regional feature films. I co-wrote the script with a friend and colleague, also a NYFA graduate, Two-Year Filmmaking alum Andrés Sierra. In 2021, we began castings and scouting, while looking for more funding and working on the script. We recently wrapped production, a successful 4-week shoot here in the Bolivar department, northern region of Colombia. 

    NYFA: What did you learn at NYFA that you applied directly to this project and others?

    FH: I loved that the NYFA program was fully hands-on. On day one, cameras were put in our hands and we began shooting. The best way to learn to shoot a movie is by shooting movies! 

    The New York Film Academy congratulates Felipe Holguin for all he has done since completing the MFA Filmmaking Program!



    June 10, 2022 • Filmmaking • Views: 138

  • New York Film Academy Community Shines at 2022 Tribeca Film Festival


    New York Film Academy Community Shines at 2022 Tribeca Film Festival


    The Tribeca Film Festival is back for its 20th year and the legendary festival shows no signs of letting us down with their line-up filled with eclectic stories and diverse talent. The New York Film Academy community is represented strongly in this year’s line-up with talented alumni and faculty screening films throughout the festival.

    Among our alumni films is Wes Schlagenhauf Is Dying, co-written and directed by NYFA Filmmaking alum Parker Seaman and in the titular role is Wes Schlagenhauf himself, a NYFA 1-Year Screenwriting alum. Wes Schlagenhauf Is Dying is a timely film, highlighting the importance of laughter in moments of crisis. After their friend Wes Schlagenhauf contracts COVID-19, aspiring filmmakers Parker Seaman and Devin Das decide that the best gift for their ailing pal would be a personalized video message from indie maverick Mark Duplass. But this present ignites an artistic fire in the two of them that turns selfish once they both realize that there is potential for money and fame. Setting off on a road trip to Wes’ Idaho home with a cheap camera, a couple of maps, and a Little-Miss-Sunshine-esque van, Parker and Dev decide to make the next great American indie on the way.

    A still from Wes Schlagenhauf Is Dying. Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival
    Also premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival this year is NYFA Documentary instructor Lizzie Gottlieb’s documentary Turn the Page. The film focuses on the relationship between Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Caro and his long-standing editor and literary giant Robert Gottlieb as they work on their final collaboration. Lizzie Gottlieb provides a unique and intimate lens through which the audience experiences up-close the writing processes and personalities of two brilliant individuals.

    A picture of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb. Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival
    Finally, NYFA Acting for Film instructor Blanche Baker appears and is interviewed in The Wild One, a documentary by French director and producer Tessa Lousie-Salome. The documentary surrounds actor, director and producer, Jack Garfein, who is Blanche Baker’s late father. The Wild One is competing among other films in the documentary category at Tribeca Film Festival this year.

    Still from The Wild One. Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival
    The Wild One dives into the life and work of Jack Garfein, co-founder of the Actor’s Studio and who survived 11 concentration camps before coming to the United States. Once in the United States, Garfein studied at the Dramatic Workshop before becoming the first theater director to be inducted into the Actor’s Studio. During his time at the Studio, Garfein worked alongside Paul Newman to bring Method Acting to the West Coast and collaborated with icons like Elia Kazan and George Stevens on landmark films like Baby Doll.

    The film’s director Tessa Lousie-Salome has a history of documentaries about key figures in culture, art and music at her production studio Petite Maison Productions. With The Wild One, Salome and Petite Maison Productions continue to delve into the lives of icons by exploring art as a survival mechanism through the life of Jack Garfein.

    Crickett Rumley, Senior Director of the Film Festival Department at NYFA says, ​”Filmmakers around the world dream of premiering their films at a festival of Tribeca’s caliber. I’m so excited for Lizzie, Wes and Parker, and Blanche and can’t wait to see where these films go next.”


    Wes Schlagenhauf Is Dying:

    Turn the Page:

    The Wild One:


    The New York Film Academy congratulates our alumni Wes Schlagenhauf and Parker Seaman, and faculty Lizzie Gottlieb and Blanche Baker for their participation and contribution to Tribeca Film Festival 2022!


    Please note: NYFA does not represent that these are typical or guaranteed career outcomes. The success of our graduates in any chosen professional pathway depends on multiple factors, and the achievements of NYFA alumni are the result of their hard work, perseverance, talent and circumstances.


    June 7, 2022 • Film Festivals • Views: 265

  • NYFA Named Top Film School in North America in 2022 by Variety



    NYFA Named Top Film School in North America in 2022 by Variety


    Every year, Variety magazine compiles a comprehensive list of the best film schools in the industry. This year, the New York Film Academy (NYFA) was named among the Top 30 Film Schools in North America by Variety for the 6th year in a row.

    Variety’s yearly list of schools is a carefully curated guide to the best institutions in the entertainment business. The list is reviewed by both prospective students and industry professionals alike.

    In the article, Variety makes note of our stellar alumni who have gone on to do great work in their respective fields: actor-producer Bill Hader whose show Barry recently premiered its 3rd season, actor-producer and one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People Issa Rae, game designer Chris Swain, producer Lisa Cortes (The Remix, Precious, The Apollo) and actor-comedian Damon Wayans (White Chicks, My Wife and Kids).

    Variety also makes note of our accelerated programs that have drawn students interested in a hands-on, practical education experience. “One of the most critical pieces for us is storytelling,” says Michael Young, president of NYFA. “The cinematic techniques that one can use and learn only through practice, only through collaborating with others — that’s what our programs are designed to do for students. From the beginning of the program until their last day on production, they’ll be developing those technical and creative skills in collaboration with others.”

    Recent NYFA alumni have gone on to: compete and premiere films at Sundance, SXSW, The College Television Awards, The Red Sea International Film Festival, Cannes Series Festival, The American Pavilion, and many other notable film festivals and competitions.

    For more than 100 years, Variety has been a leader in entertainment and media, providing the latest news and insights into film, TV, digital media, music, and theater. New York Film Academy is honored to be named amongst the Top 30 Film Schools by the legendary magazine.


    Please note: NYFA does not represent that these are typical or guaranteed career outcomes. The success of our graduates in any chosen professional pathway depends on multiple factors, and the achievements of NYFA alumni are the result of their hard work, perseverance, talent and circumstances.


    June 2, 2022 • Acting • Views: 198

  • NYFA Screenwriting and Producing Graduates Celebrate with Industry Pitch Fest


    On Thursday, April 21st, 2022, graduating MFA and BFA Screenwriting and Producing students gathered to pitch their thesis projects to industry professionals at an in-person Pitch Fest!  We celebrated their hard work and accomplishments at the Andaz Hotel on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood.

    A catered event and mingling opportunity for the students, executives, and faculty alike, this capstone evening celebrates the New York Film Academy’s graduating Screenwriting and Producing students, offering them a unique opportunity to jumpstart their professional development by pitching their thesis projects to entertainment industry professionals.  And as an added bonus, many faculty members came to the Andaz to support the graduates.

    The students’ dedication and passionate love for their work shined as they pitched their thesis projects, which they had developed for nearly a year.  Students left with new contacts, excitement about the scripts they’d worked so hard on and a sense of what it’s like to meet with industry professionals.

    Considered by the school to be their first night as professionals, this group of talented and creative students’ hard work has paid off, as they pitched agents, managers, studios, and Alternative Media, TV and Film production company execs in a relaxed, round-table environment.

    Organized and hosted by Jenni Powell, Ashley Bank, and Morgan Dameron, with the assistance of Jenny Sterner and Heather Ritcheson, the event featured representatives from Hollywood companies, including –

    Bad Robot, Lit Entertainment Group, Anonymous Content, Verve, We Are the Mighty, Scenario Entertainment, Tremendum Pictures, HIVEMIND, and Florida Hill Entertainment.

    NYFA wishes to thank all of its participants, particularly our industry guests, without whom this evening could not have been possible. Also, we’d like to extend a big congratulations to all of our MFA and BFA Screenwriting and Producing graduates and wish them the best as they move forward in their professional journeys!



    May 27, 2022 • Screenwriting • Views: 161

  • NYFA Alumni Films at The American Pavilion



    NYFA Faculty Suki Medencevic is DP on Shining Vale

    May 26, 2022

    Once a year, every year, the south of France becomes the premium destination for filmmakers and producers to gather at various film festivals like the Cannes Film Festival, the Cannes Series Festival and the American Pavilion.

    Since 1989, The American Pavilion has been the central hub for American filmmakers at The Cannes International Film Festival. The American Pavilion’s mission is to bring professional and emerging filmmakers together through programming and film screenings like the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase allowing student filmmakers to showcase their work to Cannes Festival and Film Market attendees.

    In 2020 and 2021, the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase went virtual, due to Covid-19. This year, the American Pavilion is giving those films a live in-person screening. Among the films selected to be screened are three films by New York Film Academy (NYFA) alumni:

    Meital Cohen Navarro

    NYFA MFA Filmmaking alum Meital Cohen Navarro is an award-winning, Israeli-born narrative and documentary filmmaker based in Los Angeles.

    Navarro makes her Cannes debut with the screening of Over My Dead Body, the story of a young Jewish Persian-American woman, who reveals to her parents that her fiancé is Muslim right after announcing her engagement. Her parents are devastated by the news and give her an ultimatum: her fiancé or her family. The film explores the internal conflict surrounding a family of Jewish immigrants from Iran now living in Los Angeles.


    Navarro spoke with NYFA about shooting a film in a foreign language, the importance of cinema at a time like this and how food brings us together.

    Dr. Ariel Orama López

    NYFA Acting for Film Alum Dr. Ariel Orama López is an award winning filmmaker, actor and producer. His film 2ḦOOM [Zoom], a live-action/animation hybrid short film filmed during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic centered on the lives of two brothers who reconnect using Zoom, is finally getting it in-person screening at The American Pavilion. The selection of 2ḦOOM for the Emerging Filmmakers Showcase marks the first time a short film filmed and created by a Puerto Rican person is screened at The American Pavilion.

    Dr. Ariel Orama López spoke with NYFA about the inspiration behind 2ḦOOM and filming during a pandemic. Read the interview here.

    Lopez is no stranger to the festival circuit, his film One, about Hurricane Maria and its impact on Puerto Rico in 2017 won 36 international laurels and ten international prizes.

    Robby Sun

    NYFA BFA Filmmaking alum Yueh-Tzu “Robby” Sun is a Taiwan-born filmmaker and writer with experience as a director and editor. Sun’s film, A-Tien, is about a freelance taxi driver who is upset by a big 5-Star taxi company snatching customers and decides to form a protest.


    Meital Cohen Navarro on the red carpet.

    NYFA Alumni Dr. Ariel Orama López and Robby Sun at the American Pavilion.

    The New York Film Academy congratulates Meital Cohen Navarro, Dr. Ariel Orama López and Robby Sun on their screenings and their success!


    Please note: NYFA does not represent that these are typical or guaranteed career outcomes. The success of our graduates in any chosen professional pathway depends on multiple factors, and the achievements of NYFA alumni are the result of their hard work, perseverance, talent and circumstances.


    May 26, 2022 • Film Festivals • Views: 163

  • “Unsettled History: America, China, and the Doolittle Tokyo Raid” by Broadcast Journalism Chair Emeritus Bill Einreinhofer Premieres at the NYFA New York City Campus Theater


    On May 18, New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism Chair Emeritus Bill Einreinhofer premiered his new documentary Unsettled History: America, China, and the Doolittle Tokyo Raid at the NYFA New York City Campus Theater. The documentary examines a key moment in American/Chinese history, exploring how the two sides remember this shared event in different ways, the reasons for this divergence and what lessons it may hold today. Recounted by children of the Raiders and their Chinese rescuers, the documentary offers emotional insights that only family members can provide.

    Chinese Consul General Huang Ping from the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in New York, along with Ms. Chen Chunmei, Cultural Counselor, and other members of the Cultural Section at the Consulate General attended the screening. Michael Young, NYFA President; Dr. Joy Zhu, NYFA Executive Vice President, China Region; Bill Einreinhofer; NYFA faculty; and crew members of Unsettled History also attended the event. In his speech, Ambassador Huang Ping said:

    “History is a very good mirror. I think we need to draw [on] a few experiences and lessons from history. By telling the story of Flying Tigers and the Doolittle Raid, I believe we know that by working together, China and the US, we can do a lot of incredible things, big things. You know, working together. And by revealing the story, we know the friendships between our two countries and peoples are deeply rooted in the hearts of both sides.”

    Michael Young, President of the New York Film Academy, recalled the nearly 15 years of collaboration between the New York Film Academy and Chinese universities and media groups and expressed his willingness to carry out more collaborative projects in the future. Director and producer, Bill Einreinhofer, recalled some of the touching stories that occurred during the years of filming between China and the United States. He said the eighty American pilots who risked their lives to go on the mission are deserving heroes; the people of Jiangxi and Zhejiang, who sacrificed their lives to help the American pilots, are equally heroic. An estimated 250,000 Chinese civilians were killed by the Japanese during their search for Doolittle’s men.

    On the same day, the Chinese Consulate General in New York also handed over more than 20 classic Chinese films from the 1980s to NYFA as teaching materials.

    Unsettled History: America, China, and the Doolittle Tokyo Raid has now been aired on more than 40 local channels in the United States and is scheduled to be aired on WORLD Channel on May 30 in 190 U.S. stations as a part of Memorial Day weekend special programming.


    May 26, 2022 • Broadcast Journalism, China, Community Highlights • Views: 345

  • NYFA Acting for Film Alum Natasha Thahane Stars in Netflix Film


    NYFA Acting for Film alum Natasha Thahane is a South African actress and model known for her work in Blood & Water, The Queen and many more prominent South African shows.

    Last year, Thahane added another project to her filmography, Kedibone, now streaming on Netflix.

    Kedibone follows a Sotho girl, Kedibone Manamela, who moves to Johannesburg to study acting with the help of her boyfriend’s financial support. Shortly after making the move, Kedibone falls in with a crowd of “cool kids” and becomes Johannesburg’s new “it” girl; but things take a turn for the worse when Kedibone’s new lifestyle reaches her boyfriend’s ears.

    Thahane was nominated for best actress at the Netherland’s Septimius Awards for her work in Kedibone.



    Prior to attending NYFA’s 1-Year Acting for Film program in New York City, Thahane studied accounting with hopes of becoming a Certified Accountant. However, Thahane’s passion for acting was still present and she would even miss class sometimes to go to auditions. After getting representation and booking roles like Wendy on Blood and Water and Amogelang Maake on The Queen, Thahane decided that she wanted to invest in her craft and made the move to New York to study at the New York Film Academy.



    Since graduating, Thahane has continued to work on projects in and around South Africa and even has a partnership with Garnier Fructis and just last week, she began shooting for the third season of Blood & Water. But Thahane wants more, during an interview with MacG of Podcast & Chill she shared that she wants to be known internationally as a director and has even started her own production company Thahane Media. 

    The New York Film Academy congratulates Natasha Thahane on all of her work. We look forward to seeing her performance on Kedibone and Blood & Water!


    May 26, 2022 • Acting • Views: 167