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  • Alum Janek Ambros’ Feature ‘Mondo Hollywoodland’ Available on August 3

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    Janek Ambros, Filmmaker and Producer of Human Capital (2019), Ten Thousand Saints (2015), and Imminent Threat (2015), directed a new narrative film, Mondo Hollywoodland. Recently acquired by Green Apple Entertainment, the film will be released digitally on August 3, 2021, on Amazon and video-on-demand. The film will also release on Friday, July 30, 2021 in Los Angeles at select theaters, including the Arena Cinelounge. Ambros is an NYFA Producing alum, who has worked on a series of collaborative projects both while as a student as well as after graduation alongside other NYFA alum. 

    Mondo Hollywoodland

    ‘Mondo Hollywoodland’ coming out on August 3, 2021

    The film follows a mushroom dealer and man from the fifth dimension as they adventure on a drug-fueled series of events throughout Hollywood, California. The film was named after the X-rated 1967 documentary, Mondo Hollywood. Ambros’ film, Mondo Hollywoodland was executive-produced by Oscar-nominated James Cromwell. 

    The film premiered at the DTLA Film Festival where it won the ‘Creative Vision Award.’ Mondo Hollywoodland made an international appearance at the Innuendo International Film Festival where Ambros won ‘Best Director.’

    Ambros is head of Assembly Line Entertainment, which has produced a series of films including Since August (2022), Legend of Tayos, Exposure 36 (2022). The NYFA alum is co-executive producer of Monica, currently in production. The film Since August competed for the Golden Goblet at the Shanghai Film Festival and will be out in 2022. 

    Janek Ambros

    Director and Producer Janek Ambros

    Ambros has a robust network across industry professionals, including other NYFA alumni, resulting in a few collaborative projects throughout his career. For example, Ambros is a co-producer of the film, Legend of Tayos, alongside fellow NYFA alum, Galo Sablantes. 

    NYFA encourages readers to follow Assembly Line Entertainment’s Instagram account (@assemblylineent), where the team promotes their upcoming films. The company is soon to launch “Sixties” on the platform, which will highlight sixty-second films from filmmakers around the world.

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    July 30, 2021 • Acting, Film School, Filmmaking, Screenwriting • Views: 571

  • The NYFA 20/20 Series: A Conversation with Broadway Vocal Coach Aimée Steele

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    Guest Spotlight: Who is Aimée Steele? 

    Vocal Coach for the Broadway revival, West Side Story, Girl from the North Country on Broadway, and collaborator on a multitude of projects including working with the cast members of Tom Kitt’s, The Visitor, at The Public Theater.

    Aimee Steele NYFA

    Broadway Vocal Coach Aimée Steele

    Aimée Steele has been teaching in NYC for over 20 years. She received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from The Eastman School of Music and a Master of Music in Vocal Pedagogy from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a graduate of the Maggie Flannigan Acting Studio where she studied the Meisner technique and has intensively studied the Joan Lader technique with Andrea Green.

    It’s All About Confidence 

    According to Steele, there is often little difference between the seasoned acting veteran and the student starting out in the profession. The seasoned vocal coach notes that when a new student or new professional enters her studio, she takes time to learn how the client learns best. In order to serve him or her with the best support, Steele searches for the unique qualities that the client brings to their performance. 

    Since acting is considered a highly competitive profession with judgemental environments that often make actors feel lesser than they are, Steele advises new professionals to simply focus on what they love: to sing. 

    “In this industry, you have to have an immeasurable amount of confidence. We bear our souls.” 

    Teaching confidence is not an easy task for a vocal coach, but Steele reminds the audience not to compare themselves with others, or even with prior versions of themselves. The best way to achieve a level of confidence that continues to motivate a professional is to focus on the present and the tasks at hand. 

    Working on Broadway: Maintaining Professionalism When Star Struck

    As a vocal coach, Steele collaborated with high-profile named musical directors and actors. She’s only human, so Steele discusses how she manages to work with tenured professionals whom she admired from afar. To avoid getting too star-struck, Steele reminds herself that the client is simply human and they’re here for her services and help. 

    Often a collaborator on Broadway, Steele has worked with many musical directors on Broadway shows who typically reach out to ask for a collaboration. Oftentimes, according to Steele, the producers will have the final say on whether a vocal coach will be kept on stage throughout the production. The reason being, some productions have very tight budgets, but when there is funding available for vocal coaching, it is recommended. 

    Vocal coaches grant the bridge of communication between the actors and the musical director. As the most immediate partner to the actor, the vocal coach can provide ongoing tips and reminders to help singers stay on pitch and keep in focus the purpose of their scenes and the entire story. 

    How to Be Vulnerable 

    “Voice cracking is ok,” says Steele when considering the performances she’s seen in her work tenure, “Some of the best performances I’ve heard are not by people who are considered real singers.” In fact, the singers who provide the most human energy, Steele reminisces, were the singers that left the most impact. That didn’t translate to perfect pitch. 

    For those interested in technical advice, Steele notes that while singing solo to the audience, with no one else on stage, you are still singing to someone. Consider in your mind what happened to your character in the previous moment or scene. This should drive the motivation for your singing to achieve the emotional goal. It’s critical to allowing your vulnerability to shine during these moments to give a stellar performance. 

    Steele teaches both in-person and virtually around the world. Her vocal studio is based in the Upper West Side of New York City and you can learn more about her services and get in touch by visiting www.aimeesteele.com

    About Liz Hinlein and The 20/20 Series

    Liz Hinlein

    NYFA 20/20 Series Moderator Liz Hinlein

     

    Liz Hinlein is the Creative Director of Filmmaking and Cinematography with the New York Film Academy. During her tenure, she created our popular weekly virtual event, The 20/20 Series

    Hinlein is an award-winning DGA director and graduate of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Her background in filmmaking and media content includes a robust portfolio of work that spans feature-length films, commercials, and music videos for artists including Mary J. Blige, Britney Spears, Quincy Jones, Incubus, and Fishbone.

    The 20/20 Series is a pop-up virtual event that takes us into the homes, hubs, and workspaces of an array of dynamic creative visionaries to allow for relaxed, engaging conversations on craft, creation, and artistic vision.

    Each conversation with a creative visionary features 20 minutes of discussion with a moderator and a 20 minute Q&A from YOU, the audience.

    This event is open to the public, as a means of promoting global connection and creativity, a key mission of NYFA.

    You can catch videos from The 20/20 Series as they are released, here

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    July 30, 2021 • Filmmaking • Views: 448

  • NEW YORK FILM ACADEMY (NYFA) ALUM ISSA RAE EARNS NOMINATION IN 73RD ANNUAL PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) alum, Issa Rae is in this year’s nominations for the 73rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, announced Tuesday, July 13, 2021.

    The filmmaking alum was nominated for ‘Guest Actress in a Comedy’ in this year’s Emmy’s for her performance in the HBO sketch series A Black Lady Sketch Show. The HBO series was also nominated for an Emmy in the ‘Variety Sketch Series’ category. As executive producer of the show, A Black Lady Sketch Show is the first sketch comedy to be written by, directed by, and stars all black women.

    The actress and producer is no stranger to nominations. Issa Rae was twice nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards in 2018 and 2020 for her performances as Issa Dee in the HBO hit TV series Insecure.

    Producing NYFA alum, Lisa Cortés co-directed the Emmy-nominated documentary, All In: The Fight for Democracy, wwhich chronicles the political battle for Democratic Senate seats during the U.S. 2020 Presidential Elections. The documentary was nominated for “Outstanding Writing For A Nonfiction Program.”

    NYFA Guest Speaker Jonathan Groff was nominated for “Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie” for his performance in Hamilton. The play has gone on to win numerous awards, including a Tony, Pulitzer Prize, and Grammy Award.

    Elizabeth Olsen, one of the many stars in the hit Marvel Studios’ Avengers films and guest speaker at the latest NYFA Q&A-List series with Tova Laiter was nominated for “Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie” for her stellar performance as the Scarlet Witch in WandaVision. The Disney+ series was also nominated in the “Limited Series” after taking off in popularity at the start of 2021.

    Another Disney+ series nomination was granted to Legendary Actor, Carl Weathers, for his performance in The Mandalorian for “Guest Actor in a Drama.” Carl Weathers made an appearance as a NYFA guest speaker at our Los Angeles campus Industry Lab Panel discussion in 2019.

    Film legend and NYFA Guest Speaker Alec Baldwin was nominated for “Guest Actor in a Comedy” for his performance on Saturday Night Live (SNL). Most are familiar with parody performances as Former President Donald J. Trump, but the actor has a long screen history from dramas to comedies. Alec Baldwin was a guest speaker at a NYFA Q&A-List Series with Tova Laiter, where he discussed the craft of acting to students and faculty.

    New York Film Academy would like to congratulate all the nominees for the 73rd Annual Primetime Emmys and looks forward to the ABC broadcast of the virtual ceremony on Sunday, September, 19th, 2021 to be hosted by NYFA’s former guest speaker Cedric The Entertainer.


    OUTSTANDING DRAMA

    The Boys (Amazon Prime)

    Bridgerton (Netflix)

    The Crown (Netflix) – Winner

    The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

    Lovecraft Country (HBO)

    The Mandalorian (Disney+)

    Pose (FX)

    This Is Us (NBC)

     

    LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA

    Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

    Jonathan Majors, Lovecraft Country

    Josh O’Connor, The Crown – Winner

    Regé-Jean Page, Bridgerton

    Billy Porter, Pose

    Matthew Rhys, Perry Mason

     

    LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA

    Uzo Aduba, In Treatment

    Olivia Colman, The Crown – Winner

    Emma Corrin, The Crown

    Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Mj Rodriguez, Pose

    Jurnee Smollett, Lovecraft Country

     

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA

    Aunjanue Ellis, Lovecraft Country

    Gillian Anderson, The Crown – Winner

    Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown

    Emerald Fennell, The Crown

    Madeline Brewer, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale

     

    SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA

    Michael K. Williams, Lovecraft Country

    John Lithgow, Perry Mason

    Tobias Menzies, The Crown – Winner

    O-T Fagbenle, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Max Minghella, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Giancarlo Esposito, The Mandalorian

    Chris Sullivan, This Is Us

     

    GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA

    Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Claire Foy, The Crown – Winner

    Mckenna Grace, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Sophie Okonedo, Ratched

    Phylicia Rashad, This Is Us

     

    GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA

    Don Cheadle, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

    Charles Dance, The Crown

    Timothy Olyphant, The Mandalorian

    Courtney B. Vance, Lovecraft Country – Winner

    Carl Weathers, The Mandalorian 

     

    OUTSTANDING COMEDY

    black-ish (ABC)

    Cobra Kai (Netflix) 

    Emily in Paris (Netflix)

    Hacks (HBO Max)

    The Flight Attendant (HBO Max)

    The Kominsky Method (Netflix)

    PEN15 (Hulu)

    Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)  – Winner

     

    LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

    Aidy Bryant, Shrill

    Kaley Cuoco, The Flight Attendant

    Allison Janney, Mom

    Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish

    Jean Smart, Hacks – Winner

     

    LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY

    Anthony Anderson, black-ish

    Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method

    William H. Macy, Shameless

    Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso – Winner

    Kenan Thompson, Kenan

     

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

    Hannah Einbinder, Hacks

    Aidy Bryant, SNL

    Kate McKinnon, SNL

    Cecily Strong, SNL

    Juno Temple, Ted Lasso

    Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso – Winner

    Rosie Perez, The Flight Attendant

     

    SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY

    Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Hacks

    Kenan Thompson, SNL

    Bowen Yang, SNL

    Brett Goldstein, Ted Lasso – Winner

    Brendan Hunt, Ted Lasso

    Nick Mohammed, Ted Lasso

    Jeremy Swift, Ted Lasso

    Paul Reiser, The Kominsky Method

     

    GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

    Jane Adams, Hacks

    Yvette Nicole Brown, A Black Lady Sketch Show

    Bernadette Peters, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist

    Issa Rae, A Black Lady Sketch Show 

    Maya Rudolph, SNL – Winner

    Kristen Wiig, SNL

     

    GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY

    Alec Baldwin, SNL

    Dave Chappelle, SNL – Winner

    Morgan Freeman, The Kominsky Method

    Daniel Kaluuya, SNL

    Daniel Levy, SNL

     

    LIMITED SERIES

    I May Destroy You (HBO)

    Mare of Easttown (HBO)

    The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix) – Winner

    The Underground Railroad (Amazon Prime)

    WandaVision (Disney+) 

     

    MADE-FOR-TELEVISION MOVIE

    Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square (Netflix) – Winner

    Oslo (HBO)

    Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia (Lifetime)

    Sylvie’s Love (Amazon Prime)

    Uncle Frank (Amazon Prime)

     

    LEAD ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

    Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You

    Cynthia Erivo, Genius: Aretha

    Elizabeth Olsen, WandaVision 

    Anya Taylor-Joy, The Queen’s Gambit

    Kate Winslet, Mare of Easttown – Winner

     

    LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

    Paul Bettany, WandaVision

    Hugh Grant, The Undoing

    Ewan McGregor, Halston – Winner

    Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton

    Leslie Odom, Jr., Hamilton

     

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

    Phillipa Soo, Hamilton

    Renée Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton

    Jean Smart, Mare of Easttown

    Julianne Nicholson, Mare of Easttown – Winner

    Moses Ingram, The Queen’s Gambit

    Kathryn Hahn, WandaVision

     

    SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

    Daveed Diggs, Hamilton

    Jonathan Groff, Hamilton 

    Anthony Ramos, Hamilton

    Paapa Essiedu, I May Destroy You

    Evan Peters, Mare of Easttown – Winner

    Thomas Brodie-Sangster, The Queen’s Gambit

     

    REALITY SHOW HOST

    Nicole Byer, Nailed It!

    Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness, Queer Eye

    RuPaul, RuPaul’s Drag Race – Winner

    Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John and Kevin O’Leary, Shark Tank

    Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons, Top Chef

     

    COMPETITION PROGRAM

    The Amazing Race

    Nailed It!

    RuPaul’s Drag Race – Winner

    Top Chef

    The Voice

     

    UNSTRUCTURED REALITY PROGRAM

    Becoming (Disney+)

    Below Deck (Bravo)

    Indian Matchmaking (Netflix)

    RuPaul’s Drag Race Untucked (VH1) – Winner

    Selling Sunset (Netflix)

     

    VARIETY SKETCH SERIES

    A Black Lady Sketch Show (HBO)

    Saturday Night Live (NBC) – Winner

     

    VARIETY TALK SERIES

    Conan

    The Daily Show With Trevor Noah

    Jimmy Kimmel Live

    Last Week Tonight With John Oliver – Winner

    The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

    Courtney B. Vance, Lovecraft Country

    Carl Weathers, The Mandalorian

     

     Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded)

    “Hamilton” – Winner

    “Bo Burnham: Inside”

    “David Byrne’s American Utopia”

    “8:46” – Dave Chappelle

    “Friends: The Reunion”

    “A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote”

     

    Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series

    “Hacks” (Episode: “There Is No Line”), Directed by Lucia Aniello – Winner

    “B Positive” (Episode: “Pilot”), Directed by James Burrows

    “The Flight Attendant” (Episode: “In Case of Emergency”), Directed by Susanna Fogel

    “Mom” (Episode: “Scooby-Doo Checks and Salisbury Steak”), Directed by James Widdoes

    “Ted Lasso” (Episode: “Biscuits”), Directed by Zach Braff

    “Ted Lasso” (Episode: “The Hope that Kills You”), Directed by MJ Delaney

    “Ted Lasso” (Episode: “Make Rebecca Great Again”), Directed by Declan Lowney

     

    Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series

    “The Crown” (Episode: “War”), Directed by Jessica Hobbs  – Winner

    “Bridgerton” (Episode: “Diamond of the First Water”), Directed by Julie Anne Robinson

    “The Crown” (Episode: “Fairytale”), Directed by Benjamin Caron

    “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Episode: “The Wilderness”), Directed by Liz Garbus

    “The Mandalorian” (Episode: “Chapter 9: The Marshal”), Directed by Jon Favreau

    “Pose” (Episode: “Series Finale”), Directed by Steven Canals

     

    Outstanding Directing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie

    “The Queen’s Gambit,” Directed by Scott Frank – Winner

    “Hamilton,” Directed by Thomas Kail

    “I May Destroy You” (Episode: “Ego Death”), Directed by Sam Miller and Michaela Coel

    “I May Destroy You” (Episode: “Eyes Eyes Eyes Eyes”), Directed by Sam Miller

    “Mare of Easttown,” Directed by Craig Zobel

    “The Underground Railroad,” Directed by Barry Jenkins

    “WandaVision,” Directed by Matt Shakman

     

    Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

    “Hacks” (Episode: “There Is No Line”), Written by Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, and Jen Statsky – Winner

    “The Flight Attendant” (Episode: “In Case of Emergency”), Written by Steve Yockey

    “Girls5eva” (Episode: “Pilot”), Written by Meredith Scardino

    “PEN15” (Episode: “Play”), Written by Maya Erskine

    “Ted Lasso” (Episode: “Make Rebecca Great Again”), Written by Joe Kelly, Brendan Hunt, and Jason Sudeikis

    “Ted Lasso” (Episode: “Pilot”), Written by Jason Sudeikis, Bill Lawrence, Brendan Hunt, and Joe Kelly

     

    Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

    “The Crown” (Episode: “War”), written by Peter Morgan – Winner

    “The Boys” (Episode: “What I Know”), written by Rebecca Sonnenshine

    “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Episode: “Home”), written by Yahlin Chang

    “Lovecraft Country” (Episode: “Sundown”), written by Misha Green

    “The Mandalorian” (Episode: “Chapter 13: The Jedi”), written by Dave Filoni

    “The Mandalorian” (Episode: “Chapter 16: The Rescue”), written by Jon Favreau

    “Pose” (Episode: “Series Finale”), written by Steven Canals, Brad Falchuk, Our Lady J, Janet Mock, and Ryan Murphy

     

    Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie

    “I May Destroy You,” Written by Michaela Coel – Winner

    “Mare of Easttown,” Written by Brad Ingelsby

    “The Queen’s Gambit,” Written by Scott Frank

    “WandaVision” (Episode: “All-New Halloween Spooktacular!”), Written by Chuck Hayward and Peter Cameron

    “WandaVision” (Episode: “Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience”), Written by Jac Schaeffer

    “WandaVision” (Episode: “Previously On”), Written by Laura Donney

     

    Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series

    “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” – Winner

    “The Amber Ruffin Show”

    “A Black Lady Sketch Show”

    “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”

    “Saturday Night Live”

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    July 21, 2021 • Entertainment News, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1315

  • Broadcast Journalism Update – July 2021 Edition

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    There are some professional moments you never forget.

    Near the top of the list is getting your first Press Card. It is recognition that you are indeed a “journalist.”

    Earlier this year NYFA Broadcast Journalism grad Hannah Palmhagen received her Press Card for the Swedish Parliament (Sveriges Riksdag). Hannah took a very non-traditional route to this moment. It was a journey of self-discovery as well as professional training.

    Former student, Meiraj Haq also took a unique route to success. He came to NYFA to sharpen his producing/reporting skills and used those skills to produce an acclaimed documentary about then-candidate and now Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan. Amazingly, he became a top actor in Pakistani TV dramas! You can still see NYFA featured on Meiraj’s Facebook cover photo.

    Being nominated for an industry award is always a great honor. It is your peers going “on the record” in their praise of not just what you do, but how you do it. NYFA alum Kecia Gayle works in the challenging world of entertainment journalism. You can find her on Instagram and on Hollywood Unlocked’s own website.

    Of course, if you want to learn about fashion trends and popular culture, you just have to listen to NYFA Broadcast Journalism grad Nicole Abebe on The Beat, 99.9 in Lagos. But if you want to double your knowledge, then check out (do people still say that?) the Abebe family on with the Abebes.

    Right now, we are in the middle of a typical New York City Summer. The days are hazy, hot and, humid. If you are a TV reporter, that means just one thing: visit places where people are cooling off. This is precisely what Broadcast Journalism alum Karen Hua did for News12 New York.

    Of course, even though it is Summer there are still important stories to cover (especially in the Southern Hemisphere, where it is Winter). One of the biggest stories continues to be COVID-19. Former NYFA student Fernanda Mueller has returned to Brazil, where she is working for NSC Comunicação, a Globo-affiliated company.

    “The company has a TV channel, radio station, digital and print media. I work as a multimedia reporter for digital and print. We recently made a video series about food prices. In this video, I talk about how prices of rice and beans have increased in Brazil and the state of Santa Catarina during the pandemic,” says Fernanda.

    Even the movies have a serious side, captured in all of its glory by NYFA graduate Federica Polidoro in a recent cover story in Vanity Fair Italia. Federica asked for comments from our own Broadcast Journalism Chair, Bill Einreinhofer.

    Evgenia Vlasova and Bill Einreinhofer are in the middle of producing a new Public TV documentary called Unsettled History: America, China and the Doolittle Tokyo Raid. In April 1942, the five American aviators pictured below, along with 59 of their comrades, were rescued from capture, torture, and certain death at the hands of the Japanese Imperial Army. The rescue mission was carried out by Chinese farmers, fishermen and militia members. These Americans either crash-landed or parachuted into rural China and survived thanks to the courageous actions of strangers in a foreign land.

    Producer Nancy Hanzhang Shen and Bill Einreinhofer shot the final interview last month, with Prof. Luo Shiping in Shangrao, Jiangxi province, China (centered in the picture below along with the local production team).

    The documentary will be distributed by American Public Television in April 2022, to mark the 80th anniversary of the Doolittle Tokyo Raid.

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  • NYFA Documentary Alum Pedro Peira Talks Upcoming Film LA Queenciañera

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    Pedro Peira is a Fulbright scholar and NYFA Documentary Filmmaking MFA graduate. Since his time as NYFA he has been active in the industry directing, producing, writing and founding his own production company, Festimania Pictures.

    The NYFA alum, who hails from Spain, first became interested in documentary filmmaking in his pre-teen years, “Whenever there was a family event I would take photos or record Hi-8 videos, initially with some help from family members and once they started to trust me, on my own.”

    Having developed a passion for documenting reality, Pedro decided pursue documentary filmmaking as a profession. “It’s a way of informing, entertaining and hopefully, promoting social change. There’s also the added benefit of not having the pressure to raise major funding for a (documentary) film project. Generally, as the costs are much higher for fiction (films), whereas you just need a story and a camera to make a documentary.”

    This decision eventually led him to apply for a Fulbright scholarship and choose NYFA as the place to hone his craft.”When I was doing all the Fulbright paperwork, prior to becoming a finalist, I was looking for a place to study documentary filmmaking and I easily contacted the documentary department at NYFA. The rest is all history.”

    Throughout his career each project has taught Pedro valuable lessons that have allowed him to grow in his profession. “I learned to delegate responsibility. In my first feature I took on most of the production roles (mainly due to budget constraints) and I have now learned to share these tasks. I’ve also transitioned to using a narrative structure so as to make the film more appealing to the audience.” As for what leads him to choose a project Pedro had this to say, “I guess what attracts me most to a project is who’s behind it. There’s people who I would work for free and, also, others who I wouldn’t work for no matter the amount. The type of project is also very important when it comes to my decision making. For me, it’s not the same to be part of a project which can lead to a change in society compared to a film which generates profit for the producers without any higher purpose behind it.”

    The Fulbright scholar has also started his own production company. “Festimania Pictures was set up in Spain 7  years ago. Although we carry out some distribution and consulting, we’re now mainly focused on documentary
    production. Our biggest successes so far have been the features Soul, which world-premiered at the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival and Free Way, which world-premiered at the 2020 San Sebastian Film Festival. Both films have been widely distributed around the world and on the top-tier festival circuit.

    As for upcoming projects, Pedro has a few lined up, including the Rosario Dawson backed LA Queenciañera. “We’re finishing post-production of a film called LA Queenciañera,  of which I’m the director and producer. The movie follows LA-based, transgender, undocumented, Latina activist, Bamby Salcedo, as she prepares for an epic 50th birthday celebration, which is a deliberate queering of that traditional Latino ritual, the Quinceañera. Our executive producer is Rosario Dawson and we have the participation of Patricia Arquette, sharing the story of her sister Alexis.”

    Patricia Arquette sites with trans rights activist Bamby Salcedo and documentary filmmaker Pedro Peira

    Pedro Peira with Patricia Arquette and Bamby Salcedo

    “We’re also in development for a documentary series which explores the influence of Islam on the gastronomies of Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Spain.”

    As for advice to aspiring documentary filmmakers and NYFA students Pedro says, “work hard and enjoy what you do. Don’t worry about not having budget – if the idea is good, success (and funds) will come. Just be patient.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates Pedro Peira on his success and looks forward to the upcoming LA Queenciañera.

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    June 17, 2021 • Documentary Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1570

  • NYFA Filmmaking Alum Kai Kaldro’s Thesis Short “Dissolved Girl” Lands on Amazon Prime

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) is excited to announce that Dissolved Girl from NYFA alum Kai Kaldro is now available to stream on Amazon Prime. Kaldro describes the short film as a “sci-fi ‘cyberpunk’ manifesto set in New York City during an era of political and cultural war between man and machine.

    The 20 year old Brooklyn, New York native knew he wanted to make movies from a very young age and since graduating from the 1-Year Filmmaking Program at NYFA’s New York campus in September of 2020, he’s hit the ground running with two short films on the festival circuit. He’s also the editor/VFX artist on for the music video of indie pop-rock singer/songwriter Pam Steebler’s single Noise which is releasing later this summer.

    Kai Kaldro with fellow NYFA Alum & “Dissolved Girl” lead Alexandra Faye Sadeghian.

    Kaldro is heavily influenced by the “cyberpunk” sub-genre and strives to create work that has alluring atmospheres, compelling action and visual effects.

    “It’s become something of a prerequisite for science fiction stories to try and predict the future or be ahead of their time, often set in a distant year that we’ll all eventually reach. When that day comes along we utter our sardonic disillusionment that there are no flying cars and robots. Dissolved Girl is not intended to be ahead of its time, it’s intended to define its time, which is why it’s set in our current year of 2021 – but of course it’s a different 2021 with a different, yet similar history proceeding it.”

    Kaldro says he was able to use the skills he learned at NYFA to create elaborate lighting set ups with minimal resources and a strict budget. He is currently working on two feature length films including the feature-length version of Dissolved Girl.

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA Filmmaking alum Kai Kaldro on his success and invites everyone to check out Dissolved Girl on Amazon Prime.

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    June 16, 2021 • Film School, Filmmaking • Views: 1013

  • NYFA Los Angeles Holds Virtual Graduation Celebration for Spring 2021 Graduates

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    On May 8th, NYFA’s Los Angeles campus saw 165 degree students graduate. A virtual  commencement ceremony was held for the graduating class of 2021 allowing students to collect their degrees and officially become NYFA alumni.

    Commencement Speaker Camrus Johnson (Batwoman, The Sun is Also a Star) joined the graduation live and delivered an inspirational speech about how pursuing a career in the film industry is “risky, scary, can be frustrating, and how pursuing that dream makes a person not normal.  It makes them extraordinary.  That fighting for this goal, climbing for it, and falling down is worth it…as long as they pick themselves up and keep going.”  And how, in no time, these students will be the ones holding for and hearing an applause.

    NYFA Los Angeles also introduced its third student speaker Emma Daniels (BFA Acting), who addressed peers on this milestone achievement. Students also were shown a graduation video that was streamed during the ceremony.

    BFA in 3D Animation & Visual Effects

    Noura Alqubaisi

    Angel Gradilla

    Fangyuan Liu

    Yuping Zeng

     

    AFA in Acting for Film

    Mariana Sanjuan

     

    BFA in Acting for Film

    Kristin AlNimri

    Adlih Cristal Torres Alvarado

    Austin Lee Barksdale

    Georgia Alixandra Beam

    John “Savage” Bention

    Stephen Bennett Bleeker

    Chloe Breen

    Yu-Fang (Annie) Chang

    William Collins

    Emma Daniels

    Iunia Georgiana Dinu

    Milad El Doumani

    Jérémie Boyamba

    Alex Giarratano

    Karolina Glazunova

    Keoni Hall

    Andre Heard

    Jason Holland

    Camila Jimenez Alvarado

    Freda Yifan Jing

    Salif Bobby Kone II

    Benjamin Leder

    Natasha Lewis

    Yifangting Li

    Ronaldo Madera

    Tshepang Modise

    Fenton Chavez-Montesino

    Zach Morris

    Jordan Nolen

    Darcy Jeanette O’Toole

    Aldana Pavicich

    Kenneth Phillips

    Willie Poole

    Eduarda Fukuoka

    Joshua Sanchez

    Marie Solimena

    Angelo Valotta Patino

    Siphesihle Vilakazi

    Dashun Latrell Worthen

    Ari Zhaukhanova

     

    MFA in Acting for Film

    Frederick Scott Basnight II

    Treyvon Hinson

    Shermera Hughes

    Melisa Lopez

    Gimbals Moonier

    Asaadhya Pal

    Ya Qi

    Charles E Savage

    Rashvir Singh

     

    AFA in Filmmaking

    Jorge Abdou

     

    BFA in Filmmaking

    Qiao Ba

    Timur Badanov

    Thomas Barth

    Lord Zeth Zander Black

    Shivam Rajesh Dodhia

    Veljko Dronjak

    Rui Du

    Ian Alec Franco

    Joshua Fraser

    Alessio Giurgola

    Siyang Huang

    Arnav Kasbekar

    Bu Lu

    Armaan Lucknowala

    Robin Lyu

    Kenneth Ma

    Flaminia Mereu

    Alice Nicolini

    Junyao Ren

    Filippo Savoia

    Haoxi Tan

    Nghi Tran Nguyen Hoang

    Oliver Weinmann

     

    MA in Film and Media Production

    Ricardo Cruz

    Muhammad Saram Dogar

    Nidhi Jarmanwala

    Da Lin

    Dongyu Lu

    Sabreen Taha

    Sam Triplett

    Daniela Cruz Yomayusa

    Peiying Zhu

     

    MFA in Filmmaking

    Charles Hamilton Allen

    Fernanda Belmar

    Omar Fayek

    Viviana Garibay Canavati

    Anderson Grant

    Sharan Gupta

    Mohamed Gamil Ibraheem

    Yao Ji

    Marzin Muslim Khaidar

    Sushmita Kohli

    Chris Bixi Li

    Gary L

    Tsai-Yi Pan

    Chi-Yang Victor Shao

    Wei-Lin Shen

    Wan Yi Shih

    Justin Stapleton

    Jiasheng Wang

    Phillip Jeffrey WIlliams Jr.

    Ziyan Zhu

     

    BFA in Game Design

    Jordan Barboza

    Mi Diaz

     

    BFA in Photography

    Sabryna “Hunny” Flores

    Abbey Friedman

    Sophia Ortega

    Carlos Alberto Pascal Zavala

    Jeremy Rich

    Xiaoyu ‘Kiko’ Yuan

     

    MFA in Photography

    Huaishu Fei

    Shaokang Ji

    Anqi Liu

    Brian Thomas Myers

     

    BFA in Producing

    Oksana Chester

    Shuotian Hu

    Zhongyu Leng

    Xue Ni

    Bocong Sun

    Jiani Zhou

     

    MA in Producing

    Adam Ferguson

    Yifei Hong

    Tuesday Lewis Harris

    Guanhui Li

    Mengmeng Lu

    Yiwen Sun

     

    MFA in Producing

    Zhaolin Chen

    Emerson Geter

    Pengyifan “Erin” Lou

    Joshua J. Mensah

    Anna Szymanska

    Anisha Thakur

    Wenxin Yang

     

    BFA in Screenwriting

    David Avila Jr.

    Babatunde Awe

    Ian Brown

    Malin Cantu

    Aaron Herrera

    Thomas J Horn

    Lorenzo Elijah Hudson

    Margot Kloster

    Taylor Nichka

    Angel Nnaemeka Ogwo

    Stefanie Webb

    Roberto Posada Panero

    Rivka Shmuel

     

    MFA in Screenwriting

    Caleb Bloomer

    André Luiz Dragoni da Costa

    Almas Haidery

    Courtney Kim

    Owen Newberry

    1. Paolucci

    Anna Pujolras

    Charlotte Glen Quarrie

    Jai Roberson

    Lucas Romero

    Federico Sanna

    Xavier A. Vazquez

    Eugene E. Williams

    Zhao, Chao

    New York Film Academy congratulates its graduates and wishes them continued success in their professional paths. We can’t wait to see what comes next!

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    May 28, 2021 • Academic Programs, Community Highlights • Views: 751

  • NYFA Celebrates a Historic Year at the Oscars: Chloé Zhao, Emerald Fennell, Daniel Kaluuya & More

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    Hollywood’s biggest night celebrated some of the industry’s finest as the 93rd Academy Awards went off without a hitch (well, almost), awarding some of the top talents in the business with the coveted golden Oscar statue. The awards show took a break from multiple traditions for this year’s ceremony, the most notable being the ceremony itself taking place inside of Union Station in Los Angeles, a break from the classic Dolby Theatre.

    Kicking off the Steven Soderbergh-directed awards show was actor-turned-director Regina King, whose directorial debut film One Night in Miami was also up for multiple awards that night. King kicked off her speech noting the real-world issues at play outside of the realm of the Oscars ceremony.

    “We are mourning the loss of so many, and I have to be honest, if things had gone differently this past week in Minneapolis, I might have traded in my heels for marching boots,” she began. “Now, I know that a lot of you people at home are going to reach for your remote when you feel like Hollywood is preaching to you, but as a mother of a Black son, I know the fear that so many live with and no amount of fame or fortune changes that.”

    King then explained to attendees and those watching at home that this year’s ceremony would be treated like a movie set. Nominees would be allowed to remain maskless while on camera but would place their masks back on during each commercial break.

    The first award of the night went to Emerald Fennell for Best Original Screenplay. Her film Promising Young Woman is, staggeringly, the first screenplay penned by a woman to win this award since Diablo Cody’s Juno in 2008.

    Nomadland director Chloé Zhao is the first woman of color to win the Oscar for Best Director and only the second woman to win this award in the history of the Academy Awards. In her acceptance speech, Zhao paid tribute to her dad and her Chinese heritage with a short passage from the Three Character Classic (三字经), citing the translation as “at birth, people are innately good.” Zhao also became the second Asian woman, after Parasite‘s Kwak Sin-ae last year, to pick up an Academy Award for Best Picture, the most coveted award of the night.

    In perhaps one of the most powerful acceptance speeches of the night, Judas and The Black Messiah actor Daniel Kaluuya paid tribute to his parents and Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton for his monumental Best Supporting Actor win and called out to the audience to unify in these trying times. “When they play divide and conquer, we say unite and ascend. There’s so much work to do, and that’s on everyone in this room.”

    After three previous Black nominees in the category for Best Live-Action Short, Travon Free became the first Black winner in the category for his film Two Distant Strangers, which he shared with co-director, Martin Desmond Roe. 

    Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson celebrated their huge win for their work on Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom as the first Black winners for Makeup & Hairstyling to ever receive an Oscar. “I stand here, as Jamika and I break this glass ceiling, with so much excitement for the future,” beamed Neal. “Because I can picture Black trans women standing up here, and Asian sisters, and our Latina sisters, and indigenous women, and I know that one day it won’t be unusual or groundbreaking, it will just be normal.”

    In one of the most charming acceptance speeches of the night, Korean screen legend and Minari actress Yuh-Jung Youn picked up a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. In her speech, Youn joked with Minari producer Brad Pitt about where he was for the duration of the film production, forgave everyone who ever butchered her name, and dedicated her Oscar to her first director, Kim Ki-young. Youn, along with her Minari co-star and fellow Oscar nominee Steven Yeun are the first actors born in Korea to earn Oscar recognition for their performances in Minari.

    (Left) Sharon Choi standing next to (Right) Bong Joon-ho (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)

    Outside of the winner’s circle, this year’s Oscars pushed for more diversity overall with 2020 Oscar-winner Bong Joon Ho presenting the Best Director category completely in Korean, with English translation by Sharon Choi, while Marlee Matlin presented the two documentary categories in American Sign Language (ASL). Also, in a new development, this year there was also an ASL interpreter made available in the Oscars’ press room. 

    While there is still a way to go for, as Mia Neal puts it, for the Oscars to present a diverse pool of winners where it “won’t be unusual or groundbreaking” this year’s nominees and winners proved that the Academy is working to make strides for the “new normal” and awarding deserving talent that are bringing never-before-heard voices to the forefront of audience’s screens worldwide.

    New York Film Academy congratulates this year’s Oscar winners and nominees and looks forward to seeing what 2021 has in store for the industry’s most innovative and dedicated storytellers. 

    Here is the full list of 2021 Oscar Winners

    Best Picture

    • “The Father” (David Parfitt, Jean-Louis Livi and Philippe Carcassonne, producers)
    • “Judas and the Black Messiah” (Shaka King, Charles D. King and Ryan Coogler, producers)
    • “Mank” (Ceán Chaffin, Eric Roth and Douglas Urbanski, producers)
    • “Minari” (Christina Oh, producer)
    • “Nomadland” (Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey and Chloé Zhao, producers) – WINNER
    • “Promising Young Woman” (Ben Browning, Ashley Fox, Emerald Fennell and Josey McNamara, producers)
    • “Sound of Metal” (Bert Hamelinck and Sacha Ben Harroche, producers)
    • “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Marc Platt and Stuart Besser, producers)

    Best Director

    • Thomas Vinterberg (“Another Round”)
    • David Fincher (“Mank”) 
    • Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”) 
    • Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”)  – WINNER
    • Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”) 

    Best Actor in a Leading Role

    • Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”) 
    • Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) 
    • Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”) – WINNER
    • Gary Oldman (“Mank”) 
    • Steven Yeun (“Minari”) 

    Best Actress in a Leading Role

    • Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) 
    • Andra Day (“The United States v. Billie Holiday”) 
    • Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”) 
    • Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”) – WINNER
    • Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”) 

    Best Actor in a Supporting Role

    • Sacha Baron Cohen (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”) 
    • Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”) – WINNER
    • Leslie Odom Jr. (“One Night in Miami”) 
    • Paul Raci (“Sound of Metal”) 
    • Lakeith Stanfield (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)

    Best Actress in a Supporting Role

    • Maria Bakalova (‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”) 
    • Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”) 
    • Olivia Colman (“The Father”) 
    • Amanda Seyfried (“Mank”) 
    • Youn Yuh-jung (“Minari”) – WINNER

    Best Animated Feature Film

    • “Onward” (Pixar) 
    • “Over the Moon” (Netflix) 
    • “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon” (Netflix) 
    • “Soul” (Pixar) – WINNER
    • “Wolfwalkers” (Apple TV Plus/GKIDS) 

    Best Adapted Screenplay

    • “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.” Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Mazer, Jena Friedman, Lee Kern; Story by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Nina Pedrad
    • “The Father,” Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller – WINNER
    • “Nomadland,” Chloé Zhao 
    • “One Night in Miami,” Kemp Powers 
    • “The White Tiger,” Ramin Bahrani 

    Best Original Screenplay

    • “Judas and the Black Messiah.” Screenplay by Will Berson, Shaka King; Story by Will Berson, Shaka King, Kenny Lucas, Keith Lucas
    • “Minari,” Lee Isaac Chung 
    • “Promising Young Woman,” Emerald Fennell – WINNER
    • “Sound of Metal.” Screenplay by Darius Marder, Abraham Marder; Story by Darius Marder, Derek Cianfrance
    • “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Aaron Sorkin 

    Best Original Song

    • “Fight for You,” (“Judas and the Black Messiah”). Music by H.E.R. and Dernst Emile II; Lyric by H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas – WINNER
    • “Hear My Voice,” (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”). Music by Daniel Pemberton; Lyric by Daniel Pemberton and Celeste Waite
    • “Húsavík,” (“Eurovision Song Contest”). Music and Lyric by Savan Kotecha, Fat Max Gsus and Rickard Göransson
    • “Io Si (Seen),” (“The Life Ahead”). Music by Diane Warren; Lyric by Diane Warren and Laura Pausini
    • “Speak Now,” (“One Night in Miami”). Music and Lyric by Leslie Odom, Jr. and Sam Ashworth

    Best Original Score

    • “Da 5 Bloods,” Terence Blanchard 
    • “Mank,” Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross 
    • “Minari,” Emile Mosseri 
    • “News of the World,” James Newton Howard 
    • “Soul,” Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste – WINNER

    Best Sound

    • “Greyhound,” Warren Shaw, Michael Minkler, Beau Borders and David Wyman
    • “Mank,” Ren Klyce, Jeremy Molod, David Parker, Nathan Nance and Drew Kunin
    • “News of the World,” Oliver Tarney, Mike Prestwood Smith, William Miller and John Pritchett
    • “Soul,” Ren Klyce, Coya Elliott and David Parker
    • “Sound of Metal,” Nicolas Becker, Jaime Baksht, Michelle Couttolenc, Carlos Cortés and Phillip Bladh – WINNER

    Best Costume Design

    • “Emma,” Alexandra Byrne 
    • “Mank,” Trish Summerville 
    • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Ann Roth – WINNER
    • “Mulan,” Bina Daigeler 
    • “Pinocchio,” Massimo Cantini Parrini

    Best Animated Short Film

    • “Burrow” (Disney Plus/Pixar)
    • “Genius Loci” (Kazak Productions) 
    • “If Anything Happens I Love You” (Netflix) – WINNER
    • “Opera” (Beasts and Natives Alike) 
    • “Yes-People” (CAOZ hf. Hólamói) 

    Best Live-Action Short Film

    • “Feeling Through” 
    • “The Letter Room” 
    • “The Present” 
    • “Two Distant Strangers” – WINNER
    • “White Eye” 

    Best Cinematography

    • “Judas and the Black Messiah,” Sean Bobbitt 
    • “Mank,” Erik Messerschmidt – WINNER
    • “News of the World,” Dariusz Wolski 
    • “Nomadland,” Joshua James Richards 
    • “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Phedon Papamichael 

    Best Documentary Feature

    • “Collective,” Alexander Nanau and Bianca Oana
    • “Crip Camp,” Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht and Sara Bolder
    • “The Mole Agent,” Maite Alberdi and Marcela Santibáñez
    • “My Octopus Teacher,” Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed and Craig Foster – WINNER
    • “Time,” Garrett Bradley, Lauren Domino and Kellen Quinn

    Best Documentary Short Subject

    • “Colette,” Anthony Giacchino and Alice Doyard – WINNER
    • “A Concerto Is a Conversation,” Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers
    • “Do Not Split,” Anders Hammer and Charlotte Cook
    • “Hunger Ward,” Skye Fitzgerald and Michael Scheuerman
    • “A Love Song for Latasha,” Sophia Nahli Allison and Janice Duncan

    Best Film Editing

    • “The Father,” Yorgos Lamprinos
    • “Nomadland,” Chloé Zhao 
    • “Promising Young Woman,” Frédéric Thoraval 
    • “Sound of Metal,” Mikkel E.G. Nielsen – WINNER
    • “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Alan Baumgarten 

    Best International Feature Film

    • “Another Round” (Denmark) – WINNER
    • “Better Days” (Hong Kong)
    • “Collective” (Romania) 
    • “The Man Who Sold His Skin” (Tunisia)
    • “Quo Vadis, Aida?”(Bosnia and Herzegovina) 

    Best Makeup and Hairstyling

    • “Emma,” Marese Langan, Laura Allen, Claudia Stolze
    • “Hillbilly Elegy,” Eryn Krueger Mekash, Patricia Dehaney, Matthew Mungle 
    • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal, Jamika Wilson – WINNER
    • “Mank,” Kimberley Spiteri, Gigi Williams, Colleen LaBaff
    • “Pinocchio,” Mark Coulier, Dalia Colli, Francesco Pegoretti

    Best Production Design

    • “The Father.” Production Design: Peter Francis; Set Decoration: Cathy Featherstone
    • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Production Design: Mark Ricker; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara and Diana Stoughton
    • “Mank.” Production Design: Donald Graham Burt; Set Decoration: Jan Pascale -WINNER
    • “News of the World.” Production Design: David Crank; Set Decoration: Elizabeth Keenan
    • “Tenet.” Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Kathy Lucas

    Best Visual Effects

    • “Love and Monsters,” Matt Sloan, Genevieve Camilleri, Matt Everitt and Brian Cox 
    • “The Midnight Sky,” Matthew Kasmir, Christopher Lawrence, Max Solomon and David Watkins
    • “Mulan,” Sean Faden, Anders Langlands, Seth Maury and Steve Ingram
    • “The One and Only Ivan,” Nick Davis, Greg Fisher, Ben Jones and Santiago Colomo Martinez
    • “Tenet,” Andrew Jackson, David Lee, Andrew Lockley and Scott Fisher – WINNER

    Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

    • Tyler Perry
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    April 26, 2021 • Entertainment News, International Diversity • Views: 1156

  • NYFA Celebrates the 93rd Academy Award Nominees and Winners

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    This year, NYFA celebrated instructors and alumni being among those nominated for this year’s Oscar’s shortlist. As the list dwindled down it was 1-Year Screenwriting alum Shivani Rawat’s film The Trial of The Chicago 7 that earned six nominations including Best Picture. The Aaron Sorkin film was one that Rawat produced along with Marc Platt and Stuart Besser.

    Also among the nominees was producer and NYFA guest speaker Christina Oh, who helmed the A24 Lee Isaac Chung drama Minari, which also earned six nominations including Best Picture. Oh is the first Asian American woman to receive a nomination for best picture.

    Oscar nominees (Photo Credit: Screen Rant)

    Other historic nominations this year include:

    • The first time two women are nominated for Best Director: Emerald Fennel (Promising Young Woman) and Chloé Zhao (Nomadland).
    • Netflix setting a record for distributors with 35 total nominations in 2021. The streaming giant also leads the Best Picture category with two nods, while Amazon, A24, Focus, Searchlight, and Sony Classics held one nomination each. This year, major studios were not present in this category, a notable exception given the tumultuous distribution efforts major studios faced with releasing tentpole and lower budget films across the production slate in 2020.
    • Chadwick Boseman has become the seventh actor to receive a posthumous nomination for his work on Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
    • Riz Ahmed is the first Muslim actor to be nominated in the Best Actor category for his performance in The Sounds of Metal.
    • Steven Yeun, the first Asian American to receive a Best Actor nod, and Best Supporting Actress nominee Youn Uh-Jung are the first actors born in Korea to earn Oscar recognition for their performances in Minari.

    After many delays due to the pandemic, Hollywood’s biggest night is ready for a night of normalcy with the tentpole of awards shows back on the air with an in-person ceremony at the Dolby Theatre on April 25th after its original February 28th date was pushed back. 

    Here is the full list of 2021 Oscar Nominations:

    Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award – Tyler Perry

    Best Picture

    • “The Father” (David Parfitt, Jean-Louis Livi and Philippe Carcassonne, producers)
    • “Judas and the Black Messiah” (Shaka King, Charles D. King and Ryan Coogler, producers)
    • “Mank” (Ceán Chaffin, Eric Roth and Douglas Urbanski, producers)
    • “Minari” (Christina Oh, producer)
    • “Nomadland” (Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey and Chloé Zhao, producers) – WINNER
    • “Promising Young Woman” (Ben Browning, Ashley Fox, Emerald Fennell and Josey McNamara, producers)
    • “Sound of Metal” (Bert Hamelinck and Sacha Ben Harroche, producers)
    • “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Marc Platt and Stuart Besser, producers)

    Best Director

    • Thomas Vinterberg (“Another Round”)
    • David Fincher (“Mank”) 
    • Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”) 
    • Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”)  – WINNER
    • Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”) 

    Best Actor in a Leading Role

    • Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”) 
    • Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) 
    • Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”) – WINNER
    • Gary Oldman (“Mank”) 
    • Steven Yeun (“Minari”) 

    Best Actress in a Leading Role

    • Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) 
    • Andra Day (“The United States v. Billie Holiday”) 
    • Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”) 
    • Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”) – WINNER
    • Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”) 

    Best Actor in a Supporting Role

    • Sacha Baron Cohen (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”) 
    • Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”) – WINNER
    • Leslie Odom Jr. (“One Night in Miami”) 
    • Paul Raci (“Sound of Metal”) 
    • Lakeith Stanfield (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)

    Best Actress in a Supporting Role

    • Maria Bakalova (‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”) 
    • Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”) 
    • Olivia Colman (“The Father”) 
    • Amanda Seyfried (“Mank”) 
    • Youn Yuh-jung (“Minari”) – WINNER

    Best Animated Feature Film

    • “Onward” (Pixar) 
    • “Over the Moon” (Netflix) 
    • “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon” (Netflix) 
    • “Soul” (Pixar) – WINNER
    • “Wolfwalkers” (Apple TV Plus/GKIDS) 

    Best Adapted Screenplay

    • “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.” Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Mazer, Jena Friedman, Lee Kern; Story by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Nina Pedrad
    • “The Father,” Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller – WINNER
    • “Nomadland,” Chloé Zhao 
    • “One Night in Miami,” Kemp Powers 
    • “The White Tiger,” Ramin Bahrani 

    Best Original Screenplay

    • “Judas and the Black Messiah.” Screenplay by Will Berson, Shaka King; Story by Will Berson, Shaka King, Kenny Lucas, Keith Lucas
    • “Minari,” Lee Isaac Chung 
    • “Promising Young Woman,” Emerald Fennell – WINNER
    • “Sound of Metal.” Screenplay by Darius Marder, Abraham Marder; Story by Darius Marder, Derek Cianfrance
    • “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Aaron Sorkin 

    Best Original Song

    • “Fight for You,” (“Judas and the Black Messiah”). Music by H.E.R. and Dernst Emile II; Lyric by H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas – WINNER
    • “Hear My Voice,” (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”). Music by Daniel Pemberton; Lyric by Daniel Pemberton and Celeste Waite
    • “Húsavík,” (“Eurovision Song Contest”). Music and Lyric by Savan Kotecha, Fat Max Gsus and Rickard Göransson
    • “Io Si (Seen),” (“The Life Ahead”). Music by Diane Warren; Lyric by Diane Warren and Laura Pausini
    • “Speak Now,” (“One Night in Miami”). Music and Lyric by Leslie Odom, Jr. and Sam Ashworth

    Best Original Score

    • “Da 5 Bloods,” Terence Blanchard 
    • “Mank,” Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross 
    • “Minari,” Emile Mosseri 
    • “News of the World,” James Newton Howard 
    • “Soul,” Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste – WINNER

    Best Sound

    • “Greyhound,” Warren Shaw, Michael Minkler, Beau Borders and David Wyman
    • “Mank,” Ren Klyce, Jeremy Molod, David Parker, Nathan Nance and Drew Kunin
    • “News of the World,” Oliver Tarney, Mike Prestwood Smith, William Miller and John Pritchett
    • “Soul,” Ren Klyce, Coya Elliott and David Parker
    • “Sound of Metal,” Nicolas Becker, Jaime Baksht, Michelle Couttolenc, Carlos Cortés and Phillip Bladh – WINNER

    Best Costume Design

    • “Emma,” Alexandra Byrne 
    • “Mank,” Trish Summerville 
    • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Ann Roth – WINNER
    • “Mulan,” Bina Daigeler 
    • “Pinocchio,” Massimo Cantini Parrini

    Best Animated Short Film

    • “Burrow” (Disney Plus/Pixar)
    • “Genius Loci” (Kazak Productions) 
    • “If Anything Happens I Love You” (Netflix) – WINNER
    • “Opera” (Beasts and Natives Alike) 
    • “Yes-People” (CAOZ hf. Hólamói) 

    Best Live-Action Short Film

    • “Feeling Through” 
    • “The Letter Room” 
    • “The Present” 
    • “Two Distant Strangers” – WINNER
    • “White Eye” 

    Best Cinematography

    • “Judas and the Black Messiah,” Sean Bobbitt 
    • “Mank,” Erik Messerschmidt – WINNER
    • “News of the World,” Dariusz Wolski 
    • “Nomadland,” Joshua James Richards 
    • “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Phedon Papamichael 

    Best Documentary Feature

    • “Collective,” Alexander Nanau and Bianca Oana
    • “Crip Camp,” Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht and Sara Bolder
    • “The Mole Agent,” Maite Alberdi and Marcela Santibáñez
    • “My Octopus Teacher,” Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed and Craig Foster – WINNER
    • “Time,” Garrett Bradley, Lauren Domino and Kellen Quinn

    Best Documentary Short Subject

    • “Colette,” Anthony Giacchino and Alice Doyard – WINNER
    • “A Concerto Is a Conversation,” Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers
    • “Do Not Split,” Anders Hammer and Charlotte Cook
    • “Hunger Ward,” Skye Fitzgerald and Michael Scheuerman
    • “A Love Song for Latasha,” Sophia Nahli Allison and Janice Duncan

    Best Film Editing

    • “The Father,” Yorgos Lamprinos
    • “Nomadland,” Chloé Zhao 
    • “Promising Young Woman,” Frédéric Thoraval 
    • “Sound of Metal,” Mikkel E.G. Nielsen – WINNER
    • “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Alan Baumgarten 

    Best International Feature Film

    • “Another Round” (Denmark) – WINNER
    • “Better Days” (Hong Kong)
    • “Collective” (Romania) 
    • “The Man Who Sold His Skin” (Tunisia)
    • “Quo Vadis, Aida?”(Bosnia and Herzegovina) 

    Best Makeup and Hairstyling

    • “Emma,” Marese Langan, Laura Allen, Claudia Stolze
    • “Hillbilly Elegy,” Eryn Krueger Mekash, Patricia Dehaney, Matthew Mungle 
    • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal, Jamika Wilson – WINNER
    • “Mank,” Kimberley Spiteri, Gigi Williams, Colleen LaBaff
    • “Pinocchio,” Mark Coulier, Dalia Colli, Francesco Pegoretti

    Best Production Design

    • “The Father.” Production Design: Peter Francis; Set Decoration: Cathy Featherstone
    • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Production Design: Mark Ricker; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara and Diana Stoughton
    • “Mank.” Production Design: Donald Graham Burt; Set Decoration: Jan Pascale -WINNER
    • “News of the World.” Production Design: David Crank; Set Decoration: Elizabeth Keenan
    • “Tenet.” Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Kathy Lucas

    Best Visual Effects

    • “Love and Monsters,” Matt Sloan, Genevieve Camilleri, Matt Everitt and Brian Cox 
    • “The Midnight Sky,” Matthew Kasmir, Christopher Lawrence, Max Solomon and David Watkins
    • “Mulan,” Sean Faden, Anders Langlands, Seth Maury and Steve Ingram
    • “The One and Only Ivan,” Nick Davis, Greg Fisher, Ben Jones and Santiago Colomo Martinez
    • “Tenet,” Andrew Jackson, David Lee, Andrew Lockley and Scott Fisher – WINNER

     

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    April 23, 2021 • Entertainment News • Views: 1795

  • NYFA Alum Rajni Mysore Chamaraj Selected For Star Collective Program

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    New York Film Academy is excited to announce that alum Rajni Mysore Chamaraj, along with her sister, Shynica Mysore Chamaraj, has been selected to participate in the novel Stars Collective program and will be supported with mentoring from Hollywood luminaries, funding, and creative resources from Starlight.

    Founded by Starlight Media CEO Peter Luo (producer of Crazy Rich Asians, Marshall, Midway). the Stars Collective program supports young emerging filmmakers and artists and heightens diversity in the global entertainment ecosystem with potential funding of up to $100 million collectively. The esteemed group of Stars Collective mentors includes director Sam Raimi, Chinese actor Xiaoming Huang, and producers Donna Gigliotti, Gianni Nunnari, Chris Lee, Sanping Han, Paula Wagner, Patrick Wachsberger, Eric Heumann, and Liming Ke.

    “As we wade through the film industry looking for a middle ground between our creative expression and the logistical roadblocks, initiatives like these give artists a launchpad and opens up the industry to a more diverse range of content and transforms the ecosystem of both the makers and the audience,” shared Chamaraj. “Collectively, I believe the media industry has just started to come of age and it’s a great time to jump on to this bandwagon of independent filmmaking.” 

    Photo courtesy of Rajni Mysore Chamaraj

    Chamaraj is a Film & Media Production MA alum from NYFA’s Los Angeles campus. Her film The Day I Met Joshua was recently named an Official Selection at the prestigious Carmarthen Bay Film Festival in the UK, which is a BAFTA qualifying festival. She currently resides in India and recently wrote, directed, and edited a short Spanish web series in LA called Finding Home, which is streaming on Amazon Prime UK and US. As of now, she is working on the set of a four-part anthology series about the lives of four urban Indian girls living in different cities of India. The NYFA alum is also working as a screenwriter for an Indo-American feature film to be shot in mid of 2022.

    New York Film Academy is proud of the well-earned success of alum Rajni Mysore Chamaraj and is excited at the prospect of more projects from the NYFA alum as a result of the wonderful achievement of being a Stars Collective participant.

    Starlight has a mission to create content that amplifies diverse voices, and a central focus of the program is helping to promote the next generation of aspiring filmmakers and creative storytellers. Starlight guides filmmakers through the development of projects including indie features, documentaries, and animation, helping them balance art and commerce, while encouraging them to form their own styles of storytelling that not only manifest personal creative visions but catch the zeitgeist of the times.

    The majority of filmmakers selected to the program are female, and represent a highly diverse mix of nationalities, ethnicities, races, and personal and professional backgrounds. The Stars Collective program integrates global resources in order to spark the production of more films of distinctive styles and genres.

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    April 22, 2021 • Acting • Views: 1173