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  • “Shanghai 1937: Where World War II Began” Previews at New York Film Academy (NYFA)

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    This is a big week for me, and for a group of instructors, here at the New York Film Academy (NYFA). On Wednesday, my latest documentary will make it’s US television premiere. And it could never have been made without the support of NYFA, and my fellow faculty members.

    Distributed by American Public Television, Shanghai 1937: Where World War II Began will debut on WLIW/21 in New York on Wednesday, November 7 at 10pm. The following evening, November 8, the program will air on NJTV at 9pm and will be seen by viewers in New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. (A schedule for key US markets can be found below.) Eventually we anticipate 200+ channels airing the program. 

    Following a six-month exclusive “window” for Public Television distribution, the documentary will become available on popular streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and iTunes.

    Shanghai 1937

    Shanghai 1937

    World War II started in 1937? In China?

    Those are the provocative questions behind the new Public Television documentary Shanghai 1937: Where World War II Began. While largely forgotten outside of China, the Battle of Shanghai in 1937 marked the first time the military forces of Imperial Japan came up against effective, ongoing resistance. The first American civilians killed in what would become World War II, as well as the first American serviceman, died in Shanghai during August 1937.

    In Shanghai 1937: Where World War II Began, a group of internationally recognized historians and scholars describe how the events that took place in Shanghai pulled the world inevitably towards war, while at the same time instilling in the Chinese people a true sense of nationhood. The results of that transformation continue to be felt today. In fact, to understand contemporary Chinese attitudes and policies, you have to look to its past.

    Still, at its heart, this is the story of shattered lives and enduring dreams. That story is told in part by Liliane Willens, who at 92 years old is one of the few witnesses to these events still alive. She and her family were members of a community of stateless Russian Jews. Deemed “citizens of nowhere,” they were welcome to live in Shanghai, but could never leave.

    Shanghai’s large expat community controlled the city’s economy, living lives of privilege. War destroyed their world, and set the stage for the China of today. Liliane would eventually be admitted to the United States in 1951, and went on to teach at prestigious American colleges and universities. Today she is a lecturer and author, living in Washington, D.C.

    Production of Shanghai 1937: Where World War II Began spanned three years and three continents. It incorporates little-seen footage located in film libraries around the world, as well as original interviews and scenic footage shot specifically for this documentary. Contributors include two of the leading Chinese experts on this subject: Su Zhiliang, Ph.D. of Shanghai Normal University and Ma Zhendu, Director of the Second Historical Archives of China, as well as Hans van de Ven, Ph.D. of the University of Cambridge in England, American military historian Edward Drea, Ph.D., and Danish historian and author Peter Harmsen.

    Teacher’s Notes written by Syd Golston, a past president of the National Council for the Social Studies, can be downloaded free of charge. Included in these materials are poems written by Chinese American author Wing Tek Lum. The Teacher’s Notes are at Shanghai1937.tv, where additional information about the program is also available along with a trailer.

    I am the Producer/Director of Shanghai 1937: Where World War II Began. Previously I developed and produced programming for PBS, CBS, ABC, HBO and Discovery. I’ve been telling stories about China for more than 25 years. My four-part documentary series tied to the 2008 Summer Olympics, Beyond Beijing, was seen in 43 countries by 250+ million viewers. I became Chair of the Broadcast Journalism school at the New York Film Academy in 2013.

    Co-Producer/Editor Evgenia Vlasova was the anchor and co-producer of an award-winning morning show in her native Russia. Born in the Russian Far East, she is no stranger to China. She too is a faculty member in the Broadcast Journalism department at the New York Film Academy.

    Digital Producer Theresa Loong traces her family heritage back to southern China. She is a multimedia producer and director based in New York.

    Associate Producer Nancy Hanzhang Shen previously worked in admissions and social media at NYFA. She is now a freelance video editor. NYFA audio instructor Dionysius Vlachos was the Supervising Sound Editor, NYFA editing instructor Lexi Phillips was the Colorist, and NYFA acting instructor Lea Tolub Brandenburg narrated key passages. Wenting Wu was the Graphic Designer. (That is her wonderful work that you see in the trailer, and the opening of the program.)

    Last Thursday we had a preview screening at NYFA, with our own version of a red carpet. Only at this event, it was the production personnel who took center stage.

    Shanghai 1937

    L to R: Bill Einreinhofer, Theresa Loong, Nancy Hanzhang Shen, Evgenia Vlasova

     

    Shanghai 1937

    L to R: Nancy Hanzhang Shen, Wenting Wu, Evgenia Vlasova, Bill Einreinhofer, Dee Vlachos

     


    U.S. TOP 50 MARKETS CARRIAGE
    (Partial list, all times are local. Some stations will air the program more than once.)

    New York
    WLIW Wednesday 11/7/18 @ 10p
    WNJB (NJTV) Thursday 11/8/18 @ 9p
    WNJN (NJTV) Thursday 11/8/18 @ 9p

    Los Angeles
    KLCS Tuesday 11/13/18 @ 9p
    KCET Tuesday 11/13/18 @ 8p

    Chicago
    WTTW Sunday 11/11/18 @ 5p

    Philadelphia
    WNJS (NJTV) Thursday 11/8/18 @ 9p
    WNJT (NJTV) Thursday 11/8/18 @ 9p

    San Francisco
    KQED Sunday 11/11/18 @ 7p
    KRCB Sunday 11/18/18 @ 10p

    Seattle
    KCTS Monday 11/12/18 @ 1p (Veterans Day programming)

    Miami
    WLRN Monday 11/12/18 @ 8p

    Denver
    KRMA Tuesday 11/20/18 @ 10p

    Orlando
    WEFS Sunday 11/11/18 @ 9p

    Charlotte
    WNSC Sunday 11/11/18 @ 2p

    Nashville
    WNPT Thursday 11/8/18 @ 11p

    Salt Lake City
    KUEN Wednesday 11/14/18 @ 9p

    Kansas City
    KCPT Sunday 11/11/18 @ 2p

    Cincinnati
    WCET Tuesday 12/4/18 @ 8p

    Greenville-Spartanburg
    WNEH Sunday 11/11/18 @ 2p

    Austin
    KLRU Thursday 11/8/18 @ 9p

    Albuquerque
    KENW Friday 11/9/18 @ 9p

    Louisville
    WKMJ Sunday 11/11/18 @10p

    Grand Rapids
    WGVK Sunday 11/11/18 @ 3p

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    November 6, 2018 • Broadcast Journalism, China, Documentary Filmmaking, Faculty Highlights • Views: 312

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) and Hangzhou Culture Radio Television Group Establish Cooperative Training Base

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    On October 27, 2018, the New York Film Academy – Hangzhou Culture Radio Television Group Cooperative Training Base was formally established. China Hangzhou Culture

    David Klein, Senior Executive Vice President of the New York Film Academy (NYFA), and the Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee and Editor-in-Chief Zheng Guilan jointly inaugurated the Cooperation Training Base. Mr. Klein travelled from NYFA’s New York City location for the event.

    On June 16, the Group’s Film Project Team and New York Film Academy signed the “Memorandum of Strategic Cooperation”; on October 15, the Secretary of the Party Committee and President of the Group, Yu Xinping, met with the CEO of New York Film Academy, Jean Sherlock, and New York Film Academy Executive Vice President Zhu (Joy) Yuhua. 

    Together, the group discussed the joint establishment of a film and television training cooperation project as soon as possible, as well as a long-term training cooperation system. 

    The establishment of the cooperative training base will enhance the brand influence of Hangzhou Cultural Film Industry with an international vision and form a broader communication and practice platform for Chinese and American film and television talents.

    China Hangzhou CultureThis is in line with the growing influence and interdependence of Chinese cinema and culture on a worldwide audience. As Chinese co-productions with international and major movie studios increase in number and scope, the New York Film Academy has also looked to strengthen relations with the film and cultural institutions of China.

    In addition to educating many aspiring filmmakers, actors, and visual artists from China as part of its international student body, NYFA has also held workshops in China as well, including in Shanghai and, as recently as this summer, in Beijing. Furthermore, the Academy has also hosted workshops for visiting Chinese students at its locations in Los Angeles and New York City.

    The New York Film Academy looks forward to continued cooperation with the Hangzhou Cultural Film Industry and to the success of the New York Film Academy – Hangzhou Culture Radio Television Group Cooperative Training Base!

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    October 30, 2018 • China, Community Highlights, Film School, Filmmaking, International Diversity • Views: 200

  • Shanghai Theatre Academy Representatives Visit New York Film Academy (NYFA)

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    Earlier this September, representatives from the Shanghai Theatre Academy visited New York Film Academy’s Battery Park campus in New York City. These representatives included Mr. Lou, General Secretary of Shanghai Theatre Academy, and Mr. Wei, Vice Dean of Film School of the Shanghai Theatre Academy, as well as scholars who are currently in New York.Shanghai Theatre Academy Visit

    The Shanghai Theatre Academy representatives sat down with senior administration and faculty from New York Film Academy (NYFA) to discuss cultural and education affairs between the US and China, as well as potential future partnerships. These senior administration and faculty members from the New York Film Academy included Mr. Jean Sherlock, CEO and owner of the Academy; Mr. Michael Young, President; Mr. David Klein, Senior Executive Vice President; and Dr. Joy Zhu, Executive Vice President (China Region). 

    Both parties have met several times in the past and have already established a strong partnership. The discussions that took place during this month’s meeting were focused mainly on the forefront issues and future plans for furthering educational partnerships between the US and China. 

    Mr. Lou took this opportunity to share his experiences and thoughts on how the Internet has completely reshaped the way entertainment and film are now studied. His perspectives were incredibly deep and well articulated, with Mr. Sherlock and Mr. Young both agreeing with many of his views and thoughts. 

    Shanghai Theatre Academy VisitDiscussions also continued on how to maintain and strengthen the cultural and education relations between the East and West as well as future opportunities for the two institutions to specifically work together. NYFA has prided itself on its focus for a cultural exchange of ideas between the school’s global campuses and the students and educators of China. 

    Late last year, President Michael Young toured China to strengthen the Academy’s cooperation with the country’s aspiring filmmakers, actors, and storytellers. And earlier this summer, a class of students from Shanghai Theatre Academy took a 1-week Photography course at NYFA, where they trained on state-of-the-art equipment with the school’s renowned professional faculty. 

    The New York Film Academy thanks the representatives from the Shanghai Theatre Academy for their visit and for a meaningful and intelligent discussion over several subjects!

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    September 25, 2018 • China, Community Highlights, International Diversity • Views: 393

  • Broadcast Journalism Update: Visit to Beijing

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    So, I am just back from a week in Beijing. It turned out to be very productive, from a number of different perspectives. In my role as Chair of the Broadcast Journalism department, I think it was definitely a success. As usual, I was “multitasking,” with three different projects in play…

    Broadcast Journalism Beijing Update

    It was great to be on the campus of the Beijing Film Academy again. I met with about 60 freshmen, who had just arrived the previous week. It was the first time many of them had heard about the New York Film Academy (NYFA), so I spoke in general terms about the school, its philosophy, facilities, and locations. However, I did play for them videos produced by current and former NYFA Broadcast Journalism students. (That includes Lara Gato’s Resume Reel; a recent “live shot” by Alyssia Taglia; and My NYFA Experience by Sara Quintana.)

    The students were a receptive audience, asking lots of good questions. Afterwards, about a dozen of them chatted with me and/or Christina He, of NYFA’s Beijing office. BFA also gave me the opportunity to contemplate what it might be like to win an Oscar…

    Broadcast Journalism Beijing Update

    Later I ran a workshop at the China Film Group. This audience was very different. It was made up of media professionals who wanted to improve and expand their skill set. Surprisingly, a number of them are interested in non-fiction film and video production.

    In addition to my standard PPT presentation, we had an extended Q&A session. Frankly, I think it was the high point of the afternoon. The participants had a chance to ask some very specific questions, about both video production as well as NYFA.

    Broadcast Journalism Beijing Update

    None of this would have been possible without Dr. Joy Zhu, NYFA’s Executive Vice President for the China Region, who did all of the preliminary work. And given my extremely limited Mandarin, without Christina I would have been left awkwardly smiling at the front of two very crowded rooms…

    As for my production work in Beijing, the schedule was — as usual — hectic. We shot at multiple locations around town, as well as spending a day in the studio. Fortunately I was working with friends, so everything was done amazingly fast. (And since the scene below was a waist shot, no one saw my wrinkled pants. It was one hot, humid day in Beijing…)

    Broadcast Journalism Beijing Update

    I ended my trip ended being interviewed by a reporter from China Daily. While the focus was on Century Masters, I talked about my new documentary Shanghai 1937 into the conversation as well. (There is going to be big news about that program very soon…)

    Now, all I have to do is get my body back on New York time…

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    September 12, 2018 • Academic Programs, Broadcast Journalism, China • Views: 362