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  • NYFA Improv Instructor Bill Watterson to Premiere “Dave Made a Maze” at Slamdance 2017

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    New York Film Academy Improv instructor Bill Watterson’s directorial debut film, “Dave Made a Maze,” was recently highlighted in Variety as a ‘notable title’ in competition at Slamdance 2017. The festival, which launched in 1995 as an alternative to Sundance, has included showings of such notable titles as Oren Peli’s “Paranormal Activity.” The fest, which takes place at the Treasure Mountain Inn in Park City, Utah, from Jan. 20 to Jan. 26, will screen 19 movies: 12 world premieres, three North American debuts, and one U.S. launch. Slamdance alumni include Christopher Nolan, Marc Forster, Jared Hess, Lena Dunham, Benh Zeitlin, Seth Gordon, and Lynn Shelton.

    bill watterson

    Watterson also has a series of web shorts that he wrote and directed, which led to a TV deal with Brandio Entertainment. As an actor, he performed motion capture and voice over for the video games “LA Noire” and “Lost Planet 3”; appeared in the films “Ouija,” “Jenny’s Wedding,” and Clint Eastwood’s “Jersey Boys”; and TV credits include “Brooklyn Nine Nine,” “The Soul Man,” and “The Young & The Restless.”

    “Dave Made a Maze” took home the Audience Award at Slamdance, and did so again at The Omaha Film Festival, Boston Underground Film Festival and Fantaspoa Brazil. The film also garnered Jury Prizes at Florida Film Festival, Sun Valley, and Calgary Underground, and has played festivals in Switzerland, Poland, South Korea, and more.
    “Dave Made a Maze” will show at Sitges later this year in Spain, and the trailer reached over 2 million views in two weeks. The film is being distributed in North America by Gravitas Ventures and will be in theaters in over 15 cities in the US and Canada, including here at The Santa Monica Laemmle, starting on August 18th.

    We had a chat with the director and instructor before his upcoming January premiere at Slamdance.

    Congrats on being accepted to Slamdance! Can you tell me what “Dave Made a Maze” is all about?

    “Dave Made a Maze” re-imagines classic 80’s adventure films with a modern comedic edge and a higher body count. Dave, a frustrated artist, gets lost inside the cardboard fort he builds in his living room, and his girlfriend Annie must lead a band of oddball explorers on a rescue mission. The handmade fantasy world features the in-camera effects of puppetry, stop motion animation, and optical illusions.

    How did the film come about?

    A friend of mine from Second City started writing a whacked out script based on an anecdote I’d told him about my mother coming home and panicking that I had gotten lost in a pillow fort I’d made in my bedroom, even though I’d followed protocol and left a note saying I was having dinner at my friend John Richards’ house. She tore the fort apart looking for me. Steve had 60 pages by the next day. Eventually we zeroed in on the themes and started working together to finish the script.

    How were you able to raise funds for the production?

    We got some great talent attachments early on, drawing on contacts at Second City and work we’d done as actors. Some of our production design team came from “Robot Chicken,” and since the handmade look and animations in the film were so important, that caught a lot of investors’ eyes. The film is entirely independently financed.

    Will we be seeing you on screen as well in this film?

    I have a very brief cameo as a still photo on a keyboard box. It was such an ambitious film and we had so little time to prep and even less to shoot. It felt irresponsible to focus on anything other than directing.

    As an improv teacher, what sort of advice or direction did you give your actors?

    It’s always good to be in touch with your instincts, to respond honestly to the things happening before you, to be quick on your feet, and to ask yourself and your actors ‘what if?’ Those are foundational improv skills that also apply to directing. I definitely let the actors play around with dialogue to make sure they were comfortable and felt safe and supported, and because they’re all so gifted comedically. But we had a lot to get done, so I had to be careful not to let the train get off the tracks.

    Bill & Meera

    What do you hope to achieve at Slamdance? Are you looking for a distributor?

    Right now, we’re meeting with sales agents to help us find a distributor at the festival. It’s an honor to be there, and we want to be sure to capitalize on the opportunity. We made a very strange movie, and I’m hoping to find like-minded people in Park City who enjoy the silliness and heart of the film.

    What advice can you give to filmmakers looking to direct their first feature?

    Take all your successful director friends out to lunch and pick their brains. Shadow them on one of their projects if they’ll have you, and take lots of notes. Ask your editor what they hate about directors they’ve worked with in the past, and what mistakes to avoid on set.

    Read Sidney Lumet’s “Making Movies” and know your movie’s theme in and out, and filter all your decisions through that. Everybody wants to direct the movie; keep a small council, and defer to the best idea, whether it was yours or not. Know that the movie you shot will be different from the movie you edit; don’t fight it. Be grateful to the people who are working their butts off to bring your project to life. You cannot get anywhere without them.

    Anything else you’re working on now or in the near future that you’d like to share?

    I just walked out of a pretty huge meeting that I don’t want to jinx. I shot a series of shorts with a puppet that I’m almost ready to share, and I’m dusting off other pitches to have a better answer to this question come festival time!

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    December 2, 2016 • Acting, Faculty Highlights, Filmmaking • Views: 4475

  • Ralph Gibson, Chair of NYFA’s Department of Contemporary Photography, Opens Major Exhibition in Paris

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    gibson and serrano

    Renowned American Photographer Andres Serrano and Ralph Gibson, Paris 2016

    Recently, the renowned photographer, and NYFA’s Chair of the Department of Contemporary Photography, Ralph Gibson, opened a major photography exhibition at the prominent Galerie Thierry Bigaignon in Paris.

    The famous American photographer exhibited a new series of large-format color photographs entitled Vertical Horizon. Gibson, best known for his black & white monochrome images of the human form, has also often explored architectural elements in his works. The works in this exhibition evolved from the time that Gibson began doing color digital photography some years back.

    As the gallerist Thierry Bigaignon states, “Ralph Gibson’s images highlight the idea of boundaries and opposition. They’re visual oxymorons, so we decided to title the exhibition Vertical Horizon, which perfectly encapsulates these concepts.”

    gibson and clark

    Ralph Gibson and Larry Clark, filmmaker and photographer, at the opening of L’ Histoire de France at the Hotel Scribe, Paris. Nov -4, 2016

    Gill Mora, one of the world’s most important art critics and historian of American photography, recently commented on Gibson’s new photography series, “Ralph Gibson is without doubt the most European of American photographers, and knows our culture perfectly. His mastery of composition, halfway between graphic artwork and abstraction, has never precluded the sensuality that is the particular trademark of his photographs. It is time to rediscover Ralph Gibson.”

    At 77, Ralph Gibson is as active as ever — both in his studio and at the New York Film Academy. In addition to lecturing to NYFA students, Gibson also takes on a mentoring role to students as part of a unique mentorship program that NYFA established for long-term photography students.

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    November 17, 2016 • Faculty Highlights, Photography • Views: 2954

  • NYFA Films Special Veterans Day Message with Col. Jacobs and DVS Commissioner, Brigadier General (ret.) Loree Sutton

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    Members of New York City Department of Veteran Services (DVS), including the DVS Commissioner, Brigadier General (ret.) Loree Sutton, gathered at the New York Film Academy’s (NYFA) state-of-the-art facilities at 17 Battery Park to film a special Veterans Day message to salute, and thank those veterans who have served in our Armed Forces. The message marks the first official Veterans Day message from the City of New York’s newly created Department of Veterans Services.

    col jacobs

    Colonel Jack Jacobs chats with NYFA veteran student, Joshua Flashman, in between takes.

    Commissioner Sutton was joined by Colonel Jack Jacobs, Medal of Honor recipient and Chair of the New York Film Academy’s Veterans Advancement Program (VAP) to send a message to both New York City veterans and the civilians who support them. They both spoke about how important the NYC community is to veterans, and how the strengths of the City’s nearly 250,000 veterans adds tremendous value to the NYC communities. Both retired servicemembers asked that— on this 2016 Veterans Day— citizens do more than simply thank veterans for their service, but also to let veterans know what a powerful asset they are as they continue to make invaluable contributions to making this the greatest city— in the greatest country— on earth.

    “There’s nobody more creative than veterans,” said Col. Jacobs. “They’re the one’s who bring life experience and creativity to a profession that requires both of those attributes.”

    “To see these students working at the New York Film Academy is really a thrill and an affirmation of the strengths we know our veterans have,” added Brigadier General, Sutton.

    jacobs and sutton

    NYC Department of Veteran Services Commissioner, Loree Sutton Brigadier General (ret.) and Colonel Jack Jacobs, Medal of Honor recipient and Chair of the NYFA’s Veterans Advancement Program (VAP) during taping of the 2016 Veterans’ Day Message.

    “It means a lot to know we’re appreciated in our community,” said NYFA Acting for Film student and veteran, Labrena Ware.

    “It feels great to have a sense of brotherhood,” added NYFA student and veteran, Pavlos Plakakis, who found his acting calling in the military after being told he had a talent for boosting morale amongst the troops.

    Veterans from nearly all branches of service had the opportunity to meet and speak with Commissioner Sutton and Colonel Jacobs during the filming. Those in attendance reflected about the diversity and spirit of the “Big Apple,” and also symbolized the passing of the torch from one generation of American service members to the next.

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    November 9, 2016 • Acting, Community Highlights, Faculty Highlights, Veterans • Views: 3831

  • NYFA Instructor’s “Porgies & Bass” Wins Best Short at Coney Island Film Festival

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    porgies and bassNew York Film Academy Filmmaking instructor Thomas Barnes’ latest short film, “Porgies & Bass,” recently won Best Short Film at the Coney Island Film Festival and will be screening at the Big Apple Film Festival, which will take place at the Village East Cinema in Manhattan on Friday, November 4th at 8:30pm.

    The film was co produced by NYFA instructor Richard D’Angelo, and the crew featured numerous NYFA alumni and teacher’s assistants.

    The story surrounds Ben, a native fisherman on Long Island, New York, fishing for the prized large striped bass. Meanwhile, Jorge, a Latino immigrant catches porgies, a more common and smaller size fish. What starts out as a beautiful day on the beach turns into a skirmish over territory, and finally erupts in an unforgettable manner.

    We had a chance to speak with the director and NYFA instructor, Thomas Barnes, before his upcoming screening at the Big Apple Film Festival.

    What are some of the themes we can take from your film?

    With all the talk of building walls to keep people out and fears of outsiders stoked by politicians, this film explores social and racial tensions via a tense fishing story. Hopefully, the film transcends political sloganeering to get to a more complex view of people and their struggles to coexist.

    Thomas Barnes

    Thomas Barnes directing his actor on the set of “Porgies and Bass.”

    How did this film come about? 

    The story was devised after several years of fishing on beaches in Long Island, meeting men like the characters in the story, and imagining what would happen in a tense conflict between them. With script in hand in summer 2015, I invited NYFA instructor Richard D’Angelo to come on board as he is an experienced Long Island producer where the film was to be shot.

    I raised the money for production privately and then successfully crowd-sourced the funds for post production via Indiegogo.

    What was the most challenging aspect of the production?

    The changing weather, tides, ocean conditions and light were all challenges. Shooting totally out of sequence and keeping on top of continuity was a headache.

    Also, working in the water with actors, props and camera made for some very tricky set-ups.

    porgies and bass

    Can you tell me the students and alumni involved with the production? 

    Co- Producer Richard D’Angelo helped to hire the following alumni:

    • Production Designer: Roxy Martinez
    • Associate Producer: Jolene Mendes
    • Assistant Director: Attapol Worrawuttaweekul
    • Production Coordinator: Francesca Morello
    • Key Grip: Mateo Salcedo Cancino
    • Gaffer: Miguel Garzon Martinez
    • Editor: Ross Vedder – works with NYFA Editing Dept. I met him through NYFA instructor Lanre Olabisi.

    What do you hope to achieve with this film and its screening at the Big Apple Film Festival?

    It’s a competitive awards festival, so I hope to earn the votes of our supporters in the audience!

    Are there any other screenings or festivals coming up where we can see the film?

    To be confirmed. It just screened at Woodstock Film Festival last week.

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    November 1, 2016 • Faculty Highlights, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2875

  • NYFA South Beach Sponsors Miami Web Fest & Vet Fest

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    juan duenas

    New York Film Academy Veteran Services Coordinator, Juan Duenas on the red carpet at the Miami Vet Fest.

    The South Beach, Miami campus of the New York Film Academy College of Visual and Performing Arts (NYFA) was a key sponsor of the 3rd Annual Miami Web Festival, and Miami VET Festival, which were simultaneously held recently in the “Magic City.”

    The Miami Web Fest is a four-day event showcasing the hottest new web series content from around the world. The festival is designed to create a work-play environment, attracting Miami’s vast and multicultural community of arts enthusiasts.

    During the Miami Web Fest, NYFA Filmmaking instructor Herschel Faber taught an exclusive Master Class for interested filmmakers. The workshop provided an overview of the importance of the screenplay, tips and tricks for making filmmaking dollars go further, shot framing, cinematography, and working with talent. The session provided a great overview of filmmaking with a concentration on utilizing storytelling in a visual and dynamic way. Professor Faber, who teaches Filmmaking at NYFA South Beach, brought a wealth of experience as he has spent the last 16 years working as a writer, director and producer of film and TV.

    The event also featured the VET Fest, which is a division of the Miami Web Fest designed to showcase films and web series with military themes or films created by military filmmakers. Bryan Thompson, a US Army Veteran and award-winning filmmaker created the VET Fest. Veteran filmmakers from across the country met at the event to showcase their films. As part of the support of the Vet Fest, NYFA’s Veteran Service Division provided a Filmmaking Program Scholarship, which was awarded to the veteran who was selected in the category of the “Best Film in the Festival.” The winner has the opportunity to use the scholarship at any of NYFAs domestic campuses.

    New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts, and the NYFA Veterans Service Division, are proud supporters of the Miami Web Fest and the VET Fest, which brought together hundreds of aspiring filmmakers including many service members.

    For more information on NYFA’s South Beach campus, please see miami.nyfa.edu.

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    October 21, 2016 • Community Highlights, Faculty Highlights • Views: 3335

  • NYFA Instructor Joe Burke Stars in Romantic Dramedy “Dependent’s Day”

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    With gender equality being ever more present in today’s modern relationships, the upcoming film, “Dependent’s Day,” tackles this theme after the leading woman claims her boyfriend as a dependent on her tax returns. Directed by Michael David Lynch, the romantic dramedy stars New York Film Academy Los Angeles Directing instructor Joe Burke, along with actress Benita Robledo. Outside of his teaching, Burke has appeared on the critically acclaimed Showtime series “Ray Donovan,” as well as the popular Disney show “Dog With A Blog.”

    depedents day

    We decided to have a little chat with the actor, filmmaker, and NYFA instructor, to find out more about his upcoming film, which recently received a glowing review in the LA Times.

    Congrats on the film! How did this role come about for you?

    The role of Cam in “Dependent’s Day” came about through a mutual friend. Writer/Director Mike Lynch was preparing to make a new short film and was looking for a lead actor who would be perfect for his project; and our mutual friend Josh Staman (also in the movie) recommended me to Mike. At the time, Mike knew me more as a filmmaker, not as an actor, but still invited me in for a table read after Josh’s recommendation. So I met with Mike, and actor Benita Robledo, and we did a table read of the short film Mike had written. We ended up improvising on top of the short film script and exploring the material a bit (which was a lot of fun). After one thing led to another, Mike quickly decided this idea was not meant to be a short film, but something bigger.

    After exploring the idea of making a web series, we landed on going out and making a feature film two months later. I personally knew Mike Lynch before “Dependent’s Day,” and was actually an extra in his student thesis film yeas ago. But I think that’s a great story, and one I always share with my students, because you never know who you might meet in film school and later collaborate with down the road. And to go from being an extra in one project to the lead in the next (10 years later), just shows how much you need to trust the process and stick with it.

    Dependent’s Day Trailer from Michael Lynch on Vimeo.
    Can you tell us a little bit about your character and his role in “Dependent’s Day”?

    I play the role of Cam in “Dependent’s Day.” He’s our hero character that we follow through the film (as flawed at times as he may seem). But he’s a dreamer. And a guy going after his dreams in Hollywood. Something I can certainly relate to…we all can. And he struggles on finding the balance of how to both go after his dream while stepping up his game in his relationship with his girlfriend, Alice (played by Benita Robledo), who is the breadwinner of the relationship. Cam is a very sweet character with a big heart, and though he doesn’t always make the best decisions at times, he is certainly trying to do his best in life and figure it out. It’s a really hilarious and heartfelt role, and I had a blast playing it.

    cam

    behind the scenes of “Dependent’s Day”

     

    You seem to have such a camaraderie with Benita in front of the camera? What’s the secret?

    Working with Benita Robledo was great. We hit it off early on at the table read and found a great rhythm for these two characters. I think the key to developing a great chemistry with your co-stars is to really allow yourself to dive deep into the world of the character. To really feel like you’re in the characters shoes and to be grounded in all your decisions. Even for a comedy like “Dependent’s Day,” we always wanted to play it ‘real and honest.’ And another big key factor is to truly listen. The art of ‘listening’ as an actor is super important. It keeps you on your toes and allows you to react naturally in the moment to what’s going on. I always say keep it authentic. Mike, Benita, and I had a really fun time bringing these characters to life.

    Do you consider yourself primarily a filmmaker or actor? Or both?

    I definitely consider myself both a filmmaker and an actor. I have been doing both since I was a young kid. I did focus a bit more on filmmaking in college, but I truly enjoy both so much that I wouldn’t be able to do just one. And on “Dependent’s Day,” I was still in a position to bring my filmmaker side to the project, collaborating closely with director Mike Lynch. I am co-producer on the film, and also had fun helping develop the story and edit the movie.

    HOUSE SITTING from Joe Burke on Vimeo.
    I write and direct a lot of my own films as well, and most recently I wrote/directed a new short film titled “House Sitting,” which I also starred in. So working behind the lens and in front of it at the same time was really an exciting challenge and something I look forward to doing a lot more of — as well as looking forward to more awesome opportunities to play great characters and collaborate with other talented filmmakers on their projects.

    Do you believe it’s important for young filmmakers to understand and perhaps get some hands-on experience as an actor?

    I think it’s so important for a young filmmaker to understand the process of acting. I think the more you understand acting, and have some experience being an actor, the better director you will be. Also, having directing experience will make you a stronger actor. It all goes hand-in-hand. But I think getting strong performances is the most important part of making a movie… and in order to really achieve that, you have to have a really strong grasp and understanding on what the process of acting is all about. You have to really know how to communicate well with your actors. I would encourage every young filmmaker to take a couple of acting classes and learn that side of it. It’s very valuable and will make you a much better director.

    So when can we see it?

    We put a lot of time and energy into making “Dependent’s Day” and we can’t wait for everyone to see it as soon as it releases on VOD October 18th.

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    October 13, 2016 • Acting, Faculty Highlights, Filmmaking • Views: 3314

  • Paul Sunday’s “Improv / Archive” Exhibition at New York Public Library

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    paul sunday

    From Archive / Improv series, photograph on baryta paper, 24 x 32 inches, 2016. © Paul Sunday

    The New York Public Library invited New York Film Academy Photography instructor Paul Sunday to create a new body of work for a solo show at their Mid-Manhattan branch. The Photo Walls in Picture Collection Exhibition Series “Archive / Improv” is on view from September 2016 through February of 2017 and is curated by Arezoo Moseni.

    “In response to the location, I will re-contextualize seldom viewed images from my archive to explore the boundaries between photography, sculpture and installation,” says Sunday.

    “These pictures consider the photograph as an object. My studio is a laboratory, a space for experimentation,” added Sunday. “It is bursting with stuff, equipment, lights, scraps of bric-a-brac, and old props but above all an extensive archive of photographic materials, the residue of twenty-five years of image making. I use all of this as material for improvisation. Riffing on the vocabularies of installation, sculpture, and collage, I endeavor to transform mundane objects into something poetic. I am fortunate to have space and time for contemplating my obsession with vision, light and the energy of ordinary things.”

    In addition to his teaching at NYFA’s photography school, Sunday is a photographer, painter, and curator. He discovered his love of photography while working on avant-garde theater and performance projects in New York. His earliest images were documents of performances and portraits of actors. In the 1990s, the artist created thousands of pictures for magazines and luxury brands. His portraits of artists and celebrities have been published in Paper, aRude, Interview, Soma and German Vogue among others.

    For more information on Paul Sunday’s “Archive / Improv,” please CLICK HERE.

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    September 29, 2016 • Faculty Highlights, Photography • Views: 2910

  • Joan Pamboukes Showcasing New Art Installation at The Paul Robeson Galleries

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    New York Film Academy Photography instructor Joan Pamboukes is showcasing a new art installation at The Paul Robeson Galleries at Rutgers University. There will be a reception on Thursday, Sept. 22 from 5pm-7pm.

    pamboukes

    Her installation, which was funded in part by NYFA, “Interfered interior of the Ballantine House parlor, Newark, New Jersey” is a site-specific installation inspired by Newark Museum’s historic Ballantine House and dedicated to the memory of Ben McClellan.

    “I had the assistance of our wonderful Teacher’s Assistant, Sean Brown, who is an expert in both the printing process and installation of photos presented on this particular ‘peel and stick’ material,” said Pamboukes. “Both Sean and another wonderful NYFA TA, Ana Paula Tizzi, volunteered to assist with the install. Ana also documented the entire process.”

    Pamboukes utilized readily available technology – an iPhone camera and a panorama app – through which she investigates the effects of media and interactivity in our society, and the way we experience the world through the interference of constantly evolving technologies and ubiquity of images online.

    Through the device’s basic technological capabilities and photographic functions, Pamboukes’ depiction of the parlor section of the house is distorted and fragmented, causing the uneven surface and pixilated texture to interfere with the present reality. The circular movement of the camera and the app’s digital ability to read certain areas and objects, or pass over them, personifies the space, making this domestic scene imaginary and fantastic.

    The room’s distinctive character, the scale of the work in relation to our body, as well as the distorted representation of space, conjure a psychedelic feel, as though trapped in an Alice in Wonderland moment. Experiencing this room through a photograph, rather than the site itself, redefines a moment in time, and by fusing together two disparate worlds, Pamboukes further detaches the place from its past.

    Observing this historical and bourgeois environment in the context of Newark’s current climate, raises questions about the role of the city today, its changing landscape, diverse architecture, and its relation to the past. Looking at this interior through a contemporary lens (literally), the space becomes almost unimaginable and even fictional in today’s world, echoing in a sense how we witness, stage and present false realities.

    For more information on the gallery, please CLICK HERE.

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    September 21, 2016 • Community Highlights, Faculty Highlights, Photography • Views: 3120

  • NYFA Welcomes Master Sergeant (Retired) Juan Duenas to Support Veterans Services Department

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    Juan Duenas

    Master Sergeant (Retired) Juan Duenas with Colonel Jack Jacobs, Medal of Honor Recipient, and Chair of NYFAs Veterans Advancement Program

    The New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA) is delighted to announce that Master Sergeant (Retired) Juan Duenas has joined NYFA as the Veterans Coordinator at the College’s South Beach campus.

    “The College is extremely pleased to have MSgt (Ret.) Juan Duenas become part of the NYFA’s Office of Veterans Services team,” stated Colonel Jack Jacobs, Chair of NYFA’s Veteran Advancement Program. “His long and illustrious career in the military, and his continual commitment to supporting troops when they transition out of active duty service, will mean that MSG (Ret.) Duenas will be a tremendous asset to the veteran students studying at NYFA”.

    MSG (Ret.) Duenas served in the United States Air Force Reserves for more than 25 years — retiring in 2007. From Nov. 1979 to May 2007 he served in the 482 Weapons System Security Flight at Homestead Air Force Base Fl. MSG (Ret.) Duenas also served as a Security Police Member conducting security protection of resources, was the Supply NCO for 9 years, Mobility NCO for 6 years, and Training & Quality Control Senior NCO for 8 years training over 100 Security Police members in 32 subject areas.

    Since 1979, MSgt (Ret.) Duenas had many overseas deployments, which included Germany, England, South Korea, Turkey, Brazil, and in 1999 was activated to Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base in Kuwait handling security and force protection.

    After 9/11, MSgt (Ret.) Duenas was called to active duty for two years to work with Central Command on Homeland Security issues. He has also deployed for humanitarian missions to El Salvador and the Hurricane Katrina Disaster support efforts. Additionally, MSgt (Ret.) Duenas served as committee member and coordinator for several Homestead Family Days in which over 2000 military personnel and their families attended.

    Currently, MSgt (Ret.) Duenas is a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10212, American Legion Post 133, Freedom Veterans of America, and supports the City of Miami Mayor’s Veterans’ Initiatives.

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    September 8, 2016 • Community Highlights, Faculty Highlights, Veterans • Views: 3842

  • NYFA Veterans Coordinator Interns with “The Daily Show”

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    Chris paparis

    NYFA Veteran Affairs Coordinator, Christopher Paparis

    Christopher Paparis, Marine Corps veteran and Veterans Coordinator at the New York Film Academy New York City campus was invited to the 2016 Veteran Immersion Program, a joint collaboration between “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” (TDS) and American Corporate Partners (ACP). Chris participated in a seven-week internship where a group of 15 other veterans were able to observe, learn and contribute with all members of the crew—from pre-production to the live taping of the show!

    Only 16 veterans are accepted into the competitive internship each spring. Those invited are able to interact with the producers and writers during round-table discussions focused on that evening’s show. Veterans participating in the program do more than just sit on the sidelines and observe during these meetings—they are encouraged to participate and chime in with their own ideas! The purpose of the Immersion program is not only to introduce veterans to the television industry, but also give them an opportunity to showcase their talents.

    “It was eye opening to sit in that room with all the writers and producers and see how the spontaneity of the Daily Show’s humor comes about. As an aspiring writer and producer, it provides me a sense of clarity knowing that the training I received at NYFA has prepared me well for this opportunity,” said Paparis. “Meeting Trevor Noah was a blast and really funny; he brought a lot of energy into the meetings I attended!”

    Over seven weeks, the vets are given a crash course in television production and networking, with the opportunity to speak and learn from professionals about the logistical, creative, and technical aspects of TV. During the final week the interns attend a career fair attended by hiring executives from Viacom, Disney/ABC and Time Inc., as well as Comedy Central.

    New York Film Academy’s Veterans Services staff continually train to support the military service members, veterans and their family members that become part of the NYFA educational community.

    The New York Film Academy proudly serves military veterans and has been privileged to enroll more than 1000 veteran students at our campuses in New York City, NY; Los Angeles, California and South Beach, FL., since 2009. NYFA has full time support personnel and dedicated Office of Veterans Services at each of its three domestic locations.

    In order to best serve NYFA’s student veteran population, staff members go through a rigorous training learning about veterans’ benefits, mental health resources, and often attend special professional development events and conferences.

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    September 1, 2016 • Community Highlights, Faculty Highlights, Veterans • Views: 4014