• NBCUniversal Presents Career Opportunities for NYFA Student Veterans


    NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies, is dedicated to hiring the newest generation of veterans. This week, NBCUniversal Campus 2 Career recruiters spent a few hours with New York Film Academy student veterans as part of NYFA’s Veteran Appreciation Week. The event was sponsored by the Office of Veterans Services, and brought together more than 45 veterans.

    nbcu at nyfa

    “This was an incredible experience for the students to receive real world knowledge and gain creative ways to network,” said Former US Navy member and current NYFA Veterans Coordinator, Eric Brown.

    The NBCUniversal Campus 2 Career Internship Program offers one of the most competitive media opportunities in the industry. The internships give students real-life experience, robust learning opportunities on the job and through NBCs campus curriculum. NBCUniversal also offers the “Page Program” to graduates, which is a yearlong program that provides a unique experience within the media industry while also training and developing future company leaders.

    NBC Universal Campus 2 Career Internship Program will help NYFA veterans create a cutting edge pathway in media, production and marketing of entertainment while learning from industry professionals.

    “This was very exciting and informative in regards to learning about internships for NBC Universal,” said Doug Prideaux, a BFA Acting veteran student. “I really do appreciate them reaching out and helping veterans potentially gain jobs.”

    On behalf of NYFA and its Veterans Affairs team, we’d like to thank NBCU’s Internship Program for spending time with our student veterans in Los Angeles.


    November 16, 2015 • Academic Programs, Community Highlights, Guest Speakers, Veterans • Views: 4192

  • NYFA Student Veterans Spend Evening at Clippers Game


    The New York Film Academy’s Veteran Services Office brought together more than 70 veterans from 25 partner veterans’ organizations for the Los Angeles Clippers against the Phoenix Suns basketball game on Monday, November 2nd. It was NYFA’s pleasure to host “Evening At The Game” as it connected our veteran students, local veterans and community partners to network with one another. The LA Clippers generously donated these tickets for veterans to attend the game. The LA Clippers are highly supportive of our military service members and veterans throughout the season.

    la clippers nyfa

    Through this event, the New York Film Academy’s student veterans had the opportunity to meet with representatives of various local veteran organizations—such as Wounded Warrior Project, Team Rubicon, and Veterans in Film and Television—and enjoyed the chance to exchange stories with local veterans.

    This event was an opportunity to network, meet other veterans, and learn more about the New York Film Academy and how the College educates and supports our student veterans. We are grateful for the encouragement that the LA Clippers provide to our military and the veteran students attending the New York Film Academy. Overall, the night was a success, providing good cheer and peer-to-peer support.


    November 4, 2015 • Academic Programs, Film School, Veterans • Views: 3151

  • NYFA Student Veterans Attend Padres / Dodgers Rivalry Game

    padres game

    Veteran students presented Mr. Coy with a NYFA “signature bag” as appreciation for the wonderful experience he provided them

    Over this year’s Labor Day weekend, student veterans from the New York Film Academy were invited by the San Diego Padres Military Division to attend a game free of charge against their rival Los Angeles Dodgers. The San Diego Padres are highly supportive of our military servicemembers and veterans throughout the season and the theme for Sunday’s game was an Air Force Appreciation Day.

    padresNYFA veteran students also had the opportunity to join Matt Coy, Senior Director of Game Day Presentation in the production booth for pre-game production meetings. The students were able to sit side by side with the production staff and learn how the production of the game works first hand.

    Ruddy Cano, President of the NYFA Veterans Student Association, thanked Mr. Coy and the NYFA Veterans Support Office team for the opportunity to be behind the scenes at the San Digeo Padre’s game. Rudy stated, “It has been an outstanding experience to not only learn what it takes to produce a live major league game but how our training at NYFA actually corresponds to the real world.”

    We are grateful for the support that the San Diego Padres provide to our military and the veteran students attending the New York Film Academy.


    September 17, 2015 • Community Highlights, Student & Alumni Spotlights, Veterans • Views: 3679

  • NYFA Students Participate in LA Mayor Garcetti’s Veterans Initiative


    Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti with NYFA veteran students

    Veteran students from the New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus were front and center at the 10,000 Strong Veterans Career Summit & Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America VetTogether held in Los Angeles on July 14. LA Mayor Eric Garcetti led the event.

    This event was held in celebration of Mayor Garcetti’s one-year anniversary of the launch of 10,000 Strong Hiring Initiative. The Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs created the initiative to connect veterans with employers seeking to hire former service members. The goal is to have employers support the veteran population by hiring 10,000 veterans by the year 2017. The summit aimed to connect veterans with the various career and business resources available.

    The New York Film Academy was privileged to partner with “We Are Mighty,” a Veteran NGO, on the initiative; and NYFA veteran students filmed the event.

    The NYFA veterans in attendance were delighted to have the opportunity to connect with the many participants from the entertainment industry to discuss employment opportunities. The VetTogether was beneficial to the New York Film Academy Veterans Affairs Office by providing the opportunity to network and develop partnerships with many veterans’ organizations.

    The New York Film Academy received a Certificate of Appreciation from Mayor Garcetti on behalf of the city of Los Angeles and its residents for offering our media services.


    July 22, 2015 • Community Highlights, Veterans • Views: 4765

  • NYFA Military Students Produce Veterans PSA with Joe Mantegna

    joe mantegna

    Actor Joe Mantegna with NYFA veteran students

    Today, military veteran students enrolled at the Los Angeles campus of the New York Film Academy produced a Public Service Announcement for partnering organization, The Soldiers Project. The PSA featured award-winning actor Joe Mantegna, who is a dedicated supporter of veterans and their families. The Soldier’s Project, a non-profit organization that offers counseling to service members, veterans and their families, has been a long time collaborator with The New York Film Academy, offering counseling and support to Veterans making the transition from military service to pursuing their dreams in the creative arts industries at NYFA.

    The PSA shoot was staffed by an all veteran film crew featuring veteran students from all branches of the military and studying various disciplines including filmmaking, producing, cinematography, and photography. The shoot offered a unique opportunity for Veteran students to come together and create a high quality video that will support their fellow veterans.

    joe M

    Ruddy Canohernandez, a BFA Producing student who produced the PSA, did so with the hope that his work would “open doors for other service members that he has been so lucky to take advantage of.” As a Marine, Mr. Canohernandez holds strong to the idea of never leaving a man behind, and sees his work as a producer as part of supporting his fellow service member. The PSA was directed by first year student and Army veteran Eric Milzaski, who was thrilled to have the opportunity to direct such a well known actor. In his own words, “this was a tremendous experience for me as a filmmaker, and we, as veteran students here, appreciate the opportunity that the NYFA Veterans Office was able was provide us with.”

    Mr. Mantegna was impressed by the hard work and professionalism of the veteran students and shared a desire to see more veterans working in the entertainment Industry. We will all be keeping our eyes out for this exciting PSA and the futures of these talented young filmmakers.

    -John Powers


    April 24, 2015 • Community Highlights, Student & Alumni Spotlights, Veterans • Views: 5517

  • NYFA Veteran Students March in Veterans Day Parade

    veterans day parade
    Once again, the New York Film Academy and its veteran students marched in New York City’s Veterans Day Parade down 5th Avenue, which included over 600,000 spectators showing their full support. The annual event honored those who have fought for our freedom and included over 21,000 participants.

    NYFA Acting student Jessica Gordon with Actor, Ronald Ermey

    NYFA veteran students that participated in this year’s parade were:

    • Justin Ford: One Year Producing
    • Dean Torres: One Year Acting for Film
    • Tyric Jackson: Two Year Acting for Film
    • Maria Ortiz: One Year Screenwriting
    • Robert Johnson: One Year Filmmaking
    • Michael Thomas: One Year Filmmaking
    • Carlos Lobaina: One Year Filmmaking
    • Jessica Gordon: One Year Acting for Film
    • Shane Velez: Evening Acting for Film
    • Peter DeJesus: One Year Acting for Film
    • Alexis Maldonado: One Year Filmmaking
    • Justin Flemming: One Year Filmmaking
    • Brett Yuille: Two Year Acting for Film

    As film and acting connoisseurs, it was easy for our students to spot Ronald Lee Ermey, who brilliantly captured the character of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket. Ermey’s masterful improv was due in large part to the fact that he was actually a former Gunnery Sergeant in the Marine Corps. A strength that Kubrick was able to take full advantage of.

    Aside from the celebrity sightings, the students had a wonderful time marching with their fellow students and military peers on one of Manhattan’s most famous avenues.

    “The parade was a great opportunity for our veteran students to honor those whom they served with and those who served generations before,” said NYFA NYC Director of Veterans Affairs, Joshua Birchfield. “It also gave them the opportunity to thank the community of New York City for their support. Our veteran students truly came out to show their appreciation and how NYFA is contributing to their life after military service in a positive and meaningful way.”

    The students finished the event feeling energized, supported and revitalized — which was the intent of the parade — mission accomplished.

    NYFA has been listed as a Top Military Friendly School by We work with the Department of Veterans Affairs and many of our programs are approved for post – 9/11 GI Bill benefits at both New York City and Los Angeles campuses. Our Los Angeles campus also participates in the Yellow Ribbon program. If you’re a veteran interested in studying one of our hands-on creative programs, please visit our Veterans Benefits page for more information.


    November 12, 2014 • Acting, Community Highlights, Filmmaking, Screenwriting, Veterans • Views: 5726

  • NYFA’s Director of Veterans Affairs to Air Documentary on AHC Films

    brian iglesias

    NYFA Director of Veterans Affairs (NY) Brian Iglesias

    Some exciting news for student and indie documentary filmmakers: AHC FILMS, will be a new television home for documentary projects dedicated to heroes and people who have helped shaped the way we live. Fittingly enough, the network will debut on Memorial Day, kicking off with New York Film Academy NY’s Director of Veterans Affairs, Brian Iglesias’ GI Film Festival Best Documentary Feature CHOSIN. His film recounts the riveting story of the survivors of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War. The project is very personal to Brian as he himself was in the U.S Marine Corps during the Iraq War.

    The Battle of Chosin was an early conflict in the Korean War and known as one of the seminal skirmishes of the Marine Corps’ proud history. The brutal combat lasted seventeen days in subfreezing temperatures amongst rugged terrain clashing 15,000 U.S Marine soldiers with 67,000 Chinese troops.

    “AHC FILMS is our way to step back and examine the nation’s critical moments – providing viewers with a unique, in-depth perspective, and a contemporary angle on stories you may or may not know,” said Kevin Bennett, executive vice president and general manager, American Heroes Channel. “We are proud to kick off AHC FILMS with the critically-acclaimed documentary, CHOSIN, giving viewers an amazing, first-person account about an historic battle, and shining a light on the true meaning of honor and solidarity.”

    Brian’s award-winning documentary will air on AHC Films Monday, May 26 at 9/8c. Be sure to check it out!


    May 15, 2014 • Documentary Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights, Veterans • Views: 3215

  • Memorial Day Scholarship for Military Service Members & Veterans


    NYFA Veterans

    In appreciation of the brave men and women who protect our nation, the New York Film Academy is providing an exclusive opportunity for military service members and honorably discharged veterans to receive a 4-Week Scholarship to study at either our Los Angeles or New York campus during the 2014 calendar year.

    We’re offering three 4-Week Scholarships–one in each of the following disciplines:
    • Filmmaking
    • Acting for Film
    • Photography (Please note: 4-Week photography students are required to have their own DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera with them at the start of the program)

    To be eligible to be selected as a scholarship winner, we ask:

    Participants need to create a 90-second video telling us your story, and upload it to your YouTube channel.

    Topics to include in the video:

    • Your military background and experience
    • Which program you want to study (Acting for Film, Filmmaking or Photography)
    • Why you want to pursue your passion at the New York Film Academy
    • Anything else you would like to share with us to help shape your story

    In addition to the above points, we encourage participants to include a sampling of their creative work within the video. Perhaps you could edit in a snippet of a short film you’ve created, a scene in which you’ve acted in, or a couple of your iconic photographs. While this is not mandatory, it never hurts to show off your artistic skills!

    How to Submit

    Participants must upload their 90-second video to their YouTube channel with the title “New York Film Academy Memorial Day Competition – Your Title/Name (ex. “Sergeant John Doe”).

    Once you have uploaded your video onto YouTube, copy the video’s URL link and paste it into a post to NYFA’s Veterans Facebook page. In your post to NYFA, include your name and contact information so we can reach the winners. If you’re uncomfortable posting your contact information online, please email your details and the link to your post to


    Videos must be properly submitted by Memorial Day: Monday, May 26th 2014 by 11:59PM.

    How the Winners Are Selected

    The winners will be determined based on the following combination:

    • The story told to us in your video
    • The public’s response to your video on our Facebook page (therefore, don’t forget to share a link with your friends and family to our Facebook page so they can like, share and comment on your video!)
    • You’re able to submit a copy of your DD214 directly to NYFA, once we’ve contacted you as possible winner.
    • Winners will be announced before the end of June 2014!

    If you have any questions, please email with “Memorial Day” in the subject line. For more information about our Veterans Benefits, visit:

    We look forward to your entries!


    February 28, 2014 • Acting, Contests, Filmmaking, Photography, Veterans • Views: 5214

  • New York Film Academy’s Alumni Spotlight: Jesse Bernal


    Jesse Bernal

    Acting for Film graduate Jesse Bernal is one of many military veterans who chose to attend New York Film Academy after leaving the military. The San Antonio native followed in the footsteps of his father and other brother who both served their country. Jesse spent 7 years in the US Air Force, working as a calibration technician and electronics specialist. His service took him to New Mexico, South Korea, and South Carolina.

    Though Jesse had started taking some acting classes while serving in the military, and booked some television roles (including Lifetime’s Army Wives, and the film The New Daughter with Kevin Costner), he decided to attend New York Film Academy at Universal Studios to further develop his talent.

    “The GI Bill paid my full tuition and living expenses. Without having to worry about [the money], I was able to put my best foot forward,” he explained. “The military gave me structure and helped me with time management. When we were doing scenes, I would think that it’s not just working, but working with my team.”

    Jesse landed a manager after participating in an actors’ showcase put on by New York Film Academy. Soon after his graduation in June 2011, he booked a role in a promo for HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher. He also joined the staff of the New York Film Academy to stay busy between auditions and performances. “Everyone on the staff believes in me and my talent,” says Jesse. He adds, “It’s amazing to see new students as they come in. I get to see their passion. It’s uplifting.” He also thanks his family for their support and inspiration.

    You can catch Jesse in a starring role in A Few Good Men at the Sky Lounge in the North Hollywood Arts District. The play was written by Aaron Sorkin, who later adapted the script for the film. The production with Rise Above Theatre Movement has just been extended and runs through April 22. In between work and evening performances, Jesse also squeezed in a modeling job for a national print advertising campaign. He is also producing a short film called The Secretary, a slapstick comedy about a couple and their infidelities. He is gearing up to direct a stage production of Reasons to be Pretty at the end of the summer.


    April 4, 2012 • Acting, Diversity, Student & Alumni Spotlights, Veterans • Views: 4809

  • Veterans Make Films at New York Film Academy


    Paul Meixner

    NYFA BFA student Paul Meixner was formerly stationed in Iraq

    New York Film Academy BFA Filmmaking student Paul Meixner is one of many students who served their country before joining NYFA. Meixner, who is orginally from Madison, Wisconsin, joined the army in 2002 and completed infantry and airborne training before volunteering for his first combat tour of Iraq in 2004, later becoming an infantry squad leader and combatives instructor. He then returned for a second tour of Iraq in 2009 as a Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) at an Iraqi training facility.

    Paul Meixner Iraq

    Meixner during his time serving in Iraq

    Meixner credits his family and military experience with giving him the discipline, drive, and determination he will need to succeed in school. Says Paul, “I know that sounds cheesy, but the military, especially ranger school, definitely helped to prepare me for the film industry. The parallels between the two are uncanny, especially when it comes to leadership.” Meixner says the Veterans Affairs Department at New York Film Academy has been more helpful than at other schools he has attended in the past. “They have more answers and information and they really hard work for you.”

    Paul Meixner NYFA

    Meixner on NYFA’s Universal Studios backlot

    In addition to his hectic school schedule, Paul is working on a web series with ThunderPunk Films, which launches at the end November. Created by Meixner, the project is a collaboration with other young filmmakers, in which they share their work, as well as reviews of books on filmmaking, writing, and acting. Meixner ultimately hopes to write, direct, produce, and act in dramas and character-driven action pieces. You can find Paul’s film projects on Facebook here and the ThunderPunk Films web series here. NYFA thanks Paul, and the hundreds of other veterans at our campuses, for their service and dedication.

    New York Film Academy’s Veterans Affairs Department can help veterans make the transition to civilian and campus life. Let them help simplify educational benefits and assist with post-deployment transition issues. New York Film Academy is proud to support the GI Bill, the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and the Yellow Ribbon Program. For questions about programs and workshops at the New York campus, contact Michael Caputo by email or call (212) 674-4300. For questions about the Universal Studios campus, contact Joey Zangardi or John Powers by email or call (818) 733-2600.

    Make sure to join the NYFA veterans community on our new Veteran Affairs Facebook page! Get veteran news, information on special events, and connect with other veterans!


    November 8, 2011 • Acting, Veterans • Views: 3744