Community Highlights

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

    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.


    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.

    September 21, 2016 • Community Highlights, Faculty Highlights, Photography • Views: 989

  • Paul Brown Holds Masterclass in London’s Soho Theatre

    New York Film Academy instructor Paul Brown’s recently held a “Secret of Great Stories” Masterclass at London’s famed Soho Theatre that was both insightful and uplifting. Brown has a great way of cutting through all of the noise and focusing on what makes a great story and an effective storyteller.

    paul brown london

    Brown is an award-winning writer, director and producer, having worked in film and television for over twenty-five years. He has produced over one-hundred television dramas, pilots, and movies, working on such series at The X-Files, Quantum Leap, The New Twilight ZoneStar Trek Voyager and Enterprise. He has received nominations for three “Emmy Awards” and three “Golden Globes” as well as winning the “Edgar Award” from the Mystery Writers of America for Best TV Drama. He has also received the “Genesis Animal Rights Award.”

    He co-created Disney’s world-wide smash hit Camp Rock. Most recently, he directed and co-wrote the dramatic feature film Heaven’s Rain in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest.

    As a teacher for the New York Film Academy, he also gives lectures on writing, acting, and filmmaking throughout the year in Latin America, Europe, and Russia.

    “His emphasis on emotion and honesty as the cornerstones of great stories resonated with the audience, which was made up of very enthusiastic film lovers — many of whom are looking to expand on their film education at the New York Film Academy,” said NYFA’s Recruitment Manager Roger Del Pozo.

    The attendees in London had very articulate questions and feedback and even shared some of their own film projects with us after the Masterclass.

    September 20, 2016 • Community Highlights, Filmmaking • Views: 1123

  • NYFA Screenwriting Graduates Celebrate with an Industry Pitch Fest

    Graduating MFA, AFA and BFA New York Film Academy Screenwriting students recently attended their culminating Industry Pitch Fest Event, held at the penthouse ballroom of the Andaz Hotel up on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood.

    screenwriting dept

    A catered event and mingling opportunity for the students, executives, and faculty alike, this capstone evening celebrated the New York Film Academy’s graduating screenwriting students, offering them a professional outlet to jumpstart their careers by pitching their film and TV thesis projects to industry executives.

    These writing students spent their final semester in their Business of Screenwriting classes working with Business of Screenwriting Instructors David O’Leary, Jerry Shandy, and Dirk Blackman, in conjunction with Faculty Chair Nunzio DeFilippis and Associate Chair Adam Finer, preparing and fine-tuning their pitches.

    nyfa screenwriting

    They shined on this pinnacle evening, leaving with new professional contacts and a wave of interest in the scripts they’d worked so hard on all year.Considered by the school to be their first night as professional screenwriters, this group of bright students brought their A-game, as they pitched agents, managers and production company representatives in a relaxed, round-table environment. Organized and hosted by David O’Leary, the event featured representatives from various Hollywood companies, including literary agencies, management companies, and TV and Film production companies.

    Attendees included: Blumhouse, Closed on Mondays, Elevate Entertainment, Good Fear Film + Management, ICM, Imagine Entertainment, International Film Trust, Mad Chance, Madhouse Entertainment, Magnet Management, Management 360, Marc Platt Productions, Moresco Productions, Nightshade Entertainment, Original Film, Quadrant Pictures, RatPac Entertainment, Triple Threat Pictures, and Walden Media.

    NYFA wishes to thank all of its participants, particularly our industry guests, without whom this evening could not have been possible. Also, we’d like to extend a big congratulations to all of our MFA, BFA and AFA graduates!

    September 20, 2016 • Community Highlights, Screenwriting • Views: 1132

  • Spring 2016 Screenwriting Students Complete Second Semester

    What’s it like for a screenwriter to hear his or her work read aloud by actors for the first time? Thrilling and nerve-wracking all at once, as LA’s Spring 2016 MFA, AFA, and One Year students discovered when they saw their work performed in a staged reading at the New York Film Academy Los Angeles Theater last Saturday night. Rounding out the second semester of their program, students chose 4-6 page scenes from their original screenplays and TV pilots, then event coordinators Terah Jackson and Crickett Rumley cast the roles with professional actors, including NYFA grads Dijon Delonte Hawkins and Heather Hult.


    Screenwriter Queenian Okagu was excited to hear the actor playing the father in her feature Culture Clash do a Nigerian accent. “He sounded just like my dad,” she said. For Lindsey Lauren Hall, hearing her TV script And Then There Were Three read out loud was a real learning experience. “I heard some lines fall flat, so I’m going to have to go back through the script and work on them.”

    screenwriting grad

    The audience of friends, family, and faculty, including Screenwriting Department Chair Nunzio DeFilippis and Associate Chair Adam Finer, were drawn into a futuristic Los Angeles in David Castillo’s pilot The Crimson Samurai, met an ambitious young race car driver in J.B. Hakim’s The Formula, and got creeped out by the mysterious town in AJ Kunkel’s October. The bros of Adam Zagri’s Dungeons and Daily Life and the potential lovers in Robert Styles’ Friend Zone Jones had the audience in stitches, while Rachna Sukura’s Indira and Hamidreza Khorsanizadeh’s Motherhood explored complex relationship dynamics and family situations.

    Following the reading, the screenwriters networked with their actors and enjoyed a reception with faculty and guests. Congratulations to the Spring 2016 MFA and AFA students on finishing their first year, and best of luck to the Spring 2016 One-Year students who just completed their program!

    September 15, 2016 • Community Highlights, Screenwriting • Views: 361

  • San Diego Padres Invite NYFA Veterans for Late Season Showdown vs Boston Redsox


    NYFA veteran students before the first pitch.

    Student Veterans from the New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA) were invited by the San Diego Padres as special guests of the organization to attend the Labor Day game against the Boston Redsox.

    The Padres’ Matt Coy, Senior Director, Content & Presentation, gave the NYFA veterans a VIP tour of the production booth. The students had the wonderful opportunity to engage with the Padres’ production staff and learn more about the cameras, equipment, and technology that they use to broadcast the games.

    Doug Prideaux, NYFA BFA Acting student, stated, “This was an amazing opportunity to attend my first Major League Baseball game with my fellow veterans. To be able to learn more about the behind the scenes production of each Padres game was an incredible experience.”

    padres field

    View from the San Diego Padres’ Production Booth

    The San Diego Padres are very supportive of the military and veteran communities often hosting veterans’ appreciation events each season. NYFA’s Office of Veterans Services is grateful for the support that the San Diego Padres provide to the military community and student veterans attending the New York Film Academy.

    September 12, 2016 • Community Highlights • Views: 1415

  • “Imitation of Life” Photography Exhibit at Broad Musuem

    broad photography
    The Spring 2016 1 Year Photography class from New York Film Academy Los Angeles traveled to the Broad Museum in downtown LA recently to specifically see the large Cindy Sherman retrospective that the museum is exhibiting. This retrospective, “Imitation of Life,” is a range of work she created during the beginning of her career while still living in Buffalo, New York. Of course, they also showed Untitled Film Stills and then more mid-career work like the History series. They also displayed some of her work in the lines of the grotesque and several large prints of work that was created this year.
    broad musuem
    Overall, the exhibition laid out not just her 40 year career but, because she is so influential, it also touches upon many of the issues that have dominated the arts, particularly in photography, during that period. Sherman is considered a practitioner in the post-modern Pictures generation and her work nudges on themes of feminism, horror, appropriation (of cinema), cinema as a widespread contemporary language, and horror including the grotesque. Because her work is self-portraiture and follows the entirety of her adult life, it illustrates a more personal practice and is increasingly engaged with aging.
    broad musuem
    Students had plenty of time to peruse the exhibition. They were also able to check out the permanent Broad collection upstairs. The students were genuinely impressed, particularly on a technical level.
    One student said that he felt seeing the work was more exciting than seeing the Broad’s permanent collection (even the though the permanent collection has Warhols). They said the Cindy Sherman show seemed “more contemporary.” All the students commented that they found it very satisfactory to see the work in person rather than on a screen, especially since some of the work was so large.
    They were surprised that Cindy Sherman is the photographer, director, make-up artist, hairstylist and the subject in all her work. Cindy works alone and the students were more than impressed, they were inspired.

    September 9, 2016 • Community Highlights, Photography • Views: 1990

  • Filmmaking and Acting Workshops Held in Beijing and Shanghai

    This summer, the New York Film Academy held Filmmaking & Acting workshops in both Beijing and Shanghai, China. The workshops have drawn a growing number of international students who want to live and learn in China, where the entertainment industry is growing exponentially.

    Students were able to learn the various aspects of the filmmaking process, including writing, directing, acting, editing, and lighting a set.


    “The instructors were quite helpful and always ready to help you with your specific project,” said Enna, a student who grew up in British Guiana. “It was great to have industry standard equipment to work with and bring our projects to life.”

    china workshop

    “I will definitely choose New York Film Academy,” added another student, Steven. “I think it’s very hands on, very practical; it will help me get started.”

    Many of the students had the same sentiment as the event was a tremendous success, with many attendees committed to pursuing their education further at the Academy.

    September 8, 2016 • Acting, Community Highlights, Filmmaking, Study Abroad • Views: 1994

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

    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.

    September 8, 2016 • Community Highlights, Faculty Highlights • Views: 1439

  • NYFA’s Bill Duke to Direct Legal Drama “Created Equal”

    Bill Duke

    Bill Duke

    New York Film Academy instructor Bill Duke, who has an extensive background in acting and filmmaking, is returning to the directing chair in the upcoming legal drama, “Created Equal.” Duke is coming off of directing the documentary “Dark Girls,” which premiered on OWN in June 2013 and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.

    The script was written by Richard Kletter, Michael Ricigliano, Theta Catalon and Joyce Lewis and is being produced by Ms. Catalon of T-CAT Films and Karlas Powell. The film will star Aaron Tveit as the lawyer opposite Edy Ganem (“Devious Maids”) as the female lead, along with Lou Diamond Phillips (“Longmire”) and Greg Alan Williams (“Greenleaf”).

    “Created Equal” is based on a novel written by Roger A. Brown —who is also serving as executive producer on the film — and deals with a young woman with the desire to become a priest in the Catholic Church. However, when she runs headlong against the Church, which is opposed to her plans, she turns to an up-and-coming lawyer who files suit against the Archdiocese of New Orleans for sex discrimination without justifiable cause.

    Production on the film is expected to begin early September 2016.

    September 7, 2016 • Community Highlights, Faculty Highlights • Views: 1705

  • New York Film Academy Veterans Attend Anaheim Angels Game

    On Monday, August 29, New York Film Academy veteran students enjoyed an evening at Angel stadium watching the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim take on the Cincinnati Reds. This was made possible by a generous ticket donation from the Angels organization. The Angels have a history of supporting military service members through their community relations department and look forward to any opportunity to provide a night of entertainment to the military service members and veterans.

    angels game

    New York Film Academy veterans enjoy the evening watching the Anaheim Angels take on the Cincinnati Reds.

    NYFA veteran students were able to enjoy a night of camaraderie and took the ball game as a chance to forget about the often intense workload that comes with the various courses of study in the visual and performing arts. Veterans Coordinator Michael Kunselman, a Navy veteran himself, helmed the event along with fellow Navy veteran and Athletics Director Eric Brown who stated, “It is always great to step away from the daily routine and give our veteran students a well-deserved night out to cut loose and enjoy themselves with fellow veterans.” Additionally, Kunselman mentioned that this is was a special opportunity for many of the veterans as this was the first time many of them have attended a major league ball game. He believes that there are a lot of organizations out there who are happy to host veterans as a reminder that their service to the Nation will never go unnoticed.

    Many of the veteran students at NYFA are acquiring the skills and tools to use not only in film and television, but also in production, writing and photography. The rigorous course curriculum can all be applied to the entertainment industry to include broadcasting televised baseball games.

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

    September 2, 2016 • Community Highlights • Views: 1389