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  • NYFA Covers Young Storytellers’ Final ‘Glee’ Big Show

    glee cast

    As part of our on-going collaboration with the wonderful Young Storytellers Foundation, New York Film Academy students and alumni recently got the chance to film “THE FINAL GLEE BIG SHOW.”

    Glee cast members Mark Salling, Dot Marie Jones, Harry Shum Jr., Max Adler, and Alex Newell along with Chrissie Fit (Teen Beach Movie, Pitch Perfect 2) performed four different short screenplays written by a group of inventive middle schoolers.
    glee la
    The connection between Glee and Young Storytellers dates back to the organization’s very beginnings when Glee co-creator Brad Falchuk helped create what is now YSF. Since then, Mr Falchuk has regularly brought the cast of Glee to perform the student’s material as part of YSF’s “Big Show.” With Glee now coming to a close after six seasons, this performance truly marked the end of an era.

    NYFA was honored to be part of the experience, and congratulates the cast and crew of Glee as well as all the Young Storytellers Writers.

  • NYFA Australia Showcasing Their Talent

    It’s showcase time at New York Film Academy Australia. Both our Sydney and Gold Coast campuses, together with Acting for Film students, had been working effortlessly over the months putting together performances that showcase the students’ talents.

    Gold Coast had a busy three-day showcase schedule running throughout early March, featuring 34 of the Academy’s skilled acting students. Each and every night, the Helensvale Cultural Centre was filled with friends and family who had come along to support the graduate actors’ and actresses’ live performances and showreels. The room was filled with great energy and positive vibes as all graduates pulled-off an outstanding performance.

    Congratulations to the Gold Coast Acting for Film graduates:

    New York Film Academy Gold Coast Students

    New York Film Academy Gold Coast Students: Brandon Sherwood, Callum Whitton, Anthony Christodoulou, David Austin, Samantha Willis, Tara Wraith, Michael Stoeckert, Marie-Clare Loi Zou, Jasper Batenga, Will Wensley (instructor), Stephanie Kutty, Paris Moletti, Taryn Roberts and Christine Campbell.

    Thursday 5th March Performers

    • Caleb Saron
    • Christine Campbell
    • David Austin
    • Jim Rossngton
    • John McMahon
    • Marie-Clare Lou Zou
    • Max Gundy
    • Natalie Hunt
    • Rebecca Lyon
    • Samantha Willis
    • Villami Kama
    • Zac Bankowski

    Wednesday 11th March Performers

    • Anthony Christodoulou
    • Brody Arrowsmith
    • Callum Whitton
    • Georgia Pilling
    • Kiara Watson
    • Natalie Jones
    • Nicola Haks
    • Paris Moletti
    • Rhys Williamson
    • Sam Farell
    • Stephanie Kutty
    • Steve Budgen

    Thursday 12th March Performers

    • Ashley Dunscombe
    • Brandon Sherwood
    • Clare Brimmer
    • Jasper Batenga
    • Joshua Conboy
    • Kerri-Anne Keenan
    • Laura Scott
    • Tara Wraith
    • Taryn Roberts
    • Zoe Bankowski

     

    As we headed down the coast of Australia, on Friday 6th March, Sydney was preparing for an over-capacity performance at the Australian Theater for Young People, located above the Sydney Theatre Company and accompanied with the breathtaking backdrop of Walsh Bay.

    Over the months leading up to the showcase, acting one-year program graduates of the night, Chantelle Von Appen, Chris Strauss, Alexander Merlo, David Pound, Nicole Torode, Rafael Haddad and Andrew Murdoch were able to experience exactly why New York Film Academy programs are defined by their intensive, hands-on reputation. Graduates’ commitment and dedication truly shined on the night, with their high caliber execution of mixed scene performances and beat poetry receiving a well-deserved standing-ovation from audience members, family, friends, NYFA staff and instructors.

    With a buzz in the air, graduates continued to showcase their works to a number of agents and casting directors at the Sony Theatrette. The opportunity for students to present their showreels was nerve-wracking but again, was received positively by students, agents and casting directors, alike.

    New York Film Academy Sydney

    New York Film Academy Sydney Students on-stage showcasing their talents.

    New York Film Academy Sydney

    New York Film Academy Sydney. From left, Rafael Haddad, David Pound, Nicole Torode, Jennie Hughes (NYFA Sydney, General Manager), Alexander Merlo, Chantelle Von Appen, Chris Strauss & Andrew Murdoch.

    New York Film Academy would like to thank all students, graduates and teaching staff who worked tirelessly to produce such a successful program, making it possible to accomplish these inspiring events and performances. We congratulate all students who have now joined our NYFA Alumni family and look forward to another prosperous year working with talented, upcoming actors and actresses.

  • ‘X-Files’ Alumnus Paul Brown to Teach Workshop at NYFA South Beach

    Paul BrownAfter a thirteen year hiatus, Fox has officially let fans know that the popular 90s TV show, The X-Files, will be returning for a brand new season. Series creator Chris Carter says the series will pick up right where it left off with stars Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny all on board to reprise their roles.

    The six-episode season is set to begin production this summer.

    In the meantime, X-Files alumnus Paul Brown will be teaching a workshop at the New York Film Academy’s South Beach campus.

    The Secret of Great Stories
    Workshop Featuring award-winning writer, director and producer, Paul Brown
    SATURDAY, APRIL 11th, 2015 at 12pm

    If you’re interested in attending the workshop, email southbeach@nyfa.edu

    Instructor Paul 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 Zone, Star 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.

     

    March 25, 2015 • Community Highlights, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 124

  • Stephen Colbert to Interview George Lucas at Tribeca

    colbert lucas

    For those of you on Stephen Colbert withdrawal, there’s a beacon of light ahead with the announcement from the Tribeca Film Festival that the long-time TV host will interview Star Wars creator George Lucas. The two are expected to discuss Lucas longstanding career as a filmmaker, which includes the classic franchises Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Fans also expect Lucas to unveil a bit about the upcoming films, which are being directed by J.J. Abrams, under Disney.

    Colbert hasn’t hidden his crush on Star Wars, having had an epic light saber duel with Comedy Central’s The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart. The force was strong for Colbert.

    While not everyone will be able to attend the exclusive interview this April in New York City, there is some solace in the fact that the brilliant comedy mind will be returning soon enough when he replaces David Letterman on the The Late Show this September.

    Now we just need to figure out how we’ll cope without Letterman…

    March 18, 2015 • Community Highlights, Entertainment News • Views: 241

  • Shakespeare Competition at New York Film Academy

    louis fantasia

    photo by Scott Hanlon

    On Sunday, March 9, the Los Angeles campus of the New York Film Academy played host to the LA Branch of the English Speaking Union for its 28th annual high school Shakespeare competition. Six finalists competed before a panel of distinguished film and theatre professionals in the Academy’s Riverside theatre before a cheering audience of family, friends, teachers and patrons, for a chance to perform at the ESU National finals at New York’s Lincoln Center in April.

    The six finalists were Carlos Camacho (Ramon C. Cortines School for Visual & Performing Arts); Clement Dexter (St. Monica Academy); Avery Girion (The Marlborough School); Kathleen Glynn (Los Angeles Senior High School); Emma Rothenberg (Westridge School); and Alex Thorland (New Roads School). They were chosen from 23 participants from the greater Los Angeles area two weeks earlier in a semi-final competition held at the Marlborough School in Hancock Park.

    shakespeare festival

    photo by Scott Hanlon

    Winning top prize was Emma Rothenberg from the Westridge School in Pasadena (shown I photo with drama teacher Laurie Riffe). Runner up Avery Girion, from the Marlborough School, was awarded a tuition scholarship to NYFA’s Advanced Acting summer camp for High School students this July.

    Judges for the Finals competition included Tony-nominated actress Roxanne Hart; actor, director and Golden Globe nominee Philip Casnoff (who teaches acting at the New York Film Academy); actress, director and Manhattan Marymount College Emeritus Professor Elizabeth Swain; and actress and ESU-LA Board member Kara Hume.

    fantasia

    photo by Scott Hanlon

    Shakespeare scholar Louis Fantasia, Dean of the Faculty at NYFA/LA, serves as President of the Board of the LA Branch of the English Speaking Union, which is part of a network of 68 branches throughout the US dedicated to global understanding and educational out-reach.

    Said Fantasia, “I was very happy to wear both my NYFA and ESU hats at the same time to help make this wonderful competition a success. I’m thrilled that we could show NYFA’s world class facilities to the participating students, teachers and patrons of the ESU, and equally thrilled that NYFA could help spread the word not only about Shakespeare in schools, but also about the wonderful work the ESU does in education in Los Angeles and across the US.”

  • NYFA Instructor Produces ‘Bad Hair Day'; Disney’s Big Hit

    Disney Original Bad Hair DayIn a rare occurrence, it is Friday the 13th for the second month in a row.

    While this month’s 13th is sure to have its fair share of entertainment news, a month ago marked the premiere of Disney’s Bad Hair Day.

    The original feature film was a huge hit with several younger key demographics, and we are proud to say that Denise Carlson, a NYFA senior producing instructor in Los Angeles, was a executive producer on the project.

    Bad Hair Day, which stars Disney Channel’s Laura Marano and Leign-Allyn Baker, amassed 4 million views, making it the #1 kids’ cable TV film for the year, and the #2 cable TV movie overall.

    The audience was comprised of 2 million viewers age 2-11 (5.1 rating), 1.6 million viewers age 6-11 (6.9 rating) and 1.4 million viewers among Tweens 9-14 years old (5.9 rating).

    While the public television premiere was on February 13th at 8PM, verified users of the Watch Disney XD app got early access on February 6th. During that week of the early release, 435,000 viewers saw the movie on tablets, phones, computers, and set boxes.

     

     

  • NYFA’s Sara Antkowiak Stars in ‘Pretty Babies’

    pretty babiesLast week was the World Premiere of the new Anthony Raymond play, Pretty Babies, which stars New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Instructor Sara Antkowiak (Tales of Hoffmann/Metropolitan Opera).

    The ensemble cast, directed by Raymond and produced by the critically acclaimed Elsinore County Theater Company, is led by Stacey Roca who had a recurring role as Rachel on the UK series The Office with Ricky Gervais.

    Pretty Babies is a story about using the taboo and forbidden as weapons in a no-holds-barred scheme of manipulation. The play revolves around Jason and his sister Randi — two lives steeped in sex, drugs, and grifting.

    Already off to a roaring start, Pretty Babies will continue its performances from now until March 21st at the newly renovated 13th St Rep Theater in New York City.

    If you’re interested in checking out this wonderful play, and supporting your fellow NYFA teacher, visit here for tickets!

    March 2, 2015 • Community Highlights, Musical Theatre • Views: 363

  • NYFA’s James Lecesne Gets Rave Review from NY Times

    james lecesne

    James Lecesne

    As was made quite clear in the Oscar Winning Best Picture Birdman, having the approval of the New York Times is one of the most crucial components of putting on a successful show. While turning the pages (okay, clicking a link) of a recent Times article, we came across a rave review, highlighting none other than one of our very own, New York Film Academy​’s Oscar-winning Documentary instructor James Lecesne.​

    The New York Times’​ respected and well known critic, Christopher Isherwood, identified Lecesne as one of “the most talented solo performers of his (or any) generation,” in his review of James’ one-man show, The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey.

    In his one-man show, Lecesne portrays various characters of a small Jersey shore town as they struggle to understand what happened to 14-year-old Leonard Pelkey. Adapted from his YA novel, Absolute Brightness, this solo show begins with the the discovery of Leonard’s disappearance, follows a criminal investigation led by detective Chuck DeSantis, and concludes with a trial that reveals the shocking truth.

    The multi-talented Lecesne has been admired for many of his artistic traits, as well as his work in philanthropy. To attest to his tremendous talent, the first film he ever wrote, Trevor, won the Oscar for best live action short! It’s truly an honor to have Mr. Lecesne as a member of the New York Film Academy.

    The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey is showing at Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie Street in Manhattan, now until March 28.

  • NYFA Documentary Adviser Editor on Oscar Winning ‘Crisis Hotline: Veteran’s Press 1′

    Crisis Hotline

    Crisis Hotline: Veteran’s Press 1 has won this years Documentary Short Subject Oscar. The film’s editor Geof Bartz, is also New York Film Academy’s Documentary Curriculum Adviser and Master Class Professor.

    Crisis Hotline: Veteran’s Press 1, which won the Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject, was edited by Geof Bartz, New York Film Academy’s Documentary Curriculum Adviser, Master Class Professor and Supervising Editor in HBO’s Documentary Department. This is Bartz’ third Oscar win from a total of 5 nominations over the years.

    Crisis Hotline is a touching 40-minute documentary, condensed from 100 hours of footage of VA’s suicide hotline call center, located in Canandaigua, New York. The documentary delves into the deep compassion, emotions and stresses call center operators endure when working daily to help and save suicidal veterans. Many of these operators are in fact veterans themselves, military family members and former service members.

    Nearly every hour, a veteran takes his or her own life. The film brings much needed attention to this issue and other challenges veterans (and their families) face when returning to civilian life.

    “We are hopeful this documentary will help raise awareness of this important issue with the American public,” VA Secretary Robert McDonald said.

    Producers Dana Perry and Ellen Goosenberg Kent went on-stage to accept their aware, with Perry dedicating the film to her son Evan who died at age 15 in 2005.

  • Patricia Arquette Demands Equality for Women

    Patricia Arquette

    In addition to the prestige and recognition that the Academy Awards provides for actors, filmmakers and artists, it’s also served as a platform for political and social outcry. Last night’s 87th Annual Academy Awards were no different than its predecessors, with Best Supporting Actress Patricia Arquette calling attention to the lack of equal pay amongst females not only in Hollywood, but throughout the job market.

    Her call for wage equality for women was received with a large ovation at the awards ceremony, particularly by 19-time Academy Award nominated actress, Meryl Streep.

    “To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights,” said Arquette. “It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”

    Arquette’s profound words come at a time when actors’ wages have become more transparent, especially after the unfortunate Sony Pictures hack revealed Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams earned substantially less than their male co-stars for the film American Hustle.

    In 2013, the New York Film Academy tackled this issue with an in-depth infographic, highlighting gender inequality in film. One of the many issues that has stood out, was the fact that Angelina Jolie was the highest paid female actor with $33 million — almost the same amount earned by the two lowest ranked men in 2013.

    female inequality

     

    Our hope at the time was to shed light on this issue in the hopes of pushing the conversation further. With a speech at the Oscars, we think we’re on the right track.

    February 23, 2015 • Community Highlights, Entertainment News • Views: 861