Community Highlights

  • 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: 1427

  • “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: 2007

  • 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: 2002

  • 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: 1455

  • 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: 1719

  • 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: 1401

  • NYFA Veterans Coordinator Interns with “The Daily Show”

    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.

    September 1, 2016 • Community Highlights, Faculty Highlights • Views: 1677

  • Acting Chair Lynda Goodfriend Speaks at NYFA Australia Campuses

    Recently, the staff and students of the New York Film Academy Australia — Gold Coast & Sydney campuses — were treated to a Q&A session with the Chair of Acting in Los Angeles, Lynda Goodfriend.

    lynda goodfriend

    Goodfriend spoke honestly and openly about her early beginnings in the performing arts, her early years as a dancer on Broadway, and her success on the iconic American television sit-com “Happy Days,” as well as various film appearances through the years that followed as a teacher and manager.

    During this invaluable session, Goodfriend was able to share her enthusiasm for the craft of acting, and express the hard work and perseverance that is required to be successful in the field.

    “Work harder than everybody else,” she said. “Don’t burn bridges, and never, ever quit.

    lynda goodfriend

    She also broke down some more technical and specific advice, such as:

    • You have to do as much work as you can in your home country; then bring that experience with you. This shows that someone has given you a chance and you have experience to show for it.
    • Never pick your own headshot. Never let your mother pick your headshot. Having a good headshot is part of acting.
    • Without a good headshot, agents won’t look at your resume. Once they do look at your resume, though, they will need a demo reel to show the casting director.
    • It is important to have a demo reel to showcase your work. It should be about 2 minutes. If they can’t see your talent in 30 seconds, they will not watch anything else.
    • The industry has changed drastically. You need to make your own material — create webisodes and put them on YouTube — get yourself out there.

    Goodfriend later took the time to share her experiences as a lecturer and Chair of Acting at the Los Angeles campus, providing valuable insight into the types of degree and long-term programs for students to further study in the U.S., and elaborated on the application process.

    For more information on our Acting for Film programs, please visit

    August 31, 2016 • Acting, Entertainment Australia, Faculty Highlights • Views: 2833

  • NYFA Game Design at Revolutionary Learning 2016

    Last week, New York Film Academy NY Chair of Animation & Game Design Phoebe Elefante hosted the first ever Pitch Contest Game for participants of Revolutionary Learning 2016. The conference, which took place at New York’s Roosevelt Hotel, focused on innovation in game-based learning – a sizable, and very profitable sector of the larger game industry.

    The conference featured a long list of influencers in the GBL space, kicking off with legendary keynote speaker Ian Livingstone (founder of Eidos, the company that created Lara Croft: Tomb Raider), and concluding with an inspirational talk by Rebecca Rufo-Tepper (game-learning evangelist and Program Director for the Institute of Play). Other featured speakers included NYC locals Nicholas Fortugno of Playmatics, Scott Brewster of Electric Funstuff, Jordan Shapiro Senior Fellow at Sesame Workshop, and Justin Leites, President of Amplify.

    game design

    The Pitch Contest Game, designed and run by Ms. Elefante and NYFA NY Game Design alumna Nina Mirhabibi, guided participants through a game concept development process, which resulted in a short pitch presentation to the audience and an illustrious panel of judges, which included: Dr. Elena Bertozzi (founder of the Engender Games Group at Quinnipiac University), Michael Gi (Play Designer at BrainPOP), and Bert Snow (VP of Design at Muzzy Lane Software). The panel also featured a student judge, Mickell Ford Jr., member of and starting freshman in the Design and Technology program at Parsons. The winning team created a game called Amor Vincit Omnia, designed to teach ethics to students in middle school and up. The Crowd Favorite award was given to the team that created Pitch Deck, a game for MBA students and aspiring entrepreneurs that aims to bring humor to the high pressure investor pitch.

    “We designed the Pitch Contest Game to bring conference participants together, encourage collaboration, have fun, and design games. None of the players knew each other at the beginning, and all of the teams have plans to continue development of their concepts into playable games,” said Ms. Elefante. “That’s a big win.” All of the activities and design documentation used to help participants design their games are now available on the Revolutionary Learning Blog.


    The educational games market in the US is estimated at $1.5 billion. According to Ms. Elefante, NYFA students aren’t required to make learning games, but “I always encourage our students to consider the marketplace — there are countless opportunities for game designers and developers if you know where to look.”

    Unlike other top game design schools, NYFA’s Game Design School offers a course that challenges students to lead their own Game Studio with two other classmates. Throughout the semester, students receive coding support and mentorship from professional game programmers, developers, and instructors. This focused effort and unique approach of pairing students with professionals allows students to create their own digital game by the end of the semester.

    August 25, 2016 • Community Highlights, Game Design • Views: 604

  • NYFA Athletics Department Hosts “1st Annual Athletics Banquet 2016”

    The New York Film Academy College of Visual and Performing Arts (NYFA) Athletics Department hosted its 1st Annual Athletics Banquet for its coaching staff and athletes on Sunday, August 14, 2016. The Banquet brought together the department in its entirety to recognize and celebrate everyone’s hard work and success. Since the establishment of athletics in 2014, NYFA has created seven athletic teams and two clubs that would go on to earn seven 1st place and 2nd place trophies.

    eric brown

    NYFA’s Athletic Director, Eric Brown, took the podium and delivered a welcome speech elaborating on the department’s history, prospective goals, and plans for the future. Stefan Leach, a BFA Acting Student and men’s basketball player, said, “The banquet had a great atmosphere with lively music and amazing food! We danced, ate, and had a blast with the other athletes!”

    Following Eric’s speech, each coach shared memorable moments and cherished experiences throughout their seasons. The men’s basketball coach, Lucius Allen, talked about his team and the players’ improvement over the past few seasons, along with their consecutive back-to-back championships. Steven Goldstein, head coach of the women’s basketball team, raved about the camaraderie and diligence of his team, overcoming any obstacle, earning two 2nd place trophies. The two-time championship winning men’s soccer team was introduced by their new coach Roy Lev-Ari, who spoke volumes about their commitment and his resolve as their coach. Emily Seidel introduced the co-ed softball team and talked about their improvement and dedication to the program. Elise Cregg spoke about the department and her new position as the Athletics Coordinator, as well as enjoying coaching the men’s and women’s volleyball teams.

    nyfa athletics

    Dinner was provided by Monte Carlo’s Italian Restaurant while the banquet ensued with music by DJ Tuesday. Alessio Mongardi, a BFA Acting Student, said “The first ever NYFA Athletics Banquet went above and beyond in its quest to bring people together for a fun and enjoyable night filled with exciting, rewarding, and inspiring moments shared with teammates and friends.”

    The student athletes and coaches also participated in a raffle, which ranged from Nike gift cards, to classic historic sports movies. The athletics department looks forward to next year’s athletics banquet and celebrating the upcoming sports’ seasons!

    August 24, 2016 • Community Highlights, Sports • Views: 1731