Community Highlights

  • NYFA Editing Instructor Heather Mathews to Premiere New Doc at LGBT Film Fest

    forbiddenNew York Film Academy Los Angeles Editing Instructor Heather Mathews is the Editor and Producer of the new documentary Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America that will premiere at the OutFest LGBT Film Festival on July 12, 2016 in Los Angeles.

    Forbidden focuses on Moises Serrano, an undocumented gay man whose parents fled Mexico for the United States when he was just a baby. Although he grew up in rural North Carolina, where he graduated from high school at the top of his class, it took him seven years find a college that was willing to grant him financial aid because of his undocumented status.  In response, Moises decided to publicly reveal his immigration status. Moises has shared his story to dispel myths about the undocumented community and unite the immigration and LGBTQ movements, seeing them both as a struggle for human rights.

    Stories like Serrano’s are not widely covered by mainstream media that tends to demonize immigrant communities and rarely addresses rural gay issues. His narrative illustrates a different vision for young LGBTQ immigrants. By placing a human face on complex issues, Forbidden illuminates social problems that viewers might not know exist and is a call to action to seek permanent and humanitarian solutions.

    heather mathews

    Heather Mathews

    NYFA Instructor Heather Mathews is an editor and producer. She produced and edited the award-winning short film, Miss This At Your Peril, and edited Spoonful, which premiered at Sundance in 2012. Having worked in film since before graduating from Sarah Lawrence College in 1994, she moved to Los Angeles in 1998 to continue this passion.  She has worked in both production and in the office for such notable filmmakers as David Fincher, Tony Scott, Gary Ross, Wong Kar-wai, John Frankenheimer, John Woo and Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu.

    June 27, 2016 • Community Highlights, Documentary Filmmaking • Views: 426

  • NYFA Veterans Support Newly Created New York City Department of Veterans Services

    Student veterans from the New York Film Academy (NYFA) were invited by Commissioner Loree Sutton (Retired Brigadier General) to again film the NY Department of Veteran Services’ Veteran Advisory Board meeting last week in Staten Island.

    mova nyfa student

    A NEW YORK FILM ACADEMY student films members of the Veterans Advisory board speaking with NY veterans.

    The Veteran Advisory Board meets quarterly to provide a public forum for discussion related to programs that impact veterans of the U.S. armed forces living and working within New York City. NYFA veterans trained as filmmakers, cinematographers, and producers use this opportunity as a way to enhance their skills and at the same time support the veteran community in NYC.

    For nearly 25 years, NYFA has provided students with hands-on training to apply what they learn in class to the real world, making for an educational experience unlike any other. The immersive training prepares students for rapid entry into the professional world by focusing on a project-based curriculum of increasing complexity to hone skills into muscle memory.

    COMMISH Caption

    Commissioner Loree Sutton of the Department of Veteran Services proudly announces the new additions to the newly created NY Department of Veteran Services.

    Veteran students of the New York Film Academy have many opportunities to practice their skills including participating in the annual New York Veterans Day Parade produced by the United Veteran War Council, as well as opportunities to film, edit, and create segments for the televised version of the Parade.

    The New York Film Academy, one of the world’s largest and most prestigious visual and performing arts private institution, is a certified and award-winning Military Friendly School committed to supporting this newest generation of veterans. NYFA is proud to serve military veterans and service members in their pursuit of a world-class education in filmmaking—and related disciplines—through its Veterans Advancement Program Chaired by Colonel Jack Jacobs, Medal of Honor recipient.

    -by Chris Paparis and John Powers

    June 23, 2016 • Community Highlights • Views: 978

  • New York Film Academy Employee & Faculty Mid-Year Party in NYC

    In the midst of a lively New York Film Academy event, overlooking the New York Harbor from expansive windows in the corner office, we spoke to Senior Executive Vice President, David Klein. “We all work together for so many hours each and every day,” he said. “I think it’s very important to spend some time with one’s colleagues to simply enjoy their company and see the lighter sides of everyone’s personalities. We have such a fantastic group of professionals who work so hard and are so dedicated to their jobs — they deserve to have some fun.”

    nyfa employees

    Klein was referring to NYFA’s Mid-Year Faculty and Employee Party, held on the fifth floor of the New York campus’ Battery Place location. Commencing on the eve of a summer Wednesday, the party proved the success of a continued effort toward maintaining a positive community and strong working environment within NYFA.

    Employees from a variety of departments were able to unwind and socialize before kicking off the Academy’s popular Summer Camp programs, which run until the end of August.

    Caterers served tasty appetizers and a mixologist hand-crafted specialty mocktails and cocktails; the ever-beloved movie-themed photo booth, enshrined in its very own room, attracted many guests. Photography programs teaching assistants Ana-Paula Tizzi and Dayana Orellana operated the Canon 5D in the photo booth, including the special effect of a ring flash. See some of the fun that was had in the photo booth by staff and faculty in the gallery below!

    Though NYFA faculty and staff had nothing but positive reviews for the catering and decor, they were most pleased by the opportunity to spend leisurely time together.

    If you’re interested in working at the New York Film Academy please contact Human Resources via: HR@NYFA.EDU.

    June 22, 2016 • Community Highlights • Views: 568

  • NYFA Los Angeles Hosts Open House and Mini-Workshops at Universal Studios

    Over the weekend the New York Film Academy hosted an Open House for over a hundred people at Universal Studios, Los Angeles. Prospective students and their parents had an opportunity to meet our award-winning faculty, learn more about our programs, and even participate in mini-classes.

    eric conner

    NYFA Screenwriting instructor Eric Conner welcoming prospective students.

    Each guest at the Open House took part in two different classes of his or her choice. They were introduced to 3D-Animation, Producing, Acting for Film, Cinematography, Filmmaking and Photography.

    justin lareau

    NYFA Instructor Justin Lareau talks about the importance of pitching.

    Chair of the Cinematography Department, Tony Richmond, whose career spans well over six decades, welcomed our guests with a camera workshop. Some of Richmond’s credits include: The Sandlot, Legally Blonde, Candyman, Playing God, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, Stardust, Rough Riders, Silver Bears, That’s Life and Sunset, The Eagle Has Landed, and The Greek Tycoon. He also served as DP on Tony Goldwin’s directorial debut Walk On The Moon, Sean Penn’s directorial debut Indian Runner, and Anjelica Houston’s directorial debut Bastard Out Of Carolina.

    tony richmond

    Tony Richmond leading a Cinematography class.

    Those interested in Acting for Film jumped into the Improv for Camera Workshop with Chair of Acting, Lynda Goodfriend, and Associate Chair for Acting for Film Studies, Christopher Cass.

    Christopher Cass

    Christopher Cass teaching Improv

    Associate Chair of Animation, Matt Galuppo, discussed the role of the animator in the entertainment industry. An unparalleled animation institute, the animation school at the New York Film Academy provides students with state-of-the-art facilities and hands-on experience with the industry standard Maya, ZBrush, Mudbox, Motion Builder, and Nuke software and top-notch equipment.

    matt galuppo

    Matt Galuppo leading an Animation discussion.

    Instructor Richard Friedman, who has over 25 years experience in directing and producing film and TV, including work in independent feature films, television movies, episodic television series, reality TV, and music videos, immersed the guests in a filmmaking workshop.

    At the same time, Chair of the Photography Department, Michele Kirk, spoke about how the New York Film Academy offers students the remarkable opportunity to study under award-winning, professional photographers who remain active in the many genres of photography, from fine art to fashion, commercial work to photojournalism.

    NYFA Open House at Universal Studios.)

    NYFA Open House at Universal Studios.

    We had a full crowd of interested people, many of whom are very serious about pursuing a career in the Film and Entertainment industry.

    Visit our website to learn more about future open houses!

    June 22, 2016 • Academic Programs, Community Highlights • Views: 596

  • What’s Your #NYFASummer Story?


    Welcome to another year of summer at the New York Film Academy! We are excited to announce this year’s #NYFASummer Selfie Content, giving you the opportunity to win some awesome NYFA swag as well as receiving the opportunity to have your photo animated by NYFA Alumna, Eliska Podzimkova, whose work has made her Instafamous with over 56k followers.

    For the past few summers NYFA has held a photo contest on social media (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter) for our summer camp students to show off their locations, sets and overall campus life at each of their specific locations. Due to the great success and engagement over the last couple years, we are doing this again, but this time we want you to create a selfie! In addition, we will be giving out swag packs every month, with the grand winner receiving our major NYFA swag package (as well as their photo animated by Eliska).

    Entries are now open until September 1, 2016!

    Check out all the details below:

    How To Enter

    1. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter (or all of them for the most up-to-date announcements)
    2. Think of a creative way to take a selfie (include friends, backdrops, NYFA branding and your pets)
    3. Post your selfie on YOUR Instagram, Facebook or Twitter
    4. You must also include:
      1. Emojis only on your post
      2. Text you can use is #NYFASummer (this one is important)
      3. Challenge a friend by tagging them in the post with #YourTurn after their tag

    How To Improve Your Chances To Win

    1. Judges are looking for originality and creativity, BUT we also want you to be safe!
    2. Show us where you are in the world – is there a landmark you can include in the selfie? 
    3. Any NYFA branding may sway the judges (wink, wink)

    Important Entry Conditions

    • Please be sure your profile is public so we are able to see your entry.
    • You can submit as many #NYFASummer Selfies as you like and tag as many friends as you like.
    • Having #NYFASummer in your post is very important! We won’t see your entry without it.
    • Winners will be contacted via the social platform they submitted their entry so be sure to keep an eye out for our message.
    • Entries close September 1, 2016

    What You Will Win:

    • Monthly Winners – A winner will be selected at the end of every  month and featured on NYFA’s social channels. They with also receive a NYFA swag pack.
    • Major Winner – The major winner will be selected at the end of the contest. The winner will be announced before the 9th September and the winning work will be animated by Eliska Podzimkova (aka animateNY). In addition, the winner will receive:
      • Major NYFA swag Package.
      • Animated image promoted on NYFA social media channels (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter).
      • Animated image shared on animateNY Instagram account.

    So start snapping, cropping and filtering your best photos and, of course, enjoy your #NYFASummer!

    June 14, 2016 • Community Highlights, Contests • Views: 862

  • President’s Tea at the New York Film Academy

    The New York Film Academy New York welcomed students from each department to its inaugural President’s Tea with NYFA President, Michael Young and Senior Executive Vice President, David Klein. Held on the 5th floor of 17 Battery Place, the event provided breathtaking views of the New York Harbor, which includes the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and various ships, yachts and ferries passing through.

    president's tea

    NYFA President, Michael Young and Senior Executive Vice President, David Klein

    “It’s always one of my favorite times when I get the opportunity to meet our incredible students from across the world, and what a perfect place and event over looking New York harbor to share a cup of tea with the future artists of this generation,” said David Klein.

    The catered event provided students with the opportunity to not only meet the President and Sr. Executive VP, but also allowed them to socialize with peers who they will undoubtedly be working together with in the near future—and hopefully beyond. Students discussed how they ended up at the Academy and what they’re currently working on both inside and outside of the classroom. Once the conversations began to open up a bit, students began discussing movies and industry topics that could only be expected from a gathering of film buffs.

    president tea

    “We hope the President’s Tea helped students break the ice and will enable them to develop a community outside of the classroom as well,” said Student Life Coordinator, Carlye Bowers.

    Given the overall success of the event, you can be sure there will be more President’s Tea mixers in the future.

    You may also check out the photo gallery on our facebook page, by clicking HERE.

    June 9, 2016 • Community Highlights • Views: 643

  • NYFA Veteran Orientation

    The New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts recently welcomed new veteran students and military dependent students to the Los Angeles and New York campus.

    The NYFA Veterans Services staff hosted special orientations for veterans designed to address their unique set of needs and challenges in acclimating to college life. The orientation was an overview of the services that the NYFA Veterans Services team provides and focused on all aspects of a veteran’s transition including, providing information on student life, GI Bill benefits, VA healthcare benefits, and a guide to navigating the numerous veteran service organizations present in the area.

    nyfa vets

    New veteran students with local community partners and NYFA veteran coordinators at the Los Angeles campus.

    The NYFA Veteran Services Office invited representatives from local veteran organizations such as Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), and the Vet Center to speak with veterans about the assistance that they provide.

    “The orientation provided helped me gain information as to what is available out there to me as a veteran. I was unaware of all of the services that the veteran non-profits provide. Speaking with the NYFA veterans team and the other incoming veteran students made me feel more comfortable with my transition into school,” said BFA Producing student and Navy veteran, Jonathan Garza.

    At the New York Campus a representative from the VA healthcare system came to the School to enroll vets in the VA healthcare system right on the spot. Veteran organizations such as Mission Continues, Veterans Integration To Academic Leadership (VITAL), and the Vet Center were also on hand to assist NYFA New York veteran students.

    nyfa vets

    Veteran coordinators, Eric Brown and Michael Kunselman speaking with the new veteran students about student life on campus.

    NYFA Veteran Coordinators Eric Brown, Michael Kunselman, Chris Paparis, and work-study student Patrick Stinich, drew on their own personal experiences as veterans of the U.S. Military and GI Bill recipients, to give practical advice and information to the newly separated veterans now embarking on their own college journey.

    One-Year Acting student and retired Army veteran, Daniel Phillips said, “I want to extend my thanks to the Veterans Team at NYFA for the work they did coordinating the briefing during Orientation Week. A lot of the Vets, including myself, were made aware of benefits and outreach programs designed to help us along here as NYFA Students. It was very well put together, informative and helpful to the cause.”

    Many of the veterans stayed behind after the orientation to network amongst each other and speak with NYFA representatives and veteran community partners. The New York Film Academy would like to welcome all of the new active duty military servicemembers, veterans, and their families to our campus community!


    -Written by Michael Kunselman and Christopher Paparis

    June 7, 2016 • Community Highlights, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2193

  • Game Design and 3D Animation Graduation

    The New York Film Academy’s 26 Broadway transformed into a miniature arcade last week as Game Design and 3D Animation students showcased their final games and thesis films to peers, friends and family.

    game design grad

    “I am immensely proud of our graduates,” said Game Design and 3D Animation Chair Phoebe Elefante. “They have stretched themselves beyond what they thought possible, and they have achieved so much in such a short time.”

    Visitors had the chance to play student-made games like Kramacus 2 and Climaniacs while 3D Animation student films were shown both during a screening showcase and on a rear projection at the graduation reception. It was quite remarkable seeing what each student had accomplished in just a year’s time.

    game design graduates

    “They have acquired all of the skills they will need to pursue their passions in the fields of animation and game design, and they have demonstrated the dedication to succeed,” added Elefante. “It has been my honor to help them on their way, and I wish them all good hunting.”

  • NYFA’s Ben Cohen Discusses Anti-Hero Movies with Fox 5

    ben cohen fox 5

    Comic book fans are becoming concerned with the notion that some of their favorite comic book heroes are becoming “evil.” Given the entertainment industry’s recent trend of creating “anti-heroes” in films like Batman versus Superman and a recent Captain America comic, Mac King from FOX 5 decided to pay the New York Film Academy a visit to get some expert feedback from instructor Ben Cohen.

    “The characters that we’re going to latch onto are the one’s that are going to be largely contradictory,” said Cohen. “That’s what makes Iron Man so fun. He can be a jerk, but, generally speaking, he wants to save the world”

    We want to marvel at our favorite heroes’ super-human abilities, but we also want to know that they have a secret weakness or “Kryptonite.”

    Given this has been the decade of Superhero movies, it’s any wonder if this trend will continue or is it rather just a fad to provide a fresh look at the popular genre?

    For a look at the Fox 5 interview at NYFA’s New York campus, watch the video below:

    May 27, 2016 • Community Highlights, Entertainment News • Views: 2287

  • NYFA Producers Pitch Fest at Andaz Hotel

    The New York Film Academy’s Producing Program held its second Advanced Producers Pitch Fest for calendar year 2016 on Wednesday, May 18 at the Andaz Hotel in West Hollywood. Since 2008, MFA Producers have gathered to pitch their slate of projects to industry guests from a variety of entertainment companies in and around Los Angeles. NYFA welcomed several film and television insiders, who enjoyed an evening of pitching and viewing film teasers and television series sizzle reels from 25 plus graduating producers from the MFA, BFA and AFA in Producing Programs.

    producers pitch

    The producing students represent a wide range of international countries, including Scotland, England, Mexico, Estonia, Turkey, India, Sweden, Serbia, Colombia, Venezuela, Honduras, United States and China.

    Industry participants on hand for the Producers Pitch Fest included:

    • JOHN BENITZ, founder of Wildhorse Studios, an international film and television production company, specializing in projects in both English and Spanish languages
    • DAVID STREIT, producer with credits including “Rivers Edge” and “Internal Affairs”
    • TONY BAKER, award-winning screenwriter, with scripts optioned and produced by Tom Nunan (“Crash”) and Jim Smith (“Ren and Stimpy”)
    • DOUG COONEY, feature screenwriter for Paramount Pictures and Sony Animation and television writer for the Disney Channel and the Discovery Channel.
    • DANIEL FRANKLIN, showrunner, specializing in children’s programming, and screenwriter
    • DAVID STERN, prolific television writer and producer whose credits include “The Wonder Years,” “The Simpsons,” “Monk,” and “Ugly Americans.”
    • MICHAEL BARLOW, producer and former executive at Paramount Classics and Orion Pictures
    • MIKKO HE, producer at the global commercial production company giant IW Group Inc.
    • MARK RICHARD SMITH, writer, development executive and former VP of International Distribution at LD Entertainment.
    • JACOB HORN, producer with credits including the television series “Toasted”
    • BILL MCADAMS, producer with credits including “House Across the Street” and “Gallows Road”
    • PAUL BROWN, television producer and screenwriter, with credits including “The X-Files” and “Quantum Leap”
    • JOHN MORRISSEY, producer with credits including “American History X” and “Kingdom Come”
    • JORDAN BRINGERT, producer and screenwriter, and Executive Board Member of the junior division of the Hollywood Radio & Television Society
    • HENRY PRIEST, film and television producer and Director, Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles
    • ALEJANDRO SERI, screenwriter and director, with directing credits including “Placibo Effect” and the documentary “Fernando: In the Moment”

    pitch fest

    Many thanks to our industry guests, and congratulations to our producing students for a successful event!