Community Highlights

  • Paul Sunday’s “Improv / Archive” Exhibition at New York Public Library

    paul sunday

    From Archive / Improv series, photograph on baryta paper, 24 x 32 inches, 2016. © Paul Sunday

    The New York Public Library invited New York Film Academy Photography instructor Paul Sunday to create a new body of work for a solo show at their Mid-Manhattan branch. The Photo Walls in Picture Collection Exhibition Series “Archive / Improv” is on view from September 2016 through February of 2017 and is curated by Arezoo Moseni.

    “In response to the location, I will re-contextualize seldom viewed images from my archive to explore the boundaries between photography, sculpture and installation,” says Sunday.

    “These pictures consider the photograph as an object. My studio is a laboratory, a space for experimentation,” added Sunday. “It is bursting with stuff, equipment, lights, scraps of bric-a-brac, and old props but above all an extensive archive of photographic materials, the residue of twenty-five years of image making. I use all of this as material for improvisation. Riffing on the vocabularies of installation, sculpture, and collage, I endeavor to transform mundane objects into something poetic. I am fortunate to have space and time for contemplating my obsession with vision, light and the energy of ordinary things.”

    In addition to his teaching at NYFA’s photography school, Sunday is a photographer, painter, and curator. He discovered his love of photography while working on avant-garde theater and performance projects in New York. His earliest images were documents of performances and portraits of actors. In the 1990s, the artist created thousands of pictures for magazines and luxury brands. His portraits of artists and celebrities have been published in Paper, aRude, Interview, Soma and German Vogue among others.

    For more information on Paul Sunday’s “Archive / Improv,” please CLICK HERE.

    September 29, 2016 • Faculty Highlights, Photography • Views: 1251

  • NYFA Supports “Not On My Watch” to Combat Military and Veteran Suicides

    The New York Film Academy was proud to support the 2nd annual “Not on My Watch” event which was created to draw attention to the fact that more than 20 veterans and military personnel commit suicide every day nationwide.


    In 2014, the latest year available, more than 7,400 veterans took their own lives, accounting for 18 percent of all suicides in America. Veterans make up less than 9 percent of the U.S. population.

    To bring awareness to this very sad but important issue, NYFA students led by Paul McKenna, MFA Acting student and Iraq war veteran volunteered to support all those veterans who have committed suicide by standing vigil and walking their post on the Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena, CA from September 14th-17th. Each volunteer wore a dog tag representing a Veteran that was lost due to suicide. At the end of their post the dog tags were hung on a battle cross to show the growing numbers of those lost and those remembered.


    NYFA was proud to have students and staff willing to accept this role to remember all of those who have served our country and have unfortunately committed suicide. We hope to continue these efforts as part of our NYFA CARES initiative.

    September 28, 2016 • Community Highlights • Views: 1016

  • NYFA Los Angeles Documentary & Photography Excursion to the Dominican Republic

    Each year, MFA, BFA, One-Year and Two-Year photography students, as well as MFA and One-Year documentary students are invited on a one-week exotic trip. This year the New York Film Academy Los Angeles headed on an exotic excursion to the Dominican Republic. The team was led by Documentary Chair Barbara Multer-Wellin, Production Sound Instructor James Coburn IV, and Photography Instructor David Blumenkrantz. Joining their instructors were documentary students Guangli Zhu, Carolina Sosa and Yuan Li, as well as photography students Brenda Cantu and Ziomara Ramirez.

    Along the trip, Ms. Multer-Wellin kept a log of this incredible journey that captured the exotic landscape and culture of the Dominican Republic.

    September 16, 2016

    dominican rep

    We left Los Angeles at 11:00 PM, switched planes in New York and arrived in Santo Domingo the next afternoon. We spent the rest of the day getting acclimated and renting some lighting and grip equipment from a local rental house. Afterwards, we had dinner at an oceanside restaurant, as a huge orange Harvest Moon rose in the sky.

    September 17

    ruins dr

    After a quick stop at a local cambio to change dollars into Dominican pesos, the NYFA team started filming the streets of Santo Domingo. The team began at the ruins of the Monastery of San Francisco, built in 1503. Walking through the local streets we filmed street vendors, performers, painters, young couples, an evangelist, domino players, and a trio of musicians playing Merengue Tipico — the traditional form of the Dominican national dance and music.

    Since we’re here to make a documentary about Merengue, this was a great stroke of luck. Dinner was at a restaurant in Santo Domingo’s China Town. Our two Chinese team members, Guangli and Yuan, were able to speak with the owners in Chinese, although their dialects were not the same. Somehow, in a mixture of Spanish, Chinese and English, we managed to order a real feast.

    September 18

    dom rep

    Today was all about challenges and overcoming them. Our NYFA crew was scheduled to interview the noted Dominican percussionist and folklorist Edis Sanchez at his new apartment. But we soon discovered that Mr. Sanchez had yet to move in, so the apartment was empty (luckily he brought his drums and some chairs). We were able to film a great interview with available light and a single bounce board.

    That evening we filmed an outdoor Merengue concert and dance party with the band Grupo Bonyé at the ruins of the San Francisco Monastery, first built in 1503. We hope to interview the band’s leader, Señor Nestor Sanchez, later this week, a great addition to our documentary about the importance of Merengue in the Dominican Republic and just maybe our reward for hanging in there.

    September 19

    dancers dr

    By our third full day we had adjusted to the realities of filming here in Santo Domingo. Traffic on weekdays rivals Los Angeles — it just takes more time than you think to get anywhere, even with the expertise of our driver/new friend Victor. We spent the morning filming more establishing shots for the opening sequence of our documentary, including the first cemetery built in Santo Domingo; a haunting and eerily beautiful place full of crosses, angels and a few stray dogs. Next were a flower/flea market, the Presidential Palace and an upscale residential area. This is a city of stark differences between the way the rich and poor live, like most cities. We spent the afternoon at the Palace of Fine Arts where we were fortunate to be able to film the fantastic dancers from the Ballet Folklorico Nacional Dominco as they rehearsed three Merengue pieces. One couple demonstrated the basic steps of Merengue for our cameras. Tomorrow, an interview with Elizabeth Crooke Morel, Director of Ballet Folklorico Nacional Dominco, and Nestor Sanchez, from the great band that played at the concert at the ruins of the San Francisco Monastery.

    September 20


    The New York Film Academy LA documentary crew began the day back at the Palace of Fine Arts in Santo Domingo to interview the Director of the Ballet Folklorico Nacional Dominco, Elizabeth Crooke Morel who told us more about the elements of the dance Merengue. After a quick stop to film more establishing shots in a shopping area in the city, we all piled back into the van. Soon we arrived at the home of musician Nestor Sanchez. Señor Sanchez spoke movingly about the history of Merengue and the profound meaning it holds for the Dominican people.

    September 27, 2016 • Community Highlights, Documentary Filmmaking • Views: 1454

  • 20th BRAFF MarketPlace at NYFA South Beach

    Recently, the New York Film Academy South Beach hosted a number of filmmaking workshops as part of the 20th Brazilian Film Festival of Miami. The 20th BRAFF kicked off on Sept. 17 with the US premiere of “Enchanted” (2014) — Tizuka Yamasaki’s love story centered in the mythical world of the Caruanas — at New World Symphony – SoundScape Park.

    pedro and carvalho

    Filmmaker Walter Carvalho with NYFA’s Pedro Fernandes

    The festival continued from Sept. 17 to the 20 at Miami Beach Cinematheque with two programs: Special Documentaries and the Brazilian Female Film Directors’ Screenings, the latter with a focus on women’s achievements in the audiovisual generating debates on women equality in contemporary society.

    The Competitive screenings were hosted by the art deco-style Colony Theatre from Sept. 21 to 24. Films in competition represented a diverse panorama of the latest Brazilian productions.

    The two day BRAFF MarketPlace event, which took place Sept. 19 and Sept. 22 at NYFA South Beach, included the following workshops:

    Welcome Remarks

    • Sandy Lighterman, – Film Commissioner – Miami-Dade Office of Film & Entertainment
    • Adriana Dutra – Founder & Director – Inffinito Festival Circuit & Brazilian Film Festival of Miami

    RioFilme, Rio’s Audiovisual Content Promotion and Investment Agency

    By Claudia Pedrozo – President – RioFilme

    An overview of the mission, objectives and operations of RioFilme’s investment lines, co-production and co-distribution operations and training programs.

    RioFilme & Film Commission Int’l Film Project Partnership Platform

    By Steve Solot – President – Rio Film Commission

    Solot introduced the International Film Project Partnership Platform, where filmmakers are able to get involved with a co-production with Rio Film, which is located in Brazil.

    This new and unique initiative aims to generate visibility and provide a contact interface between producers of the city and state of Rio de Janeiro and international actors to perform feature film projects, whether co-production, investment, marketing, agency sales or any other form of international partnership.

    “I loved the opportunity to get involved with the industry, said NYFA SB BFA Acting for Film student, Manuel Zota. “I was able to talk about my family production company, and hopefully we will be able to do something.”

    Music and Cinema: The Sound as language

    By Mo. Rodrigo Toffolo – Orchestra Ouro Preto

    Toffolo characterized the sound as acoustic phenomenon, understanding the transformation of its comprehension as a form of art until it gets to the movie theaters. An approach to sound as language.

    Book Launch & Cocktail reception

    “The Expanding Brazilian Film, Television and Digital Industry”

    By Steve Solot – President – Rio Film Commission

    Filmmaker Walter Carvalho – Screening & Debate

    brazil festival

    The event began with a screening of legendary cinematographer and director Walter Carvalho’s latest film followed by a casual filmmaking debate. After showing his work, “Keep the ridgeline, not the fainting plains,” Carvalho opened to a Q&A that transformed into a masterclass where students were able to get some insight from the legendary filmmaker.

    “I really liked the talk with Walter,” said BFA Filmmaking student, Ester Meyer Nunes. “He was able to show me so much in so little time.”

    “Filmmaker Success Strategies:  How to Increase Visibility and Financial Success for your Next Film”

    By Joanne Butcher – Independent Producer

    Students were given the opportunity to learn insider secrets of the film business — how to translate your creative filmmaking skills to rock your marketing and overcome internal blocks to financial and critical success.

    Butcher provided tips on how to improve your chances of success as a filmmaker, discussing a lot about the financial aspect of it. Students were also offered the chance to network with the indie-producer as well.

    September 27, 2016 • Community Highlights, Filmmaking • Views: 1233

  • NYFA Doc LA Program Joins Talk with Werner Herzog

    werner herzog

    Students from the New York Film Academy Los Angeles Documentary Filmmaking program recently had the opportunity to hear Werner Herzog speak as part of the International Documentary Association’s ongoing Conversation Series.

    Herzog is one of the most celebrated and influential documentary filmmakers of our time. His documentaries range from Little Dieter Needs to Fly, a film about a German-American Vietnam War vet who revisits his place of capture at the hands of the Vietcong, to Cave of Forgotten Dreams, a look inside one of the oldest caves in the world and the study of how early man lived. Herzog’s documentaries never fail to provoke profound questions about human nature. Other notable works include Into the Abyss, Encounters at the End of the World, On Death Row, Rescue Dawn, Grizzly Man, and The Enigma of Casper Hauser.

    Herzog encouraged the audience to “have a strong affinity or respect for those in front of your camera” and to aim to “take the audience into a land of rogue insight and poetry.”

    MFA student Guangli Zhou said, “’I just wrote an essay about him a couple weeks ago. I’m in front of him right now. It’s an awesome experience.”

    MFA student Camilla Borel Rinkes wanted to thank Herzog for, “sharing your inspiring stories and for motivating me to keep broadening my horizon.”

    September 26, 2016 • Community Highlights, Documentary Filmmaking • Views: 1094

  • 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: 1158

  • 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: 1266

  • 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: 1275

  • 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: 446

  • 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: 1505