The “not so sleepy” town of Millburn, New Jersey, enjoyed a Hollywood-style red carpet film festival this April, with the stars of the evening being the creative young filmmakers from Millburn Middle School and Millburn High School.
The New York Film Academy (NYFA) was once again a proud sponsor of this annual event, which highlights original short films made by Millburn students. NYFA provides a tuition scholarship for a NYFA program at the school’s New York City campus at Battery Place. The scholarship is awarded to the young filmmaker judged to have created the best short film.
The winning filmmaker for the 2018 event is Carli Platt, now in 7th grade, for her outstanding film In Plain Sight: A Hidden Child of the Holocaust.
The Millburn Film Festival, now in its seventh year, raises funds for the Education Foundation of Millburn-Short Hills, a non-profit organization that provides equipment, technology, and programming to Millburn schools.
With approximately 500 in attendance at Millburn High School’s auditorium, NYFA’s Associate Director of Outreach Maria Culbertson joined Lynn Farscht and Alyssa Russo (photographed), the Film Festival’s founders and co-chairs, to walk the red carpet and watch the screening of the films.
With such generous, engaged, and creative residents, it is no wonder that Millburn is ranked as one of the “Best Places To Live” in New Jersey!
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), and all of the New York Film Academy’s three U.S. campuses are hosting events, workshops, and contents to promote awareness and safety surrounding issues of sexual assault. Why does this matter? Because:
1 in 5 women and 1 in 17 men are or will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.
Every 2 minutes, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted.
80% of victims are assaulted by a known acquaintance.
90% of sexual assaults involve alcohol.
Only 5-20% of sexual assaults are actually reported.
The purpose of SAAM to start the conversation in order to prevent sexual violence, stop rape culture, and become a proactive and safe community.
As a part of the New York Film Academy’s commitment to supporting a safe and inclusive community, our intention is to educate our campus community on how to be sexually responsible future artists. The first step is simply asking: how can we shift the way the media portrays sexuality, consent, and sexual violence as actors, filmmakers, and more?
Along with encouraging this mindfulness, NYFA invites students are invited to participate in a poster and media contest, where the most creative and effective PSA stands to win a $200 visa gift card. (See last year’s PSA contest winners, here!) Along with the PSA contest, students can participate in Denim Day on April 26, where NYFA students and staff alike can stand together and sign a pledge to help end sexual violence.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month is designed to raise awareness and support survivors of sexual violence. For comments, questions, or how to make a report email:
April 2018 Sexual Assault Awareness Month events at NYFA include:
New York City Campus
April 9 – – BEHIND THE POST (STUDENTS ONLY)
Tuesday, April 11, 3:40 – 4:40 p.m.
17 Battery Pl, Room 521
A film-based experience that reveals how social media can skew our view of relationships around us and, in some cases, influence our decisions to stay in unhealthy relationships.
April 11 – – THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER SCREENING
Wednesday, April 11, 7 p.m.
April 17 – – LIGHTS! CAMERA! CONSENT! (STUDENTS ONLY)
Tuesday, April 17, 12:30 – 1:20 p.m.
17 Battery Pl, Room 521
Dive deeper into examining how the entertainment industry has shaped how our society views sex, sexuality, relationships, violence, and consent. As future members of the entertainment industry, it is important to identify the ways we can become responsible artists who help shift our society’s views of “rape culture.”
April 23 – 27 – – SEXUAL VIOLENCE PREVENTION RESOURCE FAIR
Monday, April 23 – Friday, April 27
17 Battery Pl, Student Lounge
Visit the student lounge for information and resources around sexual violence prevention. Learn how you can help prevent sexual violence, identify signs of unhealthy relationships, find support on and off campus, and more!
April 24 – – INDIA’S DAUGHTER SCREENING
Tuesday, April 24, 7 p.m.
17 Battery Pl, Room 521
April 26 – – DENIM DAY
Thursday, April 26, All Day
17 Battery Pl, Room 501
Sign a pledge to end sexual violence.
Los Angeles Campus
April 12 – – THE POWER OF STORIES
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) and StoryCenter have partnered to offer a series of four free webinars, the Storytelling Webinar Series. This series will explore trauma-informed storytelling methods, ethical practices in working with personal stories, and creative ways to position stories as tools for social change.
Wednesday, April 12, 10 am
NYFA Theatre, Riverside Building
Open to students, staff and faculty.
April 19 – – MEN’S ONLY DISCUSSION ON CONSENT
Mark Stevens: Professor, MFT Program
Therapist and instructor Mark Stevens returns to NYFA for another men’s only discussion to cover affirmative consent, legal definitions of rape, moral rape, bystander courage, #metoo movement, how men are socialized to objectify women, and how objectification impacts women and the men themselves.
Thursday, April 19, 11:30 am
NYFA Theatre, Riverside Building
TBD – – F*CK YES WEB SERIES SCREENING
F*ck Yes web series that believes that consent is sexy. The series aims to balance sex positive attitudes with wholehearted vulnerability. Because an enthusiastic “yes” is just as important as respecting a partner’s “no.” In an era where abstinence only education leaves many people clueless as to how to talk about safety, F*ck Yes is here to provide informative and sexy models of pre-coital conversations.
NYFA Theatre. Riverside Building
F*ck Yes Web Series Contest
Students will get a chance to pitch and produce a two-minute bonus episode for the F*ck Yes series to be included on their YouTube page. The winner will be selected by the series creators and will receive a production grant of $750. Details will be announced after the screening.
April 26 – – DENIM DAY
Wear jeans with a purpose, support survivors, and educate yourself and others about sexual assault. Details about Denim Day at: denimdayinfo.org
Thursday, April 26, All Day
South Beach, FL Campus
April 11 – MYTH VS. FACT BINGO!
Wednesday, April 11, 12:30 p.m.
Join us for pizza and a game of bingo that will help uncover the truth behind sexual violence and reveal the steps we can take as a community to dismantle “rape culture.”
April 23 – – THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER SCREENING
Monday, April 23, 1:00 p.m.
Followed by a discussion on how to support a friend who has experience sexual violence and what resources are available one and off campus.
April 26 – – DENIM DAY
Thursday, April 26, All Day
Make a social statement with your fashion statement and wear jeans.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month is designed to raise awareness and support survivors of sexual violence. For comments, questions, or how to make a report email
DON’T FORGET TO ENTER THE SAAM MEDIA AND POSTER PSA CONTEST!
Get creative! We invite students to create either a 30-second video project or a visual poster that is educational, creative, and effective as a sexual assault prevention PSA piece.
Entries are due April 30, 2018 by 11:59 p.m. Winner will receive a $200 visa gift card.
This month, faculty and staff at the Los Angeles campus of New York Film Academy (NYFA) participated in a Saint Patrick’s Day-themed Safety Scavenger Hunt.
Throughout NYFA Los Angeles, the Human Resources department hid clues and cartoon leprechauns that led the staff over the rainbow and through the safety features of each of our three buildings. A “pot of gold” (gift card) was promised to the winner who could locate each of the seven clues.
The event came as a fun Friday morning surprise to everyone. When employees opened their NYFA emails, they received a message with the first clue: “Looks like a leprechaun has tripped on a patch of shamrocks and cut his knee! Where can you find a band-aid for him?”
Soon the halls were crawling with teachers, scheduling teams, and equipment staff, all looking for the green-hatted keepers of gold. The first clue wasn’t too difficult to solve. Once the first-aid kits were found, players were instructed to take a selfie or photo of the leprechaun before moving onto the next challenge.
The second clue read, “Looks like a mischievous leprechaun has started a fire. Quick! Put it out with this! Extra points if you find them all.” While no real fires were started as a result of this scavenger hunt, each and every participant now knows where the nearest fire extinguisher is located, and is ready to respond in case of an emergency.
One of the more enjoyable portions of the scavenger hunt was locating the floor captain, an assigned person on each floor of the NYFA Los Angeles campus who is responsible to make sure the floor is cleared when there is an emergency. Captains help students and faculty members get to the pre-designated safe zone.
By the end of the St. Patrick’s Day safety scavenger hunt, everyone was up to date with the school’s safety procedures. As a bonus, everyone involved in the game got to know each other a little better. And while the quick and knowledgeable Sophia Monti, Eric Saldana, and Nancy Lee took home the prizes, we can all agree that a safer New York Film Academy makes us all winners!
The New York Film Academy would like to thank the entire HR department, and Bridget Salinas in particular, for organizing this event. Interested in working at New York Film Academy? Learn more about our current openings here.
For aspiring photographers, few moments are as exciting as finding the right venue for their work. In the case of NYFA alumni Rutvik Katuri, finding the right home for his work has happened more than once.
Katuri’s series”Holi Colors,” which had previously been published on the cover and as an editorial spread in the prestigious “Imirage” magazine while Katuri was still a student at the New York Film Academy, has just gone on to further success and found a home as the first place winner of the Rangefinder Photography Annual Contest.
Katuri explained his creative process behind “holi Colors” on his blog, explaining that the shoot was inspired by the sacred festival of Holi: “Holi is an Indian festival mainly known as the ‘festival of colors.’ We came up with a concept to show the dominant colors of Holi and to also show its beauty and vibrance.”
“Rangefinder” (Rf) an award-winning magazine, with a global audience of 111,000, and a digital imprint. In all iterations, “Rangefinder” focuses on weddings and portraits, but their prestigious annual contest offers a chance for coveted exposure and cash prizes for aspiring photographers, providing a unique platform to expand their audience and forge new connections within the photography industry. Contest winners also receive the boon of having their work published in both the digital and print versions of “Rangefinder.”
In addition to cash prizes, Katuri’s winning photos will be featured in the September issue of “Rangefinder,” in ’The Senior Issue’ on page 66-67, as well as being showcased at WPPI conference & Expo as well as in the online gallery. The digital version of the magazine can be seen here.
Katuri’s same series will be featured in gallery exhibition at WPPI Conference & Expo 2018 that takes place in Las Vegas in the month of Febuary, as well as appearing as an official selection of Photoville 2017.
After months of absolute suspense, New York Film Academy and RED Digital Cinema finally revealed the winners of their fierce competition. The Brazilian alumni pair, Leco Moura and Rodrigo Zan, took the stage for their clean sweep of awardsat the wrap event hosted at RED Studios Hollywood on August 31.
Moura took home the most coveted accolade of the festival, a brand new RED EPIC-W, an 8K professional digital cinema camera, as the Grand Prize for Best Cinematography for his outstanding work on “Jimbo.” Zan was the writer/director of the same heist short film, which could soon become his debut feature. From RED, he already got the jump-start: a three-week rental of a DSMC2 camera for winning the Filmmaker’s Prize.
It was also a night to remember for Colombian alumnus Andres Hernandez. As the jack-of-all-trades in his dramedy “Monday” — script, directing, and photography — he won the Audience Award. His leading actor, Carlos Perez, accepted the prize on his behalf, for which Hernandez got a $1,500 REDucation voucher for an intensive professional camera workshop.
The awards ceremony was the culmination of a blazing competition that started in late March, raising more than 130 submissions of the school’s one-year projects or thesis films shot entirely on RED cameras. Then, a NYFA Selection Committee led by the Chair of Cinematography Tony Richmond, best known for his work on “Legally Blonde” and “Men of Honor,” carefully watched over 30 hours of film, picking the top 19.
Those semi-finalists had the opportunity to participate in the Audience Award category while keeping in the run for the Cinematography and Filmmaker prizes. Eleven of them decided to give it a shot at the online voting. Andres Hernandez’s film “Monday” was the favorite of the public.
In late July, RED narrowed the 19 semi-finalists to just five. Along with “Jimbo,” the top NYFA alumni films were the coming-of-age drama “The Farthest Apple From the Tree,” by director Elmo Kebour with Italian director of photography Andrea Gavazzi; the twisted fable “Feast,” led by a female pair, Kazakhstani writer/director Aizhan Tuganbayeva with French D.P. Julie Angelo; The U.S.A. was represented in the supernatural western “Revelation,” directed by John Willment-Knowles with Ruperto Sanchez as director of photography; and the sci-fi comedy “H.A.M.,” by writer/director Boise Esquerra with Spanish D.P. Julio Escames.
The Wrap Event held at RED Studios Hollywood highlighted the five finalists and the audience favorite to a handpicked group of guests from the industry and the NYFA/RED Jury. That is the same room where David Fincher color-corrected “Gone Girl.” Formerly an MGM lot and then later the home of the famous Desilu Productions — run by Hollywood royalty supercouple Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball — the place preserves a piece of American film history. It was acquired by RED in the early 2000s, preventing the land from turning into high-rise condos.
The New York Film Academy would like to thank RED Digital Cinema for this consistent and fruitful partnership through several years, being instrumental in the mission of fostering a global new generation of talented and diverse filmmakers. NYFA would also like to congratulate all winners, finalists, and semi-finalists, wishing this competition serves them as a stepping stone in the visual storytelling arts journey to become industry leaders.
NYFA Screenwriting alumni and New Brunswick, Canada native Jon Mann was recently accepted along with producing partner Rob Ramsay into the National Screen Institute (NSI) 2017 Totally Television program. Mann’s selected pilot project, “Wolfville,” is set in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and follows the saga of two old friends who end up on opposing sides of the law.
The NSI Totally Television program is an incubator that trains Canadian filmmaking teams to develop TV pilots into full series, and has been a driving force behind the success of such series as “What Would Sal Do?” (CraveTV), “Less Than Kind” (HBO Canada and Citytv), ‘“da Kink in My Hair” (Global and Showcase) and “Todd & the Book of Pure Evil” (Space, The Comedy Network). Mann was the only filmmaker accepted east of Toronto, Canada.
We had a chance to catch up with the busy screenwriter and hear his take on Totally Television, his time at NYFA, and “Wolfville.”
NYFA: First, can you tell us a little bit about your journey and what brought you to the New York Film Academy?
JM: I always had an honest passion for film and television, but it wasn’t until midway through my undergraduate degree at Acadia University that I realized how big of an impact movies, TV, books — and storytelling in general — had on my life.
When I was humbly offered a spot to study screenwriting through NYFA it was a no-brainer. NYFA gave me the opportunity to master a subject I did not realize I had been studying my entire life.
NYFA: Do you have any favorite NYFA moments from your time as a student?
JM: Of all the things that I experienced during my time with NYFA, the moment that sticks out the most was a teaching moment I had with a member of the screenwriting faculty (who shall remain nameless!) after he reviewed a draft of the feature I was writing for my thesis. It had somehow found its way to him and he gave my advisor a message to pass onto me. It wasn’t positive, and he was completely right. He really put my writing in its place — which without knowing it, I needed to hear at the time. I’ve been a better writer ever since because of him.
NYFA: What inspired your screenplay for “Wolfville”?
JM: My writing/production partner Rob Ramsay and I met as students at Acadia — located in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. We weren’t writing together during our time at Acadia, but it was always an important town and community for us.
I grew up in a small east-coast Canadian town, as did Rob, and we always loved the idea of a small, picturesque, Canadian town dealing with issues that pushed the comfort zone of the community as a whole. We wanted to take the idea of disturbing the comfortable and comforting the disturbed, within the streets of a small town; which a lot of great TV shows have done an incredible job of lately. So those conversations turned into, well, why not in Atlantic Canada?
NYFA: Can you tell us a bit about the process of finding your way into National Screen Institute 2017 Totally Television, program? (And congrats!)
JM: Thanks! Rob and I shot a short film a few summers ago (“Rearview”) which made its way into NSI’s Short Film Festival, and that was a huge accomplishment for us. About a year later we got an email with a call out for writer & producer teams with pilots written to be part of their Totally Television program.
Rob and I have been writing together for years and have a tall stack of pilots, so after some conversations back and forth we decided to go with “Wolfville.” Then, honestly, we were completely humbled to be put on the short list for the program, and now to find out we have been selected and to be working with NSI as part of Totally Television is incredible.
NYFA: Was there anything that surprised you about the Totally Television selection process?
JM: I think everyone knows the professionalism and expertise of the National Screen Institute and this process was no different. From day one they’ve been nothing but helpful and supportive.
NYFA: What do you most look forward to in bringing “Wolfville” to life with the National Screen Institute?
JM: I think what I’m most looking forward to is showing the masses a corner of the world — and the characters that live there — that they have never seen before. I am a very proud maritimer and I am excited to show people why.
NYFA: What advice would you offer fellow NYFA students who aspire to bring a series script to development?
JM: I’m still trying to figure it all out, but if you have an idea, write it. Things become exponentially easier once you have something to show people.
NYFA: Are you working on any other upcoming projects you’d like to share?
JM: Constantly! I have two features that are ready for production, and I’m finishing a script for a short that Rob and I are shooting in November.
The New York Film Academy would like to thank Jon Mann for taking the time to share some of his story with our community.
New York Film Academy (NYFA) in partnership with RED affords NYFA students the unique opportunity to showcase some of their best work and win amazing prizes.
We asked NYFA students to submit their one-year projects or thesis films, the only caveat being that they had to be shot entirely on RED cameras.
In the gallery below you’ll find the finalists that were selected from over one hundred submissions.
What is the Audience Award?
The Audience Award is an opportunity for you to cast your vote for your favorite film and help determine the winner.
The cinematographer of the film with the most votes will win aREDucation voucher worth $1,500.
How to Vote?
Voting is super easy:
Browse the gallery below
Click on the thumbnail to view the film
Click the “Vote” for your favorite film.
You are allowed to cast one vote per day. Want to share with friends? Use the share buttons to send to your friends so they can vote too!
The film with the most votes at the end of the contest period wins!
Voting closes August 25, 2017 at 5 PM PT.
Content Warning: Please note that some videos in the gallery below may contain content that may be inappropriate for some viewers. Each video contains a specific content warning. In general, some of these videos may contain:
Adult Language Adult Themes Including Suicide Mild Nudity Graphic Violence Suggested Drug Use Sexually Mature Content
NYFAA Gold Coast May ’17 Acting Diploma student Abeer Salem was given the outstanding achievement of being one of three finalists for 2017’s Queensland Training Awards.
Out of 800 applicants, the Queensland Training Awards selected Abeer as a South East Queensland Regional finalist, recognizing her achievement as a vocational student. Abeer accepted her certificate at the 56th Queensland Training Awards State Gala Dinner on July 21.
Born and raised in Egypt, Abeer found her way to the sunny Gold Coast in 2012 and has been determined to further an education in business. To date, she has completed over 15 Diplomas.
Abeer states, “The quest for knowledge is never ending. No one is ever too good to learn. Successful people live each day with a relentless desire to improve.”
After years of studying and working in business, Abeer found her passion in acting. She says, “I quit my job to attend NYFA … I’m in love with acting and its craft. If I don’t become an actor I want to teach acting. It’s my new passion in life.”
She further explains, “I love NYFA and have known about the Academy for years. The Academy has such a great history and a fantastic support system for its actors … In my short time at NYFA I’ve learnt so much and look forward to doing the Advanced Diploma.”
The sharing economy has created all kinds of opportunities for people and organizations to come together in new ways. Recently, ride-sharing giant Uber connected with 90 Seconds to create a contest, inviting filmmakers to submit a film concept around the theme “a shared ride.” Finalists were selected to compete for votes in the Uber & 90 Seconds Short Film Festival, and first prize was taken home by New York Film Academy Sydney filmmaking student Michael Gosden for his short, “Hitchin’ a Trike.” Michael’s video has since surpassed 3 million views on Youtube.
We had a chance to sit down with Michael and hear a little bit about his journey with NYFA and the inspiration behind his film “Hitchin’ a Trike.”
Filmmaker Michael Gosden.
NYFA: Congratulations on your success in the Uber & 90 Seconds Short Film Festival! First, can you tell us a little about yourself and why you chose New York Film Academy?
I originally grew up on the Central Coast and moved to Melbourne in 2011 to study acting with the Victorian College of the Arts. Being there solidified my passion for storytelling and, with a few friends, I started to create work outside of acting. We would shoot short films, web series, music clips and even a few feature films. I quickly found that being behind the camera was just as exciting as being in front of it. But I found that our guerrilla filmmaking approach was limited by my day-to-day obligations, and I wanted to commit to immersing myself in film as much as possible for a period of time. That’s what attracted me to the New York Film Academy Australia. The hands-on approach to study was exactly what I wanted.
How did your entry to the UBER competition come about? What drew you to it?
It popped up on my news feed and this was around a time between semesters, so there was a tiny gap in my hectic schedule to pursue. I had a great little team of friends that were available and the story I came up with was a simple one. Also, it had a pretty great cash prize attached to it, and being a student in Sydney is hard!
What inspired your idea for “Hitchin’ a Trike”?
Nostalgia was my biggest inspiration, to be honest. The only thing Uber attached specifically to the brief was the theme “shared ride,” and it made me think about the moments I spent with my older brothers in our little kid bike gang, and how we would often have to share bikes if one of the other had broken down for whatever reason. I just ran with that idea and intertwined it to what I understood Uber to be at the time.
Would you say your time at NYFA was useful in terms of preparing you for your work in the competition?
Definitely. Primarily in my preparation, which I severely lacked the skills for beforehand. We had one day to shoot, so we couldn’t waste time with shot listing or anything like that.
With over 3 million views on your UBER video, what are you planning next?
I have a mockumentary web series that I shot before starting at NYFA about a group of master sommeliers (expert wine tasters) and how they are put through different tests to be inducted into the Grand Master Sommilier Society, the Illuminati of wine society. I put that on hold while studying and now I want to edit and distribute that to the world.
I also have a one-shot feature film that I wrote and directed, with a friend, a few years ago that is premiering at the Perth Revelation International film festival. I also have a treatments for a TV show and three features that I want to explore more and hopefully get some funding for. So I’m guessing that will keep me busy over the next few years.
As a filmmaker, what is your driving passion?
For who I am at the moment, the driving force has always been to try and tell the story of people or communities that wouldn’t have otherwise had the chance. I don’t know if I necessarily have an overall goal or message: That usually comes when I start focusing onto a story. But the passion definitely comes from the excitement I feel when a film leaves you with a greater sense of that topic than when you first walked in, good or bad. I just hope that people are changed by the stories I create.
Is there anything I missed that you’d like to talk about?
If you happen to be in Perth for the Revelation film festival, it’d be great if you went along and supported my film “Watch the Sunset.” You can find all the information here.
The New York Film Academy would like to congratulate Michael Gosden on his success with “Hitchin’ a Trike” and thank him for sharing some of his story with the NYFA community.
Welcome to another year of summer at the New York Film Academy! We are excited to announce this year’s #NYFASummer Selfie Contest, giving you the opportunity to win some awesome NYFA swag!
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. Last year’s winner of the #NYFASummer Contest, Kianna Molino, took home some awesome NYFA swag!
Due to the great success and engagement of the #NYFASummer Contest over the last couple years, we are doing this again, but this time we want you to create a selfie for the #NYFASummer Selfie Contest! In addition, we will be giving out swag packs every month, with the grand winner receiving our major NYFA swag package.