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  • NYFA Celebrates a Historic Year at the Oscars: Chloé Zhao, Emerald Fennell, Daniel Kaluuya & More

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    Hollywood’s biggest night celebrated some of the industry’s finest as the 93rd Academy Awards went off without a hitch (well, almost), awarding some of the top talents in the business with the coveted golden Oscar statue. The awards show took a break from multiple traditions for this year’s ceremony, the most notable being the ceremony itself taking place inside of Union Station in Los Angeles, a break from the classic Dolby Theatre.

    Kicking off the Steven Soderbergh-directed awards show was actor-turned-director Regina King, whose directorial debut film One Night in Miami was also up for multiple awards that night. King kicked off her speech noting the real-world issues at play outside of the realm of the Oscars ceremony.

    “We are mourning the loss of so many, and I have to be honest, if things had gone differently this past week in Minneapolis, I might have traded in my heels for marching boots,” she began. “Now, I know that a lot of you people at home are going to reach for your remote when you feel like Hollywood is preaching to you, but as a mother of a Black son, I know the fear that so many live with and no amount of fame or fortune changes that.”

    King then explained to attendees and those watching at home that this year’s ceremony would be treated like a movie set. Nominees would be allowed to remain maskless while on camera but would place their masks back on during each commercial break.

    The first award of the night went to Emerald Fennell for Best Original Screenplay. Her film Promising Young Woman is, staggeringly, the first screenplay penned by a woman to win this award since Diablo Cody’s Juno in 2008.

    Nomadland director Chloé Zhao is the first woman of color to win the Oscar for Best Director and only the second woman to win this award in the history of the Academy Awards. In her acceptance speech, Zhao paid tribute to her dad and her Chinese heritage with a short passage from the Three Character Classic (三字经), citing the translation as “at birth, people are innately good.” Zhao also became the second Asian woman, after Parasite‘s Kwak Sin-ae last year, to pick up an Academy Award for Best Picture, the most coveted award of the night.

    In perhaps one of the most powerful acceptance speeches of the night, Judas and The Black Messiah actor Daniel Kaluuya paid tribute to his parents and Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton for his monumental Best Supporting Actor win and called out to the audience to unify in these trying times. “When they play divide and conquer, we say unite and ascend. There’s so much work to do, and that’s on everyone in this room.”

    After three previous Black nominees in the category for Best Live-Action Short, Travon Free became the first Black winner in the category for his film Two Distant Strangers, which he shared with co-director, Martin Desmond Roe. 

    Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson celebrated their huge win for their work on Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom as the first Black winners for Makeup & Hairstyling to ever receive an Oscar. “I stand here, as Jamika and I break this glass ceiling, with so much excitement for the future,” beamed Neal. “Because I can picture Black trans women standing up here, and Asian sisters, and our Latina sisters, and indigenous women, and I know that one day it won’t be unusual or groundbreaking, it will just be normal.”

    In one of the most charming acceptance speeches of the night, Korean screen legend and Minari actress Yuh-Jung Youn picked up a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. In her speech, Youn joked with Minari producer Brad Pitt about where he was for the duration of the film production, forgave everyone who ever butchered her name, and dedicated her Oscar to her first director, Kim Ki-young. Youn, along with her Minari co-star and fellow Oscar nominee Steven Yeun are the first actors born in Korea to earn Oscar recognition for their performances in Minari.

    (Left) Sharon Choi standing next to (Right) Bong Joon-ho (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)

    Outside of the winner’s circle, this year’s Oscars pushed for more diversity overall with 2020 Oscar-winner Bong Joon Ho presenting the Best Director category completely in Korean, with English translation by Sharon Choi, while Marlee Matlin presented the two documentary categories in American Sign Language (ASL). Also, in a new development, this year there was also an ASL interpreter made available in the Oscars’ press room. 

    While there is still a way to go for, as Mia Neal puts it, for the Oscars to present a diverse pool of winners where it “won’t be unusual or groundbreaking” this year’s nominees and winners proved that the Academy is working to make strides for the “new normal” and awarding deserving talent that are bringing never-before-heard voices to the forefront of audience’s screens worldwide.

    New York Film Academy congratulates this year’s Oscar winners and nominees and looks forward to seeing what 2021 has in store for the industry’s most innovative and dedicated storytellers. 

    Here is the full list of 2021 Oscar Winners

    Best Picture

    • “The Father” (David Parfitt, Jean-Louis Livi and Philippe Carcassonne, producers)
    • “Judas and the Black Messiah” (Shaka King, Charles D. King and Ryan Coogler, producers)
    • “Mank” (Ceán Chaffin, Eric Roth and Douglas Urbanski, producers)
    • “Minari” (Christina Oh, producer)
    • “Nomadland” (Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey and Chloé Zhao, producers) – WINNER
    • “Promising Young Woman” (Ben Browning, Ashley Fox, Emerald Fennell and Josey McNamara, producers)
    • “Sound of Metal” (Bert Hamelinck and Sacha Ben Harroche, producers)
    • “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Marc Platt and Stuart Besser, producers)

    Best Director

    • Thomas Vinterberg (“Another Round”)
    • David Fincher (“Mank”) 
    • Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”) 
    • Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”)  – WINNER
    • Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”) 

    Best Actor in a Leading Role

    • Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”) 
    • Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) 
    • Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”) – WINNER
    • Gary Oldman (“Mank”) 
    • Steven Yeun (“Minari”) 

    Best Actress in a Leading Role

    • Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) 
    • Andra Day (“The United States v. Billie Holiday”) 
    • Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”) 
    • Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”) – WINNER
    • Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”) 

    Best Actor in a Supporting Role

    • Sacha Baron Cohen (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”) 
    • Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”) – WINNER
    • Leslie Odom Jr. (“One Night in Miami”) 
    • Paul Raci (“Sound of Metal”) 
    • Lakeith Stanfield (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)

    Best Actress in a Supporting Role

    • Maria Bakalova (‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”) 
    • Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”) 
    • Olivia Colman (“The Father”) 
    • Amanda Seyfried (“Mank”) 
    • Youn Yuh-jung (“Minari”) – WINNER

    Best Animated Feature Film

    • “Onward” (Pixar) 
    • “Over the Moon” (Netflix) 
    • “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon” (Netflix) 
    • “Soul” (Pixar) – WINNER
    • “Wolfwalkers” (Apple TV Plus/GKIDS) 

    Best Adapted Screenplay

    • “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.” Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Mazer, Jena Friedman, Lee Kern; Story by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Nina Pedrad
    • “The Father,” Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller – WINNER
    • “Nomadland,” Chloé Zhao 
    • “One Night in Miami,” Kemp Powers 
    • “The White Tiger,” Ramin Bahrani 

    Best Original Screenplay

    • “Judas and the Black Messiah.” Screenplay by Will Berson, Shaka King; Story by Will Berson, Shaka King, Kenny Lucas, Keith Lucas
    • “Minari,” Lee Isaac Chung 
    • “Promising Young Woman,” Emerald Fennell – WINNER
    • “Sound of Metal.” Screenplay by Darius Marder, Abraham Marder; Story by Darius Marder, Derek Cianfrance
    • “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Aaron Sorkin 

    Best Original Song

    • “Fight for You,” (“Judas and the Black Messiah”). Music by H.E.R. and Dernst Emile II; Lyric by H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas – WINNER
    • “Hear My Voice,” (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”). Music by Daniel Pemberton; Lyric by Daniel Pemberton and Celeste Waite
    • “Húsavík,” (“Eurovision Song Contest”). Music and Lyric by Savan Kotecha, Fat Max Gsus and Rickard Göransson
    • “Io Si (Seen),” (“The Life Ahead”). Music by Diane Warren; Lyric by Diane Warren and Laura Pausini
    • “Speak Now,” (“One Night in Miami”). Music and Lyric by Leslie Odom, Jr. and Sam Ashworth

    Best Original Score

    • “Da 5 Bloods,” Terence Blanchard 
    • “Mank,” Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross 
    • “Minari,” Emile Mosseri 
    • “News of the World,” James Newton Howard 
    • “Soul,” Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste – WINNER

    Best Sound

    • “Greyhound,” Warren Shaw, Michael Minkler, Beau Borders and David Wyman
    • “Mank,” Ren Klyce, Jeremy Molod, David Parker, Nathan Nance and Drew Kunin
    • “News of the World,” Oliver Tarney, Mike Prestwood Smith, William Miller and John Pritchett
    • “Soul,” Ren Klyce, Coya Elliott and David Parker
    • “Sound of Metal,” Nicolas Becker, Jaime Baksht, Michelle Couttolenc, Carlos Cortés and Phillip Bladh – WINNER

    Best Costume Design

    • “Emma,” Alexandra Byrne 
    • “Mank,” Trish Summerville 
    • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Ann Roth – WINNER
    • “Mulan,” Bina Daigeler 
    • “Pinocchio,” Massimo Cantini Parrini

    Best Animated Short Film

    • “Burrow” (Disney Plus/Pixar)
    • “Genius Loci” (Kazak Productions) 
    • “If Anything Happens I Love You” (Netflix) – WINNER
    • “Opera” (Beasts and Natives Alike) 
    • “Yes-People” (CAOZ hf. Hólamói) 

    Best Live-Action Short Film

    • “Feeling Through” 
    • “The Letter Room” 
    • “The Present” 
    • “Two Distant Strangers” – WINNER
    • “White Eye” 

    Best Cinematography

    • “Judas and the Black Messiah,” Sean Bobbitt 
    • “Mank,” Erik Messerschmidt – WINNER
    • “News of the World,” Dariusz Wolski 
    • “Nomadland,” Joshua James Richards 
    • “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Phedon Papamichael 

    Best Documentary Feature

    • “Collective,” Alexander Nanau and Bianca Oana
    • “Crip Camp,” Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht and Sara Bolder
    • “The Mole Agent,” Maite Alberdi and Marcela Santibáñez
    • “My Octopus Teacher,” Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed and Craig Foster – WINNER
    • “Time,” Garrett Bradley, Lauren Domino and Kellen Quinn

    Best Documentary Short Subject

    • “Colette,” Anthony Giacchino and Alice Doyard – WINNER
    • “A Concerto Is a Conversation,” Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers
    • “Do Not Split,” Anders Hammer and Charlotte Cook
    • “Hunger Ward,” Skye Fitzgerald and Michael Scheuerman
    • “A Love Song for Latasha,” Sophia Nahli Allison and Janice Duncan

    Best Film Editing

    • “The Father,” Yorgos Lamprinos
    • “Nomadland,” Chloé Zhao 
    • “Promising Young Woman,” Frédéric Thoraval 
    • “Sound of Metal,” Mikkel E.G. Nielsen – WINNER
    • “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Alan Baumgarten 

    Best International Feature Film

    • “Another Round” (Denmark) – WINNER
    • “Better Days” (Hong Kong)
    • “Collective” (Romania) 
    • “The Man Who Sold His Skin” (Tunisia)
    • “Quo Vadis, Aida?”(Bosnia and Herzegovina) 

    Best Makeup and Hairstyling

    • “Emma,” Marese Langan, Laura Allen, Claudia Stolze
    • “Hillbilly Elegy,” Eryn Krueger Mekash, Patricia Dehaney, Matthew Mungle 
    • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal, Jamika Wilson – WINNER
    • “Mank,” Kimberley Spiteri, Gigi Williams, Colleen LaBaff
    • “Pinocchio,” Mark Coulier, Dalia Colli, Francesco Pegoretti

    Best Production Design

    • “The Father.” Production Design: Peter Francis; Set Decoration: Cathy Featherstone
    • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Production Design: Mark Ricker; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara and Diana Stoughton
    • “Mank.” Production Design: Donald Graham Burt; Set Decoration: Jan Pascale -WINNER
    • “News of the World.” Production Design: David Crank; Set Decoration: Elizabeth Keenan
    • “Tenet.” Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Kathy Lucas

    Best Visual Effects

    • “Love and Monsters,” Matt Sloan, Genevieve Camilleri, Matt Everitt and Brian Cox 
    • “The Midnight Sky,” Matthew Kasmir, Christopher Lawrence, Max Solomon and David Watkins
    • “Mulan,” Sean Faden, Anders Langlands, Seth Maury and Steve Ingram
    • “The One and Only Ivan,” Nick Davis, Greg Fisher, Ben Jones and Santiago Colomo Martinez
    • “Tenet,” Andrew Jackson, David Lee, Andrew Lockley and Scott Fisher – WINNER

    Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

    • Tyler Perry
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    April 26, 2021 • Entertainment News, International Diversity • Views: 777

  • NYFA Celebrates the 93rd Academy Award Nominees and Winners

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    This year, NYFA celebrated instructors and alumni being among those nominated for this year’s Oscar’s shortlist. As the list dwindled down it was 1-Year Screenwriting alum Shivani Rawat’s film The Trial of The Chicago 7 that earned six nominations including Best Picture. The Aaron Sorkin film was one that Rawat produced along with Marc Platt and Stuart Besser.

    Also among the nominees was producer and NYFA guest speaker Christina Oh, who helmed the A24 Lee Isaac Chung drama Minari, which also earned six nominations including Best Picture. Oh is the first Asian American woman to receive a nomination for best picture.

    Oscar nominees (Photo Credit: Screen Rant)

    Other historic nominations this year include:

    • The first time two women are nominated for Best Director: Emerald Fennel (Promising Young Woman) and Chloé Zhao (Nomadland).
    • Netflix setting a record for distributors with 35 total nominations in 2021. The streaming giant also leads the Best Picture category with two nods, while Amazon, A24, Focus, Searchlight, and Sony Classics held one nomination each. This year, major studios were not present in this category, a notable exception given the tumultuous distribution efforts major studios faced with releasing tentpole and lower budget films across the production slate in 2020.
    • Chadwick Boseman has become the seventh actor to receive a posthumous nomination for his work on Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
    • Riz Ahmed is the first Muslim actor to be nominated in the Best Actor category for his performance in The Sounds of Metal.
    • Steven Yeun, the first Asian American to receive a Best Actor nod, and Best Supporting Actress nominee Youn Uh-Jung are the first actors born in Korea to earn Oscar recognition for their performances in Minari.

    After many delays due to the pandemic, Hollywood’s biggest night is ready for a night of normalcy with the tentpole of awards shows back on the air with an in-person ceremony at the Dolby Theatre on April 25th after its original February 28th date was pushed back. 

    Here is the full list of 2021 Oscar Nominations:

    Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award – Tyler Perry

    Best Picture

    • “The Father” (David Parfitt, Jean-Louis Livi and Philippe Carcassonne, producers)
    • “Judas and the Black Messiah” (Shaka King, Charles D. King and Ryan Coogler, producers)
    • “Mank” (Ceán Chaffin, Eric Roth and Douglas Urbanski, producers)
    • “Minari” (Christina Oh, producer)
    • “Nomadland” (Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey and Chloé Zhao, producers) – WINNER
    • “Promising Young Woman” (Ben Browning, Ashley Fox, Emerald Fennell and Josey McNamara, producers)
    • “Sound of Metal” (Bert Hamelinck and Sacha Ben Harroche, producers)
    • “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Marc Platt and Stuart Besser, producers)

    Best Director

    • Thomas Vinterberg (“Another Round”)
    • David Fincher (“Mank”) 
    • Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”) 
    • Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”)  – WINNER
    • Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”) 

    Best Actor in a Leading Role

    • Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”) 
    • Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) 
    • Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”) – WINNER
    • Gary Oldman (“Mank”) 
    • Steven Yeun (“Minari”) 

    Best Actress in a Leading Role

    • Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) 
    • Andra Day (“The United States v. Billie Holiday”) 
    • Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”) 
    • Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”) – WINNER
    • Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”) 

    Best Actor in a Supporting Role

    • Sacha Baron Cohen (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”) 
    • Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”) – WINNER
    • Leslie Odom Jr. (“One Night in Miami”) 
    • Paul Raci (“Sound of Metal”) 
    • Lakeith Stanfield (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)

    Best Actress in a Supporting Role

    • Maria Bakalova (‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”) 
    • Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”) 
    • Olivia Colman (“The Father”) 
    • Amanda Seyfried (“Mank”) 
    • Youn Yuh-jung (“Minari”) – WINNER

    Best Animated Feature Film

    • “Onward” (Pixar) 
    • “Over the Moon” (Netflix) 
    • “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon” (Netflix) 
    • “Soul” (Pixar) – WINNER
    • “Wolfwalkers” (Apple TV Plus/GKIDS) 

    Best Adapted Screenplay

    • “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.” Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Mazer, Jena Friedman, Lee Kern; Story by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Nina Pedrad
    • “The Father,” Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller – WINNER
    • “Nomadland,” Chloé Zhao 
    • “One Night in Miami,” Kemp Powers 
    • “The White Tiger,” Ramin Bahrani 

    Best Original Screenplay

    • “Judas and the Black Messiah.” Screenplay by Will Berson, Shaka King; Story by Will Berson, Shaka King, Kenny Lucas, Keith Lucas
    • “Minari,” Lee Isaac Chung 
    • “Promising Young Woman,” Emerald Fennell – WINNER
    • “Sound of Metal.” Screenplay by Darius Marder, Abraham Marder; Story by Darius Marder, Derek Cianfrance
    • “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Aaron Sorkin 

    Best Original Song

    • “Fight for You,” (“Judas and the Black Messiah”). Music by H.E.R. and Dernst Emile II; Lyric by H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas – WINNER
    • “Hear My Voice,” (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”). Music by Daniel Pemberton; Lyric by Daniel Pemberton and Celeste Waite
    • “Húsavík,” (“Eurovision Song Contest”). Music and Lyric by Savan Kotecha, Fat Max Gsus and Rickard Göransson
    • “Io Si (Seen),” (“The Life Ahead”). Music by Diane Warren; Lyric by Diane Warren and Laura Pausini
    • “Speak Now,” (“One Night in Miami”). Music and Lyric by Leslie Odom, Jr. and Sam Ashworth

    Best Original Score

    • “Da 5 Bloods,” Terence Blanchard 
    • “Mank,” Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross 
    • “Minari,” Emile Mosseri 
    • “News of the World,” James Newton Howard 
    • “Soul,” Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste – WINNER

    Best Sound

    • “Greyhound,” Warren Shaw, Michael Minkler, Beau Borders and David Wyman
    • “Mank,” Ren Klyce, Jeremy Molod, David Parker, Nathan Nance and Drew Kunin
    • “News of the World,” Oliver Tarney, Mike Prestwood Smith, William Miller and John Pritchett
    • “Soul,” Ren Klyce, Coya Elliott and David Parker
    • “Sound of Metal,” Nicolas Becker, Jaime Baksht, Michelle Couttolenc, Carlos Cortés and Phillip Bladh – WINNER

    Best Costume Design

    • “Emma,” Alexandra Byrne 
    • “Mank,” Trish Summerville 
    • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Ann Roth – WINNER
    • “Mulan,” Bina Daigeler 
    • “Pinocchio,” Massimo Cantini Parrini

    Best Animated Short Film

    • “Burrow” (Disney Plus/Pixar)
    • “Genius Loci” (Kazak Productions) 
    • “If Anything Happens I Love You” (Netflix) – WINNER
    • “Opera” (Beasts and Natives Alike) 
    • “Yes-People” (CAOZ hf. Hólamói) 

    Best Live-Action Short Film

    • “Feeling Through” 
    • “The Letter Room” 
    • “The Present” 
    • “Two Distant Strangers” – WINNER
    • “White Eye” 

    Best Cinematography

    • “Judas and the Black Messiah,” Sean Bobbitt 
    • “Mank,” Erik Messerschmidt – WINNER
    • “News of the World,” Dariusz Wolski 
    • “Nomadland,” Joshua James Richards 
    • “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Phedon Papamichael 

    Best Documentary Feature

    • “Collective,” Alexander Nanau and Bianca Oana
    • “Crip Camp,” Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht and Sara Bolder
    • “The Mole Agent,” Maite Alberdi and Marcela Santibáñez
    • “My Octopus Teacher,” Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed and Craig Foster – WINNER
    • “Time,” Garrett Bradley, Lauren Domino and Kellen Quinn

    Best Documentary Short Subject

    • “Colette,” Anthony Giacchino and Alice Doyard – WINNER
    • “A Concerto Is a Conversation,” Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers
    • “Do Not Split,” Anders Hammer and Charlotte Cook
    • “Hunger Ward,” Skye Fitzgerald and Michael Scheuerman
    • “A Love Song for Latasha,” Sophia Nahli Allison and Janice Duncan

    Best Film Editing

    • “The Father,” Yorgos Lamprinos
    • “Nomadland,” Chloé Zhao 
    • “Promising Young Woman,” Frédéric Thoraval 
    • “Sound of Metal,” Mikkel E.G. Nielsen – WINNER
    • “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Alan Baumgarten 

    Best International Feature Film

    • “Another Round” (Denmark) – WINNER
    • “Better Days” (Hong Kong)
    • “Collective” (Romania) 
    • “The Man Who Sold His Skin” (Tunisia)
    • “Quo Vadis, Aida?”(Bosnia and Herzegovina) 

    Best Makeup and Hairstyling

    • “Emma,” Marese Langan, Laura Allen, Claudia Stolze
    • “Hillbilly Elegy,” Eryn Krueger Mekash, Patricia Dehaney, Matthew Mungle 
    • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal, Jamika Wilson – WINNER
    • “Mank,” Kimberley Spiteri, Gigi Williams, Colleen LaBaff
    • “Pinocchio,” Mark Coulier, Dalia Colli, Francesco Pegoretti

    Best Production Design

    • “The Father.” Production Design: Peter Francis; Set Decoration: Cathy Featherstone
    • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Production Design: Mark Ricker; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara and Diana Stoughton
    • “Mank.” Production Design: Donald Graham Burt; Set Decoration: Jan Pascale -WINNER
    • “News of the World.” Production Design: David Crank; Set Decoration: Elizabeth Keenan
    • “Tenet.” Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Kathy Lucas

    Best Visual Effects

    • “Love and Monsters,” Matt Sloan, Genevieve Camilleri, Matt Everitt and Brian Cox 
    • “The Midnight Sky,” Matthew Kasmir, Christopher Lawrence, Max Solomon and David Watkins
    • “Mulan,” Sean Faden, Anders Langlands, Seth Maury and Steve Ingram
    • “The One and Only Ivan,” Nick Davis, Greg Fisher, Ben Jones and Santiago Colomo Martinez
    • “Tenet,” Andrew Jackson, David Lee, Andrew Lockley and Scott Fisher – WINNER

     

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    April 23, 2021 • Entertainment News • Views: 1384

  • NYFA Filmmaking Alum Indranil Banerjee Creates India’s First Anthology Horror Miniseries “4 Shades of Leap”

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    From his early childhood, Indranil Banerjee remembered watching Toy Story, Jurassic Park, Satyajit Ray’s Gupi Gyan Bagha Byan, and James Cameron’s epic film Titanic. He recalled how, as a kid, crying when Jack died, imagining himself proposing several times to Rose and talking with his friends at school about why his mom had to close his eyes at the theatre in several scenes of the film. It was movies that excited Banerjee at such a young age, and that captivation for filmmaking continued as he grew up. 

    Photo courtesy of Indranil Banerjee

    “When I grew up, I understood that film was something that was very attractive to me. , I started doing photography and slowly started learning about film and camera,” shared Banerjee. “From there, I began to comb through the filmography of some of the world’s best filmmakers.” 

    The likes of James Cameron, Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, and more inspired the aspiring director. Filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino inspired Banerjee to learn storytelling through camera tactics, while Satyajit Ray taught Banerjee how characters can come to life and music can elevate each story. 

    Film poster for “The Chase”

    After attending film schools in the UK, France, and the U.S, Banerjee’s sister told Banerjee about New York Film Academy (NYFA), where Banerjee enrolled in an 8-Week Filmmaking Workshop at the New York campus. 

    The filmmaking alum has directed the short film The Chase, which was recognized at the prestigious Los Angeles Cenefest. His other shorts include The Mirage, Trinyani, One Night Stand, and Hello. Banerjee also directed Bahannoborti (52), a television film for one of the most highly recognized Bengali channels in Kolkata, India. 

    Film posters for Banerjee’s anthology series “4 Shades of Leap”

    Now, the filmmaking alum is changing the way India is consuming horror, by launching the first horror anthology miniseries. 4 Shades of Leap is a series of four shorts that are about five minutes each. “The Idea Came in my head at the end of 2019. It was winter and me and my cinematographer Tuhin Dasgupta were having coffee in my terrace and discussing the new Indian Hindi-language anthology horror film on Netflix called Ghost Stories. We then planned to do our own research on some actual horror events in Kolkata, India.” 

    For one month, Banerjee and Dasgupta talked with individuals, visited many abandoned houses, and began forming the script for four individual stories based on real-life incidents. “As a filmmaker, I wanted to make this extremely natural and as real as I could. I used various cinematic elements as a poignant part of each and every tale; the shadows in the first episode, the rain in the second, the match cuts in the third, and the faces of various animals in the last episode.”

    Banerjee behind the scenes

    Banerjee and his crew finished filming the series just before the pandemic and the series has been met with critical acclaim and such a huge response that the series will return for a second season.

    “People like to watch spooky, but there is a difference between Ghostbusters and Insidious. All I can say 4 Shades Of Leap will Just take twenty minutes from your life to make you feel the various waves and stages of horror, with all four episodes based on real incidents. So, you will definitely enjoy it, and, yes, you will remain in shock.” 

    New York Film Academy recognizes the incredible achievement of filmmaking alum Indranil Banerjee and his latest project 4 Shades of Leap. You can watch the horror anthology on Amazon and Apple TV.

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  • NYFA Musical Theatre Alum Felipe Vasquez Encamilla to Perform in BroadwayMania’s Virtual Production of “In The Heights”

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    A performer and an alum of NYFA’s 2-Year Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre (PCMT) program, Felipe Vasquez Encamilla, like many others, was devastated when the pandemic hit and productions shuttered their doors and performers could no longer perform live and in-person. 

    Now, with Broadway and other theatre institutions around the world slowly beginning to open their doors again, the performing arts world is starting to rejoice as productions are being cast and virtual performances continue, one of which is the BroadwayMania virtual production of Lin Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights, where Encamilla will perform as the Piragua Guy.

    Promotional photo of Felipe Vasquez Encamilla for “In The Heights”

    In The Heights is one of the most wonderful musicals that I have ever known,” shared Encamilla. “It has a special value for me because the musical represents the Latinx community of which I’m proudly part. It is so important to have a voice and In The Heights is giving me a huge voice. We, as a cast, are recording videos and the audio from our own homes, and then the production and editing team do the incredible magic to put the show together.”

    Encamilla came to study at NYFA in 2018, where he credited instructors like Deidre Goodwin, Michelle Potterf, Kristy Cates, James T. Lane, Kevid David Thomas, D. Michael Heath, Wysandria Woolsey, Mark Price, T. J. Mannix, Stephen Nachamie, among many others, for providing such an immersive experience in the Musical Theatre program. 

    “They are legends! I had heard about them in Chile before, so you can imagine how excited I was to know them [the instructors] in person,” said Encamilla. “ Another big reason for coming to NYFA was the possibility to make a movie musical in the second year. None of the academies or schools that I had seen had this in their curriculums and I consider it so important! Actually, the pandemic has made me use a lot of the things that I learned at NYFA about how to perform musicals in front of the camera.” 

    Encamilla as Monsieur Thénardier in “Les Misérables”

    From playing King Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar to Pirelli from Sweeney Todd, Encamilla revealed that his favorite part of performing is the relationships formed on and off stage. “For me, it’s the relationships with my colleagues and the connections that we can create on stage. Not only because the characters have to have a connection, but also because all the good energy is reflected when you are performing. People can totally see those connections. And that is so beautiful! I think if you work with love, respect and kindness your performance always will be the best.”

    As for what’s next after In The Heights, Encamilla is developing a few projects with his husband Pablo, including producing the play Llamada Entrante (“Incoming Call” written by Pablo and directed by Encamilla), which they are looking to expand after a few successful live online performances. 

    Felipe Vasquez Encamilla in “Sweeney Todd”

    “We are also are writing a musical that talks about homoparental adoption, which is a huge topic for so many people, especially in countries like Chile where it is not allowed. We think that we need more representation in the Musical Theatre world: one of my huge dreams is to write more musicals that contain more representation to the Latinx Community, gay people, immigrants, and people who came to this country to contribute with their talents but so many times they are non seen.”

    An advocate for the voiceless and determined, Encamilla urges those looking to expand their craft to follow their dreams no matter the circumstances. “You have to follow your dreams and make it real. It’s hard, I know. Sometimes you feel that they never will come true. Many times nobody believes in you, including yourself. But you have to find the strength to fight and don’t give up. You deserve it. Never stop dreaming!”

    Official poster for “In The Heights”

    New York Film Academy congratulates Felipe Vasquez Encamilla on the exciting opportunity to be part of BroadwayMania’s production of In The Heights. You can see the show online, with performances streaming on May 15 at 7:00 pm ET, May 16 at 2:00 pm ET, and May 22 at 7:00 pm ET. For tickets and more information, click here.

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  • Films From NYFA Australia Alumni Will Screen at 2021 Gold Coast Film Festival

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    New York Film Academy Australia is excited to share that alumni Stephen Osborne, Josh Hale, and Luke Speech have been selected to screen their films at the 2021 Gold Coast Film Festival (“GCFF”). This year, NYFA Australia is the only film school to have more than one alum featured among the festival’s robust lineup of curated film selections.

    An official GCFF selection, Osborne was invited to screen his film Strangeville at this year’s festival and compete in the Best Australian Indie Film category. The sci-fi dramedy centres in on an outback town, plagued with alien abductions, that must battle unknown forces and dismantle a law enforcement cover-up in the process.

    Still from Stephen Osborne’s “Strangeville”

    Osborne has previously received recognition for the short film Roommate Wanted For The End of The World, winning Best Short Screenplay at the Rome Prisma Independent Film Awards and Screenwriter of The Month for The Monthly Film Festival. His short film Jane also earned Osborne an award for Best First Time Director at the Oniros Film Awards, which he completed during his studies at New York Film Academy.

    In addition to being written and directed by Osborne, Strangeville also includes 21 members of the cast and crew who also attended NYFA’s Gold Coast campus. Among them is Vito Leo who plays Miles in one of the film’s leading roles. Leo has worked most notably on Thor: Ragnorok and the highly-anticipated Godzilla vs. Kong.

    Also on the slate for the GCFF is Hale’s House of Inequity, which will appear in the ‘Dark Nights and Fantastic Fans’ portion of the program, alongside screenings of Willy’s Wonderland and The Lord of The Rings trilogy. The film follows a group of friends that experience a day trip gone wrong after investigating an abandoned house where they must figure out how to survive the night.

    Still from Josh Hale’s “House of Inequity”

    The NYFA Australia alum is known for his critically acclaimed film Digital Athlete: The Road Set League, which earned Hale an IndieFEST Film Award of Merit, a Festival Award at the Festigious International Film Festival, and a Best of the Year Award nomination at the Gold Movie Awards. The producer-director is also in production on the documentary Do or Die and is currently in the development of the thriller Force of Evil.

    Hale’s House of Inequity was originally supposed to have its world premiere at the 2020 GCFF but was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film credits 17 NYFA Australia alumni among the film’s cast and crew and features the work of NYFA Australia faculty members Stuart Lumsden (NYFA Australia Deputy Chair of Acting for Film), sound design instructor Vic Kaspar (House of Flying Daggers, Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban), and Patrick Ryan (NYFA Australia Associate Chair of Short-Term Filmmaking).

    “I am so proud of what we achieved,” shares Hale. “A local cast and crew utilising the incredible Gold Coast and its glorious production value. I am proud of this film.”

    Film poster for “Paint” by Luke Speech

    Also screening at GCFF is Speech’s Paint. The NYFA Australia alum’s film will screen as part of the EMERGE! showcase of short films that celebrates the best and brightest film talent from Queensland’s next generation of filmmakers.

    NYFA Australia is proud of Filmmaking alumni Stephen Osborne, Josh Hale, and Luke Speech, as well as the incredibly talented group of NYFA Australia alumni and faculty who served as the cast and crew for Strangeville and House of Inequity.

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  • New York Film Academy Awards MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy Students With 8-Week Program Scholarship

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    MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF), a New York Film Academy (NYFA) partner, recently announced the graduation of 60 students from the Lusaka, Nairobi, and Lagos MTF Academy hubs. 

    Through their partnership with NYFA, MTF Academy students have the opportunity to graduate with not only an MTF graduate qualification but also walk away with accreditation from NYFA as well. 

    MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) graduates

    Originally a 12-month course, MTF students experience an extended period of study to 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing for students to complete an intensive 3-week online NYFA course on the production of micro-documentaries, PSAs, and music videos and also worked with the United Nations on the global #PledgeToPause campaign, exposing the young creatives to global networks.  

    Having received both their MTF and NYFA qualifications, MTF graduates are made even more sought-after candidates as they re-enter their respective local film and TV sectors as highly qualified industry professionals. 

    Africa’s creative industries are custodians of the continent’s cultural heritage, and as Africa’s most-loved storyteller, MultiChoice has always put to use its burning desire to develop and invest in African talent through initiatives such as MTF. And like the previous cohort, the skills gained by the Class of 2020 once again shone through during their course.

    In addition, NYFA also awarded an 8-week scholarship, which goes to the top-performing graduate per region, to the below MTF graduates:

    • Abisola Aboaba (Nigeria)
    • Daisy Masembe (Uganda) 
    • Maira Tauacale (Mozambique).

    MTF Academy graduate and NYFA scholarship recipient Abisola Aboaba

    “This is a proud moment for everyone involved in ensuring that the students became graduates. It’s also been fulfilling to see just how in-tune this next generation of African storytellers are with the importance of being multi-skilled and intuitive creatives,” shared Yolisa Phahle, CEO of General Entertainment and Connected Services, MultiChoice Group. “All this would not have been possible without the collaboration and commitment of our fantastic partners.”

    New York Film Academy congratulations to the class of 2021, who are now alumni of the exceptional MTF Academy program, a proud partner of NYFA.

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    April 15, 2021 • Entertainment News, Film School, Filmmaking, International Diversity • Views: 1074

  • NYFA Filmmaking Instructor Braden Duemmler’s Film “What Lies Below” Lands on Netflix

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    NYFA instructor Braden Duemmler’s film What Lies Below is currently has the the #1 spot on Netflix’s Top 10 in the U.S. Today spot, a coveted ranking across all streaming services.

    Duemmler, who wrote and directed the film, is a filmmaking instructor at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus. What Lies Below is a horror-thriller film that tells the story of a teenage girl who comes back home from camp, only to realize that her mother’s attractive new boyfriend is too good to be true.

    Braden Duemmler (Left) and Ema Horvath (Right) on the set of “What Lies Below”

    The film stars Ema Horvath (who was recently cast in the upcoming Lord of The Rings series for Amazon Prime), NYFA guest speaker Mena Suvari (American Beauty, American Pie), and Trey Tucker (who was recently cast in the upcoming show Heels on Starz).

    For Duemmler, What Lies Below was a labor of love, and seeing all of the work that went into writing the film as well as seeing it cast and begin shooting was an incredible moment for the director. “It was wonderful and terrifying at the same time. I still remember the first table read with Ema, Trey, and Mena going through the lines. I had tears in my eyes at the end because I just couldn’t believe I was sitting there, with these incredibly gifted actors, listening and watching them bring the story to life!”

    Behind the scenes of filming “What Lies Below”

    “As we were making the film, it was a battle. Every day had its trials and triumphs and you just had to stay focused on the scene, the shot, the moment, every step of the way,” shared Duemmler. “Every time we wrapped a day, and I knew in my head we got what we needed, I felt the same as I did at that table read: this is happening, this is working, this is awesome!”

    Mena Suvari in “What Lies Below”

    What Lies Below has now been picked up and released by streaming giant Netflix, which has been the launching point for many directors and multiple genres of content for the past decade.

    “It’s very exciting. We’re being released the same week as a film starring Idris Elba! It makes me appreciate the platform [Netflix] and its unique ability to bring films from all genres, budgets, and styles to one place.”

    Trey Tucker in “What Lies Below”

    According to the filmmaking instructor, audiences will be able to enjoy the “intensity of the story” and the mystery that is riddled throughout the film. But most of all, he hopes audiences will argue over the ending. “It is a very polarizing finale and I’ve already seen some great fan theories on the internet. All I’ll say is the ending is not open-ended; it is very definitive and all the answers to the mystery are layered into those final two shots. I hope people enjoy picking it all apart and trying to figure it out!”

    Braden Duemmler on the set of “What Lies Below”

    For anyone out there looking to make their own film, Duemmler says it’s time to stop asking for permission. “You don’t need the studios, or Sundance, or a big-time producer. All you need is a great script and a little start-up capital that will allow you to attach a cast that is recognizable enough to get you your full budget! The cast is EVERYTHING and they care about great scripts!”

    New York Film Academy congratulates filmmaking instructor Braden Duemmler on the release of his first feature film What Lies Below, which is now available to stream on Netflix. Once audiences finish arguing over the ending of What Lies Below, it won’t be long before Duemmler releases his next film Mold, which will begin casting this summer.

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    April 7, 2021 • Entertainment News, Faculty Highlights, Filmmaking • Views: 1161

  • New York Film Academy Partners with the 2021 FOLCS – International Short Film Competition

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) is excited to announce another year of partnership with the Forum on Life, Culture and Society (FOLCS) International Short Film Competition in a five-day virtual event, culminating in an Awards Night on April 8, 2021.

    FOLCS is a non-profit organization that houses culturally relevant conversation topics, providing a unique and enriching experience for audience goers that speaks to the moment with captivating conversations from special guests across multiple industries. NYFA has been a co-host on the FOLCS series of events for the last three years. 

    The annual FOLCS – International Short Film Competition (F-ISFC) is a special event that showcases short films that explore themes of justice, human rights, and the law by emerging filmmakers from all over the world. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for the very first time, FOLCS, in partnership with NYFA, will be virtually hosting its annual short film competition, allowing viewers to screen all of the finalist entries over the course of five days starting April 5, 2021.  

    Finalist films for the FOLCS – International Short Film Competition

    This year’s official film selections include titles from Iran, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Malaysia, and the United States, giving entrants the opportunity to have their films shown to a wide audience and films viewed by distinguished professionals including renowned filmmakers, actors, writers, and journalists. Previous F-ISFC judges from NYFA include Cinematography Chair Piero Basso, Screenwriting Chair Randall Dottin, Filmmaking Chair Andrea Swift, and Filmmaking instructor Jonathan Whittaker.

    Actor William Fichtner

    All ISFC attendees will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite short, which will be counted towards the Audience Favorite Award which will be announced during Awards Night on April 8, 2021. The awards night is open to all F-ISFC ticketholders and will feature a discussion with the finalist filmmakers, NYFA’s own President Michael Young, and actor William Fichtner (Black Hawk Down, Prison Break, The Perfect Storm, The Dark Knight), who will present the award for The Best Short.

    HOW TO WATCH THE FILMS & VIRTUALLY ATTEND:

    The first 200 people to register for this year’s F-ISFC will receive tickets for the virtual film screenings free of charge, while all other registrants will be charged a $2 fee to unlock the official film selections. To view the F-ISFC slate of films selected for this year’s competition, click here. If you would like to register to attend one or all of the screenings for this year’s F-ISFC, click here to register. On April 5, 2021, you will receive an email with instructions on how to unlock and watch each film online. 

    New York Film Academy is a proud partner of this year’s FOLCS – International Short Film Competition and looks forward to being part of this special event celebrating aspiring independent filmmakers from around the globe. 

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  • NYFA Australia Alum Julian Lawrence Works on “Godzilla vs. Kong”

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    New York Film Academy Australia (NYFA Australia) alum Julian Lawrence has multiple blockbusters under his belt. Having tackled Aquaman, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Thor: Ragnarok, and many others, Lawrence will now add one of the biggest cinematic events of 2021 to his list of credits with Godzilla vs. Kong from Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures.

    NYFA Australia alum Julian Lawrence

    Lawrence, a cinematographer, served as a Digital Imaging Technician (DIT) for the second unit team shooting in Australia. A DIT typically has three primary responsibilities while working on a project: data wrangling and protection, assisting the DP, and managing the dailies. Overall, a DIT has multiple responsibilities as the digital format becomes increasingly advanced and more complicated across the industry. Godzilla vs. Kong is no exception as the film is heavy in digital elements that require the utmost care to uphold quality and creativity across the board for the film.

    The Filmmaking alum previously served as a DIT on Den største forbrytelsen and worked as a DIT Utility for Aquaman, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Thor: Ragnarok, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Kong: Skull Island, and Alien: Covenant.

    Film poster for “Godzilla vs. Kong”

    Godzilla vs. Kong is a sequel to both Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Kong: Skull Island, marking the first convergence of cinematic monsters in Legendary Pictures’ new MonsterVerse. The film will have audiences in the middle of an epic clash between two titan figures of mythic proportions in a battle for the ages. The film will star Millie Bobby Brown, Alexander Skarsgård, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, and more.

    The film marks the fourth film in the MonsterVerse series, the 36th film in the Godzilla franchise, and the 12th film in the King Kong franchise. Originally set for a March 13, 2020 release, the premiere was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Audiences will now be able to see Godzilla vs. Kong internationally on March 26, 2021, and in the United States on March 31, where it will be released simultaneously in theaters and on streaming via HBO Max.

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA Australia alum Julian Lawrence on his recent work on one of the most highly-anticipated films of the year and looks forward to seeing what Lawrence will work on next.

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  • NYFA Alum Rajni Mysore Chamaraj on Working With Her Sister and Studying in Los Angeles

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    Rajni Mysore Chamaraj, along with her younger sister Shynica Mysore Chamaraj made The Day I Met Joshua, a short film about a social media influencer who encounters a path of self-discovery in the desert. The film was written, directed, and edited by both Chamaraj and Shynica and was screened at the Canadian Academy qualifying festival, Yellowknife Film Festival. The short film also garnered Chamaraj a Best Debut Director award at the Hollywood Film Awards and the Best Editor award in the New York Movie Awards. 

    Film poster for “The Day I Met Joshua”

    “I always felt that film combined the paradox of human nature so well, sometimes the simplicity of a character has left a deep impact. It brought about many changes, subtle, yet life-changing for me. This thought always lingered as to how visual storytelling overcomes all the barriers, be it geography, the human mindsets, or cultural barriers.” – Rajni Mysore Chamaraj

    Chamaraj got her start in Mumbai as the Assistant Creative Director for a television show on Star Plus, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company, and eventually became involved in sports broadcasting as an Assistant Producer, creating live and pre-recorded content for sports including NBA games, Champions League, FIFA-U19 World Cup, French Open, World Rally Championship, PGA tours exclusive for the Indian audience. 

    NYFA alum Rajni Mysore Chamaraj (Right) and sister Shynica Mysore Chamaraj (Left)

    After nearly working for four years in the television industry, Chamaraj took her first step to follow her dream of being a storyteller and made the tough decision to leave her job and take-up full-time filmmaking. Her younger sister Shynica, also a filmmaker, was a big influence on that decision. With both siblings having a strong love of the universal language of film and understanding of the other, both knew they needed to pursue filmmaking and eventually work together. 

    “As siblings, we always influenced each other synergistically through our 3:00 a.m. philosophical discussions or just staring randomly into the cityscape of Mumbai with the Arabian Sea in the backdrop,” recalled Chamaraj. “It’s during one such moment, it struck me that I should also get into serious filmmaking and that my sister and I would make a brilliant team. So our idea of teaming up as a family was born with an idea to create an entertainment company that creates multimedia content inspired by regional themes for a worldwide audience. Essentially, we want to use the power of filmmaking to create content that inspires and elevates the human spirit and Entertainment studio that nourishes and mothers evolved, elevated entertainment.” 

    Before venturing into the business of filmmaking, however, Chamaraj wanted to hone her skills and began talking to friends and colleagues about their own film industry journey, leading Rajni to learn more about New York Film Academy. 

    “I attended a two-month program in NYFA Mumbai and instantly fell in love with their teaching methods. You shoot and learn from your mistakes, and there was more hands-on experience than theory classes. The faculty were from around the world which gave me a glimpse into how a long-term program would look like.”

    Photo courtesy of Rajni Mysore Chamaraj

    Eventually, Chamaraj applied and got accepted into the Film & Media Production MA program at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus. “While living in Los Angeles and studying in NYFA, the biggest advantage I got was that I worked on projects that had crew members from around the world. You get real-life experience of working on a film set right In the collage. [Students] can use this wonderful opportunity and make mistakes and learn from them too. It’s just a preparation for you to face the real world that’s not always as conducive as you would like it to be.” 

    “I am an Indian, the whole process of filmmaking is pretty different in India compared to the American way, so I had to learn a lot of new things such as division of work, laws of the land, and constantly update myself with the latest equipment, and technologies. So as an international student, you need to learn to adapt. You’ll learn that this is an important key that can make your career as a filmmaker outside your home country a little less stressful and a little more enjoyable. Go put your best foot forward, The staff and faculty at NYFA will be with you every step of the way. There were always there for me when I needed them.” – Rajni Mysore Chamaraj

    Poster for “The Day I Met Joshua”

    Now, Chamaraj and her sister are in the thick of their careers, with the recent success of their short film The Day I Met Joshua, which received a positive global response on the film festival circuit. 

    The film is based on Chamaraj’s own experience while on a vacation in Florida. “My phone became unusable as its entire software crashed. That night, I had a sense of awakening because it felt like a personal loss, How could a mere gadget have such a deep impact on me?” 

    Chamaraj and Shynica then wrote the film and shot it in the Mojave desert. “It was both a challenging and exciting experience. On the third day of the shoot, we even had unexpected rain, we had to stop shooting for a bit,” she remembered. “While shooting in nature, we have to be extra prepared as we are fighting the uncontrollable elements and all this with a cool head.”

    Shooting “The Day I Met Joshua”

    “We had crews representing almost nine different counties, from India, the USA, Cuba, Ireland to China. So as a team, we had to learn to communicate with each other effectively, considering each one of us was from different cultural backgrounds, it was important to keep the overall morale of the whole team-high and positive.”

    In post-production, the film took its shape. With the film marking the first time Chamaraj and Shynica were officially working together, their whole family celebrated their Best Original Story win at Hollywood Gold Awards. “Even more surreal was when our film was screened to a private audience at the Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank in the very same auditorium where an iconic film like Casablanca was screened for the very first time.”

    Poster for “Finding Home”

    Chamaraj currently resides in India and is working on getting her work visa in the U.S. During the pandemic, the NYFA alum wrote, directed, and edited a short Spanish web series in LA called Finding Home, which is currently streaming on Amazon Prime UK and US. As of now, Chamaraj is working on a four-part anthology series about the lives of four urban Indian girls living in different cities of India. 

    “We just shot the first part in Hyderabad city,” she shared. “I am also working as a screenwriter for an Indo-American feature film to be shot in mid of 2022. It’s going to be an exciting ride, I am looking forward to following my heart and dedicating all my energies to bring to life the stories that have had a deep impact on my life.”

    New York Film Academy is excited to share the success of Rajni Mysore Chamaraj and her sister for the film The Day I Met Joshua and looks forward to seeing Chamaraj’s upcoming projects come to fruition in the near future.

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