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  • Highlights From the 71st Annual Tony Awards

    Screenshot 2017-06-12 13.05.12

    The New York Film Academy was especially excited to watch the Tony Awards this year, as our Musical Theatre Program has welcomed many members of the Broadway community as instructors, guest speakers, and featured artists in our original movie musicals, from our Artistic Director Kristy Cates to visiting Master Class lecturer Jonathan Groff. For industry insiders and theatre lovers everywhere, the 71st Annual Tony Awards on Sunday was the theatre event of the season. The New York Film Academy provided live social media coverage on Twitter, while the live CBS broadcast of the Tony Awards ceremony at Radio City Music Hall gave nearly 6 million home viewers a glimpse into an evening full of Broadway royalty, moving speeches, and much-anticipated performances, all hosted by Oscar-winning actor and NYFA guest speaker Kevin Spacey.

    In case you missed it, here are some highlights from the 71st Annual Tony Awards:

    Best Musical

    After much anticipation, audience favorite “Dear Evan Hansen” swept the Tony’s this season, taking home awards in not one, not two, but six categories — including the coveted spot for Best New Musical. The groundbreaking musical is a true original, featuring a small cast and orchestra and offering some innovative tie-ins to social media.

    Best Actor in a Musical

    Dear Evan Hansen” also gave us one of the evening’s brightest new stars, when leading actor Ben Platt snagged the Tony for Best Actor in a Musical. Platt received a rousing standing ovation from the live audience and the orchestra at the Tony’s, and used his moment in the spotlight to spread some inspiration.

    As quoted in the New York Times, Ben offered encouragement to fellow theatre kids: “To all young people watching at home, don’t waste any time trying to be like anybody but yourself, because the things that make you strange are the things that make you powerful.”

    Best Actress in a Musical

    “Dear Evan Hansen” was not the only star of the evening. The Radio City Music Hall audience also swept to its feet to recognize and celebrate beloved industry icon Bette Midler, as she won the the Best Actress in a Musical award for her portrayal of Dolly Levi in the revival of “Hello, Dolly!” 

    Best Play

    While musicals and musical performances punctuated the evening, the Tony’s also celebrate legitimate Broadway performers and plays. This year, the category for Best Play (non-musical) was especially competitive, but in the end the award went to “Oslo,” which dramatizes the 1993 Middle East peace accords.

    Best Actress in a Play

    Laurie Metcalf had been nominated for a Tony Award four times before her emotionally-charged win on Sunday, when she took home the category for Best Actress in a Play for her performance as Nora in “A Doll’s House, Part 2.”

    Most-buzzed Acceptance Speech

    Cynthia Nixon took the stage to accept an award for Best Featured Actress in a play for “The Little Foxes,” the Lillian Helman classic which was also nominated in the Best Revival of a Play category. During her acceptance speech, Nixon caused major internet buzz for quoting the playwright to make a political statement: ““Sixty years ago, [Hellman] wrote, ‘There are people who eat the earth and eat all the people on it and other people who just stand around and watch them do it.’ My love, gratitude and undying respect go out to all the people in 2017 who are refusing to just stand and watch them do it.”

    Host Hall of Fame

    Kevin Spacey made his debut as a Tony Award host last weekend — and brought along some of his Hollywood pals for support. Spacey performed an affectionate homage to this season’s Broadway shows and playfully poked fun at himself for not being the first choice as this year’s host, bringing in pals like Steven Colbert, Whoopi Goldberg, and Billy Crystal to offer him hosting tips.

    Surprise Stars

    Former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, rocked Radio City during Jill’s moment on stage. Mrs. Biden made a brief appearance during the ceremony to promote Got Your Six, a campaign benefitting military veterans. And Variety reports that the crowd’s enthusiasm for the political superstars cased selfie-seekers to create traffic jams at the after-party as they clamored for a pic with the Bidens.

    Lifetime Achievement Award

    James Earl Jones received recognition for a full and incredible career on the stage, taking home the  2017 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theater. The superstar, who has portrayed roles from Darth Vader in “Star Wars” to Othello on Broadway, graciously thanked the New York City Police Department during his moment on stage for their work keeping the Broadway community safe.

    Here is the full list of this year’s Tony Award winners, as reported by The Tony Awards website:

    BEST PLAY

    “Oslo”

    BEST MUSICAL

    “Dear Evan Hansen”

    BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY

    August Wilson’s “Jitney

    BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL

    “Hello, Dolly!”

    BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY

    Kevin Kline for “Present Laughter”

    BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY

    Laurie Metcalf for “A Doll’s House, Part 2”

    BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

    Ben Platt for “Dear Evan Hansen”

    BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

    Bette Midler for “Hello, Dolly!”

    BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY

    Michael Aronov for “Oslo”

    BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY

    Cynthia Nixon for Lillian Hellman’s “The Little Foxes”

    BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL

    Gavin Creel for “Hello, Dolly!”

    BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL

    Rachel Bay Jones for “Dear Evan Hansen”

    BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL

    Steven Levenson for “Dear Evan Hansen”

    BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (MUSIC AND/OR LYRICS) WRITTEN FOR THE THEATRE

    “Dear Evan Hansen” Music & Lyrics: Benj Pasek & Justin Paul

    BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A PLAY

    Nigel Hook for “The Play That Goes Wrong”

    BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A MUSICAL

    Mimi Lien for “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812”

    BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A PLAY

    Jane Greenwood for Lillian Hellman’s “The Little Foxes”

    BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A MUSICAL

    Santo Loquasto for “Hello, Dolly!”

    BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A PLAY

    Christopher Akerlind for “Indecent”

    BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MUSICAL

    Bradley King for “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812”

    BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY

    Rebecca Taichman for “Indecent”

    BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL

    Christopher Ashley for “Come From Away”

    BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

    Andy Blankenbuehler for “Bandstand”

    BEST ORCHESTRATIONS

    Alex Lacamoire for “Dear Evan Hansen”

    SPECIAL TONY AWARD® FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT IN THE THEATRE

    James Earl Jones

    REGIONAL THEATRE TONY AWARD

    Dallas Theater Center

    ISABELLE STEVENSON TONY AWARD

    Baayork Lee

    SPECIAL TONY AWARD

    Gareth Fry and Pete Malkin

    TONY HONORS FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE THEATRE

    Nina Lannan and Alan Wasser

     

    June 12, 2017 • Entertainment Australia, Entertainment News, Musical Theatre • Views: 973

  • Netflix Announces New Series “Tidelands” to Film in Queensland, Australia

    netflix australiaQueensland, Australia, home of the New York Film Academy Australia Gold Coast, continues to cultivate film production and acting jobs, with last year being its best year attracting production expenditure of more than $200 million. “Aquaman” is currently being filmed in south-east Queensland and the location also hosted the international and domestic productions of “Pirates of the Caribbean 5,” “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Pacific Rim 2.” The most recent announcement of Netflix’s newest Australian series, “Tidelands,” adds to the list of yet another major production in the region.

    “Tidelands will be the very first Netflix Original Series to be commissioned and made completely in Australia, with all filming to take place in south-east Queensland,” said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

    “Tidelands,” which is expected to create eighty jobs for Queensland acting talent and crew, was written and developed through Brisbane-based production house Hoodlum.” Set in the fictional Australian sea-side town of Orphelin Bay where the residents harbor deep secrets and nothing is as it seems, the series plays out with a supernatural undercurrent. Production will begin in early 2018.

    “Screen Queensland is committed to investing in innovative projects with international appeal and ‘Tidelands’ will deliver great opportunities for Queensland. The series will film ten 50-minute episodes in Queensland for its first season,” said Screen Queensland CEO Tracey Vieira.

    nyfa Australia gold coast

    NYFA Australia Gold Coast students filming on set

    “High-profile filmmakers now consider the Gold Coast as a world-class destination with excellent filming options and multi-skilled crew,” said NYFA Australia Gold Coast Director Tasha Cooper. “I don’t even bat an eyelid these days with the amount of blockbusters filming in our very own backyard. It’s become very much like living in Hollywood. It’s great for the local industry. ”

    NYFA Australia maintains exclusive premises, located at Village Roadshow Studios. NYFA Australia alumnus Damian Lang has worked on both “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Aquaman,” both of which were filmed in the Gold Coast. Between his on-set experience and filmmaking background, Lang is currently working on an idea for his first feature film.

    “It makes us proud and acknowledges what we’ve always known — our unique learning style offers students incredible training that set them up for life — whether on small scale productions or massive blockbusters,” said Cooper.

    May 25, 2017 • Entertainment Australia, Filmmaking • Views: 2211

  • NYFA Australia Gold Coast Alumna Performing with Ever After Parties

    Madison Jennings, graduate of the Acting for Film program at the New York Film Academy Australia, Gold Coast campus, is bringing fantasy characters to life in her role at Ever After Parties.

    sleeping beauty

    Ever After Parties provide multi-talented performers for not only children’s birthday parties, but also corporate events, weddings, schools and shopping mall displays, and were nominated for Best Party Entertainment in the What’s On 4 Kids Awards 2017.

    Playing Sleeping Beauty, “Snow White and Ana (“Frozen”), to name a few, Jennings has been spreading joy and wonder throughout the South East Queensland area.

    snow white

    During her time at NYFA Australia, Jennings enjoyed “the amazing bonds made with the lecturers and endless opportunities that followed with those bonds.” She continues, “I also loved being in such a tight knit community with fellow actors and filmmakers.”

    Jennings’ advice to aspiring performers is to “use the gifts you have been given to be a voice for those who don’t have one.” She believes that “hard work is silent, let your work be the words.”

    Now signed with Williams Talent, Jennings has already auditioned for the Queensland Theatre Company and has been auditioning for various roles in film and theatre productions.

  • NYFA Australia Gold Coast Alumnus Works on “Pacific Rim 2” and “Jungle”

    Joe TiernanSince graduating from the Filmmaking program at the New York Film Academy, Gold Coast, Joe Tiernan worked on back-to-back blockbuster projects such as “Pacific Rim 2” and “Jungle,” starring Daniel Radcliffe.

    With credits including Australian features “Australia Day,” “Flammable Children” and “Boar,” Tiernan believes NYFA has him well prepared for working in the real world of film and television. “Understanding on-set lingo is essential. I’m happy that was well covered at NYFA,” says Joe.

    Tiernan’s brush with legendary Australian actor Geoffrey Rush during the filming of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” at Village Roadshow Studios is one of his fondest memories of student life at NYFA Gold Coast.

    Discussing the making of a movie about his life, Tiernan explains, “Well, I’m a sucker for a good rom-com and I think Domnhall Gleeson is a champ.” The title? “Redheads,” says Joe.

    The opportunities keep on coming for Joe: “I’ve got two more Art Department gigs lined up on some local features this year though the grand plan is to get on a ‘Star Wars’ set, then I can die a happy man.”

  • NYFA Australia Gold Coast Grad Works on “Thor” and “Aquaman”

    Former New York Film Academy Australia, Gold Coast student, Damian Lang, has shot three award-winning short films thus far, and has worked as a Location Assistant on major Hollywood films like “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Aquaman,” both of which were filmed in the Gold Coast. Between his on-set experience and filmmaking background, Lang says he is currently working on an idea for his first feature film.

    damian lang

    Below is Lang’s description of his three award-winning shorts:

    “Unauthorised Tears”

    “This film is about trying to re-connect with people, woman particularly. I returned from Afghanistan with the Australian Infantry a few years back and developed some mental issues, which unfortunately ended in me losing my wife and job. This sent me on a bit of a downward spiral, but I always forced myself to get out and push through. The events in the film actually happened multiple times — just not usually with a fairy-tail ending.”

    Screenings:

    Caymen, Int Film Festival
    Stage One, Int Film Festival (Won ACS Best Cinematography)
    Long Beach Indie, Int Film Festival
    Screen IT, Gold Coast Film Festival
    Austin Revolution, Film Festival

    “Diamond In The Rough”

    “This film is about understanding your own beauty and worth. I went through a faze where I was trying to build myself into another person to attract certain types of women into my life. I found out it’s not very sustainable or fair on the other person.”

    Screenings:

    Colorado, Int Film Festival (Won Best Student Short)
    Fort Worth, Indie Film Festival
    International Video and Music Awards
    Roma, Cinemadoc Film Festival

    “The First Step”

    This film is about re-connecting even if it isn’t the easiest route, and also about betrayal at the most unexpected times. The idea stems from when I was in Afghanistan and there were multiple ego driven orders that put us in unnecessary danger. Duty first is what we always did, but now we have to live with the outcomes and the question ‘why’.”

    Screenings: (This film is still on the festival scene until December 2017)

    Around Films, Int Film Festival (Won Best Short film)
    Hollywood Screenings, Film Festival (Semi-finalist)

    Lang also directed a music video for the Gold Coast based DJ duo “Bombs Away,” which was featured on MTV.

  • NYFA Australia Opens New Gold Coast Location at Southport

    New York Film Academy Australia celebrated the Grand Opening of its newest Gold Coast location at Southport on February 28, 2017. Southport is home to one of the Gold Coast’s largest shopping complexes, Australia Fair, as well as trendy cafes and restaurants, Southport Yacht Club, exclusive Marina Mirage boutiques and a buzzing nightlife. Southport is also centrally located to the Gold Coast’s world famous surf beach, Surfers Paradise, and exciting attractions and theme parks.

    nyfa au students

    NYFA-AU will retain a space at Village Roadshow Studios for production work and training. The location originally opened in Queensland, Australia in 2011 and for the past few years has operated at Village Road Show Studios – the studio location for many Hollywood films including “San Andreas,” “Unbroken,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” “The Shallows,” “Kong: Skull Island,” and “Thor: Ragnarok,” among many others.

    The new NYFA-AU Gold Coast location now includes a 22,000 sqft (approx. 2,000sqm) state-of-the-art facility at Southport Central, encompassing a 90 seat theatre, automated dialogue replacement (ADR) room, editing rooms, post production rooms, production workshop studio, acting rooms with sprung floors for voice and movement classes and a sizeable equipment room.

    The Grand Opening allowed hundreds of staff, students, special guests and dignitaries to tour the impressive, state-of-the-art facility before the official ribbon cutting ceremony.

    nyfa au
    Warner Bros Movie World’s Austin Powers and Marilyn Monroe mingled with guests including Dawn Crichlow, Gold Coast Council and NYFA-AU Board of Directors, Jean Sherlock, Elle Bailey and Larry Z. Lazar, Esq. who made the trip from our United States campuses for the special event.

    Guests were invited to view a live Production Workshop, grab some popcorn, and have their photo’s taken in the NYFA photo booth with Hollywood props.

    Tasha Cooper, Campus Director, welcomed guests into the new theatre and introduced NYFA-AU Board Members and Dignitaries. She thanked the tremendous efforts of Elle Bailey, the Gold Coast team and the contractors who all contributed to the official opening. Ms. Cooper also highlighted NYFA-AU’s outstanding relationship with Village Roadshow Studios and how fortunate students were to continue to have exclusive access to train on the Village backlot.

    nyfa au tasha cooper

    (Left to Right) Facilities Manager, Ian Maclachlan; Director of NYFA-AU, Adrian Bennett; Director, Tasha Cooper

    Jean Sherlock, NYFA CEO, spoke about the vision his father, Jerry Sherlock, Founder, had when opening NYFA and how special it was for him to have seen it expand across the globe over the past 25 years, noting that Australia is one of his favorite destinations to visit. Arthur Helterbran Jnr., Academic Dean, talked about ‘storytelling’ being the core of the creative process and how excited NYFA-AU was to be a continued part of the Gold Coast’s story.

    nyfa au

    (Left to Right) Academic Dean, Art Helterbran Jnr.; Chair of Acting for Film, Stuart Lumsden; Chair of Filmmaking, Steve Pratt; Professor Alan Bowen-James

    A special mention to Michael Young, NYFA President and a NYFA-AU Board Director who was unable to attend, but was fittingly present leading the opening of the ceremony featured in our “We are the New York Film Academy” video. Also a special mention to Michael Caputo, NYFA Director of Operations, who made a trip to Australia with Elle Bailey in November 2016 to consult on the many technical elements that go into the creation of a visual and performing arts school like NYFA.

    NYFA-AU Gold Coast Alumnus, Damian Lang, recently employed by Marvel for “Thor: Raganork,” gave an impassioned speech on how NYFA changed his life and empowered veteran students by giving them a chance to find their voice as storytellers.

    Current NYFA Australia Acting for Film student, Jackson Price said NYFA was an incredible place to learn and bond with faculty and classmates.

    Five lucky guests received WB Movie World VIP prize passes in a raffle. NYFA Australia is expected to announce partnership news with WB in the near future. Stay tuned!

    March 17, 2017 • Community Highlights, Entertainment Australia • Views: 3134

  • NYFA Australia Gold Coast Grad Stars in ABC’s “Newton’s Law”

    Makwaya Masudi, a graduate of the Acting for Film program at the New York Film Academy, Gold Coast, has landed the opportunity of a lifetime as a series regular on the new ABC program “Newton’s Law” starring iconic Australian actor Claudia Karvan (“The Heartbreak Kid,” “Paperback Hero,” “Daybreakers”).

    Masudi, a Kenyan native who came to Australia as a refugee, plays Zareb Mulumba – an office cleaner turned legal client to Karvan’s character Josephine Newton. The stellar cast also includes Toby Schmitz (“McLeod’s Daughters,” “Home and Away,” “The Pacific”), Georgina Naidu (“Offspring,” “Winners and Losers”) and Miranda Tapsell (“The Sapphires,” “Love Child”).

    Of his student experience at the New York Film Academy, Makwaya says, “NYFA trained me on how to work under a huge amount of pressure like calm water. It also gave me so much experience and helped me find out what type of actor I am.” He also believes that “getting to study in a production set-like environment” helped him prepare for the real world of television and entertainment.

    Acting opportunities are now in abundance for Masudi as he sets his sights on the American market. Check out Makwaya as Zareb Mulumba on “Newton’s Law” Thursday nights on ABC.

    February 20, 2017 • Acting, Entertainment Australia, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1834

  • NYFA Australia Gold Coast Grads Star in “Young Man’s Dream” Music Video

    Madeline Howlett and Georgia Allison, recent graduates of the Acting for Film program at the New York Film Academy Gold Coast campus, scored themselves lead features as mermaidesque muses in the newly released “Young Man’s Dream” music video for Australian rock group Byron Short and the Sunset Junkies.

    Of her New York Film Academy student experience, Madeline says, “NYFA being on the backlot of the Village Roadshow Studios has a professional agenda from the very beginning. Our lecturers were also very respected and gave us professional advice on how to present yourself in a professional manner when big things are happening around you.”

    Crediting her lecturers for ensuring she learnt in a supportive and inspiring environment, Madeline believes “having teachers who were also brutally honest has made me respect them even more and has helped me learn tremendously as an actress; their support and encouragement has had a huge benefit for me out in the industry.”

    Currently working on a collaborative project with another NYFA graduate, Madeline’s major goal for 2017 is to gain agency representation, stating, “I have never been more excited for my future. This year is my year to grow immensely.”

    February 10, 2017 • Acting, Entertainment Australia, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 937

  • From Football to Acting for Film

    Kevin Gordon is no stranger to the spotlight. Known in the football world as “Flash” Gordon, Kevin Gordon decided to make the switch from sports to school in 2016, after six years as a professional Australian National Rugby League (NRL) player for the Gold Coast Titans.

    kevin gordon

    A self-confessed Will Smith fan, Kevin’s online videos such as “Magic Carpet” along with his impersonations of characters such as William Wallace (“Braveheart”) and Khal Drogo (“Game of Thrones”) generated a social media buzz that further fueled his desire to pursue acting.

    Auditioning for the Acting for Film at New York Film Academy Australia, Gold Coast, Kevin’s humble charm and strong on-camera look won over the interview panel, and he secured himself a place on the course to study at the Los Angeles campus.

    “NYFA was good for me ’cause I didn’t know anything about acting… and NYFA was really welcoming for students,” Kevin says.

    Since graduating, Kevin has been fortunate to secure an OPT Visa, which will allow him to work in the US throughout 2017.

    kevin g

    “I started my OPT in October last year, and had a busy two months before the Christmas break,” he says. “I did a lot of auditions, and got into a few student films and other shows that are going to be online later in the year.”

    Gordon credits NYFA for giving him “the confidence to go and audition for any role, whether it’s in LA or anywhere in the world.”

    Kevin’s big news for 2017 is his role in an upcoming Chinese feature film – “it was my first time being on a professional set and it felt good. It’s going to be another big year for me. I’m going to continue improving myself and make some big movies!”

    January 31, 2017 • Entertainment Australia, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2170

  • NYFA Australia Gold Coast Acting for Film Grad Rubs Shoulders with Aussie A-Listers at the AACTA Awards

    tyson BrownNew York Film Academy Australia, Gold Coast Acting for Film alumnus Tyson Brown had the fortune of being a guest of this year’s Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards held at The Star in Sydney. Tyson had the pleasure of meeting and mingling with Australia’s industry elite including Isla Fisher and Mel Gibson.

    “What you learn in one year, it’s just incredible how ready you are for the industry,” said Brown of his preparedness to enter the working world of entertainment after graduation.

    Tyson, a fan of comedy and character, most enjoyed his Text Analysis subject, explaining, “I love analyzing the script, knowing the whole story and building a character up from it.” His advice to aspiring actors: “Do what you want to do before it’s too late and don’t let anyone stop you!”

    Brown is currently appearing in the “Kevil Hill Zombie Evilution” attraction at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast and has auditioned for roles at Universal Studios in Singapore, the Disney Channel, and for several pilots being pitched to Netflix in the USA.tyson and isla

    January 16, 2017 • Acting, Entertainment Australia • Views: 2342