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  • NYFA Australia Showcasing Their Talent

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    It’s showcase time at New York Film Academy Australia. Both our Sydney and Gold Coast campuses, together with Acting for Film students, had been working effortlessly over the months putting together performances that showcase the students’ talents.

    Gold Coast had a busy three-day showcase schedule running throughout early March, featuring 34 of the Academy’s skilled acting students. Each and every night, the Helensvale Cultural Centre was filled with friends and family who had come along to support the graduate actors’ and actresses’ live performances and showreels. The room was filled with great energy and positive vibes as all graduates pulled-off an outstanding performance.

    Congratulations to the Gold Coast Acting for Film graduates:

    New York Film Academy Gold Coast Students

    New York Film Academy Gold Coast Students: Brandon Sherwood, Callum Whitton, Anthony Christodoulou, David Austin, Samantha Willis, Tara Wraith, Michael Stoeckert, Marie-Clare Loi Zou, Jasper Batenga, Will Wensley (instructor), Stephanie Kutty, Paris Moletti, Taryn Roberts and Christine Campbell.

    Thursday 5th March Performers

    • Caleb Saron
    • Christine Campbell
    • David Austin
    • Jim Rossngton
    • John McMahon
    • Marie-Clare Lou Zou
    • Max Gundy
    • Natalie Hunt
    • Rebecca Lyon
    • Samantha Willis
    • Villami Kama
    • Zac Bankowski

    Wednesday 11th March Performers

    • Anthony Christodoulou
    • Brody Arrowsmith
    • Callum Whitton
    • Georgia Pilling
    • Kiara Watson
    • Natalie Jones
    • Nicola Haks
    • Paris Moletti
    • Rhys Williamson
    • Sam Farell
    • Stephanie Kutty
    • Steve Budgen

    Thursday 12th March Performers

    • Ashley Dunscombe
    • Brandon Sherwood
    • Clare Brimmer
    • Jasper Batenga
    • Joshua Conboy
    • Kerri-Anne Keenan
    • Laura Scott
    • Tara Wraith
    • Taryn Roberts
    • Zoe Bankowski

     

    As we headed down the coast of Australia, on Friday 6th March, Sydney was preparing for an over-capacity performance at the Australian Theater for Young People, located above the Sydney Theatre Company and accompanied with the breathtaking backdrop of Walsh Bay.

    Over the months leading up to the showcase, acting one-year program graduates of the night, Chantelle Von Appen, Chris Strauss, Alexander Merlo, David Pound, Nicole Torode, Rafael Haddad and Andrew Murdoch were able to experience exactly why New York Film Academy programs are defined by their intensive, hands-on reputation. Graduates’ commitment and dedication truly shined on the night, with their high caliber execution of mixed scene performances and beat poetry receiving a well-deserved standing-ovation from audience members, family, friends, NYFA staff and instructors.

    With a buzz in the air, graduates continued to showcase their works to a number of agents and casting directors at the Sony Theatrette. The opportunity for students to present their showreels was nerve-wracking but again, was received positively by students, agents and casting directors, alike.

    New York Film Academy Sydney

    New York Film Academy Sydney Students on-stage showcasing their talents.

    New York Film Academy Sydney

    New York Film Academy Sydney. From left, Rafael Haddad, David Pound, Nicole Torode, Jennie Hughes (NYFA Sydney, General Manager), Alexander Merlo, Chantelle Von Appen, Chris Strauss & Andrew Murdoch.

    New York Film Academy would like to thank all students, graduates and teaching staff who worked tirelessly to produce such a successful program, making it possible to accomplish these inspiring events and performances. We congratulate all students who have now joined our NYFA Alumni family and look forward to another prosperous year working with talented, upcoming actors and actresses.

    View the photos from the events here:

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  • ’50 Shades of Grey’ Breaks Records at the Box Office, Not with Viewers

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    50-shades-of-grey

    ’50 Shades of Grey’ breaks records at the Box Office. Viewers left not-so-impressed.

    50 Shades of Grey strategically had its official release date set for Valentine’s with Variety announcing the record breaking $94.4 million debut over the 4-days. The reviews, however, were not so generous.

    The verdict? You are either going to be “okay” with it or hate it. Critics and most viewers are leaning towards the latter with IMDb giving it an unimpressive 4/10, based on 61,686 votes. ‘Bubab2’, a reviewer on IMDb, summed it up in one sentence saying the issues included, “the cruddy screenplay, the corny dialogue, the ridiculous script, the highly improbable storyline.”

    There was a great deal of criticism on the much anticipated sex scenes too. Australian news anchor, Lisa Wilkinson, completely ripped into the movie, describing it as “domestic violence dressed up as erotica.” Ouch.

    They weren’t all negative. After much scrolling (lots of scrolling to be precise), we found a positive review, surprisingly, from a male viewer. “The movie becomes an intriguing roller-coaster of emotions, decisions, psychological struggle and compromises for both partners who both love each other and want each other,” says ‘mowglilp’. He was pleasantly surprise.

    Putting aside the downfalls mentioned by reviewers, it leads us to ponder the thought that maybe the book and people’s expectations were inflated prior to watching the film. We should also consider each person who had read the book created his or her own interpretation of the imagery. The scenes play out differently from what he or she created in their mind, consequently creating a huge anticlimax for the viewer (please, excuse the pun).

    It could also be that less effort was interjected into the production process, as film investors already knew they would be bringing in the numbers purely based on the books following. If that was indeed the case, their box-office numbers proved them right.

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    February 18, 2015 • Entertainment Australia, Entertainment News • Views: 4772

  • AACTA International Awards & G’DAY USA Winners Announced in Los Angeles

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    Scarlett Johansson Presents Chris Hemsworth at 2015 G'DAY USA and AACTA International Awards 2015

    Scarlett Johansson presents Chris Hemsworth ‘Excellence in Film’ award at G’DAY USA and AACTA International Awards 2015 (Source: Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images North America)

    It’s starting to feel a lot like awards season. As the Australian 4th Annual Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards in Sydney concluded, the AACTA International Awards commenced in Los Angeles on 31 January 2015. 4th AACTA International Awards has partnered-up with G’DAY USA, joining forces for a star-studded night. The night gives much deserved recognition to Australians performing exceptionally in film and television outside the country.

    AACTA President, Geoffrey Rush, shared the stage with fellow presenters including Nicole Kidman, comedian Rebel Wilson, Elizabeth Debicki, John Travolta, Jonathan LaPaglia, Rachel Griffiths and Russell Crowe.

    Award winners included:

    • BIRDMAN for ’Best Film’, ‘Best Screenplay’, ‘Best Direction’ (Alejandro G. Iñárritu) and ‘Best Lead Actor’ (Michael Keaton)
    • STILL ALICE for ‘Best Lead Actress’ (Julianne Moore)
    • BOYHOOD for “Best Supporting Actress” (Patricia Arquette)

    Chris Hemsworth was also honored with the ‘Excellence in Film’ award, presented to him by Scarlett Johansson.

    Our New York Film Academy Australia students were recently invited to attend their 4th Annual AACTA Awards, with their highlights (amongst the many) including, watching Cate Blanchett host the Award Ceremony, talking to the Spierig Brothers about their film Predestination, shaking hands with AACTA President Geoffrey Rush, getting photos taken with Rose Byrne, and speaking with Bobby Canavale. NYFA Australia student Chantelle Von Appen added that the event was, “Basically getting an inside to the Industry.”

    Students have also showcased their personal photos from the event on Facebook.

    With the Australian awards all wrapped-up, the US film industry has just started warming up for the Oscars with nominees having just been announced.

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  • Australian Film Awards 2015: Russell Crowe, Rose Byrne and NYFA Australia

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    4th Annual AACTA Awards 2015

    4th AACTA Awards Red Carpet (Image from AACTA Facebook)

    The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards 2015 second star-studded awards event last night announced Russell Crowe directed film The Water Diviner and The Babadook (debut film for director Jennifer Kent) dual winners for ‘Best Film’. CEO Damian Trewhella considering this unusual, but not unprecedented.

    The big names kept coming, with AACTA president Geoffrey Rush awarding Rose Byrne the ‘Inaugural Trailblazer Award’.

    The Babadook , as expected, cleaned-up on the night, taking home three of the total four nominated categories (how they didn’t win an Oscar is beyond us). Other multi-award winner also included:

    • The Code for ’Best Television Drama Series’, ‘Best Direction in Television Drama or Comedy’, Ashley Zukerman for ‘Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama’ and Chelsea Preston Crayford for ‘Best Guest or Supporting Actress in Television Drama’
    • Please Like Me for ‘Best Screenplay in Television’ and Debra Lawrence for ‘Best Performance in Television Comedy’

    This year nominees and winners definitely raised the bar for the Australian film and television industry.

    On the night, a group of film and acting students from our very own New York Film Academy Australia had the privilege of rubbing shoulders with their idols. They walked the red carpet and took part of all the events of the ceremony including meeting with the actors, directors, produces and influential industry professionals. They took advantage of the opportunity to network and collated their own celebrity snapshots.

    NYFA Australia offer a range of industry related hands-on courses including Filmmaking, Acting for Film, Screenwriting and many more. The programs are designed to allow students hands-on and real-life industry experience and this particular event is the perfect example of what the Academy has to offer.

    For further details on New York Film Academy courses throughout the Australian and abroad, contact us.

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  • AFI | AACTA Awards 2015 Announce First Winners in Sydney

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    AACTA Luncheon 2015

    AACTA Award First Winners (Image from AACTA Facebook)

    The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards 2015 are well underway, with the first group of winners being announced on Tuesday 27 January during the 4th AACTA Awards Luncheon at The Star Event Centre, Sydney.

    The annual awards commemorate and celebrate Australian film and television achievements and is considered Australia’s equivalent of the Oscars and the BAFTAs.

    A strong lineup saw The Broken Shore, Tender, Ukraine is Not a Brothel and Predestination all nominated five times.

    Some of the current winners include:

    • AACTA Award for Best Direction in a Television Light Entertainment or Reality Series WINNER: The Broken Shore (Martin McGrath ACS – ABC)
    • AACTA Award for Best Cinematography in Television WINNER: The Code (Episode 1 Deborah Peart ASE – ABC)
    • AACTA Award for Best Short Animation WINNER: Grace Under Water (Anthony Lawrence)
    • AACTA Award for Best Short Fiction Film WINNER: Florence has Left the Building (Mirrah Foulkes and Alex White)
    • AACTA Award for Best Cinematography WINNER: Predestination (Ben Nott ACS)

    A special congratulations to:

    • NYFA Australia director mentor, Samantha Lang, for her involvement in the award winning Carlotta. The production was the 2015 winner of ‘AACTA Award for Best Proudction Design in Television’ and ‘AACTA Award for Best Costume Design in Television’.
    • NYFA Australia lecturer Grant Thompson, for his nomination in the Best Documentary Television Program category, for Taking on the Chocolate Frog.

    This is just a small group of the impressive list of winners from the 4th AACTA Awards Luncheon.

    Students of New York Film Academy Australia have also been invited to attend this amazing event, later this week. A selected group of student were excited to have been given access to this unique opportunity, many being inspired by the works of the local nominees and winners. We are sure to see NYFA Australia students on stage in the near future accepting their own accolades. In the meantime, they will enjoy the honor to be amongst the talent and professionals of the Australian film and television industry.

    You can find out more details on our New York Film Academy Acting for Film programs on our website. The program is available throughout the United States and at our Sydney and Gold Coast campuses in Australia. Contact us for more details.

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  • The Babadook: A Non-Nominee Worth Awarding

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    Babadook_612x380
    Image Credit: Matt Nettheim

    The Babadook, a thrilling horror flick and debuting film of Australian writer-director Jennifer Kent, has gained much praise by scary movie fans and the industry alike (the film has won a bunch of awards including “Best First Film” award from New York Film Critics Circle). So when the Oscars chose to ignore its existence, it had many wondering what does it actually takes to be considered as a nominee? Are scary movies out of the running?

    The film sees Essie Davies playing Amelia, a struggling mother, bring-up her son Samuel (impeccably played-by first-time actor Noah Wiseman) and a pop-up book. As Davies fights her psychological demons, the film gets darker, her son gets freakier and the pop-up book gets weirdly more intertwined into the family’s reality.

    Ok, to be fair, the Academy has paid tribute to scary movies in the past including awarding horror films The Exorcist and Silence of the Lambs, but it’s been some time and we think The Babadook should have been one of those films to crack the Oscars this year. Maybe they just expect a little extra from the genre and if so, we see Kent coming back with something freakier and scarier, so much so that the Academy will just simply not be able ignore.

    Check out The Babadook trailer and tell us what you think. Too weird? Should it have been a nominee consideration? Let us know your thoughts.

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    January 22, 2015 • Entertainment Australia, Entertainment News • Views: 5020