November 5, 2021

New York Film Academy (NYFA) Students and Filmmaking alumni will showcase their films at this year’s DOC NYC. DOC NYC celebrates documentary filmmaking and storytelling. The organization, run by Executive Director Raphaela Neihausen and Artistic Director Thom Powers, curates content for the festival by connecting filmmakers with audiences through panel events, garnering attention from people of all walks of life, and introducing NYC filmmakers to the world stage.

This year’s 12th edition takes place both in theaters across Manhattan and online. DOC NYC is the largest documentary festival in the United States and runs from November 10th until November 18th, 2021.

Ten NYFA students and alumni from the school’s 1-Year Documentary Filmmaking Conservatory program will screen their films in person on November 12th at the Cinépolis Chelsea. This is the 7th consecutive year NYFA was selected to screen student and alumni films at DOC NYC.

You can purchase tickets here for in-person screenings. Those interested in catching the virtual screenings can purchase tickets here.

NYFA Chair of Filmmaking and the Documentary Division, Andrea Swift, shared her excitement about the upcoming screening, “DOC NYC is always one of the highlights of the year. The showcase is a chance for us to celebrate the tremendous work of our students, reunite our grads who come from far and wide to attend, and welcome in our newest members of the NYFA Docs community.”

Below is a list of all students and alumni whose films will be showcased at DOC NYC this year, along with a description of their film and NYFA background.

Sacred Solitude

  • Director: Chiara Camaccioli
  • Film synopsis: A seventy-year-old man who lives alone off the grid in the mountains of Central Italy–after having spent his life with hippies, abused drugs, and wandered around the world–has to find a way to survive when he runs out of water.
  • Country: Italy
  • Runtime: 16 minutes

Why Docs?

  • Director: John Nyberg
  • Film synopsis: Why a documentarian wants to use film to explore the world. This screening will be followed by a Q&A with a filmmaking team.
  • Country: United States
  • Runtime: 2 minutes


  • Director: Inabiriyai (Ina) Peters
  • Film synopsis: Musician Dan, who was forced to quit performing due to the Covid-19 lockdown, is getting ready to perform alongside his bandmates as New York City gradually opens up. Before his street gig, Dan holds a warm-up session by playing for his granddad using an old but cherished saxophone he had passed on to him.
  • Country: United States
  • Runtime: 2 minutes


  • Director: Amelia Deschamps
  • Film synopsis: An experienced Colombian journalist develops psychological illnesses after covering the earthquake in Haiti.
  • Country: United States
  • Runtime: 2 minutes


  • Director: Charnell Blizzard
  • Film synopsis: Einstein prepares for duty in Times Square.
  • Country: United States
  • Runtime: 2 minutes

Painter in Distress

  • Director: Lisa Marie Wills
  • Film synopsis: Thibault, a young painter, attempts to paint a live model for the first time.
  • Country: United States
  • Runtime: 8 minutes


  • Director: Oreana Franchy
  • Film synopsis: Teo, a 36-year-old Italian, was adopted by Cesare and his wife when he was just a baby. A few years ago, his mother died of cancer and that changed his life. As Teo begins to heal, he decides to change paths and start studying acting, a decision with which his father disagrees.
  • Country: Italy
  • Runtime: 8 minutes

Boukman’s Prayer

  • Director: Richard Brookshire
  • Film synopsis: Five young Black artists in Brooklyn – the epicenter of the nation’s Covid-19 crisis, discuss their views on freedom, artistic expression and identity as the virus ravages Black and immigrant communities around them and the world watches on.
  • Country: United States
  • Runtime: 16 minutes

Strong Spirits

  • Director: Katsi’tsakwas Ellen Gabriel
  • Film synopsis: Indigenous peoples’ identity, language, culture, and value systems have been persistently under attack due to ongoing systemic racism embedded in Canada’s colonial laws, which ruptured the family unit. This story tells of the strength and resiliency of Indigenous peoples to retain their identity.
  • Country: Canada
  • Runtime: 14 minutes

Alien Ride

  • Director: Irtaza Qadeer
  • Film synopsis: A Muslim man bikes across the United States to experience true American culture and make connections with locals.
  • Country: United States, Pakistan, India
  • Runtime: 17 minutes

New York Film Academy congratulates all students and recent alumni from our 1-Year Documentary Filmmaking Conservatory for their screenings at this year’s DOC NYC 2021.

Please note: NYFA does not represent that these are typical or guaranteed career outcomes. The success of our graduates in any chosen professional pathway depends on multiple factors, and the achievements of NYFA alumni are the result of their hard work, perseverance, talent and circumstances.