As the New York Film Academy enters its second year of Community Outreach partnership with the Bill Duke Media Foundation, we would like to congratulate all of the graduates of this program. In attendance were Mr. Duke, himself, and Chair of Community Outreach Mason Richards. Karen A. Clark, Senior Vice-President of City National Bank and the Finance Literacy Instructor of Duke Youth Media gave special remarks.
Students within the program wrote, directed and held various positions of three to four-minute silent films which they developed for NYFA and shot on the Universal backlot. Students tackled issues facing teens and young adults including first love, tested friendships, bullies, and confidence issues.
During the ceremony the students “Who Am I?” projects were screened. The projects were done in conjecture with the Community Outreach film camp. The goal of the exercise was to get the students to be more comfortable with telling their own stories. Each participant was given a mini camera and instruction to record their life at home, school, and their communities.
Mr. Duke, Founder, President, and CEO of the Duke Media Foundation was the keynote speaker for the evening. He interviewed Eric Dean Seaton on stage. Seaton is a two-time NAACP Image Award nominated episodic director. He’s worked on numerous hit shows such as CBS “Life in Pieces,” ABC’s “Dr. Ken,” Netflix’s “Fuller House,” NBC’s “Marlon” and “Undateable,” Nickelodeon’s “School of Rock” and “The Thundermans.” Seaton is also the creator of the critically-acclaimed “Legend of the Mantamaji” graphic novel series, the upcoming “Legend of the Mantamaji: Bloodlines” series and director of the award-winning “Legend of the Mantamaji”: Live Action Short.
“We’re so proud of all the graduates of this Bill Duke Outreach cohort,” Richards said of his students. “The program just doesn’t focus on filmmaking, but on all the essential skills that are important to successful filmmaking; skills like collaboration, communication and of course a strong sense of storytelling. We are pleased with this community outreach partnership with the Bill Duke Media camp, and look forward to our next cohort of students.”
The New York Film Academy would like to thank the instructors who made this a standout experience for all those involved. Thank you, Matt Kohnen, Jason Ornelas, Leander Sales, and Mr. Richards.
If you’re interested in more information on the Bill Duke Media Foundation click here.