Q&A With 2018 Glendale International Film Festival Filmmakers

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Looking for something to watch this week?  Look no further than the Glendale Laemmle!  Several films by New York Film Academy (NYFA) alumni are official selections of the Glendale International Film Festival coming up October 5-12, 2018.  

NYFA spoke with filmmakers Buffy Milner, Gabriele Fabbro, Rudy Womack, Diego Vicentini, and Boise Esquerra right before the festival and asked them to tell us about their experiences:

Type by Buffy Milner, Fall 2015 BFA Acting for Film
Screens October 6, 2018, at 2pm

New York Film Academy (NYFA): Tell us about your film, Type.

Buffy Milner (BM): Type is a coming of age story about the social struggles of a girl recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

NYFA: How did your experience at the New York Film Academy prepare you to make it?

BM: My classes at NYFA gave me the tools and knowledge that I needed to be able to write and produce my film and much of the pre-production elements, outside of the acting, that I was clueless about before I went to NYFA. The teachers that helped me the most were outside of class, during consultations: Christopher Cass, my thesis advisor, and Joe Basille.

NYFA: What are you looking forward to at your screening at Glendale International Film Festival?  

BM: I have won nine awards for my film in festivals, but this is my first live event for Type. I am very excited about having the screening and getting to show my film to others.

Type

Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by Gabriele Fabbro, BFA Filmmaking Fall 2015
Screens October 7, 2018 at 10pm

NYFA: Tell us about your film.  

Gabriele Fabbro (GF): Can’t Take My Eyes Off You is a narrative music video based on one of the most famous songs by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The story revolves around a confused young man who has to reject his top-model girlfriend in order to follow his true love. With the music as the driving force of the story, the film aims to break the common conception of “soundtracks perceived as accompaniment to the visual”.

NYFA: How did your experience at the New York Film Academy prepare you to make it?

GF: Past mistakes definitely have been the key to success of this film. I was lucky to work with one of the most talented casts and crews at NYFA. The film would have been a total disaster if it wasn’t for my DP Brandon Lattman, my assistant director Kelvin Shum, and my lead actors Derek Andrew Ramsay and Ydalie Turk. I’m very thankful to my directing instructor Andres Rosende, who taught me how to simplify complex concepts.

NYFA: What are you looking forward to at your screening at Glendale International Film Festival?  

GF: I’ve had two other projects shown at the Glendale Festival. One in 2016, and in 2017 my intermediate film won “Best Student Film”. I’ve worked for the festival throughout 2018. Sadly, I won’t be able to attend this year’s screening. I’ll be shooting a feature documentary in Italy during the festival period. I hope my cast and crew will attend and do some networking. I’m always nervous to watch one of my films on a theatre. I’ve been to over 40 festivals now and that fear still doesn’t leave me.

Can't Take My Eyes Off You

In This Gray Place by Rudy Womack, MFA Filmmaking; produced by Radhika Womack, 1-Year Producing

Screens October 10, 2018, at 8pm

NYFA: Tell us about your film.

Rudy Womack (RW): In This Gray Place is a feature, a psychological thriller about Aaron, a petty criminal who is involved in a robbery gone wrong. Wounded and surrounded by police, he barricades himself in a rest stop bathroom.

NYFA: How did your experience at the New York Film Academy prepare you to make it?

RW: Just about everyone involved with the project I met at NYFA! The lead actor, Aleksander Ristic, was in the MFA Acting program alongside me in the filmmaking department. I also met the Director of Photography, Naeem Seirafi, at NYFA. He was in the Cinematography school.  And, of course, my wife Radhika Womack, who was in the Producing program at NYFA when we first met. All of my experience at NYFA taught me how to pre-plan every small detail. We were a very limited crew with limited resources, so planning was essential to the success of the film.

NYFA: What are you looking forward to at your screening at Glendale International Film Festival?

RW: Glendale is a fantastic festival and we are very lucky to be a part of it. The caliber of the other films speaks volumes to the quality of the festival and the filmmakers involved. This is our 15th screening, so the nerves have finally gone away. After the first few screenings, I went back and fine-tuned the edit, so I’m very excited to share it with a couple of people who haven’t seen this version. And, of course, I can’t wait to show it to all my friends and colleagues who haven’t seen it yet

In This Gray Place
Simón
by Diego Vicentini, Fall 16 MFA Filmmaking

Screens Thursday, October 11th at 6:00pm at the Laemmle Glendale Theatre

NYFA: Tell us about your film. 

Diego Vicentini (DV): Simón tells the story of a young Venezuelan freedom fighter seeking political asylum in the United States after being persecuted by the Venezuelan government. Simón must then find a way to keep helping the cause from thousands of miles away.

NYFA: How did your experience at the New York Film Academy prepare you to make it?

DV: The screenwriting and directing classes were the ones that most helped propel the creation and execution of Simón. Gil McDonald from screenwriting read multiple drafts of the script, always helping guide the story to fulfill its potential, as well as urging us to write about something we were passionate about. Andres Rosende then helped to make sure the story was in good shape both in the writing and after, during post-production while I was editing.

NYFA: What are you looking forward to at your screening at Glendale International Film Festival?

DV: I am looking forward to beginning the festival run of Simón, lucky to be able to have our first public screening in our own city of LA. I am also looking forward to spreading awareness about the dire situation that Venezuelans are going through right now through audiences watching the film.

Simon

Cowboy by Boise Esquerra, Fall 2015 MFA Filmmaking

Screens Thursday, October 11, 2018, at 10pm

NYFA: Tell us about your film.  

Boise Esquerra (BE): Cowboy is a short drama produced and filmed in the surrounding Burbank area and the Santa Clarita valley. It’s about a bitter, lonely cowboy who is set at ease after crossing paths with a promiscuous female vagabond. 

NYFA: How did your experience at the New York Film Academy prepare you to make it?

BE: From the get go, NYFA provides a multitude of hands-on exercises and projects for you to delve right into, allowing for much learning, practice, and most importantly, learning from your mistakes. These lessons are invaluable because they allow you to progress in your craft, so long as you take each one seriously. In particular, towards my final semesters, instructors like Tony Schwartz, James Pasternak, and Greg Marks helped me to reel in everything I learned and apply it to a solid project. Cowboy was the end result.

NYFA: What are you looking forward to at your screening at Glendale International Film Festival?  

BE: I am looking forward to the screening itself!

Cowboy

The New York Film Academy congratulates our filmmakers and wishes them the best of luck! For more information about screenings and tickets, click HERE.

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