Student & Alumni Spotlights
Category

  • NEW YORK FILM ACADEMY (NYFA) ALUM ISSA RAE EARNS NOMINATION IN 73RD ANNUAL PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) alum, Issa Rae is in this year’s nominations for the 73rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, announced Tuesday, July 13, 2021.

    The filmmaking alum was nominated for ‘Guest Actress in a Comedy’ in this year’s Emmy’s for her performance in the HBO sketch series A Black Lady Sketch Show. The HBO series was also nominated for an Emmy in the ‘Variety Sketch Series’ category. As executive producer of the show, A Black Lady Sketch Show is the first sketch comedy to be written by, directed by, and stars all black women.

    The actress and producer is no stranger to nominations. Issa Rae was twice nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards in 2018 and 2020 for her performances as Issa Dee in the HBO hit TV series Insecure.

    Producing NYFA alum, Lisa Cortés co-directed the Emmy-nominated documentary, All In: The Fight for Democracy, wwhich chronicles the political battle for Democratic Senate seats during the U.S. 2020 Presidential Elections. The documentary was nominated for “Outstanding Writing For A Nonfiction Program.”

    NYFA Guest Speaker Jonathan Groff was nominated for “Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie” for his performance in Hamilton. The play has gone on to win numerous awards, including a Tony, Pulitzer Prize, and Grammy Award.

    Elizabeth Olsen, one of the many stars in the hit Marvel Studios’ Avengers films and guest speaker at the latest NYFA Q&A-List series with Tova Laiter was nominated for “Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie” for her stellar performance as the Scarlet Witch in WandaVision. The Disney+ series was also nominated in the “Limited Series” after taking off in popularity at the start of 2021.

    Another Disney+ series nomination was granted to Legendary Actor, Carl Weathers, for his performance in The Mandalorian for “Guest Actor in a Drama.” Carl Weathers made an appearance as a NYFA guest speaker at our Los Angeles campus Industry Lab Panel discussion in 2019.

    Film legend and NYFA Guest Speaker Alec Baldwin was nominated for “Guest Actor in a Comedy” for his performance on Saturday Night Live (SNL). Most are familiar with parody performances as Former President Donald J. Trump, but the actor has a long screen history from dramas to comedies. Alec Baldwin was a guest speaker at a NYFA Q&A-List Series with Tova Laiter, where he discussed the craft of acting to students and faculty.

    New York Film Academy would like to congratulate all the nominees for the 73rd Annual Primetime Emmys and looks forward to the ABC broadcast of the virtual ceremony on Sunday, September, 19th, 2021 to be hosted by NYFA’s former guest speaker Cedric The Entertainer.

     

    OUTSTANDING DRAMA

    The Boys (Amazon Prime)

    Bridgerton (Netflix)

    The Crown (Netflix)

    The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

    Lovecraft Country (HBO)

    The Mandalorian (Disney+)

    Pose (FX)

    This Is Us (NBC)

     

    LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA

    Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

    Jonathan Majors, Lovecraft Country

    Josh O’Connor, The Crown

    Regé-Jean Page, Bridgerton

    Billy Porter, Pose

    Matthew Rhys, Perry Mason

     

    LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA

    Uzo Aduba, In Treatment

    Olivia Colman, The Crown

    Emma Corrin, The Crown

    Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Mj Rodriguez, Pose

    Jurnee Smollett, Lovecraft Country

     

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA

    Aunjanue Ellis, Lovecraft Country

    Gillian Anderson, The Crown

    Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown

    Emerald Fennell, The Crown

    Madeline Brewer, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale

     

    SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA

    Michael K. Williams, Lovecraft Country

    John Lithgow, Perry Mason

    Tobias Menzies, The Crown

    O-T Fagbenle, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Max Minghella, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Giancarlo Esposito, The Mandalorian

    Chris Sullivan, This Is Us

     

    GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA

    Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Claire Foy, The Crown

    Mckenna Grace, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Sophie Okonedo, Ratched

    Phylicia Rashad, This Is Us

     

    GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA

    Don Cheadle, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

    Charles Dance, The Crown

    OUTSTANDING DRAMA

    The Boys (Amazon Prime)

    Bridgerton (Netflix)

    The Crown (Netflix)

    The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

    Lovecraft Country (HBO)

    The Mandalorian (Disney+)

    Pose (FX)

    This Is Us (NBC)

     

    LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA

    Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

    Jonathan Majors, Lovecraft Country

    Josh O’Connor, The Crown

    Regé-Jean Page, Bridgerton

    Billy Porter, Pose

    Matthew Rhys, Perry Mason 

     

    LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA

    Uzo Aduba, In Treatment

    Olivia Colman, The Crown

    Emma Corrin, The Crown

    Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Mj Rodriguez, Pose

    Jurnee Smollett, Lovecraft Country

     

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA

    Aunjanue Ellis, Lovecraft Country

    Gillian Anderson, The Crown

    Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown

    Emerald Fennell, The Crown

    Madeline Brewer, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale

     

    SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA

    Michael K. Williams, Lovecraft Country

    John Lithgow, Perry Mason

    Tobias Menzies, The Crown

    O-T Fagbenle, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Max Minghella, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Giancarlo Esposito, The Mandalorian

    Chris Sullivan, This Is Us

     

    GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA

    Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Claire Foy, The Crown

    Mckenna Grace, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Sophie Okonedo, Ratched

    Phylicia Rashad, This Is Us

     

    GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA

    Don Cheadle, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

    Charles Dance, The Crown

    Timothy Olyphant, The Mandalorian

    Courtney B. Vance, Lovecraft Country

    Carl Weathers, The Mandalorian 

     

    OUTSTANDING COMEDY

    black-ish (ABC)

    Cobra Kai (Netflix) 

    Emily in Paris (Netflix)

    Hacks (HBO Max)

    The Flight Attendant (HBO Max)

    The Kominsky Method (Netflix)

    PEN15 (Hulu)

    Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

     

    LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

    Aidy Bryant, Shrill

    Kaley Cuoco, The Flight Attendant

    Allison Janney, Mom

    Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish

    Jean Smart, Hacks

     

    LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY

    Anthony Anderson, black-ish

    Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method

    William H. Macy, Shameless

    Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso

    Kenan Thompson, Kenan

     

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

    Hannah Einbinder, Hacks

    Aidy Bryant, SNL

    Kate McKinnon, SNL

    Cecily Strong, SNL

    Juno Temple, Ted Lasso

    Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso

    Rosie Perez, The Flight Attendant

     

    SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY

    Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Hacks

    Kenan Thompson, SNL

    Bowen Yang, SNL

    Brett Goldstein, Ted Lasso

    Brendan Hunt, Ted Lasso

    Nick Mohammed, Ted Lasso

    Jeremy Swift, Ted Lasso

    Paul Reiser, The Kominsky Method

     

    GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

    Jane Adams, Hacks

    Yvette Nicole Brown, A Black Lady Sketch Show

    Bernadette Peters, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist

    Issa Rae, A Black Lady Sketch Show 

    Maya Rudolph, SNL

    Kristen Wiig, SNL

     

    GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY

    Alec Baldwin, SNL

    Dave Chappelle, SNL

    Morgan Freeman, The Kominsky Method

    Daniel Kaluuya, SNL

    Daniel Levy, SNL

     

    LIMITED SERIES

    I May Destroy You (HBO)

    Mare of Easttown (HBO)

    The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)

    The Underground Railroad (Amazon Prime)

    WandaVision (Disney+) 

     

    MADE-FOR-TELEVISION MOVIE

    Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square (Netflix)

    Oslo (HBO)

    Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia (Lifetime)

    Sylvie’s Love (Amazon Prime)

    Uncle Frank (Amazon Prime)

     

    LEAD ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

    Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You

    Cynthia Erivo, Genius: Aretha

    Elizabeth Olsen, WandaVision 

    Anya Taylor-Joy, The Queen’s Gambit

    Kate Winslet, Mare of Easttown

     

    LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

    Paul Bettany, WandaVision

    Hugh Grant, The Undoing

    Ewan McGregor, Halston

    Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton

    Leslie Odom, Jr., Hamilton

     

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

    Phillipa Soo, Hamilton

    Renée Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton

    Jean Smart, Mare of Easttown

    Julianne Nicholson, Mare of Easttown

    Moses Ingram, The Queen’s Gambit

    Kathryn Hahn, WandaVision

     

    SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

    Daveed Diggs, Hamilton

    Jonathan Groff, Hamilton 

    Anthony Ramos, Hamilton

    Paapa Essiedu, I May Destroy You

    Evan Peters, Mare of Easttown

    Thomas Brodie-Sangster, The Queen’s Gambit

     

    REALITY SHOW HOST

    Nicole Byer, Nailed It!

    Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness, Queer Eye

    RuPaul, RuPaul’s Drag Race

    Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John and Kevin O’Leary, Shark Tank

    Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons, Top Chef

     

    COMPETITION PROGRAM

    The Amazing Race

    Nailed It!

    RuPaul’s Drag Race

    Top Chef

    The Voice

     

    UNSTRUCTURED REALITY PROGRAM

    Becoming (Disney+)

    Below Deck (Bravo)

    Indian Matchmaking (Netflix)

    RuPaul’s Drag Race Untucked (VH1)

    Selling Sunset (Netflix)

     

    VARIETY SKETCH SERIES

    A Black Lady Sketch Show (HBO)

    Saturday Night Live (NBC)

     

    VARIETY TALK SERIES

    Conan

    The Daily Show With Trevor Noah

    Jimmy Kimmel Live

    Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

    The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

    Courtney B. Vance, Lovecraft Country

    Carl Weathers, The Mandalorian

     

    OUTSTANDING COMEDY

    black-ish (ABC)

    Cobra Kai (Netflix) 

    Emily in Paris (Netflix)

    Hacks (HBO Max)

    The Flight Attendant (HBO Max)

    The Kominsky Method (Netflix)

    PEN15 (Hulu)

    Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

     

    LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

    Aidy Bryant, Shrill

    Kaley Cuoco, The Flight Attendant

    Allison Janney, Mom

    Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish

    Jean Smart, Hacks

     

    LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY

    Anthony Anderson, black-ish

    Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method

    William H. Macy, Shameless

    Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso

    Kenan Thompson, Kenan

     

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

    Hannah Einbinder, Hacks

    Aidy Bryant, SNL

    Kate McKinnon, SNL

    Cecily Strong, SNL

    Juno Temple, Ted Lasso

    Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso

    Rosie Perez, The Flight Attendant

     

    SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY

    Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Hacks

    Kenan Thompson, SNL

    Bowen Yang, SNL

    Brett Goldstein, Ted Lasso

    Brendan Hunt, Ted Lasso

    Nick Mohammed, Ted Lasso

    Jeremy Swift, Ted Lasso

    Paul Reiser, The Kominsky Method

     

    GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

    Jane Adams, Hacks

    Yvette Nicole Brown, A Black Lady Sketch Show

    Bernadette Peters, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist

    Issa Rae, A Black Lady Sketch Show 

    Maya Rudolph, SNL

    Kristen Wiig, SNL

     

    GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY

    Alec Baldwin, SNL 

    Dave Chappelle, SNL

    Morgan Freeman, The Kominsky Method

    Daniel Kaluuya, SNL

    Daniel Levy, SNL

     

    LIMITED SERIES

    I May Destroy You (HBO)

    Mare of Easttown (HBO)

    The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)

    The Underground Railroad (Amazon Prime)

    WandaVision (Disney+) 

     

    MADE-FOR-TELEVISION MOVIE

    Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square (Netflix)

    Oslo (HBO)

    Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia (Lifetime)

    Sylvie’s Love (Amazon Prime)

    Uncle Frank (Amazon Prime)

     

    LEAD ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

    Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You

    Cynthia Erivo, Genius: Aretha

    Elizabeth Olsen, WandaVision 

    Anya Taylor-Joy, The Queen’s Gambit

    Kate Winslet, Mare of Easttown

     

    LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

    Paul Bettany, WandaVision

    Hugh Grant, The Undoing

    Ewan McGregor, Halston

    Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton

    Leslie Odom, Jr., Hamilton

     

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

    Phillipa Soo, Hamilton

    Renée Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton

    Jean Smart, Mare of Easttown

    Julianne Nicholson, Mare of Easttown

    Moses Ingram, The Queen’s Gambit

    Kathryn Hahn, WandaVision

     

    SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

    Daveed Diggs, Hamilton

    Jonathan Groff, Hamilton

    Anthony Ramos, Hamilton

    Paapa Essiedu, I May Destroy You

    Evan Peters, Mare of Easttown

    Thomas Brodie-Sangster, The Queen’s Gambit

     

    REALITY SHOW HOST

    Nicole Byer, Nailed It!

    Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness, Queer Eye

    RuPaul, RuPaul’s Drag Race

    Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John and Kevin O’Leary, Shark Tank

    Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons, Top Chef

     

    COMPETITION PROGRAM

    The Amazing Race

    Nailed It!

    RuPaul’s Drag Race

    Top Chef

    The Voice

     

    UNSTRUCTURED REALITY PROGRAM

    Becoming (Disney+)

    Below Deck (Bravo)

    Indian Matchmaking (Netflix)

    RuPaul’s Drag Race Untucked (VH1)

    Selling Sunset (Netflix)

     

    VARIETY SKETCH SERIES

    A Black Lady Sketch Show (HBO) – ISSA RAE NYFA ALUM

    Saturday Night Live (NBC)

     

    VARIETY TALK SERIES

    Conan

    The Daily Show With Trevor Noah

    Jimmy Kimmel Live

    Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

    The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    July 21, 2021 • Entertainment News, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 467

  • Broadcast Journalism Update – July 2021 Edition

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    There are some professional moments you never forget.

    Near the top of the list is getting your first Press Card. It is recognition that you are indeed a “journalist.”

    Earlier this year NYFA Broadcast Journalism grad Hannah Palmhagen received her Press Card for the Swedish Parliament (Sveriges Riksdag). Hannah took a very non-traditional route to this moment. It was a journey of self-discovery as well as professional training.

    Former student, Meiraj Haq also took a unique route to success. He came to NYFA to sharpen his producing/reporting skills and used those skills to produce an acclaimed documentary about then-candidate and now Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan. Amazingly, he became a top actor in Pakistani TV dramas! You can still see NYFA featured on Meiraj’s Facebook cover photo.

    Being nominated for an industry award is always a great honor. It is your peers going “on the record” in their praise of not just what you do, but how you do it. NYFA alum Kecia Gayle works in the challenging world of entertainment journalism. You can find her on Instagram and on Hollywood Unlocked’s own website.

    Of course, if you want to learn about fashion trends and popular culture, you just have to listen to NYFA Broadcast Journalism grad Nicole Abebe on The Beat, 99.9 in Lagos. But if you want to double your knowledge, then check out (do people still say that?) the Abebe family on with the Abebes.

    Right now, we are in the middle of a typical New York City Summer. The days are hazy, hot and, humid. If you are a TV reporter, that means just one thing: visit places where people are cooling off. This is precisely what Broadcast Journalism alum Karen Hua did for News12 New York.

    Of course, even though it is Summer there are still important stories to cover (especially in the Southern Hemisphere, where it is Winter). One of the biggest stories continues to be COVID-19. Former NYFA student Fernanda Mueller has returned to Brazil, where she is working for NSC Comunicação, a Globo-affiliated company.

    “The company has a TV channel, radio station, digital and print media. I work as a multimedia reporter for digital and print. We recently made a video series about food prices. In this video, I talk about how prices of rice and beans have increased in Brazil and the state of Santa Catarina during the pandemic,” says Fernanda.

    Even the movies have a serious side, captured in all of its glory by NYFA graduate Federica Polidoro in a recent cover story in Vanity Fair Italia. Federica asked for comments from our own Broadcast Journalism Chair, Bill Einreinhofer.

    Evgenia Vlasova and Bill Einreinhofer are in the middle of producing a new Public TV documentary called Unsettled History: America, China and the Doolittle Tokyo Raid. In April 1942, the five American aviators pictured below, along with 59 of their comrades, were rescued from capture, torture, and certain death at the hands of the Japanese Imperial Army. The rescue mission was carried out by Chinese farmers, fishermen and militia members. These Americans either crash-landed or parachuted into rural China and survived thanks to the courageous actions of strangers in a foreign land.

    Producer Nancy Hanzhang Shen and Bill Einreinhofer shot the final interview last month, with Prof. Luo Shiping in Shangrao, Jiangxi province, China (centered in the picture below along with the local production team).

    The documentary will be distributed by American Public Television in April 2022, to mark the 80th anniversary of the Doolittle Tokyo Raid.

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail
  • NYFA Documentary Alum Pedro Peira Talks Upcoming Film LA Queenciañera

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Pedro Peira is a Fulbright scholar and NYFA Documentary Filmmaking MFA graduate. Since his time as NYFA he has been active in the industry directing, producing, writing and founding his own production company, Festimania Pictures.

    The NYFA alum, who hails from Spain, first became interested in documentary filmmaking in his pre-teen years, “Whenever there was a family event I would take photos or record Hi-8 videos, initially with some help from family members and once they started to trust me, on my own.”

    Having developed a passion for documenting reality, Pedro decided pursue documentary filmmaking as a profession. “It’s a way of informing, entertaining and hopefully, promoting social change. There’s also the added benefit of not having the pressure to raise major funding for a (documentary) film project. Generally, as the costs are much higher for fiction (films), whereas you just need a story and a camera to make a documentary.”

    This decision eventually led him to apply for a Fulbright scholarship and choose NYFA as the place to hone his craft.”When I was doing all the Fulbright paperwork, prior to becoming a finalist, I was looking for a place to study documentary filmmaking and I easily contacted the documentary department at NYFA. The rest is all history.”

    Throughout his career each project has taught Pedro valuable lessons that have allowed him to grow in his profession. “I learned to delegate responsibility. In my first feature I took on most of the production roles (mainly due to budget constraints) and I have now learned to share these tasks. I’ve also transitioned to using a narrative structure so as to make the film more appealing to the audience.” As for what leads him to choose a project Pedro had this to say, “I guess what attracts me most to a project is who’s behind it. There’s people who I would work for free and, also, others who I wouldn’t work for no matter the amount. The type of project is also very important when it comes to my decision making. For me, it’s not the same to be part of a project which can lead to a change in society compared to a film which generates profit for the producers without any higher purpose behind it.”

    The Fulbright scholar has also started his own production company. “Festimania Pictures was set up in Spain 7  years ago. Although we carry out some distribution and consulting, we’re now mainly focused on documentary
    production. Our biggest successes so far have been the features Soul, which world-premiered at the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival and Free Way, which world-premiered at the 2020 San Sebastian Film Festival. Both films have been widely distributed around the world and on the top-tier festival circuit.

    As for upcoming projects, Pedro has a few lined up, including the Rosario Dawson backed LA Queenciañera. “We’re finishing post-production of a film called LA Queenciañera,  of which I’m the director and producer. The movie follows LA-based, transgender, undocumented, Latina activist, Bamby Salcedo, as she prepares for an epic 50th birthday celebration, which is a deliberate queering of that traditional Latino ritual, the Quinceañera. Our executive producer is Rosario Dawson and we have the participation of Patricia Arquette, sharing the story of her sister Alexis.”

    Patricia Arquette sites with trans rights activist Bamby Salcedo and documentary filmmaker Pedro Peira

    Pedro Peira with Patricia Arquette and Bamby Salcedo

    “We’re also in development for a documentary series which explores the influence of Islam on the gastronomies of Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Spain.”

    As for advice to aspiring documentary filmmakers and NYFA students Pedro says, “work hard and enjoy what you do. Don’t worry about not having budget – if the idea is good, success (and funds) will come. Just be patient.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates Pedro Peira on his success and looks forward to the upcoming LA Queenciañera.

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    June 17, 2021 • Documentary Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1234

  • NYFA Filmmaking Alum Indranil Banerjee Creates India’s First Anthology Horror Miniseries “4 Shades of Leap”

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    From his early childhood, Indranil Banerjee remembered watching Toy Story, Jurassic Park, Satyajit Ray’s Gupi Gyan Bagha Byan, and James Cameron’s epic film Titanic. He recalled how, as a kid, crying when Jack died, imagining himself proposing several times to Rose and talking with his friends at school about why his mom had to close his eyes at the theatre in several scenes of the film. It was movies that excited Banerjee at such a young age, and that captivation for filmmaking continued as he grew up. 

    Photo courtesy of Indranil Banerjee

    “When I grew up, I understood that film was something that was very attractive to me. , I started doing photography and slowly started learning about film and camera,” shared Banerjee. “From there, I began to comb through the filmography of some of the world’s best filmmakers.” 

    The likes of James Cameron, Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, and more inspired the aspiring director. Filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino inspired Banerjee to learn storytelling through camera tactics, while Satyajit Ray taught Banerjee how characters can come to life and music can elevate each story. 

    Film poster for “The Chase”

    After attending film schools in the UK, France, and the U.S, Banerjee’s sister told Banerjee about New York Film Academy (NYFA), where Banerjee enrolled in an 8-Week Filmmaking Workshop at the New York campus. 

    The filmmaking alum has directed the short film The Chase, which was recognized at the prestigious Los Angeles Cenefest. His other shorts include The Mirage, Trinyani, One Night Stand, and Hello. Banerjee also directed Bahannoborti (52), a television film for one of the most highly recognized Bengali channels in Kolkata, India. 

    Film posters for Banerjee’s anthology series “4 Shades of Leap”

    Now, the filmmaking alum is changing the way India is consuming horror, by launching the first horror anthology miniseries. 4 Shades of Leap is a series of four shorts that are about five minutes each. “The Idea Came in my head at the end of 2019. It was winter and me and my cinematographer Tuhin Dasgupta were having coffee in my terrace and discussing the new Indian Hindi-language anthology horror film on Netflix called Ghost Stories. We then planned to do our own research on some actual horror events in Kolkata, India.” 

    For one month, Banerjee and Dasgupta talked with individuals, visited many abandoned houses, and began forming the script for four individual stories based on real-life incidents. “As a filmmaker, I wanted to make this extremely natural and as real as I could. I used various cinematic elements as a poignant part of each and every tale; the shadows in the first episode, the rain in the second, the match cuts in the third, and the faces of various animals in the last episode.”

    Banerjee behind the scenes

    Banerjee and his crew finished filming the series just before the pandemic and the series has been met with critical acclaim and such a huge response that the series will return for a second season.

    “People like to watch spooky, but there is a difference between Ghostbusters and Insidious. All I can say 4 Shades Of Leap will Just take twenty minutes from your life to make you feel the various waves and stages of horror, with all four episodes based on real incidents. So, you will definitely enjoy it, and, yes, you will remain in shock.” 

    New York Film Academy recognizes the incredible achievement of filmmaking alum Indranil Banerjee and his latest project 4 Shades of Leap. You can watch the horror anthology on Amazon and Apple TV.

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail
  • NYFA Musical Theatre Alum Felipe Vasquez Encamilla to Perform in BroadwayMania’s Virtual Production of “In The Heights”

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    A performer and an alum of NYFA’s 2-Year Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre (PCMT) program, Felipe Vasquez Encamilla, like many others, was devastated when the pandemic hit and productions shuttered their doors and performers could no longer perform live and in-person. 

    Now, with Broadway and other theatre institutions around the world slowly beginning to open their doors again, the performing arts world is starting to rejoice as productions are being cast and virtual performances continue, one of which is the BroadwayMania virtual production of Lin Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights, where Encamilla will perform as the Piragua Guy.

    Promotional photo of Felipe Vasquez Encamilla for “In The Heights”

    In The Heights is one of the most wonderful musicals that I have ever known,” shared Encamilla. “It has a special value for me because the musical represents the Latinx community of which I’m proudly part. It is so important to have a voice and In The Heights is giving me a huge voice. We, as a cast, are recording videos and the audio from our own homes, and then the production and editing team do the incredible magic to put the show together.”

    Encamilla came to study at NYFA in 2018, where he credited instructors like Deidre Goodwin, Michelle Potterf, Kristy Cates, James T. Lane, Kevid David Thomas, D. Michael Heath, Wysandria Woolsey, Mark Price, T. J. Mannix, Stephen Nachamie, among many others, for providing such an immersive experience in the Musical Theatre program. 

    “They are legends! I had heard about them in Chile before, so you can imagine how excited I was to know them [the instructors] in person,” said Encamilla. “ Another big reason for coming to NYFA was the possibility to make a movie musical in the second year. None of the academies or schools that I had seen had this in their curriculums and I consider it so important! Actually, the pandemic has made me use a lot of the things that I learned at NYFA about how to perform musicals in front of the camera.” 

    Encamilla as Monsieur Thénardier in “Les Misérables”

    From playing King Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar to Pirelli from Sweeney Todd, Encamilla revealed that his favorite part of performing is the relationships formed on and off stage. “For me, it’s the relationships with my colleagues and the connections that we can create on stage. Not only because the characters have to have a connection, but also because all the good energy is reflected when you are performing. People can totally see those connections. And that is so beautiful! I think if you work with love, respect and kindness your performance always will be the best.”

    As for what’s next after In The Heights, Encamilla is developing a few projects with his husband Pablo, including producing the play Llamada Entrante (“Incoming Call” written by Pablo and directed by Encamilla), which they are looking to expand after a few successful live online performances. 

    Felipe Vasquez Encamilla in “Sweeney Todd”

    “We are also are writing a musical that talks about homoparental adoption, which is a huge topic for so many people, especially in countries like Chile where it is not allowed. We think that we need more representation in the Musical Theatre world: one of my huge dreams is to write more musicals that contain more representation to the Latinx Community, gay people, immigrants, and people who came to this country to contribute with their talents but so many times they are non seen.”

    An advocate for the voiceless and determined, Encamilla urges those looking to expand their craft to follow their dreams no matter the circumstances. “You have to follow your dreams and make it real. It’s hard, I know. Sometimes you feel that they never will come true. Many times nobody believes in you, including yourself. But you have to find the strength to fight and don’t give up. You deserve it. Never stop dreaming!”

    Official poster for “In The Heights”

    New York Film Academy congratulates Felipe Vasquez Encamilla on the exciting opportunity to be part of BroadwayMania’s production of In The Heights. You can see the show online, with performances streaming on May 15 at 7:00 pm ET, May 16 at 2:00 pm ET, and May 22 at 7:00 pm ET. For tickets and more information, click here.

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail
  • Films From NYFA Australia Alumni Will Screen at 2021 Gold Coast Film Festival

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    New York Film Academy Australia is excited to share that alumni Stephen Osborne, Josh Hale, and Luke Speech have been selected to screen their films at the 2021 Gold Coast Film Festival (“GCFF”). This year, NYFA Australia is the only film school to have more than one alum featured among the festival’s robust lineup of curated film selections.

    An official GCFF selection, Osborne was invited to screen his film Strangeville at this year’s festival and compete in the Best Australian Indie Film category. The sci-fi dramedy centres in on an outback town, plagued with alien abductions, that must battle unknown forces and dismantle a law enforcement cover-up in the process.

    Still from Stephen Osborne’s “Strangeville”

    Osborne has previously received recognition for the short film Roommate Wanted For The End of The World, winning Best Short Screenplay at the Rome Prisma Independent Film Awards and Screenwriter of The Month for The Monthly Film Festival. His short film Jane also earned Osborne an award for Best First Time Director at the Oniros Film Awards, which he completed during his studies at New York Film Academy.

    In addition to being written and directed by Osborne, Strangeville also includes 21 members of the cast and crew who also attended NYFA’s Gold Coast campus. Among them is Vito Leo who plays Miles in one of the film’s leading roles. Leo has worked most notably on Thor: Ragnorok and the highly-anticipated Godzilla vs. Kong.

    Also on the slate for the GCFF is Hale’s House of Inequity, which will appear in the ‘Dark Nights and Fantastic Fans’ portion of the program, alongside screenings of Willy’s Wonderland and The Lord of The Rings trilogy. The film follows a group of friends that experience a day trip gone wrong after investigating an abandoned house where they must figure out how to survive the night.

    Still from Josh Hale’s “House of Inequity”

    The NYFA Australia alum is known for his critically acclaimed film Digital Athlete: The Road Set League, which earned Hale an IndieFEST Film Award of Merit, a Festival Award at the Festigious International Film Festival, and a Best of the Year Award nomination at the Gold Movie Awards. The producer-director is also in production on the documentary Do or Die and is currently in the development of the thriller Force of Evil.

    Hale’s House of Inequity was originally supposed to have its world premiere at the 2020 GCFF but was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film credits 17 NYFA Australia alumni among the film’s cast and crew and features the work of NYFA Australia faculty members Stuart Lumsden (NYFA Australia Deputy Chair of Acting for Film), sound design instructor Vic Kaspar (House of Flying Daggers, Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban), and Patrick Ryan (NYFA Australia Associate Chair of Short-Term Filmmaking).

    “I am so proud of what we achieved,” shares Hale. “A local cast and crew utilising the incredible Gold Coast and its glorious production value. I am proud of this film.”

    Film poster for “Paint” by Luke Speech

    Also screening at GCFF is Speech’s Paint. The NYFA Australia alum’s film will screen as part of the EMERGE! showcase of short films that celebrates the best and brightest film talent from Queensland’s next generation of filmmakers.

    NYFA Australia is proud of Filmmaking alumni Stephen Osborne, Josh Hale, and Luke Speech, as well as the incredibly talented group of NYFA Australia alumni and faculty who served as the cast and crew for Strangeville and House of Inequity.

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail
  • One Year Success for NYFA 3-D Animation & VFX Alum Marthinus Philippus (MP) Rabie

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    To say 2020 was a difficult year, would be an understatement. However, during these uncertain times, Marthinus Philippus Rabie (MP) was not only able to make the most of his final semester of the 1-Year Conservatory program for Animation, but he also landed his dream job at the previsualization, postvisualization, and virtual reality company, The Third Floor (TTF).

    Originally from South Africa, MP was excited by the idea of studying abroad in America. When asked how he decided on animation, Rabie said, “It’s one of those very scarce skills.” Having already tried getting into 3-D animation for several years, he wasn’t able to get the answers he sought on his own, ultimately holding him back from being able to learn and have the ability to create the images that were stuck in his head. MP admits that, “Sure YouTube is a thing, but that only helps you to a certain extent and you don’t really learn that much. It’s better to be taught by a professional who can answer all those burning questions.” Between conversations amongst friends during lunch breaks at his old film school to the many Instagram posts, NYFA seemed like the right place to go.

    NYFA alum MP Rabie

    Much to MP’s delight, the 3-D Animation & Visual Effect’s 1-Year program at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus had no shortage of professionals to answer those burning questions. “Having actual professionals that work in the industry today as teachers is probably the best thing the school could’ve done. Not only are they very knowledgeable about their crafts, but they also have tons of connections and real experience.” Most notably for Rabie was Animation Supervisor and NYFA instructor, Gael Harlow.

    For MP, “all the staff at NYFA are very helpful but sometimes there’s a teacher that’s just an extra ray of sunshine. Gael Harlow is one of them. She goes above and beyond all her duties. Her patience, care about student growth, and passion for what she does is undeniable.” In fact, it was at Harlow’s suggestion that MP look into working in previsualization.

    Work from MP’s Drawing Class at NYFA

    “At the time I had no idea what it was [however], the more she explained the more I liked it!” When it came to Harlow’s attention that The Third Floor was actively hiring, she informed Rabie who wasted no time getting in touch. “[Following my certificate from the program] I got all my stuff together and made a new reel, cover letter, and resume. I sent my reel to Gael, and she sent it to her friends at TTF. They gave me some suggestions, and I changed my reel accordingly; within less than two weeks I got a booking.” This isn’t to say that the road to getting any 3-D generalist’s dream job as a postvis artist was without its fair share of challenges.

    2020 left and continues to leave a significant impact. For Rabie, it meant not being able to see his family for more than two years as well as making the most of his time while living in isolation. “It’s difficult not being able to visit the ones who you care about most in this world, especially if you’re trapped alone in a room by yourself for such a long time. So, I distracted myself by learning as much as I could to try and make everything worth it.” I think it’s safe to say it was definitely worth it. 

    MP replicating lighting for a NYFA assignment

    When asked what advice he’d give to current students and those interested in pursuing animation, MP relayed the following, “learn with intent, practice doesn’t make perfect, good practice makes perfect. The school will give you everything you’ll need to succeed, all you have to do is your part. Just attending classes and doing your assignments isn’t enough, it’s a very tough industry, one where skills are prioritized over certification. So put in your hours after classes, and apply what you learn on your OWN personal projects. That’s how you will get good, very fast.” 

    He went on to say that, “[animation] seems very intimidating for the first two months… every day you will learn something new about the programs you use no matter how experienced you are. That’s what makes it fun, it’s all just one big sudoku puzzle, the more you fill in the better and faster the process becomes. If you love animation enough and can make it through those first two months without quitting then I can safely say that you should stick with it!”

    Photo courtesy of MP

    As for what’s next, only time will tell, that being said, MP has his sights set on becoming a supervisor. “It’s just such a respectable title to hold, everything about it screams experience. I would love to get to that level and be able to run a team of artists as one big collaborative group to create something amazing.” 

    For more information about MP and his work, check out his website or follow him on Instagram @mp.rabie. To learn more about NYFA’s programs for 3-D Animation & VFX, check out our website for more details on our course offerings.

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail
  • Founder of VanPack Productions, Vseant Nath, Talks Learning Filmmaking Online at NYFA and His Upcoming Projects

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Vseant Nath has been studying improv since 2017 and immediately fell in love with it. He then decided to take some acting workshops not long after to fully understand the craft of performance, where he discovered he thoroughly enjoyed the direction given by the instructors.

    “This sparked my interest in producing and directing,” he shared. “I purchased books on filmmaking, but I had been researching the NYFA program as well. Then, COVID hit and it was a standstill for all, but my passion for learning continued and I was further drawn towards NYFAs hands-on approach.”  

    Vseant Nath in “Ganush: The pursuit of 5 Stars”

    Nath then decided to be one of the first groups of people to take NYFA’s new Online Film Directing Workshops. While it wasn’t in-person learning because of the pandemic, Nath was able to still have an active creative learning experience from the comfort of his own home, interacting with the instructor and his classmates over Zoom, and creating original work. 

    “I was now being taught by the best of the best instructors at NYFA, right from the safe space of my home,” said Nath. “It was one of the most exciting things in my life at that moment and the experience was further amplified by the whole world being at a standstill. I felt it was an extreme privilege to be learning with other students from across the globe.” 

    After getting to take the Online Workshop course at NYFA, Nath shared that anyone who wants to go out and become a filmmaker needs to seek to create for themselves. “Create films, as many as you can. Study them, make them better each time. You’ll have good ones and bad ones, but they’re yours. Be open to criticism; good bad and otherwise.”

    Now that he is done with his course, Nath has been focused on creating inspiring stories with impactful scenes with his VanPack Productions. Inspired by his grandmother who raised him, his inherited love of storytelling inspired him to create the production company and produce content, with his current goal to produce 20 short films before his first feature film.

    Film poster for the upcoming film “Neighborhood Racket”

    Nath’s company is currently working on shooting a new episode of Ganush: The Pursuit of 5 Stars, which is based on Nath’s own experience with unfair online reviews. “It made me think about the struggles of the business owner and the reviewer,” he remarked. The NYFA alum also has also created film festival favorites Nature Crawls, Pigs in a Blanket: A Bloody Tale, and Mic in: Dead Silent, and is currently working on more shorts including the horror film Inked.

    Booked and busy on his next projects, NYFA congratulates alum Vseant Nath on his upcoming projects and is excited to celebrate Nath upon the release of his first feature film in the near future. 

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    April 1, 2021 • Diversity, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1912

  • NYFA Australia Alum Julian Lawrence Works on “Godzilla vs. Kong”

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    New York Film Academy Australia (NYFA Australia) alum Julian Lawrence has multiple blockbusters under his belt. Having tackled Aquaman, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Thor: Ragnarok, and many others, Lawrence will now add one of the biggest cinematic events of 2021 to his list of credits with Godzilla vs. Kong from Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures.

    NYFA Australia alum Julian Lawrence

    Lawrence, a cinematographer, served as a Digital Imaging Technician (DIT) for the second unit team shooting in Australia. A DIT typically has three primary responsibilities while working on a project: data wrangling and protection, assisting the DP, and managing the dailies. Overall, a DIT has multiple responsibilities as the digital format becomes increasingly advanced and more complicated across the industry. Godzilla vs. Kong is no exception as the film is heavy in digital elements that require the utmost care to uphold quality and creativity across the board for the film.

    The Filmmaking alum previously served as a DIT on Den største forbrytelsen and worked as a DIT Utility for Aquaman, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Thor: Ragnarok, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Kong: Skull Island, and Alien: Covenant.

    Film poster for “Godzilla vs. Kong”

    Godzilla vs. Kong is a sequel to both Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Kong: Skull Island, marking the first convergence of cinematic monsters in Legendary Pictures’ new MonsterVerse. The film will have audiences in the middle of an epic clash between two titan figures of mythic proportions in a battle for the ages. The film will star Millie Bobby Brown, Alexander Skarsgård, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, and more.

    The film marks the fourth film in the MonsterVerse series, the 36th film in the Godzilla franchise, and the 12th film in the King Kong franchise. Originally set for a March 13, 2020 release, the premiere was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Audiences will now be able to see Godzilla vs. Kong internationally on March 26, 2021, and in the United States on March 31, where it will be released simultaneously in theaters and on streaming via HBO Max.

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA Australia alum Julian Lawrence on his recent work on one of the most highly-anticipated films of the year and looks forward to seeing what Lawrence will work on next.

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail
  • Broadcast Journalism Update – March 2021 Edition

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail
    This month marked ten years since the start of the tragic, still ongoing Syrian civil war. NYFA Broadcast Journalism grad Nour Idriss, who comes from Aleppo, found herself stranded in New York City when all flights back home to Syria were canceled. Enrolling in NYFA, she reinvented herself as a multimedia journalist, then found a home at CBS News. Recently she wasn’t just the producer of stories about the past decade, she became part of the story herself.
    She wrote: “I still can’t believe I’m actually doing this! I’m a journalist! And I owe you for this dream I’m living.”
    Thank you for your kind words, Nour. I think countless hours of hard work had a lot to do with it too…
    It is often said that journalism is the first draft of history. NYFA grad Celina Liv Danielsen can certainly attest to that. A producer/reporter for TV2 In Denmark, she was on-the-scene when violence broke out in Washington DC this past January. Needless to say, it wasn’t the story she thought she was going to report, the official announcement of the winner of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.
    Livia Fernanda enrolled in NYFA to develop her reporting skills. Up until that point, she had worked strictly as an in-studio weather reporter. Now an on-air reporter with Grupo Jovem Pan in São Paulo, she demonstrated the difference between covering Brazilian Carnival in 2020 and 2021 with two striking photos.
    Staying in Brazil (I know, Brasil), congratulations to NYFA Broadcast Journalism grad Beatriz Puente, now producing for CNN Brasil, based in Rio!
    When Eduvie Martin came to NYFA from Nigeria, she had already developed strong on-camera skills. What she felt she lacked were the technical skills essential to success. She has over a decade of experience in communications and reputation management for global brands and start-ups in Europe and Africa. And as this Linkedin posting can attest, she can multitask with the best of them!
    Lorenzo Capezzuoli Ranchi always looks dapper “on-air,” or I guess I should say “in cyberspace.” He is a regular contributor to the Italian digital media app 264 Zoom. He continues to bring to his stories the same unique qualities that served him so well on the projects he produced as a student here at NYFA.
    Elina Mukherjee, who is back home in India, writes: “These days I work at a food/travel/lifestyle channel called Gobble. …venturing into digital content has been a shift from mainstream journalism. But so far I am really enjoying myself.”
    Closer to home, NYFA alum Dr. Nicole Cross continues to do great things at Spectrum News in Texas. She is not only a wonderful news anchor, studio host and field reporter. She is also a powerful role model for young African American women, and other women of color, who might be considering a career in Journalism.
    Emilie Cruz was recently promoted at ViacomCBS to Senior Manager – Editorial/Creative Strategy. If you look at her LinkedIn page, you’ll notice that she chose for her profile picture a still shot taken from one of the stories she did at NYFA. She’s even holding an NYFA News mic!
    Thanks, Emilie!
    As regular readers of the Broadcast Journalism Update know, last Summer Evgenia Vlasova and I co-taught a three-week online workshop for early-career Russian journalists. This past January, we all got together (virtually, of course) to find out how everyone was doing. Each participant had produced a story on the theme: 2020 – Not The Year Anyone Expected.
    Anastasia Dzutstsati’s story examined The Church In The Era of COVID, while Ekaterina Frolova created a global digital experiment, asking people the question 2020: The End or the Beginning? If you have a few minutes to spare, I have posted these stories and others on Vimeo. They are definitely worth screening.
    Stay tuned for NYFA Moscow Journalism Summer School II, taking place this July and August in (hopefully) in Moscow. Support for this innovative enterprise comes from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
    Finally, I am proud to announce that my independent feature film, Invisible Love, won several prizes at the Paris International Film Festival including Best Narrative Feature. Here is a link to the trailer. Coming to a digital platform or theater near you (if you live in Vietnam or China) soon. Here in the United States? Probably next year…
    For more information on NYFA’s Broadcast Journalism program, click here.
    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail