Student & Alumni Spotlights
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  • Q&A With NYFA Alum Marija Apcevska on Her Selection at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival

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    Film and Media Production alum, Marija Apcevska caught up with NYFA to share some exciting news. Her latest work, Severen Pol (North Pole) was selected in this year’s 2021 Cannes Film Festival. Apcevska is a graduate of the Film and Media Production MA program at the Los Angeles campus and represents North Macedonia (her home country) in this year’s festival. Severen Pol (North Pole) competes with nine other films across Iran, Denmark, France, Brazil, and others. 

    New York Film Academy (NYFA): Can you provide a synopsis of Severen Pol?

    Marija Apcevsk (MA): The film takes place in a misty field and crowded locker room. Margo belongs to neither. Maybe if she loses her virginity, she will finally find her place.

    North Pole film poster

    Severen Pol (North Pole) was selected at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival

    NYFA: What was your reaction when your film was selected for the Cannes Film Festival 2021? How did you find out?

    MA: I received a phone call from them and it was such a surreal experience and feeling. At first, I couldn’t believe it and then it quickly transformed into a total mix of emotions. Obviously, publishing the information was not allowed until the official release of the selection, so it was difficult for both me and the producer, Robert Naskov, not to share the joy immediately. Being selected at Cannes is a tremendous honor for everyone but for us, this was even bigger as North Pole is the first film ever from our country to be selected at Cannes Film Festival. We have never had a film before, in any section. 

    Marija Apcevska headshot

    Director and Filmmaker, Marija Apcevska

    NYFA: What other projects have you worked on during these past few years? Have they won any additional awards or showcased in any festivals or competitions?

    MA: I previously shot another short film, Ambi, which also had a festival run. It was actually screened in LA as well, at Hollyshorts 2017. Apart from that, I have directed and worked as a second unit director on TV series in North Macedonia, I have been directing ads and I also worked as a teaching assistant at a directing department for two years.

    NYFA: Tell us more about your latest project & how you got involved.

    MA: North Pole is an intimate story about acceptance and belonging, told from the perspective of the teenage girl, played by an amazing young actress, Antonija Belazelkoska. I had an idea about it for quite a while and I wrote the script in 2018. We then applied to the European Short Pitch, a development platform, where they select only 16 scripts. We won one of the awards at the pitching session there and we also met our co-producer from Serbia during this time. The film was scheduled for shooting in the winter of 2019/2020, but due to weather conditions and then Covid 19, it got pushed to 2020/2021. We shot it in January 2021, on 16mm film, on locations in North Macedonia, and then immediately started with post-production. It was a challenging shoot from many aspects, including working with strict Covid protocols.

    Set photo from North Pole featuring Director, Marija Apcevska

    Set photo from North Pole featuring Director, Marija Apcevska (middle)

    NYFA: What did you learn at NYFA that you applied directly to this project and others?

    MA: I love the time I spent at NYFA and always look back at it with nostalgia. One of the main things I carry with me from NYFA is respect and togetherness with the crew. It takes a lot of effort to make films and that is only possible when there is mutual understanding and support. I already had a BA in directing when I enrolled at NYFA for my masters, but nevertheless, the way the studies are organized, I got to work on different student projects as grip, boom operator, AD, etc. I think this practical approach toward film education is very important because even if you know that, it reminds you how crucial each role is and how important teamwork is. It basically reminds you to stay humble. And being humble and grateful is very important to me, in filmmaking, and in life in general. 

    Severen Pol (North Pole) production still

    Severen Pol (North Pole) production still

    NYFA: Are there any other upcoming projects we should know about?

    MA: North Pole is now traveling to festivals and I am currently developing the script for my first feature film, Spring Cleaning. Spring Cleaning was selected for development at LIM Less is More 2021, a program led by Le Groupe Ouest (France), and also selected at Cannes Focus COPRO 2021. The film touches on themes of life after death, following the story of a young woman who faces a difficult relationship with her home country once she returns home after her mother’s suicide.

    You can keep up-to-date with Marija, her latest work, and existing news on her Instagram (@mapcevska). New York Film Academy congratulates Marija on this well-deserved selection and wishes her much success in the future. 

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    October 22, 2021 • Film Festivals, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 218

  • Q&A With MFA Filmmaking Alum Apoorv Arora on Life After NYFA and Recent Work

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    Filmmaking alum Apoorv Arora has been busy since graduating from NYFA Los Angeles’ MFA Filmmaking Program in 2018. He has gone on to direct and produce a number of projects and even launched his own production company, Apoorv Arora Films.

    The Indian-born filmmaker is currently based in Los Angeles and runs Apoorv Arora Films. The production company is already credited with the creation of music videos, promo shoots, and short films for both Bollywood and Hollywood.

    In his career as a producer, Arora worked with artists and celebrities including Priyanka Chopra, Diljit Dosanjh, and B Praak. His body of professional work includes projects for leading international brands like Speed Records, The Walt Disney Company, White Hill Studios, Balaji Telefilms, MTV, and others.

    Producer Apoorv Arora on a film set

    Producer Apoorv Arora on a film set

    NYFA caught up with Apoorv to discuss his past and upcoming projects and what he’s been up to since graduating.

    New York Film Academy (NYFA): What projects have you worked on during the year? Have you won any awards or been showcased in any festivals or competitions?

    Apoorv Arora (AA): I have worked on multiple projects this year and am still working on a few. I am working on two independent feature film projects as Executive Producer and Producer. These projects are in development and pre-production. 

    I have been a believer in promoting black artists and artists of color. This year I produced a couple of music videos with artists of color. One of them is  J.Breckenridge’s single debut, Come To Me. He’s a Broadway artist from the Book of Mormon. He can be seen most recently on the 2020-21 season of The Blacklist (CBS) and Blue Bloods (NBC). This music video was published in the Playbill Magazine.

    The other Music Video I produced is called Olorun Maje by Sir Boyò, which means “God Forbid” in English. The video contains elements of symbolism and abstract art while conveying impactful lyrical content that discusses themes of hope and spirituality. Olorun Maje won Best Music Video Award winner at the Frostbite International Indie Film Festival and Direct Monthly Online Film Festival. The music video is a semi-finalist and finalist at many other film festivals.

    This year has also been great because I registered my company Apoorv Arora Films LLC with the California Secretary of State. It’s a big achievement of mine and something for which I’m very proud. 

    NYFA: Tell us more about your latest project and how you got involved?

    AA: One thing I like to do is build relationships, and I firmly believe that relationships can make you or break you. 

    After my first music video success with over 100,000 views on YouTube, I recently wrapped producing another music video for artist Sir Boyò. It’s called I Know U Like It and right now it’s in post-production and will be released later this year. 

    I was involved as a Producer from the idea to distribution and release. I think my clients believe in me and have faith in me.

    Producer Apoorv Arora (middle) on a film set

    Producer Apoorv Arora (middle) on a film set

    NYFA: What did you learn at NYFA that you applied directly to this project and others?

    AA: I graduated from NYFA with an MFA in Filmmaking and Producing. I think all that I do in Producing on an everyday basis comes from the knowledge that I gained at NYFA. From budgeting to scheduling to skills and knowledge in directing, camera and lighting. All this I learned at NYFA. But I think NYFA isn’t just teaching you film, I believe NYFA also taught me LIFE. 

    I believe it’s just not about what you learn in class but also what you learn outside of it. I have had amazing conversations with some of the great Instructors at NYFA like Nick Sivakumaran, Matt Kohnen, and Igor Kovacevich. These guys are brilliant at what they do and teach. I have learned how to handle things in the toughest situations because things can go wrong even if you have the best plan. I have learned negotiations and how to handle different people differently. 

    These are some of my greatest lessons at NYFA.

    NYFA: Are there any other upcoming projects we should know about?

    AA: I’m working on two independent feature film projects as Executive Producer and Producer. These projects are in development and pre-production. I’m also working on a commercial for an up-and-coming eyewear brand. I am also working on a short film based on Black Lives Matter and finally, I have a couple more shorts and a music video in development.

    NYFA: Do you have any advice for incoming NYFA students?

    Producer Apoorv Arora on a film set

    Producer Apoorv Arora on a film set

    AA: I would like to tell students that you get one life with multiple opportunities. You should try to seize every opportunity you can in this life. For students, I suggest creating content while they are in school as much as they can. Just keep creating content, so by the time you graduate you have enough on your portfolio to start with. 

    The school gives you access to the best of the best equipment, make sure you use it in your favor. Because the reality is once you graduate you’ll be on your own with your DSLR, so make sure you use those RED Dragons and Arri Alexas as much as you can while in school and keep creating.

    NYFA: How can folks get in touch with you? 

    AA: Students looking for any advice or help to produce a project can email info@apoorvarorafilms.com, visit my website apoorvarorafilms.com or follow me on Instagram

    NYFA would like to thank Apporv Arora for taking the time to speak with us and congratulate him on all his success. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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    October 12, 2021 • Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 319

  • NYFA Student Israa Al-Kamali Produces 2nd Annual Independent Iraqi Film Festival

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    NYFA Filmmaking student Israa Al-Kamali is co-founder of the Independent Iraqi Film Festival (IIFF) which is now celebrating its second year with a series of screenings of Iraqi-based films. The second annual IIFF takes place from October 1st until October 7th, 2021. The festival will screen four feature-length films, followed by Q&A-style discussions with the filmmakers, and ten short films which will be showcased live and virtually. All showings are free of charge and will include English subtitles for non-Arabic speakers. 

    The feature-length films to be screened include Tonight, Next Week directed by Khalid Alzhraou, Iraqi Women: Voices From Exile directed by Maysoon Pachachiwhich, Balanja directed by Ali Raheem, and Leaving Baghdad directed by Koutaiba al Janabi. 

    The Iraqi Film Festival poster

    The Iraqi Film Festival (IIFF) begins on October 1, 2021

    The festival’s first circuit was held virtually in the Summer of 2020, showcasing 13 Iraqi short and feature-length films from emerging and established Iraqi filmmakers, and saw a turnout of over 5000 online viewers.

    The IIFF is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting films from and about Iraq through online screenings, real-life festivals, educational programs, images, sound projects, and various industry initiatives. The IIFF’s mission is to empower directors, actors, screenwriters, producers, designers, sound artists, and other creatives to tell the story of Iraq, the resilience of its people, and the breadth of its culture to a global audience.

    Al-Kamali describes the origins of the festival, “The Independent Iraqi Film Festival was born out of my love for films and Iraq as well as the urgent need to create such a platform and space for Iraqi stories and storytellers. Our experiences are so complex whether back in Iraq or in the various Iraqi communities in the diaspora. Iraq is rich in culture, history, and diversity, and it is time for our stories to be highlighted and brought to global audiences. We created this first-of-its-kind festival to uplift filmmakers, inspire audiences, and engage the film industry in the country. Iraqi films are not given the spotlight they deserve and it is not because there aren’t any films by Iraqis.”

    Israa Al-Kamali headshot

    Iraqi Film Festival (IIFF) Founder & Filmmaker, Israa Al-Kamali

    The founder also describes the challenges of maintaining the Iraqi voice without a global stage to present uniquely Iraqi stories, “Iraqis have watched their experiences and stories being told by others usually through films that are filled with racism and stereotypes; War and destruction is the only point of reference and it often ignores the nuances of the Iraqi experience whether in Iraq or outside the homeland. Our festival created a space for Iraqi creatives from all communities to come together to tell our stories. This festival is for Iraqis in Iraq and in the diaspora, for every resilient Iraqi who is fighting the everyday battle to preserve our history, culture, and experiences. It is for the creatives and storytellers. It is definitely for non-Iraqis too to come and watch our stories on screen, celebrate people’s resilience, learn more about our rich and complex experiences in the homeland and beyond.”

    Al-Kamali is a student of NYFA’s MFA Filmmaking program, and writer/director of the short Open Sesame (2022), which follows the story of a woman dressed as a man and answers misogynistic riddles by predatory-animal-headed individuals to ensure her safe return home. 

    The New York Film Academy congratulates Al-Kamali for her success and founding of the Iraqi Film Festival (IIFF). We also congratulate all those who worked on the films chosen as official selections for this year’s IIFF screening. You can follow news and events about the festival on Instagram or by visiting their website.

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    September 30, 2021 • Film Festivals, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 830

  • NYFA Acting for Film Alum Anatolii Panchenko Stars in ‘Infiniti’ and ‘OnePlus Nord 2 5G: Origins’

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    Anatolii Panchenko

    Photo of Anatolii Panchenko by LA-Based Photographer, David Zaugh

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Acting for Film alum Anatolii Panchenko (Анатолий Панченко) has been cast in a Canal+ mini-series, Infiniti, which began filming in March of this year. 

    Directed by Thierry Poiraud (Black Spot, Don’t Grow Up, and Goal of the Dead) and written by Stéphane Pannetier (Research Unit, Les Ombres Rouges) and Julien Vanlerenberghe (Les Ombres Rouges, Famille d’accueil), the series follows a crew aboard the International Space Station after discovering the murdered corpse of a fellow astronaut on-board. 

    Anatolii Panchenko

    Photo of Anatolii Panchenko by Anna Vialova (NYFA Cinematography alum)

    Now in search of the culprit, a French astronaut and Kazakh cop work together to solve the crime. Production companies Empreinte Digitale and Federation Entertainment Belgique are distributing the series on Canal+ and StudioCanal in 2022. 

    The series was filmed in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and France and shot in English, Russian, and French. The thriller will span six hour-long episodes. Panchenko will be working alongside an international cast including co-stars Céline Sallette (La Flamme, Vernon Subutex, and Marie Antoinette), Daniyar Alshinov (A Dark-Dark Man), Vlad Ivanov (The Transporter, Snowpiercer), Lex Shrapnel (Les Médicis: Masters of Florence, Harlots), Karina Arutyunyan (The Bureau), Ellora Torchia (The Cowboys, Midsommar), Laurent Capelluto (Moloch, Into The Night), Jarreth Merz (Six, Titans), and Samal Yeslyamova (Ayka, Three).

    Anatolii Panchenko

    Promotional artwork from ‘OnePlus Nord 2 5G: Origins’

    Anatolii Panchenko also starred in a recent commercial called OnePlus Nord 2 5G: Origins (also known as OnePlus Nord 2 5G: Nord of the Rings), a project by Stink Films. Directed by Keith McCarthy (The Ganzfeld Procedure) and written by Josh Erickson, the commercial merges humor and a Lord of the Rings-inspired narration to tell the origin story of the Nord 2 5G smartphone. 

    The crew uses advanced VFX, beautiful cinematography, and music to capture the different tempos for each “chapter” of the phone’s history. From fantasy to a Sci-Fi film to an action thriller, the team uses a combination of extras, makeup, and costumes to bring you out of each scene and into the next. 

    Be sure to check out behind-the-scenes footage of the film crew working their magic to bring the commercial together. 

    New York Film Academy congratulates acting alum Anatolii Panchenko on his role in Infiniti and looks forward to watching the series once it’s released next year. 

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    September 22, 2021 • Acting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 383

  • NYFA Alum Galo Semblantes Directs ‘The Legend of Tayos’

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    Production still from The Legend of Tayos (2021)

    Production still from The Legend of Tayos (2021)

    New York Film Academy MFA Filmmaking alum, Galo Semblantes directs a recent film, The Legend of Tayos (2021), which follows the story of Janos Moricz, a Hungarian explorer who finds a metal library inside the caves of the Ecuadorian Amazon. For this film, Semblantes worked with fellow NYFA alum, Janek Ambros who produced the film. Ambros is an MFA Producing alum with a recently released film, Mondo Hollywoodland, available on Amazon

    Semblantes is not only a documentarian, but a director, writer, and producer as well. A graduate of the MFA Filmmaking program at New York Film Academy, Semblantes has worked on numerous feature films and short films. His screen credits include American Dreams (2019), Oblivion (2012), Project Heaven (2014), Napkins (2012), Tell Me a Memory (2012), Nighttime (2011), and more. The film Oblivion was an official selection for the Columbia Gorge Film Festival in 2011, and his film Project Heaven was an official selection for the Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival in 2014. 

    Production still from The Legend of Tayos (2021)

    Production still from The Legend of Tayos (2021)

    The documentary film follows Janos Moricz, who pushes for government support to make new expeditions after claiming to have found valuable information within the caves of the Amazon that could change humanity. According to the director, “La Leyenda de Tayos is a film that talks about the value of idealism that leads us to explore unknown places to which we would not have gone otherwise.”

    Production still from The Legend of Tayos (2021)

    Production still from The Legend of Tayos (2021)

    Officially released in September 2021, The Legend of Tayos is a production that spanned several years. Winner of the Documentary Development Fund in 2013, the film began gaining public attention, due to its enigmatic subject matter. The Cueva de los Tayos, located in southeastern Ecuador, attracted many explorers in expeditions, including Neil Armstrong in 1976

    You can follow Galo Semblantes on Twitter, or stay up-to-date on the latest content by his production company, Non-Sequitur Films by visiting their website or following them on YouTube or Facebook.

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    September 17, 2021 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 721

  • 7th Annual Nordic International Film Festival Partners with NYFA for Workshop Scholarship

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    NIFF 7th year LOGO BLACK

    The largest Nordic film festival outside of Europe takes the stage in its seventh year to showcase the power of international film. The 7th Nordic International Film Festival (NIFF) will take place between 8/25 and 8/29 this year in the heart of Manhattan. The Park Avenue location, Fotografiska, will feature films from an array of internationally recognized filmmakers. Included in this year’s selection: Persona Non Grata, Come to Harm, and Abyss of the Birds. Check out the full 2021 selection here

    persona non grata film poster

    Persona Non Grata (2021) directed by Lisa Jespersen

    Fotografiska, the largest photography museum in the world, is a key partner of NIFF. With a mission to inspire a more conscious world, the museum’s exhibits are developed by the artists themselves. 

    The festival was founded by New York Film Academy (NYFA) alumni, Johan Matton and Linnea Larsdotter. Actor and Producer, Johan Matton graduated from NYFA’s 2-year Acting for Film conservatory at the New York City campus, as well as the 2-day Line Producing workshop. Actress and Producer, Linnea Larsdotter graduated from NYFA’s 2-year Musical Theatre program also at the New York City campus.

    come to harm film poster

    Come to Harm (2021) directed by Anton Kristensen & Ásgeir Sigurðsson

    New York Film Academy has partnered with the Nordic International Film Festival for the third consecutive year to award a scholarship to the winner of the Aurora Borealis category. The award will be presented by NYFA New York Acting For Film Creative Director, Amy Van Horne.

    The two acclaimed Producers co-founded NIFF with the hopes of bridging the divide between Nordic film and the international film community. In keeping with its mission, NIFF dedicates its efforts to support the Black Lives Matter movement and gender equality in the filmmaking community. 

    abyss of the birds film poster

    Abyss of the Birds (2021) directed by Jacob Krzysztof Glogowski

    Caption: Abyss of the Birds (2021) directed by Jacob Krzysztof Glogowski

    In 2020, NIFF pivoted along with every other organization to keep its attendants and participants safe by re-structuring its film showings in response to COVID-19. They included outdoor film screenings and COVID-19 safety restrictions. Back with an in-person venue, the festival is ready to continue its work in maintaining a safe environment in adherence to CDC guidelines. 

    In keeping with its mission, NIFF allocated 50% of its 2020 Official Selection ticket sales to the Brown Art Ink and the Black Independent Filmmaker app. In 2019, the festival touted a staggering 250% more female directors showcased than in the top 250 grossing films in the US, which was a mere 13% in the same year. 

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA alumni Johan Matton and Linnea Larsdotter on the continued success of the Nordic International Film Festival as well as this year’s Aurora Borealis winner, Lisa Meyer who directed Birds of Passage.

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    August 23, 2021 • Film Festivals, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 948

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

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    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) – Winner

    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 – Winner

    Regé-Jean Page, Bridgerton

    Billy Porter, Pose

    Matthew Rhys, Perry Mason

     

    LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA

    Uzo Aduba, In Treatment

    Olivia Colman, The Crown – Winner

    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 – Winner

    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 – Winner

    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 – Winner

    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 – Winner

    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+)  – Winner

     

    LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

    Aidy Bryant, Shrill

    Kaley Cuoco, The Flight Attendant

    Allison Janney, Mom

    Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish

    Jean Smart, Hacks – Winner

     

    LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY

    Anthony Anderson, black-ish

    Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method

    William H. Macy, Shameless

    Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso – Winner

    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 – Winner

    Rosie Perez, The Flight Attendant

     

    SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY

    Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Hacks

    Kenan Thompson, SNL

    Bowen Yang, SNL

    Brett Goldstein, Ted Lasso – Winner

    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 – Winner

    Kristen Wiig, SNL

     

    GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY

    Alec Baldwin, SNL

    Dave Chappelle, SNL – Winner

    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) – Winner

    The Underground Railroad (Amazon Prime)

    WandaVision (Disney+) 

     

    MADE-FOR-TELEVISION MOVIE

    Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square (Netflix) – Winner

    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 – Winner

     

    LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

    Paul Bettany, WandaVision

    Hugh Grant, The Undoing

    Ewan McGregor, Halston – Winner

    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 – Winner

    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 – Winner

    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 – Winner

    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 – Winner

    Top Chef

    The Voice

     

    UNSTRUCTURED REALITY PROGRAM

    Becoming (Disney+)

    Below Deck (Bravo)

    Indian Matchmaking (Netflix)

    RuPaul’s Drag Race Untucked (VH1) – Winner

    Selling Sunset (Netflix)

     

    VARIETY SKETCH SERIES

    A Black Lady Sketch Show (HBO)

    Saturday Night Live (NBC) – Winner

     

    VARIETY TALK SERIES

    Conan

    The Daily Show With Trevor Noah

    Jimmy Kimmel Live

    Last Week Tonight With John Oliver – Winner

    The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

    Courtney B. Vance, Lovecraft Country

    Carl Weathers, The Mandalorian

     

     Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded)

    “Hamilton” – Winner

    “Bo Burnham: Inside”

    “David Byrne’s American Utopia”

    “8:46” – Dave Chappelle

    “Friends: The Reunion”

    “A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote”

     

    Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series

    “Hacks” (Episode: “There Is No Line”), Directed by Lucia Aniello – Winner

    “B Positive” (Episode: “Pilot”), Directed by James Burrows

    “The Flight Attendant” (Episode: “In Case of Emergency”), Directed by Susanna Fogel

    “Mom” (Episode: “Scooby-Doo Checks and Salisbury Steak”), Directed by James Widdoes

    “Ted Lasso” (Episode: “Biscuits”), Directed by Zach Braff

    “Ted Lasso” (Episode: “The Hope that Kills You”), Directed by MJ Delaney

    “Ted Lasso” (Episode: “Make Rebecca Great Again”), Directed by Declan Lowney

     

    Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series

    “The Crown” (Episode: “War”), Directed by Jessica Hobbs  – Winner

    “Bridgerton” (Episode: “Diamond of the First Water”), Directed by Julie Anne Robinson

    “The Crown” (Episode: “Fairytale”), Directed by Benjamin Caron

    “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Episode: “The Wilderness”), Directed by Liz Garbus

    “The Mandalorian” (Episode: “Chapter 9: The Marshal”), Directed by Jon Favreau

    “Pose” (Episode: “Series Finale”), Directed by Steven Canals

     

    Outstanding Directing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie

    “The Queen’s Gambit,” Directed by Scott Frank – Winner

    “Hamilton,” Directed by Thomas Kail

    “I May Destroy You” (Episode: “Ego Death”), Directed by Sam Miller and Michaela Coel

    “I May Destroy You” (Episode: “Eyes Eyes Eyes Eyes”), Directed by Sam Miller

    “Mare of Easttown,” Directed by Craig Zobel

    “The Underground Railroad,” Directed by Barry Jenkins

    “WandaVision,” Directed by Matt Shakman

     

    Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

    “Hacks” (Episode: “There Is No Line”), Written by Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, and Jen Statsky – Winner

    “The Flight Attendant” (Episode: “In Case of Emergency”), Written by Steve Yockey

    “Girls5eva” (Episode: “Pilot”), Written by Meredith Scardino

    “PEN15” (Episode: “Play”), Written by Maya Erskine

    “Ted Lasso” (Episode: “Make Rebecca Great Again”), Written by Joe Kelly, Brendan Hunt, and Jason Sudeikis

    “Ted Lasso” (Episode: “Pilot”), Written by Jason Sudeikis, Bill Lawrence, Brendan Hunt, and Joe Kelly

     

    Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

    “The Crown” (Episode: “War”), written by Peter Morgan – Winner

    “The Boys” (Episode: “What I Know”), written by Rebecca Sonnenshine

    “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Episode: “Home”), written by Yahlin Chang

    “Lovecraft Country” (Episode: “Sundown”), written by Misha Green

    “The Mandalorian” (Episode: “Chapter 13: The Jedi”), written by Dave Filoni

    “The Mandalorian” (Episode: “Chapter 16: The Rescue”), written by Jon Favreau

    “Pose” (Episode: “Series Finale”), written by Steven Canals, Brad Falchuk, Our Lady J, Janet Mock, and Ryan Murphy

     

    Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie

    “I May Destroy You,” Written by Michaela Coel – Winner

    “Mare of Easttown,” Written by Brad Ingelsby

    “The Queen’s Gambit,” Written by Scott Frank

    “WandaVision” (Episode: “All-New Halloween Spooktacular!”), Written by Chuck Hayward and Peter Cameron

    “WandaVision” (Episode: “Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience”), Written by Jac Schaeffer

    “WandaVision” (Episode: “Previously On”), Written by Laura Donney

     

    Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series

    “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” – Winner

    “The Amber Ruffin Show”

    “A Black Lady Sketch Show”

    “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”

    “Saturday Night Live”

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    July 21, 2021 • Entertainment News, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1447

  • Broadcast Journalism Update – July 2021 Edition

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    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.

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  • NYFA Documentary Alum Pedro Peira Talks Upcoming Film LA Queenciañera

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    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.

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    June 17, 2021 • Documentary Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1663

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

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    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.

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