Student and Alumni Spotlights
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  • NYFA Photography Alumna’s Work Featured in Miss Vogue Turkey

    Born in Izmir and growing up in Istanbul, Turkey, Didem Civginoglu says she has always wanted to take the photos that she had imagined in her mind for so many years.

    “I had been working in corporate life for the last nine and half years and I was feeling as if I was missing something in life,” said Civginoglu. “I wanted to be out there to catch all of those instant unexpected moments, knowing life changes in an instant. I wanted to be present in the moment.”

    Didem Civginoglu

    Miss Vogue Turkey

    In order to accomplish her photographic aspirations, Civginoglu decided to move to New York where she attended the Photography School at the New York Film Academy.

    “I was lucky to be a part of an amazing class of talented people who were so willing to learn and share and be as curious as I am,” said Civginoglu about her experience at NYFA. “They were all from different disiplines and cultures, so it made it even more authentic. In addition to our creative and supportive spirit in our class, our instructors and teachers were very open and tolerant. They shared their attention with us generously and patiently.”

    civginoglu

    Didem Civginoglu

    Since graduating, Civginoglu has worked on numerous projects including Miss Vogue Turkey and Xoxo Guillaume Canet. “My agency 85|90 Projects showed my portfolio to the Vogue team and they offered to do the photo shoot with Sima, Miss Turkey,” said Civginoglu. “For the XoXo Guillaume Canet photo shoot, they needed a photographer together with an interviewer, so my journalist friend who was assigned to do the interview recommended me as a photographer and it happened.”

    While she continues to work on projects in Turkey, Civginoglu is currently based out of New York. She recently worked on a cookbook project called Teldolap, which incorporates backstage photos into a story, as well as a documentary called “Kim Mihri.” She is also working on an upcoming publishing project with a fashion designer.

    For more of Civginoglu’s work, visit her website at didemcivginoglu.com.

    June 5, 2017 • Photography, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1078

  • NYFA LA Graduation at Harmony Gold Preview House

    Over the long weekend, the Los Angeles campus of the New York Film Academy saw two hundred students turn into graduates as they crossed the stage of the Harmony Gold Preview House to collect their degrees.

    Three separate ceremonies were held to accommodate the large student body and their families. Mike Seville, Anne Moore, and Rich Thorne each presented an Address to the Graduates sending messages of pride and hope one last time to their students.

    nyfa la graduation

    World-renowned talent came to NYFA to give the commencement speech to the graduates. The woman responsible for the “Murder House” finale of “American Horror Story,” Jessica Sharzer, gave one of the speeches. Sharzer won a Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Screenplay for the episode entitled “Afterbirth.” Sharzer, a former NYFA student, spoke highly of her time with NYFA where she also taught at its Princeton, New York, and Paris locations. She encouraged students to have a value system in place. Know what’s working and what stakes are worth risking.

    Joshua Bitton gave the first commencement speech of the day. A common thread throughout his speech was having the confidence to pursue one’s dream. Bitton is perhaps best known for his role as Sgt. J.P. Morgan in “The Pacific” on HBO, but many outside of the industry might be surprised to learn Bitton is also a sought after acting coach.

    nyfa la graduates

    Bitton ended his speech by saying, “An MFA program is tough. I’ve been there. But it’s also an artist’s dream. You wake up and every day you create. You focus on furthering your expression. Out there it’s a business. You must learn how to play that game or get a team around you that can do it for you. But always remember what drew you to this — the desire to express yourself and create. It is brave and it is beautiful. It is you and you are enough.”

    The final Commencement Speaker was Martha Coolidge. The pioneering director of “Valley Girl” and “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge” shared her pioneering experience of breaking into the industry stating, “Although there was no working female directors in Hollywood or anywhere I could name in this country. I did have women in my classes and the world was changing. All of us filmmakers were very excited about that and felt it would be very quick. We’re still talking about what it’s like to be a woman director. So it wasn’t quite as quick as we’d hoped.”

    nyfa la graduation

    The speed was slow but Coolidge was not content to conquer just the silver screen. She’s been dominating the television screen, as well as having directed stand out episodes of “Angie Tribeca,” “The Night Shift,” “Madam Secretary,” and “Sex and the City.” She advised students to strengthen their relationships, never be afraid to ask questions, and embrace competition. “You can’t just sit and wait. You have to be a self-starter or it will never happen.”

    The New York Film Academy would like to congratulate all the graduates who crossed the stage over the weekend. As you enter the phase of your professional career we hope you come back to the place where it all began and that you share your knowledge with the next generation. Good luck in all your future endeavors.

    Graduating Class of 2017

    MFA in Acting

    Areg Antonyan, Youn Hee Cho, Claire Xuewei Cui, Roberto Jadue, Zijing Ke, Yulia Konashevich, Kensiwe Mathebula, Paul McKenna Jr, Daniella Mendoza, Jonathan Neal, Anastasiya Serada, Alina Smolyar, Yifan Xu, Zheyu Zhang, Zandi Zim

    BFA in Acting

    Maria Fernandez Arras Salvoch, Christina Barron, Kiara Beltran, Kassie Bey, AnnaLuisa Capasa, Calvin Ripley Chelberg, Tiffany Alexis Clare, Daniel Colt, Kevin Dary, Chiara Sofia Ferarro Brenner, Atli Fjalarsson, Ximena García Gonzalez, Miranda Guzman, Kira Hagi, Alessandra Hajaj, Alston Huff, Pilar Irigoyen, Dominique Jeswal, Finoa Ketter, Alvin Lee, Kylar Miranda, Stefanie Morosini, Ella Mun-Gavin, Jonas Olsen, Masato Di Santo, Stephanie Quintero, Micaela Reis, Juan Felipe Restrepo Salamanca, Eric Ronn, Jose Francisco Saldaña, Bianca Schrader, Josephine Marie Siwko, Dulce Sosa, Jahnessa Vasquez, Justin Michael Vasquez, Victoria Watlington, Tyler Williams, Casey Wohlgemuth, Jazell Young, Damir Zharkimbekov,

    AFA in Acting

    Daniel Annerl, Mack Bates, Kate Bolshakova, Corinna Marianna Camero Gonzalez, Selma Cisneros, Camila Echeverri Duarte, Nicole Fahel, Kevin Flores, María José García, Lika Idrisova, Newton Benjamin Kitaura, Joao Pedro Lopes Paneguini, Damon McKinnis, Emily Morrison, Kyle Promisson, Cam Rafidison, Victoria Ribeiro, Nuria Roca, Marie Senghore, Qusay Sultan, Shantell Woods, Alissa Ylitalo,

    MFA in Producing

    Amari Agee, Batool Hassan Alarfah, Mujahed Aljumaiaah, Larissa de Rosa Beck, Xiangrong Du, Thomas Freeman, Yizhen Hou, Ah Reum Jung, Jiagyue Lin, Junhao Ma, Zoé Pelloux, Nikita Sapronov, Yoselin Solorzano, Huidi Sun, Sventlanova Natalia, Zhikun Yu, Jihan Zhang, Ziyi Zhao.

    BFA in Producing

    Magnea Helgadóttir, Davin Tjen, Lok Kwan Woo

    MFA in Screenwriting

    David Castillo, Zenana Coombs, Lindsey Hall, Anna Kriegel, Antonina Kshanovska, Tiffany Lewis, Queenian Nneka Okagu, Rachna Sukuru,

    BFA in Screenwriting

    Jordan Chyzowski, Elias Kofoed-Hansen, Michael Levin, Zara Lewes, Daniela Mayorca, Anastasia Mezikaeva Cermeño, Michael Sweeney, Doug Terra

    AFA in Screenwriting

    Audrey Cornett, Sergio Cox, Eric Obaro, Adam Zagri

    MFA in Photography

    Sara Al Sahaly, Ebtehal Farhat, Chun-Hsun Huang, Alejandro Ibarra, Silvia Catalina Quintero Torres, Seham Sultan,

    BFA in Photography

    Kivansh Choksi, Edward Vincent Rubia, Mengmeng Lu

    MFA in Game Design

    Zhongpeng Shao

    BFA in Game Design

    Junliang Zhang

    MFA in Filmmaking (Feature Track)

    Yesser Laham, Rafael Nani Pires

    MFA in Filmmaking

    Musab Omair Alamri, Gabriela Bueno, Yue Chen, Valéria Costa, Yiheng Guo,

    Hu Yiduo, Hawar Karim, Kuan Wen Wei, Yu Liu, Chiyuan Ma, Joshua Tre Van, Tianze Wang, Xiao Zi Jun, Yao Yu, Yuehan Zhang, Dulat Zhumagazin

    MFA in Film and Media

    Joud Al-Rashid, Syed Ahsen Ali, Qiuyu Chen, Jasmine Chiswell, Carlos De Anda, Jiufang Ding, Victoria Gagieva, Ashley Hargrove, Fang He, Yanzhu Li, Christina Nijim, Farid Rasul, Sommer Saqr, Twisha Thakar, Yuheng Tong, Nataliya Tsvetkova, Cheng Yang, Yumeng Zhang

     BFA in Filmmaking

    Jaquece Jamaar Abraham, Edoardo Achilli, Issa Al-Zadjali, Khalid Alahmari, Fernando Amarante Ibarra, Bakyt Angsabay, Talha Bin Abdulrahman, Shu-Chieh Chu, Fady Elmankabady, Trokon Victor George, Rochel Goldsmith, Anatole Lardeyret, Brandon Lee, Matheus Ronn Leite, Xuejiao Liu, Emmanuel Maldonado, Bruno Paolucci, Chang Hyun Park, Dominic Polito, Aysha Radwan, Alejandro Seri, Tianzuo Zhang

    AFA in Filmmaking

    Peter Farquhar, Brooke Marshal Hagen

    June 2, 2017 • Community Highlights, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 763

  • NYFA Filmmaking Summer 2016 Final Screenings and Graduation

    Last week the New York Film Academy held its commencement and final film screening for the Summer 2016 Section A & B Filmmaking students. Students had the opportunity to work on eight films over the year, including a thesis film, which screened at the NYFA theater in Battery Park.

    nyfa filmmaking

    Following the reception, introductions were given by Senior Executive Vice President David Klein, Filmmaking Chair Claude Kerven, and Directing Instructors Brad Sample and Paul Warner.

    “On behalf of all the staff and teachers at the New York Film Academy, we would like to offer our sincerest congratulations on your competition of this very difficult, very rewarding year. As instructors and administrators, we witness firsthand the effort you all collectively put in to create the astounding number of films required in this program,” said Kerven. “This isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. The fact that you are here today to screen these cuts of your thesis films is a testament to your hard work, your commitment, and your desire to excel in filmmaking.

    claude kerven

    Graduates of the program join a large international network of alumni who have gone on to much success in the industry.

    The following films screened over a two day span at the Academy.

    film grads

    filmmaking grad 2016

     

  • Robin Wright Directs NYFA Alumna’s “The Dark of Night,” Which Premiered at Cannes

    Beginning her career in Los Angeles as a literary agent assistant at the William Morris Agency in 1982, Denise Meyers always felt the drive to pursue screenwriting as her main career in life.

    “I thought that since I’d watched hundreds of movies growing up, I understood what went in to a good screenplay,” said Meyers in an interview with the Black List. “I wasn’t a terrible writer, but I wasn’t a great writer either.”

    the dark of night

    still from “The Dark of Night”

    After 12 years of exhausting her contacts with her material and getting nowhere fast, Meyers moved onto a different career as a gourd artist, but, at the end of the day, her heart wasn’t in it as much as screenwriting.

    “I set a goal for myself to learn how to write screenplays the way they are supposed to be written, with no expectation that I would ever get any farther in the film business than I had ever been before,” said Meyers. “I wanted to master the art form, in the same way I taught myself how to work with gourds.”

    Meyers took advantage of an 8-Week Screenwriting scholarship at the New York Film Academy Los Angeles, where she hoped to truly master the craft.

    “I won an eight-week screenwriting scholarship to NYFA a few years ago, and the experience was invaluable,” she said. “I use everything I learned at NYFA in every script I have written since then, and it has helped elevate my career beyond what it was before.”

    Since attending NYFA, Meyers has won a number of screenwriting competitions, including a spot on the Athena List (with a script she wrote at NYFA), the Atlanta Film Festival, Table Read My Screenplay Austin, and several others.

    From there, she wrote a short screenplay called “The Dark of Night,” which won the grand prize at Table Read My Screenplay Austin in 2015.
    the dark of night
    “Denise Carlson, an instructor at NYFA, told me about a short script writing contest she had plans to participate in called the NYC Midnight Short Screenwriting Contest,” Meyers recalls. “Twelve hundred people from across the globe signed up to participate, so there were groups of 40 people each who were given a genre, a character and a setting. My group received the following prompts; suspense, a diner, and an unemployed man or woman. We had eight days to write 12 pages, then, if we survived each heat, we were given a new genre, character and setting. I came up with the idea almost immediately, though God knows where it came from. The story is set in 1930. A woman on her way to Chicago for a job interview seeks refuge in the diner where she encounters a waitress, a drifter, and a cop, each with dark and dangerous secret.”

    Meyers gave the script to Robin Wright’s assistant and, before she knew it, she was getting a call from Wright who wanted to direct the film, along with some of her cast members from “House of Cards.” In fact, 80 crew members from “House of Cards” signed on to work on the film including the director of photography, Dave Dunlap, and costume designer, Jessica Wenger. Boris Maldin, the producer of “House of Cards,” loaned his cameras and equipment.

    the dark of night

    Robin Wright with Denise Meyers

    After that, Leslie Bibb, Sam Rockwell, Callie Thorne and Michael Godere signed on to act in the film for scale.

    Meyer’s “The Dark of Night” recently premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. The black and white film noir is about a woman seeking refuge from a storm who takes matters into her own hands when she encounters a drifter and a waitress at an isolated diner where everyone has a secret and nothing is what it seems.

    Meyers says she just finished a one-hour pilot episode based on “The Dark of Night” that she is developing with TV producer Michelle Rubenstein. She also completed a new feature about Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Cheney that she hopes to get in front of Brad Pitt, and is currently working on a World War II drama about a battle in the Pacific that only a handful of people know about. Finally, she’s working on a web series based on her experiences as an award-winning screenwriter who still fixes toilets for a living.

    June 1, 2017 • Screenwriting, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 687

  • NYFA LA Holds Annual Producing Pitch Fest at Andaz Hotel

    On Wednesday, May 17 graduating Producing students gathered in the grand Panorama Ballroom at the Andaz Hotel on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood for the New York Film Academy’s annual Pitch Fest. Veterans of the Hollywood film industry spread across the hall to hear what could be their next project. The extravagant evening was organized by Rich Thorne, Producing Department Faculty Chair and Heather Ritcheson, Producing Coordinator.

    producing

    Each student was allowed three minutes to present their films to each professional volunteer. They could pitch one project with a teaser presentation or pitch two projects. Afterward, students had twenty minutes with their professional advisor for critique, advice, marketing advice, and possible partnership. Volunteers were asked to hold nothing back from the students. Only honest opinions and expertise were acceptable.

    At the end of the night, there was serious interest in three projects from visiting producers. “For those who didn’t get interested in their projects they got the benefit of real-world advice and a lot of them said the difference between pitch fest with the faculty two semesters ago and this one with the professionals was immeasurable,” Richeson said.

    producing pitch fest

    When asked her thoughts on the evening, Volunteer April Wright, Programmer for Sundance and AFI Fest, Foundation Manager at Women in Film said, “I was impressed with the professionalism of the students and the caliber of their ideas.”

    Marlon Schulman, Founder, and CEO of Horror Equity Fund, Producer and Attorney felt similar stating, “Thanks for the terrific education and prep the graduates clearly had experienced. It allowed us to hear pitches that were interesting, well-prepared and yet open to suggestion, perspective, and possible improvement. Great!”

    producing class

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Michael Barlow, Kimberley Browning, Brian Herskowitz, John Morrissey, Diana Romero, Arnold Rudnick, Marlon Schulman, Rich Thorne, Russ Ward, and April Wright. We’d also like to congradulate all of our graduating producers including Amari Agee, Batool Hassan Alarfah, Mujahed Aljumaiaah, Larissa da Rosa Beck, Xiangrong Du, Thomas Freeman, Yizhen Hou, Ah Reum Jung, Jianhyue Lin, Junhao Ma, Zoe Pelloux, Nikita Sapronov, Yoselin Pamela Solorzano, Huidi Sun, Zhikun Yu, Jihan Zhang, Ziyi Zhao.

    May 31, 2017 • Community Highlights, Producing, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1287

  • NYFA Students Showcase Films at LA Live Score Film Festival

    On Friday, May 12 five students from the New York Film Academy showcased their short films at the Los Angeles Live Score Film Festival. Held at the beautiful Barnsdall Gallery Theater in Hollywood, select filmmakers were paired with composers to create an original score. The scores were performed live as the films were projected on a screen above the players.

    la live score

    The following students represented the New York Film Academy:

    • Naimah Hawsah, “Bicycle”
    • Nani Li Yang, “The Most Beautiful Woman” 
    • Jessica Chung, “Sushi Man” 
    • Tiffany Paulsen, “The Swan”
    • Zesheng Gao, “Trio”

    The New York Film Academy is especially pleased and proud of this collaboration with the Festival, as Tiffany Paulsen’s “The Swan” won the Audience Award for Best Film, and Jessica Chung’s “Sushi Man” won the Audience Award for Best Score.

    live score nyfa

    Hawsah said, “I felt like I was inside the film,” while watching her movie “Bicycle.” Happy with the reception Hawsah said she plans to submit to many more festivals as she hopes her story of a shy young boy will influence children across the globe.

    Myriam Frankel, Head of Festival Department at the Los Angeles Campus, created the partnership with the Live Score Film Festival in hopes of elevating the film projects being created by students. NYFA offers degrees in nearly every aspect of filmmaking, but music composition has to be sought outside of the school. Frankel hopes that by building solid bridges with composing communities like fellow sponsors Helix Collective, Megatrax, and the Academy of Scoring Arts students will encourage students to seek original, high quality and customized music scores for their films, as well as facilitate opportunities for fruitful collaboration with composers.

    live score nyfa students

    One of the students in attendance, Furaha Bayibsa, described the experience as, “Incredible.” She was particularly taken with a cellist player who received a standing ovation when introduced at the end of the show. “She played with such passion. At one point it looked as if she was going to cry. It was wonderful.”

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank the composers: Jane Lin, Benjamin Hoff, Annie Rosevear, Bronson Buskett, and Wei-San Hsu for creating beautiful and lasting scores for our students. Congratulations to all of our participants on an amazing showcase.

  • NYFA Documentary Alumna’s “Unwelcome” to Premiere at Seattle International Film Festival

    With experience covering the Syrian War and training at the Documentary School at the New York Film Academy, director Ida Theresa Myklebost takes us up-close and personal into a makeshift refugee camp in Greece where a young boy, Menwar, and his family face the biggest decision of their lives. “Unwelcome” captures his emotional journey and his flight from the devastating conditions in Syria. His story will turn everything you thought you knew about the Syrian refugee crisis on its head. And now, the film will have its North American Premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival on May 27, 2017 at 6pm.

    unwelcome

    “In times when people become overwhelmed with negative media and fear for potential terrorist attacks, it is important to remember who the actual vast majority of these refugees are, and who really gets their lives destroyed by the terror organizations,” says Myklebost. “The children of Syria have had their lives turned completely upside down. These are the real victims of ISIS and the other terrorist organizations. They are the ones who are being pulled into this war completely against their will, and who have no power to escape.”

    Myklebost is a Norwegian journalist, with background from some of the country’s largest TV-stations. She wanted to go deeper and explore the human stories behind the state news. In 2015 she moved to New York to pursue documentary filmmaking at New York Film Academy.

    “Although I have a lot of experience in the media world and have worked under high pressure situations covering among others the Syrian war, the knowledge and training I got from NYFA was indispensable,” said Myklebost. “Mainly, I learned to organize on a larger scale, planning a three continental shoot.”

    She traveled directly from New York to India to shoot a film that had to be coordinated with her later shoot in Greece. Once in Athens, she led a team, keeping a cool and organized head under high pressure.

    Myklebost listed some of the complications, saying, “The police tried to take our passports away, the camp got cleared, we met a few threatening characters who didn’t like us filming, human smugglers and frustrated people talking about ISIS, planning a budget, dealing with many people in chaotic and sometimes dangerous situations, and planning a film while in the field.”

    I am really content with how I went over all the shots every night, and saw what we had and didn’t have,” said Myklebost. “I thought out what stories we might be onto and made detailed storyboards, so when I got back to New York, there were no surprises and I could just stitch the film together. These are the skills NYFA taught me. I’ve always been a go-getter, and a hard worker, but NYFA pushed me further. They took the skills I already had and offered me an opportunity to see how far I could go with this. They became a platform where I could bounce my ideas, discuss solutions, learn from the professionals and their experiences; and thus enter the field that much more prepared. The true lesson I take away from NYFA is to finally understand the value and importance of good and thorough pre-production. If you know what you want and how to get it (and how to get it if the first plan doesn’t work, or the second or the third), then the process of making movies in the field, and on the run, becomes that much more enjoyable. It’s hard work, but it feels like play if you’re well prepared.”

    May 24, 2017 • Documentary Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1680

  • May Updates at the Broadcast Journalism School

    The big news in the New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism department was a visit by Andy Braddell, Vice President and Managing Director of Global Media Services for the Associated Press. Our students (and some instructors too) had a chance to ask questions about how one of the world’s premiere news organizations is meeting the challenge of an ever-changing media environment. Andy also spoke about his career as a front line journalist, and offered our soon-to-graduate 1-year students some practical job-hunting advice.
    broadcast journalism
    NYFA grad Bryanna Reynolds got viewers of Good Morning Melbourne — my favorite Australian morning chat show — a sneak peak of “My Fair Lady Australia,” directed by the wonderful Julie Andrews. (Apparently this is something of an annual event.) She got the inside story from the show’s stars, and seemed to have a pretty good time in the process!

    Continuing in southern hemisphere, Vanessa Lorenzini is now working as a reporter at TV Cultura in Brazil. Headquartered in Sao Paulo, the network specializes in educational and cultural programming, but also has sports and entertainment offerings as well. One of my favorite stories from when Vanessa was a NYFA student is a charming report on how to take care of the family dog during a cold New York City winter. (Little kids and animals, you can’t go wrong…) A portion of that story is included in her 2015 Resume Reel.

    Vanessa Lorenzini

    Finally, Broadcast Journalism alum Myla Kucherezhko was so inspired by what she learned at NYFA that she made a total career change. She left the world of high finance and is now focusing entirely on being a multimedia journalist. One of her recent projects is a profile of Swedish fashion icon Gudrun Sjoden. (You can see the story on aol.)

    May 23, 2017 • Broadcast Journalism, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 627

  • NYFA Broadcast Journalism Students Cover Tragic Crash in Times Square

    New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism student Ljuba-Lada Marinovic believes capturing a good story requires both diligence and a sense of urgency. When she and classmate Kyle Morris learned of a devastating auto accident in New York City’s iconic Times Square, they knew they had to leave NYFA’s downtown Manhattan campus immediately. In fact, they left so quickly the only “cameras” they had were their mobile phones. Later, Lada recalled, “I remembered how, in one of my first NYFA Broadcast Journalism classes, the instructor pulled out his cell phone and told us that ‘in an emergency, this is all you need.'”

    lads times square

    One person was dead, and 22 others injured in Times Square. Was it an act of terrorism? Or a tragic accident? In fact, it turned out to be a case of drunk driving.

    A TV news reporter in her home country of Croatia, Lada came to NYFA to become a multimedia journalist. So did former Alaska resident Kyle Morris. Fortunately Lada still had a microphone windscreen emblazoned with the letters RTL — the initials of well-known European broadcaster Radio Television Luxembourg. Lada did an on-the-scene report direct from Times Square for RTL, with Kyle shooting her stand-up on her iPhone. The story first aired in Croatia, then went viral online.

    “It was all super stressful, but super exciting! If somebody told me a few months ago that I would use my phone to report for a TV station, I probably would not have believe it. But with the knowledge NYFA gave me, it felt completely normal.”

    According to NYFA Broadcast Journalism Chair Bill Einreinhofer, “Lada and Kyle are examples of the highly motivated, truly creative students who attend the New York Film Academy. The  storytelling skills they learn prepare them for careers in a wide range of news formats. But the key to their success is the passion they bring to their work.”

    Now in its 25th year, the New York Film Academy has established itself as one of the premier visual and performing arts schools in the world. It has campuses in New York City, Los Angeles and South Beach, as well as locations in Australia, Florence and Mumbai. Information about the NYFA Broadcast Journalism program can be found at www.nyfa.edu/broadcast-journalism-school/.

  • Industry Trend Series with NYFA Alumna Caitlin Cooke: Casting Associate at Donna Grossman Casting

    This week, Acting for Film Chair Glynis Rigsby welcomed back her former student Caitlin Cooke for an Industry Trends Series discussion. Aside from her acting career, Cooke is a Casting Associate at Donna Grossman Casting, a full service boutique casting company based in Manhattan. Donna Grossman Casting cast commercials, print, beauty, editorial, TV, film, theater, web series, live events and special projects.

    caitlin cooke

    photo by Alejandra Arias

    Cooke began the talk by saying, “This school to me, it kind of makes me emotional,” said Cooke. “It brought me a lot of friends and a lot of opportunities and I met a lot of people in the industry. Everything I learned here was helpful. I learned a lot of the business side. Also the access to the equipment I had here is insane. Access to the industry here was way better than other places. And the advice that Glynis [Rigsby] and other instructors offer is invaluable.”

    Facing the competitive field of actors after graduating, Cooke landed notable TV series and feature films such as Emmy-winning NBC series, “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” and the star-studded comedy blockbuster, “Grown Ups 2.” Most recently, she had the chance to guest star in an episode of “Tough Love,” a web series created by her friend Steven Bell. To further her and her friends career, she created an original series, “Rules of Cool,” which she was able to sell.

    “Creating your own work is very important,” she said. “When you get out of school you’re not sure what to do next. We decided to take control and create our own opportunities.”

    Cooke provided invaluable insight into the casting process, breaking down the process and providing tips and suggestions to improve NYFA Acting for Film students’ auditions.

    “Auditions are like a first date,” said Cooke. “Act natural, but if it doesn’t work out there’s always someone else. Always take a chance and always listen to what they have to say. Always be appropriate for what the role is. Look appropriate for what you’re doing.”

    NYFA would like to thank Ms Cooke for taking the time to speak to our students, and we wish her the best of luck on her blossoming career!

    May 18, 2017 • Acting, Guest Speakers, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1460