Student and Alumni Spotlights

  • Filmmaking Grad Lands Editor Position at ‘Content’ in LA

    The latest music video, “Champion,” from famous Trinidadian cricketer and singer Dwayne “DJ” Bravo made quite an impression around the world. After blowing up on YouTube with over 12 millions views in a month, it successfully premiered on ESPN. The music video was edited by NYFA Grad Bogdan Yansen, who became involved with the project as a part of the CONTENT team.

    Yansen admits that he wasn’t initially sure what he wanted to do in the film industry when he first came to Hollywood. So he decided to start by attending the One-Year Filmmaking Program at New York Film Academy where he was able to get experience in all of the key positions involved with filmmaking. During the educational process he realized that his main interest was in cinematography and digital editing.

    “To succeed in the industry you have to find the right position for yourself,” said Yansen. “Once you can determine what your real passion is, things will fall into place. NYFA helped me to find out what I’m good at. Prior to NYFA, I received a Master’s in Architecture and never knew that it could be so useful in terms of cinematography. I can analyze the space and apply it for the visual aspects of the shot.”


    Bogdan Yansen on set of “Dudes”

    It seems that Bogdan Yansen is on the right track in his career. Right after graduating from New York Film Academy he was offered an editor position at the Los Angeles based production company Content, which provides its clients  with all aspects of video, photo, audio and SM content, including photoshoots, films production, commercials, music videos, and more.

    Last year, Yansen made several projects as a DP, including the music video “Roller Skater” for Swedish DJ Chris Tall, travel guide TV project “Citizen of the World,” and the character-driven short comedy “Amish.”

    NYFA wishes Bogdan Yansen all the best and is looking forward to hearing about his future professional accomplishments!

    April 26, 2016 • Digital Editing, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1765

  • Matthew Modine’s “Super Sex” Premieres at Tribeca

    Friend and frequent guest of the New York Film Academy, Matthew Modine premiered his short film last week at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film, Super Sex, was shot by Julio Macat and stars Kevin Nealon, Elizbeth Perkins, Efren Ramirez, Ruby Modine, and the legendary Ed Asner. Given Modine’s strong relationship and respect to the Academy and its students, he and his team crewed up with the NYFA Industry Lab—a program set up at the Los Angeles campus to provide real world experience while preparing students for life after graduation

    “It’s important to give back,” said Modine in an interview with Rafael Pi Roman from MetroFocus. “All of these experiences that we have in our life. It’s important to give people the opportunity to apprentice.”

    Several students, in fact, had the opportunity to be an apprentice to Modine and Hollywood cinematographer, Julio Macat. Evan Stulc of the Industry Lab’s camera department was brought on to be Macat’s camera assistant, giving him an amazing opportunity to work with one of the leading cinematographers in the motion picture industry. Macat has worked as cinematographer on films like Home Alone, Ace Ventura, Horrible Bosses 2, and many others.

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    Julio Macat with NYFA Industry Lab student

    “It was a fantastic experience,” said NYFA’s Evan Stulc. “I learned so much about the craft working alongside a legend like Julio.”

    Modine and his producer, Joe Toronto, also interviewed NYFA students eager to work on the film. Toronto chose Mara Topic as an Associate Producer. Joann Wong, Alyssa Manno, Egor Povolotskiy, Aaron Pong, James Geyer, David Mori, and Nick Ramsey worked in the art, lighting, and editorial departments.

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    Matthew Modine on set of “Super Sex”

    “It was wonderful working with the NYFA students,” said Toronto. “They were helpful and enthusiastic and worked hand-in-hand with experienced professionals. I feel the best way to learn a craft is by doing—and they did!”

    The film received a terrific response at the TFF, which leads us to believe we’ll be seeing Modine’s feature films in the near future.

    To watch the full interview with Matthew Modine on MetroFocus, in which he discusses his film, his upcoming projects and his work with the New York Film Academy, please click HERE.

    April 25, 2016 • Cinematography, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 735

  • NYFA Student Veterans Film Vets4Warriors PSA with Colonel Jacobs

    Last week, New York Film Academy Veteran Advancement Program’s Chair, Medal of Honor recipient Colonel (Ret.) Jack Jacobs, was delighted to host the Director of Rutgers University Behavioral HealthCare (UBHC) Major General (Ret.) Mark Graham for a collaboration that would bring the spotlight on Vets4Warriors and the wonderful accomplishments of this unique hotline.

    colonel jacobs

    Vets4Warriors is an exciting, multi-platform, peer-to-peer resource network—staffed by veterans—for veterans and military members of all eras of conflict. It is more than just a crisis hotline—the aim is to service and provide assistance to those who have been impacted by military service before an avoidable challenge or catastrophe occurs in their lives.

    Colonel Jacobs, speaking on behalf of both institutions, filmed with NYFA veteran students and production team members to create a public service announcement that will promote Vets4Warriors, now in its fifth year, to an even larger national audience.


    The partnership between the New York Film Academy and Rutgers UBHC symbolizes both institutions dedication to those who have served our country faithfully.

    April 22, 2016 • Community Highlights, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 632

  • Acting Grad Gianlorenzo Albertini Cast in “ONE: The Hip Hop Dance Musical”

    albertiniItalian actor and New York Film Academy BFA Acting for Film alumnus Gianlorenzo Albertini’s acting, singing and dancing chops caught the eye of the producer of a major hip-hop opera that has been over sixteen years in the making, landing Albertini a part in the first fully-staged production of “ONE: The Hip Hop Dance Musical,” by Walter Robinson, scheduled to premier in Los Angeles in the summer of 2016.

    The retelling of the story of Exodus began as “Moses,” a gospel opera first performed in Boston in 1999. The piece was performed in a concert or workshop setting several times over the past twenty years. For the past several months, Robinson has been work-shopping the piece in the Philippines with support of a three-year grant from Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation.

    “I feel incredibly thankful and honored for being able to be a part of this project,” says Albertini. “It is very exiting because Walter is the creator and writer, and I was overwhelmed to find out that this was the first fully realized production. I felt compelled to start working with Walter, especially after I read the script. It explores the innocence of the human condition through the seduction of money, drugs and power.”

    “I believe God is Love,” says the young actor, who is about to start two months of rehearsals for the production. “‘ONE’ translates various passages of the Bible with a modern and artistic approach that carries along the core of the musical. I appreciate that the musical translates the Bible passages in a modern way that is easily accessible by the young people who are the target audience of the play.”

    This isn’t the first time producers and directors have recognized Albertini’s musical gifts. A conservatory-trained classical guitar player, Albertini also lent his composition and performance skills to his own award-winning short film, “Immortality In Blue,” an exploration of Pablo Picasso’s “Blue Period.” Albertini’s guitar performances were also captured along with his performance in the short film “Sound of Silence,” released in 2015.

    April 20, 2016 • Acting, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 535

  • “Breakfast in Beirut” Nominated Film of the Year

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    When we last caught up with New York Film Academy MFA Filmmaking graduate Farah Fuad ALHashem, she had been at dozens of festivals around the world to screen her film Breakfast in Beirut. The fictional documentary combines illusion with reality, converging a parallel honest side of Beirut.

    As of now, the film has officially been selected in various international film festivals, nominated as “Film of the Year” in Lebanese Film Festival (LFF Sydney, Australia) 2015, and received critical acclaim and special mention by the Jury of Nour Cherif competition at the Alexandria Film Festival For Mediterranean Countries in Egypt 2015.

    Breakfast in Beirut has also received an honorary recognition by the municipality of Treviso, Italy and in collaboration with the Gallery in Venice, Italy both have decided to name their Art Festival “Breakfast in Beirut Art Festival” as a way to honor the film and Farrah ALHashem. The film will officially premiere in Treviso followed by a press conference and series of continuous screenings around northern Italy.

    Under the patronage of Lebanese Embassy in France and VIOLETSKYE Films, the Official Premiere, for one night only, will be held at Le Brady Cinema in Paris on April 29, 2016 at 8pm. On April 30, it will screen in Venice and in Treviso, Italy at the “Breakfast in Beirut Art Festival,” which, as we mentioned, was renamed after Farrah ALHashem’s film as an honorary step by Italian curators Daniel Buso and Enas ELKorashi in collaboration with the municipality of Treviso.

    For those of you in the Paris area, please CLICK HERE for tickets and more information.

  • “Frankie” Selected for Prestigious Nastro d’Argento

    francesco mazza

    One of the most prestigious honors for a filmmaker in Italy is to have his or her film selected into the “Nastri d’Argento,” which is essentially the Italian Academy Awards where journalists vote on their favorite films of the year. Former One-Year Filmmaking graduate from New York Film Academy, Francesco Mazza, accomplished this feat with his thesis film, Frankie (Italian Roulette).

    Selected as a finalist for Best Short Film in this year’s Nastri d’Argento, Frankie depicts the story of an Italian immigrant, Frankie Tramonto, and his struggle to earn a Green Card in New York City. Mazza’s film was nominated alongside Brando De Sica, the nephew of famous Italian filmmaker Vittorio De Sica, and Fulvio Risuleo, whose short film Varicella won “La Semaine de la Critique” in Cannes.

    While at NYFA, Mazza was quite fond of his experience and instructors. In fact, last summer he and his former cinematography teacher, Piero Basso, worked on a documentary for Italian broadcaster Sky Arte. Last fall he worked with Instructor Ben Maraniss in the 8-Week Screenwriting Program on the feature version of his script, which is called The Green Card Lottery. Speaking further on his time at NYFA, Mazza said:

    Without NYFA there would be no Frankie at all. At NYFA I made one of the most important encounters of my life: Amos Poe. He taught me not to worry about which cameras I’m shooting on, but to keep in mind one obsession: the emotion, and how to deliver it to the audience in the best possible way. Amos is a cinematographic genius.

    I’m also in debt to Michael Sandoval, my first directing teacher. I’ve never met anybody else with that kind of sensitivity for narrative beats. He taught me how everything you do in a movie—even the color of the t-shirt of an extra in the background—is a choice you must have control over.

    I also want to mention Ben Maraniss, my screenwriting teacher: he is such a great teacher (and a great person). Before coming to NYFA I was already a TV writer in Italy (for the Italian comedy show “Striscia la Notizia”) but Ben took my skills and pushed them to a completely different level. And Ben Cohen: his cinema studies course made me understand that beyond the 3-act structured, classic American narrative movies there is a whole new universe that I just find more interesting.

    Some advice Mazza would like to extend to our current students is to submit only to Academy qualifying festivals (and some from the Moviemakers lists) and if they don’t accept you, save your money for the next movie.

    Speaking of festivals, Frankie will be screening at the seventh annual NYC Independent Film Festival on Thursday, April 28 at 12:00pm at the Producers Club in Manhattan. For tickets and more information, please visit:

    April 13, 2016 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 885

  • 3D Animation Alumni Highlight: Yukari Akaba

    yukariAfter graduating from New York Film Academy’s One-Year 3D Animation & Visual FX Conservatory, Yukari Akaba created a reel to showcase her talent and capabilities in the craft. From her reel, which NYFA Animation and Game Design Chair Phoebe Elefante says is “excellent,” Akaba was able to secure a position at a New York based production company called The Brigade.

    The project she’s currently working on, Hair Guitar, is a short animated film created by the digital artists at The Brigade for the purpose of refining their craft as storytellers and promoting their technical abilities in the space of advertising and entertainment.

    “We have taken the story from inception to completion, involving every step of the character animation pipeline from character development to motion capture and post production,” said Akaba. “We are excited to finish in early summer, and grateful for all of the help from our talented team!”

    Akaba admits she didn’t have any art background prior to attending NYFA, and learned everything she knows from the Animation program at NYFA.

    Her goal is to become a senior modeler and texture artist at a studio and work on feature films and high-end commercials. Though, she is also considering working with major game companies such as Blur or Blizzard studios, particularly on game cinematics.

    You too can see Yukari’s talent by having a look at her animation reel below!

    Yukari Akaba CG Artist Demo Reel 2016 from Yukari Akaba on Vimeo.

    April 7, 2016 • 3D Animation, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 884

  • Tribeca Film Festival Selects Matthew Modine’s “Super Sex”

    The 2016 Tribeca Film Festival has officially selected Super Sex for its world premiere where it will compete for Best Narrative Short. The comedy stars Kevin Nealon, Elizbeth Perkins, Efren Ramirez, Ruby Modine, and the legendary Ed Asner. Super Sex was written for the screen and directed by Matthew Modine.

    “When we began production, I wanted to involve students from the New York Film Academy,” said Modine. “Jerry Sherlock was a dear friend and nothing made him more happy than when his students were involved with successful projects. I’m thrilled Super Sex is having its world premiere in the city Jerry loved and having students from NYFA participate.”


    Pictured Above: Elizabeth Perkins and Kevin Nealon | photo by Frank Masi

    Modine contacted NYFA’s CEO Jean Sherlock and Director Dan Mackler, hoping to involve students from the Academy’s “Industry Lab.” The Industry Lab is a student run production entity supervised by NYFA faculty. “The Industry Lab students had the invaluable opportunity of working with film veterans Modine and Director of Photography Julio Macat, an experience they won’t forget,” said Mackler. Julio Macat (Home Alone, Wedding Crashers, Pitch Perfect) met with the Lab and was impressed by their knowledge and the quality of equipment available to them for film production. Macat enlisted Evan Stulc of the Lab’s camera department to be his camera assistant, giving him an amazing opportunity to work with one of the leading cinematographers in the motion picture industry. “It was a fantastic experience. I learned so much about the craft working alongside a legend like Julio,” said Stulc.

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    Pictured Above: Julio Macat | photo by Frank Masi

    Super Sex Producer, Joe Toronto interviewed NYFA students eager to work on the film. Toronto chose Mara Topic as an Associate Producer. Joann Wong, Alyssa Manno, Egor Povolotskiy, Aaron Pong, James Geyer, David Mori, and Nick Ramsey worked in the art, lighting, and editorial departments. “It was wonderful working with the NYFA students,” said Toronto. “They were helpful and enthusiastic and worked hand-in-hand with experienced professionals. I feel the best way to learn a craft is by doing—and they did!”

    Super Sex anchors the California Dreaming short film program at the Tribeca Film Festival. Tickets for the premiere on April 15 and three additional screenings are now available to purchase here:

    April 1, 2016 • Community Highlights, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4921

  • MFA Producing Student Gives TEDx Talk in Zimbabwe

    MFA Producing student, Zororo Makamba, recently gave a TEDx Talk on the state of television in Zimbabwe.

    Hailing from Zimbabwe, Makamba is a radio personality, television host, and aspiring filmmaker at the New York Film Academy. As a filmmaker he has produced two short films and one documentary. After graduation he plans to continue hosting his talk-show “Tonight with Zororo” along with doing more production work, focusing on TV dramas, as well as documentaries and reality TV.

    tedx zimbabwe

    “The University of Zimbabwe has been running TEDx talks for a few years now, and this was my first time invited,” said Makamba. “The theme was re-imagining Africa, and I was invited to talk about the success of my TV show [Tonight with Zororo].”

    In addition to discussing his award-winning talk show and the state of television in Zimbabwe, Zororo enlightened his audience on some of the challenges that Zimbabwe faces. Those challenges are: 36 years after independence they only have one channel, they’ve yet to transition to digital, and the media coverage is very partisan towards the ruling party.

    You can watch Makamba’s talk below!


    March 31, 2016 • Producing, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 978

  • NYFA Grad Cody Broadway to Direct Documentary on Texas School for the Deaf Football Team

    New York Film Academy Filmmaking alumnus Cody Broadway is set to direct a new documentary that will follow the Texas School for the Deaf football team. The film will showcase a team that faces a life challenge but overcomes it each week while competing against several high schools throughout Texas. Even though the whole team and coaching staff may be deaf, they still have a winning tradition that dates years back.

    Joining Broadway on the documentary will be Director of Photography Michael Lukasjewskyj, a 7-time Emmy award winner. Production for the film will begin in April and will continue through the fall of 2016, with a release date in 2017.

    cody broadway
    “This will be a new experience for me, but who would I be if I wasn’t challenging myself to learn more about life,” says Broadway. “The goal is to tell a touching story that will speak and inspire people.”

    footballBroadway is currently directing an award-winning web series I Have A Voice, and has already directed the award-winning film She Rides Bulls, as well as the award-winning documentary A Cup of Coffee.

    In addition to his filmmaking, Broadway was brought on as host and producer of a show called FOX Live after FOX reviewed a NYFA work of his. Within a month, Cody became Promotions and Production Manager, a position where he oversaw the production and promotions for FOX in both Texas markets. He currently works in San Antonio for KENS 5 TV where he has been nominated for 3 total Emmys (as Editor/Director/Single Spot).