Student and Alumni Spotlights

  • Summer Camp Grad Wins Award of Merit at IndieFest Awards

    New York Film Academy High School Summer Camp graduate Sara Eustáquio was a recent recipient of the Award of Merit at the IndieFest Awards Film Awards in Los Angeles for her debut narrative fiction short film “4242.”

    sara e

    The young Portuguese filmmaker had already been awarded with the Award of Merit Special Mention at the Best Shorts Competition, also in LA, and the Junior Winner Special Jury Prize at the Near Nazareth Film Festival, in Israel.

    Inspired by true events, “4242” is about a teenager who leaves her home country, her family and friends, to live in another country in Europe.

    “This story is important to tell because teenagers across the globe increasingly face similar situations as the character of ‘4242’,” says Eustáquio. “For several different reasons, many teens end up living in different countries where they may not even speak the same language. This story is not only about immigration, as we have seen in Europe, but also about the mix up of so many feelings during adolescence. Perhaps even feelings that may occur during adulthood: loneliness, confusion, the integration process in new spaces, the challenge of displacement both physical and spiritual.”

    In addition to “4242,” the NYFA New York City Summer Camp grad also has a new micro short, “Mirror,” which she produced at NYFA to compete at several international film festivals.

    “My time at NYFA taught me much more than I could have imagined,” said Eustáquio. “During this program, I learned about all the technical aspects of the filmmaking process in a fast-paced environment, as well as the importance of telling a story and how to tell a story. It was an amazing experience which deeply changed my perspective and encouraged me to move forward. NYFA helped me find my voice and definitely made me realize this what I want to do.”

    August 23, 2016 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2908

  • NYFA Instructor’s “Summer of 8” in Theaters Sept. 2

    New York Film Academy Los Angeles instructor Ryan Schwartz’s debut feature film, “Summer of 8,” is scheduled to be released in select theaters and all VOD platforms on Sept. 2nd, 2016. Schwartz has also recently started a new production company, Object In Motion, which is producing a true crime documentary, and he is currently attached to direct “Cadence,” a character driven sports drama set in the world of ultramarathons.
    summer of 8

    A Santa Monica, California native, Schwartz remained close with his high school friends and says his film is about that time in his life. “‘Summer of 8’ is about eight best friends sharing one last summer day together before heading off to college,” said Schwartz. “It’s a special day because they all sort of intuitively know things will never be the same again, so they really try to soak it all in.”

    “Summer of 8” stars Shelley Hennig as well as Carter Jenkins (from the upcoming MTV series “Sweet/Vicious”), Matthew Shively, Natalie Hall, Michael Grant, Bailey Noble, Nick Marini, Rachel DiPillo and Sonya Walge. The film has already been written about in Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter, which wrote, “With an appreciation for the bittersweetness of summer’s last rays, first-time director Ryan Schwartz celebrates youth, beauty and mixed emotions over a daylong gathering at the beach. [SUMMER OF 8] strikes universal chords…the cast of twentysomethings deliver effective moments and a credible group chemistry…alive with flirtatious uncertainty.”

    With Schwartz’s release less than a month away, we thought we’d have a chat with the filmmaker to get a little more insight into his debut film.

    NYFA has a special thanks credit for the film. What was your reasoning behind that?

    NYFA is great about encouraging and supporting its faculty. They also provided grip and electric equipment, which I will be forever grateful for.

    Can you tell us how you secured distribution for this film? What was that process like?

    We shot most of film in Newport Beach, CA, and fittingly we premiered in April at the Newport Beach Film Festival. It was a blast. Most of the cast and crew came out and we sold out both shows.  After our screenings we had several sales agents and distributors approach us. We were absolutely thrilled that FilmBuff decided to take us on.

    summer of 8

    Were there any lessons you learned from making this film that you were (or will be) able to pass on to your students?

    I would say there’s two things that really crystalize for me. The first lesson is quite simple: there is no magic fairy dust secret to making good movies. People make movies. If you want to make a good movie, you need to surround yourself with talented, smart, generous, wonderful people. If you do that, you have a chance. If you don’t, you don’t. I am so grateful to my unbelievable cast, and to my entire crew who worked tirelessly for very little money.

    Which brings me to my next lesson: in the world of low budget filmmaking, the most important currency you have to offer is your passion/energy for the project and your gratitude for those who have rallied around you. That passion and gratitude is really the fuel that keeps everyone going.

    What advice do you have for filmmakers who are getting ready to shoot their first feature?

    Take a lot of deep breaths and trust that you’re ready. We shot “Summer of 8” at a lightning pace…10 days! Things were moving so fast. The key for me was to stay calm and collected, stay truly ‘in the moment.’ And to remember, I’ve spent my entire life fighting for this opportunity. It was finally here, so I made sure to enjoy every moment of it. And I did. It was an absolute blast.

    August 19, 2016 • Faculty Highlights, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3167

  • NYFA Doc Grad Justin Young to Tour with Colbie Caillat

    One of the more enticing aspects of the New York Film Academy’s short-term programs is the fact that students can learn an artistic craft that may be outside of their main creative focus. As for NYFA Documentary grad Justin Young — who joined the program with such a strong background in music — the 6-Week Documentary Film Workshop was exactly what he was looking for. Faced with a hectic schedule of touring as a musician, Young was able to gain the knowledge he’d hope for within the time frame of the short-term program.

    justin young

    Young, who is very well known in the Hawaiian music scene, has released several albums to date. He’s also toured with his girlfriend Colbie Callait, as well as Gavin DeGraw.

    We had a chance to catch up with Mr. Young before heading off on another US tour with Colbie called The Malibu Sessions Acoustic Guitar.

    What made you decide to join the New York Film Academy Doc program?

    I’d been trying to find another creative outlet, besides music, for a while. Always loved non-fiction form of storytelling — books, radio programs and of course documentary films. The fact that NYFA offers a 6-week course was really appealing. I could totally immerse myself and see if it was something I wanted to pursue without the long commitment.

    Were there any films or influencers that made you decide to learn documentary filmmaking?

    There have been so many. As a kid, I remember watching Hoop Dreams many times and wanting to find more movies like that — not knowing exactly what documentaries were. Later, Capturing The Friedmans was one that totally floored me. More recently, a movie like Keep On Keeping On, that really shows some beautiful human connections made me want to contribute something like that to the world.

    How would describe your overall experience? What did you achieve or produce during your time at NYFA?

    It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. It was really bittersweet when the program ended. We got a lot of info and tools jammed into the first week and then were sent out to make things. Personally, I learn best this way and with no filmmaking experience, this really shortened the initial learning curve for me. It also bonded all of my classmates. We all became very close and still keep in touch and joke of a reunion someday. I also felt like the teachers took the time to get to know us and help us individually, meeting us wherever we were in our filmmaking.

    You have a very strong background in music — do you have any ambitions to bring your musical background to a film or documentary project?

    Definitely, plan on doing some scoring for some of my own projects. I think that’s something I can uniquely bring to the table – and it helps with the budget!

    How did your relationship with Colbie Caillait come about?

    We met through mutual friends in the LA music scene 10 years ago. Shortly after that, Colbie asked me to join her band and I became her guitarist and eventually Music Director. After a few years of working together we started dating and are now engaged. It’s great to be able to travel and work with your best friend.

    Can you tell us about this current tour / publicity (Billboard Live, Rolling Stone, etc.) w/Colbie for GOLDMINE?

    We’ve been out and about promoting Colbie’s new single, Goldmine, which took us to The Today Show and performances at Billboard, Rolling Stone and Paste, to new a few. We are doing a US tour in October called The Malibu Sessions Acoustic Tour. I’ll be opening the shows with my own set, as well as playing with Colbie.

    Any personal meaning behind the song? Or do the two of you have a personal favorite song?

    I wrote and produced one song on her new album entitled Runnin’. It’s about her struggle to adjust to life on the road, and on stage, and finally finding a comfortable place to be with it.

    With social media being the force it is, where do you see the future of music going for you and other artists?

    Hard to say. Things are changing so fast for all of us creative people. It is important to stay up on the latest ways to share your work and engage your fans. But really I think what doesn’t change is people will always crave real stuff. Express something that’s honest and truthful and there will be an audience for it.

    When and where can we see you and Colbie sing?

    All tour dates are up at, and I have new music and a new website launching soon at

    August 18, 2016 • Documentary Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2360

  • Summer Camp Students Film on Universal “Western” Lot

    The New York Film Academy had a huge day on the Universal Backlot last Thursday as the tweens, teens, and Young Storyteller summer camps hit the Western lot to shoot twenty different films in just eight hours. Universal is the largest studio in the world and the Western set is one of their oldest and most recognized.

    young storytellers

    Students gathered on the set at 8am and were led a thorough safety meeting. Once the meeting wrapped, students broke into groups and set out across the lot to location scout. Potential sets included a saloon, stables, an apothecary, and façade of a stately home.

    Stories ranged from a tale of a sci-fi superhero, who’s been pushed around one too many times, to a standoff in a barn. The students explored every genre from romantic comedy to horror. The films shot on the lot will be screened at New York Film Academy for students and their families.

    young storytellers

    One of New York Film Academy’s acting students, Katisha Sargeant, said of her experience, “These kids humble me. Watching their passion for film has renewed my desire to pursue this craft.”

    One student said of her experience, “I’m glad we had a lot of time to think about the story before we got here. You just have to trust in your training and your crew and hope for the best.”

    universal backlot

    New York Film Academy would like to thank Universal Studios for their support and use of their lots.

    August 17, 2016 • Acting, Community Highlights, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1917

  • Broadcast Journalism Update for Mid-August

    Investigative journalism is difficult. Not only do you have to uncover facts that some people (often many people) want to keep secret, but it can also be expensive. Committing limited resources to a story that may never see air is a bold move. Yet more and more U.S. TV stations are getting back into the investigative reporting business, and according to a recent article in the Washington Post, it could help save local TV news. That’s because unique stories like these differentiate a station from its many competitors, and are far beyond the scope of online aggregators and digital news platforms.

    Lynda Baquero

    Lynda Baquero

    We would be remiss if we didn’t mention NYFA graduate and award-winning investigative reporter George Colli. Colli mounted an amazing probe into how defective concrete resulted in the collapse of the foundations of hundreds, perhaps thousands of homes in Connecticut. While he is now a Washington, DC correspondent for Cox Media, NBC-Connecticut is still pursuing the story.

    We should also acknowledge WNBC reporter Lynda Baquero, who visited NYFA earlier this year. The station has built an entire consumer protection unit around her, and has pledged to investigate every consumer complaint that it receives.

    If you are a regular reader of these updates, you know we often discuss the impact of Vice Media. This time, however, we’re not talking about its business model. Instead, we want to emphasize just how adept they are at getting “the story behind the story.” In this case, it is a feature on how reporters (especially freelance reporters) learn basic combat first-aid before they venture into war zones. As the headline accurately states, it is the kind of training that could help them stay alive. Similarly, it might allow them to save the life of an injured colleague.

    On a far happier note, NYFA Broadcast Journalism grad Gillian Kemmerer is down in Rio covering the Summer Olympics. As Asset TV looks at the world through the lens of business and finance, that means stories about ratings as much as gold medals.

    First weekend ratings fall short of podium from Asset TV US on Vimeo.

    Staying with the Olympics, the New York Times produced a fascinating hybrid-journalism story on American swimmer Ryan Lochte. (You know, the guy who is really sick and tired of being compared to Michael Phelps, and for good reason.) Part print report, part new media, part full motion video. It is a great example of how the lines separating different forms of journalism have blurred.

    Great to see NYFA alum Emilie Olsson’s latest story for TV Expresse/Nyheter in Sweden, even if it is about a guy who burned down his neighbors’ home while they were away…

    the helpmann awards
    NYFA graduate Bryanna Reynolds had a lot more fun covering The Helpmann Awards, where Australia’s outstanding stage performers are honored. And once again it was a “sister act,” with Bryanna doing the interviews and her sister Alaina Reynolds shooting. (But who did the editing, Bryanna?)
    Grace Shao

    Grace Shao

    Finally, following her graduation from the NYFA Broadcast Journalism summer session, Grace Shao is back in Beijing. She is in the process of completing her financial journalism Masters degree program at Tsinghua University. Once that is wrapped, she will be joining CCTV as a reporter/editor in their English language news unit. It’s a real accomplishment to land a job like this before completing a degree program. Grace says she learned a number new skills during her stay with us. 祝贺!  (Congratulations!)
  • NYFA Graduate Produces “Othello” at Theaterlab in NYC

    New York Film Academy Acting graduate Luis Christian Dilorenzi and Jung Han Kim in co-production with Time Zone Theatre (London) have put together an acclaimed contemporary interpretation of “Othello” tour through England, and now to New York City, after a sold-out run at the Rose Playhouse, Bankside, London in 2015.

    This stylish, fast-paced adaptation of William Shakespeare’s classic transfers the action to the cityscape of modern London. In the cutthroat financial world, we dive into an abyss of power and intrigue, riddled with suspicion and jealousy.

    Director Pamela Schermann sets this re-imagining of Shakespeare’s tragedy in the meeting room of the corporate’s office. Everyone is under constant surveillance, private and business lives entwine, workers are caught in a bubble without privacy or time off outside the Corporation. There’s always someone watching you, analyzing your every move and waiting for an opportunity to stab you in your back. In times like these, competition is high. But how much can and should we sacrifice to reach our career goals? What if in the end there is nothing left worth fighting for?
    “Othello” is currently showing now through August 21st, 2016 at Theaterlab, 357 West 36th Street, New York City, 10018. 
    For tickets and more information, please click here.
    Discount Codes:
    • Veteran Code is VETS
    • NYFA code is NYFA

    August 15, 2016 • Acting, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1378

  • NYFA Grad’s Award-Winning Thesis to Screen at SAG Short Film Showcase

    kellen crewThe Moment I Was Alone, directed by New York Film Academy graduate Kellen Gibbs, has been nominated for 20 awards at seven different festivals, winning Best Screenplay at Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema, Judges Choice at Monarch International Film Festival, Best Independent Film Score at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards, Award of Merit at the United International Film Festival, and Best College Student Film at Sanford International Film Festival. It premiered at the Carmel International Film Festival, also screened at Take Two Film Festival and will now be screening at the SAG Short Film Showcase on August 30th.

    The film’s soundtrack was composed by Canadian-born and Toronto-based film composer Isaias Garcia, who is 3-time SOCAN & 2-time Hollywood Music in Media Awards winner. He and his team at MASTR Studios (Media Arts Symphony of Toronto) produced and mixed the original score at their Toronto studio in collaboration with the Ostrich Studio Orchestra in Argentina who recorded the soundtrack with a live orchestra.

    With all of the awards racking up for Gibbs, we thought we’d find out more about his film and his young career as an award-winning filmmaker.

    Can you tell us a little bit about THE MOMENT I WAS ALONE? 

    “The Moment I Was Alone” is a short I did as my thesis film at NYFA. It follows Quinn, an adolescent child who, while searching for her mother in an over populated street, witnesses time completely stop around her. To me it’s a coming of age story; watching this young girl grow and experience life from an almost third person perspective of it while dealing with the issues that she herself faces. What am I? Who am I? Can I love? Why do we love? Why did this happen? In some way or another these are questions that everyone asks themselves. I guess you can say that was the big idea for the film; make people think. Create something that’s thought provoking and can drop you into a new world and take you on an emotional journey.

    kelln gibbs

    How did this film come about? 

    The idea has been sitting with me for a long time. It came first as an idea just revolving around a story where time stopped. I’ve seen the idea a lot in superhero movies, cartoons, TV shows; I wanted to take it on a different route then I’ve seen it taken before. I loved the idea that a person can be completely surrounded by people but be so isolated and lonely at the same time. Over time and while at NYFA, the story turned into what it is now and needless to say I am very proud of what it became.

    How would you describe your experience at NYFA?

    I loved my time at the New York Film Academy. I have had some very influential teachers who have really helped and guided me throughout. Not only that but I think one of the factors about NYFA that really helped me was how hands-on and accessible everything was. It requires hard work because it’s not just theory we’re being taught; at NYFA you go out and make movies. And the outcome can be so gratifying. You don’t just look at movies and say, “I wish I could make that.” You get to say “I MADE that.”

    Would you say NYFA’s training was useful in terms of being prepared to write/direct this film?

    Absolutely. I never could have made this movie two years ago. NYFA has made me look at movies differently — deeper. And in extension, I now look at my movies the same way. This is all thanks to my teachers at NYFA.

    What do you hope will come about from the SAG Showcase?

    The film has already done so many things that I wasn’t expecting. It’s brought together different countries by its musical score, showcased the ability of many NYFA students along with rising newcomers in the industry. And after winning all the awards that we have, traveling around to different film festivals and being nominated for many more, I am just beyond honored to have been chosen to screen at the SAG Showcase. Of course I hope that the screening can help as I continue propelling my career forward but I am just incredibly excited to have had the opportunity to screen and show my film at so many places. That’s by far one of the best experiences; I’ve seen my movie so many times now but when you get in front of a new crowd and you get to hear the reactions of people viewing it for the first time, it rejuvenates you and makes it as if I am watching it for the first time again. You never really know what can come from these experiences but it’s always a blast and this one is just such an honor.

    Are you currently working on any other projects?

    Yes, sir! After graduating NYFA I was approached by an author by the name of George Lippert. He has asked me to adapt his novel “The Freezing Season” into a feature film and we are heavily into the process now with the goal of filming in February of next year. Many of the same people who worked on “The Moment I Was Alone” will be returning to work on this with us. These connections last. Things are definitely in the works and that will absolutely be an experience I can’t wait for.

    August 15, 2016 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3946

  • NYFA Student’s “Tempting Fate” Wins Four Awards at The Dove Foundation

    tempting fateKevin Nwankwor is a current New York Film Academy film student, whose Tempting Fate won four out of five Doves at the Dove Foundation. We sat down and talked to Nwankwor about his latest works, the early years of his career, and what he plans to do next.

    Tell us a little about your film.

    Nwankwor: Tempting Fate is a movie about two brothers, one of deep faith and the other buried in a life of crime, their worlds are torn apart when the wrong brother goes to jail and the other commits an unforgivable act.

    The older brother, Edu, is a talented singer. He is calm, reflective and peaceful. He relies on his spirituality and the love of his wonderful girlfriend, Tracey, to help him combat a life-threatening illness.

    On the other hand, Ugo is hotheaded, impulsive and at times a menacing human being. He finds himself wrapped in a life of crime which he knows will lead him down a path of destruction, but it’s not an easy one to leave; a point his gang leader Scorpion has made clear.

    In an attempt to get money for a lifesaving procedure for his brother, Ugo triggers a chain of events that sends their worlds crashing. The film deals with themes of love, betrayal, and forgiveness.

    tempting fate

    You started your film career here at NYFA. What was the transition, from student to professional, like?

    Nwankwor: It was not easy. First, there was this fear of failure. Then doubt sets in. But again, I must commend NYFA instructors because they took their time to really open my eyes to the “make believes” that happens in movies, not only by teaching but also sending us links to materials and showing us where we can get discounts as filmmakers.

    My experience at NYFA made the transition an easy one, but above all the huge support from my family including my wife, Unoma Nwankwor, who is an award-winning author, my two kids, my special uncle who is also my Executive Producer, my Mum, and parents-in-law is what made the transition smooth.

    Assistant Director is notoriously one of the most physically and mentally challenging jobs on set. What did your time as an AD teach you about the filmmaking process?

    I worked as a Director in three of my movies and as an Assistant Director in two other movies. To be successful as an assistant director, you really have to work with a director that knows what he is doing – a director that knows his stuff. The worst thing that can happen to you as an AD is to work on an unprofessional set.

    Yes, it is your duty as the assistant director to run the set but, unfortunately, if the director is unprofessional, late to sets, and the members of the crew are the director’s family members and you are kind of in a position where you know things are wrong but unfortunately your hands are tied you can only make the best of your situation.

    Yes, I love it when I work as an assistant director but with a professional crew life is easier for you. Working as a producer / director… has been a pleasant journey for me especially with the skills I acquired from NYFA in terms of movie budgeting and scheduling. Before I started at NYFA, I was passionate about filmmaking. I knew what I wanted. NYFA groomed me and equipped me with skills towards my vision of making exceptional movies not just to entertain but also to inspire, motivate, and change lives.

    tempting fate

    What were you feeling the first time your film premiered?  

    Nwankwor: Hmmm – Tears, tears, and more tears. I trusted God all the way. I had some doubts along the way, tried to quit at some point but realized that quitting was not an option. But the very day the movie premiered I was filled with tears especially because I knew that I created a movie that made people cry and rejoice when they left the theater. Listening to their testimonies and reviews was fulfilling for me.

    Now that you’ve shown your film, are you looking for distribution? 

    Nwankwor: Yes, we are seeking distribution for TV and another medium. We are currently on Pay-Per-View Stage on Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play but we are in talks with Netflix at the moment and hopefully some other distribution companies. We made a Spanish dub of the movie so it’s available in Spanish and English.

    Kevin Nwankwor

    What advice would you give to current students looking for success? 

    Nwankwor: Nothing is impossible. It all starts with overcoming fear. When I made my first budget it was $500K. I did not have $400 in my account… but I went on my knees asking God to direct me to the right person. The first person I pitched this project to was the last person I was expecting to act because he doesn’t look like a man that has a passion for entertainment.

    But as God will have it, he believed in me and invested in the project and me. Soon the film was made. So, don’t be discouraged, be tenacious, work hard, have a positive attitude and above all believe in your project because if you do not, no one will, and if you believe that it will succeed then you will be willing to take the risk. No success without risk, even if it does not come immediately. It will surely come, so stay focused.

    What’s up next for you? 

    Nwankwor: I am currently working on two projects now: Selina, a collaboration with Nachipala Productions, and Muna, which is my next feature film. My goal is to complete this new phase I started with NYFA. With the support from NYFA, I would like to go back to Africa and help the youths to hone their skills and talents in filmmaking and acting.

    You can find more about Tempting Fate and Nwankwor’s other works at and on Instagram and Twitter at @knn335.

    August 12, 2016 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2362

  • NYFA Australia Grad’s “Ice Cold” to Screen at Several International Film Festivals

    Prior to attending the New York Film Academy Australia, Gold Coast, Jonathan Gesthuizen had never written a script. “I really struggled with it to begin with and soon realized that, while it was my weakest skill, it was the area of filmmaking that I was most passionate about,” said NYFA Australia alumnus Jonathan Gesthuizen. “The Director’s Craft Workshops and screenwriting classes were pivotal to being able to co-write and direct Ice Cold.

    ice cold

    Now, Gesthuizen’s short film Ice Cold, which he produced while at NYFA Australia, will be screened at international film festivals after being officially selected for the Tokyo On-Line Lift Off festival, Access Code India festival, Eurofest in St Petersburg, Russia and Action on Film Festival in Los Angeles.

    Ice Cold was submitted for my Digital Dialogue film assignment,” recalled Gesthuizen. “Bobby Mailman (acting student, co-writer) and I were both students mid 2015 and the story came about when Bobby and myself collaborated on an idea based loosely around some of her early childhood memories.”

    The short film is an action, thriller, romantic drama that centers around Jonny, Bella, and Dion as they struggle to grow up and survive in a world overcome with drugs, alcohol and violence. It is a story based around a young indigenous girl and her childhood sweetheart, Jonny, who are separated in their early teens and later reunite and escape from the clutches of Bella’s ruthless drug kingpin boyfriend.

    Ice Cold is about love breaking something open and conquering all, no matter what the obstacles are,” said Gesthuizen. “It’s about new beginnings, change, and how deeply love can be in its most simplest moments.”

    Gesthuizen hopes the networking opportunities at the festivals will be a great opportunity to meet with other filmmakers and industry members as he tries to secure full feature funding from his script that is close to completion.

    ice cold still

    “It’s a huge jump from a short to a feature length film, but I believe in the story and that it will gain traction once exposed to a wider audience,” he says. “It’s also a great chance to be able to see how we stand side by side against our other film associates.”

    In addition to Ice Cold, Gesthuizen says he’s currently writing a couple of other short film projects. One of his projects, Twenty to Heaven, is about a true life experience about a caving expedition that went wrong in the early 90’s and how he and others came close to death. The other is a film called Isle of Broken Dreams, which is about a secondhand opshop that has a huge selection of second hand wedding dresses. The film centers around several main characters and their stories as to how their dresses came to be at the shop.

    August 11, 2016 • Entertainment Australia, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1461

  • NYFA Grad Luba Salp Introduces Photography Series “Ambivalence”

    big wave

    photo by Luba Salp

    Originally from Moscow, Russia, Luba Salp (Liubov Salpagarova) received her education in the UK, France, and Australia before being awarded a scholarship to attend New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. After graduating she interned for numerous production companies including photography icon David LaChapelle.

    luba salp

    photography by Luba Salp

    Recently Luba shot a feature documentary “Hollywood Dreams of Rodion Nahapetov” for a major Russian TV Channel One. She’s also worked with major commercial clients that include Nike, Malibu Rum, UPS, Taco Bell, Zippo and more.

    Now, Luba is introducing a new art series, Ambivalence, inspired by her passion for surfing. Ambivalence is a series of photographs taken by the NYFA alumna while surfing in Manhattan Beach, California.

    Cinematography Reel from Luba Salp on Vimeo.

    Each photograph captures the moment when a wave is about to break. This moment — one of simultaneous dread and supreme joy — represents opposing yet inseparable sides of the surfing experience. When this moment is captured as a still image and the dimension of time is removed, it opens up to an entirely abstract perception. The subjective drama of a wave breaking with its unpredictable outcomes is transformed into an objective drama of beholding a monumental landscape. In this way the series can be viewed as a meditation on time.

    For more information on Luba and her art work, please visit her website at

    August 10, 2016 • Filmmaking, Photography, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1977