Student and Alumni Spotlights

  • Starting a Career in Animation Through Social Media

    As a graduate of the 3D Animation program at the New York Film Academy, Eliska Podzimkova has utilized her skills and creativity through the emerging social media platform, Instagram. Since creating her account animateNY, Eliska has grown over 56k followers, who all check their newsfeed for Eliska’s unique take on both New York City and, currently, the world.


    A photo posted by Eliska Podzimkova (@animateny) on

    The Prague native has loved New York City ever since she was a child and her pursuit of the arts at the New York Film Academy only furthered her love. To continue her stay in New York, Eliska was welcomed to NYFA’s social media team to liven its artistic brand and engage with likeminded artists. Her work was well received by students, alumni, and followers of the Academy.

    “The Story of New York”

    A video posted by Eliska Podzimkova (@animateny) on

    After nearly a year of working with NYFA, Eliska’s sense of exploration and desire to travel the world led her back to Europe where she continues to work, travel, and animate. Eliska has worked alongside British celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, and has been featured in numerous publications including Metro NY, Evening Standard, boredpanda, and others. Her short film Babl won Best Animated Short at the Williamsburg Independent Film Festival in Brooklyn.

    BABLS from Eliska Podzimkova on Vimeo.

    This summer, the New York Film Academy is reuniting with the animation alumna through its annual #NYFASummer Photo Contest. For the past few summers NYFA has held a photography contest on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) for our summer camp students to show off their locations, sets, and overall campus life at each of their specific locations.

    For more information on the #NYFASummer Contest, please CLICK HERE.

    June 14, 2016 • 3D Animation, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3268

  • Broadcast Journalism June 2016 Recap

    Well, another week, another White House assignment for Alisa Rajkitkul and Urvashi Barua. This time it was the Indian Prime Minister appearing with President Barack Obama. Urvashi and Alisa, now “veteran” White House reporters, spent part of their time telling less experienced correspondents how things work there.

    white house

    This isn’t typical of the New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism experience. In fact, it isn’t typical of any school. These two have succeeded because of their dedication and hard work. We’re happy we gave them the skills to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.

    The Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are almost here, and our Brazilian graduates are especially busy. Flavia Renata Perez found an amazing background for a recent interview. Note that she is using a DSLR camera. Increasingly it is the camera of choice, especially in circumstances when you want to keep a low-profile.

    Flavia Renata Perez

    Flavia Renata Perez

    ​Meanwhile, NYFA grad Suzane de Oliveira was back at her college to talk with some current students there. Suzane works for Agence France Presse (AFP) in Rio, and isn’t going to be getting much sleep once the Olympics start. She is an exceptional role model. Here is a sample of her work:

    ​Many, many miles away in Georgia (“the country, not the state”) Broadcast Journalism graduate Marika Gamtsemlidze was taking advantage of her press pass to better enjoy a recent Maroon 5 concert. Does the lead singer really have “moves like Jagger,” Pupa?
    maroon 5

    June 13, 2016 • Broadcast Journalism, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 697

  • MFA Filmmaking Grad Yolanda Centeno Directs Commercials with Grey Advertising

    Yolanda CentenoNew York Film Academy MFA Filmmaking alumna, Yolanda Centeno, has recently directed a viral campaign for one of the world’s top advertising and marketing organizations: GREY ADVERTISING GLOBAL.
    Centeno started enjoying a great deal of success in 2014 with her multi-awarded NYFA thesis film called Zugzwang, which was accepted into more than 400 film festivals around the world.

    All throughout 2015, Yolanda produced, directed and edited branded content video for international clients. She had several projects screen at a number of film festivals, but the biggest milestone has come while working for GREY.

    The clients, Real Academia Española (the official organization in Spain in charge of maintaining the purity and good use of the Spanish language), along with the Spanish Advertising Academy, were looking for a campaign that would discourage the use of Anglicisms in Spanish advertising. The majority of Spaniards don’t understand the real meaning of those words, which are simply used in advertising to embellish the delivery of the campaign.

    Based on that assignment, Grey’s creative directors discussed with director Yolanda Centeno what they could do to illustrate the misuse of anglicisms in Spain, in a way that was both effective and resonating.

    They came up with four commercials that were launched on TV and internet. After a few days, the campaign went officially viral, and the concept has been analyzed and spread in many news and shows around the country, as well as in other Spanish-speaking countries.

    The campaign has also been awarded two awards in the prestigious Ibero-American Advertising Film Festival, commonly known as “El Festival del Sol.”

    As a result of this project, Yolanda Centeno, is now represented commercially by Central Films production company located in California, México and Spain.

    June 13, 2016 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 762

  • MFA Photography Grad Tours with David Blaine

    Having grown up in the scenic land of Cyprus with both a grandfather and uncle working as painters and sculptors, Andreas Poupoutsis was always fascinated with the arts and often thought of pursuing it as a career. After graduating from college in the UK and realizing that business was not the right path for him, Poupoutsis left for New York and took up the One Year Photography Conservatory at New York Film Academy. From there Poupoutsis decided to continue his studies by pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Photography at New York Film Academy in Los Angeles.


    photo by Andreas Poupoutsis

    He’s currently back in New York City where he works as a photographer, having worked for magician David Blaine, Esquire Magazine, and several other projects. Recently, we had the chance to catch up with the MFA grad to gather his thoughts on the program and see what’s he’s been working on since.

    How did you fall into photography? Was it something you had always wanted to do?

    When I was studying graphic design, I took photography classes and I became obsessed with the camera.

    My girlfriend, who I met in Florence, was really into photography. She helped me realize that I was in love with the same art form, and that I wanted to be a photographer for the rest of my life.

    I would always enjoy creating, and realized that photography allowed me to create, express myself, and to communicate with people.

    After I graduated, I decided to move to New York and study photography. That’s where everything began really. I was finally doing what I love and I enjoyed it so much that I decided to continue my studies and move to Los Angeles to get my Master of Fine Arts in Photography.

    What made you decide to come to New York Film Academy?

    I am a really hands-on kind of a guy and New York Film Academy was offering all that I was asking for. The course is built to help you get to the professional level of the real industry. Yes, it is really intensive and hands-on but that’s how this profession is in real life—therefore everything that I was taught came in handy. The instructors that work at New York Film Academy are all successful working photographers in the field of photography and they are always ready and willing to help you with anything that you ask. Always a really good source of knowledge and experience.


    photo by Andreas Poupoutsis

    What is your most memorable moment at NYFA?

    One of the most memorable moments I had as a student at NYFA was when Ivan Shaw, the Photography Director of Vogue came in to NYFA to review some portfolios of students. Getting your portfolio reviewed by one of the most influential photographers in the industry is an amazing opportunity; and you also get to see how these top professionals in the industry view your work.

    One of the best skills I have learned at NYFA is knowing how to handle a working studio on my own—from the equipment to the service you provide for your clients.

    How did you find your overall experience?

    My experience at New York Film Academy was great. It always felt like a family away from home. You spend so many hours in class, labs and studios with instructors and TA’s that you never feel alone or without help, which I think is an important factor in your academic years. There is always someone around to help.

    Also, the equipment that New York Film Academy provides is amazing. They have everything that you need—top of the line equipment that allows you to create your art.

    Since completing your program with NYFA, what are some of the projects you’ve worked on? 

    Since graduating from NYFA I have done exhibitions, published my work in books with other artists, showcased my work in Times Square as part of a collaborative group show, assisted photographers for well known editorial shoots and also had my own cover for Esquire Magazine.

    My most proud and memorable moment in my career so far has been working for David Blaine as his personal and world tour photographer.

    Traveling the world and getting to do what you love as part of your job is a photographer’s dream and I have achieved that dream. The places that you get to see, different cultures and the amazing people you meet is really a once in a lifetime opportunity.

    photos by Andreas Poupoutsis

    Can you tell us a bit about the work you did with David Blaine? 

    The whole experience with David Blaine was very exciting. To be able to see another artist practice his art form 24/7 and realize that everything he does is actually real was amazing. From catching bullets with his mouth to getting shot from a foot away—even being underwater for 13 minutes—is mind blowing.

    Working with David Blaine was also the most challenging project I’ve ever worked on. Traveling with equipment and a big crew around the world can be really challenging. You are always on the go, crazy rehearsal hours and, as a photographer, you need to be alert at all times in order to get that perfect shot. It’s a non-stop working experience but worth every second of it.

    You were also featured in American Photography 28. What does that mean to you as a photographer?

    It’s a leading photography book that comes out once a year and includes work by the top photographers in the industry. To be able to see my work included in the same book with Sebastiao Salgado, for example, was a very exciting moment for me.


    photo by Andrea Poupoutsis

    Would you say NYFA was helpful in terms of the success you’ve had in the professional world of photography?

    New York Film Academy has taught me how to be professional photographer—skills that I can use and practice in the real world. From the very early stages of coming up with an idea or a theme for a shoot to the very last details of budgeting and how to market yourself.

    Where do you see yourself in 1 year? 5 years?

    In one year from now I believe I will still be in New York. New York is a city that you can achieve whatever you want to as long as you hustle and work hard. So that is my plan for the next year: to work on exciting new projects. I feel like I still have a lot to do here before I decide to move back to Europe.

    In 5 years I see myself working somewhere in Europe—London or Paris. I would love to have my own magazine or even work as a creative director for a magazine. Having my own photography studio is also a future plan. But, once again, you never know where life will take you.

    Do you have any advice for anyone interested to enter the industry, specifically in New York?

    The industry in New York can be really hard and discouraging at the beginning. There is so much competition in this city that you have to be on top of your game all the time. My advice would be to never stop trying and to set goals. It’s not about how fast you can reach those goals but more about never losing track of those goals. Some advice I would give to beginners is to understand the value of networking. It is really important. Always stay humble, work hard and you will succeed.

    June 10, 2016 • Photography, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3516

  • Nuria Castro’s Dream Comes True in “Mirage”

    mirageThe idea for former New York Film Academy student Nuria Castro’s award-winning short, Mirage, initially came to her through a dream. The idea developed into a psychological thriller that leads the audience into the mind of Julian, played by Roberto Arrizon, a man who suffers the loss of his family. The Puebla, Mexico native’s film screened her film at the Mexican International Film Festival where she won the Bronze Palm Award in the Best Student Film Category.

    The film was also a finalist at the Just 4 Short Film Competition in 2015 and is still being considered for several festivals around the world.

    NYFA was responsible for introducing Castro to both Luciana Capela, her co-writer and co-editor, and Konstantin Frolov, her cinematographer. Both Luciana and Konstantin graduated with a MA degree in Film and Media Production.

    “NYFA was essential in helping me and Luciana structure the story properly and prepare the production,” said Capela. “With the guidance and lessons from Nils Taylor, my directing instructor, the whole experience of directing was great and the outcome couldn’t have been better.”

    Castro and her co-writer are currently developing the feature version of Mirage.

    June 9, 2016 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2116

  • BFA Filmmaking Student’s “The Enemy” Accepted into 5 Festivals

    the enemyAmbre Bourdon’s thesis film for the 1-Year Filmmaking Program in New York, The Enemy, has recently screened at five film festivals around the world:

    • Goldensun Short Film Festival, Malta
    • Sguardi Altrove Film Festival, Italy
    • Whatashort India International Film Festival, India
    • Tlanchana Fest, Festival de Cine y Arte Digital, Mexico
    • Jagran Film Festival, India

    The Enemy is a short film about a man meeting his alter-ego in a waiting room while waiting for his doctor. The overall theme of the film tackles mental illness and multiple personality disorder. The story was adapted from a novel called “Cosmetique de l’Ennemi,” written by Amélie Nothomb, a very notorious author from Belgium.

    “I had the chance to meet the author after making the film,” said Bourdon. “She saw it, loved it, and is exited about the feature.”

    After attending the 1-Year Filmmaking and Cinematography Programs in New York, Bourdon decided to continue her education by pursuing a BFA in Los Angeles.

    “My experience at NYFA was definitively useful in terms of their equipment,” said Bourdon. “I was also very lucky to have an excellent writing teacher that truly inspired me.”

    Bourdon says her experience in New York was much more intense due to the fact that she had to complete several projects within the year.

    “At NYFA NYC, I was shooting constantly, which was an amazing opportunity to learn on set,” said Bourdon. “At NYFA LA there is much more theory, but it is another way to learn and inspire us for the content of our films. Also, the biggest advantage of the campus in LA is their contacts within the industry and being surrounded by major studios.”

    Bourdon has recently released a campaign of commercials for an NGO called STOP (Trafficking Of People) which is running on their website. She’s also working on two main projects at the moment—one of them being her third short film and the other is the feature version of The Enemy.

    June 8, 2016 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 965

  • NYFA Veteran Orientation

    The New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts recently welcomed new veteran students and military dependent students to the Los Angeles and New York campus.

    The NYFA Veterans Services staff hosted special orientations for veterans designed to address their unique set of needs and challenges in acclimating to college life. The orientation was an overview of the services that the NYFA Veterans Services team provides and focused on all aspects of a veteran’s transition including, providing information on student life, GI Bill benefits, VA healthcare benefits, and a guide to navigating the numerous veteran service organizations present in the area.

    nyfa vets

    New veteran students with local community partners and NYFA veteran coordinators at the Los Angeles campus.

    The NYFA Veteran Services Office invited representatives from local veteran organizations such as Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), and the Vet Center to speak with veterans about the assistance that they provide.

    “The orientation provided helped me gain information as to what is available out there to me as a veteran. I was unaware of all of the services that the veteran non-profits provide. Speaking with the NYFA veterans team and the other incoming veteran students made me feel more comfortable with my transition into school,” said BFA Producing student and Navy veteran, Jonathan Garza.

    At the New York Campus a representative from the VA healthcare system came to the School to enroll vets in the VA healthcare system right on the spot. Veteran organizations such as Mission Continues, Veterans Integration To Academic Leadership (VITAL), and the Vet Center were also on hand to assist NYFA New York veteran students.

    nyfa vets

    Veteran coordinators, Eric Brown and Michael Kunselman speaking with the new veteran students about student life on campus.

    NYFA Veteran Coordinators Eric Brown, Michael Kunselman, Chris Paparis, and work-study student Patrick Stinich, drew on their own personal experiences as veterans of the U.S. Military and GI Bill recipients, to give practical advice and information to the newly separated veterans now embarking on their own college journey.

    One-Year Acting student and retired Army veteran, Daniel Phillips said, “I want to extend my thanks to the Veterans Team at NYFA for the work they did coordinating the briefing during Orientation Week. A lot of the Vets, including myself, were made aware of benefits and outreach programs designed to help us along here as NYFA Students. It was very well put together, informative and helpful to the cause.”

    Many of the veterans stayed behind after the orientation to network amongst each other and speak with NYFA representatives and veteran community partners. The New York Film Academy would like to welcome all of the new active duty military servicemembers, veterans, and their families to our campus community!


    -Written by Michael Kunselman and Christopher Paparis

    June 7, 2016 • Community Highlights, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2299

  • Broadcast Journalism Students Cover White House Press Conference

    Part of what makes the New York Film Academy’s Broadcast Journalism School one of the leading programs in its field is the hands-on approach to its curriculum. Last Tuesday, May 31, 2016 two Broadcast Journalism students, Alisa Rajkitkul and Urvashi Barua, headed south from New York City to Washington D.C. to cover a press conference at the White House and other Washington D.C. media events as credentialed journalists.

    The events in focus were President Barack Obama’s meeting with the NCAA Champion Villanova University Men’s Basketball team and President Obama at the Arlington Cemetery to pay his respects on Memorial Day.

    The two esteemed students didn’t just randomly show up. After all, this is the White House. They were required to submit an application which was vetted by the Secret Service and, on Thursday evening, they were notified that they could attend the afternoon press conference in the Palm Room of the White House.

    It wasn’t always a glamorous assignment. In fact, the bus they were traveling on from New York to Washington broke down in the middle of the night. The two students and the other passengers had to stand on the side of road waiting for another bus. But they got to Washington, and they got their story!

    “This opportunity wasn’t a matter of luck,” said NYFA Broadcast Journalism Chair Bill Einreinhofer. “Rather, it is an example of being in the right place, at the right time, with the right skills.”

    This level of high profile coverage attests to the quality of a NYFA education, as well as the tenacity and determination of our students.

    Congratulations to two outstanding students, and now accomplished Broadcast Journalists!

    June 6, 2016 • Broadcast Journalism, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 643

  • Congratulations MFA, AFA, MA & BFA Graduates in Los Angeles!


    It was a beautiful California day on Saturday, May 28th when New York Film Academy students receiving their MFA, AFA, MA and BFA degrees in Filmmaking, Acting, Producing, Screenwriting, Photography, Game Design, Documentary, Cinematography and Feature Track studies, gathered at the Harmony Gold Preview house in West Hollywood for their degree program commencement ceremonies. Graduations at 10:00am2:00pm, and 6:00pm were packed with family and friends of the graduating students showing their support.

    Commencement speakers actor Peter Onorati (Goodfellas, Rocketman), director/actor Marty Sader (Monday Nights At Seven, Most High), and producer/writer Jeanette Collins (Big Love, Suddenly Susan) as well as NYFA department chairs and deans gave encouraging words of advice for navigating the entertainment industry and life in general.

    Congratulations to all of NYFA Los Angeles 2016 degree program graduates!

    10:00am Graduation


    MFA in Acting


    Amitabh Agarwal

    Nicoletta Brunelli

    Pablo Castel

    Theodore George Crosby

    Sebastian Faure

    Kyly Hawk

    Andrew William Lynton Jackson

    Danny Kay

    Delon Lyadi

    Federico Mallet Flores

    Andrea Méndez

    Tetiana Mesiura

    Matthew Miller

    Julia Edith Arteaga Padilla

    Wilfredo Ramos Jr.

    Katisha Sargeant


    BFA in Acting


    Joseline Angulo

    Roman Arnaize

    Melissa Carvajal

    Schuyler Dalenberg

    Andrea Fernandez Rivera

    Robert Fisher

    Elizabeth Frohlich

    Giulia Giovanetti

    Helena Horta

    Kardelen Isleyen

    Jordan Knapp

    Bronson Lassetter

    Tracy Lewis

    Maria Isabel Luege Marvan

    Ali Mahmood

    Nicholas Massa

    Yang Li

    Yu Lin

    Valeriya Matveeva

    Muhammad Mazhar

    Anthon Meyer

    Joshua Michael Moore

    Meenaz Palsani

    Samantha Prevost

    Laura Gudiño Rodriguez

    Asdis Thula Thorlaksdottir


    AFA in Acting


    Emily Accattato

    Claudia Juliana Arciniegas Rodriguez

    Christopher Beech

    Ashley Cardenas

    Lavelle Clarke

    Fany De La Tejera

    Hanna Dotevall

    Joseph Daniel Equihua

    Janet George

    Raven Lee Glover

    Elizabeth Grimaldo

    Vera Veronica Järvi

    Joshua Liwosz

    Nina Ferreira Lopes

    Gaston Alexander Lopez III

    Juan Manrique Ugarte

    Kamali Martin

    Bianca Martins Viegas

    Lucia Moerk

    Maria de Sa

    Peter Wang

    Jasmin Kirst

    Onur Tekin

    Ian Warner

    Ronald Watts

    Brett Yuille

    2:00pm Graduation


    MFA in Filmmaking


    Nada Al Mojadedi

    Sulafa Ibrahim Alasiri

    Majid Alsharif

    Victoria Nicks

    Alexandr Shashenkov

    Victor Alberto Velasco

    Rodrigo Zanforlin

    Kshitij Bal

    Anatoliy Kim

    Xiongze Ren

    Hui Yuan


    MFA in Filmmaking (Feature Track)


    Keith Anderson

    Sonia Bajaj

    Li Yuan


    MA in Film & Media Production


    Oguzhan Akdogan

    Denise Alessandra Ambroggio

    Chaitanya Kumar Gandikota

    Ruchira Janwalikar

    Ievegen Khazin

    Nency Maisuria

    Witawit Rattanathitinun

    Andalib Rubayat

    Luis Sanchez

    Victoria Tapp


    BFA in Filmmaking


    Jon Beroiz Lopez

    Tomas Diaz Gomez

    Stephanie Dieter

    Brianna Flores-Stanton

    Shane Golden Antonucci

    Alejandro Kahuam

    Haifeng Wang

    Xuhan Gao

    Aijia Li

    Zhong Ren

    Sandy Sai

    Sixing Su

    Li Wei


    AFA in Filmmaking


    Maans Reimer


    MFA in Photography


    Amani Alhomeid

    Alaa Alrafaihi

    Michael Iloba

    Lian Liu

    Alify Nasution

    Nataliya Rudenko

    Madawi Zabarmawi


    BFA in Photography


    Gabriela Azuaje Rodriguez

    Casey McGeorge

    Colleen Stavrakos


    MFA in Cinematography


    Rakan Abdullah Aljamie

    Jiachen Dong

    Dmitry Fursov

    Ruixi Gao

    Jeremy Harris

    Bowen Jiang

    Mohammed Khayat

    Ji Yoon Kim

    Christopher Brendan Kistan

    Nattaphon Voranapa

    Yuchen Yan

    Bo Ye


    6:00pm Graduation


    MFA in Screenwriting


    Charles Ancelle

    Jimena Lucia Carias Zuniga

    Saanya Dua

    Ashley Hargrove

    Hyunmin Jun

    Jeff Kimball

    Robert Thorpe

    Bartosz Tomaszewski

    Breonna Young


    BFA in Screenwriting


    Gal Cohen

    Dion Moosa

    Nuttawuthi Nakong

    Adam Teitelbaum

    Michael Teitelbaum


    AFA in Screenwriting


    Allison Catalfumo

    Anastasiia Cherkashyna

    Joon Sung Seung


    MFA in Producing


    Dusica Aleksic

    Alastair David Boyd

    Krystina Olivia Christiansen

    Jiyin Hong

    Vamsi Jonnalagadda

    Yi Ke Kou

    Sai Sen Lee

    Xiaoxiao Ma

    Shane Miller

    Julian Molina

    Dmitrii Aleksandrovich Musikhin

    Annamaria Pupart

    Nelson Rivera-Jimenez

    Ruben Rueda Valenzuela

    Yuxiao Wang

    Xiaoshi Zhu


    MFA in Producing (Feature Track)


    Mohammed Alshoaiby


    BFA in Producing


    Tom Bateman

    Rebecka Kristensson

    Milagro Mejia


    AFA in Producing


    Nyshon Ferrell

    Chor Kei Hui

    Andreina Perez

    Sim Sagiroglu

    Jing Shi

    Yizhou Su

    Huan Yu

    Kai Zhao

    Joel Seidl

    Peijun Zou


    BFA in Animation


    Mohammed Abuhaimd

    Yousef Badeeb

    Jessica Chung

    Tian Lan

    June 6, 2016 • Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1125

  • NYFA Filmmaking Graduation and Final Screenings

    filmmaking graduation

    Filmmaking graduates from New York Film Academy held a final screening at the Edmond J. Safra Hall Screening Room at the Museum of Jewish Heritage located near the New York campus in Battery Park.

    Introducing the films and congratulating the graduates prior to the screening was NYFA President Michael Young and Directing Instructor Brad Sample. Both Young and Sample stressed the fact that a key to their future success relies on their networking and collaborations with each other. A large portion of the NYFA success stories have come about from former students teaming up on projects together.

    The thirteen films that screened this past Friday, May 27, 2016 were:

    filmmaking 2016

    Summer 2015 Section A & B Final Films

    “We witnessed firsthand the effort all students collectively put into this program,” said NYFA Filmmaking Chair Claude Kerven. “This isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. Completing this program is a testament to each student’s hard work, commitment, and desire to excel in filmmaking. To master the craft of film directing is a life-long endeavor. We look forward to hearing good things about all of our graduates in the years to come.”

    Congratulations to all of our graduates, and best of luck on your future careers in filmmaking!

    To view more photos from the graduation, CLICK HERE.


    June 3, 2016 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2817