Study Abroad

  • Filmmaking and Acting Workshops Held in Beijing and Shanghai

    This summer, the New York Film Academy held Filmmaking & Acting workshops in both Beijing and Shanghai, China. The workshops have drawn a growing number of international students who want to live and learn in China, where the entertainment industry is growing exponentially.

    Students were able to learn the various aspects of the filmmaking process, including writing, directing, acting, editing, and lighting a set.


    “The instructors were quite helpful and always ready to help you with your specific project,” said Enna, a student who grew up in British Guiana. “It was great to have industry standard equipment to work with and bring our projects to life.”

    china workshop

    “I will definitely choose New York Film Academy,” added another student, Steven. “I think it’s very hands on, very practical; it will help me get started.”

    Many of the students had the same sentiment as the event was a tremendous success, with many attendees committed to pursuing their education further at the Academy.

    September 8, 2016 • Acting, Community Highlights, Filmmaking, Study Abroad • Views: 2082

  • NYFA’s Ren Zhong Wins Big at Beijing Film Academy Awards

    Zhong Ren

    NYFA student Ren Zhong

    Congratulations to New York Film Academy Master of Arts in Film and Media Production student Ren Zhong, whose first semester film New Life won both Best Short Film and Audience’s Favorite Short Film at the Beijing Film Academy Awards.

    Zhong is an award-winning Chinese actor who has appeared in a number of films, including Beginning of the Great Revival 建党伟业 (2011) and Intern 青年医生 (1997). He’s also starred in several Chinese television series, such as Beijing Youth 北京青年 (2012), Man Group 男人帮 (2011) and Marriage Battle 婚姻保卫战 (2010), among others.

    ren zhongZhong’s short musical film features a girl who struggles with and, ultimately, matures from a difficult breakup with her boyfriend. Normally, a close friend would rise to this occasion, but more often than not, they do it out of obligation as a friend. However, this story depicts a helping hand from a stranger, who did it out of trust, sympathy and compassion. We are all expected to help one another as gregarious individuals. It is from this extraordinary experience that the main character becomes even stronger—mentally and psychologically.

    “It is a musical film about love,” said Zhong. “I have been studying at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus for only three months—it is impossible for me to know the states that well. Of course, I can make an ‘American film’ from my perspective, but the audience would not be able to relate to it. It is nearly impossible to make an authentic Chinese movie in LA. However, there is no better theme than a love story that touches every one of us and goes beyond age, race, gender and nationality.”

    Indeed it is quite a compelling film to people from all different backgrounds, and an incredible accomplishment for a student film.

    January 13, 2016 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights, Study Abroad • Views: 1692

  • NYFA Welcomes China Zhejiang Film and Media Group

    The China Zhejiang Film and Media Group recently visited the New York Film Academy’s 17 Battery location to get an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the New York City campus.

    chinese students

    Dean of Asian Students Joy Zhu, President Michael Young and Senior Executive Vice President David Klein

    The international group was introduced to the visual and performing arts school by Dean of Asian Students Joy Zhu, as well as President Michael Young and Senior Executive Vice President David Klein.

    The Chinese film students were able to get a firsthand look at the breathtaking views that Battery Park has to offer, which includes New York Harbor, Ellis Island and The Statue of Liberty. The tour included some of our classrooms, which were uniquely designed from scratch to meet the specific needs of the hands-on programs, including state-of-the-art production studios and sound stages with courses focusing on filmmaking, acting, musical theatre, screenwriting, 3D animation, producing, photography, broadcast journalism, and more.

    “It was a pleasure meeting the China Zhejiang Film and Media group,” said NYFA’s Director of Chinese Social Media, Nancy Shen. “NYFA is proud to serve the high-end Film and Television training program members in their pursuit of a world-class filmmaking education.”

    Indeed it was a thrill welcoming budding young talent from China, and we hope to meet with them and other international students in the near future!

    January 8, 2016 • Community Highlights, Study Abroad • Views: 1263

  • Kseniya Yorsh on Careers After Graduation for International Students

    Recently, we had chance to talk with Documentary Grad Kseniya Yorsh, who has been working professionally in Hollywood since she graduated a year ago.

    “My main interests and ambitions are producing documentaries and feature films, so that’s what I’m doing. While studying, I was involved in about 50-60 short student and indie projects. After I graduated, I worked on several feature films and TV shows. It is very possible to work in the US and make money. There are always projects—quite a lot of them!”


    NYFA grad Kseniya Yorsh. (Photo by Mary Lou Sandler)

    Kseniya dreamed of being in the film industry from a very young age, but following advice of others she went to Minsk to study international relations, political science. As a result, at 23, she was running the international business and making good money, but it was taking all of her free time and there was no pleasure for the soul in exchange.

    “I didn’t want it to be like that. I wanted filmmaking to be my work, my weekends, my friends. So I left everything and went to the United States to study at New York Film Academy and to start all over again. I thought it’s better to do it at 23 than wake up at 53 and realize that you lived someone’s else life.”

    Why did you choose NYFA and how would you describe the education?

    Two of my friends went to NYFA for short-term workshops. I was impressed with the results. The 8-week program had dramatically increased their level of professionalism. When I came here I didn’t know what field I should specialize in, so I decided that the short program might be a good start. After I finished the 8-Week Screenwriting Workshop, I knew what I wanted to do and enrolled in the 1-Year Documentary Filmmaking.

    Perhaps the best aspect of NYFA is teaching you how to work a lot and fast. You are getting used to an intensive schedule. And also the opportunity to make connections. All of the instructors work in the industry. I began to realize that these are my potential future employers. I was building relationships with them, with candid interest in their experience, becoming friends with some, and started working with a few right after graduation.

    Another important component of NYFA is that the school organizes numerous events with successful film industry figures. To see up close all of those talented masters of their craft, who have succeeded in Hollywood, and to be able to communicate with them is priceless. These are practical and accurate advices and again, these are contacts.

    After graduation you don’t have that easy access to all of it anymore, so I’m grateful to NYFA for providing countless opportunities, which helped me get a jump-start on my career after graduation.

    What practical advice can you give for those who are looking for a job/project after graduation?

    Start looking for a job from the first day of school. Start building your reputation. Make connections. Love what you do and dedicate yourself to it fully. Hard work, passion, dedication, pure intentions and love to the industry will open opportunities for you. Even a sparkle in your eyes and diligence can open doors. Take initiative. 

    How did you find your first professional project?

    A musician I know mentioned that he was planning to shoot a new music video. I offered my help with producing. On the same evening, I sent him a business plan with a budget and the shooting schedule. It was very important to me to do as I say, not just to throw an idea into the air. He accepted the offer, since people love the initiative, which simplifies their lives. And we made the music video.

    But it was a small project. My former instructor, who later became my mentor, invited me to work on my first really big project after NYFA. She called me and said that she would be hosting a new talk-show, and that they needed a set PA, who will bring coffee and run small errands. A lot of work, little money. I instantly agreed. After a couple days of work I was promoted, then again. After the show ended, Betsy Chasse came up to me and offered the Associate Producer position of her next film. And from there, the ball got rolling. 

    nyfa russia

    On set of “Poly – Love Beyond Exclusivity” Justin Knodel, Evita Sawyers

    What projects are you currently working on at the moment?

    Now, I’m in the process of shooting a full-length documentary about coaching. I work there as an Associate Producer. I started working on it back in August 2015. We’ve finished six weeks of shooting in Los Angeles, North Carolina, New York, and Louisiana. Next week we are going to New York and New Orleans again, and then there will be some shooting in Singapore and Italy. The crew consists of people from all around the world. The project is very interesting and the people are great. I love documentary because there are opportunities to meet amazing new people. The shooting process wasn’t easy in terms of organization and logistics, but everything is going well thus far. The movie is scheduled to be released January, 2017, I believe.

    I’m also finishing producing a documentary about polyamory, which we shot here in California about several families.  

    Finally, I was recently contacted by people from Switzerland who asked me to produce a talk-show focused on law. We are currently discussing it. Next year, I have four movies tentatively scheduled—in Mexico, Spain, New Zealand and the US. So there are some nice plans. Hopefully, they will all come through. The films are truly interesting.

    What advice would you give to someone who is planning to conquer Hollywood?

    Conquer yourself and you’ll conquer Hollywood. Do what makes you happy and not your ego — that’s what I always remind myself, and I tell it to everyone. This helps me to stay down to the Earth in the moments of success, and to choose new projects wisely. Time is invaluable!

    We are proud of Kseniya and admire her endless energy. We look forward to seeing her new projects and sincerely wish her success in achieving all of her goals.

  • “Thor,” “Kong,” and “Alien: Paradise Lost” to Film at Village Roadshow Studios in Australia

    One of the immediate and most obvious benefits of having a film school inside the confines of a movie studio is the unprecedented access to the movie industry and the behind-the-scenes exposure to major motion pictures. Similar to our Los Angeles campus, which offers workshops on the Universal Studios backlot, the New York Film Academy Gold Coast Australia location offers programs on the backlot of Village Roadshow Studios adjacent to Warner Bros Movie World in Queensland, Australia.

    Given its resources and state-of-the art studio space, the Queensland studio will be the filming location of three upcoming major motion pictures, including the third installment of Thor, Kong: Skill Island, and Alien: Paradise Lost.

    nyfa australia

    Village Roadshow Studios


    “Queensland offers an amazing and diverse backdrop for Thor: Ragnarok and we are very excited to bring this film to such an incredible locale,” said Louis D’Esposito, Co-President of Marvel Studios.

    This has become a serious location option for many studio films, with Queensland’s Village Roadshow Studios already having been the location for the Scooby Doo films, House of Wax, Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Daybreakers, and Fools Gold amongst many others. Just this past year we saw NYFA Australia Gold Coast Chair of Acting, Brad McMurray and One-Year Acting Grad, Nick Allen-Ducat in San Andreas—starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Paul Giamatti—which also filmed in Queensland.

    “As our economy diversifies, Queensland is demonstrating its strength as a lead destination for filmmakers both internationally and locally, and my government is doing what it can to ensure that Queensland remains a global hub for the screen sector,” said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

    nyfa gold coast students

    As is the goal with all of NYFA’s programs, the Gold Coast location offers a real world filmmaking experience in a truly hands-on curriculum. There are several course offerings available, including our hands-on intensive Two-Year FilmmakingOne-Year Filmmaking, Two-Year Acting for Film and One-Year Acting for Film programs as well as short-term and evening workshops.

    For more information about NYFA’s Gold Coast campus, please visit:

  • Russian Student Shoots Video Spot for Nike

    Recently, one of our Russian filmmaking students, Sergei Frante, was asked to shoot a video spot for Nike in Moscow (seen above).

    “To be honest, this was one of the coolest projects I’ve ever worked on,” said Frante. “Once again, I realized how important the vibe is on set. With the right vibe, we can really produce magic.”

    Frante says getting to know the inside scoop on how Hollywood operates has been extremely helpful during his time at the New York Film Academy. “When you know how things should be done from directors’ and producers’ points of view, you can really accomplish a lot on set and be more dedicated to the creative aspects of the project.”

    Frante is currently developing a television series with his friend and collaborator Alexander Babaev. The two are hoping to launch the series in Los Angeles by the end of 2015.

    “As for my filmmaking career, I want to get on the level that Tarkovsky and Kubrick were on. I’m a big fan of old movies— without digital technology— when filmmaking was truly magical. I want to touch the hearts of the people, make them think and inspire them. Filmmaking is a form of art and has its own instruments to let the director speak, so I just want to keep on talking.”

    July 7, 2015 • Acting, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights, Study Abroad • Views: 1976

  • NYFA Partners with FUNGLODE/GFDD

    Michael Young and Leonel Fernandez

    NYFA President Michael Young and the Honorable Dr. Leonel Antonio Fernández Reyna, former president of the Dominican Republic

    As many of our students and faculty are well aware, the New York Film Academy whole-heartedly embraces a diverse student population. In our continuing efforts to expand our reach internationally, NYFA has entered into an agreement with the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (FUNGLODE/GFDD) with offices in the Dominican Republic and US. Today, NYFA President Michael Young made the agreement official after signing the deal with FUNGLODE/GFDD Founder Antonio Fernández Reyna at NYFA’s Battery Park campus.

    Founded by the Honorable Dr. Leonel Antonio Fernández Reyna, former president of the Dominican Republic, the foundation serves as a bridge for Dominican students seeking higher education in the United States of America.

    In support of the efforts of FUNGLODE/GFDD in regard to student mobility, the New York Film Academy will offer a 25% tuition reduction for students approved by FUNGLODE/GFDD and accepted by NYFA for its degree programs.

    “NYFA is excited to partner with FUNGLODE/GFDD,” said NYFA Director of Outreach and Development, Jack Newman. “Planning is underway to expand the opportunities for Dominican students to experience the hands-on and intensive education provided by the Academy.”

    All applicants will be pre-screened by FUNGLODE/GFDD and will follow the admissions requirements noted at Applications and supporting materials will be forwarded to NYFA by FUNGLODE/GFDD for review, processing, and final approval for admission to NYFA.

    January 9, 2015 • Community Highlights, Study Abroad • Views: 2542

  • NYFA Australia Gold Coast Showcases its Filmmaking Graduates

    queensland showcase

    It’s been a month of showcases for our fellow friends and students in Australia. New York Film Academy Gold Coast showcased a record 25 films at this year’s annual Filmmakers Showcase. The films were screened over two nights at the new state-of-the-art library at Helensvale. Both nights were packed houses with filmmakers celebrating the end of a great year with family, friends and NYFA faculty. NYFA Director, Simon Hunter attended the event along with Chair of Filmmaking, Shawn Kassinger; Craig Proudley, General Manager, Gold Coast and Jennie Hughes, General Manager, Sydney.

    The Australian Gold Coast campus offers a number of filmmaking programs including one and two-year programs as well as short term and evening courses. Students who wish to continue their study towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts can do so at our Los Angeles campus. In fact, one of our recent Gold Coast graduates, Dominic Polito, has decided to continue his studies with a Master Of Fine Arts at NYFA Los Angeles.

    We’d like to thank everyone who made this special event possible, and wish the best of luck to our graduates as they head into the professional world of filmmaking!

    December 23, 2014 • Filmmaking, Study Abroad • Views: 3282

  • New York Film Academy Student Arabic Film Festival

    NYFA Arab Film Festival

    A frustrated screenwriter gets unlikely inspiration for his next “killer” screenplay. A young man is pressured by his father to leave his true love for an arranged marriage. A police detective viciously interrogates three suspects to uncover who murdered an innocent man over a parking spot.

    These stories were but three of the twelve films and music videos recently screened at New York Film Academy’s Student Arabic Film Festival. With Dean of Enrollment Tami Alexander in attendance (all the way from New York!), the festival showed how the themes and stories created by our Arabic students were truly universal.

    Recent alum Osama Alkhurayji along with current students Almotaz Aljefri and Fawaz Saleh organized the event with Dean of Students Eric Conner. After receiving submissions from several current students, a lineup was compiled which included an array of dramas, thrillers, comedy and romance.

    In a Question and Answer session after the screening, the student filmmakers described the passion (and occasional problems) that went into creating their work. What came across from the comments was how relatable the material was to an audience from all over the globe.

    At the end of the night, three projects were recognized by a judging panel that included Saudi film director Bader Alhamoud and Al Riyadh’s Film Critic Rja Almutairi.

    nyfa film fest arabic

    First Place
    Producer / Director of Photography – Abdullah Alshuridah
    Producer – Mann Binabdulrahman

    Second Place
    Director – Omar Said

    Third Place
    Director – Abdullah Abuljadail

    Congratulations to all the filmmakers on their work!


  • NYFA Sydney Holds First Inaugural Filmmaking Showcase at Event Cinemas

    NYFA Sydney Event

    The New York Film Academy Australia campus in Sydney held its first Inaugural Filmmaking Showcase at Event Cinemas, George Street in VMAX 2. The multiplex theater, which screens today’s top films, just so happens to be filmmaker Baz Luhrmann’s favorite cinema in Australia!

    To kick off the event, filmmakers strutted the red carpet outside of the theater. After all, what would an award-ceremony be without a red carpet? Guests included our filmmakers and their families and friends, screen industry professionals, 2015 committed students, potential new students and NYFA Sydney alumni. NYFA Australia Director Simon Hunter and NYFA Australia Academic Manager Craig Proudley were also on hand for the night. NYFA is the first and only film school to have showcased thesis films in a VMAX cinema at Event Cinemas, George Street, Sydney. We love being pioneers.

    The awards ceremony gave out 4 awards, including Outstanding Student, Best Cinematographer, Best Director and Best Film, which was chosen by a panel of screen industry professionals.

    nyfa sydney actors

    “It is an exciting partnership that Event Cinemas has with NYFA,” said Event Cinemas General Manager, Anthony Kierann. “Last night was a night of talented filmmakers and actors expressing their creative journey and discovering their voice within the magical process of storytelling in the art of filmmaking. There is a huge appetite within the film-going community to experience extraordinary stories with universal themes and social significance. Last night there was a range of styles, performances, screenwriting and visual bravery with astute detail and a willingness to explore all the nuanced options creatively available to tell a story — the films screened last night at the thesis screenings certainly were a testament to the talent pool at NYFA in Sydney. As an exhibitor, it is encouraging to see such a depth of talent. Events looks forward to furthering its support and partnership; to be in some small way a nurturing component that may allow these young filmmakers and actors wings to grow. Congratulations to everyone involved and a special congratulations to Ren Thackham for her audacious visionary film Lady Luck, which won the Best Film Award”

    Anthony and Event Cinemas were so pleased with the night that they have committed to playing one of our filmmakers thesis films, Wolf by Ethan Thomas before a feature film. Overall, it was not only an entertaining night, it was a whopping success. We look forward to our next Filmmaking Showcase at Event Cinemas!

    December 11, 2014 • Acting, Community Highlights, Filmmaking, Study Abroad • Views: 3837