Without a doubt, the spread of the COVID-19 virus is at the top of TV newscasts around the world. That’s not surprising. That said, it is “business as usual” for the Broadcast Journalism department. And even if we can’t meet in Manhattan, my office in cyberspace is functioning just fine.
The Broadcasting Department connecting online
Something else that has been transformed is the U.S. Presidential race. Big campaign rallies have been cancelled, until further note. But, before they were, NYFA Broadcast Journalism grad Celina Liv Danielsen was traveling throughout the United States for Denmark’s TV2, and was able to capture when President Donald Trump arrived in New Hampshire.
NYFA Alum Celina Liv Danielsen captures Donald Trump at his campaign rally in New Hampshire.
As voters were getting ready for Super Tuesday and the selection of Democratic convention delegates in 11 different states, NYFA alum Karen Hua covered a Bernie Sanders rally in California for the NBC affiliate station in Bakersfield; note that she covered this event solo and posted on social media. TV news reporters are now expected to do so, as such
postings are essential to building and maintaining audiences.
Meanwhile, Brazilian Broadcast Journalism graduate Livia Fernanda had a far more pleasant assignment. She got to cover Carnival in Saō Paulo… but everything ended at midnight with the arrival of Ash Wednesday.
NYFA Alum Livia Fernanda covers Carnival in Brazil
Former NYFA student Suzane de Oliveira works for the French news agency AFP in Rio de Janeiro. An important part of her job is taking international AFP stories and repackaging them for the Brazilian TV market. Certainly one of the most moving stories I have seen in a long time was about a father in Syria, who found the best way to keep his young daughter calm as their town was under artillery and aerial bombardment was to make her laugh. Every time an explosion took place nearby, the two would burst into exuberant laughter.
Of course, some of our Brazilian grads (like some of our Danish grads) find their way back to New York City. Mariana Janjacomo was reporting from in front of the New York Stock Exchange recently, explaining the confusing economic news. She works for Jovem Pan, the main Brazilian radio station based in São Paulo. It is also the largest network of radio stations in the southern hemisphere and Latin America. Like other legacy media companies, they’ve branched out into online video news.
Thanks to all of you that passed along information about the NYFA Moscow Journalism Summer School (JSS). We received more than three times as many applications and queries as we have available openings. Successful candidates will be notified later this month.
Finally, if the Cannes Film Festival takes place this May (and right now, that is a big “if”) my independent feature film Invisible Love will be part of the Marche du Film. I must admit I was seriously surprised when I received a copy of the latest poster for the film, and discovered I got top billing! If anybody’s names should be up there, it ought to be Vietnamese actress Hoàng Phượng and NYFA Acting for Film alum Kazy Tauginas. They portray the two characters seen walking on a beach, near Da Nang in Viet Nam, in the poster.
The April ’17 Graduates with Acting Coordinator Louise Lee Mei
On November 9th, the New York Film Academy Gold Coast campus held its Advanced April ’17 Actors End of Year Showcase and Graduation. Graduating students were joined by family and friends at Event Cinemas at Pacific Fair to celebrate their achievements and the body of work they accomplished throughout the year.
New York Film Academy Australia delivers the nationally recognized Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media, with chosen coursework focused on the craft and business of acting for film. Students who enroll with the program commit a tremendous amount of time and effort, which paid off handsomely with a much-anticipated screening at the April ’17 graduation.
Acting Coordinator, Louise Lee Mei, opened the event by welcoming guests and congratulating the four graduating students: Christopher Gillham, Esther Crane, Marc Johnson and Sherry Kawecki.
“The Advanced April Actors are a group of very hard workers who we are extremely proud of,” said Mei. “We are excited to present these great actors to the industry.”
The screening included Acting for Film scenes and the group’s pilot episode “Eternity”, concerning a jilted lover turning her hand to black magic and threatening the delicate balance between good and evil.
The New York Film Academy congratulates our NYFA Gold Coast Advanced April ’17 Actors!
The list of sports films and sports comedies are endless, but not many movies have been about the burgeoning E-Sports wave, the billion-dollar industry of competitive video games. New York Film Academy Australia (NYFA AU) Gold Coast alumnus and California native Josh Hale sought to change that, and it’s starting to pay off for the filmmaker.
His mockumentary film “Digital Athletes: The Road to Seat League” just had its North American premiere at the Historic Bay Theatre on November 3, and has already picked up multiple awards and official selections to festivals around the world. “I am on cloud nine,” Hale told NYFA while in California showcasing his film.
Hale’s most recent win was the Best Comedy Film Award from the San Francisco International New Concept Film Festival. The Festival bills itself as an “international platform for film lovers, new filmmakers and film/media students who love filmmaking to stand out,” with a specific mission of “discovering and selecting potential talents with new concepts to accelerate the prosperous development of the film industry.”
Hale told The San Leandro Times that his mockumentary style was inspired by comedy classics like “This is Spinal Tap” and “Best in Show.” He continued, “I find E-Sports fascinating.” Hale shot the entire feature-length film on Australia’s Gold Coast on a tiny budget of $5000, using local actors.
Hale graduated from the Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media in Filmmaking at NYFA AU Gold Coast. Skills he developed during his time at NYFA AU, including producing and budgeting, were the fundamental skills he utilized during the production. Hale is still a part of the NYFA AU family, and is now passing on his experience and knowledge at the campus as a Teaching Assistant.
“Josh utlitzed his hands-on training with NYFA Gold Coast to go make a feature film right out of college,” noted NYFA Gold Coast Director Tasha Cooper. “He’s one of our success stories and we’re very proud of his recent achievements.”
The New York Film Academy congratulates Josh Hale on his success, and looks forward to seeing what further accomplishments his hard work and dedication will bring!
The New York Film Academy (NYFA) announced that NYFA’s Florence, Italy campus will, in September 2018, offer a semester ‘Study Abroad’ program in filmmaking and acting for film. This is a new opportunity for students—from anywhere in the world—to study in Florence for a 12-week semester. Traditionally, the NYFA Florence location has offered shorter term ‘workshops’ of 1-week, 4-week, 6-week, and 8-week with various starts from April to September. These workshops will continue to run.
The semester program offers 13 U.S. college credits, which are issued by NYFA in partnership with Endicott College; students can also receive transcripts of credits that are regionally recognized. All program lengths offer accredited transcripts upon completion of the coursework.
NYFA’s Florence programs have been running since 2003, and for most of that time they have been under the guidance of Diana Santi, Director of NYFA Italy, a highly regarded professional in the film industry.
NYFA Study Abroad at Florence, Italy
“We are very excited to launch the first ever semester program in Florence,” stated Ms. Santi. “While the program dates of September to December fit the study abroad model for American students who are enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities, we expect to have many international students join the program as is the case with our workshops”. She continued, “No one can dispute that Florence, and Tuscany, is the perfect place to make movies and enjoy a unique cultural experience.”
NYFA Florence is in the heart of the historic center of Florence and directly across from Cappelle Medicee and steps away from the Duomo. Instead of occupying class time in a typical classroom, students will utilize Florence as their classroom, filming and acting within the city itself. As one of NYFA’s core values is Learning by Doing, all of NYFA’s programs are hands-on and intensive. From the first day of the program, students will have their hands on the equipment or be acting in front of the camera.
“Going to NYFA was one of the best decisions of my life,” expressed a recent filmmaking student from Bulgaria. “The education is very practical and hands on, the tutors are very qualified and helpful, I made friends for life here and I would totally recommend the experience to everyone. I definitely feel more confident in trying to put my ideas on the screen then before, and it’s all thanks to these amazing people.”
For more information about studying abroad in Florence, Italy, please contact:
Hannah Gilliland email@example.com 212-674-4300
New York Film Academy Gold Coast held their July 2017 Acting for Filmmaking Mid Year Performance Showcase on September 6, a successful night of performance and laughs.
“All in the Timing” performance by NYFA Gold Coast July 2017 Acting for Film
Directed by Acting Lecturer Veronica Neave, students presented excerpts from the play “All In The Timing” by David Ives. Of the performance, Neave stated, “the world according to David Ives is a very odd place. It is enchanting, perplexing, incessantly intelligent and side-splitting funny.”
New York Film Academy Australia strives to provide our acting students with engaging material that inspires them to take chances and stretches their talents to better strengthen them.
Neave continued, “The July Actors have risen valiantly to this challenge and have give an outstanding performance.” New York Film Academy congratulates the July 2017 AFF students and looks forward to their next showcase!
NYFA’s Musical Theatre production of “Merrily We Roll Along” was a huge success in more ways than one. After each performance, NYFA students and cast members collected money in the signature red buckets from Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the nonprofit that’s been raising funds for people living with HIV and other life-threatening illnesses for nearly thirty years.
It has become a proud tradition for Broadway shows to address their audiences directly for this incredibly worthwhile cause. Since its inception, Broadway Cares has raised over $285 million—money that has been awarded as grants to social service organizations in all 50 states.
It is not uncommon to see our Broadway faculty with the red buckets on the Broadway stage raising money for Broadway Cares. And now our students are passing on this legacy.
NYFA’s “Merrily We Roll Along”
With the cast and crew of “Merrily We Roll Along” supporting this fundraising effort, the New York Film Academy became the very first conservatory to join Broadway with the red bucket appeal. In just one weekend of performances from our 100-seat theatre, our students and community were able to raise $1,050 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS!
Needless to say, we are very proud of the Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre program for their fantastic effort and we are thrilled to be aligned with the great work of Broadway Cares. We will continue these efforts with the red buckets during our main stage productions and proudly stand as the leading conservatory in the fight to help provide lifesaving medication, healthy meals, and emergency assistance to those who need them most.
NYFA’s “Merrily We Roll Along”
Director: Robert W. Schneider (Assistant Director to filmmaker Lonny Price on the acclaimed “Merrily We Roll Along”documentary “Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened.”)
Musical Director: Kevin David Thomas (2009 Broadway revival of “A Little Night Music.”)
New York Film Academyacting instructor, Anastasia Coon is bringing her one-woman show, Gracie & Rose, to the Art of Acting studio in Hollywood as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. The festival takes place in venues throughout Hollywood during the month of June, and promotes groundbreaking work in small venues. As Anastasia says, “A huge part of Fringe is the social aspect. You see a show, hang out with actors, and have a drink with them.”
In Gracie & Rose, Anastasia portrays multiple characters living in Wyoming in the 1950s. The character of Gracie has to deal with the intense demands of the land, caring for animals, and running a ranch. She also disguises herself as a man so she and Rose can be together.
Inspired in part by Anastasia’s time living on a farm in France, the play was cultivated over the past dozen years. “It’s a good story. Old-fashioned storytelling. And it’s a love story about living authentically by any means necessary,” she says.
While Gracie & Rose is not based on a specific true story, Anastasia says, “It’s based on true stories of women through our history that we never hear about.” In fact, there are many well-documented incidents of women living as men for various reasons throughout history – in Aboriginal communities, throughout the Middle East, and during the American Civil War. Anastasia continues, “Because we’re deprived of those stories, there are huge omissions in American history, the history of the Western states, and women around the world.”