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  • NYFA Alumni Majid Al Ansari and Razanne Jammal Involved in Netflix Original Series “Paranormal”

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    Not one, but two alumni are involved in Netflix’s first series to accommodate deaf and blind viewers for Arabic Netflix. NYFA Filmmaking alum Majid Al Ansari directs three episodes of the new series, with actress and NYFA alum Razanne Jammal starring as lead character Maggie Mckillop.

    Film poster for ‘Paranormal’

    Ma Waraa al-Tabea (in Arabic) or “Paranormal” in English, premiered on November 5, 2020, and marks Egypt’s first original series in addition to being the first Arabic Netflix series to accommodate deaf and blind viewers.

    The series is based on Ahmed Khaled Tawfik’s thrilling book series about doctor Refaat Ismail, a cynical doctor whose lifelong scientific convictions are suddenly called into question. The Egyptian author’s critically acclaimed novels in Arabic have sold more than 15 million copies worldwide.

    NYFA alum Razanne Jammal in ‘Paranormal’

    Razanne Jammal attended NYFA’s 4-Week Acting for Film program in 2009 and has since built up a successful acting career, starring alongside Liam Neeson in A Walk Among the Tombstones and starring in Robert Guédiguian’s Don’t Tell Me The Boy Was Mad, which premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. She now plays Maggie Mckilop in Paranormal, Refaat’s university colleague who enters the paranormal world to protect those around her from danger.

    Majid Al Ansari at a panel for Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX

    Director Majid Al Ansari attended NYFA’s 2-Year Filmmaking Conservatory program and went on to have his debut feature film Zinzana (“Rattle The Cage”) have its world premiere at Fantastic Fest and its European premiere at the BFI London Film Festival. Zinzana was subsequently picked up and eventually sold to Netflix as the first Arab film acquisition after the streaming giant branched out to the Middle East. He has director credits for three episodes of the Netflix thriller Paranormal.

    Still from ‘Paranormal’

    New York Film Academy would like to congratulate NYFA Alumni Razanne Jammal and Majid Al Ansari for their involvement on Paranormal and encourages everyone to check out the new series if it is available in their country and looks forward to what’s next from the NYFA graduates.

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  • NYFA Abu Dhabi Student’s Script Accepted to Oscar Library

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    Pink

    The New York Film Academy Abu Dhabi is pleased to announce that one of its 8-Week Filmmaking students, Arkus, has had his script Pink accepted into the Oscar Library, and the short Arabic film he created from the script has already screened at more than 10 international short film festivals around the globe.

    Pink is a story of Khadijah, a middle aged Arabic woman suffering from depression and low self-esteem after her divorce. The divorce has scarred her and led her to believe that she is no more attractive. Therefore, she begins a quest to look beautiful once again.

    Arkus

    Arkus

    “I am honored that Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences popularly known as the Oscar library has accepted the screenplay of Pink,” said Arkus. “It gives me a great sense of joy to know that my screenplay will share a room with some of the best screenplays in the world.”

    Arkus describes the New York Film Academy Abu Dhabi as his second home.

    “I had amazing teachers and staff who took the pain to guide me even after the lectures at pretty odd hours, and my batch mates who made extra efforts to ensure that the film is what it is today. Specifically for the screenplay — maximum credit goes to my two teachers, Norman B. Schwartz and Scott Hartmann, who poured their heart out. I just feel that if I would have listened to them more, the screenplay would have been better.”

    Arkus continues to screen his film at festivals around the world. After making Pink, Arkus teamed up with a few close friends to create a paper-cut stop motion animated short film Dubai LoveScape, which screened at Dubai International Film Festival, 2014.

    He is also working on a feature film script, which he hopes to find the right sponsors who can someday make it a reality.

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    March 31, 2015 • Abu Dhabi, Filmmaking, Screenwriting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 6549

  • New York Film Academy Student Arabic Film Festival

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    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
    NOT THIS WAY
    Producer / Director of Photography – Abdullah Alshuridah
    Producer – Mann Binabdulrahman

    Second Place
    SHARP
    Director – Omar Said

    Third Place
    JOHNNY SHADOW
    Director – Abdullah Abuljadail

    Congratulations to all the filmmakers on their work!

     

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