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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Documentary Instructor Bob Eisenhardt Wins Highest Editing Honor

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    The Eddie award is the highest honor American documentary editors can win. Last Friday night, New York Film Academy (NYFA) Documentary Department editing instructor Bob Eisenhardt, ACE, won it.

    If you’ve seen Free Solo, you’ll immediately know why. The 2018 film focuses on rock climber Alex Honnold as he attempts to climb El Capitan, the vertical rock formation in Yosemite National Park, without ropes, or “free solo.” El Capitan is so dangerous, no one has ever tried before, and Honnold is the only person to have ever accomplished the feat. The documentary has been praised for its unparalleled look at such an intense climbing experience.

    Free Solo

    His fellow editors in the American Cinema Editors (ACE) guild voted Eisenhardt’s work on Free Solo, National Geographic’s current Academy Award nominee, Outstanding Editing on a Documentary (Feature). Filmmaker Spike Lee presented him with the Eddie and his Free Solo directors, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, saw to it that he was properly feted.

    Eisenhardt’s NYFA Docs students acknowledge his Jedi master editing skills on pretty much a daily basis, but it’s nice to see the big guns officially shouting him out too.

    This is Eisenhardt’s second Eddie Award. He was previously acknowledged for his Outstanding Editing on HBO’s feature doc, Everything Is Copy. Since the Academy Awards does not present an award for documentary editing, the Eddie is documentary filmmaking’s uncontested top honor. Free Solo is the fourth film Eisenhardt has cut to be nominated for an Academy Award, which also just won the BAFTA. Additionally, Eisenhardt was previously nominated for an Oscar as a director, and has won three Emmys and been nominated for several more. Films he’s cut have been awarded multiple Emmys and nominated several more times. One even earned a Grammy nomination!

    The New York Film Academy congratulates instructor Bob Eisenhardt on his prestigious win at the Eddie Awards and wishes him and the crew of Free Solo the best of luck at this years Academy Awards!

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    February 19, 2019 • Documentary Filmmaking, Faculty Highlights • Views: 881

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) MFA Cinematography Alum Jude Abadi Wins Best Student Cinematography Award

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailThis summer, New York Film Academy (NYFA) MFA Cinematography alum Jude Abadi added a very important accolade to her resume when she won the Best Student Cinematography Award at the European Cinematography Awards. The award was for her work as director of photography on the short film The End of the World.

    The European Cinematography Awards are a film competition for filmmakers worldwide. According to their mission statement, the ECA supports “new and student filmmakers, who are just beginning their careers with a supportive and enthusiastic audience for their creative efforts,” as well as gives filmmakers “access to film industry professionals who can offer guidance and other forms of career assistance.”

    Best Student Cinematography Award

    Of the award, Abadi told NYFA that she was “ecstatic.” Abadi enrolled in the MFA program at NYFA’s cinematography school in Fall 2016, an accelerated, conservatory-based graduate program designed to instruct gifted and hardworking prospective directors of photography in a hands-on, professional environment. The cinematography school is chaired by Tony Richmond, A.S.C., B.S.C., who has shot many well-known films including Sympathy for the Devil, The Man Who Fell to Earth, and Legally Blonde.

    “Jude did a great job shooting this film, and putting it together,” said Mike Williamson, a NYFA instructor and one of Abadi’s thesis advisors, who worked with her as she shot the film. He continued, “It can be difficult to maintain a consistent look when you’re shooting a long scene in a practical location, but her work over several shooting days matches very nicely. Her team made a strong film, and this award is well-deserved.”

    The End of the World was filmed in Los Angeles and tells the story of a married couple taken hostage by a crazed stranger, and their attempts to defuse their captor and his inane ramblings. It was written by Nabil Chowdhary and directed by NYFA alum Joshua M.G. Thomas. The film co-stars Buffy Milner, another NYFA alum who has recently written, directed, and acted in the film Type.

    The New York Film Academy congratulates Jude Abadi on her prestigious award and wishes her the best of luck as her career continues forward!Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    October 22, 2018 • #WomenOfNYFA, Cinematography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 158

  • Oscar-Nominated Doc Edited by New York Film Academy Instructor Now Nominated for An Emmy

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailHeroin(e), a Netflix-produced documentary edited by New York Film Academy (NYFA) instructor Kristen Nutile, has been nominated for an Emmy. This adds to its rave reviews and other major award nominations, including for the Peabody and, earlier this year, for an Academy Award. Heroin(e)’s producers join NYFA alumni, guest speakers, and other NYFA community members with nominations for the Emmy this year, including Bill Hader and Issa Rae.

    One of Netflix’s acclaimed original documentaries, Heroin(e) is directed by Peabody Award-winning documentarian Elaine Mcmillion (Hollow, The Lower 9). The film offers an intimate and harrowing view of the nation’s opioid epidemic through the stories of three women in Huntington, West Virginia — a city now infamous for an overdose rate 10 times the national average.

    The nominations for the 39th Annual News and Documentary were announced on July 26 by The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, who also annually distribute the Daytime Emmy Award and Heartland Emmy Award, among other accolades. The News & Documentary Emmy Awards will be presented on Monday, October 1st, 2018, at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in the Time Warner Complex at Columbus Circle in New York City. The ceremony will be attended by more than 1,000 television and news media industry executives, news and documentary producers, and journalists.

    Heroin(e) is nominated for Outstanding Short Documentary, and is one of 112 nominations for streaming juggernaut Netflix, who for the first time this year leads all networks in total noms, beating out HBO (108) and NBC (78). 

     

    Heroin(e) Netflix

    Heroin(e) was edited by Kristen Nutile, who teaches for the Documentary School at New York Film Academy’s New York campus, a program featured on The Independent Magazine’s list of Top 10 Academic Programs for Documentary Filmmakers. The school boasts both award-winning alumni and faculty.

    Nutile is a prolific filmmaker in her own right, having edited two dozen films in addition to directing six of her own. She founded Soft Spoken Films in 2001, and is a recipient of the Albert Maysles Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking. 

    The New York Film Academy congratulates documentary instructor Kristen Nutile and Heroin(e) on its incredible run of prestigious nominations and wishes them the best of luck at this year’s Emmy Awards!

    Interested in studying documentary filmmaking with the New York Film Academy? You can find more information here!Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    July 30, 2018 • Documentary Filmmaking, Entertainment News, Faculty Highlights • Views: 1160

  • New York Film Academy Alum Wins Big With “Dancing Wheels”

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    Credit: PRLog

    Lucia Barata wanted to support the Dancing Wheels Company & School, an organization dedicated to teaching and showcasing dancers both with and without disabilities. Lucia decided to put the filmmaking skills she had learned over the years toward this goal to bring more exposure to Dancing Wheels and help them find more support and sponsors. Her efforts are paying off as her documentary, “Dancing Wheels,” is quickly collecting both awards and acclaim, including Best Film at the International Student, Newcomer, and Woman Movie Awards (ISENMA) 2017.

    Since 1980, Dancing Wheels has dedicated itself to providing “a unifying expression of movement for all,” exhibiting dance as an essential illustration of the human spirit, including from people of all abilities. Since adding a school to its company in 1990, Dancing Wheels has become one of the foremost arts and disabilities organizations in the country.

    By using the medium of film to showcase both the incredible dancing of the company’s members, as well as the passion and heart behind these beautiful physical movements, Lucia Barata was able to bring Dancing Wheels’s mission statement to a larger audience, including those outside the United States.

    The International Student, Newcomer, and Woman Movie Awards are held in Indonesia and were founded in 2015, collaborating with the Film Festivals Alliance. Creating a platform and opportunities for both Indonesian and International filmmakers, the festival accepts narrative and documentary submissions from film students, newcomers (non-student, professional, recreational, or amateur filmmakers) and female filmmakers from around the world.

    Out of a selection of 350 films, “Dancing Wheels,” was nominated for Best Film alongside three other films. Despite the competition, the documentary was an audience favorite and took home the big prize. The award ceremony was held in Bali and attended by an illustrious crowd, including Indonesian royals. Barata accepted the Best Film award from His Majesty the King of Bonea Selayar, H. Andi Mahyuddin.

    While ISENMA presented “Dancing Wheels” with its first Best Film award, the documentary has already picked up several other accolades, including the Diamond Award in Short Documentary and Platinum Award for Editor of the Year at the Directors Awards, the Medal of the Year and Platinum Award for Director of the Year from the Filmmakers of the Year Film Festival, and the Royal High Achievement Award from Royal World Prize & Records.

    “This film is the one I’m very proud of,” remarked Barata, adding, “there are no boundaries to dance.” Barata was born in Brazil and already had an impressive education in art and architecture before enrolling at the New York Film Academy in 2012. Taking the 1-Year Filmmaking program in New York City, Barata learned the skills necessary to telling a story—fictional or nonfictional—through a visual medium.

    The New York Film Academy congratulates alumna Lucia Barata on “Dancing Wheels” and its awards, and looks forward to seeing what further accolades her career will bring!Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    November 30, 2017 • Documentary Filmmaking, Film Festivals • Views: 1543

  • New York Film Academy Alum’s “Newton” Selected as India’s Entry for Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award

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    Amit V Masurkar’s “Newton”

    “Newton,” a feature-length film by NYFA alumnus Amit V Masurkar, is now in the running for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film — just one in a long line of successes the Indian dark comedy-drama and its writer & director have already seen.

    Co-written and directed by Amit, “Newton” stars Rajkummar Rao as Newton Kumar, a rookie government clerk who seeks to uphold democracy and conduct fair elections in Chhattisgarh’s conflict-ridden jungles. The film has received positive reviews, including from India’s Huffington Post, which called it “a touching, personal and very human film.”

    Amit first premiered “Newton” at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the CICAE Art Cinema Award. Since then, Amit has presented his film at nearly 50 festivals, including the Tribeca Film Festival in April, where it screened in the International Narrative Competition, and the Hong Kong International Film Festival, where it won the coveted Jury Prize.

    An Academy Award would be the crowning achievement to go with these accolades, and the journey to attaining one is a long and tough road. Films that are produced outside of the United States and are delivered in a predominantly non-English language are eligible for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award. Unlike other Oscars, the Foreign Language Film Award is unique in that the golden statue is presented not to the filmmakers, but to the nation that produced it—adding an air of patriotic pride to the category.

    Each country must then select just one film per year to represent it at the Academy Awards, creating a lot of competition between movies of all genres, especially in a nation as populated and cinema-oriented as India. “Newton” was selected from a shortlist of 26 films to represent India at this year’s Oscars, and the final nominations from five different countries will be announced along with the other Academy Award noms early next year. The 90th Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on March 4, 2018.

    Amit V Masurkar honed his screenwriting skills at New York Film Academy’s New York campus, taking the 8-Week Screenwriting workshop in 2009. After writing for numerous sketch and comedy shows, Amit’s directorial feature-length debut “Sulemani Keeda” became a surprise indie hit. “Newton” is only his second feature film, and Amit has proven to be one of India’s most exciting voices in filmmaking.

    The New York Film Academy congratulates Amit V Masurkar on such a fantastic achievement, and looks forward to seeing what further accomplishments he and “Newton” will achieve!Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

  • NYFA Instructor Wins New York Innovative Theater Award for Directing

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailin vestmentsWe’d like to congratulate New York Film Academy Acting for Film instructor, Isaac Byrne, who recently won a New York Innovative Theater Award for Directing. The award came for his work on In Vestments, which also won Outstanding Premier of a New Play.

    In Vestments, written by Sara Fellini, is about four priests and a sacristan who are haunted by their pasts and their present addictions while they live and work in a crumbling church they are struggling to rebuild. This unique performance took place at the West Park Presbyterian Church, which was abandoned for a while and is now in the process of being rebuilt. The play was considered a site specific and immersive performance. Audience members were led to their pews and seated by nuns. In that sense, the play happened all around you, not just in front of you on a stage.

    This isn’t Byrne’s first involvement with an award-winning play. He was also nominated for directing The Other Mozart by Sylvia Milo, which won for Outstanding Solo Performance and Original Music.

    We had a chance to catch up with the award-winning director to gather some more insight on In Vestments, his career, and his teaching.

    How did you get involved with the project and where did the idea come from?

    The playwright and lead actor, Sara Fellini, took my private acting class for a year and then came to me with a play she had written called Hazard a Little Death— which I ended up directing. We produced that play several times, always using a number of former NYFA students as actors in each production. Kaitlan Emory, Tara Scalesi, Daniel Benhamu, Antonio Thompson, Brigita Cajauskyte, Linnea Larsdotter, and Mary-Anne Wright all performed roles in the various productions.

    Sara had worked for years as a sacristan at a Catholic Church in Queens and after the success of Hazard a Little Death (that play was nominated for number of Planet Connection Awards including Antonio Thompson for Actor in a featured role) she wrote In Vestments, which was inspired by her time as a sacristan.

    We developed the project over several months, with the help of some other NYFA people: faculty Rico Rosetti, John Desiderio and former students Connor Lyons and Ben Mann.

    in vestments stills
    What does this most recent award mean to you as an artist?

    It’s always nice to be recognized for your work, especially on artistically rewarding pieces that aren’t big financial pay days. I’m mostly just happy that the hard work that the cast and crew put in paid off. It’s very validating. Sometimes you make money and sometimes you don’t make money but they give you nice little award for your resume and mantelpiece.

    It gives you a little more cache when you’re meeting people, and you always meet more industry people when you get nominated for something. I’m actually meeting this week with a film and theatre producer that was one of the judges for this award, so hopefully this will lead to some more successful projects.

    How do your professional achievements and experience come into play during your teaching?

    Well, it’s always helpful to have a concrete recent example to point to when you’re trying to explain something in class. It’s good to be able to say: “that project just you saw; this is what we used to accomplish this” or “what I’m trying to show you right now; this is how that actor accomplished that performance you watched last night.”

    You have to stay fresh and in the game, I think. The industry is always changing and growing and if you keep working, you do too—as an artist but also as a teacher, too.

    in vestments play
    What advice do you have for students looking to break into the world of theater / directing / acting?

    Just know that there’s no magic day where you suddenly transition from student to artist. Your career has already begun. Your work and your attitude in the classroom is going tell everyone around you whether you are someone they want to work with. It’s not about talent; it’s about trust.

    We had a lot of people, including some very notable Broadway actors, audition for the role of Jakamo in In Vestments. But it was Pierre Marais’ incredible diligence in his time as a student at NYFA that convinced me that he could do the role. I fought for him because I knew he had the talent and the ability, but most of all that I could trust him. Pierre really was at the heart of that production in so many ways. We fell right back into the language and rhythms we had working together in the classroom and it really helped speed up and facilitate the rehearsal process.

    You never know where your next job is going to come from, but it almost always comes from the relationships you’ve built. Whether it’s a teacher or fellow student or someone you meet in an audition room after you graduate, you’ve got to get good at earning people’s trust with your skill, your attitude, and your professionalism. If you’re hard working and have a good attitude in a class then you’re building a reputation and a skill set that’s going to get you work.Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    September 29, 2015 • Acting, Musical Theatre • Views: 3678

  • MFA Filmmaking Grad Wins Best Producing and Directing Awards

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailSpyros KLast month, New York Film Academy MFA Filmmaking graduate Spyros Kopanitsas was awarded the Best Producing Award at The Madrid International Film Festival for his year one short film,  Level 2. Shortly after, he was awarded with the Best Director Award at the Downtown Film Festival in Los Angeles for his thesis film, (Z).

    Level 2 was his year one film during his two year MFA degree and only his second attempt at writing and directing a dialogue based short story. The film is set in a futuristic world where people are plugged into a networking platform video game called “The Place.” In this world, a humble boy asks out a rather high-status girl, but when he doesn’t have access to her level, he has to try and hack his way into the virtual bar they are supposed to meet at.

    His thesis film, (Z) is again set in the not so distant future where individual’s uncontrollable behaviors can be formatted by extreme and invasive measures by a German corporation, called (Z) Corp. In the film, we follow Nico, a raver junkie who wakes up one morning in his apartment only to realize it won’t be an ordinary one.

    Spyros came to us from Athens, Greece, and decided to go for his Master’s degree at NYFA Los Angeles after attending our 8-week filmmaking program in New York City. “I enjoyed the full hands-on practical approach to film and decided to do a two year MFA degree in the Los Angeles,” says Spyros. “The training at NYFA was very valuable in terms of producing and directing, especially in directing, which is the field that intrigues me the most.”

    He currently has a few projects in development, adding, “My goal as a filmmaker is to participate in productions that will entertain the eye and tickle the brain.”

    Level 2

    Behind the scenes of Level 2. Far left, former students Ioanna Sourmeli (make-up) and in the middle, Edrei Hutson (UPM).

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    September 17, 2014 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3714

  • Nasser Bin Hamad International Youth Creativity Award

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailNasser Bin HamadThe Cultural Office at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain in Washington DC would like to inform our international New York Film Academy students and alumni about the Nasser Bin Hamad International Youth Creativity Award in six areas: Science, Architecture, Graphic Design, Art, Photography and Filmmaking.

    The aim of the award is to attract and develop young talent while reducing the obstacles that face many of today’s youth may face by giving them an opportunity to express themselves, their talents and their creativity.  Moreover, to strengthen the relationship and ties between the youth of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the youth from all around the world, to enable and promote the exchange of experience between youth all over the world and spread the spirit of the competitiveness to create a positive worldwide competition among the participants.

    The Prize is intended for all nationalities between the ages 14 – 30 years old with the awards reaching​up to $11,000.00 USD for each category. The participation is categorized into three age groups for each of the six areas mentioned above.

    The Deadline for Submission is September 1st, 2014. For more details on how to participate and submit your applications please check the official website for the Award: www.nbhaward.bh

    NBH AwardFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    July 22, 2014 • Acting • Views: 5386

  • International Photography Award: Emergentes dst

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailemergentes photographyHere is a unique opportunity for New York Film Academy photography students and alumni to win an award for their portfolio. The International Photography Award Emergentes dst is an initiative of Domingos da Silva Teixeira group, organized by Encontros da Imagem, with a monetary prize to be granted to the best 2014 Contemporary Photography Portfolio. The Photography Prize Emergentes dst will be awarded after the Portfolio Review which gives photographers the opportunity to showcase their work to commissioners, gallery owners and expert editors, thus establishing solid foundations for the promotion of their work.

    NYFA students and alumni interested in applying to the Emergentes dst Award should follow these rules:

    1. APPLICANTS
    Every creator who uses photography as main expression may apply, regardless of nationality, gender or age.
    2. PRIZE
    The Photography Award Emergentes dst grants a prize money of 7,500 euro and an individual exhibition at the Festival Encontros da Imagem – 2015.
    3 . SELECTION WILL TAKE PLACE  IN A TWO STEP PROCESS
    3.1 PRE-SELECTION

      • At this step, each applicant must submit no more than 20 digital images (b&w or color). It must be an original and recent portfolio.
      • Deadline for the submission is August 15, 2014. The pre-application fee is 10€.
      • A pre-selection from a committee of experts will select 80 photographers who shall be invited to submit their portfolio to further review from specialists and photography and visual arts analysts.
      • Ranking shall be based on interest, originality and coherence of the projects, as well as on the conceptual quality of the work. Finalists shall be notified of the results until September 1.

    3.2 SELECTION OF ENTRANTS TO THE PORTFOLIO REVIEW
    The second step consists of the choice of 8 experts for the portfolio reading, by each of the selected candidates. Deadline for this choice is September 8. Portfolio analyses will take place during the Festival Encontros da Imagem, on September 17 and 18. The winner will be announced on September 20 in a special ceremony at Theatro Circo, Braga. Every selected candidate will have a 20 minute session with the assigned reviewer. All the finalists must pay a 140 € registration fee, which will also entitle them to the Encontros da Imagem 2014 catalogue. Every selected entrant must upload a chosen digital image (eligible photographs must be size 40×50 and 300dpi resolution) that will be exhibited at the opening session of Encontros da Imagem at September 19.
    4. PORTFOLIO REVIEW
    During the critical review of Portfolios, each expert shall elect the best portfolio and one photograph to be produced in a format chosen by the author. There will be an exhibition of the whole set of photographs selected by the judges, at the ceremony of the announcement of Emergentes dst Award. The author of the Photography Award Emergentes dst will be elected from the selected portfolios. On September 20, the prize winner of Emergentes dst shall be announced in a formal ceremony where the entitled Prize will be handed out and during which a presentation of the portfolios of the finalists shall also take place. The exhibition of the awarded photographer’s works shall be on display at the official section of Encontros da Imagem 2015.
    5. USE OF IMAGES
    The finalists agree on the reproduction of images from the portfolios that were sent
    for the contest, either to display or to promote the prize. The prize winner is to give the sponsor two pieces produced and exhibited to the venue in 2015. Any other use will be agreed between the Festival and authors.
    RULES AND MORE INFORMATION:
    Fill in the application form available online at www.encontrosdaimagem.com. You must send the receipt of the application fee along with your portfolio.
    emergentes@encontrosdaimagem.comFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    July 10, 2014 • Film Festivals, Photography • Views: 4670