• Remembering NBA Legend, Academy Award Winner, and Supporter of the Arts Kobe Bryant


    NBA superstar and Academy Award winner Kobe Bryant was among nine passengers, including his daughter Gianna, who died tragically in a helicopter accident on Sunday, January 26.

    One of the greatest basketball players of all time, Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers for twenty years, before retiring in 2016. Among his many athletic achievements, Bryant was the youngest player in league history to reach 30,000 career points, the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history, and was selected to start the annual NBA All-Star game for a record 18 consecutive appearances—where he won a record-tying four MVP awards. Additionally, he won two Gold Medals as part of the United States Olympic team.

    After retiring from the NBA, Bryant made a name for himself off the court as a supporter of the visual arts. He founded the multimedia production company
    Granity Studios, which partners with award-winning writers, producers, and illustrators to develop original content that would marry sports concepts with fantasy and storytelling elements.

    Bryant wrote, produced, and hosted one of Granity’s first projects, Detail, a series for ESPN+ that aims to teach basketball by deconstructing in detail individual NBA playoff performances.

    In 2018, Bryant won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for Dear Basketball, which he co-produced through Granity Studios. The animated short, directed by Glen Keane and scored by John Williams, visualizes the letter Bryant wrote announcing his retirement from the NBA. The film’s win made Bryant the first African American to win an Academy Award in that category and the first former professional athlete to be nominated and to win an Oscar in any category.

    Bryant’s cross-cultural contributions have left the sports community, arts community, the city of Los Angeles, and Bryant’s friends and family deep in shock and mourning. Just hours after the accident, the Grammy Awards were presented live, where numerous presenters, performers, and award winners—including Lizzo, Lil Nas X, and Alicia Keys—paid respects to the star and his family.

    Shaquille O’Neal, a New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking alum who played with Bryant on the Lakers and earned three consecutive NBA championships alongside him, was one of the countless mourners praising the life of Kobe Bryant on social media.

    “Kobe was so much more than an athlete, he was a family man,” O’Neal wrote in one of several posts remembering his friend. “That was what we had most in common. We love our families. Whenever we got together I would hug his children like they were my own and he would embrace my kids like they were his.”

    New York Film Academy is deeply saddened by the loss of NBA legend and Academy Award winner Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and all those lost in Sunday’s crash. Rest in Peace, Black Mamba.


    January 27, 2020 • 3D Animation, Entertainment News, Filmmaking • Views: 3536

  • Forbes Interviews New York Film Academy (NYFA) Broadcast Journalism Alum Alana Blaylock


    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Alum Alana Blaylock has had a productive career since finishing the 8-week Broadcast Journalism workshop at NYFA’s New York City campus in the summer of 2011. It’s no surprise then that many in the indAlana Blaylockustry have taken notice of the Emmy Award winner, including Forbes Magazine, which recently published a profile on and interview with the up-and-coming producer.

    Blaylock has amassed an inspiring roster of credits since finishing her workshop at NYFA’s Broadcast Journalism school, which teaches aspiring reporters a well-rounded understanding of all aspects of the production process, including researching, writing, shooting, producing, and editing. This is important in the modern digital landscape as contemporary broadcast journalists are expected to be multimedia journalists, marrying their technical skills with their creative ones. 

    This is exactly what Blaylock has excelled at, and why she has already won an Emmy and why her career is taking off even as her path winds between both traditional roads and outside-the-box ones. Her credits include work on CNN, HBO, NBC News, National Geographic, and the ID Channel, including popular programs Deadline and United Shades of America. However, her work on newer streaming models like Amazon and YouTube is what has been generating a lot of buzz. 

    One of her latest projects is producing for Best Shot, a YouTube Originals docuseries executive produced by Lebron James and Maverick Carter for the NBA. The show follows the student basketball players of Newark Central High School as well as chronicling the life and career of their mentor, former NBA player and sports television personality Jay Williams.

    In addition to working in both traditional and digital media, Blaylock curates a strong online presence on social media, further highlighting her smart instincts in an ever-changing media landscape.

    “I love the visual storytelling that happens on Instagram,” Blaylock tells Forbes. “That’s the platform I probably use the most [in my personal life]. And I am inspired by movies, set design, museums, exhibits and artists.”

    She continues, “I try to take in as much new culture as possible and then decide what I want to do with it or how it fits into my process as a creative.”

    What lies ahead for Blaylock remains to be seen, but it’s clear whatever she does next will be insightful and successful due to the work she puts in and the philosophy that keeps her driven. When asked about keeping her own personal voice while working on other parties’ projects, Blaylock tells Forbes, “My brand evolves as I attain more world experience. I have to remain authentically Alana, and the projects that I take on are continuations of my career journey.

    “I can adapt to the demands of a project and still be the best version of myself. I remain steadfast in my goals while producing every show, documentary or collaboration. As a result of working on many projects, there’s always new information and experiences. It keeps me well-rounded.”

    The New York Film Academy congratulates Alana Blaylock on her career and looks forward to her future successes sure to come!

  • Much-Buzzed Doc Killer Bees is Lensed by New York Film Academy Instructor John Foster


    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography Instructor John Foster lensed feature-length sports documentary Killer Bees, which The New York Times raves is “…engaging and humane storytelling that uses the drama of basketball to tell a deeper story about race, class, and the excitement and heartache of young lives careening toward adulthood.”

    The film traces the legacy of Bridgehampton High School’s all-star basketball team, the Killer Bees; championship winners that have united their community for decades. Yet it’s all under increasing threat, as the socio economic divide between wealthy vacationers and diverse working-class community continues to grow.

    Produced by a team that includes legendary NBA star and NYFA alum Shaquille O’Neal, the film is directed by Bridgehampton natives Ben and Orson Cummings. The directors are quoted in  The Hollywood Reporter as saying, “Having grown up in Bridgehampton, we’re honored to release a film that reveals another side of our hometown, known to most as the Hamptons. Releasing this film with Shaquille O’Neal as a producer has given an amazing boost to our mission to garner recognition for this legendary basketball program that provides meaning and hope for a community under siege from the threats of racism, gentrification and income inequality.”

    A faculty member at NYFA’s New York City campus, John Foster is credited as the cinematographer on 37 films — including 1997 Sundance Film Festival favorite Sunday. With Killer Bees, he continues to forge a career packed with hard-hitting documentaries that tackle timely social and economic issues, from the legacy of Brown v. The Board of Education to the genocide in Darfur.

    The New York Film Academy congratulates John Foster on his impeccable work!

  • NYFA Actions Basketball Team Wins Burbank Sports League


    The New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts Men’s Basketball team performed admirably this Winter 2016 Season thanks to the guidance of their coach, former player, Lucius Allen, who not only played for the 1971 NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks, but was also a part of the two-time NCAA championship team at UCLA in 1967 and 1968. At the beginning of the season, our NYFA Actions faced off against high-level opponents with ‘down-to-the-wire’ victories. During the mid-season reign, the team continued to grow and enhance their skills and court strategies, which paid off when they earned a solid position in the playoffs.

    nyfa basketball

    The first round of the playoffs tested the team’s training and diligence when matched against formidable teams. The games started out close, but in the end, NYFA secured victories culminating in a score of 61- 50 in their final game to end the playoff season. With their new found ethics of team work, led by coach Lucius Allen, the NYFA Actions earned their place in the championship game for the Burbank Sports League.

    The season finally came to a head this past Tuesday night when the Actions took on the Burbank ‘Wolf pack’ in the championship game of the Burbank Sports League. It was a true nail biter, but the team kept their composure and were able to keep the score close as starting point guard Jean Hyppolite led the way with 23 points.

    nyfa team with lucius

    With aggressive defense, and a well-executed offense, the Actions were able to take the lead away from the ‘Wolf pack’. They held this advantage until the end of the game with a win and a final score of 65-56.

    Coach Lucius Allen, and the entire basketball athletic staff have done an incredible job this season. We’d like to invite everyone out to the games this summer as our very own NYFA Actions will be looking to move up a division and repeat this season’s victory.


    April 26, 2016 • Community Highlights, Sports, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4929

  • NYFA Basketball Kicks off in NYC

    nyfa basketball

    photo by Paola Nazario

    Due to the success of our basketball team in Los Angeles, the New York Film Academy in New York City started a league of its own. The league was established to promote healthiness and well-being, as well as growing teamwork that is necessary in filmmaking, and socializing with students from other departments. We thought, why not network on the court as well!

    This past Friday night was the first intramural New York Film Academy NYC basketball game at Dwight School on Central Park West. We kicked off the season with three half-court games and one 15 minute 5-on-5 full court exhibition game.  Thus far, we have four teams from all different departments playing the league. The program is being run by NYFA faculty members, Sarah Choi and Jack Picone.

    The next game is at Dwight School this Friday at 8pm. If you’re late you won’t be guaranteed to play — so be on time!

    Any current students and faculty can sign up with their own team or request to be added to one. If we continue to have a positive response to our games, we will be setting up playoffs or a tournament after the first few weeks. Please email Sarah Choi if you’d like to join as a player or start your own team.

    The Teams and their Rosters:

    basketball game nyc

    photo by Paola Nazario

    Gucci: – Acting for Film
    Deshpyar Jasuja
    Steven Erazo
    Elijah Leighty

    October’s Very Own – Game Design & 3D Animation
    Carlos Lopez
    Tony Pommells
    Joshua Wong
    Matt Plotecher

    Cavs – Acting for Film
    Jay Cailos
    Avi Agarwal
    Marvin Scott III

    Legends – Acting for Film
    Brandon Williams
    Nate Steinburg
    Jonathan Tannehill


    November 19, 2014 • 3D Animation, Acting, Community Highlights, Filmmaking, Game Design, Sports • Views: 7780

  • NYFA Women’s Basketball Team Off to Great Start


    NYFA Basketball

    What would a school be without sports? Well, the New York Film Academy didn’t want to find out. As some of you may be aware, we’ve been developing and expanding our school in more ways than one. In addition, to the arts and academics, we understand the importance of athletics and community sports. After all, artists can be athletes, too.

    After the successful launch of our men’s soccer team flourish in Los Angeles and thought perhaps it was time to see what our women can do. Well, this past Sunday the newly assembled New York Film Academy women’s basketball team, The Jaguars, beat their opponent by 22 points! We won’t mention the other team’s name, but let’s just say we dominated them up and down the court.

    “There are other sports at the beginning stages that I believe will have a profound effect on the current students and NYFA as a whole,” states NYFA Athletic Director, Eric Brown.

    If you’re interested in joining one of our teams or would like to find out more about which sports we have to offer, please contact Eric Brown at


    July 17, 2014 • Community Highlights, Sports • Views: 7642