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

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    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.

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    January 13, 2016 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights, Study Abroad • Views: 8065

  • On Becoming a Man Wins Best Comedic Short

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    MFA Filmmaking student Kevin Resnick’s first year film, On Becoming a Man, is currently making the rounds on the festival circuit. It already won Best Comedic Short at the IFS Film Festival, and is a finalist for Best Short Film at the Athens Jewish Film Festival. The coming-of-age comedy follows young Jacob Schneidelman in the days leading up to his Bar Mitzvah. Jacob’s overbearing mother is on a Bar Mitzvah planning warpath, involving a personalized oil-on-canvas portrait and a handcrafted chocolate Moses fountain. To top it all off, she won’t let Jacob’s gentile neighbor (and secret crush), Sally, take part in the festivities! Jacob must choose: bow down to his mother like his father does, or stand up to her and finally become a man?

    Growing up in Toronto and Los Angeles, Kevin says he always wanted to see the world. He got to do so during his 13 years on active duty with the U.S. Air Force, where he logged over 2,000 flight hours. After leaving the military, Kevin started getting acting work in New York. Though he had acted in numerous short films, he always dreamed of writing and directing his own films. He decided to earn his MFA in Filmmaking at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus. He says, “It’s been fantastic. The thing that really attracted me was that it’s so hands-on. In this business, it’s all about experience.”IMG_4539

    People in the Los Angeles area will have a chance to see On Becoming a Man when it plays the IFS Film Festival. The film plays in the Comedic Shorts Block B4 at 4:30 p.m. at the Laemmle’s Music Hall in Beverly Hills on Thursday, March 28, with an encore screening on Saturday, April 6 at 7 p.m. Check out the website for full details.

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    March 22, 2013 • Academic Programs, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4720