• New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking Alum Tracy Oliver Launches ‘First Wives Club’ Series


    First Wives Club, the new adaptation of the hit 1996 film developed for television by New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking alum Tracy Oliver, premieres this week.

    Oliver attended the New York Film Academy 4-Week Filmmaking workshop at our Los Angeles campus in 2005. In that workshop she met fellow classmate and NYFA alum Issa Rae, forming a friendship and working relationship that continues to this day. Oliver wrote an episode of Rae’s career-launching webseries, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, as well as starring in the show as Rae’s antagonist, Nina. She has since become a wildly successful Hollywood screenwriter, with script credits including Barbershop: The Next Cut, Little, and The Sun is Also a Star.Tracy Oliver

    Additionally, Oliver co-wrote the hit comedy Girls Trip with Kenya Barris, which made over $140 million at the box office. Oliver and Barris were nominated for a 2018 Image Award for their work on the movie.

    First Wives Club, Oliver’s latest project, is loosely adapted from the feature film of the same name, which starred Diane Keaton, Better Midler, Goldie Hawn, and Maggie Smith, and took audiences by storm in 1996. The original film revolved around a group of women who cope with the divorce and seek retribution against their ex-husbands. The show has been in pre-production for several years, having gone through multiple producers, casts, and studios, before Oliver was handed the reins.

    Oliver’s adaptation focuses more a story of sisterhood, and chronicles three best friends after one of them, Hazel, is caught up in an infamous cheating scandal. The three friends, who all recently came out of relationships, support each other while seeking revenge as they learn to put themselves first. The show stars Jill Scott, Michelle Buteau, and Ryan Michelle Bathe as the three friends—Hazek, Bree, and Ari. The cast also includes Mark Tallman, RonReaco Lee, and Malik Yoba. In addition to developing the show, Oliver also directed its seventh episode.

    Tracy Oliver

    First Wives Club will premiere on September 19 as a launch title for the brand new Viacom streaming service, BET+, which also goes live on September 19. Its first season, which filmed in New York City late
    last year, will air for ten episodes.

    New York Film Academy congratulates Filmmaking alum Tracy Oliver on the launch of her new series, First Wives Club, and encourages everyone to check out the show when it premieres on BET+!


    September 17, 2019 • #WomenOfNYFA, Film School, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1561

  • Star Wars Actor Billy Dee Williams Receives Honorary MFA Degree at New York Film Academy Event Moderated by Oscar-Winning Actor Louis Gossett Jr.


    New York Film Academy Los Angeles was thrilled to host a conversation between veteran actors Billy Dee Williams and Academy-Award winner Louis Gossett Jr. on May 18, 2011.

    Louis Gossett Jr. and Billy Dee Williams

    Academy-Award Winner Louis Gossett Jr. (Left) Interviews Star Billy Dee Williams (Right) at NYFA.

    New York Film Academy students and alumni packed the house for a screening of The Empire Strikes Back followed by a Q&A with Billy Dee Williams. The event was moderated by legendary actor Louis Gossett Jr. Though Louis Gossett Jr. and Billy Dee Williams have known each other professionally for 40 years, it was the first time the stars have appeared on stage together.

    Lando Calrissian

    Billy (Right) appears as Lando Calrissian in Star Wars.

    Billy has been in over 40 films and 70 television shows throughout his career. He is well known for starring as Lando Calrissian in the epic Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi. He has also co-starred twice with Diana Ross, first as Louis McKay in Lady Sings the Blues and later as Brian in the critically acclaimed film Mahogany. Louis Gossett Jr. received a 1983 Oscar for An Officer and A Gentleman.

    Billy Dee Williams

    Billy Dee Williams signs autographs for NYFA students and alumni.

    “This was a great evening!!!” gushes NYFA graduate Michelle Stevenson. “I’m glad I was able to attend. NYFA is the best!!!”

    Billy Dee Williams NYFA

    Star Wars Actor Billy Dee Williams Receives Honorary MFA Degree from New York Film Academy. 

    Students rose to their feet for a standing ovation for Billy Dee Williams, who received an honorary MFA degree from the New York Film Academy. The two stars later posed for pictures with students and signed autographs.

    Black Entertainment Television (BET) will be doing a follow up piece on the event. In addition, New York Film Academy will be posting video clips of the interview in the coming weeks. New York Film Academy extends a huge thank you to Billy and Louis for a memorable evening.


    May 20, 2011 • Acting • Views: 5164