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  • NYFA Takes Over Brazilian Film Festival in the US

    Five out of nine films selected for the Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival this year are either from NYFA students or from recent grads.

    After the success of the Olympic Games in Rio, a new competition for Brazilian filmmakers is about to begin. It’s the Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival (LABRFF), in which the New York Film Academy (NYFA) is already leading the pack. The official selections of the festival were announced earlier this month, and in the category that rewards short films made by Brazilians in the US, five out of nine films selected are either from NYFA students or from recent grads.

    Winners will be announced on September 20th, but for now we present the selected NYFA filmmakers and their films, which will be screened to the entertainment industry in Los Angeles from the 16th.

    the dress

    on set of “The Dress”

    Publicist Raphael Bittencourt competes with “The Dress,” which is his first year’s project for the NYFA MFA in Filmmaking in Los Angeles. The outfit in question serves as a pivot to introduce family issues between the father and his daughters.

    Despite having solid experience in cinematography and advertising in Brazil, Bittencourt came to study at NYFA to network with high caliber professionals and discover technical differences between shooting in his country and in the US. “No school can compete with NYFA in terms of equipment usage,” said Bittencourt. “In our second class, we headed out with a camera in hand, learning by practicing. In Brazil, colleges end up developing film critics, because everything is more theoretical.”

    under water

    “Under Water”

    Family drama also inspires “Under Water: Dive Deep” by MFA in Filmmaking student Lucas Paz. His film portrays the redemption journey of a mother when she returns to the beach where she lost her son in the sea. There, she meets fantastical characters that share unusual experiences, shedding light into her lament.

    For Paz, the face-to-face contact with movie idols, visiting NYFA as guest speakers, is one of the greatest school highlights. He also points out the possibility of students filming their own projects on film (and not only in video) as another big advantage.

    Paz produced another film selected by the festival as well: “Match,” starring Brazilian actor Domingos Antonio (“Blindness,” by Fernando Meirelles) and Puerto Rican actress Laura Alemán (Crackle’s series “Cleaners“). The film deals with the apathy and emptiness of the virtual relationships through smart phone dating apps.

    food for thoughts

    “Food for Thoughts”

    Director Luisa Novo is also a MFA in Filmmaking student at the Los Angeles campus. Her short “Food for Thoughts” was made after she completed the One-Year Filmmaking Conservatory at the school. “I wanted to shoot a film in between my programs and I proposed the idea to my former classmate Jordan Scott, who joined the project as Director of Photography,” she recalls.
    The starting point of “Food for Thoughts” is a relationship breakup with a chef, which leads Hope — played by American actress Brittany Falardeau, who attended a 4-Week Acting Workshop at NYFA — to recall her past relationships and come to a realization that will lead to a major life change.
    red souls

    “Red Souls”

    Brazilian actresses Paula Soveral and Valeria Guimarães also shot their film after graduation. Following the completion of their One-Year Acting Conservatory, in October 2014, they decided to develop a project where they could showcase their talent in English and Portuguese. “We wanted to overcome the accent barrier, showing our full potential,” says Soveral. Thus arose the short “Red Souls,” selected for LABRFF this year. The film shows the drama experienced by women recruited in Brazil under false promises of high financial gains that end up in the US as sex slaves.
    To produce their short film, Soveral and Guimaraes had the support of the Industry Lab, the NYFA department that works as a production company, intermediating real client demands for audiovisual products, which are entirely delivered by students and recent graduates.

    Soveral and Guimarães wrote the screenplay and produced it, also shining on the screen. To direct, they invited another NYFA grad, Indian Aditya Patwardhan, with whom Soveral had worked with previously. “This interaction with different cultures is one of the best things about NYFA,” says the director, who got his MA in Film & Media in 2014. Patwardhan enjoyed working with Brazilians so much that this year he directed “When Red is White,” starring well-known Brazilian actress Thaila Ayala and Al Danuzio, who is currently enrolled in NYFA’s BFA in Acting.

    August 30, 2016 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4553

  • Broadcast Journalism Alumni Highlights for August 2016

    It was an eventful week for New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism graduates. In Denmark, NYFA grad Celina Liv Danielsen has joined Nyheder TV2 as a journalist. She is working at the first 24-hour Danish news channel.
    NYFA grad Celina Liv Danielsen

    NYFA grad Celina Liv Danielsen

    “Celina is one of the hardest working students I have ever met,” said NYFA Broadcast Journalism Chair, Bill Einreinhofer. “Her personal credo is to ‘do your best, nothing less.’ And she is a fabulous writer. Congratulations, Celina!”
    NYFA grad Chiara Carcano

    Another of our grads, Chiara Carcano, was chosen to be one of the co-hosts of the 2016 edition of the Italian travel show Donnavventura. “Kiki” was selected from 180,000 contests, and starting on September 10th, she will be traveling the world for the next 100 days.

    Recent graduate Federica Polidoro explained that the series is “Amazons for the digital age.” (No, not an online marketplace, but the female warriors of classical literature.) She will be facing challenging and extreme conditions, and reporting her experiences to TV, radio and magazine audiences. Congratulations Kiki, and don’t forget to wear your NYFA t-shirt!

    Patricia Saad

    By this time you have likely seen at least some of the network coverage of the Rio Olympics. But Brazilian NYFA grad Patricia Saad is taking a very different approach, exploring the local implications and legacy of the Olympic Games.

    Take a look at Canal Ilumida. And that “walk and talk” she does in the introductory video… she learned how to do that at NYFA. Nice job, Patricia!

    August 8, 2016 • Broadcast Journalism, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1312

  • Alumna Nabs Portuguese-Brazilian Award

    gabriela egito

    NYFA alumna, Gabby Egito, being honored with the Portuguese-Brazilian Award

    NYFA alumna, Gabby Egito, was recently honored with the Portuguese-Brazilian Award, one of the most important accolades of Lusophone communities in the United States. The honorees list was handpicked by a jury committee of journalists who gathered names of the art world, entrepreneurs and notable professionals who excelled in cultural or social awareness in support of their communities in America.

    Egito was recognized for her achievements as a recent Brazilian filmmaker. Her fast rise began in 2010, when she came to the U.S. to attend a NYFA 8-Week Workshop at the Los Angeles campus. In the workshop she produced a 7-minute dark comedy, Synergy, which was honored at the Awareness Film Festival, in Hollywood. This sealed her participation in the NYFA One-Year Filmmaking program under a merit-based scholarship.

    During her studies at the New York Film Academy, Egito wrote and directed two other films that became festival darlings including the thriller Stuffed and the psychological drama Taken for Granted. Egito has amassed nine awards and five nominations at competitions from coast to coast: Hollywood, Las Vegas, Orlando, Atlantic City (New Jersey), Houston (Texas), Atlanta (Georgia), Cleveland (Ohio) and Muskogee (Oklahoma).

    synergy

    Still from “Synergy”

    “It’s amazing to look back and realize how much I’ve achieved since I arrived in this country with two suitcases and a dream of becoming a filmmaker,” said Egito. “NYFA certainly played a decisive role in this journey, providing me the hands-on experience I needed to start off.”

    Egito is now working on a long-form documentary about disparities between American and Brazilian dating. “I want to address the cultural differences I’ve been observing in the past six years living in Los Angeles,” commented Egito. “It’ll be very amusing, I promise you.”

    The Portuguese-Brazilian Award, organized by Ricky Terezi, was held on July 12 at a 19th-century Norman-style castle overlooking the Hudson River, 30 miles from New York City.

    July 18, 2016 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3438

  • NYFA Grads Team Up For “Thumbs Up”

    Acting for Film graduate Mey Ferdinand, who came to NYFA from Brazil, has recently spent a week in Los Angeles to act in the Brazilian-American production called Thumbs Up, directed by NYFA alumnus Brian Visciglia. The LA based film was produced in partnership with local and international artists, and the production company Red Line Filmes.

    Still from "Thumbs Up"

    Still from “Thumbs Up”

    Thumbs Up surrounds Internet celebrity, Gabriel, a young Brazilian artist who becomes lost in his own fame. Dealing with his agent, personal problems, as well as his superficial and selfish decisions moves him into an entirely new lifestyle that is anything but “normal.”

    With an international cast and crew, the movie focuses on the fact that today’s Internet stars are the new decision-makers in the entertainment world and, often times, are not prepared to handle the responsibilities. The goal of the film is to show how the Internet influences our youth not only in the US and South America, but in the entire world.

    thumbs up

    Still from “Thumbs Up”

    The film is also an important lesson to all of our students, as we always encourage our graduates to work on projects with the people they hit it off with in school.

    “NYFA was very important to my career,” said Ferdinand. “Not only for its acting lessons, but all of the networking I was able to do while attending.”

    Upon her return to New York, Ferdinand will be acting in another short called Model Life, where she plays a fashion director of a magazine. The film will be released for cable in Manhattan.

    June 29, 2016 • Acting, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1514

  • Brazilian Actress Franciely Freduzeski Gives Tips to Foreign Actors in Hollywood

    Franciely FreduzeskiThree years ago famous Brazilian actress Franciely Freduzeski, known from her work on O Clone, América, Zorra Total and Malhação for Globo TV as well as the Brazilian Version of Desperate Housewives for RedeTV and A Fazenda for Rede Record amongst many other credits in Film, Theatre and TV, came to Los Angeles to attend an 8-Week Acting for Film Workshop at the New York Film Academy. After that program she made a very brave decision to start a new career in the entertainment capital of the world.

    In a friendly conversation with NYFA, Franciely Freduzeski shared some useful tips for newcomers to Hollywood based on her personal experience:

    • Learn English and take accent reduction classes! Know that language will stop you a lot. My English wasn’t good when I came here and because of that I was denied for some roles. Scene study and Monologue classes helped me a lot to improve my English. When you do scenes or monologues you are not only practicing language, you are also learning how to act in this language and how to add emotions to what you are saying.
    • Different country, different rules. Before jumping into the industry, study very hard, every day. Not just acting, but how Americans work here—learn about culture. There is a lot of competition here. Be prepared to miss family, friends and hear a lot of no’s.
    • Franciely FreduzeskiBe sure you have the right headshots and know the general auditions rules. At the beginning I didn’t know what pictures I should submit for auditions, what the requirements were, or what the right headshot for different castings should be. Also, I never did cold readings before coming to Hollywood. We don’t have them in Brazil, so I wasn’t prepared for that. At NYFA we had special class where we practiced cold reading technique and it helped.
    • After all, it is Hollywood and, as they say, you have to be in the right place at the right time. So always be prepared. You never know when that “right moment” will come. In Brazil actors are usually notified about upcoming auditions at least a week in advance and are provided with lines. In Hollywood you might be called and asked to come for the audition 2 hours before the actual casting. Now I am always ready for that: I always have high heels in my bag and a makeup set, just in case.
    • Know that it won’t be easy. You have to really dedicate yourself. Sometimes you might feel lonely and desperate. To be honest there were moments when I was crying and wanted to give up, but, as Coco Chanel said, “Success is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.”

    Franciely Freduzeski is very thankful for the great support of her son, her boyfriend and her family. With time she managed to find balance between living and working in both countries: Brazil and the United States. Her latest projects in Brazil were a television series called Mascara and a stage play, Exilados, where she played Bertha — a woman with a strong personality who comes to challenge the ideals defended by her husband.

    May 16, 2016 • Acting, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4456

  • Alum and Instructor Luisa Parnes Featured on GloboTV

    globotv

    Luisa Parnes being interviewed by GloboTV

    One of our former students from Brazil, Luisa Parnes, who currently teaches screenwriting at New York Film Academy in New York, was hand picked to be highlighted on Brazil’s largest television network, TV Globo International. The satellite channel is the largest television network in Brazil and 3rd in the world, reaching over 2 million viewers across the world in 115 countries. The show, Planeta Brazil, features successful Brazilians living abroad.

    “When GloboTV reached with the hopes of doing a story on me, I was terrified,” recalled Parnes. “I hate being on camera! It was all very last minute, they called me one day and we shot the next, which was better since I didn’t have too much time to fret over what could go wrong. In the end, I worried for nothing. The reporter and camera were real professional, and NYFA provided a lovely studio in which we could tape the interview. The whole experience was easy and relaxed!”

    In addition to her teaching at the New York Film Academy, Parnes recently published an e-book in Portuguese called Pensando Alto, which roughly translates to “thinking out loud.”

    We look forward to seeing Luisa on GloboTV this summer!

    June 22, 2015 • Screenwriting, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2824

  • Student ‘Tip-Toes’ to Victory at LA Brazilian Film Fest

    Raquel Bordin

    photos by Livia Wippich & Marcos Daniel Ferreira/ LABRFF

    As many of us at the New York Film Academy are well aware of, Brazil is currently one of the most competitive markets in the film industry. Many of our most talented students, including the recent Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival award-winner Raquel Bordin, have come from Brazil. In fact, The Brazilian National Agency of Cinema ANCINE has just announced the investment of approximately $600 Million on new audiovisual co-productions open to foreign partnerships. “The Brasil de Todas as Telas (Brazil of All Screens) program is investing largely on Brazilian audiovisual development,”says Manoel Rangel, president of ANCINE. “It’s the most ambitious program for investment on this sector ever done in Brazil. Its various imbricate actions are being executed and new actions will be launched until the end of 2014.”

    This month, the 7th Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival, at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in Hollywood, screened a fine selection of films from some of the best current co-productions between Brazil and the United States. Films ranged from some of the more successful blockbusters to promising and emerging filmmakers in the independent and student film world. LABRFF’s mission is to generate a favorable environment to creation, prioritizing content and storytelling. What better medium to promote the Brazilian culture than cinema?

    The festival brought the best of Brazilian cinema to Los Angeles with a selection of more than 30 films. Some of the highlights at this year’s festival were the USA premiere of The Great Victory and the closing film Forever Nevermore, from Director Emerson Muzeli. The Opening Night Gala was on September 14th at the Academy Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood and the events concluded on September 19th.

    Of the 17 selected short films, NYFA Filmmaking student, Raquel Bordin’s Tip Toe screened at the Regent Theater in Los Angeles and won the Best U.S. Short at the festival. Big congratulations to Raquel on her award-winning film!

    If you’re a Brazilian actor or filmmaker interested in studying at the New York Film Academy, CLICK HERE for more information.

     

    Source: Lucas Paz, LABRFF Media Manager, and Cris Guzzi, LABRFF Research Manager

    September 29, 2014 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3462

  • Broadcast Journalism Grad to Host Summer 2015 Fashion Coverage

    Marcelle Bittar NYFA

    Marcelle Bittar

    Acclaimed model Marcelle Bittar has achieved much in the world of high fashion. She’s been featured on the cover of numerous magazines, both here in the United States as well as in her native Brazil. She could have gone anywhere in the world to learn television reporting skills. She chose to attend the New York Film Academy‘s Broadcast Journalism School.

    As a student in the Evening Broadcast Journalism Workshop, she shot, wrote, reported and edited her own stories. For her final project, she created a stunning video portrait of model Maria Borges. Here is a link to that stylish, insightful story.

    MARIA BORGES from Marcelle Bittar.

    Now, Brazilian fashion magazine Glamurama reports Marcelle will be hosting fashion coverage for Glitz, the Time Warner-owned satellite and cable channel in Brazil. Among her assignments is reporting on the Summer 2015 fashion shows in São Paulo and Rio. It’s especially gratifying that magazine cites the New York Film Academy as the source of Marcelle’s journalism training.

    Parabéns (Congratulations) Marcelle!

    April 2, 2014 • Broadcast Journalism, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2552

  • NYFA Grad Becomes First Female Native to Direct in Amazon

    Film still_1

    Women have made leaps and bounds as filmmakers in recent years. In 2010, Katheryn Bigelow became the first female to win Best Director at the Academy Awards for her acclaimed film, Hurt Locker. Recently, New York Film Academy graduate, Darcyana Moreno Izel became the first female born in the Amazon to direct a film in the Amazon. Izel was born in Manaus, the capital of the Amazon state of Brazil. Her monumental achievement gained recognition and financial support from the Brazilian government. The film, Dark Amazon, will be premiering at the Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival on Tuesday, September 10th at 9:00pm.

    Shot in the some of the deepest parts of the Amazon, the story surrounds a research team searching for natural cures for cancer, who wind up encountering the legendary Anhangá. The supernatural creature, Anhangá is the name locals gave the spirits that roamed the earth after death, tormenting the living. The creature could take any form, but the most well known was of a deer with eyes of fire and a cross on its forehead. Darcyana gathers actual first hand documentary style interviews with some of the locals who claim to have seen the creature, giving the film a real authentic feel. She and her crew even had unexplained phenomena occur during the shoot. “The whistle that you will hear in the movie is not a sound effect but an actual whistle that we all kept hearing during the shoot, which is part of the legend of Anhangá,” says Darcyana. “The legend says that when the creature is around, you can hear this eerie whistle.”

    Darcyana hopes her filmmaker career will allow her the opportunity to show another side of Brazil to the world. In general, the Brazilian people have tremendous hope. “I’ve seen families in complete poverty that were so grateful for being together while having so little, because they always believe tomorrow things will be better.” It is that same hope that has given Darcyana the ability to see out her life-long dream of becoming a director – despite all odds.

    If you live in Brazil and share the same passion as Darcyana, The New York Film Academy wants to see you in Brazil from September 16th – October 1st! NYFA will be conducting auditions, open houses, and workshops. Please contact Jonathan Juarbe at jjuarbe@nyfa.edu for more details.

    Film still_2

    September 4, 2013 • Road Show, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2675

  • The Brazilian Invasion

    DeboraRodrigues&AlDanuzio2

    Over the years, the New York Film Academy has welcomed many talented actors and filmmakers from Brazil. This past year has provided much of the same. Acting for Film student, Al Danuzio, has worked as an actor in film, TV, and musical theater, working for Latin companies like Telemundo-NBC. The 24 year old actor, from Maranhão, has lived in the United States for five years now and hopes to eventually return to São Luis after he completes his studies at NYFA in 2015. “My goal is to be able to bring great productions from there (US) over here,” says Danuzio. “Bring professionals from there to here, produce things here to take there.”

    When asked about his experience at NYFA, Al says, “[NYFA] The best decision I ever made in my professional life. I feel I am being prepared by some of the top professionals in the film industry – people who are actually working. Also, I am surrounded by people who take the craft as a serious profession.”

    Al has also worked as an Assistant Producer of the New York Casting of La Voz Kids for Telemundo-NBC and El Factor X for Mundo Fox – both Spanish versions of the reality shows The Voice and The X Factor.

    This September, he plans to shoot a few more films, including How to Kill My Boyfriend, with NYFA director Alfonso Perugini, and Bom Dia with fellow NYFA Brazilian actress, Debora Rodrigues.

    Since coming over to study Acting for Film a year ago, Debora has acted in around 37 movies, booked two roles in plays, received an award for Best Short at the “Best Shorts Festival” in California, and performed at venues like Dixon Place, The Players Club, and Ripley Studios.

    “NYFA has been an amazing experience where you can make a lot of movies, meet a lot of people with the same interests, learn how to act on a movie set, and literally live your dream!” exclaims Debora. “Since starting, I have raised the bar on my overall goals. I will continue to work hard and apply everything that I’ve learned in class to the real world.”

    The two recently attended this year’s Brazilian Film Festival in New York City. The annual event honors the best and the brightest of Brazil’s innovative new cinema. It brings together Brazilian celebrities, actors, musicians, directors, producers, and, needless to say, is a terrific networking opportunity. “The quality and quantity of Brazilian productions have increased a lot in the last decade,” says Danuzio.

    Al and Debora are just two of the many talented actors, filmmakers and performers that have honed their craft at the New York Film Academy over the years. We look forward to meeting many more talents in our workshops in Rio and trips to São Paulo, as well as those who venture out to our LA and NYC locations.