Cannes Short Film Corner
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  • AFA Filmmaking Grad to Screen ‘Ticketed’ at Cannes

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    ticketed

    It cannot be stressed enough how valuable social media and crowdfunding have become in terms of independent filmmaking. As a student filmmaker working on a strict budget, it’s often times an essential part of pre-production. AFA Filmmaking graduate Shantal Freedman took full advantage of this avenue, launching a successful crowdfunding campaign back in September 2014 which raised enough money to get her through the production of her film Ticketed. Freedman recently turned to fans to launch another crowdfunding campaign to raise $7,000 to finish her thesis film.

    This May, Freedman will premiere her film, Ticketed, at the Cannes Short Film Festival. The film focuses on a small town cop, Jackie, who spends most of her time writing out parking tickets. As a trained police officer, all Jackie wants is a little more action: to bust a bunch of bad guys like the cops on TV. When the opportunity knocks, a group of miscreants seize the chance to steal a winning lottery ticket worth $60,000,000.

    However, fate has other plans when the ticket falls into the safekeeping of Jackie. When the thugs attempt to reclaim the ticket by any means necessary, Jackie winds up on the run.

    “More than anything in the world, I want to make movies that as many people as possible can see,” said Freedman. “I also want to get some sort of enjoyment out of it by putting the audience in a better place after viewing the film than they were before viewing it.”

    Freedman also hopes to change the status quo in terms of females in the film industry. She hopes to bring more females in front of the camera with deeper characters and equal representation.

    ticketed set

    The writer, Andrew Freedman, and Shantal have developed Ticketed into a feature. They also have several other scripts that they are shopping around in the horror genre. Ultimately, Shantal hopes to direct action/adventure films.

    She is also busy working at several entertainment companies in Los Angeles. She interns for the renowned casting director, Risa Bramon Garcia, and will be helping her as she starts to cast the 3rd season of Masters of Sex. She works for the talent management company, The Robb Company, and the talent management company, Jump Start Talent, where she is on a track to becoming a manager.

    Freedman’s advice for current students currently working on short films: “You’ll be your best and your happiest if you go all in and commit 100% to the film. If you do that, you’ll tackle every challenge and you’ll be the most pleased with your work at the end.”

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    March 16, 2015 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4518

  • MFA Filmmaking Grad to Premiere ‘More Than Words’ at Cannes Short Film Corner

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    more than wordsThey say write what you know. That’s precisely what former New York Film Academy MFA Filmmaking student Gabe Chavez set out to do with his semi-autobiographical thesis film, More Than Words. Chavez suffers from a heart disorder called Aortic Stenosis, a genetic disorder that constricts his aortic valve. If left unchecked, the disorder could become life threatening. Initially, Chavez refused to take the heart disorder seriously — he wouldn’t even visit his doctor. Eventually, his girlfriend (now fiancée) Caitlin gave him an ultimatum: if you don’t want to take care of yourself, do it for me. A crucial moment not only in Chavez’s film, but in his own life. In addition to Caitlin, other characters in his film were inspired by his extended and immediate family.

    Chavez’s team consisted of a number of NYFA students, including Kyle Pavlin (co writer/AD), Tripp Townsend (producer), Regina Bang (EP), Javier Del Olmo (EP), Laura Elisa Perez (DP), Badr Farha (production design), Mich Castro (1st AC, b camera op), and Yiting Lyu (2nd AC).

    “This film simply could not have been made if it wasn’t for [producer] Tripp Townsend,” said Chavez. “He has been like my brother; he grew up with me in New Mexico, produced my film, and is about to graduate from the producing program this May.”

    Townsend and Chavez are business partners, having teamed up to form production company Frozen Frame Productions, LLC.

    “Also, my actors were fundamental in telling this story—especially my leads, Samm and Cody.”

    Chavez put Samm and Cody through 6 weeks of rehearsals before filming began. While working on set, the three of them formed a very close bond of collaboration and trust that still exists today.

    Praised by NYFA Los Angeles Producing Chair Tony Schwartz, Chavez’s thesis film will begin the festival circuit with its premiere at the Cannes Short Film Corner.

    more than words set

    Chavez originally decided to enroll in the MFA Filmmaking program because of its hands-on approach and access to industry-standard equipment. The program put Chavez in a position where he could concentrate solely on filmmaking and directing.

    “My directing teachers Nick Sivakumaran and Adam Nimoy along with my writing mentor Andy Guerdat really helped me with my thesis,” said Chavez. “While Nick didn’t advise me in my thesis year, it was really his teaching and constant inspiration of my films and efforts that led me to my thesis film with the tools necessary to get the most from the scenes. Adam’s advanced directing class encouraged me to experiment (especially in rehearsals), and gave me the vocabulary to talk these actors through such difficult and personal material. When it comes to Andy, he provided me with such great screenwriting advice and knowledge (coupled with my undergrad screenwriting teacher Matt McDuffie — writer of the recent Ed Harris/Annette Bening vehicle Face of Love), that lead me to the final script I wrote with my cowriter Kyle Pavlin. This story really couldn’t have come off the page without Kyle’s contribution. He really is the most excellent writer.”

    gabe chavez

    Chavez hopes his film will inspire people to examine their own relationships, realizing the blessings they have in life. Beyond that hope, he intends to use this short as a springboard toward the feature film version.

    In addition to showcasing More Than Words at festivals around around the country, Chavez has been working in New York City on several TV shows and movies, including Gotham, Madam Secretary, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Broad City, The Americans, Elementary, and the upcoming films Urge (with Pierce Brosnan) and Freeheld (with Academy Award Winner Julianne Moore and Inception/Juno star Ellen Page). He is also key gripping a low budget feature film that is being produced by NYFA graduates Regina Bang and Javier Del Olmo (the same team who executive produced his film).

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    March 2, 2015 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4934

  • NYFA Abu Dhabi Grad’s ‘Stepping Out’ Wins 2 Awards at LA Indie Film Festival

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    Natilya PadillaStepping Out, a short film directed by our former Ukrainian student Nataliya Padilla, just received two awards: Best Actress and Best Director at the LA Indie Film Festival.

    The film has also been accepted in the Short Film Corner at Cannes Film Festival.

    The film tells a story about “A young woman takes an emotional journey when she is forced to spend a day in old person skin.”

    Nataliya has studied her first year in Filmmaking at New York Film Academy Abu Dhabi, and moved to the NYFA Los Angeles campus to complete her Masters in Fine Art in Filmmaking.

    Congratulations to Nataliya and looking forward to see more awards!

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    March 28, 2014 • Abu Dhabi, Acting, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4314

  • Porcella to Screen at Cannes Short Film Corner

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    porcellaNew York Film Academy 1-Year Filmmaking graduate Natalia Chinchilla will be screening her thesis film Porcella at Cannes Short Film Corner. The film surrounds a woman, Lucia, who has kept a secret from her husband for ten years. After the husband invites their close friend Porcella to celebrate their anniversary, Lucia builds up the courage to confess her secret and finally free herself once and for all. The title, Porcella, comes from the Italian word for “porcelain.” As Natalia says, “Porcelain can be broken at anytime and that is very symbolic to the character.”

    Natalia is now working on a web series with Paola Mathé, who plays the role of Porcella in her thesis film. The series, Finding Paola, revolves around the underground movement of Latin Americans in New York City. “New York makes you grow confident as a human being,” says Natalia.

    While Natalia eventually intends to move back to her hometown of Colombia, she feels her training at NYFA was necessary. “I definitely recommend the hands-on training. It’s also great to shoot films with filmmakers from many different cultures.”

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    March 12, 2013 • Filmmaking • Views: 3299