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  • New York Film Academy MFA Filmmaking Alum Jaco Dukes Premieres ‘El Guardia’ at Cannes Film Festival’s Marché du Film

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    New York Film Academy MFA Filmmaking Alum Jaco Dukes saw all of his hard work come to fruition last May when he premiered his film El Guardia at the Cannes Film Festival’s Marché du Film.

    Dukes originally hails from Chile and first attended NYFA in September 2011, enrolling in the MFA in Filmmaking program at our Los Angeles campus. “My first year at NYFA was one of the best years of my life,” says Dukes. “For the first time, I was able to think about filmmaking all day, every day of the week. It was paradise. My thesis film that I shot at NYFA opened the door for me to every project and work opportunity that came after. So I think that, if you have all the guidance, support and resources that NYFA can offer (like the amazing instructors; James, Ryan, Nick, Tim, Andrew, and many others), plus an obsession for film and filmmaking, then probably great things will come.”

    El Guardia Jaco Dukes

    The English-language poster for ‘El Guardia’

    Since graduating NYFA, he has written and directed the short films Silent and Mikey, as well worked several others as an editor and cinematographer. Dukes directed, wrote, and co-produced El Guardia, his first feature film. The script is based on the true story of the highly acclaimed businessman, life coach, and best-selling author Juan Rosado from Puerto Rico, and was inspired by Rosado’s empowering book Rags to Riches (El Guardia Que Compró Su Sueño).

    The story focuses on a frustrated security guard that starts a network marketing business as a second job with his mentor and veterinarian friend, which leads them into a life-changing journey that will affect the lives of everyone around them.

    The film made its grand debut at the Marché du Film in Cannes, France in May 2019. The distribution of the film is being managed by Adler & Associates Entertainment, who are submitting the film to festivals around the world as well as planning a theatrical premiere and distribution in cinemas in Puerto Rico, Miami, New York, and Los Angeles sometime in 2020.

    El Guardia Jaco Dukes

    NYFA MFA Filmmaking alum Jaco Dukes

    Dukes is currently working on his next screenplay, an indie film that he’s always wanted to make—he’s devoting all of his energy to producing it in 2020. Says Dukes, “[El Guardia] was the most challenging learning experience of my life as a film director, and thanks to all the obstacles, failures, and successes I had making this film, now I am a little more confident about directing my passion project, my own script, and kick ass with it.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates MFA Filmmaking alum Jaco Dukes on the Cannes Film Festival Marché du Film premiere of El Guardia and looks forward to seeing what he makes next! 

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    January 10, 2020 • Film Festivals, Film School, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 916

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking Camp Alum David Murillo Racks Up Awards

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    David Murillo, a 17-year-old filmmaker who attended the 6-Week Filmmaking camp at New York Film Academy (NYFA), has won more awards before his 18th birthday than most filmmakers do in their first decade of making movies. His independent short, Credit 1, has been crushing the festival circuit since its premiere.

    Murillo originally hails from Chile and attended the 6-Week Filmmaking camp at NYFA’s New York campus in the summer of 2017. When he returned to Chile, he took the skills he learned at NYFA and wrote, directed, and edited Credit 1 with a very low budget.

    David Murillo Credit 1
    Since then, the film has been showcased at over 23 international film festivals (both for young and adult filmmakers) and has won four international awards, and has been a finalist and semifinalist in five festivals. Murillo is making his mark, having already been interviewed by several magazines and two newspapers.

    “I just wanted to thank NYFA, because without them, none of this could have happened. My short film couldn’t have been made without the summer camp, that is why I thank the Academy in every interview I’ve had,” says Murillo.

    Here are some of the accolades Murillo and Credit 1 has picked up to date:

    • D.C. Independent Film Festival (Awarded)
    • Ecozine Environmental Film Festival (Awarded)
    • Slum International Film Festival (Awarded)
    • Eugene International Film Festival (Awarded)
    • Scampia International Film Festival (Finalist)
    • Asa Humanitarian Film Festival (Semifinalist)
    • Newark IFF Youth Festival (Semifinalist)
    • Just Be You Film Festival (Semifinalist)
    • Caselle Film Festival (Official Selection)
    • Ojo de Pescado (Official Selection)
    • International Nature Film Festival Godollo (Official Selection)
    • Sylhet International Film Festival (Official Selection)
    • Super International Teenager Film Festival (Official Selection)
    • VIVA Film Festival (Official Selection)
    • The Lovett School Film Festival (Official Selection)
    • Global Youth Film Festival Bangladesh (Official Selection)
    • INPUT Documentary Festival (Official Selection)
    • Josiah Media Festival (Official Selection)
    • Faith Family Academy Film Festival (Official Selection)
    • IndieCapitol Awards (Official Selection)
    • Anyang International Youth Film Festival (Official Selection)
    • Global Youth Film Festival Rangpur (Official Selection)
    • Gold Coast International Film Festival Young Filmmakers Program (Official Selection)

    New York Film Academy congratulates 6-Week Filmmaking camp alum David Murillo on the success of Credit 1 and encourages everyone to check out the film today!

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  • Acting Alumni Spotlight: Mia Ella Jordan Stars in ‘Basketball Girlfriend’

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    Mia Ella Jordan

    Within two months of graduating from New York Film Academy’s One-Year Acting for Film Conservatory, Mia Ella Jordan was cast in the feature film, Basketball Girlfriend, which is now available to rent on RedBox. She was also in Jez Dior’s music video, Who Drank My Whiskey, which, at one point in time earlier this year, was the #1 song trending on Twitter. Aside from those two projects, she was the lead actress in the short, I-589, which premiered at the LA Indie Film Festival.

    Hailing from Santiago de Chile, Mia had originally auditioned with Basketball Girlfriend director Jean-Claude La Marre for another project and, some time later, he called her in to audition for the role of Jenny and cast her that day. This is fairly common in the industry, so don’t get too discouraged when you don’t land the initial audition. Maintain strong relationships with directors and casting directors.

    Mia had been working in theatre for quite a while and while she loved it, her heart was in film. After attending an international school fair in Santiago, she was drawn to NYFA. Mia felt the Acting for Film courses were the perfect compliment to her previous acting training in theatre.

    “The Meisner technique has been the most useful to me in terms of auditioning and being on-set,” said Mia. “I’ve heard from a lot of actors and even some agents that Meisner doesn’t help in auditions, but to me listening is everything because it sustains my being in the present and so it instills me in my truth.”

    Mia eventually hopes to reach a point in her career where she can choose specific roles that truly resonate with her. As an actress, she believes she has a wonderful responsibility with the audience and wants to honor it by creating and being a part of projects that truly inspire and make a difference.

    Recently, Mia finished acting in another music video for Jez Dior’s single, Clean Me Up. She’s also finishing up filming a short film, I Forgot You Were Here, where she plays a blind woman in a troubled relationship. “I love it because it’s not moral and I believe art never should be,” she says.

    Check out Mia Ella Jordan in Jez Dior’s Who Drank My Whiskey.

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    August 13, 2014 • Acting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 7319