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  • The Magic City: Florence, Italy

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    Recently, on a rainy afternoon in Florence, I had the wonderful opportunity to spend time with students at New York Film Academy’s (NYFA) Florence location, located in a charming state-of-the-art facility on Via Torta, near the Basilica di Santa Croce. 

    The students had just returned — soaked and exhausted — from a long day filming the last scenes of their final projects. The “crews,” each comprised of four or five students, all used the city of Florence as the “film set” for their visual stories. They were in the homestretch, although they still had a few demanding days ahead, editing their films before presenting their work at the graduation screening and celebration of the conclusion of their semester abroad programs in Filmmaking and Acting for Film. These students came from 12 countries — the United States, Hungary, Ukraine, Iran, Netherlands, Romania, UK, Kazakhstan, Czech Republic, Spain, Italy, and Mexico. 

    Florence 2018

    After unloading their camera gear, we sat down and spoke about the impressions of their time in Florence, and at NYFA, during the past 12 weeks. “Life-changing” was the most echoed description; all heads also nodded “yes” when one student said, “this study abroad opportunity has by far been the best experience of my life so far; during these months I have grown so much as a person and as a filmmaker. ”

    One student fervently told me that, while he had had a passion for acting from a young age, before NYFA he had doubts about whether it was something he wanted to pursue instead of an economics degree; but now he wants nothing more than to be an actor.

    All of the students’ reactions warmed me with joyfulness and “NYFA pride.” There was more under the surface because all of the sentiments were very familiar to me — each word and narrative brought back vivid and distinct memories…

    Florence 2018

    It was 1976 when my feet stepped off a plane at the Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport in Rome and a new phase of my life began. Much of it stays with me to this very day, and now, encircled by this wonderful group of young “creatives,” more and more remembrances came rushing back to me. 

    I arrived at 18, never having previously left US soil, with just $300 dollars in my pocket and a full scholarship to study art in Florence that was graciously provided by publishing icon, Anna K. Meredith. At a later point I learned that Ms. Meredith, who at the time headed the family’s The Meredith Corporation — a massive publishing empire that produces dozens of the most popular magazines (including Sports Illustrated, Fortune and PEOPLE) — personally chose me as the first recipient of her generous study abroad grant. 

    My route to this study abroad experience was an extraordinary one; I was a freshman at the University of Denver and in the Spring of that year my favorite art instructor approached me — quite out of the blue — and handed me a formal document. “Read it!” she ardently and rather exuberantly stated. It was an acceptance letter from a US-accredited Art School in Florence. I was offered an acceptance and didn’t even know that I had applied! My professor, seeing my dismay, explained, “Jim, I applied on your behalf because I knew if you had this opportunity, it would change your art and your life in so many amazing ways.”

    Florence 2018

    Now, I knew that in a week this delightful group of talented young people would be saying goodbye to the city of Florence, to the New York Film Academy staff and faculty, to their classmates and their friends, and that they would walk forward — as I did 40 years ago — into lives that will be forever changed for the better. 

    My teacher was certainly more accurate than she could ever have imagined. It is both the magic of Florence and the impact of the experience of studying abroad that simply cannot be explained well in words, because they reside in a spirit deep within the city — and at the same time — in one’s own heart. 

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    December 24, 2018 • Acting, Film School, Filmmaking, Study Abroad • Views: 221

  • NYFA Veteran Students Attend USC Football Game

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailVeteran students attending the New York Film Academy gathered on Saturday, September 12th to attend the USC Trojans football game at the famous “Coliseum” in Los Angeles. This event was in collaboration with the Veterans Department and the Veteran Student Association at the New York Film Academy.

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    As a school committed to its veterans, the sporting event was part of an ongoing effort to bring veterans together and develop a peer-to-peer support network within the veteran student population.

    Army veteran and acting student, Doug Prideaux, had this to say about his experience at the game: “I enjoyed meeting fellow students and appreciate the support that the New York Film Academy provides to its veterans.”

    usc football

    Additionally, BFA Acting veteran student Joel Wright was thrilled to attend his first major college football game.

    Not only was it a good day for the Trojans, putting up a whopping 59 points, it was an all around enjoyable afternoon of football and camaraderie for our fellow veteran students.

    We extend our gratitude to the USC Center for Innovation and Research (CIR) on Veterans & Military Families for providing the tickets.

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    September 25, 2015 • Community Highlights, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4243

  • New York Film Academy Photo Shoot at Bloomingdale’s Miami

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    The New York Film Academy South Beach Photography department, led by Photography Co-Chair Paul Sunday, held a “Movie Madness” event with Bloomingdale’s Miami in The Falls. The photography event created a movie-like atmosphere in the cosmetics department, giving ladies the opportunity to feel what it’s like to be prepped before a photo shoot. Many of the people we met were naturals and shined behind the camera!

    “I’ve collaborated with Bloomingdale’s many times over the years.  It’s always been fun and inspiring,” said Co-Chair of NYFA’s Photography Program, Paul Sunday. “The Hollywood makeup event at the Falls was no exception. The beauty team at Bloomies was stellar. They embodied what we teach our photography students; vision, style and professionalism are ingredients for success.”

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    Since 2013, the 10,000 square ft. South Beach location, with facilities on the second floor and in the Penthouse Suite of 420 Lincoln Road, has quickly become a desired home for aspiring photographers, actors and filmmakers to truly hone their craft in a hands-on learning environment.

    Catered to all levels of expertise, the NYFA South Beach Photography program offers short-term, long-term and degree programs. Each curriculum is designed to allow students to develop their own unique voice so that they can build a photography portfolio that is immediately recognizable as their own.

    If you’re interested in learning more about the New York Film Academy South Beach Photography School, visit https://miami.nyfa.edu/photography/.

    To view more photos from our event, please visit our Facebook Album by clicking here.Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    June 2, 2015 • Community Highlights, Photography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4797

  • NYFA Supports the NIAAA

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    The New York Film Academy whole-heartedly supports the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). NIAAA is well known as a national leader in research on harmful drinking among college students. The institute offers vital information for students and parents on such abuse. “The ultimate goal of the NIAAA’s efforts in college drinking research is to share science-based information in accessible and practical ways to give college administrators, parents, and concerned students a foundation for alcohol intervention activities.”

    NYFA encourages its students to know the consequences of alcohol consumption and the impact excess drinking may have on his or her life. We also recommend parents to visit their website in order to properly educate their child, before sending them off to one of NYFA’s city campuses. Accidents and serious health issues can be avoided with the proper knowledge. So, don’t hesitate to take the time out to discuss this important matter with your loved ones.

    For more information on issues related to alcohol abuse and binge drinking among college students, with online tools for parents, students, administrators and more, visit: http://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    July 11, 2013 • Community Highlights • Views: 3267