• Blockchain, Gothamist, Citizen Journalism, & TV Asia: Updates from the New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism School


    So, what do you know about blockchain technology? It is the technology behind Bitcoin, a so-called cryptocurrency. Put simply (probably too simply), instead of there being one, central “computer” where all the records of an enterprise are kept, there are an unlimited number of “users” who are keeping the records on their own computers, which (in theory) keeps any individual user from cheating. Blockchain technology is becoming a disruptive force in many industries, and it looks like the news industry might be next.

    The always interesting Journalism.co.uk posted a story about Civil, a “decentralized journalism marketplace,” that is using a USD $1,000,000 grant to set up crowd-sourced online news operations in a variety of places, including Chicago here in the United States.

    Personally, I am wary of so-called “citizen journalism.” Being a journalist requires a series of essential skills. Just buying a video camera (or a mobile phone) doesn’t automatically imbue someone with those skills.

    The problem is that large news companies seem to be getting only larger, and dropping coverage of a vast number of areas both geographically as well as subject-wise. So-called hyperlocal news organizations were supposed to fill that gap. But here in New York, Gothamist and DNAinfo both closed, as have many Patch outlets nationwide.

    In a piece of good news, public media outlet WNYC has put together funding to revive Gothamist. That may be the only way local news can survive, within a “public service” economic model.

    As for Facebook, the technology giant which at one point was expected to dominate global news distribution, TechCrunch reports that more efforts are underway to separate legitimate news reports from viral rumors, slanders and propaganda. This points to the key problem with uneditied/unmediated “citizen journalism”: It can easily be highjacked by people with agendas, which often don’t encompass truth…

    In alumni news, recent NYFA Broadcast Journalism alum Anita Efraim is now a radio reporter back home in Brazil. She’s working for media giant Globo. She writes, via Facebook:

    My first article for Radio Globo was about one of may favorite themes, the race. During the shooting, one of the interviewees told me something that made me think a lot: everyone who runs, runs for something. And maybe it’s true. Hope you like it! 

    Broadcast Journalism grad Radha Dhar sent me a long email about how one of the student projects she did at NYFA ended up getting her (and a classmate!) professional jobs:

    ’ve been working full time as a social producer and news researcher at TV ASIA since December. I was covering the Hindu Festival of Lights, Diwali, in Times Square for the NYFA News Package project, where I managed to nab an interview with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). This guy from TV ASIA noticed me and interviewed me on the spot, asking for news pitches, saying “We could use young people like you to target millennials!” I told him about my team (Brigette Mancheno & Elina Mukherjee — who later also ended up getting a job from that story) because he seemed pretty excited hearing that we are from NYFA and wanted to know what the students there are up to! (Below is a pic of me out shooting that day!) 

    And now she interviews Bollywood stars on the red carpet. Wow!
  • Imagine “Frank” on Your Film


    Frank NYFA

    One of the more experimental and yet successful films to come out of the independent scene in 2014 was the Lenny Abrahamson film Frank. Though the film starred Academy Award nominated actor Michael Fassbender, who has proven his ability to carry a film with his looks, charisma and acting ability, the actor played almost the entire film (aside from 5 minutes) with a cartoonish, paper mache mask on.

    The story surrounds the world of a young musician, Jon, who gets more than he can handle after joining an eccentric pop band led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank. Not only does the film pack a powerful punch in terms of emotion, it truly captures the mindset of an aspiring musician.

    Much like the work of Wes Anderson and Richard Linklater, the film brings a sigh of relief to filmmakers aiming to break the mold and try something different.

    As a fun experiment of our own, the New York Film Academy wondered what it’d be like if some of our student films added a flavor of “Frank.” How would your film look different if you cast a “Frank”? Share your pictures with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #MyFrank.

    Paris NYFA Frank


    January 26, 2015 • Community Highlights, Entertainment News • Views: 3126

  • Memorial Day Scholarship for Military Service Members & Veterans


    NYFA Veterans

    In appreciation of the brave men and women who protect our nation, the New York Film Academy is providing an exclusive opportunity for military service members and honorably discharged veterans to receive a 4-Week Scholarship to study at either our Los Angeles or New York campus during the 2014 calendar year.

    We’re offering three 4-Week Scholarships–one in each of the following disciplines:
    • Filmmaking
    • Acting for Film
    • Photography (Please note: 4-Week photography students are required to have their own DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera with them at the start of the program)

    To be eligible to be selected as a scholarship winner, we ask:

    Participants need to create a 90-second video telling us your story, and upload it to your YouTube channel.

    Topics to include in the video:

    • Your military background and experience
    • Which program you want to study (Acting for Film, Filmmaking or Photography)
    • Why you want to pursue your passion at the New York Film Academy
    • Anything else you would like to share with us to help shape your story

    In addition to the above points, we encourage participants to include a sampling of their creative work within the video. Perhaps you could edit in a snippet of a short film you’ve created, a scene in which you’ve acted in, or a couple of your iconic photographs. While this is not mandatory, it never hurts to show off your artistic skills!

    How to Submit

    Participants must upload their 90-second video to their YouTube channel with the title “New York Film Academy Memorial Day Competition – Your Title/Name (ex. “Sergeant John Doe”).

    Once you have uploaded your video onto YouTube, copy the video’s URL link and paste it into a post to NYFA’s Veterans Facebook page. In your post to NYFA, include your name and contact information so we can reach the winners. If you’re uncomfortable posting your contact information online, please email your details and the link to your post to competition@nyfa.edu.


    Videos must be properly submitted by Memorial Day: Monday, May 26th 2014 by 11:59PM.

    How the Winners Are Selected

    The winners will be determined based on the following combination:

    • The story told to us in your video
    • The public’s response to your video on our Facebook page (therefore, don’t forget to share a link with your friends and family to our Facebook page so they can like, share and comment on your video!)
    • You’re able to submit a copy of your DD214 directly to NYFA, once we’ve contacted you as possible winner.
    • Winners will be announced before the end of June 2014!

    If you have any questions, please email competition@nyfa.edu with “Memorial Day” in the subject line. For more information about our Veterans Benefits, visit: www.nyfa.edu/veterans

    We look forward to your entries!


    February 28, 2014 • Acting, Contests, Filmmaking, Photography, Veterans • Views: 4463

  • NYFA Instagram Contest: Thankfulness



    As the year comes to a close and many cultures celebrate their own unique holidays, we are reminded of the people and aspects of life we appreciate the most. In the United States, people celebrate this tradition with friends and family during Thanksgiving. Given this feeling of gratitude and thankfulness that us upon us, the New York Film Academy is opening up this week’s Instagram contest to the theme of “being thankful.”

    To enter this week’s “Thankfulness” contest, follow us on Instagram and send us a photo of what you’re thankful the most to marketing@nyfa.edu by Friday 11/29 at 12:00pm EST.

    The winner will be mailed a NYFA T-Shirt and have his or her photo posted on NYFA Instagram and Facebook!

    We’d also like to congratulate last week’s winner, Kaira Karnad, who sent us this photo from India.


    photo by Kaira Karnad


    November 25, 2013 • Contests, Photography • Views: 4835

  • NYFA Instagram Contest: Vintage Photography


    vintage photo

    Have you ever gone back into your old photo collection to reminisce on the past? Do you sometimes get a feeling of nostalgia when looking at your vintage Polaroids? Well, this week, the New York Film Academy is looking for some Vintage Photography. If you think you have that classic shot that will stand above the rest, send it in and you could win this week’s contest!

    To enter this week’s “Vintage” contest, follow us on Instagram and send us your best photo to marketing@nyfa.edu by Friday 11/22 at 12:00pm EST.

    The winner will be mailed a NYFA T-Shirt and have his or her photo posted on NYFA Instagram and Facebook!

    We’d also like to congratulate last week’s winner, former NYFA student Greta Dias, who sent us this beautiful shot from Sun City. Greta is from Brazil and hopes to study photography next year at the New York Film Academy in LA.

    Greta Dias

    photo by Greta Dias


    November 18, 2013 • Contests • Views: 4116

  • NYFA Instagram Contest: Landscape Photography



    This week, the New York Film Academy is looking for Landscape Photography that will leave us in awe. If you think you have that photo in your arsenal, send it in and you could win this week’s contest!

    To enter this week’s “Landscape” contest, follow us on Instagram and send us your best photo to marketing@nyfa.edu by Friday 12:00pm EST.

    The winner will be mailed a NYFA T-Shirt and have his or her photo posted on NYFA Instagram and Facebook!

    We’d also like to congratulate last week’s winner, former NYFA student Jessica Robinson, who sent us this romantic black and white photo shot in Central Park.

    central park

    photo by Jessica Robinson



    November 11, 2013 • Contests, Photography • Views: 4388

  • NYFA Instagram Contest: Black and White Photography

    american girl in italy

    “American Girl in Italy” by Ruth Orkin

    As we all know, black and white photography was at one point in time the only form of photography. Since the advent of color, we’ve seen an array of exploration into the medium. However, black and white remains a style of choice for many professional photographers. Some classic, gritty images can only be truly expressed through black and white. With that, the New York Film Academy wants to see which black and white photograph stands out in your portfolio.

    To enter this week’s “Black and White” contest, follow us on Instagram and send us your best black and white photo to marketing@nyfa.edu by Friday 12:00pm EST.

    The winner will be mailed a NYFA T-Shirt and have his or her photo posted on NYFA Instagram and Facebook!

    We’d also like to congratulate last week’s winner, Stephania Sanquiz from Venezuela, who sent us this rather flexible “Halloween” photo.

    Halloween phoot

    photo by Stephania Sanquiz



    November 4, 2013 • Contests, Photography • Views: 5515

  • Scholarship Opportunity with NCAC Film Contest


    New York Film Academy will be providing a workshop scholarship to the winner of the National Coalition Against Censorship YFEN film contest. Post your favorite video to your Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, or other social media and tell your friends and family to vote!

    Voting is easy. Log into your Gmail, Google or YouTube account and click “Like” on your favorite video on their Film Contest homepage.

    The semifinalist video with the most “Likes” will be declared the People’s Choice winner and the creator will be awarded a Certificate of Free Expression Excellence from NCAC. The deadline for casting votes is February 15 at 5 p.m. EST.

    While audiences choose their favorite, a stellar panel of judges, including New York Film Academy’s Co-Chair of Filmmaking, Michael Sandoval, will be hard at work selecting the Grand Prize, Second place, and Third place winners, to be announced sometime in February.

    So, submit your video now. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!


    January 18, 2013 • Academic Programs, Community Highlights • Views: 4189

  • Deciphering Stanley Kubrick at the New York Film Academy


    Director and NYFA Editing Instructor Rodney Ascher recently returned from the Cannes Film Festival where his first feature film, Room 237, was one of only two American films in the Directors’ Fortnight. His documentary explores numerous theories about Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film, The Shining, and its hidden meanings. The film premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and received glowing reviews from the major press. Here’s a roundup.

    • New York Times examined the documentary and called it an “intriguing” look at a growing subculture of Kubrick fans which has developed over the years.
    • “One of the great movies about movies…”  – Variety.
    • The Hollywood Reporter said, “Nutty, arcane and jaw-dropping in equal measure.”
    • On his blog, New York Magazine film critic Bilge Ebiri chose Room 237 as his Sundance pick. “The film expresses, better than any movie I can think of right now, the feeling of being lost inside the world of a film, and by extension being lost inside the world of film.”
    • “A brilliant work of alternative film criticism – and critique of criticism.” – LA Weekly.

    “Kubrick was my first favorite filmmaker,” says Ascher, “and one whose work has stuck with me throughout my life – The Shining in particular. The first time I saw it, I managed to sit through about 10 minutes. The music in particular filled me with an overwhelming sense of dread and doom that was more than I could take. It soon became one of my favorites.”

    Ascher says the idea for the film came after a chance Facebook posting. “My friend, Tim Kirk, who went on to become a producer of the film, posted an analysis of [The Shining] on my Facebook page. I became interested in the phenomenon — lots of people bringing up radical ideas. I thought we could make a pretty comprehensive field guide to what was in the film. It soon became clear that we could only get the tip of the iceberg.” Room 237 shares theories about The Shining from five people, told through voice over, film clips, animations, and dramatic reenactments. Ascher describes it as “not just a demonstration about how it has captured people’s imaginations, but also how people react to movies, and literature, and the arts in general.”

    The film was chosen to screen as part of the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes alongside Michel Gondry’s The We and the I. Room 237 is being distributed by IFC in North America and Wild Bunch in France. Watch for a theatrical release later this year. “It’s very exciting,” says Ascher, “I’d been used to being sort of an outcast with short films, screening to more … select groups. It was great. The screenings were packed, we were in a gigantic theater, got great press … I’m sure anyone would be excited.”

    See yourself premiering your movie at Sundance, screening it at Cannes, and getting fawned over by critics? Then look into our school and decide if it’s the right path for you.

    Rodney Ascher at Cannes Film Festival.


    June 7, 2012 • Community Highlights, Digital Editing • Views: 4184