2020 has been an eventful year, and even though there are less than two months to go, the pace of events shows no sign of slowing down.
“Deep in the Heart of Texas” (which is the title of a famous old song… I know a lot about “old songs”), former NYFA student Nicole Cross had a long night that dragged into the early morning (and beyond) as one of the anchors/presenters for Election Night coverage on Spectrum News 1, a 24-hour local news channel available throughout Texas.
Danish TV producer/reporter Celina Liv Danielsen spent many, many hours in Las Vegas. But not at any of the casinos. Instead, she was at the Clark County Administration Building waiting for the latest vote count.
Karen Hua remembered the first rule of TV reporting… drink water.
NYFA instructor Evgenia Vlasova has a substantial social media presence. She discovered what it is like for a major network to see your story, and liked it so much they decide they want to do it too… Personally, I think Genia’s version was better!
Speaking of Genia, she and I co-hosted a two-hour webinar on TV production during the age of COVID. The first hour looked at TV news production, while in the second hour we explored change in the production of talk shows, episodic television, and feature films. The webinar is part of a three-day conference called Astana Media Week, which draws TV producers and executives from throughout Central Asia.
And, in keeping with NYFA production protocols, we wore our masks.
Of course, lots of other things happened over the last few months. Broadcast Journalism graduate Federica Polidoro covered the legendary Biennale de Venezia, one of the few international film festivals that actually took place in-person this year.
In Brazil, NYFA alum Daniella Gemignani celebrated a work anniversary at media giant Globo, in Sao Paulo Brazil.
Paula Varejao, who works on Globo’s Mais Globosat, continues going to places I can only dream of visiting.
Broadcast Journalism grad Beatriz Puente is working for Band TV. And while she loves her job as a producer, I think she might love being an on-air reporter even more…
One of her recent stories was how a well-known dance club in Rio opened and violated every COVID-19 rule you could imagine. This is why Journalism is so important. Frankly, there are times when Journalism is literally a matter of life and death.
Many time zones away, former NYFA student Abiola Jinadu has established her own production company in Nigeria. The company specializes in a wide range of video programming, the same way we train our students to be multimedia journalists capable of working in many different settings. Congratulations, Abiola!
Closer to New York City, NYFA grad Kendall Bunch made her way to Marquette, Michigan (one of the smaller TV markets in the United States) to start her career. It is a path many of us have taken. Myself, I spent a couple of years in Madison, Wisconsin…
Broadcast Journalism alum (and U.S. Navy veteran) Clyde D. Gunter is now a Content Strategist at ESPN Original Content.
And current Broadcast Journalism student (and part-time Good Morning America studio crew member) Brett Mills shows how to maintain social distancing with a Sony FS5 HD/4K camera.
Stay tuned for more updates from Broadcast students, alumni, and faculty. For more information about our Broadcast Journalism programs, click here.
Case in point: Most of you already know that the film Parasite was the surprise big winner at this year’s Academy Awards. Well it just so happens that independent film/entertainment reporter and NYFA alum Federica Polidoro did an EXCLUSIVE interview with the South Korean director behind this brilliant film, Bong Joon-ho.
Joelle Gargulio was a member of the very first NYFA Broadcast Journalism graduating class. From there, she started an entry level job at NBC Interactive, then worked her way up to a reporting/producing role on the Weekend Today show.
Here she is hosting the #PopStart segment on a recent Saturday morning (Note the cross-platform distribution).Television isn’t just television anymore!
Speaking of cross-platform distribution…Gillian Kemmerer was already an accomplished print journalist when she enrolled at NYFA, but wanted to become a multimedia journalist (MMJ). These days, she is covering sports and business, with a special emphasis on international hockey. She just passed an important milestone on Twitter and now has over 35,000 followers.
Gillian Kemmerer being filmed for a hockey segment.
Over the years, we have had a number of talented Brazilian students in the Broadcast Journalism department. Daniella Gemignani was already working for Brazilian media powerhouse Globo when she came to NYFA to study Broadcast Journalism, but she wanted to deepen and expand her skill-set. Recently, she celebrated her fifth anniversary with Globo.
Another Broadcast Journalism alum, who took a short-term workshop at NYFA, Daniel Fideli, recently recounted his final graduation project for the workshop back in 2014. “NYFA was such an intense experience,” he remembers, “I tend to say that those two months were more useful for me than my four years at university.”
Meanwhile, we also have an update from the Broadcast Journalism department’s “ambassador to the red carpet,” NYFA alum Bryanna Reynolds:
Finally, this July, Evgenia Vlasova and myself are teaching a 3-Week Journalism workshop in Moscow. Are you Russian? An early career journalist? A university student starting your senior year in September? (Or do you know someone like that?) Full scholarships are available, covering tuition, housing and transportation. Find more information at: http://nyfajss.com.
The 2020 Awards Season culminated with a groundbreaking Best Picture win for South Korean film Parasite at the 92nd Academy Awards on Sunday, February 9. The win for the critically-acclaimed film by Bong Joon Ho was the first time in Academy history that a foreign language film took home the top prize.
The film also won Best International Feature Film, as well as Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Bong, who shared the latter with Jin Won Han. The multiple wins for Bong follows years of critical acclaim for previous efforts including Snowpiercer and Okja.
New York Film Academy (NYFA) Broadcast Journalism alum Federica Polidoro was able to interview Bong Joon Ho right after last year’s Cannes Film Festival, where Parasite won the Palme d’Or. The interview was an Italian video exclusive and released on Il Sole 24 Ore.
Parasite wasn’t the only win for diversity at the Academy Awards. With Hair Love winning Best Animated Short, producer Karen Rupert Toliver became the first black woman to win an Oscar in an animation category. Jojo Rabbit director Taika Waititi was the first indigenous person to be nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, and when he won, became the first person of Maori descent to win an Oscar.
Other notable news from this year’s ceremony includes the announcement of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which will open its door in December of this year. Netflix also celebrated on Sunday, with Laura Dern’s Oscar win giving the streaming giant its first Academy Award in any acting category. Dern won for Netflix’s Marriage Story, co-starring previous NYFA guest speaker Adam Driver.
At this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, the NYFA community celebrated a win as well, after seeing several alumni, faculty, and guest speakers involved with Oscar nominees across many categories. Toy Story 4, co-starring previous NYFA guest speaker Tony Hale, brought Pixar another trophy for Best Animated Feature.
New York Film Academy congratulates all the winners at this year’s Academy Awards, and looks forward to seeing even more international diversity included in the future!
Best Picture Ford v Ferrari The Irishman Jojo Rabbit Joker Little Women Marriage Story 1917 Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Parasite – WINNER
Lead Actor Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Adam Driver, Marriage Story Joaquin Phoenix, Joker – WINNER Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes
Lead Actress Cynthia Erivo, Harriet Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story Saoirse Ronan, Little Women Charlize Theron, Bombshell Renee Zellweger, Judy – WINNER
Supporting Actor Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes Al Pacino, The Irishman Joe Pesci, The Irishman Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – WINNER
Supporting Actress Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell Laura Dern, Marriage Story – WINNER Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit Florence Pugh, Little Women Margot Robbie, Bombshell
Director Martin Scorsese, The Irishman Todd Phillips, Joker Sam Mendes, 1917 Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Bong Joon Ho, Parasite – Winner
Animated Feature How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Dean DeBlois I Lost My Body, Jeremy Clapin Klaus, Sergio Pablos Missing Link, Chris Butler Toy Story 4, Josh Cooley – WINNER
Animated Short Dcera, Daria Kashcheeva Hair Love, Matthew A. Cherry – WINNER Kitbull, Rosana Sullivan Memorable, Bruno Collet Sister, Siqi Song
Adapted Screenplay The Irishman, Steven Zaillian Jojo Rabbit, Taika Waititi – WINNER Joker, Todd Phillips, Scott Silver Little Women, Greta Gerwig The Two Popes, Anthony McCarten
Original Screenplay Knives Out, Rian Johnson Marriage Story, Noah Baumbach 1917, Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino Parasite, Bong Joon-ho, Jin Won Han – WINNER
Cinematography The Irishman, Rodrigo Prieto Joker, Lawrence Sher The Lighthouse, Jarin Blaschke 1917, Roger Deakins – WINNER Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Robert Richardson
Best Documentary Feature American Factory, Julia Rieichert, Steven Bognar – WINNER The Cave, Feras Fayyad The Edge of Democracy, Petra Costa For Sama, Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts Honeyland, Tamara Kotevska, Ljubo Stefanov
Best Documentary Short Subject In the Absence, Yi Seung-Jun and Gary Byung-Seok Kam Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone, Carol Dysinger – WINNER Life Overtakes Me, Kristine Samuelson and John Haptas St. Louis Superman, Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan Walk Run Cha-Cha, Laura Nix
Best Live Action Short Film Brotherhood, Meryam Joobeur Nefta Football Club, Yves Piat The Neighbors’ Window, Marshall Curry – WINNER Saria, Bryan Buckley A Sister, Delphine Girard
Best International Feature Film Corpus Christi, Jan Komasa Honeyland, Tamara Kotevska, Ljubo Stefanov Les Miserables, Ladj Ly Pain and Glory, Pedro Almodovar Parasite, Bong Joon Ho – WINNER
Film Editing Ford v Ferrari, Michael McCusker, Andrew Buckland – WINNER The Irishman, Thelma Schoonmaker Jojo Rabbit, Tom Eagles Joker, Jeff Groth Parasite, Jinmo Yang
Sound Editing Ford v Ferrari, Don Sylvester – WINNER Joker, Alan Robert Murray 1917, Oliver Tarney, Rachel Tate Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Wylie Stateman Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Matthew Wood, David Acord
Sound Mixing Ad Astra Ford v Ferrari Joker 1917 – WINNER Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Production Design The Irishman, Bob Shaw and Regina Graves Jojo Rabbit, Ra Vincent and Nora Sopkova 1917, Dennis Gassner and Lee Sandales Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Barbara Ling and Nancy Haigh – WINNER Parasite, Lee Ha-Jun and Cho Won Woo, Han Ga Ram, and Cho Hee
Original Score Joker, Hildur Guðnadóttir – WINNER Little Women, Alexandre Desplat Marriage Story, Randy Newman 1917, Thomas Newman Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, John Williams
Original Song “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” Toy Story 4 “I’m Gonna Love Me Again,” Rocketman – WINNER “I’m Standing With You,” Breakthrough “Into the Unknown,” Frozen 2 “Stand Up,” Harriet
Makeup and Hair Bombshell – WINNER Joker Judy Maleficent: Mistress of Evil 1917
Costume Design The Irishman, Sandy Powell, Christopher Peterson Jojo Rabbit, Mayes C. Rubeo Joker, Mark Bridges Little Women, Jacqueline Durran – WINNER Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Arianne Phillips
Visual Effects Avengers: Endgame The Irishman 1917 – WINNER The Lion King Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
New York Film Academy (NYFA) Alum Federica Polidoro has kept busy since graduating the 4-week Broadcast Journalism workshop in July 2016, building a steady and impressive portfolio of interviews with several high-profile filmmakers and actors for multiple leading publications across the globe.
While at NYFA, Polidoro learned to to identify and make arrangements for story and interview subjects, choose and secure locations, prepare equipment, arrange preparation and setup of the locations, and make final technical checks. One piece she shot at NYFA was about the astrologer Angel Eyedealism. “NYFA is in my heart and I have wonderful memories about the program I attended,” Polidoro says about her experience at the Academy.
Polidoro currently works as a freelance journalist for several primary publishing companies in Italy, and has already conducted several high-profile interviews, particularly in the film and arts industry.
One such Italian media company Polidoro freelances for is GEDI Gruppo Editoriale, and their national newspaper La Repubblica. This includes her work for Repubblica XL, the publication dedicated to music, comics, and entertainment, and L’Espresso, a prestigious weekly news magazine. Polidoro introduced for L’Espresso at the Cannes Film Festival last year, where they released interviews with filmmakers and actors including Sofia Coppola.
For Rolling Stone Italy, Polidoro reviewed Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman directly from Cannes, and was able to interview Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee and NYFA Guest Speaker Adam Driver. She also interviewed veteran director Terry Gilliam about his decades-old passion project, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, as well as legendary composer Philip Glass.
Polidoro also works with Gruppo 24 ORE’s Il Sole 24 ORE, primarily with their monthly magazine IL, where she has been able to write longer, more in-depth pieces. She earned a cover story when she interviewed filmmaker Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire;Paris, Texas), one of only a few directors to win the Palme d’Or, Golden Lion, Golden Bear, and an Academy Award.
Polidoro has also interviewed the Coen Brothers for their Netflix and Oscar-nominated film The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and Alfonso Cuarón about his critically lauded film Roma.
Recently, Polidoro was guest of King Mohammed VI and Prince Moulay Rachid of Morocco for the Marrakech Film Festival, together with other selected members of the international press (she was the only Italian female entertainment journalist of the group.)
At Marrakech, Polidoro interviewed Robert De Niro, Julian Schnabel, and Guillermo Del Toro, among others. Soon she will be launching video interviews for IL as well, starting with director James Gray, the Jury President of the Festival.
Polidoro has also recently become a contributor for Cineuropa, the first European portal dedicated to cinema and audiovisual in four languages, for which she interviewed Palme d’Or winner Christian Mungiu. She also works for Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine, which published her interviews with filmmaker Errol Morris about Wormwood and filmmaker Paul Greengrass about 22 July, as well as a very intriguing interview with directors Verena Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor about their documentary Caniba.
“There is something so exciting in talking with creators that you just become addicted and you finally just set your whole life to enjoy those rare, rarified, and immersive moments of overwhelming happiness and satisfaction,” Polidoro tells NYFA.
The New York Film Academy congratulates Federica Polidoro on all of her hard-earned success so far, and looks forward to following her career in the future. We encourage everyone to check out her stories and interviews!
Lots happening at New York Film Academy (NYFA) over the past couple of weeks, and away from NYFA too. The September 8-week Broadcast Journalism workshop students graduated earlier this month. There they are below, along with instructors Daniel Hernandez and Evgenia Vlasova. The graduates come from (left to right) New York, Ukraine, New Orleans, Norway via London, and Brazil. (The instructors are originally from Mexico and Russia, although I believe they are now citizens of Brooklyn.)
The day after graduation, the 8-week and 1-year students got a behind-the-scenes tour of NBC News. Col. Jack Jacobs, an MSNBC contributor as well as Chair of NYFA’s Veterans Advancement Program, showed them how a network news operation works. In the picture below, they are on set of the NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt.
Later they were on a “live” set, for an up-close and personal look at the production of AM Joy, with Joy Reid. Then they went to the control room where the program was being assembled, and sent out “live.”
I think everyone found the tour fascinating, even though we weren’t able to visit the Saturday Night Live set. Apparently a number of the sets for that night’s show were still being built.
Instructor Evgenia Vlasova made some news last week too. She was back home to Khabarovsk, in Russia’s Far East, to see her family for the holidays. And she was also back on the air, on the morning show that for many years she hosted and co-produced. Who says “you can never go home”?
And as far as I know, Genia is the only person in the Russian Far East with a NYFA hoodie. But who knows, maybe she will recruit some potential students…
Summer Session graduate Mariana Janjacomo has been busy as well. She writes: “Back in Brazil, I’ve been working as a freelance journalist for a lot of media companies… When I was in New York, I got to interview three Hollywood stars for the Capricho website; it is the biggest website for teenagers in Latin America. Lights and camera were already set up, but it was very challenging to interview them in English. My questions were in the final version of the video too, so I’m glad I had to a chance to practice that kind of interview at NYFA.
Among the stars she interviewed were Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick, who are appearing in the film A Simple Favor.
Eulogio Ortiz is a longtime friend, and a former colleague at WNET here in New York. These days he is the director of the PBS NewsHour Weekend. While it is a nationally-distributed network program, and is shot in a state-of-the-art studio, he still uses something as simple as a felt-tip pen and a spiral notebook to determine the best placement of cameras, air talent, and guests on the set. Granted, it’s analog, but there are no batteries to go dead.
Congratulations to NYFA Broadcast Journalism grad Sarah Keoghan, who was one of a small group of young journalists chosen for positions at the Sydney Morning Herald. She writes:
“Eight of us were selected out of 900 applicants, and in the current media sphere in Australia, a full-time job is unheard of, and I am beyond stoked. I’m officially a reporter! Thanks again for all your amazing help during my time at NYFA. It is truly an experience I will never forget.”
And speaking of graduates, last week the students in our September 12-week Evening Broadcast Journalism workshop wrapped up their time at NYFA. That’s Hands-on-Camera instructor Daniel Hernandez on the left, although he looks youthful enough to be mistaken for a student.
NYFA alum Federica Polidoro has one of the best jobs in the world. I’m serious… She travels throughout Europe, and beyond, covering the motion picture industry. Earlier this month she was in Morocco, at the Festival International du Film de Marrakech. Legendary director Martin Scorsese was there too, to present an award to equally-legendary actor Robert DeNiro. Federica was able to interview DeNiro later…
Brazilian graduate Daniel Fideli covers sports for media giant Globo. Last week he posted on Facebook about this story:
“Football and motorsport. Finally I manage to get these two passions together in the same story.”
The holidays are rapidly approaching, and that means the Broadcast Journalism Update is going on hiatus until the New Year. Later this week, I am flying to Da Nang, in Vietnam, as I am the Executive Producer of an independent feature film called Invisible Love which is shooting there. Joining me is NYFA Acting for Film graduate Kazy Tauginus. Kazy has a major role in the film. You may have seen him in Denzel Washington’s most recent film, The Equalizer II. Kazy played a really bad guy. (Who died a really bad death.)