film festival

  • NYFA Works with Pan African Film & Arts Festival

    In celebration of Black History month, the New York Film Academy Industry Lab partnered with the Diversity department with the 24th Annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival (PAFF) in Los Angeles from February 4th -15th. Established in 1992, PAFF is a non-profit 501 (c)(b) corporation dedicated to the promotion of cultural understanding among people of African descent and is dedicated to racial tolerance through the exhibition of film, art and creative expression.

    pan african

    Ardrian Newell, a current documentary student at New York Film Academy, Maram Al Joaser, a recent graduate from the Masters of Cinematography program, and Allyson Manno, a graduate from New York Film Academy’s Masters in Filmmaking program, all industry lab members, got the opportunity to work three of the screenings and panels.

    The first panel was a conversation with Nate Parker about his directorial debut feature film The Birth of a Nation. In addition to directing, Nate played the starring role in this Biopic about Nat Turner and his famous slave revolt in Northern Virginia. The film garnered much buzz at this year’s Sundance Film Festival before being purchased by Fox Searchlight.

    The second panel followed a screening of Oscar nominated film Creed director/screenwriter Ryan Coogler and screenwriter Aaron Covington. They discussed at length their motivations and inspirations for making the film and Coogler’s quick rise as a powerful voice in Hollywood as an acclaimed filmmaker.

    creed cam

    The third panel followed a screening of the documentary feature by Abby Ginzber and Frank Dawson, Agents of Change, which tells the story of the unrecognized individuals whose commitment to justice and equality paved the way for the student activists of today. The film, which is the centerpiece of this year’s PAFF, acts as a reminder of all that was done to achieve equality, dignity, and equity on education campuses as well as paving the way for societal reform in America, during the 1960’s and beyond.

    The New York Film Academy is proud to collaborate with this year’s PAFF in bringing diverse voices to the public conversation and look to expand our collaboration in the future.

    February 26, 2016 • Community Highlights, Guest Speakers • Views: 1959

  • NYFA Seeds in Abu Dhabi Blossom at Dubai International Film Festival

    The New York Film Academy’s Emirati students have reached the highest number of films accepted into the prestigious Dubai International Film Festival 2015.

    More than 10 as crew members with 5 directors and actors had their 5 films into the official selection MUHR EMIRATI this year.

    All of them have completed their study at the New York Film Academy in Abu Dhabi and had the opportunity to learn in the most hands-on program in the world, with the great faculty coming from Los Angeles and New York carrying an international experience in the film industry.

    We encourage you all to attend and watch their films at the festival. The films’ briefs are below:

    ZINZANA – Feature film directed by Majid Al Ansari: Trapped in a prison cell (“Zinzana”) in a remote police station, a man named Talal is tortured by visions of his beloved ex-wife and son as he waits to hear his fate. When officer Daban from a neighboring town stops by, Talal watches as the friendly visit suddenly turns into a bloodbath. Being behind bars is now the least of Talal’s problems, as he is forced to play a madman’s game to save his family’s lives.

    ABDULLAH – Feature film directed by Humaid Al Suwaidi, Cast: Fatima AlTae: The film tells the story of an Emirati boy (Abdullah) who develops a fascination with music from an early age but struggles to hide that over the years from his very conservative family where many things are “haram.”

    GOING TO HEAVEN – Feature film directed by Saeed Salmeen: From Abu Dhabi to Fujairah, young Sultan sets off on an extraordinary journey as he seeks out his grandmother. Sultan, who has dreamt of the warmth of her love, is determined to reunite with an absent grandmother so that he can escape the bitterness of life. Accompanied by his friend, Sultan’s trip will unravel surprises and exuberant emotions.

    BESHKARA – Directed by Abdulrahman Al Madani, thesis film: telling a story of the caretaker of a cantankerous, dependent Emirati grandmother must return to the Philippines, once she finds out that her daughter is terminally ill. However, the grandmother refuses to let her travel because a deep reason we discover at the end of the film.

    THE MAN WHO MET THE ANGEL Directed by Tariq Al Kazim, Cast: Assem Kroma: Between reality and imagination, truth and lies, certainty and delusion, Daniel will have to prove to others that he has met an angel.

    We wish them best of luck in the competition, and hope you will have the opportunity to watching them all!

    December 10, 2015 • Abu Dhabi, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3720

  • Italian Film Grad’s ‘New York’ to Screen at Laceno D’Oro

    Italian filmmaker and actor, Alfonso Perugini came to New York City with a Cinema Studies background, but it was at the New York Film Academy’s hands-on Two Year Filmmaking Conservatory in that Perugini says he truly “perfected the technique of filmmaking.” In addition to honing his craft at the Academy, Perugini fell in love with the city that surrounded him.


    NYFA grad, Alfonso Perugini

    Two years after graduating from NYFA, Perugini completed his first major film, which will be screening at Laceno d’Oro, a prestigious international film festival held in Italy. This year’s festival includes films from famous directors such as Abel Ferrara, Werner Herzog and Wim Wenders. In fact, Perugini’s film, New York, will be screening right before Wenders’ on September 17th.

    Perugini’s film is divided into five episodes—one dedicated to each borough in New York City—Staten Island, The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. The protagonist is a photojournalist named Patrick Fawkes (played by Finnish Jarkko Mäkelä), who returns home after a four month trip in which he’s been reporting on US troops in Afghanistan.

    new york set

    His cast includes actors from all around the world. Two of the female leads come from South America, Venezuelan model Carla De La Hoz and NYFA acting graduate Sofia Negromonte from Brazil. American actor, Daniel Berkey, whose been in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, plays the father of the protagonist.

    Of particular note is the film’s score from the unpublished repertory of the famous Italian composer, Piero Piccioni.

    After New York’s Laceno screening on September 17th, the film will continue its tour at festivals and film events all over the world.

    You can stream the film in its entirety on Vimeo-On-Demand or purchase the blu-ray at

    New York from Alfonso Perugini on Vimeo.

    August 27, 2015 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3064

  • NYFA Awards Brooklyn Film Festival’s Best Director

    michael young

    NYFA President Michael Young congratulates Robert Gregson

    The New York Film Academy is proud to be a Supporting Sponsor at the 18th Brooklyn Film Festival. This year, the festival received 2,331 films coming from 114 countries and selected 109 film premieres coming from 26 countries.

    “Our film competition has been incredibly successful,” said Brooklyn Film Festival Director, Marco Ursino. “The great thing is that our audience, professionals or not, truly enjoyed all of the films.”

    As part of our sponsorship, NYFA’s President Michael Young was on hand to present a tuition scholarship to the Best New Director Award-Winner, Robert Gregson, for his film The Refrigerator. The Brooklyn-based filmmakers’s film focuses on the lives of Howie and Mark, two broke friends who happen to find a refrigerator on the street. Inside the fridge, they discover the way to another dimension. Greed, drunkenness and hilarity ensue.

    We’d like to congratulate Mr. Gregson, as well as the other winners and competitors in the festival. Mr. Gregson’s scholarship entitles him to attend an 8-Week Workshop to one of our many locations around the world. For a full list of this year’s winners, visit the Brooklyn Film Festival’s official website at

    We look forward to supporting next year’s Brooklyn Film Festival!

    June 17, 2015 • Community Highlights, Film Festivals, Filmmaking • Views: 2582

  • New York Film Academy Student Arabic Film Festival

    NYFA Arab Film Festival

    A frustrated screenwriter gets unlikely inspiration for his next “killer” screenplay. A young man is pressured by his father to leave his true love for an arranged marriage. A police detective viciously interrogates three suspects to uncover who murdered an innocent man over a parking spot.

    These stories were but three of the twelve films and music videos recently screened at New York Film Academy’s Student Arabic Film Festival. With Dean of Enrollment Tami Alexander in attendance (all the way from New York!), the festival showed how the themes and stories created by our Arabic students were truly universal.

    Recent alum Osama Alkhurayji along with current students Almotaz Aljefri and Fawaz Saleh organized the event with Dean of Students Eric Conner. After receiving submissions from several current students, a lineup was compiled which included an array of dramas, thrillers, comedy and romance.

    In a Question and Answer session after the screening, the student filmmakers described the passion (and occasional problems) that went into creating their work. What came across from the comments was how relatable the material was to an audience from all over the globe.

    At the end of the night, three projects were recognized by a judging panel that included Saudi film director Bader Alhamoud and Al Riyadh’s Film Critic Rja Almutairi.

    nyfa film fest arabic

    First Place
    Producer / Director of Photography – Abdullah Alshuridah
    Producer – Mann Binabdulrahman

    Second Place
    Director – Omar Said

    Third Place
    Director – Abdullah Abuljadail

    Congratulations to all the filmmakers on their work!


  • Watch NYFA Documentary Instructor’s Award-Winning ‘Baja Secret Miracle’

    baja's secret miracle

    Once again, we’d like to point out a member of our esteemed faculty, Documentary Instructor Eliana Alvarez Martinez, whose film won the Viewster Audience Award and $20,000 for Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project. Among the festival rounds were the BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit, where it received two honorable mentions and won the Best Foreign Film award. The BLUE Ocean Film Festival is considered to be the most renowned ocean conservancy festival in the world. Every year ocean leaders, filmmakers, photographers, scientists, explorers, entertainment executives – and the general public – gather between Monte Carlo, Monaco and Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg, Florida to honor the best in ocean filmmaking, to learn more about the issues facing our oceans, and to open discussions for possible collaboration on improving the future of our oceans and humanity.

    The entire project began when, earlier last year, Eliana wrote a message to her favorite ocean photographer, Octavio Aburto, never expecting to receive a response. “A few days later, we had a Skype conversation and he invited me to join him to attend one of his expeditions,” recalled Eliana. “For things out of our control, I ended traveling alone with a group of scientists and made a 12-minute film of my visit to the area.” Thus, the birth of her award-winning film.

    Baja’s Secret Miracle tells the story of Mario Castro, a fisherman that decided to change the destiny of his community. The film takes us in a journey of decades, to understand how the town of Cabo Pulmo, Mexico created the world’s most robust marine reserve.”

    Never before has ocean filmmaking been at its greatest, in a time of climate change, our oceans have undergone massive environmental damage, and our students in the one-year intensive documentary program have shown to be more and more interested in covering topics about the oceans & the environment.

    For the next 6 days, the film can be seen at the VIEWSTER Film Festival (#VOFF4) and after that it will go private again to keep continue the rounds at film festivals across the world.

    To watch the film in its entirety, CLICK HERE.

    November 21, 2014 • Documentary Filmmaking, Photography • Views: 3836

  • NYFA to Award Two Scholarships at Abu Dhabi Film Festival

    abff 2014

    NYFA Provost, Michael Young at ABFF 2014

    The New York Film Academy in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2014 will be offering two scholarships to UAE nationals under the short film competition. The “New York Film Academy – Abu Dhabi Aspiring Filmmaker Awards” were open to the Student Narrative and Student Documentary competitions. The 8th edition of the festival is currently running until November 1st and the winners will be announced on that date.

    The two winners will be enrolled at NYFA into a course that provides the students with the opportunity to write, shoot, direct and edit a number of films, as well as crew on their colleagues’ films.

    At the opening ceremonies of the ADFF, producer Ed Pressman was honored with a lifetime achievement award. Ed Pressman has produced more than fifty films, including City Hall, Wall Street and Bad Lieutenant. In his acceptance speech, he referred to “inquisitive and intelligent students” he met at his ISB Expo workshop as “illustrating to him that there is a bright future for film in the UAE.” Many of the students he was referring to were students from the New York Film Academy Abu Dhabi, who attended the event with their instructors Scott Hartmann and Lars Myrvang.

    The NYFA team had the opportunity later in the evening to introduce Mr. Pressman to Ayham Subaihi, one of the NYFA students in attendance.

    “It was a very proud moment for both NYFA students and faculty, hearing this reference in Ed’s speech,” said Artistic Director of NYFA Abu Dhabi, Allan Nicholls. “We wish all participants good luck and look forward to welcoming them at the Abu Dhabi campus in Jan 2015.”

    October 27, 2014 • Abu Dhabi, Community Highlights • Views: 3495

  • LA Asian Pacific Film Festival

    LA Asian Pacific Film FestFor our New York Film Academy Los Angeles students, be sure to look into the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) beginning May 1- 11, 2014 at the Director’s Guild of America (DGA), CGV Cinemas located in Koreatown, the Tateuchi Democracy Forum at JANM in Little Tokyo, and the historic Art Theatre of Long Beach. Visual Communications proudly celebrates their 30th year as Southern California’s largest and most prestigious film festival of its kind. The LAAPFF launches the celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month through this year’s slate of over 140 films from both Asian Pacific American and Asian international directors from over 20 countries. For three decades, the Festival has presented more than 3,600 films and shorts by Asian American and Asian international artists.

    Over the years the LAAPFF has presented many exciting titles, including: the award winning A RIVER CHANGES COURSE, directed by Kalyanee Mam; Gen Cajayon’s THE DEBUT; Justin Lin’s BETTER LUCK TOMORROW; and Lixin Fan’s LAST TRAIN HOME. Asian international artists who have graced past editions of the Film Festival include: Lino Brocka (BAYAN KO); Stanley Kwan (ROUGE); John Woo (BULLET IN THE HEAD); Park Kwang-su (TO THE STARRY ISLAND); Wong Kar-wai (CHUNGKING EXPRESS); Raymond Red (MANILA SKIES); and so many more. This year, a total of 143 films comprising 40 feature-length films and 103 shorts will be showcased throughout the 11-day fest.

    The 30th edition of the Film Festival blasts off with the Los Angeles premiere of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival hit TO BE TAKEI, directed by Jennifer Kroot, and produced by Gerry Kim and Mayuran Tiruchelvam. TO BE TAKEI chronicles actor, artist, activist and icon George Takei’s life history with wit, grace and whimsy: from his days on the popular television series STAR TREK, to his civil rights and marriage equality advocacy. TO BE TAKEI received its world premiere at the Sundance film festival, where it quickly became an audience favorite.

    “It is exciting and appropriate for our festival to open with TO BE TAKEI,” states Anderson Le, Festival Artistic Director. “For us, he’s been an iconic figure and one of 2 of the first Asian American actors to achieve mainstream stardom in Hollywood. George is not only a pioneer, but also he is also one of the most outspoken and media savvy celebrities working today. The film tells his whole story from his acting to his activism to his amazing personal life, which is now wide open for everyone to see. He is a living legend and kicking off our celebration of 30 years of Asian American filmmakers and artists with his life story will be historic.”

    April 17, 2014 • Film Festivals • Views: 3037

  • Call For Entries: Athens Video Art Festival 2014

    Call for entries for Athens Video Art Festival

    Here’s an exciting opportunity we’ve found for students and alumni to have their work reach an international audience. The Athens Video Art Festival is holding its 10th edition in May and is currently receiving submissions across a number of categories. A celebration of digital culture, the festival aims at bringing both local and international artists together who work in different fields to encourage all facets of digital creation. With a focus on blurring the boundaries between disciplines, interested applicants can apply online in the following areas by March 10.

    • Video Art
    • Animation
    • Installations
    • Performances
    • Music
    • Web Art
    • Digital Image

    There are no entry fees and applicants can choose to create an original piece on a subject of their choosing.

    February 27, 2014 • Film Festivals • Views: 3020

  • Girls Impact the World Film Festival

    Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 11.59.36 AMThe New York Film Academy recently discovered a wonderful film festival, exclusively for our talented female students, called The Girls Impact the World Film Festival. The film festival and scholarship program is open to high school and undergraduate students to submit 3-5 minute short films and focuses on a variety of international women’s issues.

    Winners will receive a monetary prize, film distribution channels via SIC, Connecther and Creative Visions networks, as well as an internship opportunity at Creative Visions in Los Angeles. An official screening and red carpet will take place at the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, MA on February 22, 2014.

    Not only that, confirmed judges include Ian Somerhalder, Christy Turlington Burns (founder of Every Mother Counts), Jeff Skoll (founder of Participant Media, responsible for films such as An Inconvenient Truth, Syriana, North Country, etc), Jean Oelwang (CEO of Virgin Unite), and Zainab Salbi (Founder of Women for Women International).

    Submission deadline is December 31, 2013.

    For more information and details about The Girls Impact the World Film Festival, visit HERE.

    November 27, 2013 • Film Festivals, Filmmaking • Views: 3061