film festival

  • 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.


    November 21, 2014 • Documentary Filmmaking, Photography • Views: 6017

  • 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: 6338

  • 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: 5220

  • 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: 5032

  • 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: 5380

  • Understanding the World through Film: Tiburon International Film Festival


    Tiburon FFTiburon International Film Festival is a platform for independent filmmakers from around the world, which certainly fits the mold of New York Film Academy’s student body. For students and alumni interested, the 13th Annual Tiburon International Film Festival (TIFF) will be held April 2014 in Tiburon, California and will showcase independent features and short films from around the world.

    Submissions are open to all genres: Fiction, documentary, short, animation, experimental, student, children, sports, music video…..from any nation in the world.

    TIFF has screened over 2000 independent films from more than 100 countries since its inception.

    The festival has also honored and hosted many great filmmakers such as: Oscar winning director and cinematographer Haskell Wexler [Medium Cool], George Lucas [Star Wars], Blake Edwards [Pink Panthers], Santiago Alvarez [Hanoi Martes 13], John Frankenheimer [Manchurian Candidate],George Stevens [Shane], Malcolm McDowell [A Clockwork Orange], Saul Zaentz [One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest],  Mark Rydell [On Golden Pond], Irving Saraf [The Sermons of Sister Jane], Robert Snyder [Pablo Casals: A Cry for Peace], Paul Mazursky [Down & Out in Beverly Hills], Bob Rafelson [Five Easy Pieces], Brad Bird [Toy Story], Luchino Visconti [Death in Venice], Hal Hickel [Pirates of the Caribbean] among many others.

    Golden Reel Awards:

    The films submitted to the Tiburon International Film Festival are eligible to win the “Golden Reel Award” in several categories: Best Fiction, Best Documentary, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Short, Best Animation, Best Children’s Film, Best Student Film, Best Music Video, Best Sport Film. The winners of all categories will be announced during a ceremony at the end of the Festival.

    Entry Information:
    Entry form and eligibility guidelines are available by clicking here and filling out the necessary information.

    The Early Bird Deadline on December 1, 2013 is fast approaching while the final deadline falls on January 15, 2014.


    October 28, 2013 • Film Festivals • Views: 5372

  • New York Film Academy Photography Students Shoot German Currents: 7th Annual Film Festival of German FIlm

    NYFA Photography

    photo by Andrew Linga

    Photography students from the Los Angeles campus were on hand as the exclusive event photographers for the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles German Currents 7th Annual Film Festival, held last weekend at the Egyptian Theatre in the heart of Hollywood. Students shot the opening night event, workshops and screenings over the weekend. A sample of their images are below or checkout the link here:

    Thanks to July 2013 1YR students: Andrew Linga, Aric Coppola and Jimmy Rhodes; January 2013 MFA students: Nicole Campbell and Joseph Bornilla; January 2013 2YR student: Liam Hayes; and January 2013 One Year graduate Luc-Richard Elie. Great job everyone!

    joseph bornilla

    photo by Joseph Bornilla

    Andrew Linga

    photo by Andrew Linga



    October 10, 2013 • Photography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 5262

  • ‘Sun Flower’ a Festival Favorite


    [Director's Photo 2] Sun Flower - Taeho Kang

    New York Film Academy student, Taeho Kang’s short film, Sun Flower, has gained recognition at a number of film festivals this past year. Which festivals you ask? Here are a few where Kang has screened or will be screening at soon:

    • 2013 (4th) Cincinnati Film Festival (Cincinnati, Ohio, USA)
    • 2013 (13th) Nevada City Film Festival (Nevada City, California, USA)
    • 2013 (37th) Montreal World Film Festival (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
    • 2013 (9th) Action On Film International Film Festival (Monrovia, California, USA)
    • 2013 (6th) Interrobang Film Festival – Des Moines Arts Festival (Des Moines, Iowa, USA)
    • 2013 (6th) Treasure Coast International Film Festival (Port St Lucie, Florida, USA)

    Sun Flower - Taeho Kang credits

    The sixteen minute short revolves around, Young-Hwa Kim, a single lady in her late twenties who arrives at a sanatorium five months pregnant. She does’t have any relationships with people, even with family or friends, and she does’t want to meet any new people. Also, due to motor aphasia, she has lost her speech. To sum it up, she loses her sense of reality and faith in herself. Therefore, she lives with addictive habits, and is careless and ignorant of her pregnancy before she experiences the baby move in her belly. “Sun Flower is a kind of ‘poetic narrative film,'” says Kang. “Most of the symbolism in the story is based on The Bible.”

    Kang is an MFA student, currently studying filmmaking at the New York Film Academy, Los Angeles. He says, “The hands-on experience at New York Film Academy helped me communicate with our crew to create a specific visual concept.” His next project is called Made in Trovia, which he hopes to film soon.


    August 22, 2013 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 6800

  • New York Film Academy’s Alumni Spotlight: Jesse Bernal


    Jesse Bernal

    Acting for Film graduate Jesse Bernal is one of many military veterans who chose to attend New York Film Academy after leaving the military. The San Antonio native followed in the footsteps of his father and other brother who both served their country. Jesse spent 7 years in the US Air Force, working as a calibration technician and electronics specialist. His service took him to New Mexico, South Korea, and South Carolina.

    Though Jesse had started taking some acting classes while serving in the military, and booked some television roles (including Lifetime’s Army Wives, and the film The New Daughter with Kevin Costner), he decided to attend New York Film Academy at Universal Studios to further develop his talent.

    “The GI Bill paid my full tuition and living expenses. Without having to worry about [the money], I was able to put my best foot forward,” he explained. “The military gave me structure and helped me with time management. When we were doing scenes, I would think that it’s not just working, but working with my team.”

    Jesse landed a manager after participating in an actors’ showcase put on by New York Film Academy. Soon after his graduation in June 2011, he booked a role in a promo for HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher. He also joined the staff of the New York Film Academy to stay busy between auditions and performances. “Everyone on the staff believes in me and my talent,” says Jesse. He adds, “It’s amazing to see new students as they come in. I get to see their passion. It’s uplifting.” He also thanks his family for their support and inspiration.

    You can catch Jesse in a starring role in A Few Good Men at the Sky Lounge in the North Hollywood Arts District. The play was written by Aaron Sorkin, who later adapted the script for the film. The production with Rise Above Theatre Movement has just been extended and runs through April 22. In between work and evening performances, Jesse also squeezed in a modeling job for a national print advertising campaign. He is also producing a short film called The Secretary, a slapstick comedy about a couple and their infidelities. He is gearing up to direct a stage production of Reasons to be Pretty at the end of the summer.


    April 4, 2012 • Acting, Diversity, Student & Alumni Spotlights, Veterans • Views: 6424