Filmmaking Alum
Posts

  • NYFA Filmmaking Alum Kai Kaldro’s Thesis Short “Dissolved Girl” Lands on Amazon Prime

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) is excited to announce that Dissolved Girl from NYFA alum Kai Kaldro is now available to stream on Amazon Prime. Kaldro describes the short film as a “sci-fi ‘cyberpunk’ manifesto set in New York City during an era of political and cultural war between man and machine.

    The 20 year old Brooklyn, New York native knew he wanted to make movies from a very young age and since graduating from the 1-Year Filmmaking Program at NYFA’s New York campus in September of 2020, he’s hit the ground running with two short films on the festival circuit. He’s also the editor/VFX artist on for the music video of indie pop-rock singer/songwriter Pam Steebler’s single Noise which is releasing later this summer.

    Kai Kaldro with fellow NYFA Alum & “Dissolved Girl” lead Alexandra Faye Sadeghian.

    Kaldro is heavily influenced by the “cyberpunk” sub-genre and strives to create work that has alluring atmospheres, compelling action and visual effects.

    “It’s become something of a prerequisite for science fiction stories to try and predict the future or be ahead of their time, often set in a distant year that we’ll all eventually reach. When that day comes along we utter our sardonic disillusionment that there are no flying cars and robots. Dissolved Girl is not intended to be ahead of its time, it’s intended to define its time, which is why it’s set in our current year of 2021 – but of course it’s a different 2021 with a different, yet similar history proceeding it.”

    Kaldro says he was able to use the skills he learned at NYFA to create elaborate lighting set ups with minimal resources and a strict budget. He is currently working on two feature length films including the feature-length version of Dissolved Girl.

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA Filmmaking alum Kai Kaldro on his success and invites everyone to check out Dissolved Girl on Amazon Prime.

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    June 16, 2021 • Film School, Filmmaking • Views: 986

  • Producer & NYFA Alum Alex Lampsos on His Latest Film “Breaking Fast”

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Born in Beirut and brought up in Abu Dhabi and Canada, Alex Lampsos was always drawn to film and entertainment. From his beginnings in the film festival to producing indie films and music videos for the stars of Ru Paul’s Drag Race, Lampsos has also produced commercials for Marvel, Disney, Sony, and LA Models in collaboration with Sir Elton John. 

    After working managing festival experiences and logistics at the Toronto International Film Festival for two years, Lampsos then decided it was time to dive into the technical and creative world of filmmaking itself and moved to Los Angles where he enrolled in NYFA’s 1-Year Filmmaking Conservatory. “Halfway through, I honed into my love of producing and took on as many projects that came my way, starting with thesis short films through the school network and slowly expanding into the real world,” he recalled. 

    NYFA alum Alex Lampsos

    The NYFA alum has since gone to produce music videos for Ru Paul’s Drag Race stars which have garnered millions of views and have been featured in Forbes, Entertainment Tonight, Entertainment Weekly, Billboard, Paper Magazine, Out, and more.

    He has also produced incredible projects, from Cherry Pop, a NYFA thesis project that got picked up by Netflix, to feature Breaking Fast, which is now available to rent. Collectively, both films have garnered over 30 awards and have had an impact in the queer and indie film community. 

    Film poster for “Breaking Fast”

    His latest feature film, Breaking Fast, is a romantic comedy that follows Mo, a practicing Muslim still reeling from heartbreak. When a guy named Kal offers to join him in his nightly Iftars – the traditional meal eaten by Muslims during Ramadan – meal after meal, the two start to discover they have more in common than they initially thought.

    Lampsos first got involved on the project after a serendipitous encounter with the film’s writer and director Mike Mosallam. “A friendship quickly bloomed, leading us to collaborate on the short film version of Breaking Fast – the genesis of the feature,” recalled Lampsos. “After finding much success with the short, we spent approximately three years developing the feature with a team of leading producers, finally securing the funding and entering production in 2018.”

    Alex Lampsos at premiere for “Cherry Pop”

    As for what he has taken with him since studying at NYFA, Lampsos shared that it’s all about community. “NYFA taught me the importance of building a filmmaking family that can grow and prosper collectively over time, often with fellow students that eventually become long-term collaborators,” he remarked. “It [NYFA] also gave me the framework to approach the industry with a strong sense of ambition and a self-starting mentality; the ‘it’s what you make of it’ mindset, while giving me the technical foundation to thrive.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates Alex Lampsos on his latest release Breaking Fast and looks forward to sharing new updates on what’s next from the talented alum. Click here to learn more about Breaking Fast and where to watch the film. 

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    March 8, 2021 • Diversity, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1024

  • Actress Alaina Huffman Studies Filmmaking With New York Film Academy

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Veteran actress and producer Alaina Huffman is no stranger to the film business and has appeared on some of your favorite shows and films over the past couple of decades. From Smallville and Painkiller Jane to Amber Alert and Netflix’s The Perfection, Huffman has a long list of film and TV credits that have allowed her to see the filmmaking process from both in front of and behind the camera.

    Huffman recently decided to take the time to expand her technical skills by taking one of NYFA’s Online Filmmaking Workshops, allowing her to take classes to study the filmmaking craft more in-depth.

    “I’ve had the desire to direct for some time,” Huffman shared. “I had a short I was set to direct last April but I had to postpone due to COVID. Between working and being a single mom of four, I never really felt I could fit school into my life. With all this downtime and watching my kids do homeschool, I felt it was the perfect opportunity to take classes.

    Photo courtesy of Alaina Huffman

    With a career spanning television fan-favorite titles to her indie film background, Huffman learned a lot during that time beyond being an actor, including what it takes to produce, direct, and work alongside the crew. “Once my career started to move into television, I was working with more established crews and actors. Every day on set is an education if you pay attention. You not only learn what to do, a lot of times you learn what not to do. Now 25 years into my career, I’m still learning along the way.”

    In addition to the teachable moments presented to Huffman on set, being in front of the camera over the years has brought her so much joy in collaboration. “I have a fondness for all the characters I’ve played, they are so special to me,” she revealed. “Being a part of a series is like being part of a family. There’s a closeness and special bonds that form. I have lifelong friends from my time on Stargate Universe, Smallville, Supernatural, and The 100. For me, I like when a character creates themselves. It’s almost effortless, they just come to me like it’s meant to be.”

    Photo courtesy of Alaina Huffman

    Like Huffman shared, even professionals who have been in the industry for years are constantly absorbing information and learning along the way, which is why coming to NYFA was another resource for Huffman to explore all the aspects of the filmmaking craft.

    “My advice to incoming students [at NYFA] would be to have fun! Ultimately filmmaking is a joy. Remember why you love movies and television and enjoy learning the tools to aid your creative process. It always amazes me that we all have access to the same equipment, the same information and yet we all come up with such diverse ideas. Enjoy learning from each other as much as the professors.”

    Alaina Huffman in “Stargate Universe” (Syfy)

    What’s next for Alaina Huffman? While we wait for her upcoming horror film Deep Focus, Huffman is slated to direct. “I’m shooting [a movie] next month called The Missing Twin and I’m super lucky in that in addition to playing the lead character, they’ve offered me the opportunity to direct the second unit. Once I finish that I’ll go on to direct my short film that got delayed.”

    New York Film Academy thanks Alaina Huffman for taking the time to share more about her thoughts on continuing her education at NYFA and looks forward to sharing more about her upcoming projects in the future.

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    March 2, 2021 • Entertainment News, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 851

  • NYFA Alum Rozette Rago Named an Honoree in 2020 Edition of Annual Photographers List

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    She has shot some of your favorite icons from Natalie Portman and Will Smith, to Steven Spielberg and Ryan Coogler, and capturing music icons U2, Metallica, Kanye West, and more. The NYFA Filmmaking alum, Rozette Rago, has had quite the career and she is only getting started, having recently nabbed a spot on the coveted list of “The 30.”

    The 30 is recognized throughout the professional photography industry as a “go-to” outlet to discover some of the best photographers in the world and serves as a platform to elevate emerging photographers growing their careers. Each year, The 30 are selected through a nomination and jurying process that includes the input of established photographers, photo editors, art directors, curators, and other industry leaders that are cultivated by Photo District News Magazine.

    Rago attended an 8-Week NYFA Filmmaking program in 2010 and has since gone on to shoot for The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, Vanity Fair, The FADER, HBO, A+E Networks, Rolling Stone, and many more. She has also been profiled by CNN and Masterpiece for her body of work and has been hailed by Culture Photo Editor at The Times as “one of those photographers who elevates the ordinary,”

    NYFA alum used for U2’s promotional materials (Photo by Rozette Rago)

    After arriving on the scene in Los Angeles, Rago shot for bands like U2, Interpol, and Metallica, which then allowed her to leverage her portfolio to get a job as a photo editor at Time Out Los Angeles. For the past three years, she’s been a photo editor at Wirecutter in addition to contributing to other publications and networking with other women in the industry. She’s a member of groups including Authority Collective, Women Photograph, and Diversify Photo.

    Steven Spielberg (Photo by Rozette Rag0)

    The Filipino-American photographer shared with The 30 that she is grateful for the path that she has taken and shares it has “landed me exactly where I want to be,” with a career that has captured stories, scenes from music, performers, and more.

    The cast of “Crazy Rich Asians” and Director Jonathan Chu by Rozette Rago

    New York Film Academy congratulates Filmmaking alum Rozette Rago on her incredible journey and for the well-deserved recognition by her peers on being named in The Annual 30 Photographers List.

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail
  • NYFA Filmmaking Alum Issa Rae Hosts ‘Saturday Night Live’ in Show’s 46th Season

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night…with your host, Issa Rae!” In the show’s third episode of the live sketch comedy’s 46th season, NYFA Filmmaking alum Issa Rae played the iconic role of celebrity host on Saturday Night Live, performing in the comedic sketches alongside the show’s main cast and introducing this week’s musical guest, Justin Bieber.

    NYFA alum Issa Rae performs her opening monologue on ‘SNL’ (Will Heath/NBC)

    With Rae as host, shared how important the hosting gig was to her and joked that if Insecure’s fourth season was her senior year of High School, then SNL felt like the prom and the live audience were her dates. Rae also joked, “If the show goes bad tonight, just blame it on me, Mary J. Blige,” a lighthearted jab at how Black people in Hollywood often get confused for other people who look nothing like them.

    Rae’s quirky comedy enlivened many sketches throughout the evening, but her top moments seemed to shine in sketches like “First Date Exes,” where her character keeps seeing her extremely off-putting exes while on a first date, and “Canadian News Show,” in which she played an anchor always on the lookout for Canadian rapper Drake in Toronto.

    Rae recently appeared in HBO’s original film Coastal Elites and is currently in pre-production on season 5 of her critically acclaimed, Emmy-nominated series Insecure.

    New York Film Academy is proud to watch NYFA alum Issa Rae shine on stage and looks forward to what’s next from the talented writer, director, producer, and actress.

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    October 18, 2020 • Entertainment News, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 805

  • NYFA Filmmaking Alum Issa Rae Stars in HBO Comedy Film ‘Coastal Elites’

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking alum Issa Rae is set to star in the upcoming COVID-19 era comedy film Coastal Elites, slated to air on September 12, 2020 on HBO and HBO Max.

    In 2020, Rae has already starred in The Lovebirds, The Photograph, and her own HBO show, Insecure, which was nominated for seven Primetime Emmy Awards. It was also recently announced that Rae will work with Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions on new film Sinkhole; a film about female identity and themes of perfection, which just Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions for

    The Filmmaking alum’s latest project, Coastal Elites, is a satire film that follows the lives of five individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as they navigated their new reality. In addition to Rae, the star-studded cast includes Bette Midler, Dan Levy, Sarah Paulson, and Kaitlyn Dever.

    NYFA alum Issa Rae as Callie Josephson in HBO’s ‘Coastal Elites’

    In Coastal Elites, plays well-connected philanthropist Callie Josephson, who runs in the same circles as Ivanka Trump. When asked about her upcoming role, Rae explained that it took a lot of research to get into her role but the script was “just incredible to read and immediately resonated” with the NYFA alum.

    The series is set to premiere on HBO and HBO Max on September 12, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

    New York Film Academy looks forward to seeing talented alum Issa Rae in her upcoming role in Coastal Elites as well as hearing more about filmmaking alum’s upcoming project, Sinkhole.

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    September 2, 2020 • Entertainment News, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1207

  • NYFA Filmmaking Alum Silvia Susanna to Screen Short Film “Normality” at Nòt Film Fest

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    In a year where the word “normal” seems a distant memory, filmmaker and architect Silvia Susanna examines what the idea of normalcy means in her short film Normality. The short, 3-minute film is set to screen at this year’s Nòt Film Fest.

    Silvia Susanna works in the field of Architecture and Design as a project designer, assistant curator, and independent researcher in Italy and abroad. Her practice is focusing primarily on projects that are questioning established assumptions of the built environment. Her work has been part of important architecture and design exhibitions in Venice (La Biennale di Venezia, Architettura 2016), Ljubljana (BIO50, 2014), Vienna (VDW, 2018), Oslo (Triennale, 2019), Basel (DW, 2017) and Milan (Atelier Clerici, 2014).


    This year, Susanna took NYFA’s
    8-Week Filmmaking Workshop, which resulted in her short film Normality, an examination on the meaning of what it means to feel normal or what is considered normal. The film was shot in 8 hours, a couple of days before the New York lock-down when security measures were gradually transforming daily life.

    The film will be screening at this year’s Nòt Film Fest, an independent Italian film festival with an international flair, dedicated to innovation, inclusion, and gender equality. The festival will feature 118 films, from 35 countries, for a total of two thousand minutes of screenings.

    The jury is composed of international festival founders (Peter Baxter, Sandra Lipski, Vjosa Berisha, and Fatos Berisha), emerging talents of Italian cinema (NYFA alum Stefano Cipani, Luca Severi, Anna Pennella, and Mauro Russo), and established professionals in the fields of entertainment and communication (Lavinia Guglielman, Mario Fanizzi, Roberto Naccari, and Luca Scarcella).


    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA alum, Silvia Susanna, on her achievement and looks forward to seeing what comes next from the talented alum.

    Normality (2020)
    Director: Silvia Susanna
    Writer: Silvia Susanna
    Director of Photography: Silvia Susanna
    First Camera Assistant: Simone Montacci
    Second Camera Assistant: Gabriele Camilli
    Original Music: Giuseppe Canegiallo
    Subtitles: Sara Aoun, Katia Abi Gerges, Faye Yue
    Special Thanks: Thomas Barnes, Eleonora Amianto 

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail