filmmaking school
Posts

  • New York Film Academy Australia Filmmaking Alum Leroy Button Builds Up Blockbuster Credits

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    New York Film Academy Australia alum Leroy Button has been busy since graduating the Filmmaking program in 2018, having worked on multiple blockbusters, including Aquaman and Dora and the Lost City of Gold, as well as upcoming franchise sequels Fast & Furious 9 and James Bond film No Time to Die.

    Australian publication Daily Telegraph recently covered Button’s achievements in a profile, touching on his early start as a child playing with consumer and prosumer camera equipment. Button would shoot numerous videos and short films with his friends, presaging his future career in the filmmaking industry.

     

    leroy button

    Sense, a film he made while still in high school, went on to win seven awards in the festival circuit, and led to Button creating his own freelance company, Button Media. After taking a Panavision Master Class while studying at NYFA Australia’s Gold Coast campus, Button landed a job with Panavision, where he eventually was able to work on superhero epic Aquaman, which was partially filmed at Village Roadshow Studios.

    On set, Button worked closely with stars like Jason Momoa and Nicole Kidman, but it was the state-of-the-art technical equipment that really wowed him. “I was actually more interested in having conversations with the camera boys,” Button tells Daily Telegraph Australia.

    Sure enough, that job led to another and then another, and in just a few short years Button has built up an impressive resume with credits on huge Hollywood films in the camera and electric departments, including as the drone technician on last summer’s Dora the Explorer film.

    leroy button

    Additionally, Button has been working in television, and earning cinematography credits as well. His career is clearly only just getting started.

    “Leroy displayed passion, positivity, and a strong work ethic,” says Steve Pratt, NYFA Australia Chair of Filmmaking, “and was able to utilize the unique hands-on approach to filmmaking that makes NYFA Australia’s curriculum stand out from the rest—ensuring graduates like him are industry-ready when big studios come calling. We are extremely proud of him and look forward to his continued success in the industry.”

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    November 8, 2019 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 241

  • New York Film Academy Los Angeles (NYFA-LA) Associate Dean and Filmmaking Chair Colloborate for ‘The MisEducation of Bindu’

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Prarthana Mohan recently won the Indiana Spotlight Award for Best Director at the Heartland International Film Festival for her film The MisEducation of Bindu; NYFA Los Angeles Chair of Filmmaking Ed Timpe co-produced the film.

    The feature-length comedy tells the story of a bullied high school sophomore from India who must seek help from her classmates after forging her mother’s signature to test out of high school and discovering the test has a fee she cannot afford. The film co-stars Priyanka Bose, Megan Suri, and David Arquette (Scream, Never Been Kissed.)

    The MisEducation of Bindi was executive produced by the Duplass Brothers (Togetherness, Room 104) and was directed by Mohan, who co-wrote the screenplay with Kay Tuxford and co-produced the film with Ed Timpe. 

    The Miseducation of Bindu
    The production was shot in Indiana, where Timpe went to school, and is tied deeply to the community. “We really want to take the film back to Indiana,” Mohan tells IndyStar. “We want to take it back to Indianapolis and the communities nearby because they were so gracious and kind and welcoming.”

    The film screened at the state’s 28th annual Heartland International Film Festival, Indiana’s largest and longest-running fest. This year’s festival, which ran from October 10 – 20, featured more than 100 independent films, 200 visiting filmmakers, and 300 film screenings.

    New York Film Academy congratulates the filmmakers on the success of their film The MisEducation of Bindu and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Prarthana Mohan on her well-deserved Best Director award!

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    November 1, 2019 • Faculty Highlights, Film Festivals, Film School, Filmmaking • Views: 179

  • Film Festivals Success of the New York Film Academy (NYFA) Community

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Each year, the New York Film Academy (NYFA) community–including our students, alumni, and faculty–find a great deal of success on the film festivals circuit, including fests around the globe like the Venice Film Festival, Berlinale, and Sundance.

    Here are some of the proud achievements the NYFA community has made on the festival circuit:

    AMERICAN DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL (AmDocs)

    Julia Cheng 1-Year Documentary Filmmaking – NYC Alumni Cricket Liu 2019 Winner – Best International Short Documentary

    ARIZONA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

    Sara Seligman 2-Year Filmmaking – NYC Alumni Kosnin 2017 Winner – Special Jury Award

    BARCELONA FILM FESTIVAL

    Sara Seligman 2-Year Filmmaking – NYC Alumni Diego 2014 Golden Lion Award – Short Film Category
    Zi Xiang & José Val Bal MFA Filmmaking – LA Alumni A Dog Barking at the Moon 2019 Nominee – GWFF Best First Feature Award – Panorama

    DOC NYC

    Kuldeep Sah Gangola 1-Year Documentary NYC Alumni Ghost Villages of the Himalayas 2019 Official Selection
    Serena Smith 1-Year Documentary NYC Alumni My Dad Vernon 2019 Official Selection
    Lucia Florez MFA Documentary LA; 1-Year Documentary NYC Alumni Mamá 2019 Official Selection
    Nancy Dionne 1-Year Documentary; 6-Week Documentary NYC Alumni All I See Is the Future 2019 Official Selection
    Mollie Moore 1-Year Documentary NYC Alumni A Word Away 2019 Official Selection
    Joe Cleary 1-Year Documentary NYC Alumni Get It 2019 Official Selection
    Carolina Gonzales 1-Year Documentary; 6-Week Documentary NYC Alumni B-city 2019 Official Selection
    Aya Hamdan 1-Year Documentary; 1-Week Filmmaking NYC Student Baladna 2019 Official Selection
    Anna Panova 1-Year Documentary NYC Alumni Epiales 2019 Official Selection
    Nika Nikanava 1-Year Documentary NYC Alumni Unloved; The Rhythms 2019 Official Selection

    FANTASTIC FEST

    Alberto Trezza NYFA-LA Screenwriting Faculty We Summon the Darkness 2019 Official Selection

    HEARTLAND FILM FESTIVAL

    Prarthana Mohan NYFA-Los Angeles Faculty The MisEducation of Bindu 2019 Winner – Indiana Spotlight Award for Best Director
    Ed Timpe NYFA-LA Filmmaking Faculty The MisEducation of Bindu 2019 Official Selection

    LUNAFEST

    Crickett Rumley NYFA-Los Angeles Director, Film Festivals n/a 2019 Moderator

    MANCHESTER INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (MANIFF)

    Mark O’Connor 6-Week Filmmaking Workshop – NYC Alumni Cardboard Gangsters 2017 Winner – Best Feature Film; Film of the Festival; Best Actor; Outstanding Director; Outstanding Screenplay; Outstanding Cinematography

    MIAMI FILM FESTIVAL

    Anastasia Kochetkova BFA Acting for Film & MFA Filmmaking – South Beach Alumni Late Again Ana 2019 Official Selection – Cinemaslam
    Braulio Jatar & Anaïs Michel 6-Week Documentary Filmmaking Workshop – NYC
    1-Year Documentary Filmmaking – NYC
    Alumni Where Chaos Reigns 2019 Honorable Mention – HBO Ibero-American Award

    NEWPORT BEACH FILM FESTIVAL

    Mark O’Connor 6-Week Filmmaking Workshop – NYC Alumni Cardboard Gangsters 2017 Winner – Best Foreign Film

    NEW YORK LATINO FILM FESTIVAL

    Sara Seligman 2-Year Filmmaking – NYC Alumni Coyote Lake 2019 Official Selection

    NORDIC INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (NIFF)

    Linnea Larsdotter & Johan Matton 2-Year Musical Theatre – NYC & Alum: 2-Year Acting for Film; 2-Day Line Producing – NYC Alumni n/a 2015 – Present Founders
    Michael Young NYFA President n/a n/a Award Presenter

    SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

    Braulio Jatar & Anaïs Michel 6-Week Documentary Filmmaking Workshop – NYC
    1-Year Documentary Filmmaking – NYC
    Alumni Where Chaos Reigns 2019 Winner – Golden Gate Award for Best Short Documentary

    SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL

    Aya Hamdan 1-Week Filmmaking & 1-Year Documentary Filmmaking – NYC Student Dunya’s Day 2019 Winner – Short Film Jury Award for International Fiction

    VENICE FILM FESTIVAL

    Craig Caton 3D Animation & VFX – Los Angeles Chair n/a 2019 Taught Master Classes as part of the fest
    Shahad Ameen 1-Year Screenwriting – New York Alumni Scales 2019 Nominated – Critics Week Luigi De Laurentiis Award for Debut Film

     

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    October 18, 2019 • Community Highlights, Film Festivals • Views: 399

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking Alum Furaha Bayibsa Authors New Book, ‘Children’

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Furaha Bayibsa ChildrenChildren, a new book written by New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking alum Furaha Bayibsa, was released last month.

    Bayibsa has been very busy since graduating the Fall 2015 1-Year Filmmaking program at NYFA-Los Angeles—as a producer, screenwriter, director, and now as an author. 

    Originally from the Congo and born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden, Bayibsa has written four short films, three of which she’s directed. She has also become a prolific and talented producer, having worked on over a dozen films to date. These include Landfill, directed by MFA Filmmaking student Yesser Laham, and Straight to Hell, a comedy short written and directed NYFA Filmmaking alum Damon J. Barnes.

    Bayibsa’s book is titled Children and takes place in a San Francisco community in present day. The book is based on new legislation approved and finalized by the Supreme Court that calls for police officers to be put on immediate unpaid leave, charged, and tried as a civilian when abusing their power in service to unarmed civilians. This legislation has been praised and implemented in several nations all around the world and began with the story of two children who fell in love.

    “Writing is one of the most fun things in the world; it’s something I’ve always believed,” says Bayibsa. “Attending NYFA gave me guidance on how to think when I write, not actually how to write; that’s what I liked about NYFA the most.” 

    Bayibsa plans to adapt Children into a feature film as buzz about the book grows, which she plans to also direct.

    New York Film Academy congratulates Filmmaking alum Furaha Bayibsa on her new book Children and encourages everyone to read a copy today!

    Furaha Bayibsa Children

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    October 17, 2019 • Film School, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 554

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking Alum Damon J. Barnes Screens ‘Straight to Hell’

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Straight to Hell, a period comedy written and directed by New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking alum Damon J. Barnes and produced by NYFA Filmmaking alum Furaha Bayibsa, screened last month in North Hollywood. Barnes attended the 1-Year Filmmaking conservatory at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus in 2016; Bayibsa attended one year earlier. 

    Damon J. Barnes Straight to Hell
    The short film is a comedy about Christian gay conversation camps, and deals with very serious LGBTQIA+ issues in a humorous yet thoughtful way. Straight to Hell stars Bendan J. Shannon, Justin Selig, Noah Der, Gracie Lacey, and Collin Lapinsky.

    Straight to Hell began as Barnes’s thesis film while at NYFA. “One of the key driving forces for the film’s style, from choices in the script to choices in music, came from cinema from the 80s—more specifically, from the world of John Hughes,” says Barnes in an artist’s statement for the film. “The way Hughes’ storytelling captures the suburban teenage American experience in a fable-like, classicist body of work that stays true to the tradition of Hollywood romance and adventure was influential on the approach to make the story a comedy rather than a rough-edged, literal presentation—not to say those stories are not needed.” 

    Finding the right tone was important for Barnes. “At the heart of this film is a storyline that is tragic and unjust,” he continues in his statement on the film. “Comedy was used as the vehicle to tell that story. As absurd as conversion therapy is, is how absurd the comedy in the film was designed to be.”

    Damon J. Barnes

    NYFA Filmmaking alum Damon J. Barnes

    Damon plans to donate all the proceeds the film earns that week to nonprofit organization Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which uses litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy to fight hate and bigotry in our society.

    The film screened at the Laemmel NOHO Theater in North Hollywood from September 20 – 26.

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA Filmmaking alum Damon J. Barnes on his film and encourages everyone to check out Straight to Hell when they can!

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Students & Alumni Featured in VoyageLA Magazine

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    VoyageLA, the flagship publication for Voyage Group of Magazines, is a media and city guide for Los Angeles that aims to authentically represent a wide variety of artists and communities, looking for outside-the-box ways to bring together the many different small businesses, independent artists and entrepreneurs, local institutions of LA.

    It’s no surprise that many of New York Film Academy’s incredibly talented students and alumni have been featured on their pages, usually with personal and informative interviews. Here are the most recent NYFA artists who have been showcased by VoyageLA:

    Dayana Espinoza

    Recent 1-Year Acting for Film grad Dayana Espinoza has a knack for landing roles in quality films–she’s appeared in award winners Outlandish (Winner – CKF International Film Festival) and The Rosy Summer Day (Best Fantasy Film – Los Angeles Film Awards; Best Short – Top Short Film Festival; Best Women Short – Indie Short Fest; Best Director – Independent Shorts Awards; Best Director – Festigious International Film Festival) as well as Invisible Murderer, which was nominated in the Indie Short Fest for both Best Original Story and Best Film Noir Short. Espinoza, who was born and raised in Peru and has been recently interviewed by both VoyageLA and Film Daily, is currently represented by two agencies and recently worked on her first SAG-AFTRA project.

    Dayana EspinozaJoseph Ford

    Current BFA Photography Joseph Ford has been hired to shoot Instagram influencers including Blac Chyna and Brittany Renner, and has recently shot photo coverage of the Amazon float for the 2019 SF Gay Pride parade. The Marines veteran talks about his fashion photography company and the path that led him to NYFA-LA and beyond. 

    Joseph Ford VoyageLA

    Saana Laigren

    In her interview with VoyageLA, 1-Year Acting for Film alum Saana Laigren talks about how she first got into acting during her childhood, and about the internal struggles she’s faced while trying to create a career in the arts. In the end, though, her path ultimately led to her following her dream, and she’s recently won Best Foreign Actress at Chandra Khamini International Film Festival.

    Saana Laigren VoyageLA

    Alice Rehemutula

    VoyageLA calls MFA Producing alum Alice Rehemutula a “trailblazer” in an interview that charts her unconventional path from a Muslim province of China to Shanghai to Hollywood. Rehemutula found great success overseas as a performer, including appearing on China’s Got Talent, but she also has a passion for working behind the camera, earning her Master of Fine Arts in Producing from NYFA’s Los Angeles campus.

    Alice Rehemutula VoyageLA

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
  • New York Film Academy Australia Alumni Release Action Short ‘Round Trip’

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Ren Thackham Round TripRound Trip, a six-minute action film written and directed by New York Film Academy Australia alum Ren Thackham and starring NYFA Australia alum Danny Bolt, recently went online after a spectacular festival run.

    Thackham and Bolt met while studying at NYFA Australia, where Thackham attended the 1-Year Filmmaking program in 2014. Since then, she’s had a great deal of success on the festival circuit with her short films, collaborating often with Bolt, and winning numerous awards and nominations for her work.

    Their latest short, Round Trip, packs a serious punch with an incredible automobile stunt involving a police car flipping over. “We had one police car and one shot at flipping it on camera, and if it didn’t land on it’s wheels, we wouldn’t have had a film,” says Thackham. 

     

    The film was in good hands though; the head of the stunt team was Judd Wild, who worked on Australian action epic Mad Max: Fury Road. Thackham calls Wild “one of the best in the country.”

    Wild wasn’t the only top shelf talent on the production. The film stars 2013 NABBA Mr. Universe Lee Priest in his acting debut, as a criminal trying to escape Bolt’s police officer protagonist. Additionally, the score for Round Trip was composed by Rafael May with didgeridoo by Darren Narul, recorded at Skinny Fish Music in Darwin. 

    Thackham and Bolt next plan to make their first feature film, Ridgy Didge, in 2020 as a directing/producing team.

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA Australia alumni Ren Thackham and Danny Bolt on the online release of Round Trip and encourages everyone to check out the death-defying short!

     

    Ren Thackham Round Trip Danny Bolt

     

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    October 15, 2019 • #WomenOfNYFA, Acting, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 468

  • A Banner Year for New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking Alum Alfonso Perugini

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    For New York Film Academy (NYFA) alum Alfonso Perugini, 2019 is shaping up to be a banner year.

    Since graduating the 2-Year Filmmaking conservatory in 2015, Perugini has worked on several Italian film productions, including some with well known Italian actors like Giacomo Rizzo, Pietro De Silva, Yuliya Mayarchuck, and singer Cheryl Porter, among many others. 

    Perugini also acted in the webseries Garganta, directed by Modestino Di Nenna; the first episodes are now online. Thanks to a respected cast well known from the Italian theatre and television scenes, including Francesco Paolantoni and Antonio Fiorillo, the comedy already has a dedicated following. The immediate success of Garganta has convinced producers Danilo Battista and Rossella De Falco to set up a second season.

    Perugini has also recently released the pilot episode of Hotblade, filmed earlier this year and produced by 16NONI Produzioni Visive and directed by Luigi Borriello. Hotblade is a highly innovative and experimental product for Italy, combining the crime genre with action, humor, erotic, and Asian genre cinema. Perugini is also an associate producer of this ambitious project, and stars in the series alongside model Anna Montella, who plays the role of the heroine Hotblade. Perugini plans to release an English translation of the series as well, anticipating an American audience.

    Uno zio tutto mio, a comedy and Perugini’s fourth feature film as a director, was also announced in a press conference in the Town Hall of Grassano, in the province of Matera, in southern Italy. The film is produced by Pio Volpe for PFOX Produzioni, executive produced by Nancy Mastia, and written by Brando Improta. The film recently shot sequences in Naples, Sorrento, and Matera.

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) congratulates Filmmaking alum Alfonso Perugini on a banner year filled with exciting projects and looks forward to the completion and release of Uno zio tutto mio!

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    October 2, 2019 • Film School, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 451

  • New York FIlm Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking Alum Pablo C. Vergara Wins At International Film and Metal Festival

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Necromurder, the film by New York Film Academy (NYFA) alum Pablo C. Vergara, won the Award for Best International Fictional Film at 2019’s International Film and Metal Festival (FICIME.)

    necromurder
    The festival, which began this year in Colombia, aims to visualize and support the metal music and film industry not just in Colombia but around the world, generating a forum for artistic expression from the a genre that has influenced a search for identity for many generations, and which has been influenced by many artistic sources.

    FICIME received over 500+ submissions from across the globe. Sixty-eight audiovisual projects were selected for the fest, in eight categories, including films from Syria, Croatia, Burkina Faso, Africa, Russia, and Scandinavia.

    Necromurder is a music-oriented movie with strong visuals and design—written, directed, and starring Vergara, who was inspired by films like The Crow and The Doors. The film, based on real events, revolves around two musicians fighting for the title of King of Evil, where their own demons and lifestyles will lead them down a spiral of destruction that culminates in murder. For more details on the film its sources, check out our interview with Vergara here.

    Vergara hails from Mexico City and works as a cinematographer, actor, and filmmaker, among other roles, and enrolled in New York Film Academy’s Filmmaking program in New York in Fall 2016, before moving to Hollywood to work on completing his MFA at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus. 

    Vergara will be returning to NYFA on October 15, screening his film along with other NYFA filmmakers by invitation of Chair of Filmmaking Claude Kerven. The event will be held at NYFA’s New York campus at 7 p.m.

    New York Film Academy congratulates Filmmaking alum Pablo C. Vergara on his festival win and encourages everyone to check out the film when it screens at NYFA’s New York campus on October 15!

    necromurder pablo c. vergara

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    September 20, 2019 • Film Festivals, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 785

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) MFA Filmmaking Students Visit Buzzfeed

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Students from the New York Film Academy (NYFA) 2018 Master of Fine Arts in Filmmaking program had the opportunity to tour Buzzfeed’s LA Lexland campus on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. The MFA Filmmaking students, who study at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus, were joined by producer and on-camera talent Rie McClenny for their field trip.

    The visit included a chance to tour the studios, offices, prop room, and canteen, as well as the Buzzfeed Tasty Studio where McClenny whips up all manner of desserts for the Tasty Channel. The students enjoyed seeing the new media campus and learned a great deal about how the company operates.

    “Huge thanks to Rie and Buzzfeed for having the class!” says NYFA instructor Rebecca Louisell.

    Buzzfeed MFA

    From the left, front row: Rie McClenny (Buzzfeed), Rebecca Louisell (Instructor), Mahmoud Abul Burghul, Adilet Zhumabek, Kritika Chawla, Agnes Shinozaki, Veronica Badell, Haining “Carl” Gu, Shiran Wang. Back row: Ryan Mechling, Nick Sivakumaran (Instructor), Chin-Wei Chang, Lan-Chi Chien, Ether Tian Jin

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    September 17, 2019 • Film School, Filmmaking • Views: 397