filmmaking
Posts

  • NYFA Filmmaking Alum Jameelah Rose Lineses & Season 3 of The Khatak Film Society at the 11th IFFM Autumn 2021

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) 1-Year Filmmaking alum Jameelah Rose Lineses recently produced Khatak Film Society season 3 at the 11th International Film Festival Manhattan (IFFM) Autumn 2021 in October at the Producers Club Theater in New York City. Lineses served as a member of the jury for this year’s IFFM which marks her second time serving as a jury member for the organization. 

    Khatak Film Society Season 3 Programming is a collaboration project, just like the previous seasons, between the International Film Festival Manhattan and Lineses’ film organization The Khatak Film Society, a New York-based organization founded in 2020 during the peak of the pandemic – an organization dedicated to showcasing the works of new wave Tibetan filmmakers as well as other regions of the Himalayas to a global audience.

    NYFA Filmmaking Alum Jameelah Rose Lineses & Season 3 of The Khatak Film Society at the 11th IFFM Autumn 2021

    Khatak Film Society Season 3 programming included a total of ten films this year, most of which were Bhutanese. Screenings showcased an international array of artists and directors including Bhuchung, Tenzin Phuljung, Yeshey Namgyal, Sonam Gyatso, Norbu Tsering, Yeshi Lhendup, Sherabba, and Ugyen Tashi. 

    NYFA Filmmaking Alum Jameelah Rose Lineses & Season 3 of The Khatak Film Society at the 11th IFFM Autumn 2021

    Watch a short clip of the Khatak Film Society Season 3 film screening night at the 11th International Film Festival Manhattan Autumn 2021 with introductions by Jameelah Rose Lineses and the IFFM’s festival founder and organizer, Luis Pedron.

    The film screenings were followed by a Q&A with GDS Entertainment’s artist and founder, Karma Wangyel about his latest music video, Hollow directed by Sonam Gyatso, two of the festival participants. 

    NYFA Filmmaking Alum Jameelah Rose Lineses & Season 3 of The Khatak Film Society at the 11th IFFM Autumn 2021

    The Q&A featured director Yeshey Namgyal, one of the film festival participants who was present via video call, spoke about his award-winning short film My Paralympic Dream, which tells the story of the everyday struggle of a young man with a physical disability to overcome his physical obstacles and demonstrate his own artistic ability and achieve success. 

    NYFA Filmmaking Alum Jameelah Rose Lineses & Season 3 of The Khatak Film Society at the 11th IFFM Autumn 2021

    NYFA alum Jameelah Rose Lineses (left) accepting an award on behalf of Yann Moszynski and John Parl Luces for the film Exploring the Blue Depth with IFFM founder Luis Pedron (right)

    During the IFFM awards ceremony on October 14th, Lineses accepted an award on behalf of Yann Moszynski and John Parl Luces for their film Exploring the Blue Depth, a film that represented Saudi Arabia at the film festival. Included in the Autumn 2021 honorable mentions was GDS Entertainment’s founder and artist, Karma Wangyel for his music video Hollow.

    NYFA Filmmaking Alum Jameelah Rose Lineses & Season 3 of The Khatak Film Society at the 11th IFFM Autumn 2021

    NYFA alum Jameelah Rose Lineses (Left) together with her brother NYFA alum Joseph Lineses (Right) alongside City Council District 25 candidate Fatima Baryab (center)

    Catch video coverage of the event on October 17th, 2021:

    New York Film Academy congratulates Jameelah for the Khatak Film Society’s third season programming at the 11th International Film Festival Manhattan Autumn 2021. See some of the conversations, films, and more on the Khatak Film Society’s YouTube channel. For a recap of the festival’s season 2 programming, read here.

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    January 20, 2022 • Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 618

  • Q&A with NYFA Filmmaking Alum Filipe Coutinho on Script ‘Whittier’ and the 2021 Black List

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) MFA Filmmaking alum Filipe Coutinho is a Portuguese-born filmmaker with both short film and television experience. His credits include work as a producer, director, and writer for TV shows and short films such as Women on Top, The J&T Sketch Show, A Walk with James, and Time Asks Time.

    Coutinho recently made the 2021 Black List for his screenplay Whittier. Originated in 2005, the 2021 Black List features a year’s list of the most liked, but not-yet-produced screenplays. Many of the screenplays featured on the Black List have gone on to production and earned Oscars, including Slumdog Millionaire, Argo, The King’s Speech, and Spotlight.

    The alum spoke with us about his latest work, his selection for the 2021 Black List, and his learnings from NYFA. 

    Filipe Coutinho NYFA Alum

    NYFA Filmmaking alum Filipe Coutinho

    New York Film Academy (NYFA): What brought you to New York Film Academy?

    Filipe Coutinho (FC): Well, I was born in Portugal, where I spent the first 20 years of my life. My passion for film deepened after I watched a couple of films that completely transformed my perspective of what life is and what could be. 

    At the time, the only way for me to incorporate film into my life was to create a blog (very mid-2000s, I know!) and write about the films I watched. Turns out I was quite good at it, and shortly thereafter, I was invited to write for a few Portuguese publications. 

    When I finished college, I decided that it wasn’t enough for me to write about movies. I wanted to make them and I wanted to help other people in the same way movies helped me. With the full support of my family, I discovered New York Film Academy and made the transatlantic trip.

    NYFA: What projects have you worked on since graduating?

    FC: After graduation, my life took me in many unexpected directions. Being an immigrant in America while trying to find steady work in such a competitive industry was a daunting task. But eventually, I was able to find my footing. I worked as a researcher on a BET TV show called Being and developed three shows with FX. Afterward, I found a writing partner, Ben Mehlman, and we dedicated ourselves to the craft fully. 

    I made the quarter-finals of the Academy Nicholl’s Fellowship twice; hosted a table read of my script at the WGA with Reed Diamond, Merrin Dungey, and Hailey Erin; worked on a book adaptation; and then was selected to be a part of the Black List Fellowship Lab, during which I was mentored by Beau Willimon (creator of House of Cards) and Jack Thorne (His Dark Materials, Enola Holmes), and took masterclass sessions with Rachel Rovner, Lindsay Doran, and Liz Hannah.

    NYFA: What is your screenplay about?

    FC: Whittier is about a Los Angeles social worker who stumbles upon a political conspiracy while looking into a client’s murder in the wake of the 1987 Whittier earthquake. The film is a reflection on what it takes to keep fighting the good fight despite external circumstances of escalating difficulty. 

    It’s a story meant to shed light on the greed, corruption, and self-serving attitudes that start locally, expand nationally, and ultimately, plague us globally. The intention is to offer a sobering look at the backdoor politics that impact social issues like homelessness and gentrification. I want audiences to take home the idea that just because endings are not always ‘happy’ in a more traditional sense, truth is a cause always worth pursuing. Even though this story is set in 1987, the parallels to today are inescapable. 

    Making this a period piece helped create a healthy distance from the issues of today, allowing the challenging aspects of the story to be easier to digest. We’re hoping to attach a director and/or actor soon.

    NYFA: What was your reaction when you found out you were selected for the 2021 Black List?

    FC: Elation, of course. It’s a huge honor and point of pride to have written the 12th most liked, unproduced screenplay of the year, especially when there are fifty-thousand new pieces of writing every year in the U.S. alone (a very conservative number). It’s also great to get external validation about your work, especially in a field that often requires creating your own momentum.

    NYFA: What did you learn at NYFA that you applied directly to this project and others?

    FC: I didn’t know anything about filmmaking before I arrived at NYFA. The way the program is structured was perfect for someone like me. Each week I wrote, shot, directed, and edited a new project. That allowed me to understand exactly what my strengths were and lean into them. 

    My technical film education happened at NYFA, for which I’ll always be grateful. Furthermore, I need to shout out one of my screenwriting teachers, Jack Paglan, who was a huge influence in the way I approach writing.

    New York Film Academy congratulates Filipe Coutinho for his well-deserved recognition and placement on the 2021 Black List for his script, Whittier

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    January 11, 2022 • Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1244

  • Q&A with NYFA MFA Filmmaking Alum & Cinematographer Shivashish Ahuja

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) MFA Filmmaking alum Shivashish Ahuja is a Los-Angeles based Cinematographer with industry experience shooting and directing short films and music videos. Ahuja has worked with several well-known artists since graduating from NYFA, including Billie Eilish, Alessia Cara, Naomi Osaka, Tate McRae, and more. 

    Ahuja spoke with NYFA about his latest videos, career challenges, and experience traveling from a small town in India to the city of Los Angeles.

    New York Film Academy (NYFA): Tell us what originally brought you to the New York Film Academy and what prompted your interest in cinematography?

    Shivashish Ahuja (SA): I come from a small town called Kota, India, which is known for “manufacturing” engineers and doctors. With the strong support from my family, especially my brother, I took the step to move to the United States to pursue my dream of becoming a professional cinematographer. 

    I had an early interest in still photography but decided to pursue moving images after I covered Vin Diesel’s visit to India in a Behind the Scenes video. They were in town to film their movie xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017)

    For me, film is an engaging medium and forces you to not only think but to take a step toward change. My journey at the New York Film Academy was beautiful. The school not only gave me a platform but also made me aware of the culture and people in the United States. Without NYFA, I wouldn’t have been a member of the Academy Gold Rising Cinematography program in 2021

    NYFA: What projects have you worked on since graduating from NYFA?

    SA: Ever since I graduated from NYFA, I’ve managed to grow within the industry, including work as a cinematographer for the reality show Staycation and work with Grammy award-winning artists like Billie Eilish, Alessia Cara, and Carlitos Del Puerto. 

    I’ve also worked with Mena Suvari, Naomi Osaka, Tate McRae, and Diljit Dosanjh to name a few. Short films I’ve worked on for Dhar Mann Studios on YouTube have performed well and made it to the IndieFEST Film Awards, and the film Big Rant screened at the Fimucite Festival Internacional de Musica de Cine de Tenerife and made it to the Hollywood Music In Media Awards (HMMA). The movie Paper Boats was screened at the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival and my film FaceOff made it as a finalist in the Rethink Dance Film Festival. 

    NYFA: Tell us more about your latest work & how it felt to work with well-known artists? 

    Shooting the live performance with Billie Eilish was both challenging and fun. I got the chance to work with fellow NYFA MFA Cinematography alum, Mayur Patankar who was the gaffer, and I served as the rigging gaffer. 

    Billie Eilish was soft-spoken and very respectful to everyone on the set. Plus, to listen to her live was an incentive. I was given the opportunity to work with both Alessia Cara and Carlitos Del Puerto as the cinematographer through Richy Films LLC. 

    NYFA: What did you learn at NYFA that you applied directly to this project and others?

    SA: NYFA taught me the importance of pre-production, especially on bigger sets where celebrities are involved. They have extremely tight schedules and so it’s best to be prepared with everything so when they walk in, you’re ready to roll. Another crucial learning from NYFA was understanding the director’s language. Some shoots demand you work fast, which means maintaining good quality with as few setups as possible in a limited amount of time. By understanding the directors’ and producers’ goals and deliverables, it becomes easier to perform your best. 

    New York Film Academy congratulates Shivashish Ahuja for his success in Hollywood and we encourage you to check out the show Staycation and watch the music videos included here. 

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    January 3, 2022 • Community Highlights, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 776

  • NYFA MFA Filmmaking Alum Hongyu “Neo” Li on Life After Graduation as a Development Executive

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) MFA Filmmaking alum Hongyu “Neo” Li has been hired as the Development Executive and In-House Writer for Starlight Media. The production and finance company has produced several popular films including Crazy Rich Asians, Malignant, and Wuhan Wuhan. Li’s creative role includes overseeing treatments, ideas, pitches, and more. He reports directly to Starlight Media’s CEO, Peter Luo. 

    NYFA MFA Filmmaking Alum, Neo Li

    NYFA MFA Filmmaking Alum, Neo Li (above)

    The China-born writer and filmmaker began his career with short films, including Hank and Waiting For Frank, both of which received international recognition. Li screened his short films at over 30 film festivals, including the Palm Springs International ShortFest, Cleveland International Film Festival, and Chicago International LGBTQ+ Film Festival. His most recent screenplay My Chinese Neighbor was semi-finalist at the Austin Film Festival Script Competition, selected as a 2020 New Reality Screenwriting Program finalist, and named a semi-finalist at the 2021 Nashville Film Festival. 

    Li spoke with NYFA about his latest role and life after graduating in 2018. 

    New York Film Academy (NYFA): What can you tell us about what you do as a Development Executive for Starlight Media? 

    Neo Li (NL): As a development executive, I am responsible for generating ideas, treatments, pitches, and scripts, and guiding producers and writers in the development of content, curating a growing slate of film and TV projects. 

    NYFA: What type of projects do you oversee as a Development Executive?

    NL: I have been overseeing a couple of crime thriller projects, one with an Oscar-winning producer attached. 

    NYFA: What is the biggest challenge you’ve experienced in your work in the industry?

    NL: There have been some challenges along the way. The biggest one was shifting my mindset from writing/directing to the perspective of an executive. As a writer/director, I mostly ask myself if the story is appealing to me or not, but as an executive, I have to consider more elements, such as talent, budget, IP, merchandising, distribution—it’s a package of deals. Of course, the story is essential, but it’s not the only factor that needs to be considered.

    NYFA: What did you learn at NYFA that you applied to your work and experience since graduating? 

    NL: Directing, writing, and producing my year one film and thesis film at NYFA helped me understand how to complete a film from the logline stage all the way to distribution. The difference is, budgets in the industry are higher, and filmmakers need their work to appeal to a wider audience and are also responsible to their investors and backers. 

    As a film student, I was only commercially responsible to my selfless parents! But I do think that your short films from your degree will be your calling cards as you set out on a film career – so it’s important to think about what your films say about what strengths you can bring to a project.

    In terms of specific classes, I think James Rowe’s directing class deeply enriched my knowledge in directing and story development. While developing my thesis film Hank, I wasn’t really confident about directing it myself, and my instructor David Newman strengthened my faith and confidence. 

    Mark Horowitz’s class in feature film sales, marketing, and distribution gave me a general idea of an executive’s world, which helped me stand out in my three-month internship. And I want to give a big shout-out to Crickett Rumley, who has been a steadfast supporter since I graduated and who has been a great resource for connecting alumni together. 

    NYFA: Are there any other upcoming projects or trends we should know about?

    NL: The biggest trend that I have been paying attention to is that of crime thrillers combined with high concepts. As evidenced by Squid Game, foreign language is not a barrier anymore. The determining element is the core and the theme – is it universal? People living in Seoul struggle with the issue of class, but so do the people in San Francisco.  

    NYFA: Do you have any advice for incoming NYFA students? Especially those seeking an MFA? 

    NL: Never underestimate the importance of your year one film, which is a great opportunity to make mistakes and conquer your fears. Stop submitting your films to those film festivals that will hand you 10 awards. Go to the real ones. Go to their screenings and panels and connect with people. You will get inspired, make friends and probably find your next director of photography, producer, or lead actor. When you have ten film ideas, choose the one that you personally respond to at an emotional level. For your thesis film, tell your OWN story and be sincere. 

    New York Film Academy would like to congratulate Li on his role at Starlight Media and his pipeline of projects. If you’d like to learn more about Neo Li’s work, you can visit his LinkedIn profile or read about him on his professional website.

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    December 21, 2021 • Alumni Events, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 927

  • New York Film Academy & Sichuan University of Media and Communications Launch New Degree in Filmmaking

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    In a virtual ceremony on December 14th, 2021, the New York Film Academy (NYFA) and the Sichuan University of Media and Communications (SUMC) celebrated the launch of a collaborative bachelor’s degree in filmmaking.

    New York Film Academy & Sichuan University of Media and Communications Launch New Degree in Filmmaking

    New York Film Academy and the Sichuan University of Media and Communications (SUMC) celebrated the launch of a collaborative filmmaking degree

    Jean Sherlock (NYFA’s Principal), Michael Young (NYFA’s President), Dan Mackler (Dean of NYFA’s Los Angeles campus), Joy Zhu (NYFA Executive Vice President of the China Region), and other NYFA faculty and staff attended the ceremony.

    Zhang Shuyu (SUMC’s Chairwoman), Zhang Yingjiang (SUMC’s President), Zuo Xuzhou (SUMC’s Vice President), and other SUMC professors also attended the event, as well as an outstanding alum from both institutions.

    Zhang Yingjiang opened the event crediting the success of the program launch to the hard work and long-term partnership between NYFA and SUMC. “This collaborative program is a milestone, marking a new period of collaboration between the two institutions,” said Zhang Yingjiang, SUMC’s President.

    New York Film Academy & Sichuan University of Media and Communications Launch New Degree in Filmmaking

    Zhang Yingjiang, SUMC’s President (above)

    “Sichuan University of Media and Communications is one of our most trusted partners. Over the years, we have successfully developed collaborative projects and enhanced our relationship,” said Michael Young, NYFA’s President.

    New York Film Academy & Sichuan University of Media and Communications Launch New Degree in Filmmaking

    Michael Young, NYFA’s President (above)

    Zhang Shuyu (SUMC’s Chairwoman) said in her speech that the New York Film Academy is an old friend of SUMC and as the collaboration grows, there will be more and more outstanding students, rising into the forefront of the international film industry.

    Zhang Shuyu, SUMC’s Chairwoman (above)

    Jean Sherlock (NYFA’s Principal) congratulated the official launch of the program. He appreciated the high quality of students from SUMC and hoped that the program would bring the partnership between the two institutions to the next level.

    New York Film Academy & Sichuan University of Media and Communications Launch New Degree in Filmmaking

    Jean Sherlock, NYFA’s Principal (above)

    NYFA and SUMC believe that the new collaborative bachelor’s degree in filmmaking will further enrich academic and educational exchanges between the United States and China, and cultivate more young storytellers with a global vision.

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    December 20, 2021 • China, Filmmaking • Views: 616

  • Nika Nikanava’s ‘Generation 328’ Wins Best Student Short at 2021 Woodstock Film Festival

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail
    Generation 328

    Screen still from Nika Nikanava’s short film, ‘Generation 328’

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Documentary Filmmaking graduate, Veranika (Nika) Nikanava, won “Best Student Short” at the 2021 Woodstock Film Festival with her short film, Generation 328.

    After passing in a tragic hiking accident in Alaska before she could see the film fully finished, Nika’s classmates and other graduates from the NYFA Documentary Filmmaking program worked together to complete the film and submit it to film festivals on her behalf.

    Veranika Nikanava

    Veranika Nikanava (above), NYFA Filmmaking student and posthumous winner of “Best Student Short” at the Woodstock Film Festival

    Anna Panova, one of Nika’s classmates, worked on post production and production of the film. Panova shared that for the graduates supporting the film, “it was important to work on this film as a memory and tribute to Nika’s life. It’s not about us, it’s about her… and making sure that the work of her life is getting proper recognition and is not forgotten. Even though she’s not with us anymore, her work continues to live.”

    Generation 328 is a character-driven documentary following a group of mothers as they defy Europe’s last dictatorship, fighting to free their children from draconian sentences in brutal Belarusian prisons. Under article 328, it is common for young Belarusians to spend around ten years in prison for possession of less than a gram of marijuana. 

    Film Poster for Generation 328

    Film poster for ‘Generation 328’

    The story of Generation 328 is also one that was very personal to Nika. Originally from Belarus, she had a deep passion for telling stories about unheard heroes and was deeply concerned about human rights issues in her home country. Many of Nika’s acquaintances had been detained or knew someone that had been detained under article 328.

    The film had its world premiere at DOC NYC in 2020 and has since been screened at festivals around the world, including the Anchorage International Film Festival, the Ghent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival in Belgium, and the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival in Canada.

    You can read more about the film or follow Generation 328 on Instagram.

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail
  • Gianluigi Carella To Become A Director for Stept Studios

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    NYFA Filmmaking alum Gianluigi Carella joined the directorial roster at Stept Studios, a creative and production studio known for its advertising. Carella is a graduate of NYFA’s 1-Year Filmmaking conservatory program in New York City. The Italian filmmaker’s body of work includes a myriad of filmmaking jobs. He has worked on popular music videos as well as commercial videos for international brands, including Tommy Hilfiger, Samsung, T-Mobile, Prada, Gucci, Dior, Tom Ford, Tiffany & Co., and Spotify. 

    Filmmaker Gianluigi Carella

    Filmmaker Gianluigi Carella

    According to the filmmaker, “Having signed with an agency like Stept has definitely given me access to certain bids and opportunities. I also signed with Nicholas Berglund in Europe for commercial rep and I am represented by Forager.tv as an editor.”

    Carella was first recognized within the industry for his editing on the VMA-nominated ‘Rule The World’ music video for Ariana Grande, featuring 2Chainz. 

    The filmmaker has a forthcoming project, also produced by Stept Studios, for Oakley and is directing a feature documentary for Amazon on Bella Thorne. The documentary features Benji Mascolo and Bella Thorne. The Leone Film Group-produced film is currently in pre-production and will be available on Amazon Prime Video. 

    Filmmaker Gianluigi Carella

    Filmmaker Gianluigi Carella

    Stept Studios prides itself on the creative content its directors produce. The studio provides services in strategy, production, and post-production. Per their website, their team of directors “represent the next generation of storytellers.”

    An article from Shoot details Carella’s extensive and equally impressive career thus far. The NYFA alum started as an editor for Forager after he graduated from NYFA. He began making a name for himself after working on Ariana Grande’s ‘Rule The World’, which would earn Carella a great deal more work. 

    Carella made his directorial debut with the film, The Blind Man’s Ball. Since then, he’s directed many music videos for international artists (including Princess Nokia, Anna, Rich the Kid, Irama, and Sofia Reyes). In the commercial world, the NYFA alum also worked on a series of films for Lux Hotels, Audi, Cartier, and Donna Karan. Additionally, Carella directed and edited an ad for the Riot Games and Mercedes-Benz partnership too. 

    Carella’s advice for students is to get ready for when the opportunities come. The filmmaker says, “If I hadn’t spent so many endless nights smashing my head on the keyboard trying to understand how certain things are done, prepping my website, working on specs and personal projects to show my skills, I wouldn’t have been able to get hired and get noticed. When they come to you, you need to have your stuff together, something to show. Use every single school project as something you could potentially show to a client, go simple and clean, AND LEARN EDITING.”

    The New York Film Academy congratulates Gianluigi Carella for his impeccable work in the film industry and looks forwards to his upcoming projects.

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    November 5, 2021 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 976

  • ‘Don Filipo’ by Tim Muñoz Finds Success on Festival Circuit

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    NYFA Acting For Film alum Tim Muñoz directs and writes a recent favorite among the festival circuit. His most recent work, Don Filipo (2021), is a feature-length homoerotic, horror film starring Beverly Benny, Dindeth Ditablan, Rap Robes, Megan Sharpe, and newcomers Adrian Arias and Luis Padilla

    don filipo movie poster

    Don Filipo (2021) Directed and Written by Tim Muñoz

    The story takes place in a remote village gripped with fear after its residents go missing one by one. A young nurse visits the town to look after an ailing town resident, Don Filipo, as terrifying events start to unfold.

    The film premiered at the Philippine Cinemalaya film festival in 2021, and has been showcased across numerous festivals globally. Don Filipo was screened and won ‘Best LGBTQ Film’ at the Stockholm City Film and Luleå International Film Festivals in Sweden, and the Mabig Film Festival in Germany. The film was also named ‘Best International Feature Film’ at the Uruvatti International Film Festival in India. Per a statement from the director about the film, “…I hope it also opens awareness about its message of inclusivity.”

    Tim Muñoz

    Director and Screenwriter Tim Muñoz (above)

    The Phillippines-born director is an alum of the NYFA 1-Week Acting for Film Workshop. His directorial credits include Lodi (2018),  Hombre (2017), and Estranghero (2016). Muñoz maintains a love for independent filmmaking, classic films, and the French New Wave genre. Following fifteen years of work as a director and screenwriter for ABS-CBN and TV5, he transitioned to directing independent films. With close ties to his home country, Muñoz often travels back to the Philippines to create films. He takes inspiration from directors and filmmakers including James Wan, (Annabelle, The Conjuring), and Filipino horror film classics like Patayin sa Sindak si Barbara and Feng Shui

    Don Filipo is a success among critics as well as movie-goers:

    Top Review of Don Filipo on IMDB | May 2021 

    “I have come across a few American-made gay-themed horror movies and I am always left disappointed by the amateurish acting and banal script. Don Filipo, on the other hand, has won me over on so many levels. I find the story quite riveting in its presentation. It is not about originality, but the proper use of directing. The actors did a fantastic job capturing the scenes that even though the movie did not have the benefits of Hollywood special effects, the pacing, lighting, background music and the actors presence make each scene authentic and interesting. Kudos to the writer and director because this was a gay-themed horror done tremendously well.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates Tim Muñoz for the success of Don Filipo and the project’s and his deserved awards across the festival circuit.

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    October 28, 2021 • Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1172

  • Q&A With MFA Filmmaking Alum Apoorv Arora on Life After NYFA and Recent Work

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Filmmaking alum Apoorv Arora has been busy since graduating from NYFA Los Angeles’ MFA Filmmaking Program in 2018. He has gone on to direct and produce a number of projects and even launched his own production company, Apoorv Arora Films.

    The Indian-born filmmaker is currently based in Los Angeles and runs Apoorv Arora Films. The production company is already credited with the creation of music videos, promo shoots, and short films for both Bollywood and Hollywood.

    In his career as a producer, Arora worked with artists and celebrities including Priyanka Chopra, Diljit Dosanjh, and B Praak. His body of professional work includes projects for leading international brands like Speed Records, The Walt Disney Company, White Hill Studios, Balaji Telefilms, MTV, and others.

    Producer Apoorv Arora on a film set

    Producer Apoorv Arora on a film set

    NYFA caught up with Apoorv to discuss his past and upcoming projects and what he’s been up to since graduating.

    New York Film Academy (NYFA): What projects have you worked on during the year? Have you won any awards or been showcased in any festivals or competitions?

    Apoorv Arora (AA): I have worked on multiple projects this year and am still working on a few. I am working on two independent feature film projects as Executive Producer and Producer. These projects are in development and pre-production. 

    I have been a believer in promoting black artists and artists of color. This year I produced a couple of music videos with artists of color. One of them is  J.Breckenridge’s single debut, Come To Me. He’s a Broadway artist from the Book of Mormon. He can be seen most recently on the 2020-21 season of The Blacklist (CBS) and Blue Bloods (NBC). This music video was published in the Playbill Magazine.

    The other Music Video I produced is called Olorun Maje by Sir Boyò, which means “God Forbid” in English. The video contains elements of symbolism and abstract art while conveying impactful lyrical content that discusses themes of hope and spirituality. Olorun Maje won Best Music Video Award winner at the Frostbite International Indie Film Festival and Direct Monthly Online Film Festival. The music video is a semi-finalist and finalist at many other film festivals.

    This year has also been great because I registered my company Apoorv Arora Films LLC with the California Secretary of State. It’s a big achievement of mine and something for which I’m very proud. 

    NYFA: Tell us more about your latest project and how you got involved?

    AA: One thing I like to do is build relationships, and I firmly believe that relationships can make you or break you. 

    After my first music video success with over 100,000 views on YouTube, I recently wrapped producing another music video for artist Sir Boyò. It’s called I Know U Like It and right now it’s in post-production and will be released later this year. 

    I was involved as a Producer from the idea to distribution and release. I think my clients believe in me and have faith in me.

    Producer Apoorv Arora (middle) on a film set

    Producer Apoorv Arora (middle) on a film set

    NYFA: What did you learn at NYFA that you applied directly to this project and others?

    AA: I graduated from NYFA with an MFA in Filmmaking and Producing. I think all that I do in Producing on an everyday basis comes from the knowledge that I gained at NYFA. From budgeting to scheduling to skills and knowledge in directing, camera and lighting. All this I learned at NYFA. But I think NYFA isn’t just teaching you film, I believe NYFA also taught me LIFE. 

    I believe it’s just not about what you learn in class but also what you learn outside of it. I have had amazing conversations with some of the great Instructors at NYFA like Nick Sivakumaran, Matt Kohnen, and Igor Kovacevich. These guys are brilliant at what they do and teach. I have learned how to handle things in the toughest situations because things can go wrong even if you have the best plan. I have learned negotiations and how to handle different people differently. 

    These are some of my greatest lessons at NYFA.

    NYFA: Are there any other upcoming projects we should know about?

    AA: I’m working on two independent feature film projects as Executive Producer and Producer. These projects are in development and pre-production. I’m also working on a commercial for an up-and-coming eyewear brand. I am also working on a short film based on Black Lives Matter and finally, I have a couple more shorts and a music video in development.

    NYFA: Do you have any advice for incoming NYFA students?

    Producer Apoorv Arora on a film set

    Producer Apoorv Arora on a film set

    AA: I would like to tell students that you get one life with multiple opportunities. You should try to seize every opportunity you can in this life. For students, I suggest creating content while they are in school as much as they can. Just keep creating content, so by the time you graduate you have enough on your portfolio to start with. 

    The school gives you access to the best of the best equipment, make sure you use it in your favor. Because the reality is once you graduate you’ll be on your own with your DSLR, so make sure you use those RED Dragons and Arri Alexas as much as you can while in school and keep creating.

    NYFA: How can folks get in touch with you? 

    AA: Students looking for any advice or help to produce a project can email info@apoorvarorafilms.com, visit my website apoorvarorafilms.com or follow me on Instagram

    NYFA would like to thank Apporv Arora for taking the time to speak with us and congratulate him on all his success. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    October 12, 2021 • Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1119

  • Filmmaking Alum Jameelah Rose Lineses Discusses The Khatak Film Society

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Jameelah Rose Lineses, a New York Film Academy (NYFA)  1-Year Filmmaking alum spoke with us about her recent work founding the film organization Khatak Film Society

    Khatak Film Society

    Founded in 2020 and based in New York City, the Khatak Film Society aims to shine a spotlight on emerging filmmakers from eastern Asia. The Society showcases films from filmmakers located in other regions of the Himalayas and Tibet and recently finished Season 2 programming at the International Film Festival Manhattan (IFFM) in May 2021. Rose Lineses is also member of the jury for the IFFM 2021 in Manhattan. This will be her second time as a jury member in the October Autumn 2021 Edition.

    Since completing her education at NYFA, Jameelah has won several awards for her various film projects, including Best Cinematography Award at the 8th Annual IFFM for her music video, Atareek in 2018. 

    Jameelah is a Saudi Arabian-born director and a member of the New York Women in Film and Television Organization. Inspired by the Tibetan people she met on social media, she founded the Khatak Film Society as a platform to “discover and nurture Tibetan/Himalayan up-and-coming filmmakers.”

    Jameelah Rose Lineses

    Jameelah Rose Lineses (right)

    Since 2020, the Society has screened two seasons worth of special programming for the IFFM. In their first season, the Society awarded ‘Best Music Video’ to Bhuchung and Karma Yeshi Namdak for their video, Tsedung. In the Spring of this year, the Khatak Film Society showcased Tibetan films as well as Ladakhi, Nepali, and Bhutanese films at their screenings. They awarded ‘Best Upcoming Filmmaker’ to Ngawang Dhargyal.

    The Khatak Film Society is currently gearing up for Season 3 of its programming for the IFFM, which will take place between October 14th and October 17th, 2021. The programming includes both in-person and virtual events including:

    October 14, 2021
    Opening Night and Awards Ceremony
    Location: Kalayaan Hall, Philippine Center

    October 16 & 17, 2021
    Virtual Film Screenings with select live screenings
    Location: Producers Club

    New York Film Academy congratulates Jameelah for the success of the Khatak Film Society and their third programming. You can see some of the conversations, films, and more on the Khatak Film Society YouTube channel.

     

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    October 7, 2021 • Alumni Events, Film Festivals • Views: 1242