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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Announces Matthew Modine Masters Scholarship Recipients

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    The first four recipients of the inaugural year of the prestigious New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA) Matthew Modine Masters Scholarship have been announced. The grantees are Leeni Linna (MFA Filmmaking), Jose Miguel Perez-Alcazar (MFA Filmmaking), Nicholas Rosolino (MFA Acting), and Lucia Flores (MFA Documentary).

    The scholarship is sponsored by Golden Globe-winning actor and filmmaker Matthew Modine, who is a member of the New York Film Academy’s Board of Directors and a master class instructor at NYFA. He is instantly recognizable to fans of the Netflix global mega hit Stranger Things, which won the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble, and as Private Joker from the iconic film Full Metal Jacket. Called “one of the best, most adaptable film actors of his generation” by legendary New York Times film critic Vincent Canby. Modine has worked with many of the film industry’s most acclaimed directors, including Christopher Nolan, Stanley Kubrick, and Spike Lee.

    The scholarship provides financial assistance to outstanding candidates of the school’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) programs in select disciplines. To qualify, recipients must demonstrate the values set forth by NYFA to further the art of visual storytelling. Candidates are nominated by faculty or staff, and the chosen grantees receive $5,000-$10,000 per year based on criteria including an audition or portfolio submission, academic performance, professional experience, and participation in the arts. Up to ten scholarships are personally awarded each year by award-winning actor Matthew Modine, who recently announced his candidacy for the presidency of SAG-AFTRA. 

    Two of this year’s Matthew Modine Masters Scholarship awardees, Jose Miguel Perez-Alcazar and Lucia Flores, are attending the New York Film Academy as Fulbright Program grantees. The Fulbright Program is an international scholarship program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It awards approximately 8,000 grants annually to students, teachers, and professionals from over 160 countries. NYFA is proud to have welcomed over 60 Fulbright students from more than 35 countries to date. In addition, NYFA is privileged to have Fulbright Program alumni as part of its faculty, including NYFA Director of Fulbright Initiatives Miguel Cruz. Professor Cruz, Fulbright alum ‘05, also serves as the Vice President for the Fulbright Association Chapter of Los Angeles.

    Modine Scholarship

    From L to R: Matthew Modine, Lucia Flores]

    Jose Miguel Perez-Alcazar is a journalist and filmmaker from Madrid. In addition to being a Fulbright grantee, Perez-Alcazar is also the recipient of a very competitive talent-based grant award from the Ministry of Art & Culture of the Spanish Government. Perez-Alcazar was recommended for the scholarship program by the Fulbright Commission in Spain. He speaks four languages, and has studied in Mexico, Argentina, and Holland as well as Spain. 

    Lucia Flores is a Peruvian documentarian and activist whose work gives voice to minorities. Her latest project follows an expectant mother from the Andes, and details the indigenous people’s rituals around childbirth. Her previous work covers the relationship between the indigenous people and their land, as well as how the people of the Andean-Amazonian region adapted to climate change using traditional knowledge. For her next film project at NYFA —  while being supported by the Fulbright Program — she is teaming with fellow grantee Perez-Alcazar to tell the story of transgender women working on the Amazon River.

    Nicolas Rosolino is a seasoned stage actor with more than 15 credits to his name. His background includes leads in such major musical productions as The Pirates of Penzance, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Beauty and the Beast. The trilingual actor has trained extensively in a variety of techniques, including Stanislavski, Laban, and Grotowski. “He is not afraid to take major creative risks in his acting work,” said Charles Richter, Director of Theatre at Muhlenberg College. “He is an extraordinary talent.” 

    Leeni Linna is an Estonian filmmaker currently studying at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus, and holds both a BA and an MA in film directing from Baltic University. A recipient of the Baltic American Freedom Foundation grant, Linna has directed commercials, short films, and documentaries, and is currently working on developing her first feature film as part of her MFA experience. “I see her as being the next Kathryn Bigelow,” said NYFA Professor Miguel Cruz. “She is that talented.”

    Modine Scholarship

    From L to R: Nicholas Rosolino, Matthew Modine, Leeni Linna, Jose Miguel Perez-Alcaza

    “Filmmaking is very important for our culture and its continued development,” said Modine. “Films help us to understand each other better, often exposing us to personal fears and unpleasant superstitions toward the ‘other.’ Through a skilled storyteller’s film lens, documentaries shed light into the darkness and help make the ‘monsters’ go away. Similarly, feature films can illustrate the possible, and can open our eyes to worlds and realities beyond our own. Congratulations to all our inaugural grantees–I eagerly await the projects you will create.” 

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    May 20, 2019 • Documentary Filmmaking, Film School, Filmmaking • Views: 325

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Hosts Fulbright Association LA Chapter’s Annual Fulbright Film Festival

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    On May 4, 2019, New York Film Academy (NYFA) hosted the Fulbright Association LA Film Festival. Created by the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Fulbright Association, the unique and exciting event showcased the best recent films that were directed, produced, acted, shot, or scored by current Fulbright grantees and Fulbright alumni of the prestigious Fulbright Program—the US government’s flagship international exchange program. The Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State supported the activity.

    The 2019 Film Showcase included evocative documentary films and breathtaking narrative films from extremely talented filmmakers hailing from United States, Estonia, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Peru, Ukraine, Spain, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Armenia, Costa Rica, and Denmark.

    Fulbright Film Festival 2019
    The daylong event was held at
    NYFA’s Los Angeles campus and included film screenings as well as a panel of industry experts–Hollywood for Fulbrighters–featuring accomplished Fulbright Alums in very relevant positions in the industry.

    The President of the Fulbright Association-LA Chapter, Dr. Jose Siles, and NYFA’s Dean of Students, Dr. Susan Ashe, opened the event. In her remarks welcoming the audience, Dr. Ashe thanked the many volunteers that worked for months to put the event together, including the Festival’s panel of judges.

    Dr. Ashe gave special recognition to NYFA’s own Professor Miguel Cruz, a film and television director, Fulbright alum ’05, NYFA Director of Fulbright Initiatives, and the Vice President of the Fulbright Association-LA chapter, for his invaluable contribution to the Festival.

    “It was exciting to see so many talented storytellers,” says Dr. Ashe. “To know that NYFA is affiliated with Fulbright, and gives a platform for bright students to share their voice and vision, is truly inspiring.”

    Fulbright Film Festival 2019
    The “Hollywood for Fulbrighters” industry panel, moderated by Crickett Rumley, NYFA’s Film Festivals Advisor and faculty in the College’s Screenwriting department, offered the audience insightful information about how the inherent diversity that is associated with the Fulbright Program can be an advantage in the current Hollywood landscape. The ensuing discussion included accomplished Fulbright alums and key players in the industry: Santiago Pozo, considered one of the foremost authorities in the advertising world for marketing entertainment and film to U.S. Latino audiences; Arturo Diaz, Netflix Manager for International Originals; Mikko Alannen, showrunner for the National Geographic Channel and screenwriter of feature film
    The 33, starring Antonio Banderas; and Miguel Cruz, film and TV director and NYFA’s Professor and Director of Fulbright Initiatives.

    The lively event ended with a reception that allowed participants—including current Fulbright scholars and students, Fulbright alumni, and NYFA students—to network with representatives of foreign consulates (including Manuel Valle, Spanish Trade Commissioner) and representatives of the Fulbright community (including Ann Kerr, California’s Fulbright Enrichment Program Coordinator), as well as share their own experiences in the Fulbright program and the film industry.

    “It was extremely inspiring and touching to see how the vision of Senator Fulbright of promoting mutual understanding among people from different countries, cultures, and social backgrounds was so well-reflected and empowered by the work of our Fulbright filmmakers,” says Dr. Jose Siles, President of the Fulbright Association-LA Chapter.

    Fulbright Film Festival 2019
    Dr. Siles adds, “Organized by the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Fulbright Association, hosted by the New York Film Academy, and sponsored by the The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright Association LA Film Festival was a total success and set the basis for a yearly event that will continue sending out loud to the world the Fulbright message through the big screen.”  

    The U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Program is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. New York Film Academy is proud to have hosted more than 60 Fulbright students from over 35 countries to date.

    The Los Angeles Chapter of the Fulbright Association and NYFA congratulate the following talented filmmakers that were selected for the 2019 Fulbright Film Festival & Showcase:

    Selected Documentary Films Category
    Lucía Florez (Peru)
    Adrineh Gregorian (Armenia)
    Pedro Peira (Spain)
    Kelly Richardson (USA)

    Selected Narrative Films Category
    Laura Ávila (Costa Rica)
    Abdallah ElDaly (Egypt)
    Lasse Elkjær (Denmark)
    Ishani Jayamaha (Sri Lanka)
    Vlad Klimchunk (Ukraine)
    Madi Lääne (Estonia)
    Nataliya O’Lea (Ukraine)
    Alejandro Márquez Vela (Mexico)
    Catherine Taylor (United Kingdom)

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    May 20, 2019 • Film Festivals, Filmmaking • Views: 384

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Hosts Fulbright Foreign Student Welcome Dinner

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    The tradition of hosting a welcome dinner for the incoming cohort of New York Film Academy Foreign Fulbright Grantees continued at the New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts in Los Angeles (NYFA-LA) last week.

    Fulbright Grantees with Dan Mackler, NYFA’s LA Campus Director, Amy Ellenberger, Miguel Cruz, NYFA´s Director of Fulbright Initiatives and Marcus Louis Fien

    Fulbright Grantees with Dan Mackler, NYFA’s LA Campus Director, Amy Ellenberger, Miguel Cruz, NYFA´s Director of Fulbright Initiatives and Marcus Louis Fien

    NYFA-LA Campus Director Dan Mackler, and NYFA Director of Fulbright Initiatives Miguel Cruz hosted the six Fulbright students who are on campus for the 2018/2019 Academic Year.  They include four grantees in the MFA Filmmaking Program, one grantee in MFA Documentary Filmmaking, and one grantee in the 1-Year Acting for Film Program. Represented countries are Spain (3), Paraguay, Peru, and Bahrain. NYFA is pleased to recognize a Fulbright finalist from Estonia as part of the group as well. 

    In recent years, NYFA has welcomed nearly 60 Fulbrighters to our campuses in Los Angeles and New York City. NYFA Fulbrighters have hailed from more than 30 countries. 

    Dr. José Siles, President of the Fulbright Alumni Association of Los Angeles, joined the celebration, as did Amy Ellenberger, NYFA Director of Recruitment, and NYFA Admissions Specialist Marcus Fien. Dr. Siles invited the Fulbrighters for a tour of NASA Space facilities where he is engaged in research.

    Fulbright grantee Maya Riquelme, with Amy Ellenberger, NYFA Director of Recruitment

    Fulbright grantee Maya Riquelme, with Amy Ellenberger, NYFA Director of Recruitment

    NYFA-LA Campus Director Dan Mackler enthusiastically stated, “For me, meeting the extraordinarily talented Fulbright students that come to study at NYFA-LA is one of the highlights of the start of every academic year.”

    Mackler continued, “In these global creators of visual and performing storytelling, I am provided hope for a future that will be both exciting and impactful. They connect us with a greater humanity.”

    The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government through the U.S. Department of State.  The Program operates in more than 140 countries and offers opportunities for students and young professionals, as well as for post-doctoral teachers and researchers to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching.  

    The Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 grants annually. Roughly 1,900 are to U.S. students, 4,000 to foreign students, 1,200 to U.S. scholars, and 900 to visiting scholars. In addition, several hundred teachers and professionals receive awards.

    NYFA is proud to be the school of choice for so many inspired and creative minds and to participate in numerous Fulbright initiatives, including producing two TEDxFULBRIGHT events and conducting documentary filmmaking workshops at the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) Program Conferences. 

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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) and TEDxFulbright Visit Washington, D.C.

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    Continuing its commitment and support to the Fulbright mission, the New York Film Academy (NYFA) has partnered for a second year in the organizing of TEDxFulbright. In this occasion TEDxFulbright celebrated at a unique landmark: the U.S. Capitol.TedXFulbright 2017

    The New York Film Academy provided the film equipment and crew necessary for the event. Leading the team was Miguel Cruz, Fulbright Scholar, Vice President of the Fulbright Association of Los Angeles, and Director of Fulbright Initiatives at the New York Film Academy. Cruz attended NYFA in 2006 and has directed award-winning television programs and feature films, including Aida and Vulnerables.

    NYFA is proud to be hosting Foreign Fulbright Grantees from seven countries (Lithuania, Spain, Egypt, Finland, Indonesia, Angola, and the Dominican Republic) currently; in recent years, NYFA has welcomed more than 50 Fulbrighters to our campuses in LA and NYC. NYFA Fulbrighters have hailed from Bahrain, Angola, Indonesia, Egypt, Spain, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Finland, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Switzerland, Vietnamese, Ecuador, France, Sri Lanka, Russia, Paraguay, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Zambia.

    TedXFulbright 2017NYFA is committed to working with and supporting the Fulbright community, and has held special screenings for the Fulbright Association in addition to hosting both the 2015 and 2017 TEDxFulbright events. The most recent, now available from TEDxFulbright on YouTube, was held in Washington, D.C.

    Under the Theme: “A Curious Picture” was hosted by CNN host and Fulbright Scholar Priyali Sur, and presented eight interesting talks with topics ranging from Fractal Mathematics to the beautiful Fishnet Sculptures of Janet Echelman.

    The New York Film Academy looks forward to future collaborations with the Fulbright Association, and hopes to deliver more opportunities for Fulbright Students as it has for  

    NYFA Fulbrighters Ismelda Mojica (MFA Producing) and Oliver Olivo (MFA Filmmaking) when partnering to produce the thesis film Impressions.

    TedXFulbright 2017

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    July 27, 2018 • Community Highlights • Views: 758

  • New York Film Academy Establishes Graduate Student Award with Spanish Fulbright Commission

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    The New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA) and the Fulbright Commission in Spain recently marked the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a very special Fulbright Graduate Student Award to support young talented Spanish filmmakers.

    The memorandum was signed by NYFA President Michael J. Young and the Fulbright Commission in Spain’s Executive Director, Alberto Lopez San Miguel, and was formally presented at a ceremony at the Commission’s office in Madrid, by the famous Spanish filmmaker, and NYFA founding faculty member, Pablo Berger.

    Filmmaker and NYFA founding faculty member Pablo Berger (left) with Spanish Fulbright Commission Director Alberto Lopez San Miguel (right).

    “The New York Film Academy is a proud to welcome many Fulbright students from around the world to study with us and join our diverse international community of creative visual and performing artists,” said President Young. “The NYFA Leadership greatly appreciates this opportunity provided to the College by the Fulbright Commission in Spain. This extraordinary collaboration on the Fulbright Graduate Student Award will provide truly remarkable opportunities for rising Spanish filmmakers to pursue NYFA’s Master of Fine Arts degree in Filmmaking. 

    The November call-for-application announcement of the Fulbright Graduate Student Award garnered enormous attention in the Spanish visual arts community, and dozens of qualified students applied. The award covers full tuition for the NYFA two-year MFA Program, round-trip travel, a monthly living stipend and a special-project grant fund.

    The selection of the awardee is in process by the Fulbright Commission in Spain, and the decision by the Commission and NYFA will be announced in the coming weeks.

    The Fulbright Program is one of the most prestigious awards programs worldwide, designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries. Fifty-three Fulbright alumni have won Nobel Prizes; 78 have won Pulitzer Prizes.

    The New York Film Academy (NYFA) is privileged to have NYFA Fulbright Program alumni as part of its faculty, including NYFA Director of Fulbright Initiatives Miguel Cruz, a former Fulbright Graduate Student from Spain who studied at NYFA 2006-2008. In the past decade, NYFA has been honored to be the host institution to more than 50 Fulbright international students from nearly 30 nations.

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    December 14, 2017 • Academic Programs, Community Highlights, Film School, Filmmaking • Views: 1770

  • New York Film Academy Fulbright Student’s “Soul” at Berlinale, iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Documentary Filmmaking Conservatory student and Spanish Fulbright scholar Pedro Peira produced the film “Soul,” completing its post-production while he studied at NYFA Los Angeles and seeing the project through to fruition in its digital premiere across North America early this December.

    Following its successful premier at the opening night of the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale), “Soul” has now found online distribution with not one, but three major streaming platforms: iTunes,  Amazon Video, and Google Play.

    For those who loved 2011’s “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” Peria provides a thoughtful and delicious follow-up in the documentary “Soul.” Taking viewers behind the scenes of two of the world’s most-coveted restaurants to learn from two of its greatest chefs, “Soul” draws interesting parallels between Basque and Japanese cuisine, through the work of 3-star Michelin-rated Spanish chef Eneko Atxa, and the legendary Jiro Ono, one of the last practitioners of the fine art of traditional sushi making in Japan.

    While many people may not immediately see parallels between Basque and Japanese cuisine, “Soul” makes an appetizing case that these geographically unrelated regional cuisines share something very important in common: family secrets, soul, and fresh seafood.

    As the Hollywood Reporter (THR) described the film, “Soul” is a foodie’s dream that takes viewers to Spain, Japan, and even Paris, where the head of Michelin offers insights into the world of haute cuisine. THR notes that “Soul” comes at a time where the world is seeing “certain Spanish chefs are now famous enough to open up restaurants in Japan, while Japanese chefs are seen making a pilgrimage to Spain.”

    In such an increasingly international world, the New York Film Academy congratulates our Spanish Fulbright alumnus Pedro Peira for the success of “Soul.”

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  • Fulbright Program Selects New York Film Academy to Provide Storytelling Workshops

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    The New York Film Academy (NYFA) was recently honored to have Andrea Swift, NYFA’s Chair of the Documentary Department, selected to run a storytelling workshop at the annual mid-year conference for Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants (Fulbright FLTA). Professor Swift will provide a short course on micro documentaries for non-filmmakers entitled, “You have a doc in your pocket!”

    The Fulbright Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State, funded by an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). ECA administers the program with the assistance of binational Fulbright Commissions in 49 countries, U.S. embassies in more than 100 other countries, and cooperating partners. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and the United States also provide direct and indirect support.

    This year, more than 400 Fulbright FLTAs from 53 countries across the globe will attend the conference in Washington, D.C. from December 7-10, 2017. Fulbright FLTAs teach over 30 different languages to American students, including critical and uncommonly taught languages, at more than 180 colleges and universities throughout the United States. Languages taught by FLTAs include Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Kiswahili, Persian, Russian, Turkish, Urdu, and Yoruba. The mid-year conference aims to enhance the FLTA experience by strengthening teaching methodologies and providing supplementary classroom techniques with an emphasis on cultural exchange.

     

    NYFA is proud to have hosted more than 50 Fulbright Foreign Students from nearly 30 nations over the past 11 years, representing countries as diverse as Angola, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, France, Indonesia, Lithuania, Pakistan, Paraguay, Russia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Uruguay, Vietnam, Zambia and more. Most of the participants have enrolled in NYFA’s MFA and MA programs to pursue their artistic and educational goals.

    NYFA is committed to maintaining an active relationship with the Fulbright community, from holding special film screenings for the Fulbright Association, an independent, non-governmental organization for U.S. Fulbright alumni, to helping organize and produce the Fulbright Association’s 2015 and 2017 TEDxFulbright events in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

     

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  • NYFA Hosts Dinner at Miceli’s for Foreign Fulbright Students

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    Last week, the New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA) hosted a special dinner for new and continuing Foreign Fulbright students who are attending graduate programs in Filmmaking, Photography, Screenwriting, Documentaries, and Film and Media Production. NYFA is proud to be hosting Foreign Fulbright Grantees from seven countries (Lithuania, Spain, Egypt, Finland, Indonesia, Angola and the Dominican Republic) currently; in recent years NYFA has welcomed more than 50 Fulbrighters to our campuses in LA and NYC. NYFA Fulbrighters have hailed from Bahrain, Angola, Indonesia, Egypt, Spain, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Finland, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Switzerland, Vietnamese, Ecuador, France, Sri Lanka, Russia, Paraguay, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Zambia.

    micelis nyfa

    Left to Right: Monika Sedziute (Lithuania), Miguel Cruz, Pedro Peira (Spain), Abdallah ElDaly (Egypt), Marcus Louis Fien, Lotta Lemetti (Finland), Melarissa Sjarief (Indonesia), Jose Siles, Hugo Salvaterra (Angola), Amalia Ramirez (Dominican Republic)

    The March 3 event took place at Miceli’s, a classic Hollywood venue, which was established in 1949.

    In this wonderful setting with live piano music and waiters singing movie classics — as well as songs from the recent hit film “La La Land” — our Fulbrighters had the opportunity to share interesting conversations on diverse topics, with, of course, filmmaking being the shared passion.

    Hugo Salvaterra (Angola) MFA Filmmaking

    Hugo Salvaterra (Angola) MFA Filmmaking and Pedro Peira (Spain) 1YR Documentary

    Current NYFA Fulbrighter Pedro Peira (Spain), who had just returned from The Berlinale (The Berlin International Film Festival), shared anecdotes of the festival, as well as the implications of having one of his movies: “Soul,” selected to open one of the headline spots at the Festival.

    José Siles, President of the Fulbright Alumni Association of Los Angeles, spoke with our international scholars about all of the enrichment and networking opportunities that the rich Fulbright community of LA has to offer. As a researcher at NASA, José shared with us many interesting details about the recent discovery of exoplanets orbiting the star Trappist-1, which NASA published last week.

    Jose Sila

    Jose Siles, NASA researcher and President of Fulbright Association LA Chapter and Monika Sedziute (Lithuania) MFA Photography.

    Hugo Salvaterra (Angola), our the most recent Filmmaking Fulbrighter to join the LA cohort, recently transferred from a semester at the NYFA NYC campus and delighted to meet his LA peers, and share his first impressions with other scholars in the different fields related to filmmaking.

    In a lively discussion with the scholars, Miguel Cruz, NYFA´s Director of Fulbright Initiatives, and Marcus Louis Fien, Senior Admissions Specialist & Manager of Fulbright Admissions, shared future initiatives that NYFA is planning, including a Fulbright Film Festival to be celebrated later this year.

    Lotta Lemetti (Finland), BFA Photography.

    Lotta Lemetti (Finland), BFA Photography.

    At the special invitation of NYFA’s leadership, on Monday, March 6, the current cohort of Foreign Fulbright Students attended a special NYFA screening of the Academy Award nominated film “Hacksaw Ridge” and had the thrill of meeting acclaimed actor Mel Gibson, the film’s Director, who came to NYFA to discuss the project.

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    March 9, 2017 • Community Highlights • Views: 4300