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  • The BAFTA New York / New York Film Academy (NYFA) / DeWitt Clinton High School Digital Storytelling Program Holds Graduation Screening

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    The BAFTA New York / New York Film Academy (NYFA) / DeWitt Clinton High School Digital Storytelling Program recently held its first graduation ceremony, screening the students’ newly completed short films. Over the course of eight weeks, ten eager and enthusiastic students made their way each Saturday from the Bronx to the NYFA’s Battery Park campus to learn the fundamentals of filmmaking.

    Classes in screenwriting, directing, cinematography, and editing educated the students in telling stories in a medium for which they all have a great passion. Members of the BAFTA Outreach Committee as well as faculty and administrators from both schools joined with the students’ family and friends in the celebration. Aside from newly acquired filmmaking skills, students gained from the experience a boost in confidence, self-awareness, and expression. The program continues the partnership between New York Film Academy (NYFA) and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) that has previously brought filmmaking workshops to young aspiring artists.

    As an added treat, the DeWitt Clinton students attended an exclusive pre-opening BAFTA screening of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. After a lively Q&A, the students spent a generous amount of time speaking with the film’s celebrated writer-producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Needless to say, the movie’s creators were mightily impressed when they learned that Stan Lee, founder of Marvel Comics and creator of Spider-Man, is amongst DeWitt Clinton High School’s illustrious alumni!

    As they continue to find their voices, BAFTA New York, DeWitt Clinton High School, and New York Film Academy look forward to seeing more cinematic stories from the recent grads of their Digital Storytelling Program!

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    February 8, 2019 • Film School, Filmmaking, Outreach • Views: 1982

  • NYFA Brings Digital Storytelling to Liberation Diploma High School

    FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailThe Digital Storytelling Program was created to provide filmmaking access to a community that would not have had it otherwise. Over the course of eight weeks, New York Film Academy staff taught filmmaking to high schoolers from Liberation Diploma Plus High School in Coney Island. Each student wrote and directed his or her own short film, which will culminate in a screening this upcoming January 2017.

    digital storytelling

    The project aims to create a fun and artistic opportunity for both students and teachers, and more importantly, gives students the opportunity to share their stories and voices through the medium of filmmaking.

    “I believe change begins when those unaffected become just as outraged as the affected,” said Director of Youth Programs, Kenzie Ross. “With programs like this, young people can begin to believe in their voice, their creative mind and their empathy for others through storytelling. Human stories are why we love film so much and why we connect to timeless lessons time and time again. All humans and their stories need to be heard, not just the educated or elite. Art has no boundaries.”

    “I loved the editing classes the most. That was good fun and I probably learned the most in that class,” said one of the high school students, Jamie.

    “I liked the actual shooting of our films and being behind the camera,” added another student, Jay. “If [NYFA] does these classes again we would want to come.”

    digital storytelling

    Sadly, at a lot of schools the first thing to go due to budget cuts is the arts program, when in fact it’s so important to allow for creative thinking. “Our focus is not to simply help facilitate the next generation of filmmakers and encourage self expression, but also enable students to develop interpersonal skills they can apply to any aspect of life, through team work, leadership, problem solving, etc,” said NYFA’s Rabia Mirza.

    It’s been an amazing experience working with the wonderful group filmmakers from Liberation Diploma. We look forward to screening their wonderful short films this upcoming January 2017!Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    December 30, 2016 • Community Highlights, Filmmaking • Views: 4502

  • NYFA Summer Camp Grad Michael Gallagher Releases “Internet Famous”

    FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailMichael Gallagher began his filmmaking as a Freshman at New York Film Academy’s high school summer program. Whether it was a comedy about a dinosaur with bladder issues or a movie about a prison-bound sea captain (shot entirely in French!), no idea was too out there for his imagination.

    internet famous

    Over the next few years, Michael returned for NYFA’s advanced summer programs and continued making films on his own. Before he even finished high school, Michael had directed Oscar-nominated Michael Lerner and won numerous awards himself.

    Soon after high school, Michael began the comedy site “Totally Sketch,” which currently tallies 1.2 Million “Beautiful” Subscribers (Michael’s own words) and over 400 MILLION VIEWS!

    As Michael explained,  “When we first started, people (on YouTube) were just turning on WebCams. I thought I’d take what I learned at NYFA and take a more cinematic approach (to my comedy shorts).

    In 2012, Michael co-wrote and directed the horror feature “Smiley,” starring Caitlin Gerard, Shane Dawson and featuring Rogert Bart and Keith David.  (Link On ITUNES –  )  The trailer scared up more than 30 Million hits on youtube and introduced the world to the creepiest slasher’s mask this side of “Halloween” and “Friday the 13th”.

    Returning to his Internet / comedy roots, Michael co-wrote and directed the parody “Internet Famous,” now available on iTunes and streaming on Netflix. 

    Michael explained, “The movie is about five internet personalities who travel across the country to compete in a talent competition. The problem is – they don’t have any talent.”

    The mockumentary stars Shane Dawson and other internet stars who were more than happy to mock their corner of the Industry. “These are people I’ve worked with in the past. It was fun to bring them in to parody themselves,” said Gallagher. “Shane (in particular) wanted to take the piss out of what he’s doing and comment on all the people who he works (around).”

    A Maker Studios co-production, “Internet Famous” was one of the most highly touted projects at this year’s VidCon (the Comic0-Con for the YouTube generation!)

    But “Internet Famous” is more than just a series of gags, as Michael lets the characters’ emotional stakes never get lost in all the youtube mockery. “Even in Airplane, you care if they land the plane.”

    Gallagher is already gearing up for his next film “The Thinning,” which will be coming to a computer near you this fall.Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    August 9, 2016 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 5878

  • Former Summer Camp Student Produces Award-Winning Videos

    FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailOften times kids discover their life’s passion at an early age. Such has been the case for Charlie Cracknell, who says he knew he wanted to be a professional filmmaker since he was nine years old when he made his first film.

    The former New York Film Academy Los Angeles Summer Camp student, born in England and raised in Dubai for 14 years, has been actively pursuing the life of a filmmaker; and has the awards to prove it.

    charlie cracknell

    In the last four years, Charlie has entered the Dubai 48 Hour Film Project where he has had to write the script and original music, cast, direct, film and edit a movie in 48 hours. In 2011, Charlie’s film Alone was voted Top 10 in Dubai and he won the award for Best Use of Character. In 2012, his entry Dish of the Day made it into the finals and was voted the Favorite Film of the Screening Night and won the Grand Audience Award and the Award for Most Promising Filmmaker. In 2013 Dish of the Day also earned him a nomination for Best Young Filmmaker at the Murdoch Film Festival in Dubai.

    In 2013 Charlie entered the 48 Hour Eco Film Project with his film Enviro-Man which won the award for Best Youth Film and screened at the 2013 Youth Eco Summit in Sydney, Australia. Enviro-Man then went on to win Best Junior Film at the 2014 THIMUN Qatar Film Festival. This film was also an official selection for the 2014 International Student Film Festival, Hollywood.

    In 2014 Charlie produced a short commercial for a local ice cream company ‘Desert Chill’ which was very well received. Later, he submitted a film to the Sydney Parramatta SciFi Film festival in Australia. Doubles was a finalist and received a nomination for Best Special Effects.

    Charlie then went on to enter the 2014 Dubai 48 Hour Film Project and his film Mission HXK was awarded prizes for Best Use of Prop, Best Costume, Best Writer, Best Director and Best Film runner up.

    Charlie’s most recent film, an advocacy short film on the dangers of texting and driving entitled Safe Driving Saves Lives had been nominated for Best Picture and Best Editing awards at the 2015 THIMUN Qatar Film Festival in April where he took home the Best Editing Prize. Safe Driving Saves Lives later went on to win the award for Best Public Announcement in the 2015 International Student Film Festival Hollywood.

    Charlie was featured as a “Dubai Home Grown Hero” in Dubai What’s On/Good Magazine and also in the Khaleej Times. That same year he also attended a Digital Filmmaking summer program at New York Film Academy where he was able to film on the famous Universal Studios backlot.

    “NYFA not only taught me more about the technical aspects of filmmaking but the whole process of production as well,” said Cracknell.

    In March 2016 after many requests for another Road Safety film, Charlie created Click, which was well received and endorsed by Road Safety UAE and later by VOX cinemas who are currently showing it in their 180 screens across the UAE, Oman and Lebanon for 2 months.

    Charlie plans to continue making films while he completes his schooling and then further develop his skills at a university in the United States, and NYFA is certainly on his radar.Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    May 20, 2016 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 5412

  • High School Camp Grad’s Short Awarded ‘Short of the Week’

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    With summer approaching, we’ve been looking back at what some of our High School Summer Camp graduates are working on today. Last week, we stumbled across a “Short of the Week” from New York Film Academy Summer Camp alumnus, Eli Shapiro. His award-winning film, Ike Interviews God, tackles the potential apocalyptic doom of our society in a somewhat dark yet comedic way. As the director puts it, the initial premise of the film was quite simple: if you could have a private conversation with God, what would you ask Her?

    “I wanted to make fun of what would actually happen during a major religious event today,” said Shapiro. “How news stations would exploit it, how people would try to make money out of it, how they’d cast Ryan Gosling for the movie adaptation.”

    While Shapiro practices the Jewish faith, he wanted the film to make people laugh regardless of his or her beliefs. “I think everyone — atheists and religious people — have these cosmic questions.”

    To date, Shapiro’s short has screened at several film festivals, including the Friars Club Comedy Film Festival 2014, Screen Actor’s Guild Foundation Film Showcase 2014, DC Shorts Film Festival 2014, Montclair Film Festival 2014, and Hollyshorts Monthly Screening Series 2015.

    Have a look at his award-winning short in its entirety below.

    IKE INTERVIEWS GOD from Eli Shapiro on Vimeo.Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    June 8, 2015 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4280

  • Citywide High School Scholarship Winners

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    david klein

    NYFA Senior Executive Vice President David Klein hands out a scholarship award to a young student

    The New York Film Academy rewarded scholarships to our summer acting and filmmaking workshops for deserving high school students in New York City. Scholarship opportunities were open to New York City public school students who demonstrated financial need, passion for the visual and performing arts, and outstanding academic achievement. Our film school’s summer workshops for kids and teens offer an intensive, hands-on experience which gives students the opportunity to develop their creative skills to the fullest extent possible.

    Included in each student’s application was an essay, expressing his or her thoughts on the power of visual storytelling bringing a positive social change to our community. In addition, students were asked to discuss some of their favorite films, filmmakers and actors.

    After considering numerous deserving young minds, the New York Film Academy is proud to announce the winners of the summer camp scholarships:

    • Jaeden Granger
    • Tamia Ejekpokpo
    • Priscilla Gomes
    • Dwight Young
    • Yarelys Encarnacion
    summer camps

    NYC HS Scholarship Winners

    We’d like to congratulate these fine young students, and wish them the best of luck on their upcoming summer camp experience. We’re pretty sure they’re going to love it!

    If you’re interested in learning more about our summer camp programs in fillmaking, acting, music video, photography, musical theatre, 3D animation, video game design or broadcast journalism at one of the many locations around the world, CLICK HERE for more information.
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    February 18, 2015 • Community Highlights, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4815

  • Win a 4 Week Musical Theatre Scholarship to NYFA!

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    musical theatre competition

    Do you believe you have what it takes to enter the competitive, but rewarding career of Musical Theatre? The New York Film Academy School of Musical Theatre, consisting of Broadway professional instructors, is inviting high school students from around the world to participate in a unique competition to Win a 4-Week Musical Theatre Scholarship at our Battery Park, New York City location in Summer 2014! Just like performing on the center stage, you should not be shy in this contest.

    TO ENTER: Interested students must prepare a 60-90 second monologue from a published contemporary American play or screenplay and one short musical theatre song.

    Participants must post their monologue and song on NYFA Musical Theatre Facebook Page by Friday, January 31st

    • When submitting your performance piece, please include your full name, phone number and name of the high school you are currently attending.
    • To be eligible, entrants are required to be 14-17 years of age as of June 29, 2014.
    • Must be proficient in English.
    • Winners Announcement: by March 3rd, 2014
    • Designated winners will be asked to provide proof of age before the dispensation of prizes.

    Please address any questions regarding the competition to Marissa Lieberman at marissa.lieberman@nyfa.edu or call +1 (212) 674-4300.

    We look forward to viewing performances from high school talents from all around the world. Break a leg!

    PLEASE NOTE: Travel and housing expenses are not included. Dorm facilities are available. Our NYC housing coordinator is available to help students find safe and convenient accommodations and flights to New York City.

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    October 30, 2013 • Contests, Musical Theatre • Views: 7366