india
Posts

  • NYFA Launches New Mumbai, India Location

    With the every-growing popularity and tremendous interest in cinema in India, the New York Film Academy is thrilled to announce its newest Mumbai location, which welcomed its first group of filmmaking and acting students.

    nyfa mumbai

    NYFA Kitty Koo with film and acting students at NYFA Mumbai

    Located in the heart of the world’s largest film industry and the home of Bollywood, NYFA Mumbai offers both an 8-Week Filmmaking Workshop and a 4-Week Acting for Film Workshop. The workshops are held at the Urmi Estate (95 Ganpatrao Kadam Marg, Lower Parel [West] Mumbai, Maharashtra 400 013, India).

    “The New York Film Academy turns 25 years old this year, and we’re thrilled to add this beautiful new location in Mumbai to the global NYFA family,” said Kitty Koo, NYFA Vice President – Mumbai, India. “There is no place better than Mumbai, India — the land of Bollywood.”

    Similar to its core curriculum, the Mumbai Filmmaking Workshop focus on learning in a hands-on film environment, where students will have the opportunity to make a fully-realized final film. The Acting for Film Workshop provides students with a strong foundation of acting skills with a specific focus on the basic elements of the craft of acting using Stanislavski’s System, scene study, and monologue work as starting points. Students also participate in courses aimed specifically at training the actor for the technical requirements of acting on a film set.

    mumbai

    NYFA Acting for Film Associate Chair Peter Stone with Acting for Film students at NYFA Mumbai

    “We’re proud to bring our innovative film and acting for film programs to Mumbai, India, an epicenter for world cinema,” added NYFA President Michael Young. “We look forward to teaching a whole new generation of Indian filmmakers and actors.”

    As those who have taken a workshop with NYFA know, the workload is intensive, meaning students must be prepared to live and breathe the program during their enrollment.

    “Taking that experience from NYFA, I was able to act as a major supporting role in ‘Baahubali’,” said NYFA alumnus Rakesh Varre, who plays Setu Patti in “Baahubali: The Conclusion.” The film has become the highest grossest Indian film in history, and has even been impressive in the North American market.

    For those interested in studying in Mumbai, please visit www.nyfa.edu/mumbai for more information.

    May 15, 2017 • Acting, Filmmaking, Study Abroad • Views: 2747

  • NYFA Grad Kalpana Malviya’s “Made in America” to Air on Zee TV

    Kalpana Malviya is a New York Film Academy graduate who’s been blazing a trail in new television programing. Her new show, “Made in America,” is the first English language reality TV program designed for South East Asians to be shot in Hollywood. But she’s not content in just creating new programing, she’s also determined to bring the next generation of content makers with her.

    kalpana

    “Somebody helped me. I’m not too big to help anybody,” Malviya told me under a shady tree just outside of the studio where “Made in America” was shooting a dramatic prison scene. Malviya’s passion is earnest and forthright, “(students) have fresh ideas. We can learn from them and also guide them along the way.”

    Malviya credits the New York Film Academy with giving her a leg up in the industry, “I’m from India. Hollywood films really pop in India. I took what I learned at NYFA and landed a job with Zee TV.” While at Zee TV, she noticed the abundance of talent and resources and wondered why no one, anywhere outside of South East Asia, was making content for the region. She sought to change that, “I pitched them the idea. They loved it and now, here we are.”

    kalpana

    New York Film Academy would like to thank Kalpana Malviya for taking the time to speak with us. Malviya has created two more shows for Zee TV that will begin filming shortly.

    “Made in America” will release August 2017, and has been reviewed by India.com. Read more here.

    November 2, 2016 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4367

  • NYFA Grad Cinematographer on ‘Neerja’

    Released in the US over the weekend, the Indian film Neerja has been receiving numerous praises for actress Sonam Kapoor’s portrayal of the life of the courageous Neerja Bhanot, who sacrificed her life while protecting the lives of 359 passengers on the hijacked Pan Am flight 73 in 1986.

    mitesh

    Working as the cinematographer with one of the best Indian directors in the business, Ram Madhvani, was New York Film Academy alumnus Mitesh Mirchandani. The NYFA grad has worked on a few commercials with Madhvani and working with him on Neerja was a no brainer.

    “When I first met Ram, he said, ‘Mitesh, I would like to shoot this film in a particular way—no lights, 360 degree shooting, long takes, really long takes, freedom for the actors and let’s be completely candid in our approach,” recalled Mirchandani. “At first I was a little reluctant as it was a feature, but soon enough I realized what we were after. We had close to 45 minute takes in almost every sequence without any rehearsals or marks for the focus pullers.”

    mitesh m

    With four cameras rolling at all times, the cast and crew gelled together seamlessly, as though there was only one camera rolling on set. The entire film was shot without using any lights.

    “You really need crew that’s as crazy as you to pull this off,” said Mirchandani. “I was really blessed to have the best crew ever assembled. I didn’t want the film to feel framed and lit, it needed to be as if we were there capturing what was happening at that moment.”

    The hard work paid off, as the Fox Star Studios film has been doing well both critically and at the box-office.

    “I learned a lot from NYFA—the faculty was amazing and really helpful,” added Mirchandani. “The access to equipment really prepared me to get out there and be confident about what I was shooting.”

    Mirchandani is currently busy shooting TV commercials.

    February 25, 2016 • Cinematography, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 13432

  • NYFA Alum Rohit Gupta in the Running for the Prestigious NRI of the Year Award

    rohit gupta nyfaNew York Film Academy alumnus and New York-based film director, Rohit Gupta, is one of five global Indians short-listed for the prestigious NRI (Non-Resident Indian) of the Year award for Distinctive Global Achievement in Arts and Entertainment, according to a leading Indian media organization.

    To recognize globally successful Indians and to celebrate their achievements, Times Now – an English news channel from the Times Group – announced a new international initiative to honor successful NRIs around the world.

    Rohit’s films Life! Camera Action... and Another Day Another Life have jointly won over one hundred international accolades in various categories around the globe. His journey and process of work are considered a major source of inspiration among aspiring filmmakers, media, film students and youth at large the world over.

    The first edition of the Times Now ICICI Bank NRI of the Year Awards powered by Global Indian International School will be held in Mumbai later this month.

    March 10, 2014 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3317

  • NYFA Grad Rohit Gupta Honored by the Limca Book of Records

    Rohit and Ravi

    Rohit (Left) and Ravi Kumar (Right)

    Acclaimed filmmaker and New York Film Academy graduate, Rohit Gupta has been honored by India’s renowned Limca Book of Records for his award-winning feature film Life! Camera! Action. The film sets a new record being the first full-length motion picture shot by a two-person crew: producer/director Rohit Gupta & Ravi Kumar R. It is also the first film to be released via facebook.

    LCA Movie PosterSince its release, Life! Camera! Action has received wide critical acclaim, earning over seventy international accolades in various categories including the prestigious Top Nine Most Popular and Board of Directors’ Special Awards, 28th Goldie Film Awards (USA), Orson Welles Award-California International Film Awards, Royal Reel Award-Canada International Film Festival, Grand Jury Award-Oregon Film Awards (USA), Best Feature Film-IFFPIE (Official World Peace Film Festival) (Indonesia) and many others around the world. Renowned news producer Silicon India listed the film as One of the 10 Outstanding Movies by Indian American Filmmakers. The list includes Hollywood blockbusters such as The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable by M. Night Shyamalan, Mississippi Masala and Namesake by Mira Nair, and Fire and Earth by Deepa Mehta.

    This inspiring ninety-minute quasi-autobiographical family drama features the struggle of the protagonist Reina – played by award winning actress Dipti Mehta – who sets off on a career in filmmaking against parental consent. Running the risk of being disowned for going against the norm of pursuing a future in engineering, medicine or architecture, the film celebrates the strength of the central character to challenge the rules regardless of the consequences.

    Gupta’s journey and the process of his work is widely considered a major source of inspiration to aspiring filmmakers, students of cinema and youth at large the world over. Gupta who has co-written, produced, directed, edited, written lyrics, shared credits in music and photography, marketed, branded and distributed his work, commented that, “It has been a marvelous journey and the road ahead looks equally interesting.”

    Rohit first forayed into films with a four-minute American suspense-thriller film, Another Day Another Life, which also received tremendous acclaim from around the world including an Official Selection at Cannes in 2009. He is currently working on the post-production of his highly anticipated upcoming American comedy feature titled Midnight Delight, due for release in 2014.

    January 3, 2014 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4690

  • Landing a Role on Life of Pi

    After a nationwide talent search of India, by Casting Director Avy Kaufman, Vibish Sivakumar scored an opportunity of a lifetime meeting Oscar winning director Ang Lee for a role in the film, Life of Pi. Prior to landing the role, Vibish was studying Telecommunication Engineering, but his curiosity led him to acting. “I had to audition for about 5 or 6 months before I got to meet with Ang Lee. It was a long journey to land a role in Pi, but absolutely worth it at the end.”

    While filming Life of Pi, Vibish took up the 8 Week Acting for Film Workshop at the New York Film Academy for proper training. “I have a friend who lives in New York and he really recommended attending NYFA over the other acting schools in New York. My experience at NYFA was delightful. I got to interact with fellow actors from different parts of the world, and they brought a lot to the table in their own ways and methods. But what I would really take away from my experience there was my interaction with the faculty. I had an incredible batch of teachers: Peter Stone, Anna Cianciulli, Tina Benko, Miguel Parga, Katie and John. I truly learned a lot from them. My stint at NYFA reaffirmed my choice of becoming an actor.”

    Vibish plays the role of 18 year old Ravi Patel in what looks to be another Oscar contender for Ang Lee. “Working with Ang Lee is something you cannot describe in a paragraph. There’s a reason why he is one of the best directors in the world and it’s evident right from when you first meet him. He is an incredible human being and a wonderful filmmaker. The biggest thing I learned from him was humility and staying true to your craft and story.”

    Vibish added that right now is the hardest part of his career thus far, finding the right agent.

    November 29, 2012 • Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4313

  • From Hollywood to Bollywood

    Originally from Kolkata, India, Sharad Malhotra took an early interest in sports. He played soccer and cricket as a child. He went on to play professionally for the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB). He also spent some time working as a financial advisor. He hadn’t really considered a life on the silver screen, but at his girlfriend’s suggestion, Sharad got in contact with scouts from Zee TV, a leading entertainment channel in India — a choice changed the course of his life.

    After getting good feedback and support from Zee TV, Sharad moved to Mumbai where he began going on auditions. He modeled for a number of national and international print campaigns before landing a leading role on Banoo Main Teri Dulhann, a wildly popular Indian soap opera.

    He won several Best Actor awards for his work on the television show, but Sharad says, “I was hungry to learn more and better the craft. So as soon as my show ended, I headed toward the mecca of acting and filmmaking.” Impressed by New York Film Academy’s list of notable grads (including Paul Dano and Owen Kline, and Bollywood actors Imran Khan and Ahana Deol), Sharad decided to move from the west coast of India to the west coast of America, to attend the school’s Los Angeles campus.

    “It was a beautiful amalgamation of students of different… creeds, color, religions, nationalities, all coming under one roof with their own unique creative abilities and bonding over a common passion called cinema,” he says. “As we say in India, NYFA is a complete paisa wasool — worth every penny!”

    Since completing an Acting for Film program in 2009, Sharad has been busy at work in Mumbai. He recently completed his first Bollywood feature film, From Sydney With Love – the story of a small town girl from West Bengal who finds a new love and a new life while attending school in Australia. Sharad is looking forward to the Indian premiere of From Sydney With Love on August 31. The buzz about the film has already led to interest from film directors looking to book him for future projects.

    Sharad describes his journey as, “nothing short of a beautiful roller coaster ride…. It helped me mature as a person and made me realize that the essential five ingredients that are solely responsible for fulfilling dreams: patience, hard work, determination, belief, and finally the luck factor to put it all in place. From a cricketer to a financial advisor to a model and now an actor, it’s been one helluva fun trip.”

    August 22, 2012 • Academic Programs, Acting, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4266

  • Financing Your Indie Film and Developing an Audience

    Rohit Gupta is a Mumbai native who came to the United States over 12 years ago. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, Rohit didn’t have “the slightest idea about filmmaking” until he joined the New York Film Academy  for a 4 week film workshop. Realizing his passion for the craft, he extended his stay and enrolled into the one year conservatory program. Rohit was an MBA graduate who came from a family of entrepreneurs. He decided to take his shot in an “unstable” industry and fell in love. The film assignments he was working on for classes became inspiration for later works. Another Day, Another Life was shot in seven hours, edited on his laptop, and completed on a $100 budget. His first feature film Life! Camera Action was shot in ten days with a two member crew on a Panasonic DVX 100. Rohit has claimed that his rounds on the festival circuit, including the Short Films Corner at Cannes, has resulted in over 100 awards and accolades internationally. Talk about independent success on a micro-budget!

    As an independent filmmaker, Rohit has compelling views on cultivating an audience and working with financiers to distribute your film. Rohit credits his success to his drive and ambition. He has an optimistic outlook in a field with many pitfalls and setbacks. “There is nothing more or less to it than just doing it now. With pure excitement, love and compassion in your heart, all will fall in place magically.” For any aspiring filmmaker, the most important thing is to keep an open mind. He advises current students to think of the possibilities, explore them, and figure out what they ultimately want to do. “The fun is to create something with what resources we have on-hand than worrying about what we don’t.”

    THE AUDIENCE. Speaking with other filmmakers from all over the world, the anxiety is the same. “What is the audience going to like?” Rohit is critical of those who worry too much about the audience’s reception of the product–to the point that it affects the process of creating the product. The audience, he says, won’t know what they like “until they see it.” Some worry too much about audience expectations that there is a choke hold on creativity and productivity. Many aspiring filmmakers say their biggest hurdle is the lack of resources. Rohit believes with technology at our fingerprints, everyone is able to do what they want. Find opportunities everywhere. How you take advantage of the resources at NYFA is solely your initiative in the end. As he says, “No one is to be credited or blamed but yourself.”

    FINANCIERS AND THE REAL INVESTMENT. “It’s not the creativity that needs to chase the finance, it’s the other way round!” Don’t waste your time with financiers if they don’t step up after your first meeting. Never give up your creative control just because someone is investing in your project. Be committed to execution without financial pressure. Unless you do this, you won’t know what you like about what you do and why. Only when you feel strongly about the work will your audience connect. This is the definition of success. Asking for advice from those who never made a feature film is a great way of finding reasons for not doing it. Learn from and collaborate with those who’ve objectively achieved a level of success that you can relate to. There is nothing like being original. If you try to make everybody happy, you will lose yourself. In the end, if you are happy, then everybody around feels the energy and, in turn, feels happy, too. It’s just like doing everything else. There is no mantra to it. Learning is a constant phenomenon and the beauty is no amount of learning will ever be enough.

    What do you think about Rohit’s views? Tell us if you agree or disagree with him on Twitter! And if you want to find out more about the filmmaking program, please request info here!

    June 28, 2012 • Film School, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4451

  • The New York Film Academy & India’s Bollywood

    India’s film industry, colloquially known as Bollywood, is the biggest in the world, and aspiring Indian filmmakers need an edge, (or a connection), in order to get a leg up in the business. The New York Film Academy’s own Vice President of International Relations recently visited the country to meet with aspiring filmmakers. She had some interesting comments about what it takes to get recognized in the industry.

    India has huge potential in the area of education in filmmaking and acting. Last year we saw over 100 students signing up at our institute and the number is slated to grow further as more and more students realize the importance of technical know-how in this space.

    NYFA has already produced Bollywood successes. Imran Khan, currently one of the biggest stars in Bollywood, is one of our alumns. So the question remains, is NYFA going to start a school in India? Our Vice President admitted that the New York Film Academy is open to expanding in the country.

    It will, however, be in the long-term, we have only just begun an active association with India, and yes, we do not rule out the possibility of a branch or some sort of joint venture here in the future.

    The response from young filmmakers in India has been great, and no one can deny that there is a lot of passion for film in the country. Hopefully, NYFA’s involvement with Bollywood will continue to grow stronger, and we will have the opportunity of working with more and more students from India!

    July 9, 2010 • Acting • Views: 4979