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  • Life is Beautiful for New York Film Academy Acting for Film Alum Giorgio Cantarini

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    Not many aspiring actors get to spend childhood performing alongside Russell Crowe and Roberto Benigni in international megahits like The Gladiator and Life is Beautiful, but New York Film Academy alum Giorgio Cantarini did.

    You may recognize Cantarini as the spontaneous, cherubic child actor who not only held his own but represented the emotional heart of each of those acclaimed films, but Cantarini has grown quite a bit since then — including in his acting technique. Wrapping up his studies at the NYFA New York Acting Conservatory, Cantarini sat down to share some of his insights with the NYFA Blog. Check out his incredible story.*

    *This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

    NYFA: You’ve been acting since you were 5 years old in Life is Beautiful, can just tell us a little bit about how you came to that film?

    GC: There was an article in the newspaper with casting description of the kids that they were looking for, and my uncle saw the description and was like, “Giorgio it’s the same as you, you have to go to the audition,” and so we went.

    … At the auditions I never acted. Roberto Benigni just wanted to talk with me and see how I reacted. And then of course on the set they explained to me the scene, what was happening.

    NYFA: From the time that you were working on Life is Beautiful through school, did you do any kind of school work involving acting?

    GC: After Life is Beautiful, after The Gladiator, growing up I didn’t want to be an actor because my role in Life is Beautiful was really attached to me … but then after high school everyone told me how talented I was, so I said to myself, okay, let’s see if really I have this talent. I went to Rome to enter a very selective school. Every year like 700 people try to get in and they choose 12: six girls and six guys. So when I was admitted I was really happy.

    I started acting because someone choose it for me, but now it was my choice, and this was a very big step for me to continue, and to discover that I’m good, and now I could study to be a professional, complete actor.

    NYFA:  How was your time studying with the New York Film Academy?

    GC: I had a really great month at NYFA, one of the best experience in my life — for the city, for everything, for New York, for the people.

    The standard is very different than the teaching approach in Italy. It is very different. It’s smart to direct small groups, and just do it, don’t think about it — do it, just do it!

    I really like NYFA a lot because of the action, and the professors too. The energy! I think that they have a lot of students every month, every year, a lot of different students — but every day they come in the class with the with a great energy, to work with you and do the best for you every single day. Seeing teachers every time have good energy, positive energy, and smiling, was inspiring.

    NYFA:  When you’re looking back at your experience at NYFA, is there anything you learned that you feel you’re going to take with you in your future career?

    GC: The technique from NYFA instructors Blanche Baker, Peter Allen Stone, and Victor Verhaeghe, and the scene analysis — truly, the class most important for me was Alison Hodge’s technique.

    NYFA: What inspires your work? Is there a specific film or actor that you always go to?

    GC: For me, Dustin Hoffman. Dustin Hoffman is ideal. When I watched The Graduate, I thought, “What a movie! What an actor.” I was impressed with Dustin Hoffman, he is my idol now and before. He’s a special actor…

     

    NYFA: Can you tell me a little bit about your film Il Dottore del Pesci (The Fish Doctor)?

    GC: The story is about a guy that has a fish shop, but he doesn’t sell the fish; he takes care of the fish. If someone goes out of town, the people can leave the fish with him and he’ll take care of them. His life is with the fishes. One day an American person from a TV network meets him and thinks he is perfect for a show about the the weirdest jobs in the world, like a freak show. My character’s English isn’t great, so he confuses the question and says yes without realizing what he’s signing up for.

    Life changes for him. He used to talk to a lot of people in a really, really small city, with a lot of old people. He has no family. And suddenly he’s in the U.S. and he’s really emotional. And I can’t tell you the finale but it’s so lovely.

    NYFA: Overall is there any advice that you would give to people that are interested in going into acting?

    GC: If you want to be an actor, you have to study a lot. Especially now, because with Netflix and YouTube and the web, a lot of people want to be an actor. Anyone can put his work on on the web, but that’s not a real actor. You bring the art with you.

    It takes a lot of study to understand and know who you are. To be a great actor, you have to know who you are. That’s the main reason that I am here in New York — I want to see when I leave home, and speak in another language with other people, who am I?

    It really was different here. I was different. I don’t know why, but this city or this situation with the school and the feeling with the classmates really gave me a new energy. New perspective, you know? New experiences. To be open and always beautiful. I love it.

    NYFA: What’s next for you?

    GC: I’m returning to Italy to start the second part of my scholarship, a theatre production that works with the people that were in prison, to be an actor and assistant director.

    Then, my next project will be to move to New York after the summer. I’m starting the process.  I want to come here now because, while I have an agent in France and Switzerland, I’d like to start a new journey in New York.

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  • New York Film Academy Students Attend Cinema Italian Style

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    On Thursday, November 16, 2017, two students from the New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus, Alice Nicolini and Nicolo Azzaro, were invited to attend the opening night of the 13th Annual Cinema Italian Style at the Egyptian Theater. Italy’s oldest film studio, Luce Cinecittà, and the American Cinematheque presented the night, which featured a screening of “A Ciambra,” Italy’s selection for Best Foreign Language Film at next year’s Academy Awards.

    The night also served as a celebration of the 80th anniversary of Luce Cinecittà under the auspices of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, in collaboration with the Consulate General of Italy in Los Angeles, the Italian Trade Agency and the Italian Cultural Institute. Needless to say, this was quite an extravagant affair.

    NYFA Students Alice Nicolini and Nicolo Azzaro attend 13th Annual Cinema Italian Style

    The director of the film, Jonas Carpignano, has a youthful and unconventional approach to his filmmaking style, which can best be described as a scripted docudrama. All of the characters in the film are real people and their real names are the same as the characters they play. Likewise, their actual home is the set, and the script is inspired by the lives they lead.

    The level of intimacy the director has built with his cast is immediately tangible. From the opening to the closing shot, the camera is an active component of the film, whipping around at an incredible pace. (Some audience members found it dizzying, but anyone familiar with music videos would recognize the cinematic language.) Carpignano’s fresh take on Gypsy culture in Southern Italy was warmly received.

     

    One of the attending NYFA students, Nicolo Azzaro, had this to say about the film: “‘A Ciambra’ is a fantastic movie that perfectly showcases the strengths of Italian cinema at its finest. It digs deep into a current reality in Southern Italy, blending the almost documentary approach with a deep and emotional coming of age story.”

    Alice Nicolini, the other New York Film Academy student invited to the event, added, “My favorite part of the evening was hands down the red carpet. It was all new to me. Walking down the carpet was kind of surreal. I mean, we also got our pictures taken and an Italian television station even interviewed us. That is definitely not an everyday thing.”

    After the screening, the students were invited to a gala dinner at Mr. C’s in Beverly Hills. Celebrity attendees included Billy Zane, Ron Pearlman, and “Alias Grace” star Sarah Gadon, who was honored with the inaugural Cinecittà Key the day prior to the event. Students mingled with the stars and creators as they overlooked the Los Angeles skyline and enjoyed a meal curated by Michelin Star Chef Leandro Luppi.

    When asked what he’d learned from the experience, Azzaro responded, “Cinema is a universal art, and no matter what language is spoken in a film, it is capable of connecting people from all around the world. Diversity is truly one of the greatest aspects of the entertainment industry.”

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Luce Cinecittà and the American Cinematheque for extending an invitation to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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    November 30, 2017 • Community Highlights, Film Festivals, Filmmaking • Views: 2074

  • NYFA Florence Launches Semester Study Abroad Program

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    NYFA Study Abroad at Florence, Italy

    NYFA Study Abroad at Florence, Italy

    The New York Film Academy (NYFA) announced that NYFA’s Florence, Italy campus will, in September 2018, offer a semester ‘Study Abroad’ program in filmmaking and acting for film. This is a new opportunity for students—from anywhere in the world—to study in Florence for a 12-week semester. Traditionally, the NYFA Florence location has offered shorter term ‘workshops’ of 1-week, 4-week, 6-week, and 8-week with various starts from April to September. These workshops will continue to run.

    The semester program offers 13 U.S. college credits, which are issued by NYFA in partnership with Endicott College; students can also receive transcripts of credits that are regionally recognized. All program lengths offer accredited transcripts upon completion of the coursework.

    NYFA’s Florence programs have been running since 2003, and for most of that time they have been under the guidance of Diana Santi, Director of NYFA Italy, a highly regarded professional in the film industry.

    NYFA Study Abroad at Florence, Italy

    NYFA Study Abroad at Florence, Italy

    “We are very excited to launch the first ever semester program in Florence,” stated Ms. Santi. “While the program dates of September to December fit the study abroad model for American students who are enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities, we expect to have many international students join the program as is the case with our workshops”. She continued, “No one can dispute that Florence, and Tuscany, is the perfect place to make movies and enjoy a unique cultural experience.”

    NYFA Florence is in the heart of the historic center of Florence and directly across from Cappelle Medicee and steps away from the Duomo. Instead of occupying class time in a typical classroom, students will utilize Florence as their classroom, filming and acting within the city itself. As one of NYFA’s core values is Learning by Doing, all of NYFA’s programs are hands-on and intensive. From the first day of the program, students will have their hands on the equipment or be acting in front of the camera.

    “Going to NYFA was one of the best decisions of my life,” expressed a recent filmmaking student from Bulgaria. “The education is very practical and hands on, the tutors are very qualified and helpful, I made friends for life here and I would totally recommend the experience to everyone. I definitely feel more confident in trying to put my ideas on the screen then before, and it’s all thanks to these amazing people.”

    For more information about studying abroad in Florence, Italy, please contact:
    Hannah Gilliland
    studyabroad@nyfa.edu
    212-674-4300

    NYFA Study Abroad at Florence, Italy

    NYFA Study Abroad at Florence, Italy

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    October 20, 2017 • Study Abroad • Views: 3296

  • NYFA Welcomes a Group of Enthusiastic Italian Students

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    An exceptional group of Italian students recently graduated from the 4-Week Producing Program at New York Film Academy’s New York City campus. The students, all from the Lazio Region of Italy—most whom reside in Rome—attended NYFA as a result of being awarded special fellowships from the Roma Lazio Film Commission’s Torno Subito (“Be Right Back”) program. The Torno Subito program was created to fund projects submitted by Italian university students or graduates, aged 18 to 35 years, with the interest in taking advanced training courses, and upon completion, return home to use their newfound skills in the workplace. Also involved in this educational initiative is AssForSeo, an Italian employment guidance organization.

    nyfa italian students

    In addition to the students enrolled in the Producing Department at NYFA New York’s campus were dozens of students in the Filmmaking, Documentary Filmmaking, Animation, Broadcast Journalism, Screenwriting, Digital Editing, and Acting for Film programs. Both the New York and Los Angeles campuses of NYFA hosted this wonderful group of talented young Italians.

    NYFA Producing Chair Neal Weisman declared, “It was a pleasure having this group in our 4-Week Intensive producing workshop. They were very engaged, enthusiastic, and curious – of course they were, they’re Italian!”

    nyfa italian students

    After graduating from the NYFA program, the students are headed back to Rome where they will work at various industry internships. Most positions are with prominent Italian film production companies, where they will assist in the creation of a wide variety of film projects. The NYFA LA Campus Director, Dan Mackler, was effusive in his praise for the visiting students and stated, “Integrating seamlessly with our large international student community—currently representing nearly 80 countries—the Torno Subito students brought wonderful energy to our school. We expect great film industry success stories to come from these special NYFA alums.”

    NYFA is proud to participate in this program and looks forward to future collaboration with a variety of international partners.

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    February 7, 2017 • Community Highlights, Producing • Views: 4414

  • NYFA Broadcast Journalism Grad Covers Venice Film Festival

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    federica Soon you will be seeing Hollywood stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone on NYFA News as part of a wonderful story that recent New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism alumna Federica Polidoro produced for us at the Venice Film Festival. NYFA News is a student-produced TV news magazine in which Federica also covered two previous Venice Film Festival stories where NYFA showcased five student films.

    With the Venice Film Festival behind her, we thought we’d catch up with the Italian journalist, who is now back in her hometown of Rome working with XL La Repubblica.

    Can you tell us what drew you to the field of broadcast journalism?

    I am an entertainment journalist in Italy. I used to be a reporter for film festivals for the last 10 years, interviewing celebrities — especially directors. I began to produce videos on my own, but I wanted to refine my knowledge in this particular field and try to get some chances abroad.

    What made you decide to attend the New York Film Academy?

    Everything in Italy is very theoretical, so I needed some hands-on experience. Studying in New York was my lifetime dream. I couldn’t afford the fee, so I finally applied for a European Union scholarship and I won it.

    How would you describe your experience in the NYFA Broadcast Journalism program?

    New York Film Academy is the most wonderful academic experience I’ve ever had. In Italy, I taught Editing Technics at the Fine Art Academy, so this is an opinion also as a professor. I think NYFA is a school that you could only imagine in your dreams. The building is terrific, the equipment is tremendous, professors are incredible people and the tasks are so exciting.

    With [Broadcast Journalism Chair] Bill Einreinhofer, I found the kind of mentor that you can only get in a movie. He’s a very inspiring person, quiet yet powerful. He is a great example of an educator for me, and it was a privilege to meet him on the path of my life. His generosity and sensibility, honesty and open-mindedness, his precious advice, and his guidance are a treasure for me. He let me express my creativity by pushing the bounds of my intellectual curiosity. He gave me the self-confidence to believe that I was in the right place in the right time and that I can do it. Even if it is a school and not real life, as he reminded us often, his support meant a lot to me. His name was my first reason to opt for NYFA, and it was my best decision. My satisfaction with Bill’s appreciation of my work is priceless.

    I can sum up my feelings about the New York Film Academy with one word: happiness.

    How was your experience covering the Venice Film Festival for NYFA News?

    I worked for the biggest newspapers, magazines and platforms in Italy — especially for web content — but I could not believe I had the chance to produce something for NYFA on my own.

    What have you been working on since graduating?

    I am currently working on the second phase of the scholarship with a six months internship for the biggest Italian Newspaper, La Repubblica. I will likely continue to produce and edit video for them as a freelancer, but I am submitting some projects to show to other satellite and web channels with a more dynamic approach — a place where I can create “long-lasting” content.

    So are you working primarily in Italy now?

    I’m working in Italy, but very open to working for the US from European Festivals and for Italy / Foreign Countries from the US as entertainment content creator. I am going to launch my website with a showreel and a catalog of all my previous work. Among my interviews are artists such as Alejandro Jodorowsky, Amos Gitai, Andrei Konchalovski, Andrew Niccol, Anton Corbjn, Asghar Farhadi (Oscar®), Atom Egoyan, Charlie Kaufman (Oscar®), Ethan Hawke, François Ozon, Gabriele Salvatores, Giuseppe Tornatore, Hou Hsiao Hsien, Jeremy Irons, Jerzy Skolimoski, Kim Ki Duk, Kirill Serebrennikov, Lav Diaz, Marco Bellocchio, Mike Leigh, Olga Kurilyenko, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Valeria Golino, Wash Westmoreland, William Dafoe, Wim Wenders, Yann Arthus-Bertrand.

    Is there an assignment or story that you’re most proud of?

    My last day in Venice, after 14 interviews, my last interview was with Lav Diaz. He won the Golden Lion, so XL Repubblica got the interview ready while he was receiving the award. After Venice I interviewed the Golden Palm Winner, Ken Loach, for the Italian premier of “I, Daniel Blake.” I edited part of this work for NYFA, too.

    This season I am working on Award Season with written pieces and on editing videos on the themes of “Toys in Christmas Movies,” on Rube Goldberg machines in cartoons, and on movies set in hospitals and asylums to prepare for the release of Gore Verbinski’s “A Cure for Wellness.”

    I am managing the trip to the Cannes Film Festival and sending projects to find enough sponsors, and more than one media coverage, so that it’s useful to get more interviews and a better accreditation.

    For me it is quite easy to find a job, since I am a very hard worker, but I am looking for the kind of job and creative space where I can do something unique and personal.

    What do you hope to achieve in your career as a journalist? 

    I am a storyteller, a content creator, an investigator, a talent scout, and a wacky Italian with the obsession for weird stuff. I am a dreamer, but I am also a problem solver. There is nothing impossible for me. As a journalist I would like to express my own personality, get in depth subjects with anthropological analysis and humor, telling them with ethics and poetically. I would like to show different ways to read the contemporary phenomena delivering stories with visual appeal, originality, but simple language and profound meaning. Stories useful for the soul, pleasant for the ears, spectacular for the eyes.

    I would like to get work experience in the US for a short amount of time — maybe one year — to get in touch directly with the industry. I would like to do the job I did for the last ten years, traveling around the world looking for untold stories. I would like to be myself, but better, bigger and cooler. And maybe, once in my life, cover The Golden Globes and The Oscars.

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  • NYFA Doc Grad Wins Italian Golden Globe

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    if i were warriorBravo to New York Film Academy Documentary graduate Valerio Ciriaci for winning the Italian Golden Globe for Best Documentary! This significant award, assigned annually by the Foreign Press Association in Rome, was presented to the director “for the courage, balance and the technical mastery he employed in his first feature film to shed light on the dark pages of Italy’s colonial past and expose the amnesia that surrounds them.”

    The feature documentary, If Only I Were That Warrior, focuses on the Italian occupation of Ethiopia in 1935. Following the recent construction of a monument dedicated to Fascist general Rodolfo Graziani, the film addresses unpunished war crimes he and others committed in the name of Mussolini’s imperial ambitions. The present day stories of three characters filmed in Italy, Ethiopia and the U.S.A. take the audience on a journey through the remains and living memories of the Italian colonial venture in Ethiopia.

    italy

    “The idea for If Only I Were That Warrior took shape in February 2013, after I attended a panel discussion in New York about the recently inaugurated monument to Rodolfo Graziani,” said Ciriaci. “I was struck by the heartfelt anger and indignation voiced by the Ethiopians who were present that day. Their stories spoke of atrocities carried out in the name of my country, and I realized how little I knew, as an Italian, about our colonial ventures in Africa. I began to read about the Italian invasion of Ethiopia. I learned how Fascist propaganda told the Italian masses that Ethiopia was their rightful ‘place in the sun.’ I learned about the war crimes committed in the name of Mussolini’s imperial ambitions.”

    In Italy these events belong to a chapter in history that is often overlooked in schoolbooks and obscured by revisionist myths. For decades, Italians saw themselves as “italiani brava gente” (Italians, good people), an expression suggesting Italians were kinder and more tolerant compared to other colonial powers.

    If Only I Were That Warrior – Trailer from Awen Films on Vimeo.

    “As I continued my research, the question that I kept returning to was: how can Graziani, who is remembered as ‘the Butcher of Ethiopia’, be honored in Italy with a public monument? How was this monument approved in a country where Fascism is constitutionally banned? This film is my attempt to unravel these questions,” added Ciriaci.

    Since its premiere at Festival dei Popoli in Florence, the film has screened at various festivals and venues in the United States, Italy, the UK and Ethiopia.

    “The film is self-distributed and we often present the film in person at cultural centers, community venues and schools,” said Ciriaci. “Educational distribution has become especially important for the film and we continue to receive requests from history, Italian studies and African studies professors who want to use it as a teaching tool in class. Producer Isaak Liptzin and I have traveled quite a lot both here and in Italy.”

    If I were warrior

    Be sure to check out the film’s website to stay up-to-date on upcoming screenings. Later this summer the team plans to release the film on both streaming platforms and DVD. In the fall, the documentary will be broadcast on TV in Italy and Switzerland.

    Ciriaci is currently working on a couple of new documentaries that are set between Italy and the US—both in the past and the present.

    “Subjects such as memory and migration are of particular interest to me, and I intend to continue investigating them in the next films,” concluded Ciriaci.

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  • Grad’s Thesis “The Nutcracker Princess” Rakes in Festival Awards

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    Students graduating from New York Film Academy’s Filmmaking Department typically leave the course with the experience and finished product, a thesis film, which is often used as their calling card into the world of entertainment. Former student, Lorenzo Lanzillotti, says his NYFA experience was immediately helpful from day one, as it gave him more of an understanding of the production process involved in the making of a film. Upon graduating, Lanzillotti took his film on the road and received numerous awards and festival screenings for his thesis film, The Nutcracker Princess (not to be mistaken for The Nutcracker Prince). To put things into perspective we’ve listed his festival accomplishments below:
    • nutcracker princessBest short competition – Award of recognition for best short
    • MOFF Film festival – Best international short selection
    • Ferrara film festival – Best international short selection
    • United international film festival – Best director nominee
    • Miami independent film festival – Best short selection
    • Cordoba International film festival – Best short selection
    • Roma cinema doc – Best international short selection
    • International independent film awards – Silver award for best short – Silver award for best director
    • Hollywood international moving pictures film festival – Award of recognition for best short
    The award-winning film, The Nutcracker Princess, tells the story of a popular actress in the process of developing a character for her upcoming film—based on the last days of the life of a Broadway star—who embraces an introspective experience that is able to affect the perception of her own life.
    the nutcracker princess

    “I wrote the script with a clear idea of showing the two different faces of the same world,” said Lanzillotti. “In this case, the acting one. This short film is a psychological war between the youngest, most popular Hollywood actress, and Broadway’s most notable rising star. I wanted to see how the concept of the acting experience is interpreted in two completely different ways between these two worlds, so similar, but at the same time only divided by a thin line that defines the real expression of acting and the way that the audience experiences it.”

    Lanzillotti recommends submitting thesis films to festivals, recognizing how rewarding the experience is both literally and from a general standpoint for him, his cast and the crew. Though, the festival run is still far from over for him, as he anticipates screening at several other festivals this year.

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    May 2, 2016 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4575

  • Italian Film Grad’s ‘New York’ to Screen at Laceno D’Oro

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    Italian filmmaker and actor, Alfonso Perugini came to New York City with a Cinema Studies background, but it was at the New York Film Academy’s hands-on Two Year Filmmaking Conservatory in that Perugini says he truly “perfected the technique of filmmaking.” In addition to honing his craft at the Academy, Perugini fell in love with the city that surrounded him.

    perugini

    NYFA grad, Alfonso Perugini

    Two years after graduating from NYFA, Perugini completed his first major film, which will be screening at Laceno d’Oro, a prestigious international film festival held in Italy. This year’s festival includes films from famous directors such as Abel Ferrara, Werner Herzog and Wim Wenders. In fact, Perugini’s film, New York, will be screening right before Wenders’ on September 17th.

    Perugini’s film is divided into five episodes—one dedicated to each borough in New York City—Staten Island, The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. The protagonist is a photojournalist named Patrick Fawkes (played by Finnish Jarkko Mäkelä), who returns home after a four month trip in which he’s been reporting on US troops in Afghanistan.

    new york set

    His cast includes actors from all around the world. Two of the female leads come from South America, Venezuelan model Carla De La Hoz and NYFA acting graduate Sofia Negromonte from Brazil. American actor, Daniel Berkey, whose been in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, plays the father of the protagonist.

    Of particular note is the film’s score from the unpublished repertory of the famous Italian composer, Piero Piccioni.

    After New York’s Laceno screening on September 17th, the film will continue its tour at festivals and film events all over the world.

    You can stream the film in its entirety on Vimeo-On-Demand or purchase the blu-ray at www.arecistudio.com/onlinestore.

     

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    August 27, 2015 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4759

  • NYFA Student Writes and Directs Italian Web Series

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    Vera Bes

    Even though Francesco Mazza had already been writing for popular television shows in Italy, he decided to move to New York to challenge himself and become a better artist. “My interest in New York Film Academy came from the all hands-on idea,” says Mazza. “When you are in your early 30’s, you can’t afford to lose time, and at NYFA everything happens fast.”

    During Francesco’s first year in New York, he came up with the idea for a pilot and pitched it to a couple of Italian production companies. The pilot, Vera Bes, caught the interest of Matteo Scortegagna, C.E.O. of Zodiak Active Italy. From there, Francesco wrote the pilot and soon after the project was green-lit. Francesco was not meant to direct the pilot. It was only after he showed Scortegagna his NYFA first semester film, a comedy called Man-eaters, starring his fellow NYFA acting students. After viewing the short, Scortegagna hired Francesco to direct his own pilot.

    “The web-wise record-setting of $80,000 displays how important the project is for us, who strongly believe in the upcoming development of the web market,” said Scortegagna. “As we were half way through pre-production, I came to know that not only was Francesco a talented screenwriter with prestigious credits in our country, but he was also attending a one-year course in directing and filmmaking at the New York Film Academy. Therefore, I immediately offered him the directing of the pilot, a challenge that was brilliantly accomplished by Francesco last March.”

    Vera Bes is about a girl with a special power: using the mystery of “lucid dreams” leant by her grandmother, she is capable of getting into people’s dreams. In her spare time, Vera becomes a “dream consultant”- anybody affected by a recurring nightmare can come by her studio for a consultation. After investigating both in the world of dreams of the client and in reality, she climbs down the client’s unconscious to set him free from the nightmare. But Vera has a further motivation: finding and killing the evil presence who murdered her grandmother.

    “I like to think of NYFA as a toy or a musical instrument. If you apply yourself hard, you’re willing to do sacrifices, you humble yourself no matter what you did in the past and you constantly struggle to learn. And you are going to have real fun. Before studying at NYFA, I’ve always had lots of ideas, but it’s thanks to NYFA that I finally learned how to visualize and dramatize the stories I had in my mind. I would have never been able to direct a project like Vera Bes if I hadn’t had the possibility to learn the essential rules of screenwriting with Ben Maraniss or the importance of externalizing the characters’ struggle with Michael Sandoval. Not to mention all the priceless advice my directing teacher, Amos Poe, gave me throughout the year. I also fondly remember the speech [Filmmaking Chair] Claude Kerven gave us the very first day of school about the true meaning of being a filmmaker — something I’ll never forget.”

    Vera Bes is already part of the official selection for the upcoming 2014 Marseille Web Series Festival. Francesco’s goal is to create a character driven TV drama like Breaking Bad, American Horror Story, True Detective, etc. The idea of Zodiak Active is to find international production companies willing to partner up and produce an international product to be sold worldwide.

    VERA BES – Promo from Vera Bes on Vimeo.

     

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    July 30, 2014 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 5077

  • VIEW Conference 2014 Contests

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    View Conference 2014 Turin, Italy 14-17 Oct

    Here are some exciting opportunities for our 3D Animation and Game Design students to not only have their projects reach a wider audience, but also win an award! VIEW Conference, an annual international computer graphics conference, has announced a series of contests for 2014 aimed at both students and non-students.

    Firstly, the VIEW Award 2014 is open to any filmmaker who has made an animated short film using 2D/3D animation and VFX in the past two years. Filmmakers can choose to submit in the following categories: Best Short, Best Design, Best Character, and Best Digital Visual Effects. The deadline for submission is August 31, 2014 and the award for first prize is 2,000 Euros.  More information can be found here.

    For those filmmakers interested in using their art to address social issues, this year sees the creation of the VIEW Social contest aimed at artists who have created a 2D/3D or VFX animated feature, short, music video, and piece of advertising with a focus on social themes in 2013 and 2014. Applicants can submit in the categories of Best Gameplay, Best Art Design, Best Architecture, and Best Music by August 31, 2014 to compete for a grand prize of 1,000 Euros. Learn more here.

    Emerging game designers have the chance to submit their original video games by September 15, 2014 in the categories of Best Gameplay, Best Art Design, Best Architecture, and Best Music. View more here.

    For anyone who has a passion for comics, another new addition to this year’s conference is the VIEW Comics Contest in which applicants are encouraged to create an original comic based on a previous edition of the conference. The deadline for entries is August 31, 2014 and entrants will compete for a 500 Euro prize. Discover more here.

    Finally, for those either from Italy or interested in telling stories about Italy, the ITALIANMIX competition welcomes works across genres and visual forms that, if chosen, will be included in the program for VIEWFest 2014.

    So if you’re looking for a platform to showcase your work and win an award, consider submitting today.

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    February 26, 2014 • 3D Animation, Film Festivals, Game Design • Views: 5513