Avni Mahiji is a graduate of one of the New York Film Academy (NYFA) Broadcast Journalism department’s short-term workshops. She has a great on-camera presence, which we helped her develop. And she knows that to build your career you always have to be ready when opportunities present themselves.
Or better yet, you create your own opportunities. Recently she was doing anchor/presenter work on a small New York City-area TV station. It was a great opportunity for her to showcase her impressive skills.
Great job, Avni!
I’ve heard from some incoming students who want to know a bit about the neighborhood where NYFA is located. It’s a good question… Here are some pictures for them, as well as any graduates who are feeling a bit nostalgic.
So this is our neighborhood, downtown Manhattan.
This is a closer shot. NYFA is located in the building on the left.
Now, strictly speaking, the next picture isn’t in “our neighborhood.” But each term, some students get the chance to visit NBC News for a behind-the-scenes tour. Their guide is MSNBC contributor Col. Jack Jacobs, who in and of himself is worth the trip uptown. They are on the set of theNBC Nightly News, regularly one of the most-watched network TV news programs in the country.
Finally, you’ll see much of New York through the lens of a camera like this. Believe it or not, all of our students leave NYFA capable of using this high-end HDTV camera. If you look closely, that is the soon-to-graduate Nicole Abebe hidden behind all that equipment…
A special screening of Netflix’s hit series, Medal of Honor, was held at the New York Film Academy (NYFA) Theater in New York City last week, hosted by NYFA’S Division of Veteran Services (DVS).
Commissioner Loree Sutton MD (Brigadier General Ret.) of New York City’s Department of Veteran Services and Medal of Honor recipient Col. Jack Jacobs (Ret.) participated in an unfeigned discussion with attendees after the screening of Episode 8, which featured the heroic story of Staff Sergeant Ty Cater, who was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Obama in 2013 for his heroic actions in Afghanistan.
Reflecting on the Medal of Honor experience from a personal perspective, Colonel Jack Jacobs, who has been the Chair of New York Film Academy’s Veteran Advancement Program since 2014, and is also an on-air Military Analyst at MSNBC/NBC news, answered questions from the audience along side the Commissioner Sutton.
NYFA Acting for Film alum Tyler Williams, who portrays Ty Carter in the episode, not only conveyed the authentic challenges service members face in their transition back from combat, but will be screening the episode with veteran students at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus on February 11.
“A successful transition home is important not only to veterans, but the families and communities they return to,” asserted Commissioner Sutton, an Army psychiatrist and a fierce advocate in New York City for services that protect and empower returning service members.
Attendees engaged openly with the Commissioner Sutton and Colonel Jacobs in a series of questions that ranged from the philosophical (“Do you think that Plato was right when he stated that only the dead have seen the end of war?”) to the pragmatic (“How do vets leverage the skills they learned in the military if they want to work in film and television?”)
Both speakers believe the arts offered great opportunities for healing. Army veteran Justin Ford, a NYFA Filmmaking & Producing conservatory grad, enthusiastically stated, “It was a really great opportunity to hear Commissioner Sutton’s and Colonel Jacobs’ thoughts about the Medal of Honor, war, and returning home from the defining moment of many young veteran’s life—combat.”
The Netflix screening and special quest speakers made for a very moving and emotional evening, which was made all the more special by a touching and warm exchange of military challenge coins that passed reciprocally between Colonel Jacobs and Commissioner Sutton at the event’s conclusion.
New York Film Academy students can attend another screening of Medal of Honor at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus on February 11, with special guest Tyler Williams — you can RSVP for the event here.
Lots happening at New York Film Academy (NYFA) over the past couple of weeks, and away from NYFA too. The September 8-week Broadcast Journalism workshop students graduated earlier this month. There they are below, along with instructors Daniel Hernandez and Evgenia Vlasova. The graduates come from (left to right) New York, Ukraine, New Orleans, Norway via London, and Brazil. (The instructors are originally from Mexico and Russia, although I believe they are now citizens of Brooklyn.)
The day after graduation, the 8-week and 1-year students got a behind-the-scenes tour of NBC News. Col. Jack Jacobs, an MSNBC contributor as well as Chair of NYFA’s Veterans Advancement Program, showed them how a network news operation works. In the picture below, they are on set of the NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt.
Later they were on a “live” set, for an up-close and personal look at the production of AM Joy, with Joy Reid. Then they went to the control room where the program was being assembled, and sent out “live.”
I think everyone found the tour fascinating, even though we weren’t able to visit the Saturday Night Live set. Apparently a number of the sets for that night’s show were still being built.
Instructor Evgenia Vlasova made some news last week too. She was back home to Khabarovsk, in Russia’s Far East, to see her family for the holidays. And she was also back on the air, on the morning show that for many years she hosted and co-produced. Who says “you can never go home”?
And as far as I know, Genia is the only person in the Russian Far East with a NYFA hoodie. But who knows, maybe she will recruit some potential students…
Summer Session graduate Mariana Janjacomo has been busy as well. She writes: “Back in Brazil, I’ve been working as a freelance journalist for a lot of media companies… When I was in New York, I got to interview three Hollywood stars for the Capricho website; it is the biggest website for teenagers in Latin America. Lights and camera were already set up, but it was very challenging to interview them in English. My questions were in the final version of the video too, so I’m glad I had to a chance to practice that kind of interview at NYFA.
Among the stars she interviewed were Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick, who are appearing in the film A Simple Favor.
Eulogio Ortiz is a longtime friend, and a former colleague at WNET here in New York. These days he is the director of the PBS NewsHour Weekend. While it is a nationally-distributed network program, and is shot in a state-of-the-art studio, he still uses something as simple as a felt-tip pen and a spiral notebook to determine the best placement of cameras, air talent, and guests on the set. Granted, it’s analog, but there are no batteries to go dead.
Congratulations to NYFA Broadcast Journalism grad Sarah Keoghan, who was one of a small group of young journalists chosen for positions at the Sydney Morning Herald. She writes:
“Eight of us were selected out of 900 applicants, and in the current media sphere in Australia, a full-time job is unheard of, and I am beyond stoked. I’m officially a reporter! Thanks again for all your amazing help during my time at NYFA. It is truly an experience I will never forget.”
And speaking of graduates, last week the students in our September 12-week Evening Broadcast Journalism workshop wrapped up their time at NYFA. That’s Hands-on-Camera instructor Daniel Hernandez on the left, although he looks youthful enough to be mistaken for a student.
NYFA alum Federica Polidoro has one of the best jobs in the world. I’m serious… She travels throughout Europe, and beyond, covering the motion picture industry. Earlier this month she was in Morocco, at the Festival International du Film de Marrakech. Legendary director Martin Scorsese was there too, to present an award to equally-legendary actor Robert DeNiro. Federica was able to interview DeNiro later…
Brazilian graduate Daniel Fideli covers sports for media giant Globo. Last week he posted on Facebook about this story:
“Football and motorsport. Finally I manage to get these two passions together in the same story.”
The holidays are rapidly approaching, and that means the Broadcast Journalism Update is going on hiatus until the New Year. Later this week, I am flying to Da Nang, in Vietnam, as I am the Executive Producer of an independent feature film called Invisible Love which is shooting there. Joining me is NYFA Acting for Film graduate Kazy Tauginus. Kazy has a major role in the film. You may have seen him in Denzel Washington’s most recent film, The Equalizer II. Kazy played a really bad guy. (Who died a really bad death.)
On November 15, 2018 New York Film Academy Los Angeles veteran-students gathered in the NYFA Theater, for a special lecture from Medal of Honor Recipient and appointed Chair of NYFA’s Veterans Advancement Program Colonel Jack Jacobs.
Colonel Jacobs served in the U.S. Military for more than 20 years and his gallantry in Vietnam earned him the Medal of Honor—the nation’s highest combat honor—as well as two Silver Stars, three Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts. Colonel Jacobs is a military strategist and on-air analyst for NBC and MSNBC News.
Colonel Jacobs’ mission at NYFA is to support the Academy’s veteran-students’ transition from the military to exciting careers in media and entertainment.
The evening began with a screening of the documentary about Colonel Jacobs that recounted the events that took place during the Vietnam War and Colonel Jacobs’ dauntless actions that later earned him the Medal of Honor.
Honorable Col. Jack Jacobs (MoH Recipient) with NYFA veteran-students.
During the talk, Colonel Jacobs discussed his personal experience in transitioning from the military to civilian life and offered his advice to the veterans in attendance. The Colonel’s personal experiences, his inspiration, and at times his wit, touched several pungent topics. He emphasized his belief that the military is the only place that will give an 18-year-old man or woman a large amount of responsibility and this prepares them – more than most 18-year old who have not served – for nearly any career and circumstance. “An employer who hires a veteran, gains a huge benefit due to the work ethic and skills that they learned and honed while serving our great Country” stated Jacobs. He spoke on how veterans should walk into a job interview confident that with their military background, they know both how to follow and how to lead.
The evening concluded with Colonel Jacobs taking photos and talking with the NYFA veteran-students as well as other vets in attendance from Veterans in Media & Entertainment (VME), and the Veterans Affairs (VA).
It was truly a great experience and very inspirational evening for everyone in attendance.
The New York Film Academy (NYFA) Department of Veteran Services (DVS) had the pleasure of once again partnering with Hire Heroes USA (HHUSA) to host a daylong exclusive employment workshop for NYFA’s veteran students. NYFA veteran-students and veteran-alums participated in the event as well as a select group of members from Veterans in Media & Entertainment (VME).
Hire Heroes USA is a registered nonprofit that provides free career coaching and job sourcing to those transitioning out of the US military; the organization assists veterans and spouses with finding employment as well as providing career counseling and job sourcing.
The critical elements of the workshop focused on a practicum in resume formatting, networking tactics, and how to fully prepare for an interview. Jamie Rimphanli and Amy Dodson, representatives from Hire Heroes USA, led the workshop and shared valuable insight on navigating the job search process.
Jamie Rimphanli (second from left) and Amy Dodson (far right) meet with veterans from the employment workshop.
Additionally, industry professionals joined the event during the day for a moderated Q&A session. Panelists represented Mattel Industries, Warner Brothers, Paramount Studios, Legendary Entertainment, and other top entertainment companies. These experts discussed how they got their start in the industry and provided advice to the attendees on kickstarting their careers.
Following the panel, the veterans had the opportunity to network with the industry professionals and the informative day concluded at a local restaurant for a mixer that provided a more intimate setting in which to build contacts.
Of the event,US Navy Veteran and NYFA BFA Producing student Jonathan Garza remarked, “The Hire Heroes Workshop gave me a lot of valuable information that I will take into the job search once I finish my degree. This is a wonderful organization that all veterans looking to get into the workforce should utilize.”
New York Film Academy has been privileged to enroll more than 1500 veteran students and military dependents at our campuses since 2009. In addition to educating veterans with hands-on, intensive programs using state-of-the-art equipment, NYFA’s Division of Veterans Services (DVS), led by NYFA Chair of Veterans Advancement Program Colonel Jack Jacobs, has been able to bring unique opportunities to its veterans students while supporting the veteran community.
The NYFA Department of Veteran Services is extremely grateful to Hire Heroes USA for providing this wonderful opportunity provided to NYFA veteran-students and looks forward to future collaborations!
NYFA Veteran Students with Col. Jack Jacobs (NYFA Chair of Veteran Advancement Program)
Everybody knows by now that the Internet is filled with countless blogs, from globally famous media companies to ones covering even the tiniest of niches. But there’s at least one blog that’s doing great work serving an often overlooked yet large and vitally important demographic—the United States military community.
The blog, We Are The Mighty, is for veterans, servicemen and women, and their families, and covers everything from military news to pop culture, with both thoughtfully penned articles and silly, amusing listicles. Overall, WATM’s mission statement is “Celebrating military service with stories that inspire,” but in doing so, it’s also provided a way for the community to congregate, communicate, and share their ideas and views through its site and social media.
NYFA BFA Filmmaking and MFA Screenwriting Alum Tim Kirkpatrick
Tim Kirkpatrick is one of the writers for We Are The Mighty, and has already built an impressive portfolio of articles. Kirkpatrick is a Navy veteran, having entered as a Hospital Corpsman in 2007. In the fall of 2010, he was deployed to Afghanistan with the 3rd Battalion 5th Marines.
After coming back stateside, Kirkpatrick enrolled at the New York Film Academy and earned his AFA degree in filmmaking from our Los Angeles campus. Honing his skills even further, Kirkpatrick followed his filmmaking education with NYFA’s 8-Week Screenwriting workshop.
One of his most recent pieces is about the New York Film Academy itself, highlighting the Academy’s relationship to the Military and veteran community. As Kirkpatrick mentions in his article, “At any given time, NYFA caters to over 200 veterans in the student body and the school takes pride in putting a camera in their hands on the first day of class,” while also adding that NYFA has enrolled over 1500 veterans and dependents of veterans in total.
The Military and veteran community is an important part of the NYFA family. Kirkpatrick mentions in his article the Academy’s V.S.A., or Veteran Student Association, where vets from different branches of the armed forces come together over their shared love of film and the visual arts.
Kirkpatrick also shouts out the venerable Colonel Jack Jacobs, who in addition to being a Medal of Honor recipient and on-air military strategist for NBC/MSNBC, is the Chair of the NYFA Veterans Advancement Program.
The Military and the film industry are a more natural pairing than some may suspect. Kirkpatrick writes, “As in the Military, the film industry uses a precise chain of command for its operational purposes, so vets feel right at home on set — hierarchy and order (and yes, even paperwork) have been branded into their solid work ethic.”
You can check out Tim Kirkpatrick and the other writers at We Are The Mighty here.
This week, our nation celebrates the men and women who have served our country in the US Military by paying special tribute to by honoring them on Veterans Day. Over the last seven years, nearly 1,500 military service members, veteran students, and military dependents, have selected the New York Film Academy (NYFA) to be the choice for their higher education. “Jerry Sherlock, who was a veteran of the US Air Force, founded the New York Film Academy 25 years ago and was always committed to making NYFA a welcoming learning environment for veterans who wanted to tell their own stories through the visual and performing arts,” stated Michael Young, NYFA’s President. “As a role model and leader to our veterans, we are honored to have, Colonel Jack Jacobs, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient, as the Chair of the NYFA Veterans Advancement Program,” said President Young.
NYFA in the Veteran’s Parade
Colonel Jack Jacobs is an Army Veteran who received the Nation’s highest military honor for his heroism in Vietnam, the Medal of Honor. Colonel Jacobs, a media personality who can be seen regularly on MSNBC and NBC, and often on shows including Morning Joe, Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert and Rachel Maddow, is one of only 73 living Medal of Honor recipients.
Colonel Jack Jacobs at NYFA
Colonel Jacobs interacts with NYFA’s veteran students on a regular basis providing them with encouragement, advice, and opportunities while they are enrolled at NYFA, and also when they return to the school for the many activities that the NYFA Division of Veteran Services arranges for veteran students and alums. While Colonel Jacobs may best be known by the public for his television work, his greatest passion is supporting the military community by serving on the board of numerous veteran non-profit organizations, and speaking at many veteran events. Recently Colonel Jacob’s gave the keynote at the 21st annual Military Ball, attended by over 700 military leaders, which was hosted by the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation. In his speech, Colonel Jacobs noted, “There’s nothing like military service that gives young people authority and responsibility at an early age.” He continued,” People who serve time in a uniform can do anything… offering a job to veterans is not charity. These are ‘the’ best people.” The New York Film Academy Salutes the service of all US military Veterans This Veterans Day.
Guest Instructor, retired NY Police captain and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Joe Lisi takes questions from participants after a day of filming.
In the spirit of the Holiday Season, the New York Film Academy believes giving back to those who served and continue to serve our country in the military is of great importance. That is why NYFA founder, Jerry Sherlock, himself a veteran, was delighted that so many members of our nation’s armed forces have taken the opportunity to study and develop their passion in the visual and performing arts at NYFA’s campuses in New York City, Los Angeles, and South Beach, Florida.
To further the College’s commitment to supporting our nation’s servicemembers on a broader scale, NYFA and the NYFA Office of Veterans Services developed a new program offering multiple free 1-day Master Classes—taught by media and entertainment industry luminaries—to veterans and active duty military members. This ongoing program will take place at all three NYFA domestic campuses.
A participant receives instruction on the Canon 5D camera system from one of NYFA’s classroom instructors.
On December 12th, 2015, veterans and active duty military members from the Tristate area attended an exclusive 1-day Acting & Filmmaking workshop at the New York Film Academy’s beautiful campus in downtown Manhattan. In addition to the intensive hands-on master classes, the invited guests also had the privilege of an intimate sit-down lunch with the Chair of the Veterans Advancement Program, Medal of Honor recipient and NBC/MSNBC on-air personality, Colonel Jack Jacobs. As a finale for the day of instruction and filming, the students met with the renowned film and television actor—and U.S. Marine veteran— Joe Lisi for a critique of their films and a discussion about the industry and career paths.
The ambitious goal of teaching participants the basics: framing the “shot,” rehearsing lines, directing actors, and filming—all in one day—was successfully implemented by NYFA faculty, Blanche Baker (Acting), Jonathan Whittaker (Filmmaking) and Bart Mastronardi (Cinematography) who each relied on the proven method of “hands-on,” learning by doing.
Masterclass guests pose with Medal of Honor Recipient and NYFA Veteran Advancement Program Chair, Colonel Jack Jacobs.
Since 1992, the New York Film Academy, an accredited and military friendly school, has been offering the world’s most hands-on, intensive programs in Filmmaking, Acting, Game Design, 3D Animation, Screenwriting, and many more. Our faculty is comprised of industry professionals, many of which are still active creatively in their chosen fields! For assistance beginning your education in the visual and performing arts, please visit www.NYFA.edu or contact our Veterans Admission Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.