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  • NYFA Summer Camp Students Enjoy Special Screening of “Top Gun”

    _A4A1610On Saturday, July 1, teens and tweens participating in the New York Film Academy Summer Camp in Los Angeles took a break from the hard work of filmmaking to see a summer blockbuster classic. “Top Gun” was screening in the field at the Autry Museum.  

    Usually, the students are hard at work developing their film projects. Most days, they are learning the difference between camera lens sizes, rehearsing a new acting technique, experimenting with the latest 3D technology, revising a script or shooting on a professional backlot. On this night, however, their hard work was rewarded with a special screening.

     

    _A4A1611This screening was unique because it was surrounded by some of the top food trucks in Los Angeles. For many of the students, this was the first time they had seen a movie under the stars. The combination of live music and multicultural food trucks made the night an event.

    The head of Summer Camps, Ale Salinas said, “This is a unique and fun experience.
    We’re doing this for the students to bond and watch fun movies in a Hollywood way.”_A4A1582

    The New York Film Academy is proud of the great strides out Summer Camp students are making and hope their night off was a fun one.  

     

  • Spring 2017 Highlights from NYFA Los Angeles’ Acting for Film Department

    It’s been a busy semester at for the Acting for Film Department at the New York Film Academy Los Angeles. In addition to our fabulous curriculum, we also hosted industry guests speakers, produced student directed plays, a 10-minute play festival, and presented our second successful alumni industry showcase.


    Industry Guest Speakers

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    Next up was veteran Casting Director Tineka Becker, former Manager of Feature Casting at Paramount Pictures. She told tales from the trenches of working with Tom Ford and Robert Zemekis, and on such projects as “Twilight: New Moon” and “X-Men: Apocalypse.”

    Finally, Image Consultant and Branding Specialist Tom Burke was a huge hit with students as he helped them recognize what type they are most likely to be hired to play, and how to best promote themselves in a crowded market.

    The upcoming guest list includes managers, agents and an expert on creating internet content (her music videos have gone viral with millions of views). Stay tuned!


    Student Directed Plays

    student directed plays

    It was an exciting semester of student directed plays. The students were ambitious with their self-generated projects. The plays included the dark drama, “Mujeres De Arena,” by Humberto Robles (directed by Guillermo Orozoo). This courageous play explores sex trafficking and the exploitation of women.

    “All this Intimacy,” by Rajiv Jospeh (directed be Roberto Jadue) explores the protagonist’s inability to have intimate relationships with various women, ultimately causing him isolation and despair.

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    The very complex play “Arcadia,” by Tom Stoppard (directed Daniel Pareja) is a play concerning the relationship between past and present, chaos and order, certainty and uncertainty.

    “A Wrinkle in Time,” by Madeleine L’Engle (directed by Timothy Herrera), is a science fantasy about time travel, finding home, and ultimately that one cannot live without love.

    Congratulations to all the students involved this semester!


    Alumni Industry Showcase

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    After an exciting round of auditions, 15 alumni students were selected to participate in our second industry showcase directed by Associate Chair Anne Moore. The actors were showcased in both film and live performance. The turnout was terrific, and many of our actors had opportunities to meet with top agents and managers, as well as casting directors from ABC, NBC, CBS, Warner Brothers, and Sony Pictures.

    Our alumni chosen this round were Jordan Knapp, Gonzalo Martin, Jolie Chi, Christopher Akens, Martta Rebekka, Reinaldo Garcia, Demyra Ravyne Payne, John R. Twohy, Victoria Schneider, Christopher Allyn Rybka, Nathan Rosado, Brieyonna Monet, Aditya Joshi, Camila Mejia Duque, and Matt JJ Miller.


    The Graveyard Plays

    Screenshot 2017-06-22 07.59.08

    Our second playwriting festival was a huge success. The idea for the 10-minute festival originated in David Robinette’s Playwriting Studio Class. He saw it as a great opportunity for our actors to develop their voices as writers. This semester’s location was set in a graveyard. Given the opportunity they had to choose directors, cast the play, and get the plays on their feet for a live performance.

    The playwrights chosen were Sam LaFrance, Miranda Guzman, Zane Hudson, and Luis Alfredo Gonzalez. The event was stage managed by our wonderful student Simmie Sangian, Morgan Aiken, and set design was done by Daniela Gerdes.

    May 2017 Graduation

    Screenshot 2017-06-22 08.04.05

    nyfa graduation

    It was a beautiful day at Harmony Gold. Lynda Goodfriend gave a touching farewell to our students. Joshua Bitton, our guest speaker, brought lots of laughter and great industry advice to our spring graduates. We want to wish our students great success in their future endeavors. All that hard work paid off. Congratulations, Class of May 2017!

    June 22, 2017 • Acting, Community Highlights • Views: 2236

  • NYFA BFA & MFA Photography Student Showcase at Bergamot Station

    The Los Angeles campus held an exciting showcase of the New York Film Academy’s top BFA and MFA graduating photography student’s work entitled Tracing Nuance. Held at the historic Bergamot Station in Santa Monica from May 27th to June 7th the exhibition highlighted the range of talent emerging from NYFA’s student body.

    photography nyfa

    MFA graduate Alejandro Ibarra’s, “Piece by Piece,” challenges the terms “traditional” and “non-traditional” families and addresses the irrelevancy of sexual orientation as it pertains to what constitutes a family. His work explores the themes of equality, sexuality, family and identity.

    This is Ibarra’s first gallery showcase. He said of the experience, “Exhibiting in a gallery is a new experience for me, and it’s mind-blowing to see how different the work feels as a proper object hanging on a wall; it becomes more real somehow and elevates the piece. Seeing people react to your work as they make their way through the gallery is slightly nerve-racking because you keep wondering what they’re thinking and if the message of the work is being conveyed.”

    nyfa photography

    Though his nerves may have been on edge the experience has been eye-opening, “It’s also incredibly inspiring to be in a group exhibition because you can find relationships between your work and another artist’s work, while also noticing the uniqueness in the artist’s voices.”

    MengMeng Lu, BFA Photography, is also showcasing for the first time. Her series of photographs explores visual dichotomy. She said of her work, “My project explores the connection between external appearance and internal sense of self… searching for a common ground among a diverse group of people. Each photograph proves that it is impossible to replicate perfectly. We are each our unique selves.”

    MFA Silvia Catalina Quintero Torres was also moved by seeing her art hang at the Bergamot. “Having this piece shown in a gallery means more than I can put into words,” she said. “It shows me, and others, that work that makes a statement against the status quo is not only relevant but also interesting. It shows that the boundaries of the art world are still yet to be determined and that we all have a space in that world.”

    nyfa photography graduation

    Torres selection entitled, “Tras los Muros,” is a collaborative piece that explores the concepts of shared authorship, social commentary and a critique towards the prison institution; by allowing people who have been in prison to photograph their realities after being released.

    There are many more outstanding artists being featured. The exhibit closes today (June 7) so don’t delay in getting to Santa Monica to see all of our talented graduates.

    Featured Artists:

    MFA

    Alejandro Ibarra

    Silvia Catalina Quintero Torres

    Seham Sultan

    Sara Alsahaly

    Ebtehal Akram Farhat

    Chun Hsun Huang

    BFA

    Wai Yan Lau

    Edward Vincent Rubia

    Kivansh Choksi

    MengMeng Lu

    June 7, 2017 • Photography, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1465

  • NYFA LA Graduation at Harmony Gold Preview House

    Over the long weekend, the Los Angeles campus of the New York Film Academy saw two hundred students turn into graduates as they crossed the stage of the Harmony Gold Preview House to collect their degrees.

    Three separate ceremonies were held to accommodate the large student body and their families. Mike Seville, Anne Moore, and Rich Thorne each presented an Address to the Graduates sending messages of pride and hope one last time to their students.

    nyfa la graduation

    World-renowned talent came to NYFA to give the commencement speech to the graduates. The woman responsible for the “Murder House” finale of “American Horror Story,” Jessica Sharzer, gave one of the speeches. Sharzer won a Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Screenplay for the episode entitled “Afterbirth.” Sharzer, a former NYFA student, spoke highly of her time with NYFA where she also taught at its Princeton, New York, and Paris locations. She encouraged students to have a value system in place. Know what’s working and what stakes are worth risking.

    Joshua Bitton gave the first commencement speech of the day. A common thread throughout his speech was having the confidence to pursue one’s dream. Bitton is perhaps best known for his role as Sgt. J.P. Morgan in “The Pacific” on HBO, but many outside of the industry might be surprised to learn Bitton is also a sought after acting coach.

    nyfa la graduates

    Bitton ended his speech by saying, “An MFA program is tough. I’ve been there. But it’s also an artist’s dream. You wake up and every day you create. You focus on furthering your expression. Out there it’s a business. You must learn how to play that game or get a team around you that can do it for you. But always remember what drew you to this — the desire to express yourself and create. It is brave and it is beautiful. It is you and you are enough.”

    The final Commencement Speaker was Martha Coolidge. The pioneering director of “Valley Girl” and “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge” shared her pioneering experience of breaking into the industry stating, “Although there was no working female directors in Hollywood or anywhere I could name in this country. I did have women in my classes and the world was changing. All of us filmmakers were very excited about that and felt it would be very quick. We’re still talking about what it’s like to be a woman director. So it wasn’t quite as quick as we’d hoped.”

    nyfa la graduation

    The speed was slow but Coolidge was not content to conquer just the silver screen. She’s been dominating the television screen, as well as having directed stand out episodes of “Angie Tribeca,” “The Night Shift,” “Madam Secretary,” and “Sex and the City.” She advised students to strengthen their relationships, never be afraid to ask questions, and embrace competition. “You can’t just sit and wait. You have to be a self-starter or it will never happen.”

    The New York Film Academy would like to congratulate all the graduates who crossed the stage over the weekend. As you enter the phase of your professional career we hope you come back to the place where it all began and that you share your knowledge with the next generation. Good luck in all your future endeavors.

    Graduating Class of 2017

    MFA in Acting

    Areg Antonyan, Youn Hee Cho, Claire Xuewei Cui, Roberto Jadue, Zijing Ke, Yulia Konashevich, Kensiwe Mathebula, Paul McKenna Jr, Daniella Mendoza, Jonathan Neal, Anastasiya Serada, Alina Smolyar, Yifan Xu, Zheyu Zhang, Zandi Zim

    BFA in Acting

    Maria Fernandez Arras Salvoch, Christina Barron, Kiara Beltran, Kassie Bey, AnnaLuisa Capasa, Calvin Ripley Chelberg, Tiffany Alexis Clare, Daniel Colt, Kevin Dary, Chiara Sofia Ferarro Brenner, Atli Fjalarsson, Ximena García Gonzalez, Miranda Guzman, Kira Hagi, Alessandra Hajaj, Alston Huff, Pilar Irigoyen, Dominique Jeswal, Finoa Ketter, Alvin Lee, Kylar Miranda, Stefanie Morosini, Ella Mun-Gavin, Jonas Olsen, Masato Di Santo, Stephanie Quintero, Micaela Reis, Juan Felipe Restrepo Salamanca, Eric Ronn, Jose Francisco Saldaña, Bianca Schrader, Josephine Marie Siwko, Dulce Sosa, Jahnessa Vasquez, Justin Michael Vasquez, Victoria Watlington, Tyler Williams, Casey Wohlgemuth, Jazell Young, Damir Zharkimbekov,

    AFA in Acting

    Daniel Annerl, Mack Bates, Kate Bolshakova, Corinna Marianna Camero Gonzalez, Selma Cisneros, Camila Echeverri Duarte, Nicole Fahel, Kevin Flores, María José García, Lika Idrisova, Newton Benjamin Kitaura, Joao Pedro Lopes Paneguini, Damon McKinnis, Emily Morrison, Kyle Promisson, Cam Rafidison, Victoria Ribeiro, Nuria Roca, Marie Senghore, Qusay Sultan, Shantell Woods, Alissa Ylitalo,

    MFA in Producing

    Amari Agee, Batool Hassan Alarfah, Mujahed Aljumaiaah, Larissa de Rosa Beck, Xiangrong Du, Thomas Freeman, Yizhen Hou, Ah Reum Jung, Jiagyue Lin, Junhao Ma, Zoé Pelloux, Nikita Sapronov, Yoselin Solorzano, Huidi Sun, Sventlanova Natalia, Zhikun Yu, Jihan Zhang, Ziyi Zhao.

    BFA in Producing

    Magnea Helgadóttir, Davin Tjen, Lok Kwan Woo

    MFA in Screenwriting

    David Castillo, Zenana Coombs, Lindsey Hall, Anna Kriegel, Antonina Kshanovska, Tiffany Lewis, Queenian Nneka Okagu, Rachna Sukuru,

    BFA in Screenwriting

    Jordan Chyzowski, Elias Kofoed-Hansen, Michael Levin, Zara Lewes, Daniela Mayorca, Anastasia Mezikaeva Cermeño, Michael Sweeney, Doug Terra

    AFA in Screenwriting

    Audrey Cornett, Sergio Cox, Eric Obaro, Adam Zagri

    MFA in Photography

    Sara Al Sahaly, Ebtehal Farhat, Chun-Hsun Huang, Alejandro Ibarra, Silvia Catalina Quintero Torres, Seham Sultan,

    BFA in Photography

    Kivansh Choksi, Edward Vincent Rubia, Mengmeng Lu

    MFA in Game Design

    Zhongpeng Shao

    BFA in Game Design

    Junliang Zhang

    MFA in Filmmaking (Feature Track)

    Yesser Laham, Rafael Nani Pires

    MFA in Filmmaking

    Musab Omair Alamri, Gabriela Bueno, Yue Chen, Valéria Costa, Yiheng Guo,

    Hu Yiduo, Hawar Karim, Kuan Wen Wei, Yu Liu, Chiyuan Ma, Joshua Tre Van, Tianze Wang, Xiao Zi Jun, Yao Yu, Yuehan Zhang, Dulat Zhumagazin

    MFA in Film and Media

    Joud Al-Rashid, Syed Ahsen Ali, Qiuyu Chen, Jasmine Chiswell, Carlos De Anda, Jiufang Ding, Victoria Gagieva, Ashley Hargrove, Fang He, Yanzhu Li, Christina Nijim, Farid Rasul, Sommer Saqr, Twisha Thakar, Yuheng Tong, Nataliya Tsvetkova, Cheng Yang, Yumeng Zhang

     BFA in Filmmaking

    Jaquece Jamaar Abraham, Edoardo Achilli, Issa Al-Zadjali, Khalid Alahmari, Fernando Amarante Ibarra, Bakyt Angsabay, Talha Bin Abdulrahman, Shu-Chieh Chu, Fady Elmankabady, Trokon Victor George, Rochel Goldsmith, Anatole Lardeyret, Brandon Lee, Matheus Ronn Leite, Xuejiao Liu, Emmanuel Maldonado, Bruno Paolucci, Chang Hyun Park, Dominic Polito, Aysha Radwan, Alejandro Seri, Tianzuo Zhang

    AFA in Filmmaking

    Peter Farquhar, Brooke Marshal Hagen

    June 2, 2017 • Community Highlights, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 753

  • NYFA’s Eric Conner Honored at Burbank Leadership Program

    New York Film Academy instructor and NYFA Podcast Host Eric Conner was recently honored as a graduate of the Burbank Leadership Program. The Mission of Leadership Burbank is to identify, educate, and motivate current and emerging leaders in Burbank to develop ideas and solutions that make Burbank a strong, sustainable and vibrant community.

    Conner recently stepped down as Dean to spend more time with his growing family. “This was something a little bit different. I wanted to serve the whole community not just a piece of it,” said Conner.

    eric conner

    As a citizen of Burbank, he began looking around and seeing an opportunities to connect more with the community. As VP of Education for the Temple Emanu El, he started building relationships with individual citizens. Conner MC’d the platinum anniversary, which included esteemed guests U.S. Representative Adam Shiff, Senator Anthony Portantino, Former Burbank Mayor Jess Talamantes, and Councilman Bob Frutos.

    Leadership Burbank was, in essence, a class. I’ve taken classes once a month since September. The class was two-dozen people representing the Police Department, Fire Department, Clergy, local school district, and Salvation Army. A veterinarian, it’s a cross section of Burbank.

    burbank leadership

    “I think what they’re trying to do is cultivate the next batch of civil leaders. For me, since I grew up in Delaware, which is so small, it didn’t take much to get involved in things. Delaware has one congressman and my mother was his treasurer. She helped raise money for a retirement board while still working a full-time job.” Community Outreach runs in Conner’s blood.

    Classes were held all over town including the Burbank airport and churches in order to introduce members to key organizations in Burbank. “There are so many elements of an airport that you don’t think about until you’re in there,” Conner stated. A few years ago there was an accident at the airport. A plane skidded off the runway and through a gate. “We studied what changes were made to make the airport safer. I really liked that class.”

    Part of his leadership included building a Wellness Center for Burrow’s High School. “The Wellness Center is a place where high school students with mental health issues, gender identity issues, anxiety, or depression can congregate and seek help. The space is conducive to helping mental health victims through art therapy.”

    The New York Film Academy donated Summer Camp experiences to both the Emanu El 75th Anniversary Celebration and the Gala to support the Wellness Center. Conner was touched at the gesture. “This is something I sought on my own. To have NYFA to two separate organizations was really cool. The school’s been doing a lot to connect to the community.”

    Conner intends to use the lessons learned from this course to one day apply for a cabinet seat or chair a board in the near future. “Burbank has its foot in Mayberry. There are two VCR repair shops within walking distance of my house and they advertise themselves that way. Burbank Leadership is trying to push and expand Burbank. These are things I’ve started to think about after I became a homeowner here.”

    May 31, 2017 • Faculty Highlights • Views: 1573

  • NYFA Students Showcase Films at LA Live Score Film Festival

    On Friday, May 12 five students from the New York Film Academy showcased their short films at the Los Angeles Live Score Film Festival. Held at the beautiful Barnsdall Gallery Theater in Hollywood, select filmmakers were paired with composers to create an original score. The scores were performed live as the films were projected on a screen above the players.

    la live score

    The following students represented the New York Film Academy:

    • Naimah Hawsah, “Bicycle”
    • Nani Li Yang, “The Most Beautiful Woman” 
    • Jessica Chung, “Sushi Man” 
    • Tiffany Paulsen, “The Swan”
    • Zesheng Gao, “Trio”

    The New York Film Academy is especially pleased and proud of this collaboration with the Festival, as Tiffany Paulsen’s “The Swan” won the Audience Award for Best Film, and Jessica Chung’s “Sushi Man” won the Audience Award for Best Score.

    live score nyfa

    Hawsah said, “I felt like I was inside the film,” while watching her movie “Bicycle.” Happy with the reception Hawsah said she plans to submit to many more festivals as she hopes her story of a shy young boy will influence children across the globe.

    Myriam Frankel, Head of Festival Department at the Los Angeles Campus, created the partnership with the Live Score Film Festival in hopes of elevating the film projects being created by students. NYFA offers degrees in nearly every aspect of filmmaking, but music composition has to be sought outside of the school. Frankel hopes that by building solid bridges with composing communities like fellow sponsors Helix Collective, Megatrax, and the Academy of Scoring Arts students will encourage students to seek original, high quality and customized music scores for their films, as well as facilitate opportunities for fruitful collaboration with composers.

    live score nyfa students

    One of the students in attendance, Furaha Bayibsa, described the experience as, “Incredible.” She was particularly taken with a cellist player who received a standing ovation when introduced at the end of the show. “She played with such passion. At one point it looked as if she was going to cry. It was wonderful.”

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank the composers: Jane Lin, Benjamin Hoff, Annie Rosevear, Bronson Buskett, and Wei-San Hsu for creating beautiful and lasting scores for our students. Congratulations to all of our participants on an amazing showcase.

  • Roadside Attractions’ Eric d’Arbeloff Screens “Manchester by the Sea” at NYFA LA

    Students packed the Riverside Theater in Los Angeles to see one of last year’s most critically acclaimed films, “Manchester by the Sea,” and hear from one of the men who made the film possible, Co-Founder of Roadside Attractions, Eric d’Arbeloff. Roadside Attractions has released over 130 films including “Winter’s Bone,” “Love & Friendship,” “Southside with You,” “Mr. Holmes,” “Love & Mercy,” “The Cove,” “Margin Call,” “Arbitrage,” “Hello My Name is Doris,” The September Issue,” and “Mud.” Tova Laiter, Director of the New York Film Academy’s Guest Speakers Series, hosted the evening alongside NYFA Instructor Shaun Conan.

    Eric d’Arbeloff

    D’Arbeloff started by giving a little history on his company. “We are a small company focused on theatrical releasing. We’re kind of like a specialty boutique production company. We don’t do VOD releases or direct to video. We have a relatively small slate compared to some of our competitors. Typically, an IFC or Sony Picture Classics will do thirty or forty films a year. We’re more like ten or twelve films a year. From the get go the company was always designed for partnerships.”

    It was that spirit of partnership that brought Roadside Attraction to Amazon. Their first film together, “Chi-Raq,” opened to great critical acclaim. Thinking bigger has always been part of their DNA.

    Exhibition community is still establishing the rules with the rise of streaming services. Netflix, for example, likes to release everything on the same day. If you can watch it in theaters you can watch it on the app. But d’Arbeloff and Roadside believe that films like “Manchester by the Sea” wouldn’t exist without a theatrical release and critical discussion. Neither model is better, d’Arbeloff stressed. But he’s in the camp of traditional releasing.

    He explained the different aspects of his job, which include curating the right types of film. Prints and advertising budgets are a difficult challenge. One of the largest challenges is picking the right release date. Holidays, elections, award season and other film release dates all play a key factor in when a movie comes out. D’Arbeloff described this process as “reading the tea leaves.”

    During the Q and A portion one student, Theresa, asked, “Is there any advice to young filmmakers who get their shorts into festivals and are rewarded? How do we manage to transition to features from shorts? Should we wait for feedback or start on a new project?”

    Eric d’Arbeloff at NYFA LA

    “The great thing is there are multiple avenues to make a name for yourself,” d’Arbeloff replied. “I think it certainly helps if you’re a writer or someone who likes to read and is good at developing material. There was a time when I was a producer. I would go to Sundance and keep tabs on all the filmmakers. When I first started you really had to decide, ‘are you going to be in television or film? Are you interested in business or are you interested in creative?’ That’s not the case anymore. I really want to encourage you guys to try everything. There are no boundaries.”

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Mr. d’Arbeloff for taking the time to speak with our students. Roadside’s latest picture by Whit Stillman (Metropolitan, Barcelona) entitled “Love & Friendship” starring Kate Beckinsale is currently available on Amazon.

    For more information on Roadside Attractions, you can click here.

    April 19, 2017 • Guest Speakers, Producing • Views: 2162

  • Acting for Film Alumnus Torsten Colijn Nominated for Best Ensemble Cast

    torstenThe 2017 FirstGlance Film Festival Los Angeles has announced its official nominations for the 17th edition, which will take place April 20-23.

    Torsten Colijn, an Acting for Film alumnus from the New York Film Academy Los Angeles, has been nominated as part of the ‘Best Ensemble Cast (short)’ for his role in his first US film production “Leben – Life,” a coming of age story about passion for life, exploration, and self acceptance.

    “I truly did not see this one coming,” said Colijn. “This is really awesome, and such a big compliment to the whole international cast. Claudia Claase, Anastasiya Kuptsevych, Musa Lutfi Trevathan, we all did our best to make this story come to life. With great co-directing by Chessa Mehlman and Ian Sumner.”

    The film addresses the struggles that LGBT youth face while showing strength, beauty, and happiness as two women find each other during their travels through Europe. Colijn plays a waiter, whom one of the women comes across on her journey.

    For Torsten it’s his first USA nomination, although he’s acted in over 60 European film, TV and theatre projects.

    “My training at NYFA taught me about the business of film in America, which is totally different than the Dutch film scene,” said Colijn.

    Earlier this year Torsten attended the Canada Independent Film Festival, in Montreal, on behalf of the producer of the Belgian drama film “Rose,” in which Torsten stars as the emphatic doctor, Zachee, who is determined to save the life of a young girl named Rose. With 12 awards worldwide and 43 nominations so far, “Rose” had its Canadian premiere in Montreal as the film had the honor of kicking of the film festival.

    Colijn is represented by Eric Stevens from Rainbow High Entertainment.

    April 18, 2017 • Acting, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2272

  • NYFA Teams up with SAG for “Make a Film a Day Workshop”

    The New York Film Academy Los Angeles campus recently teamed up with the Screen Actor’s Guild of America for a one day “Make a Film a Day Workshop” with the Actor’s Fund.

    actors fund at nyfa

    The Actors Fund is a 501© non-for-profit that supports young working actors. The idea is to socialize them beyond acting so they can be well-rounded young people outside of their profession.

    Within the Actor’s Fund is a program called Looking Ahead. The aim is to take students to colleges all over Los Angeles and New York City. When Mason Richards, Chair of Community Outreach, heard they were coming he decided to team up with Lynda Goodfriend, Chair of the Acting for Film Department and the Admissions Department, to do a little something extra for the students when they came to the New York Film Academy.

    actors fund at nyfa la

    The students spent the day learning crew roles, how to operate a camera, and how to work as a team. Acting for Film Instructor Christopher Cass led the class. Kelly Gardner, Dean of Students, spoke with the kids about finding your own personal message through storytelling. At the end of the day, we were able to view their work.

    Richards was excited about the engagement saying, “All of them were students who are working actors, but they were all interested in being on the crew. We have students who, after participating in the workshop, were signing up for school.”

    April 12, 2017 • Acting, Community Highlights • Views: 2207

  • NYFA Grad’s “Check Your Mate” Wins at the Los Angeles Short Film Festival

    eliza bolshWe are pleased to announce that New York Film Academy alumna Eliza Bolsh’s film “Check your Mate” won Best Short at the Los Angeles Short Awards Film Festival! Bolsh also won the nomination for “Best Female Director” at the European Film Festival, as well as awards and nominations at other film festivals. This summer, the film will screen at the Cannes Film Festival and at the Mediterranean Film Festival in Italy.

    We had the opportunity to speak with Eliza despite her busy festival schedule.

    Eliza, congrats on your awards! Can you please tell us about your film?

    “Check your Mate” is a drama with deep emotional overtones. It tells us about a successful emancipated elderly woman. She used to manage her life as she wanted. She built a career and her life, and now she likes to teach the others, even if they don’t ask about it. Since she plays chess well, she uses her ability to see how much a person is afraid. She especially likes to play with her sister’s grandson. She teaches him strategies in business and always wins. One day, his wedding is at stake. He needs to win whatever it takes. But to do it he must find her weak spot.

    I was inspired by the fact that in my childhood my grandfather played chess with me. He skillfully linked the moves with real life strategies. He provided me with great food for meditation. Now I understand that it was an invaluable experience. There is a simple, vital and profound human history at the heart of my film.

    What were some of the difficulties you faced while creating your film?

    The budget was small, only $15,000. We worked at night to observe the context of the mystery. At the heart of it were two very complicated chess games, created for this film by a professional. The actors had a difficult task to remember all the moves, and, in fact, they had not played before.

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

    Los Angeles is the meridian of world cinema, so I chose to study at the New York Film Academy. I have always been a creative person — that’s why I wanted to be realized on a world-wide basis.

    Are you currently working on anything else that you’d like to share?

    Recently I opened my production company, Boldman Bolsh Production, LLC in Los Angeles, which helps other people realize and implement their projects. We create music videos, commercials, films and all stages of the production, starting with the legal registration of documents, finishing with the construction of the set, castings, photography.

    I have far-reaching plans. I want to create global projects and develop my company in all directions. I’m also writing a script for a series. I plan to start shooting at the end of this year, or the beginning of next year. I hope audiences will love it.

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Eliza Bolsh for taking the time to speak with us.

    April 6, 2017 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1887