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  • MFA Student Composes Musical Score for Ron Howard’s “In the Heart of the Sea”

    On May 4th, students at the Los Angeles campus of the New York Film Academy enjoyed a screening and Q&A of the Ron Howard film In the Heart of the Sea. On hand to discuss the film was the composer of its musical score and current NYFA Filmmaking MFA student, Roque Baños.

    Originally from Spain, Roque is an acclaimed film composer whose credits include The Machinist, Sexy Beast, the 2013 remake of Evil Dead, Spike Lee’s Oldboy, and many award-winning films from Spain, including the 2004 hit El Crimen Ferpecto.

    Roque Baños

    Roque Baños

    Roque was trained as a jazz saxophonist and classical composer, and he brings an eclectic blend of styles to his film scores, making him a much sought after composer for filmmakers of all genres.

    In addition to mastering many musical genres, Roque doesn’t rely solely on traditional instruments for his scores. For In the Heart of the Sea, Roque created samples for his score by bringing the actual whaling ship from the film into the famed Abbey Road Studios in London and playing it like a percussion instrument.

    This willingness to work beyond the typical is what makes Roque’s scores so appealing and memorable. When the moderator, NYFA’s Dean of the College Sonny Calderon, asked Roque about his approach, Roque replied, “Music is all experimentation. You never know what could make your movie more powerful. The best thing to do is collaborate with someone, and experiment. Fifty percent of the movie is sound. You might have a good movie, but if you have the wrong music, your movie will be bad.”

    When Sonny asked how Roque was hired for the film, he explained that legendary composer Hans Zimmer (Batman v Superman, Interstellar, Sherlock Holmes, Pirates of the Caribbean) recommended him for the job. After meeting with Ron Howard, Roque was hired. This story illustrated the importance of having a network of collaborators who support you and your work.

    When a student asked what kind of language a director should use when working with a composer, Roque responded, “You have to say what you expect from the music, just as you do with any actor; it’s the same emotions.”

    Dean of the College, Sonny Calderon with Roque Baños

    NYFA’s Dean of the College Sonny Calderon with Roque Baños

    Finally, Roque explained that he wanted to earn an MFA in Filmmaking from New York Film Academy in order to better understand the entire filmmaking process. In this way, he said, his musical contributions to film can be even more effective.

    Roque’s latest work can be seen in the biblical epic Risen, starring Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love) and directed by Kevin Reynolds (Waterworld, The Count of Monte Cristo, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves).

    We thank Roque for sharing his wisdom with our students, and wish him continued great success.

    May 19, 2016 • Filmmaking, Guest Speakers, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3259

  • MFA Grad’s ‘Breakfast in Beirut’ to Screen at Festivals Worldwide

    beirut

    Coming off the success of her award-winning short film, 7 Hours, which screened at over 30 film festivals across the world, New York Film Academy MFA Filmmaking graduate Farah Fuad ALHashem has a new film currently making the rounds at festivals around the world.

    The documentary film, Breakfast in Beirut, recently screened at the Lebanese Film Festival in Sydney, Australia and is currently circulating around the Arab world with screenings coming up at the Alexandria International Film Festival for Mediterranean Countries 2015 (September 2nd-8th, 2015 in Egypt). In November, it will screen at the Cairo International Film Festival as well as screenings in Paris, Venice, Beirut and Dubai.

    The documentary film’s experimental direction examines Beirut as a chaotic city and its inhabitants’ relationship with it. But underneath this chaos, the heart of Beirut is waiting to be discovered.

    After writing 17 different versions of the script, with script supervisor Rachel Vine in Universal Studios, Hollywood, writer and filmmaker Farah ALHashem kept changing the storyline until her arrival in Beirut, where she ended up shooting a completely different version of the script.

    For more information about the film, you can visit the Facebook Page. Also, have a look at the trailer below!

    August 24, 2015 • Documentary Filmmaking, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3673

  • New York Film Academy Celebrates its Graduating Class on May 30th

    nyfa la graduation

    On Saturday, May 30th, New York Film Academy Los Angeles students from the Filmmaking, Acting, Producing, Screenwriting, Photography, Cinematography, Game Design, and 3D Animation and Visual Effects disciplines gathered to receive their degrees during two commencement ceremonies at the Harmony Gold Theater in Hollywood, California. Deans Louis Fantasia, Eric Conner, and Mike Civille as well as Department Chairs Lynda Goodfriend (Acting), Tony Schwartz (Producing), Nunzio DeFilippis (Screenwriting), Mark Sawicki (3D Animation and Visual Effects), Michelle Kirk (Photography) and Associate Chairs Mike Williamson (Cinematography), Adam Finer (Screenwriting), and Julia Raz (Game Design) addressed the students, congratulating them and giving personal fair wells and final advice for the future. School Director Dan Mackler and Dean Louis Fantasia presented diplomas.

    NYFA Los Angeles grad

    actor Manish Dayal

    Manish Dayal, film and television actor known for his recurring role as Raj Kher in the hit TV show 90210 and starring in a leading role in the film The Hundred Foot Journey, was the Commencement Speaker for the Acting and Screenwriting graduates. Mr. Dayal relayed the importance of having a positive perspective of “failing” in life as every success he’s experienced would not have been possible with the failures that led him there.

    graduation

    David A. Permut, television and movie producer known for creating Richard Pryor: Live in Concert and Dragnet, which was an early example of remaking a television series into a motion picture, was the Commencement Speaker for the Film, Producing, Cinematography, Photography, Game Design, and 3D Animation and Visual Effects Graduates. Mr. Permut stressed the importance of remaining positive and having patience in the film industry as the average time it takes an idea to debut on the screen from conception is seven years, and the time it’s taken for many of his projects to come to fruition has well exceeded that.

    Los Angeles grad

    After the commencement ceremonies, graduates and their family and friends celebrated at the Riot House Restaurant in West Hollywood’s Andaz Hotel on the Sunset Strip. Congratulations to all of NYFA’s 2015 degree program graduates!

    MFA in Filmmaking
    Paul Dees
    Simeon Flores
    Ryan Lopez
    Eduardo Michel Piza
    Eljazz Rakhimbekov
    Alexander Rodriguez
    Daniel Zagaevschi

    MA in Film & Media
    Ahmed Farouk Ibrahim Al Ayooti
    Abdullah Bin Kulaib
    Paulo Erico Claridades
    Ali Farshchi
    Krid Krongyuth
    Huimin Mao
    Andrei Mindru
    Varun Verma
    Manal Elias

    BFA in Filmmaking
    Tyrone Breaux
    Noe Miguel Obregon Escobar
    Joelle Kahn

    MFA in Acting
    Kankana Chakraborty
    David Dasilma
    Ricardo Diaz Guillen
    Omar-Farouq Ayorinde Edu
    Marthe Einseth
    David Epstein
    Yara Ferreyra
    Brandon James Gailliard
    Ivonne Garcia Asimbaya
    William Justice
    Jong Man Kim
    Ivona Kustudic
    Nenad Nikolovski
    Nozipho Jamilah Profit-Mclean
    Danielle RowLee
    Fernando Quintana Lasso
    Chris Ferera
    Emre Pala
    Dian Yu
    Zhen Wang

    BFA in Acting
    Andras Farago-Szabo
    Rebecca Hamilton
    Anthony Hubbard
    Anthony Kiser
    Kristoffer McMillan
    Eboni Osteen
    William Stavrakos
    Diana Valencia Medina

    AFA in Acting
    Susannah Almer
    Blake Altman
    Carlos Rodrigo Chavez
    Leonardo Diaz
    Karen Flores Kauffman
    Ryan Harrington
    Dylan Jackson
    Benjamin Jooste
    Michael Brandon Lamkins
    Hadas Sima Lev
    Kamali Martin
    Lucero Rodriguez
    Dulce Sosa
    Ellinor Taflin
    Alexis Taylor

    MFA in Producing
    Ismelda Cruz Mojica
    Marisela de Los Angeles Delgado Fuentes
    Carlos Eguiagaray
    Melinda Graves
    Ana Pou Valeriano
    Tripp Townsend III
    Meng An
    Luoting Jin
    Pengchen Li
    Phillip Simon
    Arthur Smith
    Anna Tveritina
    Xu Yang
    Shijie Zhang

    AFA in Producing
    Tyler Scheff
    Davin Tjen

    MFA in Screenwriting
    Ray Cadiz
    David Ephraim Cantor
    Yanwen Guo
    Christopher Hayes
    Dakota Klaes
    Xiaoxiu Li
    Thomas Saetveit Jensen
    Agosto Silveira
    Angelina Tala
    Pallavi Vaidya

    AFA in Screenwriting
    Quintin Allen Bell
    Tevin Knight
    Daria Leshchenko
    Jamaul Phillips

    MFA in Photography
    Sultan Al Rubayq
    Khulud Albati
    Mihaela Belichovska
    Walla Jarallah
    Yisen Li
    Pavlinka Popovska
    Elli Tashkandi
    Qian Zhe

    MFA in Cinematography
    Peng Ding
    Nelson Javier Flores
    Kevin Gillingham
    Leandro Moura

    MFA in Game Design
    Omar Ahmedien
    Ohoud Ali
    Kevin Newton
    Zheng Qin
    Chad Robinson
    I-Chieh Shen
    Yufei Zhao
    Ziyi Zou

    BFA in 3D Animation & Visual Effects
    Arjun Nair

  • MFA Filmmaking Grad Produces Feature ‘El Freeman’

    Since graduating from his MFA in Filmmaking at the New York Film Academy Los Angeles in 2012, Antonio Chavez Trejo has established himself as the Director of Production and Creative Services for a 360 production and social media marketing company based in LA, called Supersonix Media Inc. Having come from a film school background and being well versed in the many facets of filmmaking, Antonio served his hand as producer, co-director and camera-op on his feature film entitled, El Freeman. Antonio and his team are now handling distribution, marketing, and crowd funding.

    el freeman

    The film is about El, an immigrant from Kazakhstan who is trying to raise money to hire a lawyer to get his papers in order. He ends up meeting the wrong set of people, and works at a moving company with a few low life criminals who steal from the owners of the homes. During one of his jobs, El meets a man who will become his mentor and help him correct his path. In addition to his eventual brotherhood with his fellow criminals, there’s also a love story that pushes the interior motives of El and his connection with his values and his family.

    “Working on El Freeman taught me something very important,” said Trejo. “Im up for the challenge, and I have acquired the leadership I need to run any film I want to make.”

    el freemanTrejo had been assembling the team for about two years, which includes former classmates of his, director Yelhas Rakhimbekov, director of photography Erik Kjonaas, and 1st AD Carolina Sandoval. This tight group of filmmakers worked arduous schedules to complete production of the film.

    “We had days when we had to shoot 6, 7, 8 or 9 pages a day,” recalls Trejo. “With their eyes and ears and my directing keeping the vision of Yelhas, we shot something that looks as beautiful as the script is.”

    Trejo and his team finished principal photography, and are currently in post-production.

    Aside from this project, Trejo has been showcasing a few of his short films and has a feature script which he hopes will see a green light soon.

     

    May 26, 2015 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3413

  • MFA Filmmakers Bound for Greatness

    echoes of war

    As we all know, networking is an essential element in becoming a success in the entertainment business. But how do you begin networking when you have no connections or resources to begin with? That’s often where the New York Film Academy comes into play. Many of our students come from locations all around the world and end up establishing and maintaining lifelong relationships, both personally and professionally. Juan (JMR) Luna and Kane Senes met in their MFA Filmmaking program in 2008 and became very close friends. They began supporting each other’s writing and producing each other’s directorial works. Since graduating less than five years ago they have earned immense success. Their latest feature film, Echoes of War, starring Ethan Embry, William Forsythe, James Badge Dale and Maika Monroe will be released May 15, 2015. Their future is limitless.

    We had a chat with these two graduates about their film, and how they have successfully navigated the industry thus far.

    Can you tell me what Echoes of War is about?

    Kane: Echoes of War is about a soldier returning from the Civil War to his family in the remote Texan countryside. There he discovers that the neighbors have been stealing from his family while he’s been gone and so he takes matters in to his own hands, sparking another senseless and tragic war. It’s a film about loss, really.

    Where did the idea for Echoes of War come from?

    Kane: My thesis short film at NYFA in 2010 was called A Relative Stranger. Juan was the cinematographer and co-producer. Echoes of War began as a feature adaptation of that short and grew into something else. The short came from my own relationship to my family, coming home every now and then from living in the States and feeling like things have changed while I’ve been gone. Obviously coming home from war is a whole other matter that I have never experienced and would never pretend to understand, but we spoke to as many veterans as we could and tried to ground it in a universal, human story that we can all understand and relate to — no matter our experiences.

    juan luna

    When did you two first start collaborating, and ultimately begin writing the script for Echoes of War?

    Kane: Our directing instructor was Adam Nimoy, who taught me everything I know. Juan directed some of his own stuff but gravitated towards cinematography, so he began shooting most of my projects, starting with my Year One Film and then my thesis. From there, we worked on each other’s films throughout school.

    The script I began writing with my writing and producing partner John Chriss, who produced my thesis. He didn’t go to NYFA but he was basically an honorary student as he worked on a lot of our films. I graduated NYFA at the end of 2010, and we were writing by mid-2011. A year later the script was done and Juan came onboard to help produce.

    Juan: My relationship with Kane can’t just be contained on Echoes of War. We have been friends all throughout, and we support each other constantly. When I was directing my movie Kane was there helping out too — emotionally and giving me notes and helping out with whatever he could.

    Can you tell me a little bit of how this film came together? Raising funds, attaching talent, etc.

    Kane: Juan and I were going door to door in Australia, meeting with film investors I knew there and trying to raise funds. It didn’t go as well as we were hoping, and Juan brought in some producers he knew from LA who graduated from AFI the same year we graduated NYFA. They had a connection to Emily Schweber, a wonderful casting director. A few weeks later, I was flying back to LA and meeting with actors every day for six months. We were fortunate enough to put together a great cast, which Juan was able to use to land the rest of the money we needed, and we shot the movie.

    juan and kane

    JMR Luna and Kane Senes

    Would you say your training and education at NYFA was useful in terms of writing / directing / producing this film?

    Kane: 100%. People often ask whether or not to go to film school. I always say the same thing: for me, I needed to know I could do this and school gave me the confidence by encouraging me to make films and seeing that they worked. They started bad and got better and I could see the pieces coming together. I could see I was improving and that was a direct result of film school: being in that environment, with good teachers and a great class room of participating students.

    Juan: I always felt that film school is what you want to make out of it. I feel being in class with Kane defined our careers. We both realize very early on that we had similar objectives, and the same passion for movies. I believe we always had a healthy competition going on. And it has been very stimulating and we both challenged and encouraged each other. We are better filmmakers because we both grew together. I feel film school gave us that safe environment and working structure to achieve it.

    Are you currently working together on another project?

    Kane: We’re always throwing ideas around but nothing is in place just yet. Maybe Juan thinks I’m one of those crazy directors he doesn’t want to work with again. You should ask him!

    Juan: I am working on different things right now. The Runaround, which will star Emile Hirsch and J.K. Simmons (two former NYFA Guest Speakers) was announced yesterday on The Hollywood Reporter, and it’s my next movie.

    We are currently working on THE SAME film together, as we have to distribute it still. People think that after you shoot the movie, you are done with it. But we are still working daily on it. The moment we are both done, I would love to find something else we could do together. I feel we both have grown a lot in the last three years, and our friendship has changed and evolved. So this movie would surely be very different from the first one and hopefully much better!

     

    JMR and Kane will be hosting a special “How to Make it in Hollywood” lecture at the New York Film Academy Los Angeles on May 14, 2015.

  • NYFA Chinese Student Club Invites Filmmaking Alumna Jing Wen for Screening and Q&A

    jing wen screening

    New York Film Academy Chinese Student Club invited one of our MFA Filmmaking graduates, Jing Wen, a Chinese filmmaker who studied at the New York Film Academy Los Angeles to screen her short film A, B, C or D? followed by a Q&A last week.

    “I like to observe people’s facial expression, voice, and body language in order to understand them,” says Jing. “That’s one the most important skills a director needs to learn and practice because film ideas are inspired by observations from life and they are a reflection of reality.” As a writer and director with a record of success, Jing Wen is never satisfied with her own films and always believes that there is something she could do better.

    jing wen film

    Inspired by the story structure of Run Lola Run, Rushmore and the 2006 Chinese comedy Crazy Stone, Jing wrote the short film A, B, C or D? as her thesis project. Her final shooting script came out after workshops during her thesis committee meetings and was rewritten seven or eight times during her study at the Academy. “The production only took about two days and in fact we shot for one and a half days.” Jing described, “it saved us a lot on budget, but the biggest challenge we face, like many young filmmakers doing student films, is that we lost one of the main cast a few days before the principle of photography started.” It helped that three quarters of the crew working on her short film were friends who she met on classmates’ sets and were doing her a favor. She suggested that our current students at New York Film Academy begin coming up with ideas no later than March if they want to start shooting between May and July. “It’ll give you enough time to absorb others’ opinions and achieve a more mature storytelling,” she said.

    Jing not only shared her production experience but also gave important lessons she learned along the way. “It is extremely difficult for an Asian director to climb up the ladder and direct a major hit feature in Hollywood. Your experience and networking are equally important whether you want to stay in Hollywood or go back to China,” she says. In addition to filmmaking, Jing has a strong background working in the Television Industry in China. She started interning at major Chinese TV station at a young age and participated in productions of hit variety shows and games shows when she was only 19 years old. Her advice to those seeking a career in the industry was to build a relationship with people. “The most important lesson I learned is that you can’t work alone as an individual but need a team that supports one another no matter what you do or where you are,” Jing explained. “Teamwork in this particular industry together with the network you built is a weapon that will get you far.”

    Wen Jing

    Jing Wen has been selected to direct a forthcoming feature comedy The Disappeared Fish later this year. The film is scheduled to release theatrically after premiering at 2016 film festivals in China. Jing is currently working with Chinese financiers on a second feature written by her. She’s working in development with a production company and is considering a TV platform release. Our Chinese students at the New York Film Academy Los Angeles campus had a blast listening to Jing Wen’s unique experience and we sincerely thank Jing Wen for taking the time to openly share her insight with us. We also look forward to seeing the Chinese Student Club host more events in the future to benefit NYFA students.

    – Wanyin Bo

    April 22, 2015 • Filmmaking, Guest Speakers, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3747

  • MFA Filmmaking Grad Developing Female-Empowering ‘Daughters of Abdul-Rahman’

    daughters of abdul-rahman

    One of our MFA Filmmaking graduates, Zaid Abu Hamdan, a Jordanian filmmaker who studied at the New York Film Academy Los Angeles, is generating buzz with his newest project Daughter’s of Abdul-Rahman. The film, which raised more than $23,000 on indiegogo, is a dramatic comedy about four estranged and very different sisters.

    Following the mysterious disappearance of their father, the eldest sister, Zainab, must now reunite with her three sisters at the family home to find their patriarch. Only by coming together will they be able to locate their missing father, and, in the process, overcome their differences and realize who they truly want to be. A drama with a unique, Jordanian sense of humor that is full of light heartwarming moments, Daughters of Abdul-Rahman is natural and organic. Yet, the screenplay tackles serious issues and taboos in a poetic, dark, but still comedic style.

    The four female leads of Daughters of Abdul-Rahman loosely represent the wide spectrum of women in Amman while their old traditional father represents the patriarchal structure in Jordan. Given the endless list of differences between them and their divergent social lives, the four sisters do not choose to embark on a journey together to find their missing father, but they must. The sisters’ journey creates a whirlwind of fear, tears, new discoveries, and laughter. Through difficult times, the daughters find their inner voices, not only as individuals, but also as a union of women—sisters.

    “I am a strong believer in the voice of women, the strength of women, the freedom of women, and the much-needed intellectual liberty of women and men in the region,” states Abu Hamdan. “If I wish for something, it would be that this film contributes to a larger movement for women’s liberation in my own country, or even in the Middle East. And when that happens, I will be there, with my mother.”

    Abu Hamdan has proven to be a very prolific and successful filmmaker since leaving the Academy. The Jordanian filmmaker has directed a number of short films including Bahiya and Mahmoud, which won the Best of Festival Award at the 2011 Palm Springs International Film Festival and Shortfest, and was shortlisted for an Academy Award in 2012.

    You can view his award-winning film below.

    If you’re interested in donating to Daughter’s of Abdul-Rahman, click here.

    April 15, 2015 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2878

  • MFA Filmmakers Collaborate to Develop Klaus for PS4 and PS VITA

    klaus

    In addition to film and television, games have become one of the most prominent platforms for artists and writers to tell their story. We’ve seen films adapted into games and games adapted into films. Either way, the multi-billion dollar gaming business continues to grow and allow filmmakers another avenue to reach their audience.

    We recently heard from MFA Filmmaking students, Victor Velasco, Aleksandar Cuk and Kshitij Bal, who are currently all studying at New York Film Academy Los Angeles. The team is in the process of developing a 2D puzzle based platformer for Playstation 4 and PSvita. The game, Klaus, which was the brainchild of game designer and creative director Victor Velasco, aims to provide an experience that is narratively innovative and extremely self aware. Klaus is an office worker who wakes in his basement with no recollection of who or where he is. Almost reminds us of the classic Chris Nolan film Memento.

    klaus

    His only clue is the word Klaus tattooed on his arm — forcing him to find his way out of the mechanical and constructivist world that he finds himself imprisoned in. It his search for these answers of where and who that lead him to the larger question, Why.

    During the course of the journey, Klaus encounters a second playable character – K1, a friendly brute who has been damaged by his prolonged imprisonment. Together the two embark on an existentially definitive journey that explores the idea of the 4th wall and a self awareness of the player playing the game. Will Klaus discover his truth? Will he find a way out? These are questions that are at the core of the narrative that the game presents.

    In terms of gameplay, Klaus is an organic and reflexive 2D platformer, with 2 playable characters, Boss fights and interactive environments. The focus of the gameplay will be on tight controls, environmental puzzles, exploration and a complex yet accessible interaction of the player with not only the characters, but also movement and rotation of objects, jump pads, platforms etc. The game is best designed for the PS4 and uses the touch pad as an integral part of the gameplay.

    “It is an extremely exciting game that allows us to bring our passions and our talents together to collaborate to create a cohesive, creative yet marketable product,” says Bal. “This is a project that is extremely close to our heart.”

    Klaus was awarded the 2012 Square Enix Excellence Prize and was recently showcased at the PS Dev Summit 2014 where it received a lot of welcome attention for its unique approach and narrative techniques. It is also the first game to be developed out of Venezuela for the PS4 and PSVita platforms and has received positive media reception from Media outlets within the country. However, it is targeted to audiences worldwide, as it has a universal feel and story.

    Bal and Klaus have already been featured on the PlayStation blog, as well as HardcoreGamer, GeekBinge, and other gaming publications.

    Klaus is set for release on the Sony Playstation 4 and Playstation Vita platforms that is releasing in August – September 2015. For more information, visit www.klausgame.com.

    April 14, 2015 • Filmmaking, Game Design, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3747

  • NYFA Filmmakers Making ‘Waves’ in the Philippines

    waves

    It’s no secret that networking is one of the most essential parts of becoming a successful filmmaker. At the New York Film Academy, we encourage students to find like-minded individuals who want to collaborate and are truly passionate about their craft. After all, you can’t create a film entirely by yourself. It’s a team effort.

    Recently, a team of NYFA students put their efforts together and filmed the feature film Waves. The film was written by Scott Acornley, directed by Don Frasco, edited by Adrian Morales Ramos, and produced by Anna Skrypka and Don Frasco, all of whom graduated from NYFA.

    “NYFA’s intensive hands-on approach worked well for me,” says producer and MFA Filmmaking alumna Anna Skrypka. “We were pushed to wear so many hats that we had no choice but to learn fast and figure our way out.”

    waves still

    The film, which will be Waverly Pictures first feature film, is about intimate friendship, love and heartbreak, revolving around two old friends who test their boundaries on a secluded island in the Philippines.

    Waves is mainly about a man in his later 20s, drowning in his own life, in his own indecision, in his own lack of focus,” says screenwriter and MFA Filmmaking alumnus Scott Graham. “The ocean is a great metaphor for the human subconscious, so I always thought that the main character should be consumed by it, overwhelmed by it. But with the appearance of the whale shark, he kind of starts finding his way. There is beautiful potential inside all of our minds, and sometimes we need to drown and struggle a little bit to find that potential.”

    Waves is now available on Vimeo on Demand, and will be theatrically released this June in the Philippines by the Distribution Company Viva. The team is also in the process of getting US and worldwide distribution.

    waverly pictures

    Frasco and Skrypka are currently working on a number of other projects, including a feature that they intend to shoot early 2016. Through the film, Frasco hopes to explore Cebu youth culture from the perspective of two fresh medical representatives tasked to introduce family planning products to rural towns.

    “I hope to make films that have a sincere impact on society and its culture,” says director and cinematographer Don Frasco. “I believe that principles can be influenced and shaped through cinema in ways that ignite passion and a resilient interest in contributing to the world.”

    There will be a screening and Q&A with the filmmakers at NYFA Los Angeles on March 27th.

    Have a look at the trailer below, where you’ll also have the option of purchasing the film to view in its entirety.

     

    March 17, 2015 • Filmmaking, Producing, Screenwriting, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4994

  • MFA Filmmaking Grad Wins Best Short at Golden Pomegranate

    Jing Wen

    Jing Wen on set of “A, B,C or D?”

    Congratulations to the MFA Filmmaking graduate Jing Wen, whose film A, B, C, or D? won Best Short Film and Best Cinematographer (Xiaolong Liu) at the Golden Pomegranate International Film Festival in China. The film will also screen at Cannes in the upcoming Cannes Short Film Corner, where many of our students will have the chance to showcase their work to the public for the very first time.

    As most of know or remember, A, B, C, and D are the choices in a multiple choice test. This is precisely where Wen came up with the title for her film.

    “When we were young, there was always someone who could give you the right answer — maybe the teacher, maybe our parents,” recalls Wen. “When we grow up, A, B, C and D seem like the different choices in our life. What should we choose at every corner, or which one could lead us to success? Only you can discover the answer.”

    In Wen’s film, her main character, Gary, is a 45 year-old man — an age at which most people lose their energy to pursue lifelong dreams due to the pressures of family, work, money and responsibility. The conflict occurs after Gary is notified by his department manager that he will need to the blame for a particular mistake. This leads Gary with a very difficult decision: should he tell his boss the truth or keep silent?

    You can find out his decision at Wen’s next screening of A, B, C, or D? this May at the Cannes Short Film Corner.

    Wen is currently set to direct The Disappeared Fish, a forthcoming feature comedy film from Bai Ge Zhuang Film & Media Company.

     

    March 11, 2015 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3515