After graduation, it’s straight to set for many alumni; but for others, it means a new era of innovation injected into the film industry by bringing in new, incredible stories to new audiences. MFA Producing alum Janek Ambros decided to do just that by starting up his own international production company, Assembly Line Entertainment, which has already had films appear in festivals all over the world including Sundance and Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
“When I first arrived in Los Angeles, I took a production company course at NYFA,” recalled Ambros. “It was in that class where I created the company logo, and the type of company I’d want (heavily inspired by American Zoetrope). Seven years later, we’re on a very similar path that was outlined in class – starting with shorts and moving on to high-end festivals like Sundance and TIFF, with more development focused on projects we make from the ground up. It’s testament to NYFA’s goal of learning by doing.”
Janek Ambros (Right) at TIFF for Assembly Line Pictures’ ‘Human Capital’
Assembly Line Entertainment already boasts an impressive filmography, including 10,000 Saints (Ethan Hawke, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld), Human Capital (Maya Hawke, Marisa Tomei, Liev Schreiber, Alex Wolff), and documentary Imminent Threat (Dir. Janek Ambros), among others.
“We’re excited to be working on a new large slate of movies going into 2021 that we’re producing with our new Head of Production, Kahlilah King,” shared Ambros. “From traditional narratives to social impact docu-series, we [Assembly Line Entertainment] have many projects that are adapting to the ever-changing landscape of distribution.”
Alex Wolff (Left) and Maya Hawke (Right) in ‘Human Capital’ (Photo Courtesy of Assembly Line Entertainment)
Some of those upcoming projects slated for release includeMondo Hollywoodland (Dir. Janek Ambros), animated political satire First New Nation, an untitled birthing docu-series (Written by Khaliah King), and Sixties, a digital campaign on social media that features 60-second films from countries all over the world to highlight new developing directors.
Another upcoming project is feature film Hey, Johnny, directed by Ambros and produced by fellow NYFA Producing alum Robbie Leacock, who previously also produced Imminent Threat, serves as the executive producer the Sixties project, and is writing and producing upcoming mockumentary series The Flat Tyres for Assembly Line Entertainment.
Robbie Leacock (Left) on set of ‘The Flat Tyres’ (Photo Courtesy of Assembly Line Entertainment)
After graduating from NYFA, Leacock started at Potboiler Productions as a producer’s assistant before moving up to assistant producer. He later served as an associate producer on Netflix’s The Red Sea Diving Resort before returning to the U.S. to join producing partner Janek Ambros at Assembly Line Entertainment. “We were always told that the relationships you build at film school are the ones that will last throughout your career, and this proved to be so true,” revealed Leacock. “We now have our first TV series in the works (The Flat Tyres), a satirical comedy about a gang of hijackers from the townships, for which we are currently shooting on location in Cape Town, South Africa.”
With a slate of upcoming projects and new opportunities for Ambros’ production company, 2021 is set to be the biggest year yet for Assembly Line Entertainment and the NYFA alumni, who are working to create character-driven projects for audiences that reflect modern society.
Assembly Line Pictures Founder Janek Ambros
New York Film Academy would like to congratulate NYFA Alumni Janek Ambros and Robbie Leacock on their upcoming projects with Assembly Line Entertainment and looks forward to hearing about new projects as they develop.
NYFA also encourages readers to check out Assembly Line Entertainment’s Instagram account, where their project Sixties will officially be launched. For a full list of the company’s productions, click here.
Assembly Line Entertainment Founder: Janek Ambros Producer: Robbie Leacock
New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking alum Issa Rae is set to star in the upcoming COVID-19 era comedy film Coastal Elites, slated to air on September 12, 2020 on HBO and HBO Max.
In 2020, Rae has already starred in The Lovebirds, The Photograph, and her own HBO show, Insecure, which was nominated for seven Primetime Emmy Awards. It was also recently announced that Rae will work with Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions on new film Sinkhole; a film about female identity and themes of perfection, which just Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions for
The Filmmaking alum’s latest project, Coastal Elites, is a satire film that follows the lives of five individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as they navigated their new reality. In addition to Rae, the star-studded cast includes Bette Midler, Dan Levy, Sarah Paulson, and Kaitlyn Dever.
NYFA alum Issa Rae as Callie Josephson in HBO’s ‘Coastal Elites’
In Coastal Elites, plays well-connected philanthropist Callie Josephson, who runs in the same circles as Ivanka Trump. When asked about her upcoming role, Rae explained that it took a lot of research to get into her role but the script was “just incredible to read and immediately resonated” with the NYFA alum.
The series is set to premiere on HBO and HBO Max on September 12, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
New York Film Academy looks forward to seeing talented alum Issa Rae in her upcoming role in Coastal Elites as well as hearing more about filmmaking alum’s upcoming project, Sinkhole.
New York Film Academy (NYFA) is thrilled to announce that Filmmaking alum Antonio Campos will release his upcoming film, The Devil All The Time, on Netflix this September.
Film poster for Antonio Campos’ upcoming film ‘The Devil All The Time’
The film, co-written and directed by Campos, boasts a star-studded cast including Robert Pattinson, Tom Holland, Riley Keough, Sebastian Stan, Jason Clarke, Bill Skarsgård, and many more. The film follows young Arvin Russell (Holland) and his family as they encounter a backwards preacher (Pattinson) and the other seemingly tainted cast of characters in this drama-thriller.
The initial trailer for the film was released in mid August and is already receiving a lot of buzz from excited Netflix subscribers and film critics across social media.
Campos, who studied filmmaking at NYFA in the late 90’s, is a fully fledged executive producer, director and writer. Previously, Campos has directed the critically acclaimed filmed Christine, indie film After School, many episodes of The Sinner, for which he is also an executive producer, and served as a producer for Martha Marcy May Marlene.
NYFA alum Antonio Campos
Following the release of The Devil All The Time, Campos has been announced to direct The First Omen, as part of The Omen horror franchise, though the project is still in development.
New York Film Academy would like to congratulate Filmmaking alum Antonio Campos on his upcoming film The Devil All The Time and encourages everyone to check out the film when it arrives on September 16, 2020 on Netflix.
New York Film Academy (NYFA) Acting for Film alum Anatolii Panchenko (Анатолий Панченко) has plenty to celebrate as his first major acting credit is in one of the biggest TV shows in France — Le Bureau des Légendes (a.k.a The Bureau).
Poster for season five of ‘The Bureau’
The political spy thriller television series, The Bureau , was created by Éric Rochant and produced by TOP– The Oligarchs Productions and Canal+. The series follows agents of the DGSE (General Directorate of External Security), France’s principal external security service. Panchenko appears in the latest season as Alexis Bakatine, a young, promising counterintelligence agent.
The New York Times named The Bureau as a NYT Recommendation, calling it “a stylish foreign espionage thriller” and “easy to binge.”The Times also hails the thrilling series as “one of the smartest and most authentic-feeling procedural espionage series anywhere in the world.”
Anatolii Panchenko as Alexis Bakatine in ‘The Bureau’
The first season received favorable reviews worldwide and won several awards. The sophomore season of the series also received much discussion as one of the best television seasons ever produced in France. The third and fourth seasons, respectively, aired in France beginning May 22, 2017 and October 22, 2018, and were also met with critical acclaim.
The first episode of the fifth season was originally slated to close Cannes Series 2020; being out of the competition itself. However, due to the public health crisis, the Festival de Cannes was pushed to October. The season went on to air in France on April 6, 2020, and is now available on Amazon Prime and Sundance Now.
Anatolii Panchenko (Middle) in ‘The Bureau’
Panchenko’s worldwide acting debut is in one of the most gripping seasons of the series yet. The NYFA alum also reveals that his character has an “interesting story arc and connection” with Malotru, the star of the show played by Mathieu Kassovitz (Amélie).
New York Film Academy encourages everyone to check out Anatolii Panchenko in the critically acclaimed series and would like to congratulate the NYFA alum for landing his first-ever acting credit; NYFA looks forward to seeing what is next for the international performer.
When Dylan Greenberg first came to New York Film Academy (NYFA), she was nine years old; one of the youngest students NYFA had ever enrolled at the school. In fact, due to NYFA’s program age restrictions, it was not common to have someone that young attend such an intensive program. However, Greenberg wowed NYFA early on with her film Ankh, which was inspired by director David Lynch, and the NYFA alum has never looked back since.
Greenberg has gone on to direct the films ReAgitator: Revenge of the Parody, Glamarus, Wakers, and Amityville: Vanishing Point. Her third film, Dark Prism, was covered internationally by VICE, Rolling Stone, and Flavorwire, among others. She has also been featured in PAPER Magazine and has directed music videos for James Chance and the Contortions, Mac Gollehon, Pastel Confession, and many others.
Greenberg’s next project is set to release this year and is described as a supernatural martial arts movie. The film, Spirit Riser, stars Amanda Flowers, Cherie Currie, Kansas and Parker Bowling, Lynn Lowry, Jesse Yungbei, Patti Harrison, and will be narrated by the Tarantino-favorite Michael Madsen (Kill Bill Vols 1& 2, Reservoir Dogs).
The New York Film Academy was able to get the scoop on Greenberg’s upcoming film and discuss the NYFA alum’s career as a director, actress, and a creative, who has a strong collaborative nature and a keen sense of originality woven into the fabric of any project she touches.
Photo Courtesy of Dylan Greenberg
New York Film Academy (NYFA):What made you want to come to NYFA? Have you carried any learnings with you into your career?
Dylan Greenberg (DG): I wanted to come to NYFA because at the time I was the only little kid in my neighborhood who seemed really interested in film, especially offbeat films. It was a way for me to find other kids with my interests. Most of the kids were older than me as I believe the classes went from ages 10-13, but it was the first time I was in a room with other children who shared my passions. At NYFA, I learned that realizing your vision is sometimes a fluid effort, and part of that is the understanding that what ends up on screen may not be exactly what you originally pictured. It was also the first time I walked through the process of writing, pre-production, shooting, post and a premiere.
NYFA: What have been some of your career highlights so far?
DG: One of my big career highlights was when the trailer for my third feature film Dark Prism was covered internationally by VICE, Rolling Stone, Flavorwire and others. I was 18 at the time and that was the first time I saw my work get relatively mainstream attention. Another highlight was seeing a music video I directed for Sam Huber, on the True Groove Records Label, air on national television in Finland, on the YLE network. Those were two big firsts for me and encouragement that I was going in the right direction.
Dylan Greenberg (Right) and Lloyd Kaufman (Left) on the set of ‘Shakespeare’s Shitstorm’ in Albania
NYFA: Can you tell us more about your collaborations with Troma Entertainment?
DG: I got my first job right out of high school working in the Troma offices. In fact, I was still in high school when I started working there. So, it was pretty great being 17 and 18 and having your first job in the field you wanted to be in. I was basically in charge of creating and editing the majority of their internet content while I was there, as well as special features for their Blu-rays. I’ve since become a freelance music video and commercial director, but continue to collaborate with Troma. Recently, I starred in their upcoming feature film Shakespeare’s Shitstorm, which is a super obscene, epic adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
Photo Courtesy of Dylan Greenberg
NYFA: Can you tell us more about your role as a full time music video and commercial director?
DG: A big reason why I’m able to work as a music video director full time is because of my third feature film Dark Prism. When it got all the press it did, it caught the attention of True Groove Records, who hired me to direct several music videos for them when for others that might have seemed like too much of a risk because the only music videos I had really done before were for my own music. As a result of my work with True Groove, who I still work with to this very day, I was able to get work with many other clients. I learned a lot of networking skills, as the truth is there are many artists in New York City that need a video that both looks one of a kind and is in their budget. So, once I had some more videos under my wing I could send it as examples of the kind of work I do.
I fill the niche for “weird but engaging” videos, as I’m known for very colorful, in your face visuals. However, I’m able to shoot in any style the shoot demands, and last year when I directed my first commercial to air on CBS, NY1 and News12, I was asked to take a more conventional approach. It was for a disco mega-concert, and because of the commercial, it sold out within a week or so! They actually didn’t have to air the commercial for as long as they thought they did because the tickets sold so fast. I was really proud of that, and again I have True Groove Records and Tomás Doncker to thank for that.
NYFA: In addition to your career as a director, you’re also in a band. Can you tell us more about that?
DG: I’m in a band called Theophobia, which I feel is very similar to a lot of my film projects. In fact, my band mate Matt Ellin was, and is, also a big part of my film projects and has created music for my feature films since they were a teenager. Initially, the band started when my solo song and self directed video “Mia” became an unexpected success and premiered in PAPER Magazine,so I decided to tour the song around New York and promote it at clubs and local television stations. I wanted to have a guitarist and a lot of my friends as backup dancers to make it very theatrical, and I asked my friend Matt to be my guitarist, since they were already such a close collaborator, and I always felt like they were a total whiz kid. At a certain point, we both realized we had such a mutual love for music like Sparks, the work of Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf, and we realized it would just be so much more fun to make it a collaborative effort where we contribute an equal amount of ideas, and shine the spotlight on each other. I feel like besides synthesizers and vocals, I also “play” the video, because video is a big aspect of our performance.
I program a lot of the synthesizer elements into video that plays behind us, and then we play along with that. Our performances and music are super theatrical and we act our shows out like an improvised play, we deliberately act like clowns and try to get a reaction out of the audience, we sometimes physically fight each other on stage and one time I brought a Christmas tree into the venue in the middle of the performance. It’s really cool to get to direct videos not just for my own music but for OUR music, because whenever I create anything I immediately have a visual image of what I want it to look like, so it’s so cool to get to bring that to life. Definitely one of my favorite parts of music is making music videos. I‘ve watched 80s music videos non stop since I was a kid and found Pop Up Video on TV, so music videos are really my whole life.
NYFA: Some directors choose to subvert a personal style or auteurist approach to directing, but that doesn’t seem to be your approach. What would you say makes something a “Dylan Greenberg” project?
DG: I would say, that in terms of my feature films, many consider them giant music videos. I have a lot of music from all different kinds of artists in my films, and almost always have at least one scene where someone actually sings a song within the film. Like my music videos, my projects are super colorful and in your face. I use a lot of fisheye lenses after falling in love with Hong Kong action cinema and Scott Shaw’s Zen filmmaking. I try to get really dominant with the colors red, blue and green and try to shoot in colorful locations with colorful people. My new film Spirit Riser has a lot of music, and musicians in it such as Dorian Electra, Cherrie Curie, the late Alan Merrill, and of course music from True Groove. That’s my seventh feature film, and will likely see a premiere in October. It’s so long I might have to split it into two movies, actually!
Photo Courtesy of Dylan Greenberg
NYFA: Can you tell us about some of your upcoming projects?
DG: Oh my goodness, so many! As I mentioned before, I have a feature film called Spirit Riser coming very soon starring Amanda Flowers, Cherie Currie, Kansas and Parker Bowling, Lynn Lowry, Jesse Yungbei, Patti Harrison, and it’s narrated by Michael Madsen! The only way to describe it is a supernatural martial arts horror fairytale. It’s got music, animation, live action, the Statue of Liberty coming to life and destroying New York, giant talking hands, and ghosts!
Furthermore, I have a short film called The Bathtub, which is actually the first short I’ve directed since I was a teenager that doesn’t also serve its primary purpose as a music video. It took me three years to make with Khloaris and I consider it as big of an achievement to me as one of my feature films.
We shot the entire project on green screen and we then built all of the sets as miniatures, keying the actors in frame by frame. It’s so cool, because for the first time ever I got to literally build a world from the ground up, out of paper and cardboard. The point wasn’t to make you believe the miniatures are full size or hyper realistic but rather to make you believe the actors really live inside these boxes, ride the train high above them, and interact with these surreal wacky environments. It’s truly an experience and it stars Bob Bert of Sonic Youth, who also contributes music to the film. We were supposed to premiere it in March at WFMU, but obviously that got delayed. It will be coming soon, though! New York Film Academy would like to thank Dylan Greenberg for taking the time to share more about her directorial style and passion for creation. NYFA encourages everyone to check out Greenberg’s upcoming project Spirit Riser, when it is released later this year.
At New York Film Academy (NYFA), we are excited to continue to offer our creative and performing arts workshops online so that everyone, from artists and industry professionals like Samantha Soule, can continue to hone their craft under the guidance of renowned instructors from anywhere in the world. Samantha Soule, who recently took an Online Film Directing Workshop and Online Cinematography with NYFA, already boasts an active acting career, with credits including Outer Banks, Godless, City on a Hill, and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, amongst many others.
A full time actress for many years, Soule holds numerous credits for TV and film across Netflix, Showtime, CBS, and many more. She has a number of projects in the works for the upcoming year which, unfortunately, are on hold due to the global pandemic.
“When COVID-19 shut down the projects I had in the works, it felt like a really good time to learn and evolve,” shares Soule. “So much of my life as a performer is being the clay for another’s vision, which is a job I love, but as I move forward in life I am interested in the ways I can expand: use other parts of my brain, create stories, create opportunities to collaborate in different ways, and create opportunities for others, and not just benefit from them myself.”
Samantha Soule as Charlotte Temple in Netflix’s ‘Godless’
During her online courses at NYFA, Soule shares that learning more outside of acting has been an eye-opening experience, allowing her to explore different avenues of the business like film directing and cinematography. “I learn best by doing, and this course has been an incredible kick in the butt to just get out there and start trying, learn from mistakes, fail, get up and try again.”
As Soule pursues more avenues for creating more opportunities in the future, she shows no signs of stopping in her acting career, having already gained recognition for many of her roles including the put-together high society woman, Charlotte Temple, on Netflix’s Godless, where Soule stars alongside Michelle Dockery, Jeff Daniels, Merritt Weaver, and Jack O’Connell in the streaming giant’s western mini-series.
Samantha Soule as Anna Carrera on Netflix breakout series ‘Outer Banks’
Soule also recently appeared in Netflix breakout series Outer Banks (also referred to as OBX), which was recently renewed for a second season that has yet to begin filming due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Soule plays Anna Carrera, the caring and concerned mother of main character Kiara (played by Madison Bailey). Soule praises the show for its themes of the trust, loyalty and love that you build with the family you are born into and the family you choose. As for whether we will see more of Soule’s character next season, Soule says: “I think there is some of that ferocity in Anna. She has her own history and has made some bold choices herself along the way, but I haven’t a clue where the story is going! We shall see!”
Samantha Soule (Right) in Showtime’s ‘City on a Hill’
Soule’s long standing career as an actor has brought her many roles both big and small, but she approaches them all with a student mindset with what she’s absorbed from her experiences along the way. “I have been both really lucky and active in my fight to work on a really diverse array of characters. I love leaping from one world to the next and I learn from each. Each character is a new vantage to view the world, so the wider the range of humans I get to understand the deeper the education. I think most of what I love is the extreme juxtaposition, it’s like using different muscles.”
New York Film Academy would like to thank actress and NYFA alum Samantha Soule for taking the time to speak to us on her experience as a constant student to her craft and also encourages everyone to check out Soule in AMC’s supernatural thriller Nos4a2, which premiered this summer, and her upcoming project with Godless creator Scott Frank called Queen’s Gambit.
New York Film Academy (NYFA) Screenwriting alum, Mickey Fonseca, has struck a deal that many producers dream of with his latest film Resgate (“Redemption” in English) being acquired by streaming giant Netflix. Fonseca, who wrote, directed, and produced the film, shot on location in his home country of Mozambique.
Fonseca was born in Mozambique and grew up with a love of film and acting. At the age of 12, he even remembers writing Steven Spielberg and expressing his interest in becoming an actor. “Amblin Entertainment replied a few months later telling me to get an agent. I didn’t know what an agent was, but I was ecstatic with the news.” Though his dreams of becoming an actor faded over the years, Fonseca continued to immerse himself in film, watching movies as often as he could.
NYFA alum and director of ‘Resgate’ Mickey Fonseca (Far right)
After moving to Cape Town, South Africa in his mid-twenties, Fonseca got a job as a runner for Monkey Films, where he continued to develop his love for telling stories. “I watched lots of films and read all the books I could get my hands on,” he remembers. Fonseca also gained more experience by working on film sets for big-budget films like Blood Diamond, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and Diana, starring Naomi Watts.
In 2006, Fonseca started his own production company (Mahla Filmes), and later decided to go to New York City to attend NYFA’s 8-Week Screenwriting program. “I decided I needed to go to NYFA to get better knowledge of the craft,” he shares. “I wanted to write the best script as I possibly could and, for this, I needed ‘one-on-one’ guidance from the best instructors.”
Still from ‘Resgate’ featuring Gil Alexandre (left) and Arlete Bombe (right)
After years in the business, Fonseca and his team have released their most challenging project to date, Resgate, which was produced by his company Mahla Filmes and a small crowdfunding campaign. “For over six years, we shot commercials, bought most of the equipment, saved money to pay cast/crew/locations, and we could finally make the film at all costs, with no interference,” he shares.
Resgate revolves around a man who, after four years in prison, returns to his girlfriend and child to learn about a dangerous debt taken by his late mother. “It’s the first Mozambican independent film and it did extremely well in the local cinemas (8 weeks), breaking all records,” says Fonseca. The film also went on to win two Africa Movie Academy Awards for ‘Best Production Design’ and ‘Best Screenplay,’ and was nominated in four additional categories including ‘Best Director’ (Mickey Fonseca).
Behind the scenes in Mozambique for ‘Resgate’ (Photo Courtesy of Mickey Fonseca)
With the film’s local success, Fonseca and his team knew they needed to get a distributor. “We pulled out all our contacts, hustled very hard and managed to get our film to the Netflix door,” he explains. “Fortunately for us, they liked it.” After Netflix acquired the film, Fonseca reveals that the agreement is more than just a business move, it is an important moment for African film. “Resgate is the first film from Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) Africa on Netflix and I am positive this will pave the way for other films to be screened on the platform and hopefully create Netflix co-productions too.” He continues, “Africa is a creative bomb waiting to explode. There’s so much creativity and talent.”
Still from Fonseca’s film ‘Resgate’
Fonseca shares he is now in the early stages of writing a thriller on Xenophobia with a focus on African unity and hope, and another script set in southern Mozambique. “I write my own films and what inspires me to write is my city, its people, and the day-to-day stories. My films are all about people l meet, hear about and read about, and the social instabilities that lead to life-changing decisions.”
New York Film Academy would like to congratulate NYFA alum Mickey Fonseca on his exciting news with Netflix and encourages everyone to check out Resgate when it becomes on the streaming platform.
Check out the Resgate film trailer below or click here.
With New York Film Academy (NYFA) beginning to expand its offerings and conducting specialized workshops online, actors like Online Acting for Film alum, Elnaaz Norouzi, can take classes to polish their craft from renowned industry professionals anywhere in the world. Elnaaz Norouzi, who recently studied in a 4-Week Acting for Film Workshop, also stars in the Netflix original series Sacred Games.
Norouzi was born in Tehran, Iran, and later moved to Germany, where she also learned English, German, and French in addition to her native language of Farsi. When she moved to India years later, Norouzi also learned Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi, allowing her to speak a grand total of seven languages.
NYFA alum Elnaaz Norouzi as Zoya in ‘Sacred
Just like learning languages opens the doors to understanding different cultures and behaviors, so does becoming an actor. “I always found it super fascinating to learn and to know what other people feel or what makes them do things the way they do them,” says Norouzi. “I feel it takes a lot for an actor to be able to put themselves in the shoes of another.”
In addition to acting, Norouzi has also been working as an international model for over ten years with brands like Dior, Lacoste, and Le Coq Sportif, to name a few, but it is acting that Norouzi is most passionate about.
When she began her acting career in India, Norouzi remembers taking a lot of classes in Mumbai, but it was always her dream to go to New York Film Academy. With Norouzi’s normally packed schedule winding down due to the global pandemic, she realized it was time to make that dream a reality and enrolled in NYFA’s Online Acting for Film Workshop. “I learned so much about what I’ve never done before with my scripts. My next script will be full of left-hand side notes.”
Photo Courtesy of Elnaaz Norouzi
While many remember their first experience in the film industry, Norouzi remembers several. Her first acting roles for films, Maan Jao Naa and Khido Khundi, were part of two separate film industries, the Pakistani (“Lollywood”) and Punjabi (“Pollywood) industries, respectively. “It’s amazing to be able to explore different film industries. Each of them work so differently,” she says. “Both of those films were only my first two films and I got to learn so much while doing them.”
After her film acting debut, Norouzi quickly found herself involved in Netflix’s first original series in India called Sacred Games, based on Vikram Chandra’s 2006 novel of the same name. “I remember being one of the last girls to audition for Zoya and Jameela’s role. After I got the role, I discovered they were auditioning girls for over three months for my part and weren’t able to find anyone suitable. By the time I was cast, the shooting for the first season had already started.”
NYFA alum Elnaaz Norouzi in Netflix poster for ‘Sacred Games’
“I felt very proud bagging the role, but back then I didn’t expect much because I didn’t know much about Netflix, and no one in India had Netflix yet.” After the series was released, the show became such a success that people began subscribing to Netflix just to watch Sacred Games. “People started recognizing me and calling me Zoya [Norouzi’s character] and I realized how big the show had actually become.”
The show currently has two seasons available on Netflix and it is likely it will be renewed for a third season. “It may take some time since the original book covered only the first two seasons, so our fabulous writers must write something new for us now.
Aside from another season of Sacred Games, Norouzi shares she has two films coming up, including a Bollywood film that was delayed in its release due to COVID-19 and a South Indian action film in Tamil. “Lots of people have asked me if Tamil is going to be my eighth language, but that will surely not happen. It was hard enough to learn it for the film, I don’t think I can learn the entire language,” she jokes.
New York Film Academy would like to thank actress and NYFA alum Elnaaz Norouzi for taking the time to share her experience in the global film industry and looks forward to seeing Elnaaz in her upcoming projects. Sacred Games (Seasons 1 & 2) are currently streaming now on Netflix.
New York Film Academy (NYFA) Documentary Filmmaking alum Mollie Moore is a filmmaker and cinematographer from South London, who is currently based in London and New York City. She has worked for renowned production companies such as the BBC, PBS, ITVS, Human Love LTD and DNA Films on various projects. Her films have gone on to be screened at festivals all over the world, with her work taking her to multiple continents. With her background in cinematography, Moore’s work pushes the limits of visual poetry through non-fiction storytelling, while also weaving in important themes that highlight the LGBTQ community and forced migration.
From a young age, Moore was always involved with the theatre world and, when it was time to go to college, she travelled instead to South East Asia, India, South America and many other places while working as a crew member on fictional film sets. “I realized the vast possibilities of storytelling and the importance of capturing the beauty of the world we live in and the stories within it,” shares Moore. “Documentary felt like a natural marriage with my background in theatre, storytelling and my passion for exploration and the people I met along the way.”
This realization brought Moore to New York, where she studied in NYFA’s 1-Year Conservatory Program for Documentary Filmmaking. “It was a course that I could give all of my attention to, whilst getting maximum in-person time to learn in a creative and hands-on way,” she explains.
Film Poster for ‘A Word Away’ (Dir. Mollie Moore)
Her thesis film, A Word Away, premiered at the Camden International Film Festival. A Word Away centers around a young man named Cosmo, who is from South Sudan and now resides in the U.S, who share his journey of migration through the medium of poetry. For Moore, it was important for her to find “a new way of telling a story of migration, through a more intimate and personal lens.” At the film’s premier, Moore recalls that having Cosmo and his family present was a very important moment for her as it was their stories being told and seen. “Documentary filmmaking should always be seen a collaborative process between the filmmaker and the people sharing their stories.”
After graduating NYFA, Moore also worked on festival favorite Paper Thin, a documentary about a young transgender womxn starting a new life in New York City after having to flee the persecution of LGBTQ+ persons in Russia. Not long after, Moore worked as the cinematographer for the short film, Mama, a personal story between a mother and daughter (dir. NYFA alum Lucia Florez), who look into their past to try and reconcile their relationship after years of difficult conversations and opinions about sexuality.
Mollie shooting in Peru on set of the film ‘Mama’ (Dir. Lucia Florez)
These films, and others with similar themes, are ones that Moore says she holds “very close to my heart and with a lot of passion.” While Moore identifies with these topics on a personal level, as a filmmaker, she explains that these stories are crucial to share. “I think shedding light on topics and communities that have often been massively misconstrued and discriminated against through violent acts of oppression and injustice is of huge importance.” For those that have a platform to shed light on subjects and real world issues in an objective, honest way, it can be a privilege. Moore says, “we must share it [the stories of others] and give voices to those whose realities have often been silenced throughout history.”
Moore is currently working as a filmmaker on the artist Marc Quinn’s public art project, Our Blood; a multi media public artwork that focuses on the refugee crisis all over the world. The art piece will premiere outside of the New York Public Library in 2021, but for now, Moore and others involved on the project are continuing their filming in London and New York City.
New York Film Academy (NYFA) would like to thank NYFA Documentary alum Mollie Moore for sharing more about her work as a documentary filmmaker and encourages everyone to check out her work and keep an eye out for the Our Blood project, once it has been unveiled in 2021.
To keep up with Mollie Moore, check out her website here or follow her on Instagram.
New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking Alum and Partizan director Aisultan Seitov has been nominated for MTV’s VMA for Video of the Year Award for 21 Savage’s music video “a lot” featuring J. Cole. The tone and visuals of the video were influenced by The Godfather Part II and last year’s Oscar-nominated film Cold War. Seitov previously directed the music video for “Red Room,” the first single from Offset’s much-hyped solo album, which gained a lot of buzz for its striking visuals and powerful emotive tone.
The following video contains explicit content.
Born in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Seitov first came to New York Film Academy as a high school student in our Advanced Filmmaking Camp for Teens, a year later attending the 1-Year Filmmaking Conservatory at our New York campus before enrolling in the BFA program in Los Angeles. Along the way, Seitov gained a substantial social media following as an influencer with insight about music and international film. As Shoot Online explains, “This nomination further solidifies Seitov’s reputation as a leader among the new crowd of creators who integrate cutting-edge creativity and digital savvy with youthful authenticity.”
Hosted by comedian and actor Sebastian Maniscalco, the 36th annual MTV VMAs will be held at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, the first VMA ceremony to be held in the Garden State. Often called the “Super Bowl for youth”, the VMA ceremony draws millions of youth each year, and awards the coveted “Moon Person” statues to winners chosen by viewers who voted on their favorite videos in each category on MTV.com.
The New York Film Academy congratulates Filmmaking alum Aisultan Seitov on his nomination for Video of the Year and looks forward to tuning in tonight for this year’s MTV VMAs at 8:00pm ET.
Nominees for the 2019 MTV VMAs include:
Video of the Year
21 Savage ft. J. Cole – “a lot” – Epic Records
Billie Eilish – “Bad Guy” – Darkroom/Interscope Records
Ariana Grande – “thank u, next” – Republic Records
Jonas Brothers – “Sucker” – Republic Records
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Records Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records – WINNER
Artist of the Year
Cardi B – Atlantic Records
Billie Eilish – Darkroom/Interscope Records Ariana Grande – Republic Records – WINNER
Halsey – Astralwerks/Capitol Records
Jonas Brothers – Republic Records
Shawn Mendes – Island Records
Song of the Year
Drake – “In My Feelings” – Young Money/Cash Money/Republic Records
Ariana Grande – “thank u, next” – Republic Records
Jonas Brothers – “Sucker” – Republic Records
Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper – “Shallow” – Interscope Records Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Records – WINNER
Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records
Best New Artist
Ava Max – Atlantic Records Billie Eilish – Darkroom/Interscope Records – WINNER
H.E.R. – MBK/RCA Records
Lil Nas X – Columbia Records
Lizzo – Atlantic Records
Rosalia – Columbia Records
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Records
Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper – “Shallow” – Interscope Records Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – “Señorita” – Island Records – WINNER
Taylor Swift ft. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco – “ME!” – Republic Records
Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber – “I Don’t Care” – Atlantic Records
BTS ft. Halsey – “Boy With Luv” – Columbia Records
Push Artist of the Year
Bazzi – Atlantic Records
CNCO – RCA Records Billie Eilish – Darkroom/Interscope Records – WINNER
H.E.R. – MBK/RCA Records
Lauv – LAUV/AWAL
Lizzo – Atlantic Records
5 Seconds of Summer – “Easier” – Interscope Records
Cardi B & Bruno Mars – “Please Me” – Atlantic Records
Billie Eilish – “Bad Guy” – Darkroom/Interscope Records
Ariana Grande – “”hank u, next” – Republic Records Jonas Brothers – “Sucker” – Republic Records – WINNER
Khalid – “Talk” – Right Hand Music Group/RCA Records
Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records
Best Hip Hop 2 Chainz ft. Ariana Grande – “Rule the World” – 2 Chainz Ps/Def Jam
21 Savage ft. J. Cole – “a lot” – Epic Records Cardi B – “Money” – Atlantic Records – WINNER
DJ Khaled ft. Nipsey Hussle & John Legend – “Higher” – We The Best/Epic Records
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Records
Travis Scott ft. Drake – “SICKO MODE” – Epic Records/Grand Hustle/Cactus Jack
Anderson .Paak ft. Smokey Robinson – “Make It Better” – Aftermath Ent/12 Tone Music
Childish Gambino – “Feels Like Summer” – RCA Records
H.E.R. ft. Bryson Tiller – “Could’ve Been” – MBK/RCA Records
Alicia Keys – “Raise A Man” – RCA Records
Ella Mai – “Trip” – 10 Summers/Interscope Records Normani ft. 6lack – “Waves” – Keep Cool/RCA Records – WINNER
BTS ft. Halsey – “Boy With Luv” – Columbia Records – WINNER
BLACKPINK – “Kill This Love” – YG Entertainment/Interscope Records
Monsta X ft. French Montana – “Who Do You Love” – Epic Records
TOMORROW X TOGETHER – “Cat & Dog” – Republic Records
NCT 127 – “Regular” – SM Entertainment
EXO – “Tempo” – SM Entertainment
Anuel AA, Karol G – “Secreto” – Universal Music Latino
Bad Bunny ft. Drake – “MIA” – OVO Sound/Warner Bros. Records
Benny Blanco, Tainy, Selena Gomez, J Balvin – “I Can’t Get Enough” – NEON16/Friends Keep Secrets/Interscope Records
Daddy Yankee ft. Snow – “Con Calma” – Universal Music Latin Entertainment
Maluma – “Mala Mía” – Sony Music US Latin Rosalia & J Balvin ft. El Guincho – “Con Altura” – Columbia Records – WINNER
Best Art Direction
BTS ft. Halsey – “Boy With Luv” – Columbia Records – Art Direction by JinSil Park, BoNa Kim (MU:E) Ariana Grande – “7 Rings” – Republic Records – Art Direction by John Richoux – WINNER
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Records – Art Direction by Itaru Dela Vegas
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – “Señorita” – Island Records – Art Direction by Tatiana Van Sauter
Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records – Art Direction by Brittany Porter
Kanye West and Lil’ Pump ft. Adele Givens – “I Love It” – Warner Records & Def Jam Music Group – Art Direction by Tino Schaedler
The 1975 – “Love It If We Made It” – Dirty Hit/Interscope Records
Fall Out Boy – “Bishops Knife Trick” – Island Records
Imagine Dragons – “Natural” – KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records
Lenny Kravitz – “Low” – BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd. Panic! At The Disco – “High Hopes” – Elektra Music Group – WINNER
twenty one pilots – “My Blood” – Elektra Music Group
The Chainsmokers ft. Bebe Rexha – “Call You Mine” – Disruptor/Columbia Records – WINNER
Clean Bandit ft. Demi Lovato – “Solo” – Big Beat/Atlantic Records
DJ Snake ft. Selena Gomez, Ozuna & Cardi B – “Taki Taki” – DJ Snake Music Productions Ltd/Geffen
David Guetta, Bebe Rexha & J Balvin – “Say My Name” – Big Beat/Atlantic Records
Marshmello & Bastille – “Happier” – Capitol Records
Silk City & Dua Lipa – “Electricity” – Columbia Records
Billie Eilish – “Bad Guy” – Darkroom/Interscope Records – Directed by Dave Meyers
FKA twigs – “Cellophane” – Young Turks – Directed by Andrew Thomas Huang
Ariana Grande – “thank u, next” – Republic Records – Directed by Hannah Lux Davis Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Records – Directed by Calmatic – WINNER
LSD ft. Labrinth, Sia, Diplo – “No New Friends” – Columbia Records – Directed by Dano Cerny
Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records – Directed by Drew Kirsch & Taylor Swift
Video for Good
Halsey – “Nightmare” – Astralwerks/Capitol Records
The Killers – “Land of the Free” – Island
Jamie N Commons, Skylar Grey ft. Gallant – “Runaway Train” – Interscope Records
John Legend – “Preach” – Columbia Records
Lil Dicky – “Earth” – Dirty Burd, Inc./Commission/BMG Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records – WINNER
Best Visual Effects
Billie Eilish – “when the party’s over” – Darkroom/Interscope Records – Visual Effects by Ryan Ross, Andres Jaramillo
FKA twigs – “Cellophane” – Young Turks – Visual Effects by Matt Chandler, Fabio Zaveti for Analog
Ariana Grande – “God Is a Woman” – Republic Records – Visual Effects by Fabrice Lagayette, FKristina Prilukova & Rebecca Rice for Mathematic
DJ Khaled ft. SZA – “Just Us” – We The Best/Epic Records – Visual Effects by Sergii Mashevskyi
LSD ft. Labrinth, Sia, Diplo – “No New Friends” – Columbia Records – Visual Effects by Ethan Chancer Taylor Swift ft. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco – “ME!” – Republic Records – Visual Effects by Loris Paillier & Lucas Salton for BUF VFX – WINNER
Anderson .Paak ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Tints” – Aftermath Ent/12 Tone Music – Editing by Elias Talbot
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Record – Editing by Calmatic Billie Eilish – “Bad Guy” – Darkroom/Interscope Records – Editing by Billie Eilish – WINNER
Ariana Grande – “7 Rings” – Republic Records – Editing by Hannah Lux Davis & Taylor Walsh
Solange – “Almeda” – Columbia Records – Editing by Solange Knowles, Vinnie Hobbs, Jonathon Proctor
Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records – Editing by Jarrett Fijal
FKA twigs – “Cellophane” – Young Turks – Choreography by Kelly Yvonne Rosalia & J Balvin ft. El Guincho – “Con Altura” – Columbia Records – Choreography by Charm La’Donna – WINNER
LSD ft. Labrinth, Sia, Diplo – “No New Friends” – Columbia Records – Choreography by Ryan Heffington
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – “Señorita” – Island Records – Choreography by Calvit Hodge, Sara Biv
Solange – “Almeda” – Columbia Records – Choreography by Maya Taylor, Solange Knowles
BTS ft. Halsey – “Boy With Luv” – Columbia Records – Choreography by Rie Hata
Anderson .Paak ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Tints” – Aftermath Ent/12 Tone Music – Cinematography by Elias Talbot
Billie Eilish – “hostage” – Darkroom/Interscope Records – Cinematography by Pau Castejon
Ariana Grande – “thank u, next” – Republic Records – Cinematography by Christopher Probst Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – “Señorita” – Island Records – Cinematography by Scott Cunningham – WINNER
Solange – “Almeda” – Columbia Records – Cinematography by Chayse Irvin, Ryan Marie Helfant, Justin Hamilton
Taylor Swift ft. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco – “ME!” – Republic Records – Cinematography by Starr Whitesides
5 Seconds of Summer
BLACKPINK BTS – WINNER
Why Don’t We
Best Power Anthem
Ariana Grande – “7 Rings”
DJ Khaled, ft. Cardi B & 21 Savage – “Wish Wish”
Halsey – “Nightmare”
Lizzo ft. Missy Elliott – “Tempo”
Maren Morris – “GIRL”
Miley Cyrus – “Mother’s Daughter”
Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down”
Megan Thee Stallion ft. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign – “Hot Girl Summer”
Song of the Summer
Ariana Grande & Social House – “boyfriend” – WINNER
Billie Eilish – “bad guy”
DaBaby – “Suge”
Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber – “I Don’t Care”
Jonas Brothers – “Sucker”
Khalid – “Talk”
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)”
Lil Tecca – “Ransom”
Lizzo – “Truth Hurts”
Miley Cyrus – “Mother’s Daughter”
Post Malone ft. Young Thug – “Goodbyes”
ROSALÍA & J Balvin ft. El Guincho – “Con Altura”
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – “Señorita”
Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down”
The Chainsmokers & Bebe Rexha – “Call You Mine”
Young Thug ft. J. Cole & Travis Scott – “The London”