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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Welcomes MFA Screenwriting Alum, Black Film Allegiance Co-Founder, and Monkeypaw Productions Development Manager Elon Joi Washington

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    On Friday, February 21, New York Film Academy (NYFA) welcomed NYFA MFA Screenwriting grad (Class of ’18) Elon Joi Washington, Development Manager at Monkeypaw Productions, and co-founder of Black Film Allegiance. Terah Jackson, ABA Club co-advisor, screenwriting instructor, and NYFA LAS instructor, moderated the event.

    elon joi washington

    Washington is a screenwriter and story analyst with a passion for shedding light on untold narratives. She studied English, Film and Media at the University of Florida, Film and Television at Savannah College of Art and Design and graduated from New York Film Academy’s MFA Screenwriting program. She is the founder of the Black Film Allegiance, a virtual platform promoting collaboration and creative opportunity for up-and-coming filmmakers. Additionally, Washington currently works as Development Manager at Monkeypaw Productions. 

    Following a quick clip of Washington promoting the Black Film Allegiance, Jackson opened up the Q&A by touching upon the students’ interest in Washington’s screenwriting background. He asked, “This idea to become a writer and move into film, when did that start for you?” 

    Washington shared, “I always enjoyed writing. In undergrad I would do open mics as different character roles, and that’s what I started falling in love with character work. I was an English major with a film and media concentration and towards the end my school let me do some production work and I really enjoyed it. But, I was always more interested in what was on the page because it’s where I felt most comfortable creatively.” 

    Jackson then asked what type of stories Washington found herself most engaged in. She replied, “I like stories that revolve around social events and messages that matter to me; especially things that are quite researched. The genres I enjoy are docudrama, horror, psychological thrillers; however, I will do a sci-fi if there’s a bigger message attached to it, but it has to be grounded in truth with something that I know is happening today. Then, I’ll elevate that story in some type of way through a genre like horror.” She continued, “If there’s a research component, that’s usually the part that will draw me in and then the bigger message and character come after.”

    elon joi washington

    Speaking on her time at NYFA, Jackson asked, “Looking back, what were the opportunities here at NYFA that prepared you for what you did after school?” 

    Washington answered, “There are so many resources here that I appreciate, partially because it’s so intimate here and the professors are so hands-on with your growth professionally and as a student. Part of what I appreciated was that opportunity to have one-on-one meetings, even as an alumna. The access you have as alumni is unparalleled. ” She continued, “Also, what you do with the network you’ve built here can really change the course of your post-grad experience. Just having a community and being here created such great connections for me.”

    The Q&A then opened up to student questions. One student asked, “When you submit a script to Monkeypaw Productions, what is it they’re looking for in order to move forward with a story?” 

    Washington responded, “In terms of what Monkeypaw looks for–it’ts genre, underrepresented voices, and a focus on social issues of course, but in a way that’s fun.” She added, “When you’re dealing with difficult issues, you don’t want it to be like medicine, you want it to be rewatchable. It’s always that component, which is a very specific formula and very difficult to find.”  

    New York Film Academy thanks MFA Screenwriting alum Elon Joi Washington for joining sharing her time and expertise with our students!

    elon joi washington

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    March 2, 2020 • Diversity, Guest Speakers, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1209

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Photography Alum Jon Henry Wins Film Photo Award from Kodak

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Photography alum Jon Henry has won one of photography’s most prestigious honors—the Film Photo Award.

    Jon Henry

    NYFA Photography alum Jon Henry

    The Film Photo Award is sponsored by Kodak Alaris and Kodak Professional and is awarded twice a year, providing three distinct grants of Kodak Professional Film and complimentary film processing by Griffin Editions to photographers who demonstrate a serious commitment to the art and who are motivated to continue the development of still, film-based photography in the 21st century.

    During each Spring and Fall award cycle, two Visionary Project Awards and one Student Project award are granted to winners selected from emerging, established, and student photographers worldwide, who are 18 years old or older.

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    The Fall 2019 Film Photo Award Winners have been announced! A big congratulations to the winners and a big thank you to those that submitted their work along the way. It was an honor to be apart of this award and we're very excited for the amazing work to come! Congratulations to… New Project Award: Guanyu Xu for his project titled "Resident Alien" ⁠⠀ Continuing Project Award: Jon Henry for the projected titled "Stranger Fruit⁠" ⁠⠀ Student Project Award: Leah Schretenthaler for her project titled "The Invasive Species of the Built Environment" #kodakprofessional #filmphotoaward #griffineditions #standcardcameras #filmisalive #analog #analoglove #35mm #120 #4×5 #colorfilm #colorfilmphotography #c41 #blackandwhitephotography #grainisgood #filmcommunity #analogcommunity #filmforever #fineart #fineartphotography

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    Henry enrolled in the 1-Year Photography conservatory at NYFA’s New York campus in Fall 2010. In his visual artwork, he focuses primarily on the American black family and the community at large, as well as the representation of athletes in fine art. His work has been featured in in ArtExpo New York, Smack Mellon’s Hot Picks 2017, and Miami’s Spectrum Art Show, as well as on the covers of Jungle and PDN magazines.

    The Film Photo Award was awarded to Henry for his series Stranger Fruit, using the imagery of Michelangelo’s Pietà as a response to the ongoing, senseless murders of African American men by police officers across the United States. To capture the haunting images, Henry travelled across the country for five years and plans to continue for at least another two years through various additional locations, including New Orleans, Nashville, and throughout Texas in 2020.

    New York Film Academy congratulates Photography alum Jon Henry on winning the prestigious Film Photo Award from Kodak and looks forward to seeing his continued work in the field!

    Jon Henry

    NYFA Photography alum Jon Henry

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    February 25, 2020 • Photography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 933

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Broadcast Journalism – February 2020 Update

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    Graduates of New York Film Academy (NYFA) Broadcast Journalism programs not only have gone on to have successful media careers, but they also seem to be having a lot of fun too!

    Case in point: Most of you already know that the film Parasite was the surprise big winner at this year’s Academy Awards. Well it just so happens that independent film/entertainment reporter and NYFA alum Federica Polidoro did an EXCLUSIVE interview with the South Korean director behind this brilliant film, Bong Joon-ho.

    Joelle Gargulio was a member of the very first NYFA Broadcast Journalism graduating class. From there, she started an entry level job at NBC Interactive, then worked her way up to a reporting/producing role on the Weekend Today show.

    Here she is hosting the #PopStart segment on a recent Saturday morning (Note the cross-platform distribution). Television isn’t just television anymore!

    Speaking of cross-platform distribution…Gillian Kemmerer was already an accomplished print journalist when she enrolled at NYFA, but wanted to become a multimedia journalist (MMJ). These days, she is covering sports and business, with a special emphasis on international hockey. She just passed an important milestone on Twitter and now has over 35,000 followers

    Gillian Kemmerer being filmed for a hockey segment.

    Over the years, we have had a number of talented Brazilian students in the Broadcast Journalism department. Daniella Gemignani was already working for Brazilian media powerhouse Globo when she came to NYFA to study Broadcast Journalism, but she wanted to deepen and expand her skill-set. Recently, she celebrated her fifth anniversary with Globo.

    Speaking of work anniversaries, Beatriz (“Bia”) Puente will have one next year after being offered a producer position at the third largest TV Channel in Brazil. Congratulations Bia!

    Vivian Faver was a member of my first 1-Year Broadcast Journalism program. Nobody could stop Vivian because she was a force of nature and was determined to succeed and work in New York. And succeed she did. The latest evidence is her first story on CNN Style. 

    Another NYFA alum, Mariana Janjacomo, recently penned a special piece for Trivago Magazine about what to do in Florida in the winter. Spoiler Alert: You can enjoy it a lot!

    Another Broadcast Journalism alum, who took a short-term workshop at NYFA, Daniel Fideli, recently recounted his final graduation project for the workshop back in 2014. “NYFA was such an intense experience,” he remembers, “I tend to say that those two months were more useful for me than my four years at university.”

    Meanwhile, we also have an update from the Broadcast Journalism department’s “ambassador to the red carpet,” NYFA alum Bryanna Reynolds:

    Finally, this July, Evgenia Vlasova and myself are teaching a 3-Week Journalism workshop in Moscow. Are you Russian? An early career journalist? A university student starting your senior year in September? (Or do you know someone like that?) Full scholarships are available, covering tuition, housing and transportation. Find more information at: http://nyfajss.com.

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    February 25, 2020 • Broadcast Journalism, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 727

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) 3D Animation & VFX Alum Daniela Lobo Dias Works on ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) 3D Animation & VFX alum Daniela Lobo Dias has been doing animation work on some of Hollywood’s biggest movies since graduating NYFA in 2015 , including the hotly-anticipated Sonic the Hedgehog movie.

    Lobo Dias first attended New York Film Academy in 2014, enrolling in the 4-Week 3D Animation & VFX workshop at our New York campus. She later advanced her studies later that fall in NYFA’s 1-Year 3D Animation & VFX conservatory.

    “Daniela was a spectacular student whilst enrolled in NYFA,” says NYFA Animation and VFX faculty Robert Appleton, “where she—along with three other outstanding female students—created an incredible final project.”

    After graduating, Lobo Dias interned at a top animation company in New York before relocating to the West Coast and then Canada. She has worked on special effects-heavy films such as Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Venom, Ad Astra, Bumblebee, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, and recently, Cats.

    Her latest film is Sonic the Hedgehog, a mix of live-action and animation that adapts the wildly popular Sega video game franchise about a snarky blue hedgehog that outruns the bad guys at lightning speed. The film stars Jim Carrey as Sonic’s live action nemesis Dr. Robotnik, with Ben Schwartz voicing a completely animated Sonic. Sonic the Hedgehog is directed by Jeff Fowler and co-stars James Marsden, Adam Pally, and Tika Sumpter.

    Lobo Dias worked as a layout artist on the film, with her primary tasks being blocking out CG elements (such as characters and environment assets) over the live action plate, creating projection camera setups to integrate live action plates into CG environments, and creating final camera animation with character blocking for full CG shots.

    With Sonic coming out on Valentine’s Day, the animation had to be completed well before its theatrical release. In the interim, Lobo Dias worked on the upcoming Disney film Jungle Cruise, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Emily Blunt. She is currently working on the upcoming sequel Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Her hard work at NYFA has certainly paid off.

    “You get out of NYFA what you put in,” says Lobo Dias. “When you show up each day with enthusiasm and a readiness to listen and learn, you’re planting seeds with your teachers and classmates that blossom into a professional network.”

    Daniela Lobo Dias Sonic the Hedgehog

    Lobo Dias is quick to express her gratitude for those who helped her along the way, however. “I am very grateful for my teachers at NYFA who not only taught me the skills I needed,” she adds, “but also nurtured my potential, and then gave me my first industry opportunities. A special shoutout to Rob, Boaz, Gavin, Tim, and Phoebe!”

    New York Film Academy congratulates 3D Animation & VFX alum Daniela Lobo Dias on the release of Sonic the Hedgehog and looks forward to seeing the blockbusters she’ll be working on in the future!

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    February 13, 2020 • 3D Animation, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 747

  • ‘Parasite’ Leads Record-Breaking Night at the 92nd Academy Awards

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    The 2020 Awards Season culminated with a groundbreaking Best Picture win for South Korean film Parasite at the 92nd Academy Awards on Sunday, February 9. The win for the critically-acclaimed film by Bong Joon Ho was the first time in Academy history that a foreign language film took home the top prize.

    The film also won Best International Feature Film, as well as Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Bong, who shared the latter with Jin Won Han. The multiple wins for Bong follows years of critical acclaim for previous efforts including Snowpiercer and Okja.

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Broadcast Journalism alum Federica Polidoro was able to interview Bong Joon Ho right after last year’s Cannes Film Festival, where Parasite won the Palme d’Or. The interview was an Italian video exclusive and released on Il Sole 24 Ore.

    Parasite wasn’t the only win for diversity at the Academy Awards. With Hair Love winning Best Animated Short, producer Karen Rupert Toliver became the first black woman to win an Oscar in an animation category. Jojo Rabbit director Taika Waititi was the first indigenous person to be nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, and when he won, became the first person of Maori descent to win an Oscar.

    Other notable news from this year’s ceremony includes the announcement of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which will open its door in December of this year. Netflix also celebrated on Sunday, with Laura Dern’s Oscar win giving the streaming giant its first Academy Award in any acting category. Dern won for Netflix’s Marriage Story, co-starring previous NYFA guest speaker Adam Driver.

    At this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, the NYFA community celebrated a win as well, after seeing several alumni, faculty, and guest speakers involved with Oscar nominees across many categories. Toy Story 4, co-starring previous NYFA guest speaker Tony Hale, brought Pixar another trophy for Best Animated Feature.

    New York Film Academy congratulates all the winners at this year’s Academy Awards, and looks forward to seeing even more international diversity included in the future!

    Here is a full list of the 2020 Oscars nominees:

    Best Picture
    Ford v Ferrari
    The Irishman
    Jojo Rabbit
    Joker
    Little Women
    Marriage Story
    1917
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
    Parasite – WINNER

    Lead Actor
    Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
    Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
    Adam Driver, Marriage Story
    Joaquin Phoenix, Joker – WINNER
    Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

    Lead Actress
    Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
    Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
    Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
    Charlize Theron, Bombshell
    Renee Zellweger, Judy – WINNER

    Supporting Actor
    Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
    Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes
    Al Pacino, The Irishman
    Joe Pesci, The Irishman
    Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – WINNER

    Supporting Actress
    Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell
    Laura Dern, Marriage Story – WINNER
    Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit
    Florence Pugh, Little Women
    Margot Robbie, Bombshell

    Director
    Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
    Todd Phillips, Joker
    Sam Mendes, 1917
    Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
    Bong Joon Ho, Parasite – Winner

    Animated Feature
    How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Dean DeBlois
    I Lost My Body, Jeremy Clapin
    Klaus, Sergio Pablos
    Missing Link, Chris Butler
    Toy Story 4,  Josh Cooley – WINNER

    Animated Short
    Dcera, Daria Kashcheeva
    Hair Love, Matthew A. Cherry – WINNER
    Kitbull, Rosana Sullivan
    Memorable, Bruno Collet
    Sister, Siqi Song

    Adapted Screenplay
    The Irishman, Steven Zaillian
    Jojo Rabbit, Taika Waititi – WINNER
    Joker, Todd Phillips, Scott Silver
    Little Women, Greta Gerwig
    The Two Popes, Anthony McCarten

    Original Screenplay
    Knives Out, Rian Johnson
    Marriage Story, Noah Baumbach
    1917, Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino
    Parasite, Bong Joon-ho, Jin Won Han – WINNER

    Cinematography
    The Irishman, Rodrigo Prieto
    Joker, Lawrence Sher
    The Lighthouse, Jarin Blaschke
    1917, Roger Deakins – WINNER
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Robert Richardson

    Best Documentary Feature
    American Factory, Julia Rieichert, Steven Bognar – WINNER
    The Cave, Feras Fayyad
    The Edge of Democracy, Petra Costa
    For Sama, Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts
    Honeyland, Tamara Kotevska, Ljubo Stefanov

    Best Documentary Short Subject
    In the Absence, Yi Seung-Jun and Gary Byung-Seok Kam
    Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone, Carol Dysinger – WINNER
    Life Overtakes Me, Kristine Samuelson and John Haptas
    St. Louis Superman, Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan
    Walk Run Cha-Cha, Laura Nix

    Best Live Action Short Film
    Brotherhood, Meryam Joobeur
    Nefta Football Club, Yves Piat
    The Neighbors’ Window, Marshall Curry – WINNER
    Saria, Bryan Buckley
    A Sister, Delphine Girard

    Best International Feature Film
    Corpus Christi, Jan Komasa
    Honeyland, Tamara Kotevska, Ljubo Stefanov
    Les Miserables, Ladj Ly
    Pain and Glory, Pedro Almodovar
    Parasite, Bong Joon Ho – WINNER

    Film Editing
    Ford v Ferrari, Michael McCusker, Andrew Buckland – WINNER
    The Irishman, Thelma Schoonmaker
    Jojo Rabbit, Tom Eagles
    Joker, Jeff Groth
    Parasite, Jinmo Yang

    Sound Editing
    Ford v Ferrari, Don Sylvester – WINNER
    Joker, Alan Robert Murray
    1917, Oliver Tarney, Rachel Tate
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Wylie Stateman
    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Matthew Wood, David Acord

    Sound Mixing
    Ad Astra
    Ford v Ferrari
    Joker
    1917 – WINNER
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    Production Design
    The Irishman, Bob Shaw and Regina Graves
    Jojo Rabbit, Ra Vincent and Nora Sopkova
    1917, Dennis Gassner and Lee Sandales
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Barbara Ling and Nancy Haigh – WINNER
    Parasite, Lee Ha-Jun and Cho Won Woo, Han Ga Ram, and Cho Hee

    Original Score
    Joker, Hildur Guðnadóttir – WINNER
    Little Women, Alexandre Desplat
    Marriage Story, Randy Newman
    1917, Thomas Newman
    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, John Williams

    Original Song
    “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” Toy Story 4
    “I’m Gonna Love Me Again,” Rocketman – WINNER
    “I’m Standing With You,” Breakthrough
    “Into the Unknown,” Frozen 2
    “Stand Up,” Harriet

    Makeup and Hair
    Bombshell – WINNER
    Joker
    Judy
    Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
    1917

    Costume Design
    The Irishman, Sandy Powell, Christopher Peterson
    Jojo Rabbit, Mayes C. Rubeo
    Joker, Mark Bridges
    Little Women, Jacqueline Durran – WINNER
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Arianne Phillips

    Visual Effects
    Avengers: Endgame
    The Irishman
    1917 – WINNER
    The Lion King
    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    bong joon ho oscars

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    February 10, 2020 • Entertainment News, International Diversity • Views: 1258

  • Photo Arts Conservatory at New York Film Academy (PAC at NYFA) Showcases Work in Photo LA

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    This year, the Photo Arts Conservatory at New York Film Academy (PAC at NYFA) participated in Photo LA, the annual event that links local and global artists and thinkers by sharing work to create an encompassing photographic experience. Students, alumni, and faculty were able to showcase their work alongside galleries, artists, collectors, dealers, and publishers. 

    Photo LA 2020

    PAC at NYFA curated an exciting show representing the values, aesthetics, and the intellectual rigor of our students, alumni, and faculty. The work shows our strong commitment to facilitating an education that combines fine art and commercial skills with critical theory and contemporary issues. We are thrilled to be a community of global visual storytellers, made up of students and faculty from around the world. 

    Additionally. PAC at NYFA also produced, hosted, and moderated three panels at FOCUS Photo LA. Our first panel featured photographer and NYFA faculty Lane Barden discussing his work in the MONUMENTality exhibition at the Getty. Frances Terpak, Curator of Photographs at the Getty Research Institute, joined the discussion, sharing her process of curating the show and the ideas behind it. Also there to deepen the conversation was Roberto Scheiberg, architect from the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design, who was present and an active player in the funding and exhibiting of the Linear City project at Woodbury University’s gallery in Hollywood (Wuho). 

    Our next panel was called Social Media Giants: Thoughts and Advice on Instagram, which featured Baz Here (NYFA MFA Photography student), Maddie Smith (BFA Photography student), and Alejandro Ibarra (MFA alum and NYFA instructor), who all have strong Instagram followings. Silvi Naci, artist, curator, and NYFA faculty, moderated the discussion exploring their use of Instagram as a platform, how they got their following, and what they saw the future of Instagram to be for photography. 

    Photo LA 2020

    Our last and totally sold out panel was a round table discussion called Photo Reps: The Inside Scoop on Intersectional Trends in Advertising. Artist reps and photo producers discussed their experiences in finding and representing diverse photographers and the roles women and people of color take in the making of commercial imagery. This panel featured Maren Levinson (RedEye), Jigisha Bouverat (BOUVERAT COLLECTIVE), Jen Lamping (Director of Photo Production at RPA), and Clarissa Garrett (Producer at 72andsunny), and was moderated by artist and PAC at NYFA faculty Amanda Rowan.

    Artists from PAC at NYFA that exhibited at Photo LA included:

    Changhao Song, BFA Alum
    Eric Magana, BFA Student
    Baz Here, MFA Student
    Dia Yunzhi Wang, MFA Alum
    Oluwasegun Oladele-Ajose, 1-Year Conservatory Alum
    Suge Hou, BFA Student
    Yilin Li, MFA Alum
    Jon Henry, 1-Year Conservatory Alum and Faculty
    Mengmeng Lu, BFA Alum and Faculty
    Angel Alvarado, Digital Lab Coordinator
    Amanda Rowan, Faculty
    Andre Keichian, Faculty
    Jackie Neale, Faculty
    Lane Barden, Faculty
    Kean O’Brien, Co-Chair
    Naomi White, Co-Chair

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    February 5, 2020 • Faculty Highlights, Photography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 915

  • Feature Film By NYFA BFA Filmmaking Alumni ‘Easy Living’ Screens at Santa Barbara International Film Festival

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    Easy Living, the debut feature film by New York Film Academy (NYFA) BFA Filmmaking alum Orso Miyakawa and his brother Peter—and shot by NYFA BFA Filmmaking alum Andrey Nuzhnyy, is screening at this month’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival as an Official Selection.

    The film is self-described as a melancholic, coming-of-age comedy about a fourteen-year-old boy, his older sister, and a bizarre American tennis teacher who come up with an absurd plan to help a migrant sneak across the border. It recently had its premiere at the Torino Film Festival in Turin, Italy.

    Orso Miyakawa and Andrey Nuzhnyy met during their first year together at NYFA’s New York campus. Together, Miyakawa and Nuzhnyy moved to Los Angeles a year later to complete their BFA in Filmmaking studies at NYFA’s Burbank-based location.

    easy living torso miyakawa

    NYFA BFA Filmmaking alum Orso Miyakawa

    “We always worked on each other’s projects,” says Miyakawa of his time with Nuzhnyy at NYFA, “we watched hundreds and hundreds of movies together, and most importantly, we developed a similar sense of humor—which I believe is the key to understanding why we collaborate so well with each other.”

    After graduating and working on various film sets around the world, Miyakawa and his brother Peter, who also collaborated on several NYFA projects, returned to their home country of Italy where they started a production company with their friends, family, and Nuzhnyy. Their company, Wise Pictures began producing short films and music videos before moving onto international feature films and collaborating with artists like Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name, Suspiria)

    Their film Easy Living kicked off its festival run with its premiere at Torino, one of the largest fests in Italy. The film, written and directed by the Miyakawa brothers, was inspired by their childhood home, a small seaside town on the border between France and Italy.

    easy living Andrey Nuzhnyy

    NYFA BFA Filmmaking alum Andrey Nuzhnyy

    Despite its specific, personal roots, the Miyakawa brothers have always aimed for the film to reach a universal audience. “The movie takes place around the Italian border with France,” Miyakawa tells NYFA, “but it could easily be transported to the US border with Mexico and work perfectly fine.”

    Easy Living will screen at Santa Barbara International Film Festival, one of California’s most prestigious cinema fests, on Monday, January 20 at 4:30 p.m. local time. The film will screen two more times at Santa Barbara, on Tuesday, January 21 at 2:40 p.m. and Wednesday, January 22 at 8:20 a.m.

    New York Film Academy congratulates Peter Miyakawa and New York Film Academy (NYFA) BFA Filmmaking alumni Orso Miyakawa and Andrey Nuzhnyy on Easy Living and encourage everyone in the Santa Barbara area to check out the film!

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    January 28, 2020 • Film Festivals, Film School, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 653

  • 92nd Academy Awards Nominees Includes Film Featuring New York Film Academy (NYFA) Alum Anouar Smaine

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    The New York Film Academy (NYFA) community celebrated multiple nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards Monday morning, including Best Animated Feature nominee I Lost My Body, which co-starred Filmmaking alum Anouar Smaine as the English-language voice for the Father character.

    Smaine graduated from the Filmmaking program at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus in early 2010. The Algerian-born actor, director, and playwright has numerous credits across several different disciplines, including as an actor in The Looming Tower, Westworld, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Veronica Mars, and the first Arabic-language original production from Netflix, Jinn. Fluent in French, Arabic and all kinds of Middle Eastern and North African dialects, Anouar has found success in both acting and voiceover work, with credits in some of Hollywood’s biggest productions, including John Wick, Jarhead, Charlie’s Angels, The Looming Tower, Westworld, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, and Veronica Mars.

    Anouar Smaine

    NYFA alum Anouar Smaine

    He also writes and directs in addition to acting, and made the multi-award-winning films Sharia and Battle Fields. Both films toured world festivals and earned several awards, including Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Film. 

    “Whether you’re an aspiring actor, writer, producer or a director,” says Smaine about his Filmmaking studies, “NYFA will give you a chance to go into the trenches of creativity and prove your worth based on what you’re taught, and most importantly on what you want to express as a creative. NYFA will both empower you and challenge you to go beyond being a student by embracing the filmmaker, actor, and artist in you.”

    Anouar is currently developing a feature film he plans to direct in early 2021 based on his internationally renowned short Battle Fields, in which he plays an Iraqi refugee who drives a limo in Los Angeles that comes face-to-face with an American Iraq War Veteran, played by Sean Stone, son of legendary director Oliver Stone.

    I Lost My body

    I Lost My Body is a 2019 French animated drama fantasy film directed by Jérémy Clapin that premiered at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. The Oscar-nominated feature tells the story of a dismembered hand that escapes from a dissection lab and goes on a journey through Paris to get back to its body, remembering the life with the young man it was originally attached to.

    Smaine was just one of the NYFA community members involved with this year’s Academy Award nominations, which were presented early Monday morning by NYFA Filmmaking alum Issa Rae and actor John Cho.

    NYFA Game Design alum Guillermo Quesada helped develop the technology that allowed last year’s remake of The Lion King to be filmed on a virtual reality set. The Lion King was one of the Best Visual Effects nominees named Monday morning.

    NYFA 1-Year Documentary Filmmaking alum Camille Bildsøe worked as the assistant to the director of Best Documentary Feature nominee The Cave, Feras Fayyad. Also competing in that category is The Edge of Democracy, directed by Petra Costa, who has taught master classes to NYFA Documentary Filmmaking students in the past.

    Several New York Film Academy guest speakers also received nominations, including Al Pacino, who earned a Best Supporting Actor nod alongside co-star Joe Pesci for his work in Best Picture nominee The Irishman. Pacino, whose daughter Julie Pacino is a NYFA alum, spoke with NYFA students at our Los Angeles campus in 2014.

    Adam Driver, who spoke with NYFA students at our New York campus in 2018, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Lead Actor for his work in Best Picture nominee Marriage Story.

    Best Animated Feature nominee Toy Story 4 co-starred NYFA guest speaker Tony Hale as new breakout character Forky. Hale spoke with NYFA students at our Los Angeles campus last summer, as did Nathan Kelly, who served as unit production manager on Best Picture nominee Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood. NYFA 3D Animation & VFX alum Francisco Panzieri worked on Once Upon a Time as a compositor.

    Another guest speaker celebrating this year’s nominations is President of Marvel Studios and Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Kevin Feige, who spoke with NYFA students at our Burbank-based campus last October. Avengers: Endgame, the culminating film of his brainchild—the Marvel Cinematic Universe—was nominated for Best Visual Effects.

    issa rae i lost my body oscars 2020

    John Cho and NYFA alum Issa Rae presenting the 2020 Oscars nominations

    All in all, the nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards held the usual mix of snubs, sure things, and surprises. Gritty supervillain origin story Joker led the list with 11 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor, while close behind were Sam Mendes’s 1917, Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood with ten nominations each, including Best Picture. The Best Picture nominee list was rounded out by Ford v Ferrari, Jojo Rabbit, Little Women, Marriage Story, and Parasite.

    The list notably lacked any women in the Best Director category, despite Greta Gerwig’s film Little Women picking up two acting nominations and a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination along with its Best Picture nod. Other notable moments from Monday morning’s announcement includes Antonio Banderas receiving his first-ever Oscar nomination, for his leading role in longtime collaborator Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory, and Scarlett Johansson becoming the 11th actor in history to be nominated for two different roles in two different films in the same year.

    Like last year, the televised Oscars ceremony will go without a host, instead relying on various bits and presenters. The Academy Awards airs live on ABC on February 9. Announced presenters include last year’s winners Mahershala Ali, Olivia Colman, Regina King, and Rami Malek. Other presenters include Zazie Beetz, Timothée Chalamet, Will Ferrell, Gal Gadot, Mindy Kaling, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Anthony Ramos, Mark Ruffalo, Kelly Marie Tran, and Kristen Wiig. Additionally, Cynthia Erivo, Elton John, Idina Menzel, Chrissy Metz, Randy Newman, and Billie Eilish will perform.

    New York Film Academy congratulates this year’s nominees and looks forward to seeing who goes home with an Oscar or two (or more) next month!

    Here is a full list of the 2020 Oscars nominees:

    Best Picture
    Ford v Ferrari
    The Irishman
    Jojo Rabbit
    Joker
    Little Women
    Marriage Story
    1917
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
    Parasite – WINNER

    Lead Actor
    Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
    Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
    Adam Driver, Marriage Story
    Joaquin Phoenix, Joker – WINNER
    Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

    Lead Actress
    Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
    Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
    Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
    Charlize Theron, Bombshell
    Renee Zellweger, Judy – WINNER

    Supporting Actor
    Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
    Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes
    Al Pacino, The Irishman
    Joe Pesci, The Irishman
    Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – WINNER

    Supporting Actress
    Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell
    Laura Dern, Marriage Story – WINNER
    Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit
    Florence Pugh, Little Women
    Margot Robbie, Bombshell

    Director
    Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
    Todd Phillips, Joker
    Sam Mendes, 1917
    Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
    Bong Joon Ho, Parasite – Winner

    Animated Feature
    How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Dean DeBlois
    I Lost My Body, Jeremy Clapin
    Klaus, Sergio Pablos
    Missing Link, Chris Butler
    Toy Story 4,  Josh Cooley – WINNER

    Animated Short
    Dcera, Daria Kashcheeva
    Hair Love, Matthew A. Cherry – WINNER
    Kitbull, Rosana Sullivan
    Memorable, Bruno Collet
    Sister, Siqi Song

    Adapted Screenplay
    The Irishman, Steven Zaillian
    Jojo Rabbit, Taika Waititi – WINNER
    Joker, Todd Phillips, Scott Silver
    Little Women, Greta Gerwig
    The Two Popes, Anthony McCarten

    Original Screenplay
    Knives Out, Rian Johnson
    Marriage Story, Noah Baumbach
    1917, Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino
    Parasite, Bong Joon-ho, Jin Won Han – WINNER

    Cinematography
    The Irishman, Rodrigo Prieto
    Joker, Lawrence Sher
    The Lighthouse, Jarin Blaschke
    1917, Roger Deakins – WINNER
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Robert Richardson

    Best Documentary Feature
    American Factory, Julia Rieichert, Steven Bognar – WINNER
    The Cave, Feras Fayyad
    The Edge of Democracy, Petra Costa
    For Sama, Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts
    Honeyland, Tamara Kotevska, Ljubo Stefanov

    Best Documentary Short Subject
    In the Absence, Yi Seung-Jun and Gary Byung-Seok Kam
    Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone, Carol Dysinger – WINNER
    Life Overtakes Me, Kristine Samuelson and John Haptas
    St. Louis Superman, Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan
    Walk Run Cha-Cha, Laura Nix

    Best Live Action Short Film
    Brotherhood, Meryam Joobeur
    Nefta Football Club, Yves Piat
    The Neighbors’ Window, Marshall Curry – WINNER
    Saria, Bryan Buckley
    A Sister, Delphine Girard

    Best International Feature Film
    Corpus Christi, Jan Komasa
    Honeyland, Tamara Kotevska, Ljubo Stefanov
    Les Miserables, Ladj Ly
    Pain and Glory, Pedro Almodovar
    Parasite, Bong Joon Ho – WINNER

    Film Editing
    Ford v Ferrari, Michael McCusker, Andrew Buckland – WINNER
    The Irishman, Thelma Schoonmaker
    Jojo Rabbit, Tom Eagles
    Joker, Jeff Groth
    Parasite, Jinmo Yang

    Sound Editing
    Ford v Ferrari, Don Sylvester – WINNER
    Joker, Alan Robert Murray
    1917, Oliver Tarney, Rachel Tate
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Wylie Stateman
    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Matthew Wood, David Acord

    Sound Mixing
    Ad Astra
    Ford v Ferrari
    Joker
    1917 – WINNER
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    Production Design
    The Irishman, Bob Shaw and Regina Graves
    Jojo Rabbit, Ra Vincent and Nora Sopkova
    1917, Dennis Gassner and Lee Sandales
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Barbara Ling and Nancy Haigh – WINNER
    Parasite, Lee Ha-Jun and Cho Won Woo, Han Ga Ram, and Cho Hee

    Original Score
    Joker, Hildur Guðnadóttir – WINNER
    Little Women, Alexandre Desplat
    Marriage Story, Randy Newman
    1917, Thomas Newman
    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, John Williams

    Original Song
    “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” Toy Story 4
    “I’m Gonna Love Me Again,” Rocketman – WINNER
    “I’m Standing With You,” Breakthrough
    “Into the Unknown,” Frozen 2
    “Stand Up,” Harriet

    Makeup and Hair
    Bombshell – WINNER
    Joker
    Judy
    Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
    1917

    Costume Design
    The Irishman, Sandy Powell, Christopher Peterson
    Jojo Rabbit, Mayes C. Rubeo
    Joker, Mark Bridges
    Little Women, Jacqueline Durran – WINNER
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Arianne Phillips

    Visual Effects
    Avengers: Endgame
    The Irishman
    1917 – WINNER
    The Lion King
    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

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  • New York Film Academy MFA Filmmaking Alum Jaco Dukes Premieres ‘El Guardia’ at Cannes Film Festival’s Marché du Film

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    New York Film Academy MFA Filmmaking Alum Jaco Dukes saw all of his hard work come to fruition last May when he premiered his film El Guardia at the Cannes Film Festival’s Marché du Film.

    Dukes originally hails from Chile and first attended NYFA in September 2011, enrolling in the MFA in Filmmaking program at our Los Angeles campus. “My first year at NYFA was one of the best years of my life,” says Dukes. “For the first time, I was able to think about filmmaking all day, every day of the week. It was paradise. My thesis film that I shot at NYFA opened the door for me to every project and work opportunity that came after. So I think that, if you have all the guidance, support and resources that NYFA can offer (like the amazing instructors; James, Ryan, Nick, Tim, Andrew, and many others), plus an obsession for film and filmmaking, then probably great things will come.”

    El Guardia Jaco Dukes

    The English-language poster for ‘El Guardia’

    Since graduating NYFA, he has written and directed the short films Silent and Mikey, as well worked several others as an editor and cinematographer. Dukes directed, wrote, and co-produced El Guardia, his first feature film. The script is based on the true story of the highly acclaimed businessman, life coach, and best-selling author Juan Rosado from Puerto Rico, and was inspired by Rosado’s empowering book Rags to Riches (El Guardia Que Compró Su Sueño).

    The story focuses on a frustrated security guard that starts a network marketing business as a second job with his mentor and veterinarian friend, which leads them into a life-changing journey that will affect the lives of everyone around them.

    The film made its grand debut at the Marché du Film in Cannes, France in May 2019. The distribution of the film is being managed by Adler & Associates Entertainment, who are submitting the film to festivals around the world as well as planning a theatrical premiere and distribution in cinemas in Puerto Rico, Miami, New York, and Los Angeles sometime in 2020.

    El Guardia Jaco Dukes

    NYFA MFA Filmmaking alum Jaco Dukes

    Dukes is currently working on his next screenplay, an indie film that he’s always wanted to make—he’s devoting all of his energy to producing it in 2020. Says Dukes, “[El Guardia] was the most challenging learning experience of my life as a film director, and thanks to all the obstacles, failures, and successes I had making this film, now I am a little more confident about directing my passion project, my own script, and kick ass with it.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates MFA Filmmaking alum Jaco Dukes on the Cannes Film Festival Marché du Film premiere of El Guardia and looks forward to seeing what he makes next! 

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    January 10, 2020 • Film Festivals, Film School, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1005

  • Oscar-Nominated New York Film Academy Filmmaking Alum Giacun Caduff Working on New Projects

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking alum Giacun Caduff, along with NYFA Acting for Film alum Stefanie Lacher, have been working nonstop across the globe as they work on films and other projects following the massive success of La femme et le TGV, the Oscar-nominated short produced by Caduff.

    Caduff attended the 8-Week Filmmaking workshop at NYFA’s New York campus in the summer of 1999. Lacher attended NYFA’s 8-Week Acting for Film workshop at our Los Angeles campus in September 2011. The pair met several years later at a party in Switzerland, Caduff’s native country.

    Giacun Caduff and Stefanie Lacher

    NYFA Alumni Giacun Caduff and Stefanie Lacher

    In 2009, Caduff founded the Gässli Film Festival in his hometown of Basel, Switzerland, a platform for young aspiring filmmakers to present their shorts and network with industry professionals. He also runs a film camp and drive-in movie theater.

    These projects haven’t stopped Caduff from working on his true passion though—making movies. He has produced such films as Etienne! (2009), 2B or Not 2B (2005), Salad Days (2011), and directorial effort 20 Regeln für Sylvie (2014).

    His biggest success to date was the 2016 short La femme et le TGV, written and directed by NYFA Filmmaking alum Timo von Gunten, which tells a touching story of a lonely woman and a TGV train driver. Among many other awards, nominations, and festival selections, La femme et le TGV was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. The film was executive produced by NYFA alum Jean de Meuron.

    View this post on Instagram

    What a night!

    A post shared by Giacun Caduff (@jacquesabale) on

    “In a funny way, the nomination has helped more with other projects than with movies,” Caduff tells NYFA. “I learned that in the end it’s an interesting process where suddenly people introduce you as an Oscar nominee, which is nice, but at the same time, people will automatically expect that same level from you—which in the film world is another Oscar-nominated movie. With projects outside the film business it’s a bit easier, because the expectations are high too but there is no 1:1 comparison. So, I was happy to work with excited people to create the basis for the Gässli Film Festival that—maybe one day—will be Oscar-qualifying.”

    Those high expectations haven’t stopped Caduff though, who is working on multiple new films, and will possibly collaborate in the future with NYFA alum Stefanie Lacher, whom Caduff calls “a wonderful inspiration.” 

    la femme et le tgv giacun caduffGiacun Caduff

    He adds, “There are two scripts of my own that I’m finalizing and one that the director of La femme et le TGV is writing. This journey took me to the US and later to Russia, where I spent time in a lake house without internet to focus on the writing. With enough luck, I hope to shoot this year. Probably next year, but this year should be key in getting funding and cast attachment. Fingers crossed!”

    Making films and collaborating with fellow NYFA classmates stems from a passion Caduff found when he attended the Filmmaking workshop in New York. “Using 16mm film for the first time,” describes Caduff, “I re-discovered my love and passion for film. I knew right there that I was making movies for the wrong reasons so far and started to understand the importance of story, light, lenses—and I mean, being in New York City during that time of my life… amazing.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA alumni Giacun Caduff and Stefanie Lacher on their respective successes since graduating the Academy and looks forward to seeing what projects they work on next!

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    January 6, 2020 • Acting, Film Festivals, Film School, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1508