NYFA Australia
Posts

  • New York Film Academy Australia Alumni Release Action Short ‘Round Trip’

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Ren Thackham Round TripRound Trip, a six-minute action film written and directed by New York Film Academy Australia alum Ren Thackham and starring NYFA Australia alum Danny Bolt, recently went online after a spectacular festival run.

    Thackham and Bolt met while studying at NYFA Australia, where Thackham attended the 1-Year Filmmaking program in 2014. Since then, she’s had a great deal of success on the festival circuit with her short films, collaborating often with Bolt, and winning numerous awards and nominations for her work.

    Their latest short, Round Trip, packs a serious punch with an incredible automobile stunt involving a police car flipping over. “We had one police car and one shot at flipping it on camera, and if it didn’t land on it’s wheels, we wouldn’t have had a film,” says Thackham. 

     

    The film was in good hands though; the head of the stunt team was Judd Wild, who worked on Australian action epic Mad Max: Fury Road. Thackham calls Wild “one of the best in the country.”

    Wild wasn’t the only top shelf talent on the production. The film stars 2013 NABBA Mr. Universe Lee Priest in his acting debut, as a criminal trying to escape Bolt’s police officer protagonist. Additionally, the score for Round Trip was composed by Rafael May with didgeridoo by Darren Narul, recorded at Skinny Fish Music in Darwin. 

    Thackham and Bolt next plan to make their first feature film, Ridgy Didge, in 2020 as a directing/producing team.

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA Australia alumni Ren Thackham and Danny Bolt on the online release of Round Trip and encourages everyone to check out the death-defying short!

     

    Ren Thackham Round Trip Danny Bolt

     

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    October 15, 2019 • #WomenOfNYFA, Acting, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 120

  • New York Film Academy Australia Welcomes Academy Award Winner Ben Osmo to Gold Coast Campus

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    On Thursday, August 22, New York Film Academy Australia (NYFA-AU) hosted a master class with former NYFA-AU instructor and Academy Award winner Ben Osmo.

    Osmo, a sound recordist and mixer, is known for his work on films including Dead Calm (1989), Strictly Ballroom (1991), Alien: Covenant (2017), and Peter Rabbit (2018). His work on 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road earned him the Oscar for Best Achievement in Sound Mixing at the 88th Academy Awards, which he shared with Chris Jenkins and Gregg Rudloff.

    Ben Osmo Gold Coast

    Speaking at length with NYFA-AU students at the Gold Coast campus in an intimate setting, Osmo shared the knowledge he gained over a career of almost 30 years in the sound industry and that includes an Oscar and 13 other award wins and nine nominations.

    Osmo began the master class by sharing his journey working on Mad Max: Fury Road, telling NYFA-AU students: “To be a good filmmaker, it’s good to know all the phases of filmmaking, and sound—it’s one of the important ones. You can’t get good sound unless you get cooperation from all the film crew, we are all in it together, and to succeed we need each other.”

    Students listened intently as Osmo talked about the importance of how sound can make or break a film, and how to be flexible with film crews. He also shared some personal experiences both technical and related to the profession. 

    “The master class with Ben Osmo was insightful, inspiring, and gave an incredible perspective into the importance of sound for our students,” says Patrick Ryan, NYFA-AU Deputy Chair of Filmmaking.

    New York Film Academy Australia thanks former NYFA-AU instructor and Academy Award winner Ben Osmo for taking the time to share his expertise and experiences with our NYFA-AU students!

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    September 4, 2019 • Film School, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 364

  • New York Film Academy Australia Filmmaking Alum Josh Hale Shoots Second Feature on Gold Coast

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    New York Film Academy Australia (NYFA Australia) alum Josh Hale just completed production of House of Inequity, his second feature film, on the Gold Coast, Australia.

    Australia’s Gold Coast is known for its beautiful natural scenery, so it might not be the first place you’d think of when choosing a location for a creepy horror film, but that outside-the-box thinking is part of what makes Hale such a talented filmmaker.

    Hale attended New York Film Academy Australia in 2014, taking the Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media in Filmmaking program at the Gold Coast campus, where students have the opportunity to shoot on the Village Roadshow Studios backlot. Before then, he was shooting skateboard videos, but felt inspired to do more with the medium. 

    “I tried to make my own film in 2009 and failed miserably,” Hale tells the Gold Coast Bulletin. “I was overly ambitious. I didn’t know anything except I wanted to make a film. I always loved writing so it was a natural progression.”

    Josh Hale

    After graduating, Hale wrote and directed his first feature, a comedy entitled Digital Athletes: The Road to Seat League, which won several awards at multiple festivals, including the NYC Indie Film Awards, Festigious International Film Festival, IndieFEST Film Awards, and Los Angeles Film Awards.

    “Josh utilized his hands-on training with NYFA Australia, at the Gold Coast, to go make a feature film right out of college,” NYFA Australia Director Tasha Cooper stated after the North American premiere of Digital Athletes. “He’s one of our success stories and we’re very proud of his recent achievements.

    His sophomore effort, House of Inequity, was shot in two distinct locations on the Gold Coast—Jacobs Well and Helensvale. The independent film is being financed by an American investor; Hale also received a film grant from the Australian Government. 

    Josh Hale House of Inequity

    House of Inequity, was written in 16 days, and shot over several months across both Gold Coast locations. Filming recently wrapped on the US-Gold Coast co-production, and House of Inequity is expected to premiere later this year. And Hale isn’t slowing down—he is currently producing two other films, including a documentary.

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA Australia Filmmaking alum Josh Hale on his latest work, House of Inequity, and looks forward to seeing the completed version later this year!

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    August 16, 2019 • Film School, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1202

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Australia Students Participate in VIVA Surfers Paradise Parade

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Last month, New York Film Academy (NYFA) Australia students participated in a street parade as part of VIVA Surfers Paradise, a week-long festival held in Australia’s Gold Coast.

    VIVA Surfers Paradise

    VIVA Surfers Paradise is described as Australia’s ultimate tribute artist festival, and consists of multiple live performances and other events over the course of a week, including tributes to Elvis, Elton John, Queen, and The Beatles. This year’s event had an overall attendance of more than 132,000 visitors. 

    For the VIVA Surfers Paradise street parade, there were around 50 different groups and floats, including New York Film Academy, which has a campus on the Gold Coast. Additionally, six student actors from NYFA played zombies as part of a “fest-evil” float. The NYFA float included three students, representing two actors and a director, from NYFA-Australia’s Diploma and Advanced Diploma programs.

    The parade was a huge hit, with large crowds filming and photographing the various artists and floats that passed by.

    “The team’s professionalism, punctuality, and dedication to ensuring they remain in character for the whole duration of the parade is a testament to the students and mentors at the Academy,” says Ian Maclachlan, NYFA-Australia Operations Manager.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    August 13, 2019 • Acting, Community Highlights, Film School, Filmmaking • Views: 579

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Australia Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media Alum Berry Salem Is 2019 Regional Finalist of the Queensland Training Awards

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Earlier this month, New York Film Academy (NYFA) Australia Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media alum Abeer (Berry) Salem was awarded as 2019 Regional Finalist of the Queensland Training Awards. The ceremony was held at the Gold Coast Arts Centre at the Home of the Arts (HOTA) on July 5.

    Salem originally hails from Egypt and graduated from the Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media program at New York Film Academy Australia in August 2018. She mainly works on the production side of music videos and other short-form content, and has experience in both filmmaking and acting.

    Berry Salem
    “I have joined New York Film Academy to pursue my dream,” says Salem. “I’m devoted to acting and filmmaking. It is my passion. I like to transform my dream into reality. I love to create unforgettable moments that remind others of our common humanity—to inspire, encourage, challenge—and to allow witnesses in my works to the reality, the magnificence, the pleasure and the mystery of life. I intend to produce films that are a form of art—not purely to entertain but to inflame emotion and reflection, motivate action, and have a long-lasting effect on those who experience them.”

    Salem has put action to this words by founding the Lotus Production House, which focuses on promoting independent performers, directors, actors, and producers.

    Salem’s producing credits include two feature films, The Last Video Store and Home Plate. The mother of two has also produced her directorial debut, the 2018 short film Parental Responsibility, which earned several awards since its release. Salem plans to focus on more writing and directing in the future. She is currently working on Unseen Wall, which centers on women in prison.

    “My study at New York Film Academy has further strengthened my career as a filmmaker, actress, director and producer,” says Salem. “I have been able to apply my creative approach in a way that has earned me many recognitions through my films.”

    Those recognitions are numerous, and include:

    Best Indie Filmmaker – Top Short Film Festival 2018
    Best First-Time Director – Aphrodite Film Awards
    Best First-Time Director – Festigious Film Festival 2018
    Best First-Time Director – New York Film Awards 2018
    Semi-Finalist – Los Angeles Film Awards 2018
    Best Female Filmmaker – Toronto International Nollywood Film Festival 2019
    Best Short Film – Australian Inspirational Film Festival – 2019
    Official Selection – WRPN Women’s International Film Festival
    Semi-Finalist – Australian Inspirational Film Festival 2019
    Official Selection – First-Time Filmmaker Film Festival

    Salem’s passion for film came at an early age. “Throughout the day, I would envision myself as an actor in a film and life around me as the film set,” she says. “It was hard to suppress this creative realization that everything around me, everything I learned, and everything I dreamed could be a movie.

    Berry Salem

    All of her passion and hard work have paid off. Salem was one of the top three finalists for the 2019 Queensland Training Award, out of 860 applicants. The prestigious Queensland Training Awards, which celebrates its 58th year this year, recognizes individuals that strive for and have achieved success, best practice and innovation in vocational education and training across 14 categories, including for apprentices, trainees, vocational students, teachers and trainers, and more. Salem was previously a finalist for the Award in 2017.

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA Australia alum Berry Salem on her latest in a long line of achievements and wishes her continued success as she develops her career.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    July 12, 2019 • Filmmaking, Producing, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 735

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking Alum Cristian Prieto Takes His Talents to Australia

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking Alum Cristian Prieto and his wife have moved to Byron Bay, a coastal town in Australia that is a hot spot home and vacation spot for many of Hollywood’s biggest names. This includes Chris Hemsworth and his wife—actress, model, and Fast and the Furious star Elsa Pataky. Pataky is the sister of Cristian Prieto, so the move to Byron Bay is bringing the Spanish-born siblings closer than ever. 

    In June 2010, Prieto graduated the 1-year Filmmaking program at NYFA-Los Angeles, where he received over a thousand hours of hands-on instruction and actual production experience in a curriculum that integrates intensive study in cinematography, directing, screenwriting, producing, and editing.Cristian Prieto

    Prieto’s thesis film was titled Bye By Baby and starred Pataky. Prieto wore multiple hats on the film—writing, directing, and producing the short. A year later, he worked on the film Prodigal, starring Kenneth Branagh.

    Shortly after that, Prieto worked on 2012’s The Avengers, which co-starred his brother-in-law as the hammer-wielding superhero Thor. It wouldn’t be the last time Hemsworth and Prieto worked together—Prieto also served on the production crew for 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok; the film was shot in Queensland partially at Village Roadshow Studios, where NYFA Gold Coast students also have the opportunity to shoot their films.

    Prieto has also acted, including a role in Giallo, starring Adrien Brody and Elsa Pataky, and also works as a photographer. He recently shot an editorial for fashion brand Spell Byron Bay, featuring his sister.

    New York Film Academy congratulates Filmmaking alum Cristian Prieto and his wife on their new home and looks forward to his future projects, whether they involve filmmaking, photography, acting, or whatever passion he chooses to follow next!

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    May 24, 2019 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 727

  • Simon Lyndon and Cinzia Coassin hold Q&A at New York Film Academy Australia

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    On Monday, February 11, New York Film Academy Australia (NYFAA) was delighted to welcome AFI Award-winning actor Simon Lyndon, and prominent Australian casting director Cinzia Coassin to our Australian campus.

    Simon Lyndon and Cinzia Coassin pose for a photo with New York Film Academy Australia students.

    Simon gathered acclaim as Jimmy Loughlin in iconic Australian film Chopper with Eric Bana, for which he won an AFI award for Best Supporting Actor and a Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for best supporting actor. He also received AFI nominations for Best Supporting Actor for Blackrock (as Ricko) and Best Actor in a telefeature or mini-series for his role in My Brother Jack.

    Cinzia Coassin and Simon Lyndon answer questions from New York Film Academy Australia students

    Other film and television credits include:

    Fresh AirSample PeopleThe Thin Red LineFrom the Outside Caught InsideFalling into Paradise, The Glenmore Job, The Well Dust off the Wings, Beaconsfield, a younger Jack Thompson in Paper Giants – The Birth of Cleo Magazine, Larry Knight, Spirited on Foxtel with Claudia Karvan, playing The KingPuberty Blues as a surfing teacher Gumby, Police RescueHeartbreak HighWildsideUnderbelly Canal Road and FOX network show Roar together with fellow Australian and Blackrock co-star Heath Ledger.

    Simon is also a sought-after theatre actor and director.

    Cinzia Coassin started her career as a theatre/film and television actor, and has since expanded her reach in the entertainment industry. Located on Queensland’s Gold Coast, she is one of the preeminent Casting Directors NYFAA students will see 

    Cinzia is currently Casting Director on Australian feature films Unsound, a feature film supporting disability and diversity, sci-fi film Occupation, and Darkman.  A seasoned Casting Associate and industry professional, Cinzia has been involved in the casting process for The Moon and the Sun, The Dressmaker, and Camp for the NBC Network, along with CBS pilot season 2014, The Code and Hiding for the ABC Network.  She was also involved with the Australian search for the hit HBO series Game of Thrones, Hercules, The Shannara Chronicles,The Badlands and BIG VALLEY -The BFG.  Additional casting project involvement includes The Strip and Blood Brothers for the 9 Network Australia, Spartacus, Legend of the Seeker, and K9 (children series), 33 Postcards, The King is Dead, Satellite Boy and 4 seasons of ABC US pilot season.  

    A creator of work, Cinzia is creative producer and collaborator on Holy Moselle, a feature film written by  Michelle Coassin and has produced a short film festival – Ten to One – giving platform to writers/producers/directors to showcase their stories/films.

    Cinzia Coassin answers questions from students at New York Film Academy Australia

    NYFA students were curious about Simon’s experience on Chopper, and Simon shared personal anecdotes; his experience of sleeping in a cell where a stabbing took place, and stories of Chopper showing off his shooting skills by having a friend hold a target.  

    He was generous in sharing his thoughts on acting techniques – method and physical techniques. 

    Students were treated to a viewing of Simon’s impressive showreel before Simon and Cinzia took questions from our acting students.

    Of particular interest was Cinzia and Simon’s initiatives in creating work: Simon in theatre and Cinzia in producing a short film festival.  In answer to student questions – what to do after graduating, Simon encouraged students to “make your own work!  If you’re not getting cast, make a short film and cast yourself!”.  

    As Chair of Acting NYFAA, it is wonderful to see our ethos of Learning by Doing, so enthusiastically endorsed by our industry leaders.  We all expressed our gratitude and appreciation to Simon and Cinzia, before taking advantage of photo opportunities.  Some students were even treated to a moment of individual consultation.   

    Thank you Simon and Cinzia, we hope to welcome you back again soon!

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    February 18, 2019 • Acting, Guest Speakers • Views: 921

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Congratulates Producer Dana Lustig on the Release of Feature Film “Look Away”

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailThe New York Film Academy (NYFA) encourages everyone to check out the new psychological thriller Look Away, which releases this October 12, 2018 on VOD and in theaters nationwide. In a Hollywood culture currently dominated by epic franchise films and sequels, Look Away is an independent film crafted by passionate filmmakers and actors looking to tell an exciting, new story without the luxury of a $200 million budget. The film was directed by Assaf Bernstein — known for the hit Netflix series Fauda — and produced by prolific filmmaker and celebrated New York Film Academy (NYFA) lecturer Dana Lustig.

    Look Away is a thriller-horror about an alienated teenager who switches places with her evil mirror image. It stars Oscar-winning actress Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite), Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter, Star Trek: Discovery, The Death of Stalin), and India Eisley (The Secret Life of the American Teenager). Eisley is starring next in the television miniseries I Am the Night with Chris Pine (Star Trek, Wonder Woman), produced and directed by Patty Jenkins (Monster, Wonder Woman).

    Lustig was born in Israel and has directed five feature films and produced over twenty independent features, working with many high-profile actors, actresses, and filmmakers. Embodying the modern female filmmaker archetype that is finally getting the recognition it deserves in Hollywood, Lustig balances her career in the industry with her occasional lectures at New York Film Academy and other institutions, as well as with being a full-time mother.

    “Filmmaking is a 24-hours-a-day job, it never stops,” Lustig tells NYFA, continuing, “You might find your next story at the dinner table or dreaming at night. It is a lifestyle.”

    As for the types of narratives she pursues, Lustig says that she looks for stories that are “diverse, creative, and moving. Even if it’s a period film, it needs to be current and relevant to today.”Dana Lustig

    The true survival story Jungle, starring Harry Potter lead Daniel Radcliffe, was produced by Lustig and released earlier this year. The film shot both in Colombia and Australia’s Gold Coast, where NYFA has another location with access to the Village Roadshow backlot.

    Lustig directed the dark love story A Thousand Kisses Deep starring Dougary Scott (Mission: Impossible 2) and Jodie Whittaker (Attack the Block, Broadchurch). Whittaker herself has been making headlines this week as she debuted as the Thirteenth Doctor — and first female Doctor — in the long-running smash British series Doctor Who. A Thousand Kisses Deep was nominated for a British Independent Film Award.

    In addition to A Thousand Kisses Deep, Lustig also directed the comedy Wild Cherry starring Rob Schneider, Kill Me Later starring Selma Blair, Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Wedding Bell Blues starring John Corbett. Additionally, Lustig was a partner at Berman Lustig Productions for ten years, along with producer Ram Bergman (Looper, Star Wars: The Last Jedi.) BLP produced the hit Rian Johnson indie Brick as well as Dancing at the Blue Iguana, directed by Oscar nominee Michael Radford.

    Dana LustigLustig tells NYFA that she feels the urge to always keep moving and looking forward to the next project, saying “We can never really be satisfied as storytellers.” She is currently executive producing Spider in the Web with Ben Kingsley and Monica Bellucci and has just wrapped filming the second season of Israeli hit series Very Important Man. She is scheduled next to direct the remake of the Israeli film The Man in the Wall.

    And still Lustig finds time in between projects to speak with film school students at NYFA. One piece of advice she gives to aspiring filmmakers that comes from her roles both as a director and as a producer is to “Find the next great story to tell — one that is financially viable in the current market, both commercially and artistically.”

    The New York Film Academy congratulates producer, filmmaker, and lecturer Dana Lustig on her long list of successes and looks forward to the many still to come! Look Away releases nationwide this October 12.

    Dana Lustig Look AwayFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    October 11, 2018 • Faculty Highlights, Filmmaking • Views: 1331

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Alum Elizabeth McLeish Is “Always Nice”

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailElizabeth McLeish is a graduate of the filmmaking school offered at New York Film Academy Australia on the Gold Coast. After completing her studies earlier this year, she’s hit the ground running and has already founded her own company, McLeish Film & Media.

    McLeish Film & Media bills itself as a videography and content creation service, specializing in wedding & event videography and available in Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Mount Tamborine, and Byron Bay.

    Filmmaking has been a calling for McLeish for some time. Quoted on her website, she says, “I knew from an early age that filmmaking was going to be a life long passion. What started with a hobby of photography grew into a love for all things film.”

    McLeish followed through on that dream by attending New York Film Academy (NYFA). She continues, “After studying at the New York Film Academy, Australia in 2017, I grew as a filmmaker with my graduate film picking up multiple awards at festivals, both nationally and internationally.”

    McLeish credits NYFA for giving her “hands on experience with industry recognized cameras and equipment and having lecturers with extensive experience in the film industry.” During her time as a student at NYFA, McLeish most enjoyed “having the chance to meet creative, likeminded people and working together on each other’s film projects.” 

    Her motto – “be nice, always!”

    McLeish is putting that education and her multiple festival awards to good use. In addition to founding McLeish Film & Media, she is also working on her debut feature documentary, titled Kell’s Ride For a Cure. The film is to be shot in New Zealand later this year and explores the topic of early onset dementia as experienced by motorcycle enthusiast Greg Kelly. Australian media icon Ita Buttrose was also interviewed by McLeish and her team as part of the feature. 

    Should there ever be a film shot about her own life, McLeish says it would be “an adventure/comedy, starring Keira Knightley and the title would be Daydreamer.” McLeish plans to continue working on her documentary and running her videography business which, she says, “has been very successful, so I look forward to seeing where it takes me.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates Elizabeth McLeish on her success and commends her positive attitude and incredible drive!

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    September 5, 2018 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 814

  • Academy Award Winner Ben Osmo is Guest Speaker at New York Film Academy Australia Gold Coast

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailThe New York Film Academy (NYFA) Australia welcomed Academy Award winner and former NYFA Australia instructor Ben Osmo to its Gold Coast campus for an exclusive event as a part of its continuing Guest Speaker Series last month.

    Osmo received the Academy Award for his work as production sound mixer on the critically acclaimed international Blockbuster hit “Max Mad: Fury Road,” a much-anticipated reimagining of the 1980s apocalyptic action thriller directed by George Miller and starring Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy.

    The veteran sound mixer and recorder also picked up a BAFFTA Nomination and ACCTA Award for his work on “Mad Max: Road Fury,” but these recent accolades are only a small part of his impressive resume. His other credits include Hollywood Blockbuster “Alien Covenant,” directed by Ridley Scott; family features “Babe” and “Happy Feet Two”; and beloved Australian films including “Strictly Ballroom” and “Dead Calm.”

    Hosted by Deputy Chair of Filmmaking Brian Vining, the Guest Speaker event commenced with a Q&A session followed by a special screening of Osmo’s documentary on the making of the sound for “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

    NYFA Gold Coast students and staff alike were thrilled at the opportunity to delve further into the realm of sound design and editing for film, an often under-appreciated yet integral component of a great movie masterpiece.

    Students described the event as “very informative,” with September Advanced Diploma acting for film student Tommie Thomas explaining, “As an actor, you don’t realize how much collaboration goes into making a film until you are able to hear it from someone of this caliber.”

    New York Film Academy Australia prides itself in offering students the opportunity to develop their own technical and creative abilities through continued mentoring and master classes with illustrious members of the film and entertainment industry.Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail