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  • New York Film Academy Australia (NYFAA) Partners With Australian Production Design Guild (APDG)

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    New York Film Academy Australia (NYFAA) is excited to announce its official 2020 industry partnership with the Australian Production Design Guild (APDG).

    APDG Fiona Donovan

    NYFAA Associate Chair of Filmmaking Patrick Ryan presenting the APDG Award for Best Production Design for a TV Drama or a Web Series to winner Fiona Donovan

    The APDG welcomed NYFAA to the 9th Annual APDG Awards Ceremony last December. Patrick Ryan, Associate Chair of Filmmaking, presented the award with NYFAA naming rights for Best Production Design for a TV Drama or Web Series at the Australian Production Design Guild Awards held in Melbourne.

    The APDG Awards is an annual event organized by the Australian Production Design Guild. The event acknowledges excellence in design on Australian or International productions for feature films, short film, TV productions, webseries, and stage productions. This year, the event was held on the prestigious stage of The Melba Spiegeltent.

    Ryan spoke onstage while presenting the award, saying “On behalf of NYFA Australia, I’d like to say a thank you to all the production designers for making this world a little more beautiful one work at a time.” It was met with a round of applause from the industry guests.

    Nominees included Black Mirror: Striking Vipers, Bloom, and Tidelands. The winner was Fiona Donovan, APDG, for her work on A Place to Call Home.

    In 2020, the APDG will make further headway into Queensland, where a thriving film industry is led by leading local and international practitioners across the fields of NYFA Australia’s studies.

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    January 29, 2020 • Community Highlights, Entertainment Australia, Film School • Views: 1237

  • International Community Gathers Together to Aid Victims of Australia Bushfires – Here’s How You Can Help

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    The devastating bushfires in Australia have now been raging for their fourth straight month, scorching millions of acres of land and already resulting in the deaths of over two dozen people and more than one billion animals. The international community has watched in horror as the fires show no signs of slowing down, rallying together to do what they can through donations and charities. It has been estimated that over a million people worldwide have supported the relief with no amount considered too small for the victims, firefighters and wildlife.

     

    The sheer magnitude of the devastation has been impossible to ignore, dominating the international news cycle and even the awards speeches of Hollywood’s Golden Globe Awards, held last Sunday.  Several award winners took the time from their speeches to share their sympathies for the victims of the bushfires and urged anyone who can to donate to charities and organizations supporting Australia and those affected by the fires.

    Other celebrities have taken to social media to do the same, using the massive goodwill and capital they’ve earned from successful careers in the entertainment industry to make large calls to action. Actors and performers like Nicole Kidman, Chris Hemsworth, Russell Crowe, Pink, Selena Gomez, Celeste Barber, Rebel Wilson, Naomi Watts, Kylie Minogue, Cate Blanchett, and Bindi Irwin have all implored their fans and followers to join them in supporting Australia in any way they can.

    New York Film Academy Australia (NYFA Australia) students from both Australia and the international community have had the distinct luxury of shooting in one of the most beautiful and diverse environments in the world. It is no coincidence that the film industry has turned to the Gold Coast and Australia so often to shoot iconic films and television series—the charm and beauty of the island continent is effortlessly captured by the camera’s eye.

    Films and series like Game of Thrones, Aquaman, Thor: Ragnarok, San Andreas, The Shallows, Kong: Skull Island, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and the 70s Australian film Walkabout—as well as countless student films by NYFA Australia students and alumni—have all taken advantage of Australia’s scenic backdrops. Seeing the continued destruction of both land and lives has been unspeakably heartbreaking, and NYFA Australia encourages those who can to support the victims of Australia’s fires in any way possible.

    In light of these devastating bushfires, the Gold Coast campus has been in contact with Foodbank Queensland to see how they can support those in need during this challenging period. Foodbank Queensland has requested much-needed toiletries and non-perishable items as donations for those affected. The NYFA Australia community has come together and collected donations at the Southport campus which will be sent down to Foodbank NSW Team on January 10th in support of the Bushfire Relief. The campus has received an overwhelming amount of support from staff and students who are keen to help out in any way they can which has been wonderful.

    Donations collected by NYFA Australia for the Bushfire Relief.

     

    Here’s How You Can Help

    For those willing and able to help, here are some of the organizations you can support to aid displaced people, wildlife populations, and Australia as a whole during this unprecedented emergency:

    The cinematographer of the Australian film Walkabout also NYFA Los Angeles’s Cinematography ChairAnthony Richmond shares this message and plea for support:

    Every dollar counts so any amount you are able to donate will help and Australians will surely appreciate it.

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    January 10, 2020 • Entertainment Australia, Outreach, Progressive & Social Causes • Views: 1365

  • New York Film Academy Australia’s Unprecedented Partnership with Warner Bros. Movie World for Theme Park Hot Sets

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    Warner Bros. Movie World

    Visitors to Warner Bros. Movie World now have the chance to see filmmaking in action thanks to a first-of-its-kind partnership between the iconic Gold Coast theme park and New York Film Academy Australia.

    Through the collaboration, film production hot sets will be installed on the grounds of Warner Bros. Movie World for NYFA Australia students to sharpen their skills in the various elements of film craft using state-of-the-art, industry standard equipment under the guidance of NYFA Australia faculty and staff.

    Guests visiting the park will be able to watch the magic of movie making up close and in action, which falls in line with the movie-centric attractions of the popular vacation spot. Some guests may even be asked to participate in the hot sets, and serve as on-camera performers in the scenes filmed.

    Warner Bros. Movie World

    “In addition to offering our students the invaluable opportunity to participate on set,” says NYFA Australia Director, Tasha Cooper, “this unique partnership simultaneously offers guests to the park the premium, ‘movie magic’ experience they desire.”

    Warner Bros. Movie World is one of the most popular destinations in Queensland for both locals and visitors, and is based on the characters and properties of the Warner Bros. film studio, including the iconic roster of DC Comics superheroes like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. The park is operated by Village Roadshow Studios (VRS), which has a long-standing relationship with NYFA Australia. Throughout their studies, NYFA Australia students also have the opportunity to shoot films on the VRS backlot, where NYFA Australia houses its own production workshop studios. The VRS backlot has been home to some of the biggest movies of the decade, including Aquaman, Thor: Ragnarok, and San Andreas.

    Warner Bros. Movie World

    “Movie World and NYFA Australia share an affinity for the film industry on the Gold Coast and I am excited at the prospects of this unique partnership,” shares Michael Croaker, Head of Entertainment for Village Roadshow Theme Parks. “Excitingly, Movie World guests will have the opportunity to watch a real ‘hot set’ operating in the park with a few even getting the chance to get in on the action themselves.”

    The interactive hot sets can be found off the theme park’s Main Street, near Gotham City Hall. Various films and productions by the students will be shot there; recently, NYFA Australia alumni even had the opportunity to shoot a promo video for hit90.9’s Breakfast show. One lucky student was chosen based on their pitch to work with popular radio hosts Lise Carlaw, Sarah Wills, Dan Anstey, and Ben Hannant to create the promo. NYFA Australia students aren’t just getting exposure on the radio; the theme park hot sets were also recently featured in a story on 7NEWS Gold Coast.


    New York Film Academy Australia is thrilled to partner with Warner Bros. Movie Studios for this innovative approach to instructing students in the craft of filmmaking and preparing them for the bustling dynamics of professional, real world film sets.

    All programs and workshops are solely owned and operated by the New York Film Academy Australia and are not affiliated with Village Roadshow Studios.

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    November 27, 2019 • Film School, Filmmaking • Views: 1178

  • New York Film Academy Australia Filmmaking Alum Leroy Button Builds Up Blockbuster Credits

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    New York Film Academy Australia alum Leroy Button has been busy since graduating the Filmmaking program in 2018, having worked on multiple blockbusters, including Aquaman and Dora and the Lost City of Gold, as well as upcoming franchise sequels Fast & Furious 9 and James Bond film No Time to Die.

    Australian publication Daily Telegraph recently covered Button’s achievements in a profile, touching on his early start as a child playing with consumer and prosumer camera equipment. Button would shoot numerous videos and short films with his friends, presaging his future career in the filmmaking industry.

     

    leroy button

    Sense, a film he made while still in high school, went on to win seven awards in the festival circuit, and led to Button creating his own freelance company, Button Media. After taking a Panavision Master Class while studying at NYFA Australia’s Gold Coast campus, Button landed a job with Panavision, where he eventually was able to work on superhero epic Aquaman, which was partially filmed at Village Roadshow Studios.

    On set, Button worked closely with stars like Jason Momoa and Nicole Kidman, but it was the state-of-the-art technical equipment that really wowed him. “I was actually more interested in having conversations with the camera boys,” Button tells Daily Telegraph Australia.

    Sure enough, that job led to another and then another, and in just a few short years Button has built up an impressive resume with credits on huge Hollywood films in the camera and electric departments, including as the drone technician on last summer’s Dora the Explorer film.

    leroy button

    Additionally, Button has been working in television, and earning cinematography credits as well. His career is clearly only just getting started.

    “Leroy displayed passion, positivity, and a strong work ethic,” says Steve Pratt, NYFA Australia Chair of Filmmaking, “and was able to utilize the unique hands-on approach to filmmaking that makes NYFA Australia’s curriculum stand out from the rest—ensuring graduates like him are industry-ready when big studios come calling. We are extremely proud of him and look forward to his continued success in the industry.”

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    November 8, 2019 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1120

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

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    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

     

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    October 15, 2019 • #WomenOfNYFA, Acting, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1288

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

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    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!

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    September 4, 2019 • Film School, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 875

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

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    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!

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    August 16, 2019 • Film School, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1823

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

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    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.

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    August 13, 2019 • Acting, Community Highlights, Film School, Filmmaking • Views: 1058

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

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    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.

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    July 12, 2019 • Filmmaking, Producing, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1211

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

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    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!

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    May 24, 2019 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1613