NYFA Documentary Filmmaking
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  • NYFA Documentary Alumna Anais Michel Joins Editing Team on Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner’s New HBO Series

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    NYFA Documentary Filmmakng alumna and former NYFA teaching assistant Anais Michel brings that rarest of all documentary talents to the table: comedy.

    When her film “Coach Mike” screened at the Wythe Theater in Brooklyn, the audience started laughing at minute two and didn’t stop until the credits ran out. Aptly, while she’s developing her new comedic doc inside the world of dance, the New York Film Academy grad is also busy honing her comedic chops working with comedy powerhouses Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner on the editing team of their new HBO series.

    While HBO has yet to release many details on the new series, we can reveal that Anais’ editing team is headed by HBO’s Gladys Murphy, who was nominated for an Emmy in Outstanding Editing: Documentary and Long Form for her work on 2016’s “Larry Kramer in Love and Anger” for HBO.

    Coming from a background in competitive ballet and jazz dance, Anais has worked hard to position herself amongst some of the most successful female industry leaders working behind the scenes of film and television as directors, producers, editors, and writers in an industry plagued by gender inequality.

    Anais earned her master’s in journalism at France’s prestigious French Press Institute (Institut Français de Presse) before attending the New York Film Academy’s Documentary Filmmaking conservatory program, as well as the digital editing workshop.

    Since graduation, Anais has worked as an assistant editor with the internationally popular “VICE News Tonight” for their French edition, as well as working as an editor for documentary projects for prestigious nonprofit organizations including the Metropolitan Museum and the NoVo Foundation. Her short film “Hand Sight,” about a four-year-old blind girl, is an official selection of  the upcoming International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films.

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  • NYFA Documentary Filmmaking Master Class Professor Jeremy Xido’s Film Selected for Spotlight on Documentary at IFP Week

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    New York Film Academy Documentary Filmmaking master class professor Jeremy Xido’s newest documentary “The Angola Project: Detroit” was selected for this year’s Spotlight on Documentary at IFP Week in September.

    “The Angola Project: Detroit” will feature alongside over 145 documentary projects at the IFP Week event in September in Brooklyn, with nonfiction media spanning formats from feature film to web and television series. As IndieWire notes, this year marks an impressive expansion in IFP Week’s programming, with additional slots for exhibitions, guest speakers, screenings, and more.

    The Angola Project: Detroit TRAILER 2017 from CABULA6 on Vimeo.

    Jeremy Xido co-wrote and directed “The Angola Project: Detroit,” which draws on his live-performance piece “The Angola Project.” The film is centered around Xido’s return to Detroit for the first time in 20 years to perform, and, as Xido states on his official website, “The film will be a collision of the mythological Detroit in my artwork and the contemporary city currently undergoing another round of radical change. Having left as not much more than a boy, I return as a young father, hoping to find personal reconciliation and a sense of home for me and my family. But I arrive to a city engaged in a fierce battle over it’s identity. The fashionable hype around Detroit’s great turn-around is tempered by the United Nations’ citation of human rights abuses for denying citizens access to water. Bold construction projects are offset by an unprecedented number of evictions. It is a city suspended between hope and fear: the profound hope for a better future and the numbing fear that rewards reaped by some will just be the next cycle of suffering for others.”

    Xido’s work on “The Angola Project” has also inspired his TEDx Talk:

    The film also features NYFA documentary graduate Amy Wright as an associate producer. Wright is an award-winning documentarian in her own right: her film “Legacy” won Best Short at the March on Washington Film Festival, which was held at the White House in Washington D.C.

    Quoted in Filmmaker Magazine of their feature film programming, IFP Executive Director Joana Vicente says, “This year’s feature film program doesn’t shy away from tackling the controversial and key issues of our time. Art often reflects the times we live in, and this slate certainly represents a multitude of points of view and perspectives on America today. Through the lens of race, religious expression, disability, female empowerment, immigration, truth, political correctness, radical inclusion and disenfranchisement, our artists pull no punches sharing their stories, demanding attention for the visions they share.”

    For more information on the IFP Week Screenings, click here.

     

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  • NYFA Documentary Filmmaking Alumna Andrea Blake is Associate Producer for VICE on HBO’s “Between Oil and Water”

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    “Between Oil and Water” is the latest VICE on HBO piece to benefit from the inestimable talents of New York Film Academy Documentary Filmmaking grad and associate producer Andrea Blake.

    Along with VICE on HBO’s documentary series, Andrea Blake’s growing roster of credits includes “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: a Short Film by Spike Jonze,” “Black Market with Michael K. Williams,” and the acclaimed documentary series “Chicagoland.” Yet VICE’s “Between Oil and Water” provides a uniquely intimate look at the surprising source of a cultural and political movement that grew into one of the nation’s largest and most talked-about protests: Standing Rock, South Dakota.

    “You can’t drink oil! You can’t drink oil!” the crowd chants in “Between Oil and Water.” The film profiles some of the youth who behind the start of the national movement: 13-year-olds Anna Lee Rain Yellowhammer and Alice Brown Otter  — classmates at Standing Rock Community Middle School in Fort Yates, North Dakota. It was in a culture class that a teacher asked them to write to the Army Corps of Engineers about their opinion on the pipeline, which had be rerouted to go through their reservation after the community of Bismarck, North Dakota — a predominantly white population — had cited safety concerns, and the pipeline’s trajectory was moved.

    As VICE News shows, Anna Lee Rain Yellowhammer recalls thinking, “If it’s not safe for them why do they put it on our reservation? It’s like they think our lives are more expendable.” After writing for class, both students joined 30 fellow indigenous youth on an incredible 2000 mile run from North Dakota to Washington D.C. in July 2016 to hand-deliver their letters to the Army Corps of Engineers.

    This was the spark of the Standing Rock movement. According to “Between Oil and Water,” the Standing Rock protests evolved into the largest Native American protest movement in history, with 10,000 participants at its peak. Though the plans for the pipeline have not been changed, the film shows how the movement played an essential role in national debate and also had a transformative effect on the young students who played such a central part.

    Alice Brown Otter concludes that while she is disappointed that the government is moving forward with the pipeline, she tries to maintain a positive outlook. “We fight with our words, we fight with kindness, and we’re just strong.”

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  • NYFA Student Documentarian Braulio Jatar Interviewed by VICE on Resistance in Venezuela

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    Photo by Braulio Jatar

    There are many ways students can spend their breaks from school, but Braulio Jatar took a leave of absence from his studies in the 1-Year Documentary Filmmaking Program at the New York Film Academy to put his training to work in the field by documenting the current, violent protests in Venezuela.

    Currently, Jatar is one of a dedicated group of documentary filmmakers, journalists and photographers  who brave daily danger to be on the scene, documenting the upheaval and protests in his native Venezuela. The young filmmaker and activist’s work has caught the attention of VICE, who have spotlighted Jatar in an in-depth interview that shares some of the filmmaker’s powerful photographs.

    Photo by Braulio Jatar

    Jatar, who hails from the Venezuela’s capital of Caracas, told VICE, “I came back to Venezuela because I felt it was a very important moment in the history of my country, and, as a documentary filmmaker, it was essential that I was here.”

    Venezuela is in turmoil, with violent clashes occurring between the government of Nicolás Maduro and citizen demonstrators, who demand the president step down from power. There have been violent clashes between the police and the protesters, some resulting in casualties.

    VICE reports that Jatar wears a bulletproof vest, anti-gas mask, helmet, and press credentials daily when he leaves his home — where his father, a prominent journalist, is on house arrest.

    Photo by Horacio Siciliano

    Jatar ventures into the streets of Caracas to document what he sees and shares his photos and videos daily to his nearly 150,000 Instagram followers, providing a chilling inside glimpse into the chaotic situation in Venezuela, as it happens.

    Of recent violence and deaths, Jatar told VICE, “We need to take into account that the majority of those killed are young people between the ages of 15 and 18. Who is not saddened to learn that the young men facing the police and the National Guard, who are adults and have guns, are dying for simply demanding a better country?”

    Jatar’s VICE interview in its entirety is available here, and there is a translation function for those not fluent in Portuguese. While there, Jatar is also shooting a set of documentaries, one of which he plans to cut as his NYFA thesis when he returns from his leave.

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