NYFA Faculty
Posts

  • New York Film Academy Los Angeles (NYFA-LA) Filmmaking Instructors Keep Busy Outside of Class

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) prides itself on its faculty of professionals working in the film and television industry, who then pass on their first-hand knowledge and experience to their students.

    Here’s a look at some of the latest projects from NYFA-Los Angeles filmmaking instructors:

    Steve Morris
    Steve Morris has been making The Cine-Files Podcast since 2016. Each week, The Cine-Files takes deep a dive into a single great film, exploring its themes, history, filmmaking, and the influence it has on us today. Its goal is to explore films from every era and every genre. 

    So far, Morris and his podcast has tackled over 100 films and explored everything from Citizen Kane and Lawrence of Arabia to The Big Lebowski, Star Wars, Fight Club and Ken Burns’ Civil War. 

    With approximately 20,000 downloads a week, The Cine-Files is a must listen for any serious film fan. The podcast is available on iTunes, YouTube, Google Play, Sticher, and Spotify.

    Mark Sawicki
    Cinematography instructor Mark Sawicki played the role of Sultan Karim in the latest Asylum film Adventures of Aladdin, directed by Emmy-winning VFX Artist Glenn Campbell. Campbell is a previous NYFA guest speaker; Sawicki held a Q&A with him and interviewed him about the Sharknado franchise.

    Sawicki also did do a project for Disney as technical director, with Sofia Carson, utilizing the latest technology in motion capture and live compositing with game engines. Sawicki is hoping this exposure will lead to new opportunities for teaching current technology and practice in VRARMR.

     

    David Martin-Porras
    David’s most recent feature (Chain of Death) opened on July 19 at the Laemmle Music Hall and will be released shortly on home release and video on demand. The cast includes NYFA alum Nicolás Montesinos; NYFA alum Pablo Gómez Castro served as 1st assistant director. The screenplay was co-written by Martin-Porras and NYFA instructor Andrés Rosende.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    July 30, 2019 • Faculty Highlights, Filmmaking • Views: 798

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography Instructor Suki Medencevic Interviewed By ‘American Cinematographer’

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Professional director of photography and New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography instructor Suki Medencevic, ASC, ASBiH, SAS was recently profiled by American Cinematographer magazine.

    In 2010, Medencevic joined the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), the cultural, educational, and professional organization founded in Hollywood in 1919 to bring together professional cinematographers for advancements and advocation of the medium. In 1920 the ASC founded the magazine publication American Cinematographer, which focuses on art and cinematography and in its first 100 years has evolved to cover everything from foreign films to music videos. In their June 2019 issue, American Cinematographer showcased Medencevic in its Close-Up feature, interviewing him in a comprehensive Q&A format.

    Medencevic has worked steadily in the film industry since his first feature film job in 1994, both shooting and working in the camera department for numerous features, television shows, commercials, made-for-TV films, and documentaries. While still working professionally, he currently teaches cinematography students at New York Film Academy’s Burbank-based campus.

    Medencevic’s colleagues in NYFA’s cinematography department are thrilled to see ASC profile the talented artist, and weren’t at all surprised he was chosen for their Close-Up feature.

    Suki Medencevic
    “Suki is incredibly versatile as an instructor,” says Mike Williamson, Associate Chair of Cinematography at NYFA-Los Angeles. “He brings a high level of technical sophistication to the program, no doubt informed by his role as a member of the ASC Technology Committee. Recently he’s helped us develop the curriculum and integrate new material into some of our lighting classes.”

    Williamson adds, “Suki has a strong connection with his students, and we’re pleased to have him as a member of our faculty.”

    The Q&A in American Cinematographer covered several topics. Medencevic spoke about first studying the art form in Belgrade, Serbia from renowned European cinematographers, before delving into his transition to working professionally in the American film industry.

    Additionally, Medencevic cites Jaroslav Kučera, Vittorio Storaro, Chivo, and Roger Deakins as his favorite cinematographers, and the films Apocalypse Now and Enter the Dragon as two films that made strong impressions on him as a child. He also relayed some advice he once received from another professional cinematographer: “‘If you want to be a cinematographer, don’t waste your time doing anything else.’”

    New York Film Academy congratulates Cinematography instructor Suki Medencevic on his recent profile in American Cinematographer Magazine and encourages everyone to read the full interview here.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    July 22, 2019 • Cinematography, Faculty Highlights • Views: 778

  • Meet the Faculty of the New York Film Academy (NYFA) 3D Animation & Visual Effects Department

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Part of what makes the 3D Animation & Visual Effects department at New York Film Academy (NYFA) one of the best animation schools in the world is its experienced, professional, award-winning faculty. 

    These working animators and visual artists are the perfect instructors to NYFA Animation student, able to share a wealth of industry secrets and practical knowledge to prepare students for professional careers in a competitive industry after graduation. By showing students first-hand how they’ve applied their skills on well-known projects like Star Wars and The Last of Us, these exceptional instructors help embody NYFA’s mission to teach the practical, technical and artistic skills necessary for a career in the visual arts.

    Here is a closer look at some of the esteemed faculty of the NYFA 3D Animation & Visual Effects department. Click each image for a detailed, fullscreen look at each faculty member’s achievements!

    You can find more information on the programs offered by the New York Film Academy 3D Animation & Visual Effects department here!

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    July 9, 2019 • 3D Animation, Faculty Highlights • Views: 894

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Celebrates Teen Choice Awards Nominations for NYFA Community 

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    It’s not just the voters of the Golden Globes and Oscars that appreciate the work of the New York Film Academy (NYFA) community— if this year’s Teen Choice Awards nominees are any indication, NYFA alumni and guest speakers are also being recognized by younger audiences as well.

    The annual ceremony for the Teen Choice Awards has been held since 1999. This year, the awards show will take place in Hermosa Beach, California, though the performers and host have not been finalized yet. The ceremony will be held on August 11, 2019, with the late summer being the typical time of year winners receive their surfboards.

    The Teen Choice Awards don’t just honor actors and films—they cover a wide variety of talents including musicians, athletes, and fashionistas. Winners of the Teen Choice Awards receive a full-sized surfboard as their prize.

    Teen Choice Awards
    This year’s nominations were recently announced, with “Old Town Road” breakthrough artist Lil Nas X topping the list with five nominations and Post Malone right behind him with four.

    New York Film Academy alum Lana Condor scored a nomination for Choice Drama Movie Actress for her role in Netflix original film To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. The film is also up for Choice Drama Movie. Additionally, Condor is up for Choice Ship with romantic co-lead Noah Centineo; the two recently won Best Kiss at the MTV Movie & TV Awards.

    Lana CondorAmong the nominees for Choice Comedy Movie were Little, starring NYFA alum Issa Rae, and Crazy Rich Asians. The cast of Crazy Rich Asians were photographed by NYFA Filmmaking Workshop alum Rozette Rago while the film was at its buzziest. 

    Underwater superhero flick Aquaman was also nominated as a Choice Movie in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy category. Much of the film was shot at Village Roadshow Studios, where NYFA Gold Coast students can film their projects.

    Along with our alumni, NYFA guest speakers had cause to celebrate when the nominations were announced. Archie update Riverdale was nominated for Choice Drama TV Show. Riverdale stars Ashleigh Murray and Casey Cott spoke at our New York campus last year.Issa Rae

    The final season of Batman-prequel Gotham earned a nod for Choice Action TV Show. One of the castmembers, film and television star Michael Chiklis, was recently a guest speaker at NYFA’s Burbank-based campus. Dr. Spiros Michalakis, another recent NYFA-LA guest speaker, is the science consultant for several Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbusters, including Ant-Man and the Wasp, which was nominated for Choice Action Movie. NYFA 3D Animation & VFX alum Francesco Panzieri has worked on multiple MCU films as well, in the special effects department.

    New York Film Academy congratulates the nominees of this year’s Teen Choice Awards and looks forward to seeing who brings home a surfboard later this summer!

    Here is the full list of nominees:

     

    MOVIES

    Choice Action Movie
    Ant-Man and the Wasp
    Avengers: Endgame – WINNER
    Bumblebee
    Captain Marvel
    Men in Black: International
    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Choice Action Movie Actor
    Chris Evans, Avengers: Endgame
    Chris Hemsworth, Avengers: EndgameMen in Black: International
    John Cena, Bumblebee
    Paul Rudd, Ant-Man and the WaspAvengers: Endgame
    Robert Downey Jr., Avengers: Endgame – WINNER
    Samuel L. Jackson, Captain Marvel

    Choice Action Movie Actress
    Brie Larson, Captain MarvelAvengers: Endgame
    Evangeline Lilly, Ant-Man and the Wasp
    Hailee Steinfeld, Bumblebee
    Scarlett Johansson, Avengers: Endgame – WINNER
    Tessa Thompson, Men in Black: International
    Zoe Saldana, Avengers: Endgame

    Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movie
    Aladdin – WINNER
    Aquaman
    Dark Phoenix
    Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
    Mary Poppins Returns
    Shazam!

    Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movie Actor
    James McAvoy, Dark Phoenix
    Jason Momoa, Aquaman
    Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mary Poppins Returns
    Mena Massoud, Aladdin
    Will Smith, Aladdin – WINNER
    Zachary Levi, Shazam!

    Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movie Actress
    Amber Heard, Aquaman
    Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns
    Katherine Waterston, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
    Keira Knightley, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
    Naomi Scott, Aladdin – WINNER
    Sophie Turner, Dark Phoenix

    Choice Drama Movie
    After – WINNER
    Bohemian Rhapsody
    Breakthrough
    Five Feet Apart
    The Hate U Give
    To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

    Choice Drama Movie Actor
    Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
    Cole Sprouse, Five Feet Apart
    Hero Fiennes Tiffin, After – WINNER
    Noah Centineo, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
    Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
    Taron Egerton, Rocketman

    Choice Drama Movie Actress
    Amandla Stenberg, The Hate U Give
    Chrissy Metz, Breakthrough
    Haley Lu Richardson, Five Feet Apart
    Josephine Langford, After – WINNER
    Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
    Lana Condor, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

    Choice Comedy Movie
    Crazy Rich Asians – WINNER
    Instant Family
    Isn’t It Romantic
    Little
    Pokémon Detective Pikachu
    The Perfect Date

    Choice Comedy Movie Actor
    Henry Golding, Crazy Rich Asians
    Kevin Hart, Night School
    Liam Hemsworth, Isn’t It Romantic
    Mark Wahlberg, Instant Family
    Noah Centineo, The Perfect Date – WINNER
    Ryan Reynolds, Pokémon Detective Pikachu

    Choice Comedy Movie Actress
    Awkwafina, Crazy Rich Asians
    Constance Wu, Crazy Rich Asians
    Laura Marano, The Perfect Date – WINNER
    Marsai Martin, Little
    Rebel Wilson, Isn’t It Romantic
    Tiffany Haddish, Night School

    Choice Movie Villain
    Johnny Depp, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
    Josh Brolin, Avengers: Endgame – WINNER
    Jude Law, Captain Marvel
    Mark Strong, Shazam!
    Marwan Kenzari, Aladdin
    Patrick Wilson, Aquaman

    Choice Summer Movie
    Late Night
    Murder Mystery
    Spider-Man: Far From Home – WINNER
    The Last Summer
    Toy Story 4
    Yesterday

    Choice Summer Movie Actor
    KJ Apa, The Last Summer
    Corey Fogelmanis, Ma
    Tom Holland, Spider-Man: Far From Home – WINNER
    Charles Melton, The Sun Is Also a Star
    Himesh Patel, Yesterday
    Adam Sandler, Murder Mystery

    Choice Summer Movie Actress
    Jennifer Aniston, Muder Mystery
    Selena Gomez, The Dead Don’t Die
    Zendaya, Spider-Man: Far From Home – WINNER
    Mindy Kaling, Late Night
    Maia Mitchell, The Last Summer
    Yara Shahidi, The Sun Is Also a Star

     

     

    TV

    Choice Drama TV Show
    Good Trouble
    Marvel’s Runaways
    Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists
    Riverdale – WINNER
    Star
    The Resident

    Choice Drama TV Actor
    Adam Huber, Dynasty
    Cole Sprouse, Riverdale – WINNER
    Justin Hartley, This Is Us
    K.J. Apa, Riverdale
    Oliver Stark, 9-1-1
    Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

    Choice Drama TV Actress
    Camila Mendes, Riverdale
    Cierra Ramirez, Good Trouble
    Lili Reinhart, Riverdale – WINNER
    Maia Mitchell, Good Trouble
    Ryan Destiny, Star
    Sofia Carson, Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists

    Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Show
    Charmed
    Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
    Legacies
    Shadowhunters – WINNER
    Supernatural
    The 100

    Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actor
    Aubrey Joseph, Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger
    Bob Morley, The 100
    Dominic Sherwood, Shadowhunters
    Harry Shum Jr., Shadowhunters
    Jared Padalecki, Supernatural – WINNER
    Ross Lynch, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

    Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actress
    Danielle Rose Russell, Legacies
    Ellen Page, The Umbrella Academy
    Katherine McNamara, Shadowhunters – WINNER
    Kiernan Shipka, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
    Melonie Diaz, Charmed
    Olivia Holt, Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger

    Choice Action TV Show
    Arrow
    DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
    Gotham
    MacGyver – WINNER
    Supergirl
    The Flash

    Choice Action TV Actor
    Ben McKenzie, Gotham
    Brandon Routh, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
    Brenton Thwaites, Titans
    Grant Gustin, The Flash
    Lucas Till, MacGyver
    Stephen Amell, Arrow – WINNER

    Choice Action TV Actress
    Candice Patton, The Flash
    Danielle Panabaker, The Flash
    Emily Bett Rickards, Arrow
    Gabrielle Union, L.A.’s Finest – WINNER
    Jessica Alba, L.A.’s Finest
    Melissa Benoist, Supergirl

    Choice Comedy TV Show
    Black-ish
    Brooklyn Nine-Nine
    Fuller House
    Jane the Virgin
    One Day at a Time
    The Big Bang Theory – WINNER

    Choice Comedy TV Actor
    Andy Samberg, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
    Anthony Anderson, black-ish
    Daniel Radcliffe, Miracle Workers
    Jaime Camil, Jane the Virgin – WINNER
    Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
    Marcel Ruiz, One Day at a Time

    Choice Comedy TV Actress
    Candace Cameron Bure, Fuller House
    Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
    Kaley Cuoco, The Big Bang Theory
    Nina Dobrev, Fam – WINNER
    Sarah Hyland, Modern Family
    Yara Shahidi, black-ish

    Choice TV Villain
    Adam Scott, The Good Place
    Cameron Monaghan, Gotham – WINNER
    Jon Cryer, Supergirl
    Luke Baines, Shadowhunters
    Sarah Carter, The Flash
    Sea Shimooka, Arrow

    Choice Reality TV Show
    America’s Got Talent – WINNER
    Keeping Up with the Kardashians
    Lip Sync Battle
    Queer Eye
    The Masked Singer
    The Voice

    Choice Throwback TV Show
    All That
    Beverly Hills, 90210
    Friends – WINNER
    Moesha
    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
    The Office

    Choice Summer TV Show
    Cobra Kai
    Nailed It!
    So You Think You Can Dance
    Stranger Things – WINNER
    The Bold Type
    Younger

    Choice Summer TV Actor
    Gaten Matarazzo, Stranger Things
    Caleb McLaughlin, Stranger Things
    Luka Sabbat, Grown-ish
    Noah Schnapp, Stranger Things – WINNER
    Diego Tinoco, On My Block
    Finn Wolfhard, Stranger Things

    Choice Summer TV Actress
    Chloe Bennet, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
    Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things – WINNER
    Hilary Duff, Younger
    Jessica Marie Garcia, On My Block
    Rose McIver, iZombie
    Yara Shahidi, Grown-ish

     

     

    MUSIC

    Choice Male Artist
    Ed Sheeran
    Khalid
    Lil Nas X
    Post Malone
    Shawn Mendes – WINNER

    Choice Female Artist
    Ariana Grande
    Billie Eilish – WINNER
    Cardi B
    Halsey
    Lauren Jauregui
    Taylor Swift

    Choice Music Group
    5 Seconds of Summer
    Jonas Brothers
    Panic! At The Disco
    PRETTYMUCH
    The Chainsmokers
    Why Don’t We – WINNER

    Choice Country Artist
    Brett Young
    Dan + Shay – WINNER
    Kacey Musgraves
    Kane Brown
    Kelsea Ballerini
    Thomas Rhett

    Choice Latin Artist
    Bad Bunny
    Becky G.
    CNCO – WINNER
    Daddy Yankee
    J Balvin
    Maluma

    Choice R&B/Hip-Hop Artist
    Cardi B – WINNER
    Drake
    Nicki Minaj
    Normani
    Post Malone
    Travis Scott

    Choice Rock Artist
    AJR
    Cage the Elephant
    Imagine Dragons
    lovelytheband
    Panic! At The Disco – WINNER
    twenty one pilots

    Choice Song: Female Artist
    Ariana Grande, “7 rings”
    Billie Eilish, “bad guy”
    Lauren Jauregui, “Expectations” – WINNER
    Taylor Swift (feat. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco), “ME!”
    Katy Perry, “Never Really Over”
    Halsey, “Nightmare”

    Choice Song: Male Artist
    Khalid, “Better”
    Shawn Mendes, “If I Can’t Have You”
    Lil Nas X, “Old Town Road”
    Travis Scott, “SICKO MODE”
    Louis Tomlinson, “Two of Us” – WINNER
    Post Malone, “Wow”

    Choice Song: Group
    Imagine Dragons, “Bad Liar”
    Blackpink, “DDU-DU DDU-DU” – WINNER
    5 Seconds of Summer, “Easier”
    Panic! At The Disco, “Hey Look Ma, I Made It”
    Jonas Brothers, “Sucker”
    Why Don’t We,  “8 Letters”

    Choice Pop Song
    Sam Smith & Normani, “Dancing With A Stranger”
    Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber, “I Don’t Care”
    Taylor Swift (feat. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco), “ME!”
    Jonas Brothers, “Sucker”
    Ava Max, “Sweet but Psycho”
    Ariana Grande, “thank u, next” – WINNER

    Choice Country Song
    Maren Morris, “Girl”
    Kane Brown, “Good as You”
    Thomas Rhett, “Look What God Gave Her”
    Kelsea Ballerini, “Miss Me More”
    Kacey Musgraves, “Rainbow”
    Dan + Shay, “Speechless” – WINNER

    Choice Electronic/Dance Song
    Zedd & Katy Perry, “365”
    The Chainsmokers & Bebe Rexha, “Call You Mine”
    Ellie Goulding, Diplo, & Red Velvet, “Close to Me (Red Velvet Remix)” – WINNER
    Mark Ronson (feat. Camila Cabello), “Find U Again”
    Marshmello & Bastille, “Happier”
    The Chainsmokers & 5 Seconds of Summer, “Who Do You Love”

    Choice Latin Song
    Ozuna, Daddy Yankee & J Balvin (feat. Farruko, Anuel AA) [Remix], “Baila Baila Baila”
    ROSALÍA, J Balvin & El Guincho, “Con Altura”
    Daddy Yankee & Katy Perry, “Con Calma (feat. Snow)”
    Bad Bunny (feat. Drake), “MIA”
    CNCO, “Pretend” – WINNER
    Nicky Jam & Ozuna, “Te Robaré”

    Choice R&B/Hip-Hop Song
    Meek Mill (feat. Drake), “Going Bad”
    Lil Nas X (feat. Billy Ray Cyrus), “Old Town Road [Remix]” – WINNER
    Mustard & Migos, “Pure Water”
    Post Malone & Swae Lee, “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)”
    Khalid, “Talk”
    Post Malone, “Wow”

    Choice Rock Song
    AJR, “100 Bad Days”
    Panic! At The Disco, “Hey Look Ma, I Made It” – WINNER
    Bastille, “Joy”
    Imagine Dragons, “Natural”
    Cage The Elephant, “Ready To Let Go”
    lovelytheband, “These Are My Friends”

    Choice Breakout Artist
    Billie Eilish – WINNER
    HRVY
    Juice WRLD
    Lil Nas X
    Lizzo
    ROSALÍA

    Choice International Artist
    Blackpink
    BTS – WINNER
    CNCO
    EXO
    Little Mix
    NCT 127

    Choice Collaboration
    BTS (feat. Halsey), “Boy With Luv” – WINNER
    Sam Smith & Normani, “Dancing With A Stranger”
    Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber, “I Don’t Care”
    Lil Nas X (feat. Billy Ray Cyrus), “Old Town Road [Remix]”
    Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper, “Shallow”
    Julia Michaels (feat. Niall Horan), “What A Time”

     

    Choice Song From A Movie

    A Whole New World (End Title) (from Aladdin),  ZAYN & Zhavia Ward – WINNER
    Broken & Beautiful (from UglyDolls), Kelly Clarkson
    Carry On (from Pokémon Detective Pikachu), Kygo & Rita Ora
    Don’t Give Up on Me (from Five Feet Apart), Andy Grammer
    Shallow (from A Star Is Born), Bradley Cooper & Lady Gaga
    Sunflower (from Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse), Post Malone & Swae Lee

     

    MISCELLANEOUS

    Choice Fandom
    Ariana Grande, Arianators
    Blackpink, Blinks
    BTS, BTSArmy
    CNCO, CNCOwners
    Selena Gomez, Selenators
    Taylor Swift, Swifties

    Choice Ship
    Katherine McNamara & Dominic Sherwood, Shadowhunters
    Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
    Lana Condor & Noah Centineo, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
    Laura Marano & Noah Centineo, The Perfect Date
    Lili Reinhart & Cole Sprouse, Riverdale – WINNER
    Madelaine Petsch & Vanessa Morgan, Riverdale

    Choice Comedian
    Ellen DeGeneres
    Ethan & Grayson Dolan – WINNER
    James Corden
    Kevin Hart
    Lilly Singh
    Tiffany Haddish

    Choice Male Athlete
    AJ Styles
    James Harden
    Lionel Messi
    Patrick Mahomes
    Stephen Curry – WINNER
    Tiger Woods

    Choice Female Athlete
    Katelyn Ohashi
    Serena Williams – WINNER
    Simone Biles
    Sky Brown
    The Bella Twins
    Tobin Heath

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    July 5, 2019 • Community Highlights • Views: 1365

  • Q&A with New York Film Academy (NYFA) Screenwriting Instructor Terah Jackson

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Washington, DC is about as far away culturally from Hollywood as one can get in this country. However, for New York Film Academy (NYFA) Screenwriting and Liberal Arts & Sciences (LAS) instructor Terah Jackson, his hometown (DC, not Hollywood) provides a wealth of experience to draw upon. Terah Jackson

    Jackson doesn’t just write politically-minded movies, but also mixes genres such as science fiction to—as he says—“add some Hollywood flair.” A director and writer of both stage and screen, Jackson has trained at Lincoln Center and worked off-Broadway. He’s also won awards and garnered attention from the WGAW, Nicholls, Film Independent, and Sundance.

    Currently, Jackson teaches NYFA classes such as Playwriting and Great Playwrights as well as courses like Genre Studies and Writing the Feature Film. He took some time from his busy schedule to discuss Washington, DC, his career, and his civic responsibility as an artist—based on his ties to the civil rights movement. 

    New York Film Academy (NYFA): How did you discover theatre?

    Terah Jackson (TJ): You mean outside of holiday kindergarten pageants, where I was an outstanding Tree #3? 

    I’d say it began with my mother. She’s a master storyteller and as a child I’d follow her around to different storytelling gigs like Three Stories Tall, the first show on NBC4’s 1980s Saturday Morning lineup. She would ask me how she did, and I would give her my notes on her performance and story structure. In time she grew to appreciate it—I think! Those experiences shaped who I am as an artist and storyteller today.

    NYFA: How did your experiences in Washington, DC influence your writing? Do politics—local or national—inform the themes and issues you explore? 

    TJ: Growing up in Washington, DC was, for me, a tale of two cities. There’s Washington—the stuff of The West Wing—then there’s DC, which at times resembles The Wire (which is set in Baltimore). While my neighborhood had its own international gangs, I took the E2 bus line to schools that daughters of diplomats might attend. It was a good life, but confusing crisscrossing cultural and class divides. My sci-fi thrillers, political period pieces, and comedies speak to these experiences. 

    But if you mean more directly “does working in the Pentagon and youth detention centers show up on the page?” Yes, absolutely. To me, working in Hollywood is like DC, but with flair. Take what I did in the DC government, working on adult education and special needs services, dress it up with a little flair like invading aliens posing as lobbyists, and there you g—that’s my sci-fi thriller, Primrose. The customs are different, but the work, the negotiations, and the characters are strikingly similar. There has to be a demand to make a deal. 

    NYFA: Your parents were in the civil rights movement. Can you talk about that—and how that also influenced and shaped you?

    Terah Jackson Rustin

    Civil Rights Activist Bayard Rustin

    TJ: Yes, both my parents were civil rights activists at Howard University and in the city at-large. As the child of civil rights activists, it’s important to me that my work carries forward the spirit of what they fought for—even if it is sci-fi or comedic—that it carries a sense of human dignity. Their work is unfinished. The struggle continues. 

    As an artist I have a civic responsibility to amplify or envision the kind of future we all deserve. It’s an important role to reflect and shape culture as well as one’s sense of self within society. We don’t often discuss it, but Harry Belafonte, Maya Angelou, Sammy Davis Jr., Lorraine Hansberry, and Marlon Brando in their own ways and to varying degrees were influential to making events like the March on Washington what they were. When you look at their artwork they often speak to human dignity and the betterment of society.

    NYFA: Any projects of yours you’d like to highlight?

    Rustin, a feature, probably is the project that honors my parents and their generation the most. It started at AFI as my thesis and was developed further at Film Independent and with support from the WGAW. It’s about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s strategic advisor Bayard Rustin, who is pushed out of the civil rights movement because he’s gay. But when he returns, he organizes the March on Washington of 1963. It honors the work of Bayard and the civil rights movement and hopefully reminds us to keep on working for a truly inclusive and equitable society. 

    NYFA: What are you currently working on?

    TJ: Quite a few projects, but today it’s all about Displaced, a sci-fi pilot, about a lowly janitor who finds he’s receiving pranks calls from inside his bedroom wall from a phone on his own dead body—or at least someone who looks identical to him. Without giving too much away it’s a bit of a doppelganger thriller that I’ve been developing over the past year or so alongside a few other concepts for TV that I can’t talk about yet. Displaced definitely draws on my experience growing up asking those “What if” questions. 

    NYFA: What are your favorite classes to teach at NYFA and why?Terah Jackson

    TJ: My favorite class to teach at NYFA are the ones when a good mix of students from across the world—from various ages, ethnicities, classes, and those with military experience and those without—are all in the same room together investigating a deep tenet of writing or film that reflects what we are up to in life. In that moment we all learn from each other. It’s dynamic, electric, and enriches everyone.

    NYFA: What advice do you have for students looking to get into playwriting?

    Take risks that you wouldn’t in film and television. Read and see lots of plays. Act in plays. Seek to understand the mechanics of how they are structured. And write, write, write. Develop your writing routine. Connect with other playwrights. Go outside and listen to people and how they speak. Jot down moments of striking human interaction. Piece them together. Theatre often calls for you to dig deep into yourself. So take care of your relationships, spirit, and your health as you do all this. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

    New York Film Academy thanks Screenwriting and LAS instructor Terah Jackson for taking the time to speak with us and wishes him the best in all his creative endeavors.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    June 26, 2019 • Faculty Highlights, Screenwriting • Views: 771

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Documentary Department Updates: A&E, HBO, PBS, VICE, IDA, MTV Award, BAFTA Nom, Premieres, Fests, Gigs & More!

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) takes a look at the latest achievements of the Documentary Filmmaking department’s alumni, faculty, and students:

    What to Watch

    Season 1 of The Employables, shot and produced by CJ Ferroni (NYC ’13) for A&E began airing last Wednesday. You can catch the first two episodes online, and watch the rest of the season Wednesdays on A&E at 10 p.m. EST or online via Hulu or A&E’s website.

    The feature documentary, Trials of Spring, shot by director of photography Muhammad Hamdy (NYC ‘08) aired on PBS as part of the Women, War and Peace series and can still be seen on their website.

    You can catch one of the many pieces Ilaria Polsonetti (NYC ’11) recently cut for HBO’s VICE New Tonight online as well.

    Hannah Currie‘s (NYC Workshop ’18) post-graduation short Lumo: Too Young to Die aired on BBC Scotland, and can still be seen on BBC iPlayer.

    The episode of The New York Times’ Secret History of Muslims, directed and produced by Maria Stanisheva (NYC ’12) is now also available on Vimeo’s list of Staff Picks.

    Human Rights Watch recently published Saudi Arabia: 10 Reasons Why Saudi Women Flee, based on three short animated films created by Maria Stanisheva and commissioned by fellow alum, Human Rights Watch producer Janna Kyllästinen (NYC ’12).

    The Bit Player, shot by NYC instructor and director of photography Claudia Racshke for director Mark Levin, is premiering at The World Science Fair in NYC. The feature documentary tells the story of the brilliant math genius Claude Shannon, father of the digital revolution.

    Drama del Rosario (’19) has two films in distribution on REVRY.TV 

    In This Family  — What is it like coming out as a gay teen in the Philippines? In a country imbued with traditional Catholic views, coming out is received with disapproval and anger, especially from one’s own family.

    The End of LifeWhat pushes a person to choose between living and dying? Science, religion, and law all converge at the end of life.

    Also, In This Family recently won the Loni Ding Award in Social Issue Documentary at CAAMFest 2019.

    Honors, Awards, Festivals, Grants

    NYFA Docsters have been racking up festivals, major grants, fellowships, and a variety of honors around the world.

    In April, Julia Cheng‘s (NYC ’18) thesis doc Cricket Liu won Best International Short Documentary at AmDocs (American Documentary Film Festival), and qualified for the Academy Award. Then, Anais Michel’s (NYC ’16) and Braulio Jatar‘s (NYC ’18) short Where Chaos Reigns won Best Short Documentary at San Francisco International Film Festival – and also qualified for the Oscar.

    We Are All Here, an earlier, shorter version of Hannah Currie‘s (NYC Workshop ’18) film Lumo: Too Young To Die, made the shortlist for the BAFTA for Best Student Documentary.

    Pedro Peira‘s (LA ’16) film Trabajadores won the K.R. Mohanan Memorial Documentary Award 2019.

    Director/Producer Maria Stanisheva (NYC ’12) and her company AnimaDocs were awarded a development grant from the French CNC – Centre National Du Cinéma Et De L’image Animée for her animated documentary series Finding Home.

    Paul Gallasch (NYC ‘11) was awarded a SA Writers Development Grant from the South Australian Film Corporation.

    Rodrigo Urriolagoitia (NYC ’12) was selected for “Film Accelerator” at La Selva. There, he will shoot a short fiction film under the supervision of director Lucrecia Martel, who’s taking over that role from Werner Herzog. Created to identify and cultivate the most promising filmmakers around the world, Film Accelerator has tapped Rodrigo as its first ever Bolivian director. Meanwhile, his first foray into short fiction, Our Price, has kicked off its festival run by winning its writer/director Rodrigo a Silver Award for Best Crime Short at the Independent Shorts Awards in Los Angeles. Additionally, Pseudo, a feature he produced in Bolivia, will premiere in September.

    Nancy Dionne‘s (NYC ’18) first semester film, All I Can See Is The Future, was picked up by KweliTV following a great launch as a nominee for Best Documentary at the 2019 Winter International Film Festival. It’s now also an Official Selection of Docs Without Borders, the Katra Sidebar series in Dumbo, Hollywood South Urban, and Bowery Social Justice Film Festival. Stay tuned for its drop date on KweliTV.

    Pretty Dead, produced by Wynona Barbera (NYC ‘16), premiered at HBO’s Women in Comedy Festival.

    Elaine Minionis‘s (NYC ’08) Uncanny: The Dolls of Mariana Monteagudo premiered at none other than Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF). It won the Audience Award at the “I’m Not Gonna Move to LA” film festival and also received the Award of Merit at the IndieFEST Film Awards. Uncanny is also an Official Selection of the Miami Independent Film Festival, Fort Myers Film Festival, Tallahassee Film Festival, and Hollywood Florida Film Festival.

    Love From Afar, from director Cristian Sanay (NYC ’14) and editor Nina Thomas (NYC ’15), has hit the festival circuit as an Official Selection of the Latino Film Festival, Corto Circuito Short Film Festival, and Latino & Iberian Film Festival at Yale. The latter included a special Q&A and talk with the filmmakers about immigration. The short has also been invited to be part of the curriculum at various universities, such as Fairfield University in Connecticut and CUNY. Next stop: Long Island International Film Festival on July 12.

    Krisztina Danka’s (NYC Workshop) doc The Stolen River continues its festival run with a new win; this time it was awarded Best Film On Nature at the L’Age D’Or International Arthouse Film Festival in Kolkata, India.

    Amy Wright (NYC ’15) returned to Tribeca Film Festival as Tech Liaison Manager, leading a team that included Anna Panova (NYC ’18), Kuldeep Gangola (NYC ’19), Maria Tamburro (NYC ’19), and Mollie Moore (NYC ’18). Once again, the team successfully screened well over 100 films and got to spend the time they weren’t on duty rubbing elbows and watching the hottest new films.

    After serving on Amy’s Tribeca Film Festival crew, Anna Panova (NYC ’18) stayed on to assist Sandy O’Hearen, CFO of Tribeca Enterprises and others, soaking up more film festival wisdom in preparation for her launch of the Shortie Film Festival in Williamsburg. It sounds pretty cool—they keep the entry fees low and even have a special award Best NYFA Documentary. Enter the fest here 

    Ida Myklebost (NYC ‘16) has jumped to the other side of the festival equation, too. Her freshman festival run with thesis film Unwelcome was quite successful. Last year, for example, she won Anchorage Film Festival. This year, she’s programming it. And their call for entries is open, so send your films!

    Ghost Villages of Himalayas, the thesis film of Kuldeep Gangola (NYC ’19), won the Collective Critics Award in Uttarakhand, India and a Jury Award from Variety International Film Festival, and has been getting love from the press all over India, including an article in The Times of India.

    Juliana Sakae (LA ’13) is Awards Competition Manager for International Documentary Association and is looking for amazing film students to be part of our pre-screening committee:

    “The students will be screening features, shorts, and podcasts in June and July to make sure we have the best in our competition. As a thank you, we offer a 1-year student membership in IDA as well as their name in our Awards Program. The feedback we get from the students is always very positive and they seem to really enjoy the experience.”

    Lucia Flores (LA ‘18) has been awarded a coveted Matthew Modine Masters Scholarship to support her thesis work at NYFA LA.

    This June, Yusaku Kanagawa (NYC ‘15), Chief Producer at Yahoo! JAPAN CREATORS Program in Tokyo, is sitting on the Jury for the 2019 Fresh Pitch competition in Shanghai, China, alongside executives from Discover and NHK. Created by Beijing-based documentary producer/director Julia Cheng (NYC ‘18), Fresh Pitch has quickly become a major hub for the Asian documentary community. Mariko Ide (NYC ‘16), JAPAN CREATORS Program Story Consultant, will be in attendance as well. And Shanghai-based producer Jenny Song (NYC ‘16) is rounding out the NYFA Docs contingent. Together, the four will also attend the Asian premiere of National Geographic’s Academy Award-winner Free Solo, edited by their NYFA mentor, Bob Eisenhardt.

    Great Gigs & Dream Jobs

    Lara Ann de Wet (NYC ’15) has temporarily relocated to Bali as editor of Gary Bencheghib‘s (NYC ’14) new short doc Plastic River, about his ongoing work on the Citarum river with the President of Indonesia.

    Kendall Ciesemier (NYC Workshop) has moved to The New York Times as a producer/reporter continuing the great documentary journalism she began at Mic.

    CJ Ferroni (NYC ’13) has landed in his dream job as a producer/cinematographer developing documentaries for TV at NBC Peacock Productions after years of successful freelancing in the documentary series world.

    Earlier this month, Annie Woods (NYC ‘07) checked in on her way out of the city as she walked away her “fancy” job as creative producer for Viacom to move to a tiny house in Ojai, minimize, and get back to her environmental and social issue documentary work. Or, as Variety would put it, “Woods ankles to go indie.”

    Fuma (Andrea) Fumagalli (NYC ‘07) is also shaking it up. He’s temporarily forsaken sports docs for journalism. After editing the documentary series First Team: Juventus for Netflix and coming in to do some additional editing on Paul George: My Journey for ESPN, Fuma’s moved his attention to reportage for Rai Italia, the channel of Italian Public TV that reaches millions of Italians that live abroad, all across the globe. He’s basically become their foreign correspondent from New York. Check out the page dedicated to his work on “Italy Run.” There will be four pieces and a short doc by the time the Run has run.

    Another foreign correspondent, Bianca Zanini (NYC ’11), continues to thrive at the international TV channel i24 and is developing a documentary series there so she can get straight-up docs back into her daily life.

    Less than two months after graduation, Mollie Moore (NYC ’18) got a gig traveling to Uganda as 2nd Camera/DIT for NYFA Docs instructor Eddie Rosenstein. She has since been sharpening her camera acumen freelancing and TAing in the Doc Department. This week, she returned from TAing the expedition to Belize, just in time to take off for Peru to shoot the MFA thesis of classmate Lucia Florez‘ (NYC ’18 / LA ’19).

    Eddie also hired Charlotte Madvig (NYC ’18) in the editing department on that same film. 

    Nika Nikanava (NYC ‘18) and Braulio Jatar (NYC ’18) got to work with NYC instructor and DP Claudia Raschke on a gig for Sesame Street. Claudia also twice booked Amy Wright (NYC ’14), Carolina Gonzales (NYC ‘15), Anisia Boronova (NYC ’15) and Braulio Jatar (NYC ’18) to shoot and record pieces for American Classical Orchestra.

    Serena Smith (NYC ’18), Kuldeep Gangola (NYC ’18), and Mollie Moore (NYC ‘18) served in various positions for NYC instructor Maxine Trump‘s new ITVS digital series Should We Kid or Not?, a spinoff on her documentary, To Kid or Not to Kid. Fellow NYC instructor Dorottya Mathe produced the series.

    Faculty News

    NYC instructor Tracie Holder won a National Endowment for the Arts grant for The Quiet Zone, a new feature doc she’s producing.

    Randy Dottin, NYFA Chair of Screenwriting, won a documentary grant from the Sundance Institute for his six-part documentary series called The House I Never Knew.

    RBG, DP’ed by NYC instructor Claudia Raschke, is up for four different MTV Movie Awards, including Best Fight (RBG vs Inequality). Free Solo, edited by fellow NYC instructor Bob Eisenhardt, is up for an MTV Movie Award as well.

    Claudia Racshke has also wrapped her celebrity-laden world tour shooting the new National Geographic series Activate, about local activism around the globe.

    NYC instructor Kristen Nutile and Master Class instructor JP Olsen made great use of their residency as MacDowell Fellows and re-emerged with their new doc, Stan, finished and ready to begin its life in the world.

    The Spirit of Discovery, story produced by NYC Documentary Chair Andrea Swift, premiered on KPBS. The feature doc was directed by once and future instructor Eliana Alvarez.

    Maxine Trump’s To Kid or Not to Kid, associate produced by Marie Vanderrusten (NYC ’15) continues to rack up festival appearances and press around the country. And from The New York Post to The Daily Mail, the film is getting love from the press on both sides of the Atlantic.

    Many thanks to distinguished alum Ilaria Polsonetti (NYC ’11), who generously returned this April to teach a Master Class with the current students in the Doc Department. As part of the Master Editors series, Ilaria’s master class was part of a line-up that also featured Academy Award nominee (with Spike Lee, 4 Little Girls) Sam Pollard, and NYFA instructor Bob Eisenhardt, editor of this year’s Oscar winner, Free Solo. Polsonetti was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Editing in News last year for a short documentary she edited for VICE on HBO. Currently a staff editor for VICE News Tonight, she has cut numerous short docs and served as editor on Raised in the System, a VICE on HBO feature documentary starring Michael K. Williams (The Wire), among others. The students got to watch some of the films she’s cut, and soak in her wisdom and insights on editing and working as an editor—especially for VICE—as well as learn about the path she’s taken to get from film school to her current position in the world.

    Personal and Community News

    Paul Gallasch (NYC ’11) checked in to let us know that he’s now a father. Welcome baby boy, Augustine! And while his new feature documentary Love in the Time of Antidepressants continues to make the festival rounds, he has moved to New Orleans to set up shop making docs with his wife and filmmaking partner—and Augustine’s mom—Madeline. If you know anybody in the business in or around New Orleans, Paul would love to meet them! (Andrea’s happy to connect you if you aren’t already.) 

    Turns out Francesca Pagani (NYC ’11) was listed as a producer and Points North Fellow at Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) alongside Paul Gallasch (NYC ’11), who got a nod in the last update. We’ll have to catch Francesca’s details in the next update as, last we heard, she was on a pirate ship in Panama shooting a new short doc.

    In other NYC ’11 reunion news, Bianca Zanini (NYC ’11) and Department Chair, Andrea Swift, got to grab a coffee in Tel Aviv, where Bianca is now based.

    It seems Marco Vitale (NYC ’11) had just spent a few days there too, en route from Iceland to Naples.

    Michael Jovic (NYC ’09) has become a father too. Welcome, Roman Jovic!

    And per Facebook, Fred Boll (NYC ’07) has one on the way!

    SEND YOUR NEWS!

    Your community wants to know what you’ve been up to! Just email or tag your Documentary Chair and we’ll take it from there!

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Community Earns Ten MTV Movie & TV Award Nominations

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    The New York Film Academy (NYFA) community earned ten nominations for this year’s MTV Movie & TV Awards. NYFA alumni, faculty, and guest speakers, were included in the trendy award show’s various categories, including NYFA Acting for Film camp alum Lana Condor, who earned her first nomination for the award show’s signature statuette, the Golden Popcorn.

    MTV Movie Awards

    This year’s ceremony will be hosted by Shazam star Zachary Levi in Santa Monica on June 15, and will air two days later on MTV. The ceremony first launched in 1992 as just the MTV Movie Awards, before rebranding to the Movie & TV Awards to reflect the current age of streaming and peak TV.

    The popular award show prides itself on its progressive categories, using genderless groupings and typically not differentiating between media platforms, choosing instead to group broadcast, streaming, and theatrically released content together.

    The MTV Movie & TV Awards features movies, television shows, and other media content, including documentaries. Feature docs RBG and Free Solo were among this year’s nominees. Alex Honnold, the rock climber who free climbed El Capitan in Free Solo, was nominated for Best Real-Life Hero. The gripping documentary that captured his climb was edited by NYFA Documentary Filmmaking instructor and Academy Award nominee Bob Eisenhardt.

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court Justice profiled in RBG, was also nominated for Best Real-Life Hero. The film, shot by cinematography and NYFA Documentary Filmmaking instructor Claudia Raschke, racked up an impressive amount of MTV Award nominations. These include Best Documentary, Best Fight (for Ruth Bader Ginsburg vs. Inequality), and Most Meme-able Moment (for her nickname The Notorious RBG.)

    NYFA Acting for Film camp alum Lana Condor was nominated with her To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before co-star Noah Centineo for Best Kiss. The Netflix original film is also up for Best Movie, competing with BlacKkKlansman (co-starring NYFA guest speaker Adam Driver), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Us, and mega blockbuster Avengers: Endgame. 

    Also nominated for Best Kiss are Jason Momoa & Amber Heard for the DC crowdpleaser Aquaman. NYFA Australia 1-Year Filmmaking alum Damian Lang worked on that film, as well as several others on Gold Coast’s Village Roadshow backlot. 

    The Best Show category features Game of Thrones and Riverdale competing with Big Mouth, Schitt’s Creek, and The Haunting of Hill House. Riverdale stars previous NYFA guest speakers Ashleigh Murray and Casey Cott. NYFA 3D Animation & VFX alum Alex LoRusso worked on some visual effects for the last few episodes of Game of Thrones’ final season, including The Last of the Starks and game-changing entry The Bells.

    New York Film Academy congratulates this year’s MTV Movie & TV Award nominees and wishes the best of luck to the NYFA community members up for a Golden Popcorn statuette!

    MTV Movie Awards

    Here is the full list of MTV Movie & TV Award nominees:

    BEST MOVIE

    Avengers: Endgame – WINNER

    BlacKkKlansman

    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

    Us

    BEST SHOW

    Big Mouth

    Game of Thrones – WINNER

    Riverdale

    Schitt’s Creek

    The Haunting of Hill House

    BEST PERFORMANCE IN A MOVIE

    Amandla Stenberg (Starr Carter) — The Hate U Give

    Lady Gaga (Ally) — A Star is Born – WINNER

    Lupita Nyong’o (Red) — Us

    Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury) — Bohemian Rhapsody

    Sandra Bullock (Malorie) — Bird Box

    BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SHOW

    Elisabeth Moss (June Osborne/Offred) — The Handmaid’s Tale – WINNER

    Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) — Game of Thrones

    Gina Rodriguez (Jane Villanueva) — Jane the Virgin

    Jason Mitchell (Brandon) — The Chi

    Kiernan Shipka (Sabrina Spellman) — Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

    BEST HERO

    Brie Larson (Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel) — Captain Marvel 

    John David Washington (Ron Stallworth) — BlacKkKlansman

    Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) — Game of Thrones

    Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man) — Avengers: Endgame – WINNER

    Zachary Levi (Billy Batson/Shazam) — Shazam!

    BEST VILLAIN

    Jodie Comer (Villanelle) — Killing Eve

    Joseph Fiennes (Commander Fred Waterford) — The Handmaid’s Tale

    Josh Brolin (Thanos) — Avengers: Endgame – WINNER

    Lupita Nyong’o (Red) — Us

    Penn Badgley (Joe Goldberg) — You

    BEST KISS

    Camila Mendes & Charles Melton (Veronica Lodge & Reggie Mantle) — Riverdale

    Jason Momoa & Amber Heard (Aquaman & Mera) — Aquaman

    Ncuti Gatwa & Connor Swindells (Eric Effiong & Adam Groff) — Sex Education

    Noah Centineo & Lana Condor (Peter Kavinsky & Lara Jean) — To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – WINNER

    Tom Hardy & Michelle Williams (Eddie Brock/Venom & Anne Weying) — Venom

    REALITY ROYALTY

    Jersey Shore: Family Vacation

    Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta – WINNER

    The Bachelor

    The Challenge

    Vanderpump Rules

    BEST COMEDIC PERFORMANCE

    Awkwafina (Peik Lin Goh) — Crazy Rich Asians

    Dan Levy (David Rose) — Schitt’s Creek – WINNER

    John Mulaney (Andrew Glouberman) — Big Mouth

    Marsai Martin (Little Jordan Sanders) — Little

    Zachary Levi (Billy Batson/Shazam) — Shazam!

    BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE

    Awkwafina (Peik Lin Goh) — Crazy Rich Asians

    Haley Lu Richardson (Stella) — Five Feet Apart

    Mj Rodriguez (Blanca Rodriguez) — Pose

    Ncuti Gatwa (Eric Effiong) — Sex Education

    Noah Centineo (Peter Kavinsky) — To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – WINNER

    BEST FIGHT

    Avengers: Endgame — Captain America vs. Thanos

    Captain Marvel — Captain Marvel vs. Minn-Erva – WINNER

    Game of Thrones — Arya Stark vs. the White Walkers

    RBG — Ruth Bader Ginsburg vs. Inequality

    WWE Wrestlemania — Becky Lynch vs. Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair

    BEST REALLIFE HERO

    Alex Honnold — Free Solo

    Hannah Gadsby — Nanette

    Roman Reigns — WWE SmackDown

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg — RBG – WINNER

    Serena Williams — Being Serena

    MOST FRIGHTENED PERFORMANCE

    Alex Wolff (Peter) — Hereditary

    Linda Cardellini (Anna Tate-Garcia) — The Curse of La Llorona

    Rhian Rees (Dana Haines) — Halloween

    Sandra Bullock (Malorie) — Bird Box – WINNER

    Victoria Pedretti (Nell Crain) — The Haunting of Hill House

    BEST DOCUMENTARY

    At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal

    McQueen

    Minding the Gap

    RBG

    Surviving R. Kelly – WINNER

    BEST HOST

    Gayle King — CBS This Morning

    Nick Cannon — Wild ‘n Out – WINNER

    Nick Cannon — The Masked Singer

    RuPaul — RuPaul’s Drag Race

    Trevor Noah — The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

    MOST MEME-ABLE MOMENT

    Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club — The Lilo Dance

    Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood — Ray J’s Hat

    RBG — The Notorious RBG

    RuPaul’s Drag Race — Asia O’Hara’s butterfly finale fail

    The Bachelor — Colton Underwood jumps the fence – WINNER

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Photography Instructor Joan Pamboukes Speaks at Artexpo New York

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    On Saturday, April 6, New York Film Academy (NYFA) Photography Instructor Joan Pamboukes gave a lecture at the Artexpo New York. The Artexpo was held from April 4 – 7 at Pier 90 on Manhattan’s West Side. Each year thousands of art industry insiders flock to Artexpo New York in search of art and artists that can influence trends in galleries worldwide.

    artexpo

    Pamboukes is an award-winning artist based in Astoria, Queens. Her artwork has been exhibited at venues including The Montclair Art Museum, Chashama UpTown, The Dumbo Arts Festival, and The Arts Council of Princeton. Honors for her work include the 2014 Sky Award, the 1999 Art and Literacy Award, and the 1999 Albert Munsell Media & Performing Arts Award.

    Pamboukes’s lecture was entitled Media Transections & Contemporary Photography Influences, and discussed her work, which explores projects that transect human interactivity with screens—including smartphones, television, and video games—as well as how the human experience is currently shaped by the dominance of advanced technology in modern society.

    On display was Pamboukes’s portfolios, featuring “images that flash before us, mingling with personal memories and emotions, and influencing our state of mind.” Visual artists, collectors, gallery owners, art dealers, and anyone else interested in statement art and fine art photography were invited to attend the presentation, held at the Education Pavilion. Pamboukes was introduced by New York Film Academy Chair of Photography David Mager.

    “Joan is not only an incredible professor, but an amazing artist as well,” Mager recently told NYFA. “Her work looking at today’s technology is sometimes sardonic, but always interesting and beautiful.” He added, “She often brings her artistic vision and approach into the classroom.”

    Later this year, Pamboukes will have work on display at the Open World: Video Games and Contemporary art exhibition, curated by Theresa Bembnister at the Akron Art Museum, exhibiting from October 2019 – February 2020. The show is expected to travel as well.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    April 17, 2019 • Faculty Highlights, Photography • Views: 771

  • Q&A with NYFA Acting for Film Instructor Melissa Sullivan

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Melissa Sullivan was so shy growing up, she would stare at the ceiling to avoid looking at people. Eventually, realizing “ceilings weren’t going to get me anywhere in life,” she decided to make a change—and committed to talking to one stranger a day. That, plus an affinity for the stage, got Sullivan out of her shell and into a variety of performing arts: theatre, television, film, and music. 

    Melissa Sullivan

    Sullivan, who teaches acting and is the musical director of the NYFA Glee Club, took some time to discuss her career as a multi-hyphenate and her upcoming album.

    New York Film Academy (NYFA): How/when did you know you wanted to pursue the performing arts?

    Melissa Sullivan (MS): In Naha, Okinawa, my mother put me in a ballet class. I remember a performance being back stage. I loved it. The smell of the stage, the curtains, the anticipation of the performance. I wasn’t the best dancer but the experience was informative and I knew I was at home in the theatre.

    NYFA: You’ve performed in a variety of fields—theater, television, film, and music—and have also directed. As an artist, how do you see yourself and why?

    MS: When I first moved to Los Angeles things were very different than they are now. I heard “Are you an actor, or a singer? You need to pick one.” Now it is much more fluid. Performers have more freedom to explore, perhaps because of technology and the access to it. The connection of artists globally through technology is amazing. I studied at California Institute of the Arts where all disciplines lived side by side. You would hear music in the hallway, walk by a piece of art, see dancers in the distance, artists in the gallery discussing someone’s work, and watch filmmakers editing in the graffitied sub-level. It was such a great environment. After I graduated, I never gave that spirit up.

    NYFA: Speaking of, you have a long list of credits in various mediums. Of all the work you’ve done, what are you most proud of and why? 

    MS: Recording my album of original music and playing Honey in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf at the Actors Studio, directed by Barbara Bain.

    NYFA: Additionally, are there any others that stick out in your mind of being particularly memorable and why? 

    MS: Filming an episode of Shameless. I had been called into the casting office for Shameless for a few years and was happy to finally land a part. I’m really happy with the work that I did on that show. The experience was fast paced and yet enjoyable. It is a great production from the actors, directors, AD’s, scripts, grips and on.

    Melissa Sullivan

    NYFA: As a multi-hyphenate, what is the most challenging aspect about wearing different hats, project to project? How do you take on the challenge? 

    MS: Working on a few things at once suits my mind. I am very busy, so I write music while I walk my dogs or drive to work. I wrote some of my favorite songs in my car. I guess to be a multi-hyphenate you have to organize your time well and I have gotten better at this. Teaching has inspired me to take more risks. When you talk with students about their growth and how to facilitate it, you in turn have to follow suit with your own work.

    NYFA: You’re the musical director of the NYFA Glee Club and have said that “music can transform people.” Can you elaborate on that? 

    MS: I have seen students petrified to sing in front of one person, but at the end of the semester they are performing in front of an audience of 90 people. Singing brings people confidence. It is a raw emotional expression. With the Glee Club I try to foster leadership and collaboration. We have student conductors and section leaders. I am blown away by their talent.

    NYFA: Speaking of music, you have an album coming out in December. How would you describe your music? 

    MS: I am a trained jazz singer so my songs come from a jazz foundation, but it is an amalgam of genres: jazz, blues, and pop. I am almost finished! It’s been quite a journey.

    NYFA: What’s your favorite thing about teaching at NYFA? 

    MS: I admire my colleagues. I appreciate the support that the acting and filmmaking teachers give to one another. I also love the fact that the students are from all over the world. I have so much respect for foreign students who open their hearts and act in a second language. I also really like working with the veterans. I appreciate the time they served for our country and I find most of them are highly disciplined at NYFA. They are brave and want to dive into the craft.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    April 16, 2019 • Acting, Faculty Highlights • Views: 761

  • Q&A with New York Film Academy MFA Alum and Instructor Justin LaReau

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Justin LaReau had a pretty cool job. He was the head basketball coach at Southeastern Illinois College. But he was temporarily living in a hotel, reevaluating his life, and reconnecting with his love for movies. So while he was working on his playbook, he was simultaneously reading screenwriting books and began sketching out the idea of what would become his first feature. 

     

     

    Eventually, he made the difficult decision to leave coaching behind. Justin came out to Los Angeles and got an internship at Underground Film and Management—which led to his career writing, directing and producing films.  New York Film Academy (NYFA) spoke with LaReau about his movies, experiences, and his next projects. 

    New York Film Academy (NYFA): Recently you produced and directed A Demon Within, a horror film. How did that come about? What was it like directing a feature film for the first time? What were the biggest challenges– and what was the learning curve like? 

    Justin LaReau (JL): I started writing it when I was coaching basketball, but it really initiated as a kid when my friends and I would ride by a haunted house that was widely talked about in our community. The house had been abandoned. We stopped our bikes and I saw some movement in the upstairs window. It could have been wind moving the curtains but as a 12 year old, we assumed it was a ghost. My hometown has a documented case of possession that dates back to the 1800s. Knowing that story, I wanted to tap into the personal connections I had as a kid. I felt like it would be a fun experience, plus I believed as a first feature I could get a horror film at a 100K budget fully distributed.

    And in terms of the learning curve, it was tremendous. Whether you are directing or producing, there is nothing like making a full feature. I heard Jon Favreau speak and he said whatever you do or however you have to get it done, make a full feature. Short films are great for trying to find your voice, style and developing the skills, but telling a narrative for 90 minutes or more is like no other. I tell people that I spent summers in 100 degree heat building bridges and overpasses while I was in undergrad. That’s hard work. But making a full-length movie is much harder. And unless you have, you can’t comprehend it nor can you learn as much as doing.

    Justin Lareau

    NYFA: How did your experiences as a producer inform the decisions you made as a director? 

    JL: Because we were operating on a microbudget and I was constantly tracking the spending as a line producer would. It made me eliminate waste and only spend on items that would be seen on screen. We secured free locations, free lodging, free cars/trucks for transportation, discounted food as well as many other resources. Because of that, it allowed an extra shooting day which is so vital. Time as we know is so precious in general and in filming, an extra hour goes a long way in allowing actors the opportunity to act, take direction, and deliver the performance that works for the film. 

    Additionally, the script had to evolve. The team and I were rewriting throughout prep to pull off a full feature. Many elements that would have created more value had to be removed because there just wasn’t enough money. And that is a tough pill to swallow. 

    NYFA: Can you talk about your upcoming projects? What are you working on right now? 

    JL: My producing partner Lydia Cedrone and I recently launched a production company called Tidal Wave Entertainment, LLC. As producers we currently have a slate of eight movies in development. They range from comedies to dramas to thrillers. I’m the writer and attached to direct two of the films: Fallen Lands, a post-apocalyptic drama and The Riddle Maker, a thriller. 

    NYFA: You earned your MFA from NYFA in Producing. What’s it like to be a former student on the other side of the classroom—and how does that inform your teaching? 

    JL: I had been teaching for 10 years and had already completed a graduate program. I went from standing in front of the room to sitting in the seat again. What I enjoyed about NYFA besides the hands-on experience and the location was the wealth of experiences instructors brought to the classroom. And that is what I try to draw on now. I have been where the students are and I have been through the same program. This allows me to truly connect with them.

    Justin Lareau

    NYFA: What’s your favorite class to teach and why?  

    JL: My favorite class to teach is Pitching. It is a skill/craft that all producers, writers, or directors need to develop. My mom would probably say that I like pitching because I am full of it, but selling an idea starts with the way you present it. We may have the next Oscar-winning idea, but if you can’t excite someone about it, it probably will never get made. 

    NYFA: Speaking of, what advice do you have for students who might be looking to produce and direct? 

    JL: I am a believer that if you want to do something, then go do it. But students should know that your drive and commitment has to be greater than you can imagine. You have to be able to grind through the times when things get tough. This is not an easy industry. But you need to be like Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke. You don’t have time to feel sorry for yourself. So get your hands dirty and get to work!

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    April 12, 2019 • Faculty Highlights, Producing • Views: 883