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.
“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.
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.