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  • Loveratri, Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi, Arya Babber and More From New York Film Academy Mumbai Alumni & Guest Speakers

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    Since opening its doors in May 2017, NYFA Mumbai has seen an incredible year filled with student successes, insightful guest speakers, special master classes, and powerful storytelling. If you’re a film buff, whether you’re in the capital of Bollywood or simply streaming movies from anywhere in the world, you won’t want to miss what’s been happening at NYFA Mumbai.

    Check out these alumni success stories, as well as some of the luminaries that have visited our newest campus this year as Guest Speakers to share their advice with NYFA Mumbai students.

    NYFA Mumbai Alum & Guest Speaker Sana Saeed

    TODAYYY ❤️ @newyorkfilmacademy #NYFAMumbai #letstogethermakethisyearcount

    A post shared by Sana Saeed (@sanaofficial) on

    It’s always a special occasion when a NYFA alum returns to their alma mater as a Guest Speaker, and NYFA Mumbai recently welcomed NYFA Acting for Film alum and child star Sana Saeed. Sharing a joyous evening with a packed house of students, Saeed spoke especially to the new class of NYFA Mumbai teen camp attendees in sharing her experiences as a child actor in Bollywood.

    As a child, Saeed played megastar Shah Rukh Khan’s daughter in the romantic epic Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, and was re-cast by same director Karan Johar 20 years later!

    NYFA Mumbai Alum Arya Babbar

    Noted actor Arya Babber is currently studying at NYFA Mumbai, taking a Filmmaking course to expand his already impressive repertoire. Well known in Punjabi film industry, Babber was nominated as the Most Promising Newcomer in 2002.

    Babber has also had crossover success in Bollywood, where he is one of the best known Punjabi actors; he has acted in 25 feature films in 16 years. So far, he’s been very open on social media about how much he is loving his time at NYFA Mumbai.

    NYFA Mumbai Guest Speaker Sanjay Shetty

    #Canneslions finalist, #Promaxasia and #Goaabbey Winner, Ad film director Sanjay Shetty is coming to #NYFAMumbai for a Q&A with our students #NYFA #Acting #Filmmaking #workshop #Mumbai

    A post shared by New York Film Academy Mumbai (@nyfamumbai) on


    Founder, Director at Opticus INC, recent NYFA Mumbai Guest Speaker Sanjay Shetty has over two decades of experience as a director at Ad-Films. During his time at Ad-Films, Shetty was a finalist at the Cannes Lions Festival, one of the most prominent and coveted awards for the creative and marketing communications industry. He has been recognized for his work at Promax-Asia Advertising Awards & Goa Abbey Awards.

    NYFA Mumbai Guest Speaker Sandeep Shandilya

    Join us Wednesday, 9th May at @nyfamumbai for a Live discussion with Sandeep Shandilya. RSVP is required to attend this event. Reserve your spot at: Neha.chaudhary@nyfa.edu or call : +91 22 61280000

    A post shared by New York Film Academy Mumbai (@nyfamumbai) on


    With over 17 years of experience as a producer, from feature films to ads, for the past eight years NYFA Mumbai Guest Speaker Sandeep Shandilya has executive-produced such Bollywood hits as Love Story 2050, 1920 London, and TV series 24:India. As a producer, he has worked all over India and internationally, from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Bangkok to Dubai, Paris, Switzerland, and much more.

    NYFA Mumbai Alum Tharun Bhascker


    NYFA alum Tharun Bhascker attended NYFA’s intensive 4-week Filmmaking Program in Mumbai in 2011, even before NYFA established its permanent campus at the Urmi Estate. He’s recently directed his second feature hit, Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi, which follows the major success of his first feature, #Pellichoopulu.

    NYFA Mumbai Alum & Guest Speaker Rakesh Varre

    #Bahubali #Vedam Actor and #NYFA Alumni Rakesh Varre is coming to #NYFAMumbai for a Q&A with our Students #Acting #Filmmaking #Workshop #Mumbai @rakeshvarre

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    NYFA Guest Speaker Rakesh Varre is an Acting for Film, Filmmaking, and Screenwriting New York Film Academy alumnus. He is best known for for Baahubali: The Beginning, and Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, where he played Setu Patti, and Vedam.

    Bahubali 2: The Conclusion was released in April 2017 and quickly became the highest-grossing film in India, grossing $82.8 million in five days.

    NYFA Mumbai Guest Speaker Seher Latif

    #Furious7 #ZeroDarkThirty Casting Director Seher Latif is coming to #NYFAMumbai for a Q & A with our students May 30th, 4pm ???

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    Seher Latif is a Casting Director and CSA member who has had success in both the American and Indian film industries. Her credits include Zero Dark Thirty, Furious 7, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and Eat Pray Love. Her Bollywood credits include The Lunch Box, and Monsoon Shootout.

    NYFA Mumbai Alum Warina Hussain


    Warina Hussain is a model and actress of Afghani-Iraqi descent, who attended the New York Film Academy’s Mumbai campus in 2017 to study Acting for Film. She is currently filming the lead role in Salman Khan’s Loverati, in which she will star alongside Khan’s brother-in-law Aayush Sharma, in his acting debut.

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  • Senior Executive Vice President David Klein Tours India With New York Film Academy Mumbai

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    The New York Film Academy (NYFA) Mumbai campus celebrated its approaching second year since opening with a special tour by NYFA Senior Executive Vice President David Klein, who toured four cities in India offering NYFA master classes and interviews with numerous media outlets.

    During Klein’s visit to Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, and Kochi, the executive taught his signature master classes on film direction and storytelling, while also answering questions about New York Film Academy and its Mumbai location for cultural and media institutions, from radio and television to print and in-person events.

    “In 2017, we hosted 190 students from India at our Los Angeles and New York campuses,” Klein told Forbes India. “We are sure that there are a lot more students who would want to study at NYFA, but cannot make it to the U.S. for the courses. So we decided to come to them. We go where the demand is.”

    Following a successful year of hands-on short-term programs in Filmmaking and Acting for Film for adults, NYFA Mumbai has expanded its academic programs to offer workshops for teens in film, acting, and photography.

    David Klein told Indiantelevision.com, “The New York Film Academy is very excited to be in India. There is immense creative talent amongst the youth. We look forward to working with bright and creative young minds and fostering their talents in the new-age, digital world. The media and entertainment landscape is rapidly evolving and calls for several new skill sets which we are well placed to teach.”


    As those who have taken a workshop with NYFA know, the workload is considered intensive, meaning students must be prepared to live and breathe the program during their enrollment. The success of this model of education is evidenced by NYFA Mumbai’s alumni — including Warina Hussain, the leading lady of Bollywood superstar Salman Khan’s Loverati.

    Yet of all Klein’s teaching and interviews throughout his time in India, perhaps the most important message he offered to aspiring Indian visual and performing artists is this, from his interview in FilmCompanion:

    “If you have any thoughts that you want to do it, reach out to us, is what I would say to any student. Just by communicating with us doesn’t mean you’re making a commitment to do it. I don’t want anybody to just jump in without properly thinking about it and planning it. If you think this is something you want to do, don’t wait. People are scared sometimes to say ‘I am going to go into the film industry’. Here’s the thing, you don’t have to make a three year commitment. Start small! Do a workshop and then when you love it, decide to go on.”

    Special thanks to the many Indian media outlets and collaborators for their interviews and coverage of David Klein’s visit, including:

    Radio One, Mumbai Choufer, Prahaar – Relax, FilmCampanion, Newshublilve, ETC Bollywood Business, IndianTelevision.com, Indiaeducationdiary.in, Startupsuccessstories.in, The Times of India, New Indian Express, The Hans India, Andhra Jyothi, Telangana Today, Eenadu, Sakshi, Andhra Prabha, Manam, Deshabhimani, Madhyaman, Keralabhooshanam, Varthamanam, Janmabhumi, Future Kerala, Kerala Kaumadi, Keralabhooshanam, Mathrubhumi, Veekshanam, Chadrika, Mangalam, and Suprapradham.


    NYFA Mumbai workshops are held at the Urmi Estate (95 Ganpatrao Kadam Marg, Lower Parel [West] Mumbai, Maharashtra 400 013, India). The Urmi Estate is a modern 41 story skyscraper located in the heart of the city, which is itself the heart of the world’s largest film industry and is the home of Bollywood.

    For those interested in studying in Mumbai, please visit http://www.nyfa.edu/mumbai for more information.

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  • NYFA Mumbai Hosts Master Class With Co-Chair of Filmmaking and Virtual Reality Jonathan Whittaker

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    With an eye to the increasing opportunities for collaboration between major international film markets, the New York Film Academy Mumbai held a three-hour master class bridging the filmmaking styles of the American and Bollywood industries. The Foundations of Filmmaking Master Class was led by filmmaker, producer, director, and NYFA Co-Chair of Filmmaking and Virtual Reality Jonathan Whittaker.

    Jonathan Whittaker is an educator and media production professional whose credits include “In the Loop,” “Louie,” “Trophy Wife,” and a four-piece Venus by Gillette campaign with Chrissy Teigan. He has created a 3D special for Sony Pictures, directed commercials for Nissan and Hyundai, and produced two feature films: “My Name is David” and “America Here We Come.” His collaborators and clients include Nissan, Sony Pictures, FILM.UA, DirecTV, MiSK, Gillette, Hyundai and Sports Illustrated. 

    In describing the workshop, Mr. Whittaker explained, “Students explore new skills for directors, actors, cinematographers, screenwriters, and producers, expanding their vocabulary for collaboration and storytelling. This is a wonderful way to learn more about American-style filmmaking and open new possibilities for collaboration between the U.S. and Indian film industries.”

    Opportunities for cooperation and exchanges between the Indian and U.S. film industries are now at an unprecedented level, with Bollywood films like “Baahubali: The Conclusion” breaking international box office records and Paramount announcing that it will distribute a Bollywood film for the first time. (“Padmavati,” will be released worldwide alongside the film’s Dec. 1 opening in India.)

    NYFA alumnus Rakesh Varre, who played Setu Patti in “Baahubali: The Conclusion,” has given credit to his education at NYFA for his recent acting success: “Taking that experience from NYFA, I was able to act as a major supporting role in ‘Baahubali.’”

    While the New York Film Academy (NYFA) has held workshops in India for many years, it opened its doors to a permanent location in Mumbai, India, in May 2017, bridging two of the world’s largest filmmaking industries.

    The New York Film Academy’s Mumbai, India location holds film and acting programs at the Urmi Estate, a modern 41 story skyscraper located in the heart of the city. 

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