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  • NYFA Acting Alum Cleavandor Wright in ‘Meeting Juan Jones’ and ‘Diablo’

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) BFA Acting for Film alum Cleavandor Vandorn Wright is a retired Military Army veteran turned actor now working in the film industry. The Florida-based actor spoke with NYFA about his latest work, life after graduation, and advice for NYFA students. 

    Wright first started acting in 2016, at PlayBuilders of Hawai’i Theater Company in a production called ‘Dragonfly.’ The play tells the story about a girl’s journey through foster care and was directed by Terri Madden. The actor performed eleven times, playing six characters, each with dialogue, and toured with the troupe as performances were carried out throughout the island of Hawai’i. Wright was awarded the Ensemble Award at the theater company’s banquet, PO’ OKELA AWARD Ensembles Performance: Non-Traditional. 

    In 2017 Wright was also featured in the television series revamp of Hawaii Five-O in episode five of season eight alongside Chi-McBride. The NYFA alum played the role of a Security Guard. 

    Wright starred in the 2019 film Diablo directed by Cedric Livingston, a suspense thriller following protagonist Reggie who lurks from town to town, picking victims for murder. The film is available for streaming in certain locations on Amazon Prime Video

    NYFA Acting alum Cleavandor Wright plays Edgar in the film Meeting Juan Jones (2021) 

    NYFA Acting alum Cleavandor Wright plays Edgar in the film Meeting Juan Jones (2021)

    The alum also plays Edgar in the 2021 feature film Meeting Juan Jones, in which cryptocurrency trader Tim loses his life’s savings after an insider tip goes wrong. Tim meets Juan Jones, a local Miami shylock who takes Tim for a ride through the streets of Miami for a night of corruption and self-discovery. The film was both directed and written by Larry Camacho and Alejo Vega. The film was produced by Mcpree Production Films based in Miami, Florida. 

    A behind-the-scenes photos of the short film From Miami with love with NYFA alum Cleavandor Wright

    A behind-the-scenes photos of the short film From Miami with love with NYFA alum Cleavandor Wright (left)

    Wright teamed up a second time with Cedric Livingston (Diablo) to be featured in the short film From Miami with love, which was directed, written, and produced by Cedric Livingston. 

    In support of the NYFA community, the actor appeared in two NYFA student films which were directed, written, and produced by a NYFA student and alum from the South Beach (Miami) campus. The two short films Silver Mettel directed by 1-Year Filmmaking student Clay Ransom Greenwald, and 222 directed by NYFA BFA Filmmaking alum Zoe Bell, were also thesis films for the two filmmakers. 

    NYFA acting alum Cleavandor Wright on the set of the student short film Silver Mettel 

    NYFA acting alum Cleavandor Wright on the set of the student short film Silver Mettel

    When asked what he learned from NYFA that he applied to his work as an actor, Wright replied, “Everything, everything, and everything. I learned consistency, focus, a work ethic, discipline, and resiliency. How to dissect a script and get a visual understanding of what the character’s psychological mentality is so that you exact out the script what the director or writer wrote is what I took away from New York Film Academy.” 

    The actor has advice for incoming NYFA students, which is to “be on time to class and turn in your assignments before the deadline because this all ties into being on time to auditions and film sets. There’s a motto the Army lives by, which is also my motto since I’m a retired Military Army veteran, ‘If you’re early, you’re on time, if you’re on time, you’re late.’ Early arrival is always authorized.” Wright goes on to remind students to “ask questions, actively listen, be actively engaged during the exercises to construct techniques for your craft. And don’t forget to have fun!” 

    New York Film Academy congratulates alum Cleavandor Wright for his work in the acting profession, thank him for his service in the United States Army, and wishes him the best of success in his upcoming feature films. You can stay updated on Wright’s latest work by following him on Instagram (@mr_cleavandor).

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    December 23, 2021 • Acting, Community Highlights, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 974

  • NYFA Accepting Applications for 2022 One-Year Conservatory, MFA & Short programs in Documentary Filmmaking

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) is accepting applications for 2022 One-Year Conservatory, MFA and Short programs in Documentary Filmmaking.

    Apply now for a remaining spot in the 1-Year Conservatory in Documentary Filmmaking starting in Fall 2022.

    The 1-Year Conservatory in Documentary Filmmaking is the flagship program of NYFA’s Documentary Filmmaking Division.

    • Learn to make films by making films.
    • One-year intensive and extremely hands-on.
    • Award-winning filmmakers teach new filmmakers through workshops, lectures and real-time mentoring as students make their own films.
    • Make 6 short nonfiction films and digital media pieces and develop a TV series.
    • Faculty work has won and been nominated for multiple Academy Awards and Emmy Awards, among many top honors.
    • Alumni have won an Emmy Award and been nominated for Emmy and Academy Awards. They have been honored at major film festivals around the world including Sundance, Cannes, Berlin and Toronto Film Festivals.

    NYFA accepting applications for documentary filmmaking

    Perfect for:

    Graduates of a short term NYFA Documentary Workshop

    • NYFA Documentary Workshop tuition is deducted from Conservatory Tuition.
    • Films made in the workshop can be submitted as part of an application for a Talent Based Award.

     Professionals ready to pivot and finally pursue their documentary dreams

    Alumni include former teachers, journalists, military veterans, researchers, anthropologists, and motion picture professionals of various stripes. Others have had jobs in international development, technology, criminal justice, and higher education, among many others.

     Gap Year

    •  College aged students who aren’t ready to start college can spend a year making documentary films.

     Alternative to college

    • Some students choose the Conservatory over traditional academics.
    • Single intensive year vs multi-year investment.
    • Focus solely on the practice of non-fiction filmmaking.

     Activists

    •  Make a movie, change the world (a little bit).
    • Alumni have used documentaries and nonfiction content to create real change.

     World Travelers

    • Because the world is awesome and documentary filmmaking can be an exceptional passport.

    Filmmakers

    • Many fiction filmmakers got started by making documentaries.
    • Others move back and forth between the two.

     Graduates of a different discipline

    • Students have come with degrees in business, social sciences, journalism, psychology, international studies, the arts, health sciences, and information technology, just to name a few.
    • Some use documentaries to share their vocation with a broader audience.
    • Others want an additional area of expertise.

    MFA in Documentary Filmmaking

    • Apply to our 2-Year degree program offered on the Los Angeles campus.
    • Our intensive curriculum prepares candidates with advanced knowledge about independent documentary filmmaking.
    • Apply for credits from a New York City 1-year non-degree program for advanced standing in the MFA program.
    • Fall ’22 is the next start date for the second year.

    6-Week Documentary Filmmaking Workshops

    • Start dates slated for February, May, July and September.
    • Introduction to the basics of Documentary Filmmaking.
    • Created for students who can’t take a year off for the Conservatory.
    • Some try out a workshop and before the Conservatory.
    • Graduates of Online Workshops who want an intensive, live experience.

     Online Documentary Filmmaking Workshops

    4-Week Intensive Online Programs in Documentary Filmmaking/Social Media Micro Docs

    • Start dates slated for January 10th, March 7th, May 9th, June 6th, July 5th, August 1st, and September 6th.
    • Introduction to the basics of Documentary Filmmaking & Micro Docs.
    • Created for students who aren’t able to travel to NYC for an in-person program.
    • Learn how to use your smartphone to shoot 3 documentary films or micro docs.

    15-Week Part Time Online Programs in Documentary Filmmaking/Social Media Micro Docs

    • Start dates slated for January 10th, May 2nd and August 29th
    • Introduction to the basics of Documentary Filmmaking & Micro Docs
    • Created for students who aren’t able to travel to NYC for an in-person program
    • Learn how to use your smartphone to shoot 3 documentary films or micro docs

    To learn about all of NYFA’s Documentary Filmmaking programs, visit the Documentary School website. Ready to apply? Click here to submit your application.

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    November 29, 2021 • Documentary Filmmaking • Views: 1237

  • Gianluigi Carella To Become A Director for Stept Studios

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    NYFA Filmmaking alum Gianluigi Carella joined the directorial roster at Stept Studios, a creative and production studio known for its advertising. Carella is a graduate of NYFA’s 1-Year Filmmaking conservatory program in New York City. The Italian filmmaker’s body of work includes a myriad of filmmaking jobs. He has worked on popular music videos as well as commercial videos for international brands, including Tommy Hilfiger, Samsung, T-Mobile, Prada, Gucci, Dior, Tom Ford, Tiffany & Co., and Spotify. 

    Filmmaker Gianluigi Carella

    Filmmaker Gianluigi Carella

    According to the filmmaker, “Having signed with an agency like Stept has definitely given me access to certain bids and opportunities. I also signed with Nicholas Berglund in Europe for commercial rep and I am represented by Forager.tv as an editor.”

    Carella was first recognized within the industry for his editing on the VMA-nominated ‘Rule The World’ music video for Ariana Grande, featuring 2Chainz. 

    The filmmaker has a forthcoming project, also produced by Stept Studios, for Oakley and is directing a feature documentary for Amazon on Bella Thorne. The documentary features Benji Mascolo and Bella Thorne. The Leone Film Group-produced film is currently in pre-production and will be available on Amazon Prime Video. 

    Filmmaker Gianluigi Carella

    Filmmaker Gianluigi Carella

    Stept Studios prides itself on the creative content its directors produce. The studio provides services in strategy, production, and post-production. Per their website, their team of directors “represent the next generation of storytellers.”

    An article from Shoot details Carella’s extensive and equally impressive career thus far. The NYFA alum started as an editor for Forager after he graduated from NYFA. He began making a name for himself after working on Ariana Grande’s ‘Rule The World’, which would earn Carella a great deal more work. 

    Carella made his directorial debut with the film, The Blind Man’s Ball. Since then, he’s directed many music videos for international artists (including Princess Nokia, Anna, Rich the Kid, Irama, and Sofia Reyes). In the commercial world, the NYFA alum also worked on a series of films for Lux Hotels, Audi, Cartier, and Donna Karan. Additionally, Carella directed and edited an ad for the Riot Games and Mercedes-Benz partnership too. 

    Carella’s advice for students is to get ready for when the opportunities come. The filmmaker says, “If I hadn’t spent so many endless nights smashing my head on the keyboard trying to understand how certain things are done, prepping my website, working on specs and personal projects to show my skills, I wouldn’t have been able to get hired and get noticed. When they come to you, you need to have your stuff together, something to show. Use every single school project as something you could potentially show to a client, go simple and clean, AND LEARN EDITING.”

    The New York Film Academy congratulates Gianluigi Carella for his impeccable work in the film industry and looks forwards to his upcoming projects.

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    November 5, 2021 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1061

  • NYFA Filmmaking Instructor Shoots ‘I Love Us’ Now Available on Amazon Prime

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    Instructor of Filmmaking and Cinematographer at the New York Film Academy’s NYC campus, Hernán Toro, recently shot a new feature-length film, I Love Us (2021). Released in select movie theaters across several cities in the United States, I Love Us is available for streaming on Amazon Prime. 

    Directed by and starring Danny A. Abeckaser and written by Kosta Kondilopoulos, the film follows the story of a criminal (Danny Abeckaser) born into a crime syndicate, who must choose between his love for a single mother (Katie Cassidy) and his career in heisting. In order to leave his past, he must commit one last act of crime to offer his new family the life they deserve. 

    Toro discusses his artistic approach toward filming, “the approach for the Cinematography was basically pragmatic and came down to the story. I wanted to make Los Angeles look bright even when dark, when things are being cooked, when drama is taking place, families are breaking, thieves are trying to survive and vindicate, bad guys support each other–it all looks sunny. Only the heist is dark, because they provoked a blackout to mute alarms and surveillance cameras.”

    The film was produced during the COVID-19 pandemic, which posed unique challenges for the crew. Toro explained how the team managed to continue their work, while taking precaution for the actors’ and crew members’ health and safety. According to Toro, “the COVID restrictions were very demanding, because not only had it taken a large chunk of the budget, but it stole away time and the ease of filming on set. After the budget cut–due to the change in the regulations in California–we had 15 days to shoot the entire film. We conducted PCR testing every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and had to visit the COVID station every morning to scan a QR code to then complete a form, have our temperatures taken, and take a fresh set of masks. On set, we were required to wear double masks at all times as well as a face shield when actors were on set.

    With a career spanning over 20 years, Toro has shot over 20 feature-length films. His portfolio of work includes feature-length movies, music videos, and commercials for top brands including Toyota, Lipton, NyQuil, Astor, Revlon, Nestea, Presidente, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi. Toro is an Instructor of five years at the NYFA New York City campus and has continued to work in the industry filming over 800 TV spots. 

    As a member of the NYFA faculty, Toro collaborated with other instructors on a multitude of projects. Toro was the cinematographer for a popular production Hamlet/Horatio (2021), a feature film directed by fellow NYFA Filmmaking Instructor Paul Warner

    Originally born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Toro was a student of advertising before leaving home for England, where he attended The London Film School. Upon his return to Venezuela, he became one of the most sought-after cinematographers in the country. He currently lives in New York City, where he has resided since 1995. 

    Toro is also an accomplished still photographer, with his work shown as part of a dozen photographic exhibitions, photos published in magazines, catalogs, and three architectural books. From a young age, his talent was encouraged by his father. While looking back on his childhood, Toro recalls a fond memory of his father’s influence on his passion for filmmaking, “I’ve loved making films since I was a little kid, helping my father make home movies on his Bolex 16mm camera. He taught me how to interpret the f.stop for the lens by reading light off of a light meter, so I could give him the aperture and help him not miss a shot. I have pictures of that, and I look around 5 years of age. I still have that light meter.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA instructor Hernán Toro for the success of I Love Us, now available on Amazon Prime.

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    October 8, 2021 • Faculty Highlights • Views: 1416

  • Filmmaking Instructor at NYFA Tackles Queerness in Shakespeare Adaptation ‘HAMLET/HORATIO’

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    Paul Warner, Director and Filmmaking Instructor with NYFA, released feature-length film, HAMLET/HORATIO, available on Amazon Prime, Tubi, Vudu, Google Play, iTunes, Apple TV, and YouTube. A collaborative effort with writer David Vando, the film is a contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic “Hamlet.” Since its release, HAMLET/HORATIO garnered ten awards across the independent film festival circuit. 

    HAMLET/HORATIO centers around the grieving producer and main character, Hamlet (played by NYFA Alum Andrew Burdette), who is now head of a film production company following the death of his father. His right-hand man and director, Horatio (played by NYFA Alum Themo Melikidze) captures his close friend’s pain in an enduring promise to tell Hamlet’s story through the production of a film. 

    While the work includes all major themes from the original play, Warner takes a unique approach in explaining the relationship between the close companions. An exploration of their relationship with undertones of gender-fluidity and sexuality, HAMLET/HORATIO captures the essence of the characters’ closeness as a series of dream-like scenes with soft-focused camera work and a series of fourth-wall breaks. 

    Quoted in an article by Washington Blade which touches on the theme of sexuality in the adaptation, “There’s a tremendous amount of exploration of gender fluidity in his work,” says Warner, “There’s never a label on it, but it permeates Shakespeare. There are a lot of characters who fall in love with the soul of the person, rather than the gender.”

    The film captures Hamlet’s search for fulfillment in front of a backdrop of fascism, with characters and visuals resembling a previous White House Administration. Whilst battling the corruption of his surroundings, Hamlet sacrifices his own life in the arms of his companion, Horatio, who then pledges to capture his story. 

    According to a Signal Horizon Magazine review, “The two light up near each other literally and figuratively. Beautiful lighting and soft-focused camera work highlight the friend’s interactions.”

    HAMLET/HORATIO won a Film Jury Award for Best Feature at the 2020 edition Film Festivals To Go (FFTG). The film will be available for viewing on all platforms next month. 

    Amazon Prime Film Reviews: 

    “This film has already won many awards in the film festival circuits and for obvious reasons! All of the acting performances are great and this is such a unique, modern take of a Shakespearian classic. Definitely one of the best Indie films I’ve seen. If you are a fan of classics with a twist or artistic and unique indie films, then this is definitely for you! I would love to see them make a version of A Midsummer’s Night Dream like this as well. Bravo!”

    “I love this film! The best thing is you do not have to have a Shakespeare background to understand the story. The movie is beautiful to look at with an outstanding score. I can not believe how great the production value is for this type of indy film. Do yourself a favor and rent this film!”

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA instructor Paul Warner as well as alumni Andrew Burdette and Themo Melikidze for the success of HAMLET/HORATIO, now available on Amazon Prime.

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    September 15, 2021 • Faculty Highlights, Filmmaking • Views: 850

  • NYFA Alum Bob Ahmed’s ‘Tikkun Olam’ Tackles Homelessness with Humanity in Award-Winning Short

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    Bob Ahmed opens his interview at the 2021 SEEMA Summit with a translation from a poem written by a famous Indian poet, Mirza Ghalib: “To be human is easy, but to be humane is almost impossible.” Thus was born the inspiration for his award-winning short Tikkun Olam (2021), which tackles the subject of homelessness in Washington, D.C. The short film is available to stream on Amazon Prime.  

    Tikkun Olam poster

    Image Source: IMDb

    For anyone who has lived in the nation’s capital or is familiar with the city’s history of poverty, you may not be surprised by the alarming number of homeless, an issue that plagues veterans and civilians alike. Tikkun Olam is a poignant film that revolves around the love and humanity of an eight-year-old boy who encounters a homeless veteran. 

    Based on Ahmed’s own experiences while living in Washington, D.C., The Daily Times described the film as an “urgently needed story of hope in our broken world today” with “blistering performances”. Views & News describes the film as “a rare, polished gem” with “riveting performances”. Voice of America calls it “a unique film on an important topic”.

    Director and NYFA Filmmaking Alum, Bob Ahmed

    Director and NYFA Filmmaking Alum, Bob Ahmed | Photo courtesy of Arielle Lewis

    Tikkun Olam won almost universal acclaim garnering success on the festival circuit where the director’s choice to focus on his actors, putting them in a position to evoke truly intense emotional responses was rewarded. The film won ‘Best Short Film – Teens’ at the 22nd ShorTS International Film Festival in Trieste, Italy in July 2021. The short is also an official selection for the 35th Washington DC International Film Festival and the 27th Sedona International Film Festival, which is ranked amongst the “Top 10 film festivals in the world.”

    “I studied at the New York Film Academy and that is where I really got inspired to make film,says Ahmed in an interview with South Asian icon, Aroon Shivdasani, at the 2021 SEEMA Summit. 

    Ahmed believes his role as the director is not to evoke emotion from his actors, but rather to remove the pressure from the set and create an environment in which the actors can create someone truly special on camera. 

    This approach with his actors which encourages them to do what they believe they would do in a scene (even if slightly different from the script) reaps rewards as the short film was also selected for the 21st D.C. Asian Pacific American Film Festival and selected for the 10th D.C. South Asian Film Festival. 

     

    The director is working on a new film, Johnny & The Golden Gifts about a young boy in Washington D.C, whose life spirals out of control because of a personal tragedy. The story explores themes of forgiveness as a solution to ongoing challenges in modern American Society. 

    Considered both a Director and Screenwriter, Ahmed also wrote, Lost in DC, about a Pakistani man who visits Washington, D.C. and runs into a former high school friend. The two men spend the next several days in each other’s company, learning more about the other’s path in life following their school days. The script is currently a finalist at the 52nd Nashville Film Festival, an Academy Award Qualifying Film Festival. 

    New York Film Academy congratulates Bob Ahmed for his success and looks forward to the upcoming Johnny & The Golden Gifts.

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    August 11, 2021 • Acting, Alumni Events, Filmmaking • Views: 2449

  • Q&A With NYFA Alum Abdulrahman Al Madani on Filming ‘The Monster’ and Recent Work

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    NYFA Filmmaking alum, Abdulrahman Al Madani shares his personal experience tackling challenges in the filmmaking industry with anecdotes from his own recent work, as well as advice for emerging filmmakers. Al Madani wrote and produced the successful short film, Laymoon, and closing his newest project, The Monster. 

    Al Madani is a graduate of the One-Year Filmmaking program at the NYFA Abu Dhabi campus from 2014. 

    Abdulrahman Al Madani

    Filmmaker Abdulrahman Al Madani

    New York Film Academy (NYFA): What projects have you worked on over the past several years? Have you won any awards or been showcased in any festivals or competitions?

    Abdulrahman Al Madani (AM): My work has comprised of short films, documentaries, music videos, and public awareness campaigns. 

    Since graduating from NYFA Abu Dhabi in 2014, I have written, directed, and produced two short films including Laymoon (2019), which was a recipient of Sharjah Art Foundation’s Production Grant, and The Monster (2021). 

    Laymoon was screened all over the Arabian Gulf, including other Arab countries like Lebanon, North Africa, and Europe such as France, Spain, Germany, Denmark, and Norway. The film is currently playing on Etihad Airways flights. 

    My latest short film, The Monster, has completed post-production recently and is currently being submitted to film festivals worldwide. 

    NYFA: Tell us more about your latest project & how you got involved in the project?

    AM: I started writing The Monster over a year ago. Once the pandemic hit, I pushed myself to develop the script further. By the end of the year, I was ready to go into production and wrapped filming in February 2021. The film is a drama revolving around a young mother named Hessa who escapes her abusive husband, only to find herself pressured by her estranged mother to succumb to his abuse. 

    NYFA: What did you learn at NYFA that you applied directly to this project and others?

    AM: Being in NYFA was an eye-opening experience in terms of giving me insight into various aspects of production, which allows me to be knowledgeable of everybody’s work on set. Time management, speaking to actors, and writing three-dimensional characters are some of the most important lessons I learned in NYFA which I continue to find useful to this day. In addition, NYFA helped build a filmmaking community that makes it easier to find a group of people you can trust and help one another. 

    NYFA: Are there any other upcoming projects we should know about?

    AM: I am currently focused on distributing The Monster to festivals worldwide as well as developing my first feature script. 

    NYFA: Do you have any advice for incoming NYFA students? 

    AM: Allow yourself to make mistakes and do not be afraid to experiment. Learn to take feedback with a pinch of salt; everyone will have an opinion about your work. Making films is the best film school, and you will keep learning as you go. Challenge yourself with each project because being stuck in your comfort zone is the death of creativity.

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    July 30, 2021 • Acting, Filmmaking • Views: 1810

  • The NYFA 20/20 Series: A Conversation with Award-Winning Director/DP Jordan Haro

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) was thrilled to welcome award-winning Director of Photography,  Jordan Haro as part of The 20/20 Series in May 2021. The 20/20 Series was created by NYFA’s Creative Director of Filmmaking and Cinematography, Liz Hinlein. The conversation was moderated by Hinlein and held virtually, allowing individuals to join NYFA and the special guests from all over the world. 

    Jordan Haro NYFA Guest Speaker

    Award-Winning Director/DP Jordan Haro

    Haro is known for his work on TV shows like Snowfall and Archer, as well as feature-length films including Machete (2010), The Wolverine (2013), and Balloon (2011). His long-spanning career titles include photographer, writer, editor, and keen observer. The Austin, TX-native filmmaker bounced around the globe telling stories for massive clients including National Geographic, Atlantic Records, TLC, and Sony Pictures. Aside from always watching, learning, and growing, Jordan’s current goals and aspirations are squarely set in the world of narrative filmmaking.

    During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, Haro and his partner rented an airstream to travel across the United States in order to film, “we rented one airstream trailer back during the pandemic, just when we were coming out of the lockdown phase, that was actually a great trip. That experience sold us on buying one,” says Haro, “It just so happened that a hurricane bore down on us at the same time as this deal. What started as us filming each other, became a tour of climate change across the country. We hit a crazy electric storm in Oklahoma, a horrible snowstorm in Utah, and then got stuck in Colorado while California got hit with those forest fires.” 

    Haro, originally from Austin, Texas was raised on breakfast tacos and barbecue. He has mainly worked as a director, although has many years of experience in producing, editing, and shooting movies of all shapes and sizes. Jordan runs a production company, Homecourt Pictures, that specializes in producing and editing directly to the network, behind-the-scenes marketing, and promo materials. 

    When asked about how he looks for new work Haro answers, “I’m still figuring that out. The main thing is that during certain periods, I’ll be really busy with work that pays the bills, and then I’ll be hit with phases where I can ask ‘what do I want to do?’”

    As an independent filmmaker, Haro sees owning a camera as a positive investment. Not only is he always at the ready for when a story is breaking but it is a great tool for collaborating/bartering with fellow filmmakers. 

    About Liz Hinlein and The 20/20 Series

    Liz Hinlein

    20/20 Online Series Moderator Liz Hinlein

    Liz Hinlein is the Creative Director of Filmmaking and Cinematography with the New York Film Academy. During her tenure, she created our popular weekly virtual event, The 20/20 Series

    Hinlein is an award-winning DGA director and graduate of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Her background in filmmaking and media content includes a robust portfolio of work that spans feature-length films, commercials, and music videos for artists including Mary J. Blige, Britney Spears, Quincy Jones, Incubus, and Fishbone.

    The 20/20 Series is a pop-up virtual event that takes us into the homes, hubs and workspaces of an array of dynamic creative visionaries to allow for relaxed, engaging conversations on craft, creation and artistic vision.

    Each conversation with a creative visionary features 20 minutes of discussion with a moderator and a 20 minute Q&A from YOU, the audience. This event is open to the public, as a means of promoting global connection and creativity, a key mission of NYFA.

    You can catch videos from The 20/20 Series as they are released, here

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    May 1, 2021 • Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 207

  • NYFA South Beach Alum Michael Bradway on How His Modeling and Acting Career Go Hand-in-Hand

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    From working with globally recognized brands like Champion and U.S. Polo Assn. to working on Miami-based short films Hi8, My Dear Delilah, Watch Me, and Piece, NYFA alum Michael Bradway is booked and busy, focusing on both an acting and modeling career that he explains compliments both disciplines. 

    (Photo courtesy of Michael Bradway)

    Bradway grew up in Boca Raton, Fl with his mom and two sisters. Bradway remembers first being intrigued by modeling and entertainment when his twin sister Natalie was approached at their local mall one day by a talent manager. “Slowly, one opportunity led to another,” he shared. “However, I didn’t know I wanted to be an actor until my senior year of high school when I was in the school production of Fiddler on the Roof, it was was an incredible, new experience.” That experience led Bradway to apply for NYFA’s South Beach campus to pursue a BFA in Acting for Film not long after.

    Campaign for Polo (Photo courtesy of Michael Bradway)

    “NYFA South Beach felt like the best choice being a hands-on acting for film program, where I could also study theatre,” Bradway said. “Being at NYFA South Beach for the past three years has taught me so much about acting and filmmaking. For example, hitting your mark, being in the moment, and learning about numerous actors and playwrights. We took editing and film craft classes to get a better understanding and gain more respect for the filmmaking side of a project too. One thing I learned at NYFA, that will stick with me forever, is to always be the most prepared person in the room and there is no excuse not to be.”

    Pursuing acting and modeling has been a helpful experience for Bradway, who recommends that actors look into modeling opportunities to improve their craft. “It’s a great way to explore a different style of art and meet people in various industries,” he explained. “Agencies hold open calls online with instructions, so depending on where you’re located I suggest looking up the agencies in your area.” 

    Bradway is currently signed with SELECT Model Management and has booked multiple campaigns for famous brands like Champion, U.S. Polo Assn., Verizon, and Brightline Train. “Brightline Train was definitely one of my favorites because of all the running we had to do through the train, in a park, and they even created their own mock highway for us to run through too,” revealed Bradway.

    Champion campaign (Photo courtesy of Michael Bradway)

    When asked about whether he prefers acting or modeling, the NYFA alum explained that both creative pursuits have given him so much joy. “I’ve been so fortunate to have worked with incredible people and companies worldwide,” he shared. “I don’t necessarily have a favorite between the two. Acting has actually helps me with modeling and vice versa. Modeling can be very interactive, even without having to say any lines. You’re capturing a moment with each photo taken and most of the time the company/photographer wants those moments to look natural. Acting has definitely helped me with that skill.”

    In addition to modeling helping his acting skills and acting helping his modeling, Bradway also shared that NYFA South Beach campus’ close-knit community helped him grow in his craft and build a community of faculty and students alike. “it’s a building full of amazingly talented and genuinely wholehearted people who are currently working in the industry,” he gushed. “They are funny, hardworking and all have the same goal in mind; to tell their stories. There are so many stories to tell which is why more people should be exploring acting and filmmaking. Many hands are involved in a single film with a vast amount of different jobs, so there is something for everyone.” 

    New York Film Academy would like to thank New York Film Academy South Beach alum Michael Bradway for taking the time to share more about what he has learned from modeling and acting and how both careers have helped him grow in the industry.

     

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    November 23, 2020 • Acting, South Beach, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2627

  • NYFA Presents: The Rock The Vote Rally 2020

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    A rousing group of New York Film Academy students, faculty, and staff from all three campuses (New York, Los Angeles, and South Beach) participated in a Rock the Vote Virtual Rally yesterday. The Rally included special guest, Tony-nominated actor Daphne Rubin-Vega (Broadway’s RENT, Les Misérables, The Rocky Horror Show ), who shared stories of her immigrant family background, becoming a U.S citizen, and the imperative to vote. 

    NYFA Producing alum Lisa Cortes (producer of the Academy Award-winning Precious, recent Emmy Award-winner for The Apollo, and producer/co-director of the just-released Stacey Abrams documentary All In: The Fight For Democracy) spoke of the importance of voting in light of the long history of voter suppression in the U.S. In the making of All In: The Fight For Democracy during the COVID pandemic, Cortes talked about how her NYFA Producing education proved so valuable in pulling together the project during such challenging times. Attendees were treated to a special viewing of the All In trailer and a special musical clip of Janelle Monae performing the closing title song from the film. 

    Also joining via specially recorded video clips was Nikki Renée Daniels from “Hamilton” and Shoshana Bean from “Wicked”,  A special “Get Out The Vote” tribute by Lin Manuel Miranda and the cast of Hamilton capped the Rally. 

    The event was co-produced by NYFA Producing Chair Neal Weisman and Chair of the Musical Theatre Department, Kristy Cates. 

    “Our sincerest hope was not only to invigorate the NYFA community to become excited about and committed to voting, but to inspire everyone in attendance to reach out to their circles and do the same.” – Kristy Cates

    NYFA’s Rock The Vote efforts include a Zoom room every Tuesday from 1 p.m. ET – 4 p.m. ET that offers voter registration and mail-in ballot assistance for NYFA students, faculty, and staff from all three campuses. Please stop in and check your registration, apply for absentee ballots, etc. Further information is available on the NYFA Voter Resources page.

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