• NYFA Alumni Majid Al Ansari and Razanne Jammal Involved in Netflix Original Series “Paranormal”


    Not one, but two alumni are involved in Netflix’s first series to accommodate deaf and blind viewers for Arabic Netflix. NYFA Filmmaking alum Majid Al Ansari directs three episodes of the new series, with actress and NYFA alum Razanne Jammal starring as lead character Maggie Mckillop.

    Film poster for ‘Paranormal’

    Ma Waraa al-Tabea (in Arabic) or “Paranormal” in English, premiered on November 5, 2020, and marks Egypt’s first original series in addition to being the first Arabic Netflix series to accommodate deaf and blind viewers.

    The series is based on Ahmed Khaled Tawfik’s thrilling book series about doctor Refaat Ismail, a cynical doctor whose lifelong scientific convictions are suddenly called into question. The Egyptian author’s critically acclaimed novels in Arabic have sold more than 15 million copies worldwide.

    NYFA alum Razanne Jammal in ‘Paranormal’

    Razanne Jammal attended NYFA’s 4-Week Acting for Film program in 2009 and has since built up a successful acting career, starring alongside Liam Neeson in A Walk Among the Tombstones and starring in Robert Guédiguian’s Don’t Tell Me The Boy Was Mad, which premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. She now plays Maggie Mckilop in Paranormal, Refaat’s university colleague who enters the paranormal world to protect those around her from danger.

    Majid Al Ansari at a panel for Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX

    Director Majid Al Ansari attended NYFA’s 2-Year Filmmaking Conservatory program and went on to have his debut feature film Zinzana (“Rattle The Cage”) have its world premiere at Fantastic Fest and its European premiere at the BFI London Film Festival. Zinzana was subsequently picked up and eventually sold to Netflix as the first Arab film acquisition after the streaming giant branched out to the Middle East. He has director credits for three episodes of the Netflix thriller Paranormal.

    Still from ‘Paranormal’

    New York Film Academy would like to congratulate NYFA Alumni Razanne Jammal and Majid Al Ansari for their involvement on Paranormal and encourages everyone to check out the new series if it is available in their country and looks forward to what’s next from the NYFA graduates.

  • NYFA Teams Up with Gotham Paranormal Research Society to Investigate Manhattan’s Most Haunted Mansion


    It’s one thing to act in a horror film, it’s quite another to be a part of the real thing. Last week, New York Film Academy students and NYFA Acting for Film instructor, Blanche Baker (“Sixteen Candles” and “The Girl Next Door” ), teamed up with Gotham Paranormal Research Society to help with an investigation at the oldest and one of the most haunted houses in Manhattan, the Morris-Jumel Mansion. The mansion is also noted as the location where Lin Manuel Miranda wrote two songs for the Broadway smash-hit, “Hamilton.”

    haunted mansion

    “A big part of acting is learning to take chances,” said Baker. “Which means, taking risk…but these risks don’t usually involve the paranormal.”

    In the hopes of documenting paranormal activity from the alleged resident ghosts, students used their acting skills to reenact historical site-specific scenes from the early 19th century. Each student played roles of people who have lived in the house, including Eliza Jumel, who is said to frequently haunt the house.

    haunted mansion

    According to Angela Artuso, Director of Gotham PRS, the use of “trigger objects,” or objects from the period in history a ghost is said to be from, has been a very effective tool for paranormal researchers trying to document activity.

    “Just being able to be in a time period to get a reaction from anything that could possibly be living here is just so fun and cool,” said Pilar Martinez (2nd-year Musical Theater student).

    haunted nyfa

    After acting out three scenes on each floor, students and paranormal investigators attempted to communicate with any entities present using K2 meters and white-noise radio scanners like the EchoVox and Spirit Box. The result? Responses to their questions as well as odd electrical anomalies around the house caught on-camera and on audio devices.

    Students and faculty left the mansion both spooked and intrigued by the captured footage, and hope to return to further investigate the possible paranormal activity at the Morris-Jumel Mansion.


    October 31, 2016 • Community Highlights • Views: 3616