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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Celebrates 2020 Guild Awards Nominees

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    Each year, even before the holiday season wraps up, Hollywood’s awards season begins, preceding a series of award ceremonies early in the next year and culminating with the Academy Awards. 

    Awards for films and television come from a variety of organizations, including some of Hollywood’s most powerful—the trade guilds. Each year, these unions of professional actors, screenwriters, directors, producers, cinematographers, and more nominate and vote on the year’s best of their craft, often aligning with other major award shortlists.

    Guild Awards

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) is thrilled each year to see members of the NYFA community represented on these lists. Here are this year’s nominations for the 2020 Guild Awards, including projects worked on by NYFA alumni, students, faculty, and guest speakers.

    2020 Writers Guild Award Nominees

    Filmmaking alum Bill Hader has been nominated along with the other writers of HBO’s Barry, co-created by and starring Hader, for Best Comedy Series. Hader has previously been nominated for an Emmy for his writing on the show, and has been nominated and won several awards for his other roles on the series.

    Here is a full list of this year’s Writers Guild Awards nominees:

    DRAMA SERIES
    The Crown, Written by James Graham, David Hancock, Peter Morgan; Netflix
    The Handmaid’s Tale, Written by Marissa Jo Cerar, Yahlin Chang, Nina Fiore, Dorothy Fortenberry, Jacey Heldrich, John Herrera, Lynn Renee Maxcy, Bruce Miller, Kira Snyder, Eric Tuchman; Hulu
    Mindhunter, Written by Pamela Cederquist, Joshua Donen, Marcus Gardley, Shaun Grant, Liz Hannah, Phillip Howze, Jason Johnson, Doug Jung, Colin J. Louro, Alex Metcalf, Courtenay Miles, Dominic Orlando, Joe Penhall, Ruby Rae Spiegel; Netflix
    Succession, Written by Jesse Armstrong, Alice Birch, Jon Brown, Jonathan Glatzer, Cord Jefferson, Mary Laws, Lucy Prebble, Georgia Pritchett, Tony Roche, Gary Shteyngart, Susan Soon He Stanton, Will Tracy; HBO
    Watchmen, Written by Lila Byock, Nick Cuse, Christal Henry, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Cord Jefferson, Jeff Jensen, Claire Kiechel, Damon Lindelof, Janine Nabers, Stacy Osei-Kuffour, Tom Spezialy, Carly Wray; HBO

    COMEDY SERIES
    Barry, Written by Alec Berg, Duffy Boudreau, Bill Hader, Emily Heller, Jason Kim, Taofik Kolade, Elizabeth Sarnoff; HBO
    The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Written by Kate Fodor, Noah Gardenswartz, Daniel Goldfarb, Alison Leiby, Dan Palladino, Sono Patel, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Jordan Temple; Prime Video
    PEN15, Written by Jeff Chan, Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle, Gabe Liedman, Stacy Osei-Kuffour, Andrew Rhymer, Jessica Watson, Sam Zvibleman; Hulu
    Russian Doll, Written by Jocelyn Bioh, Flora Birnbaum, Cirocco Dunlap, Leslye Headland, Natasha Lyonne, Amy Poehler, Tami Sagher, Allison Silverman; Netflix
    Veep, Written by Gabrielle Allan-Greenberg, Rachel Axler, Emilia Barrosse, Ted Cohen, Jennifer Crittenden, Alex Gregory, Steve Hely, Peter Huyck, Erik Kenward, Billy Kimball, David Mandel, Ian Maxtone-Graham, Dan Mintz, Lew Morton, Dan O’Keefe, Georgia Pritchett, Leila Strachan; HBO

    NEW SERIES
    Dead To Me, Written by Rebecca Addelman, Njeri Brown, Liz Feldman, Kelly Hutchinson, Anthony King, Emma Rathbone, Kate Robin, Abe Sylvia; Netflix
    PEN15, Written by Jeff Chan, Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle, Gabe Liedman, Stacy Osei-Kuffour, Andrew Rhymer, Jessica Watson, Sam Zvibleman; Hulu
    Russian Doll, Written by Jocelyn Bioh, Flora Birnbaum, Cirocco Dunlap, Leslye Headland, Natasha Lyonne, Amy Poehler, Tami Sagher, Allison Silverman; Netflix
    Watchmen, Written by Lila Byock, Nick Cuse, Christal Henry, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Cord Jefferson, Jeff Jensen, Claire Kiechel, Damon Lindelof, Janine Nabers, Stacy Osei-Kuffour, Tom Spezialy, Carly Wray; HBO
    What We Do in the Shadows, Written by Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain, Jemaine Clement, Josh Lieb, Iain Morris, Stefani Robinson, Duncan Sarkies, Marika Sawyer, Tom Scharpling, Paul Simms, Taika Waititi; FX Networks

    ORIGINAL LONG FORM
    Chernobyl, Written by Craig Mazin; HBO
    The Terror: Infamy, Written by Max Borenstein, Alessandra DiMona, Shannon Goss, Steven Hanna, Naomi Iizuka, Benjamin Klein, Danielle Roderick, Tony Tost, Alexander Woo; AMC
    Togo, Written by Tom Flynn; Disney+
    True Detective, Written by Alessandra DiMona, Graham Gordy, Gabriel Hobson, David Milch, Nic Pizzolatto; HBO

    ADAPTED LONG FORM
    El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, Written by Vince Gilligan; Netflix
    Fosse/Verdon, Written by Debora Cahn, Joel Fields, Ike Holter, Thomas Kail, Steven Levenson, Charlotte Stoudt, Tracey Scott Wilson, Based on the book Fosse by Sam Wasson; FX Networks
    The Loudest Voice, Written by John Harrington Bland, Laura Eason, Tom McCarthy, Alex Metcalf, Gabriel Sherman, Jennifer Stahl, Based on the Book The Loudest Voice in the Room and the New York Magazine Articles by Gabriel Sherman; Showtime
    Unbelievable, Written by Michael Chabon, Susannah Grant, Becky Mode, Jennifer Schuur, Ayelet Waldman, Based on the Pro Publica & The Marshall Project article “An Unbelievable Story of Rape” and This American Life radio episode “Anatomy of Doubt;” Netflix

    ORIGINAL SHORT FORM NEW MEDIA
    After Forever, Written by Michael Slade & Kevin Spirtas; Prime Video
    Special, Written by Ryan O’Connell; Netflix

    ANIMATION
    “Bed, Bob & Beyond” (Bob’s Burgers), Written by Kelvin Yu; Fox
    “The Gene Mile” (Bob’s Burgers), Written by Steven Davis; Fox
    “Go Big or Go Homer” (The Simpsons), Written by John Frink; Fox
    “A Horse Walks Into A Rehab” (BoJack Horseman), Written by Elijah Aron; Netflix
    “Livin’ La Pura Vida” (The Simpsons), Written by Brian Kelley; Fox
    “Thanksgiving of Horror” (The Simpsons), Written by Dan Vebber; Fox

    EPISODIC DRAMA
    “407 Proxy Authentication Required” (Mr. Robot), Written by Sam Esmail; USA Network
    “A Good Man is Hard to Find” (Ray Donovan), Written by Joshua Marston; Showtime
    “Mirror Mirror” (The OA), Written by Dominic Orlando & Claire Kiechel; Netflix
    “Moondust” (The Crown), Written by Peter Morgan; Netflix
    “Our Little Island Girl” (This Is Us), Written by Eboni Freeman; NBC
    “Tern Haven” (Succession), Written by Will Tracy; HBO

    EPISODIC COMEDY
    “Here’s Where We Get Off” (Orange Is the New Black), Written by Jenji Kohan; Netflix
    “It’s Comedy or Cabbage” (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Written by Amy Sherman-Palladino; Prime Video
    “Nice Knowing You” (Living With Yourself), Written by Timothy Greenberg; Netflix
    “Pilot” (Dead to Me), Written by Liz Feldman; Netflix
    “The Stinker Thinker” (On Becoming a God in Central Florida), Written by Robert F. Funke & Matt Lutsky; Showtime
    “Veep” (Veep), Written by David Mandel; HBO

    COMEDY/VARIETY TALK SERIES
    Conan, Head Writer: Matt O’Brien Writers: Jose Arroyo, Glenn Boozan, Daniel Cronin, Andres du Bouchet, Jessie Gaskell, Brian Kiley, Laurie Kilmartin, Todd Levin, Levi MacDougall, Conan O’Brien, Andy Richter, Frank Smiley, Mike Sweeney; TBS
    Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Head Writer: Melinda Taub Writing Supervised by: Joe Grossman, Nicole Silverberg Writers: Samantha Bee, Kristen Bartlett, Pat Cassels, Sean Crespo, Mike Drucker, Mathan Erhardt, Miles Kahn, Sahar Rizvi, Special Material by: Allison Silverman; TBS
    Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Senior Writers: Dan Gurewitch, Jeff Maurer, Jill Twiss, Juli Weiner Writers: Tim Carvell, Daniel O’Brien, John Oliver, Owen Parsons, Charlie Redd, Joanna Rothkopf, Ben Silva, Seena Vali; HBO
    Late Night with Seth Meyers, Head writer: Alex Baze Supervising Writers: Sal Gentile, Seth Reiss, Writers: Jermaine Affonso, Karen Chee, Bryan Donaldson, Matt Goldich, Dina Gusovsky, Jenny Hagel, Allison Hord, Mike Karnell, John Lutz, Seth Meyers, Ian Morgan, Amber Ruffin, Mike Scollins, Mike Shoemaker, Ben Warheit; NBC Universal
    The Late Late Show with James Corden, Head Writers: Lauren Greenberg, Ian Karmel Writers: Demi Adejuyigbe, James Corden, Rob Crabbe, Lawrence Dai, Nate Fernald, Caroline Goldfarb, Olivia Harewood, David Javerbaum, John Kennedy, Kayleigh Lamb, James Longman, Jared Moskowitz, CeCe Pleasants, Tim Siedell, Benjamin Stout, Tom Thriveni, Louis Waymouth, Ben Winston; CBS
    The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Head Writers: Jay Katsir, Opus Moreschi Writers: Michael Brumm, River Clegg, Aaron Cohen, Stephen Colbert, Paul Dinello, Ariel Dumas, Glenn Eichler, Django Gold, Gabe Gronli, Greg Iwinski, Barry Julien, Daniel Kibblesmith, Eliana Kwartler, Matt Lappin, Asher Perlman, Tom Purcell, Kate Sidley, Jen Spyra, Brian Stack, John Thibodeaux; CBS

    COMEDY/VARIETY SPECIALS
    Desi Lydic: Abroad, Written by Devin Delliquanti, Lauren Sarver Means; Comedy Central
    Full Frontal with Samantha Bee Presents: Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner Part 2, Head Writer Melinda Taub, Writing Supervised by Joe Grossman, Nicole Silverberg, Writers Samantha Bee, Kristen Bartlett, Pat Cassels, Sean Crespo, Mike Drucker, Mathan Erhardt, Lewis Friedman, Miles Kahn, Sahar Rizvi, Special Material by Allison Silverman; TBS
    The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special 2019, Head Writers Lauren Greenberg, Ian Karmel, Writers Demi Adejuyigbe, James Corden, Rob Crabbe, Lawrence Dai, Nate Fernald, Caroline Goldfarb, John Kennedy, James Longman, Jared Moskowitz, CeCe Pleasants, Tim Siedell, Benjamin D. Stout, Tom Thriveni, Louis Waymouth, Ben Winston; CBS
    Ramy Youssef: Feelings, Written by Ramy Youssef; HBO

    COMEDY/VARIETY SKETCH SERIES
    At Home with Amy Sedaris, Writers: Cole Escola, Amy Sedaris, Allison Silverman; truTV
    I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson, Writers: Jeremy Beiler, Zach Kanin, Tim Robinson, John Solomon; Netflix
    Saturday Night Live, Head Writers: Michael Che, Colin Jost, Kent Sublette Supervising Writers: Anna Drezen, Fran Gillespie, Sudi Green, Streeter Seidell Senior Writer: Bryan Tucker Weekend Update Head Writer: Pete Schultz Writers: James Anderson, Neal Brennan, Andrew Briedis, Dan Bulla, Megan Callahan, Steven Castillo, Emma Clark, Andrew Dismukes, Alison Gates, Tim Herlihy, Steve Higgins, Sam Jay, Erik Kenward, Steve Koren, Rob Klein, Michael Koman, Dan Licata, Alan Linic, Eli Coyote Mandel, Dave McCary, Dennis McNicholas, Lorne Michaels, John Mulaney, Josh Patten, Simon Rich, Josh Patten, Jasmine Pierce, Katie Rich, Gary Richardson, Marika Sawyer, Robert Smigel, Mark Steinbach, Will Stephen, Julio Torres, Bowen Yang; NBC Universal

    QUIZ AND AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION
    Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?, Head Writer Bret Calvert, Writers Seth Harrington, Rosemarie DiSalvo; Nickelodeon
    Hollywood Game Night, Head Writers Ann Slichter, Grant Taylor, Writers Michael Agbabian, Marshall Davis, Allie Kokesh, Dwight D. Smith; NBC
    Jeopardy!, Writers Matthew Caruso, John Duarte, Harry Friedman, Mark Gaberman, Debbie Griffin, Michele Loud, Robert McClenaghan, Jim Rhine, Steve D. Tamerius, Billy Wisse; ABC
    Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Head Writer Stephen Melcher, Writers Kyle Beakley, Patricia A. Cotter, Ryan Hopak, Gary Lucy, James Rowley, Ann Slichter; Disney/ABC Syndication

    DAYTIME DRAMA
    Days of Our Lives, Writers: Lorraine Broderick, Ron Carlivati, Joanna Cohen, Carolyn Culliton, Richard Culliton, Rick Draughon, Dave Kreizman, Rebecca McCarty, Ryan Quan, Dave Ryan, Betsy Snyder, Katie Schock; NBC Universal
    General Hospital, Head Writers: Shelly Altman, Christopher Van Etten, Dan O’Connor Associate Head Writers: Anna T. Cascio Writers: Barbara Bloom, Suzanne Flynn, Charlotte Gibson, Lucky Gold, Kate Hall, Elizabeth Korte, Donny Sheldon, Scott Sickles; ABC
    The Young and the Restless, Writers: Amanda L. Beall, Jeff Beldner, Sara Bibel, Matt Clifford, Annie Compton, Christopher Dunn, Sara Endsley, Janice Ferri Esser, Mellinda Hensley, Anne Schoettle, Natalie Minardi Slater, Teresa Zimmerman; CBS

    CHILDREN’S EPISODIC, LONG FORM AND SPECIALS
    “It’s Just… Weird” (Alexa & Katie), Written by Romi Barta; Netflix
    “Remember Black Elvis?” (Family Reunion), Written by Howard Jordan, Jr.; Netflix
    “Remember How This All Started?” (Family Reunion), Written by Meg DeLoatch; Netflix
    “Stupid Binder” (Alexa & Katie), Written by Nancy Cohen; Netflix
    “Time to Make… My Move” (Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance), Written by Javier Grillo-Marxuach; Netflix

    DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT – CURRENT EVENTS
    “Coal’s Deadly Dust” (Frontline), Written by Elaine McMillion Sheldon; PBS
    “The Mueller Investigation” (Frontline), Written by Michael Kirk & Mike Wiser; PBS
    “Trump’s Trade War” (Frontline), Written by Rick Young; PBS

    DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT – OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS
    “Chasing The Moon Part One: A Place Beyond The Sky” (American Experience), Written by Robert Stone; PBS
    “Right To Fail” (Frontline), Written by Tom Jennings; PBS
    “Supreme Revenge” (Frontline), Written by Michael Kirk & Mike Wiser; PBS

    NEWS SCRIPT – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT
    “Terror in America: The Massacres in El Paso and Dayton” (Special Edition of the CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell), Written by Jerry Cipriano, Joe Clines, Bob Meyer; CBS News

    NEWS SCRIPT – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY
    “Atlanta, EP. 3” (A King’s Place), Written by Jessica Moulite; TheRoot.com
    “Fly Like An Eagle” (60 Minutes), Written by Katie Kerbstat Jacobson, Scott Pelley, Nicole Young; CBS News
    “’Tis the Season: Here’s How Jesus Became So Widely Accepted as White,” Written by Joon Chung, Felice León, Ashley Velez; TheRoot.com
    “Toxic Water Crisis Still This Haunts New York Town”, Written by Lena Jackson; HuffPost.com

    DIGITAL NEWS
    “A Gridiron of Their Own,” Written by Kelsey McKinney; Deadspin.com
    “Stories About My Brother,” Written by Prachi Gupta, jezebel.com

    RADIO/AUDIO NEWS SCRIPT – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT
    “CBS News on the Hour with Norah O’Donnell – El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio – Communities in Mourning,” Written by James Hutton; CBS News Radio
    “Hail and Farewell: Remembering Some Headline Makers,” Written by Gail Lee; CBS News Radio
    “World News This Week, August 9, 2019,” Written by Stephanie Pawlowski and Jim Ryan; ABC News Radio
    “World News This Week, September 13, 2019,” Written by Joan B. Harris; ABC News Radio

    RADIO/AUDIO NEWS SCRIPT – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY
    “The Enduring Legacy of Jackie Kennedy Onassis,” Written by Dianne E. James, Gail Lee; CBS News Radio
    “Woodstock: Back to the Garden,” Written by Gail Lee, CBS News Radio

    ON AIR PROMOTION
    “CBS Promos”, Written by Molly Neylan; CBS
    “Star. Kill. Evil. FBI.,” Written by Ralph Buado; CBS
    “Star Trek: Picard” and “All Rise Promos,” Written by Jessica Katzenstein; CBS

    Screen Actors Guild Award Nominees

    The acting branch is the largest voting body in the Academy, which makes SAG-AFTRA an important indicator of what we can expect for the upcoming Oscars. The SAG Awards also cover television; NYFA alum Bill Hader picked up a nomination for his lead role on HBO’s Barry.

    Stranger Things also earned a few nominations, including for Outstanding Drama Ensemble. The cast has included actor and NYFA board member and masterclass instructor Matthew Modine.

    Additionally, previous NYFA guest speaker Adam Driver was nominated for his lead role in Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story. Driver spoke with NYFA students at an intimate Q&A at our New York campus last year.

    Here is a full list of this year’s SAG Awards nominees:

    Outstanding Male Actor in a TV Movie or Limited Series
    Mahershala Ali, True Detective
    Russell Crowe, The Loudest Voice
    Jared Harris, Chernobyl
    Jharrel Jerome, When They See Us
    Sam Rockwell, Fosse/Verdon

    Outstanding Female Actor in a TV Movie or Limited Series
    Patricia Arquette, The Act
    Toni Collette, Unbelievable
    Joey King, The Act
    Emily Watson, Chernobyl
    Michelle Williams, Fosse/Verdon

    Outstanding Male Actor in a Comedy Series
    Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method
    Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
    Bill Hader, Barry
    Andrew Scott, Fleabag
    Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

    Outstanding Female Actor in a Comedy Series
    Christina Applegate, Dead to Me
    Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
    Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
    Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek
    Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag

    Outstanding Comedy Ensemble
    Barry
    Fleabag
    The Kominsky Method
    The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
    Schitt’s Creek

    Outstanding Male Actor in a Drama Series
    Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
    Steve Carell, The Morning Show
    Billy Crudup, The Morning Show
    Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
    David Harbour, Stranger Things

    Outstanding Female Actor in a Drama Series
    Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show
    Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
    Olivia Colman, The Crown
    Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
    Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale

    Outstanding Drama Ensemble
    Big Little Lies
    The Crown
    Game of Thrones
    The Handmaid’s Tale
    Stranger Things

    Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
    Jamie Foxx, Just Mercy
    Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
    Al Pacino, The Irishman
    Joe Pesci, The Irishman
    Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
    Laura Dern, Marriage Story
    Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit
    Nicole Kidman, Bombshell
    Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers
    Margot Robbie, Bombshell

    Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
    Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari
    Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
    Adam Driver, Marriage Story
    Taron Egerton, Rocketman
    Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

    Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
    Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
    Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
    Lupita Nyong’o, Us
    Charlize Theron, Bombshell
    Renée Zellweger, Judy

    Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
    Bombshell
    The Irishman
    Jojo Rabbit
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
    Parasite

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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Screenwriting Instructor Matt Harry Set to Release ‘Cryptozoology for Beginners’

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    Matt Harry Cryptozoology for BeginnersCryptozoology for Beginners, the sequel to the popular book Sorcery for Beginners, will be released on November 5; both were written by New York Film Academy (NYFA) Screenwriting instructor Matt Harry.

    The second book in the Codex Arcanum series takes place six weeks after the dramatic events of Sorcery for Beginners and features series leads Trish, Owen, and Perry as they travel across the globe looking for fantastical creatures like the jackalope, chupacabra, and the altamaha-ha.

    In addition to being an author and NYFA Screenwriting instructor, Harry has also worked as a reality television writer, editor, director, and feature film producer; his credits include The Bachelor, Seriously Funny Kids, and Red Serpent, as well as Fugue, which Harry wrote and produced and which won Best Horror Film at the Mississippi Film Festival. Additionally, Harry has written and co-directed Super Kids for 1st Ave Machine/YouTube. He is currently developing a TV adaptation of Sorcery for Beginners as well as an animated pilot called Monster Cops.

    “I’ve met very few artistic geniuses,” Harry recently told NYFA in a Q&A, “but my own career is a testament to the fact that if you keep pushing, working, and revising, you’ll improve.”

    In that same interview, Harry cited writers and directors Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, George Orwell, David Lynch, Edgar Wright, Colin Meloy, Madeline L’Engle, Stanley Kubrick, Philip Pullman, and Wes Anderson, as big influencers on his work.

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA Screenwriting instructor Matt Harry on the publication of his new book and encourages everyone to read Cryptozoology for Beginners as soon as possible! 

    Matt Harry Cryptozoology for Beginners

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    October 30, 2019 • Faculty Highlights, Screenwriting • Views: 801

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Screenwriting Chair and Instructor Team Up for ‘Dragon Age’ Comic

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    Dragon Age: Blue Wraith, the newest Dark Horse comic adaptation of popular video game franchise Dragon Age, is being written by New York Film Academy Los Angeles (NYFA-LA) Chair of Screenwriting Nunzio DeFilippis and NYFA-LA Screenwriting instructor Christina Weir.

    In addition to teaching at NYFA’s Burbank-based Screenwriting school, DeFilippis and Weir are married and have been writing partners for several years, working together on numerous projects like HBO’s Arli$$ and Disney Channel’s Kim Possible, as well as developing a video game at Sony and a TV movie at Oxygen.

    DeFilippis and Weir have been writing comic books for over 17 years, including New X-Men, Adventures of Superman, and Batman Confidential. They’ve created the comic franchises Bad Medicine (in development at Closed On Mondays with NBC), The Amy Devlin Mysteries (in development as a TV series at E!), and Frenemy of the State (co-created with Rashida Jones, optioned as a feature film by Imagine Entertainment/
    Universal Pictures).

    dragon age nunzio DeFilippis christina weir FEATUREDBlue Wraith is their latest comic in the world of Dragon Age; DeFilippis and Weir previously wrote Dragon Age: Knight Errant in 2017 and Dragon Age: Deception in 2018, both critically acclaimed series published by Dark Horse. Blue Wraith will feature Fenris, a fan-favorite character from Dragon Age II, the blockbuster video game released in 2011. The plot of their newest series has been described as: “Dragon Age: Blue Wraith starts off with the fanatical Qunari seeking to topple the Tevinter mageocracy. Caught in the middle, one powerful young mage’s desperate search for her father brings her face-to-face with a notorious mage hunter—Fenris, the Blue Wraith.”

    DeFilippis and Weir are joined by artist Fernando Heinz Furukawa and colorist Michael Atiyeh to being this latest series to life, with covers done by Sachin Teng. The writers also had to work closely with BioWare, the company that produces the Dragon Age franchise, to make sure the comics didn’t conflict with the video game world.

    “They are great collaborators,” Weir said about BioWare in an interview with ComicBook.com. “We have story conferences with them before starting a miniseries, and then they give notes along the way. Their notes are always driven by the same instincts we have: what’s the best story? How do [you] let this character grow or shine?”

    In the interview, DeFilippis talks about what set writing Blue Wraith apart from writing previous Dragon Age series: “We’re also painting on a bigger canvas than just the individual miniseries issue count. Knight Errant was very much a new thing, but it picked up characters from Magekiller. And from there, we’ve been telling one long quest—Knight Errant into Deception into Blue Wraith and beyond.”

    Dragon Age: Blue Wraith #1 is set to release on January 15, 2020 with the following two issues releasing after that. New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA-LA Screenwriting Chair Nunzio DeFilippis and NYFA-LA Screenwriting instructor Christina Weir on their work and encourages everyone to check out the comics when they’re published! 

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    October 28, 2019 • Faculty Highlights, Screenwriting • Views: 709

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Welcomes ‘John Wick’ Creator Derek Kolstad

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    Derek Kolstad, creator and writer of the iconic action franchise starring Keanu Reeves, John Wick, spoke with students at New York Film Academy (NYFA) at a special event on Tuesday, October 15, moderated by Tova Laiter, Director of the NYFA Q&A Series.

    Derek Kolstad penned the original screenplay for John Wick, which has become Lionsgate’s most profitable franchise with two sequels, a VR game, a mobile game, and a probable third sequel, as well as executive producing a planned scripted TV adaptation that Kolstad is executive producing and a comic book series that he is consulting on.

    Derek Kolstad

    Additionally, Kolstad most recently wrapped as a co-executive producer on the highly-anticipated Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier for Marvel Studios.

    Following a screening of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, Laiter opened up the Q&A by asking Kolstad how he got his start in the business and how that led to his success as a screenwriter. “I started to write screenplays since I was 13,” Kolstad began, continuing, “when I didn’t even know the format. I wrote and filed it. I became a salesman and then one day, it was 2000, I drove out to LA and I got noticed right away.”

    He added, “I wrote a script called Acolyte and I got a manager and did two direct-to-DVD movies that were an ungodly challenge. I was going to walk away and one producer on that project introduced me to managers Mike Goldberg and Josh Adler, who are still my reps, and they saved me.”

    Speaking of his inspiration for creating the series, Kolstad shared, “When I wrote John Wick, I was writing a love letter to the movies I loved. I wrote that initial screenplay in three days, the second draft in two weeks, sold it in February, and we went into production that November. So when you think of overnight success, I know I’m blessed, but I worked hard and long to get to that point.” 

    Derek Kolstad

    Laiter also asked Kolstad about the moment when John Wick clicked for him. Kolstad answered, “John Wick was just me suddenly going, ‘I’m going to stop trying to be who I’m not and just embrace what I love.’” 

    The Q&A was then opened up to student filmmakers, where Kolstad was asked how the John Wick franchise stood out from other action movies in the market. Kolstad credited the success to the importance of character relationships, saying, “A good movie, regardless of genre, is a good movie. It comes down to the character and their relationships, and the audience wanting to be a part of that character’s life.”       

    New York Film Academy would like to thank Derek Kolstad for joining us and sharing his expertise with our students!

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    October 17, 2019 • Guest Speakers, Screenwriting • Views: 672

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Screenwriting Instructor Alan Trezza Writes and Executive Produces ‘We Summon the Darkness’

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    We Summon the Darkness, a horror film written and executive produced by New York Film Academy (NYFA) Screenwriting instructor Alan Trezza, recently screened at Fantastic Fest.

    Trezza teaches screenwriting to students at New York Film Academy’s Burbank-based campus. Trezza previously wrote and directed the short film Burying the Ex, which was adapted into a feature directed by Joe Dante.

    “I learned a great deal writing and executive producing We Summon the Darkness,” Trezza tells NYFA, “and I look forward to sharing all the lessons I’ve learned with my students.”

    The film stars Alexandra Daddario, Maddie Hasson, Amy Forsyth, and Johnny Knoxville, and was directed by Marc Meyers. A period story set in the height of the “Satanic Panic” of the 1980s, the movie follows three best friends into heavy metal after they head off to a secluded party one night, where the evening takes a deadly turn.

    We Summon the Darkness has been receiving overwhelmingly positive praise, including at Fantastic Fest, with Bloody Disgusting calling the film “a metal mayhem joyride” with “extremely likable, fully realized characters in a fully fleshed out world.” 

    Fantastic Fest is an annual festival held in Austin, Texas that focuses on genre films, including horror, fantasy, science fiction, action, and cult movies. This year’s Fantastic Fest was held from September 19 – 26.


    We Summon the Darkness
    will next be holding its premiere on Thursday, October 17, at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, followed by Q&A with director Marc Meyers and cast members Keean Johnson, Johnny Knoxville, Logan Miller, Maddie Hasson, Amy Forsyth, and Austin Swift. Tickets to the screening are available here.

    New York Film Academy congratulates Screenwriting instructor Alan Trezza on his new film We Summon the Darkness and encourages everyone who can to attend to the Los Angeles premiere on October 17!

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    September 27, 2019 • Faculty Highlights, Screenwriting • Views: 1044

  • WNYC Interviews New York Film Academy (NYFA) Chair of Screenwriting Randall Dottin

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    Fevah, the short film by award-winning filmmaker and New York Film Academy (NYFA) Chair of Screenwriting Randall Dottin, screened at the Latino Film Festival last month. Shortly before the screening, Dottin was interviewed on WNYC by cultural critic Rebecca Carroll.

    Fevah is a 12-minute-long short about a single Latinx mother named Indira, who deals with emotional and psychological angst while navigating her feelings about the two black men she loves. The film, which stars Melissa Jackson, Russell Hornsby, and LaRoyce Hawkins, was written and directed by Dottin.

    Dottin is currently the Chair of NYFA’s Screenwriting department at its New York City campus. His thesis film, A-Alike, won a Gold Medal at the Student Academy Awards for Best Narrative Film and the Director’s Guild of America Award for Best African American Student Filmmaker, as well as earning other awards and a two-year broadcast run on HBO. His feature doc The Chicago Franchise was accepted into IFP Week’s Spotlight on Documentaries.

    Dottin recently won a grant from the Sundance Institute to complete his six-part documentary series The House I Never Knew, which focuses on the struggle with and against the negative effects of housing segregation policy, including social ills like gun violence and educational failure—especially in Boston, Houston, and Chicago—as well as the personal lives affected by them.

    Randall DottinOn air with WNYC, New York’s public broadcast network, Dottin went into the making of Fevah, as well as what helped inspire the film. “I think one of the things that makes New York so special is just the fact that it’s the most diverse city in the world,” Dottin told Carroll during his interview. “It’s crowded. But it’s also so much culture. It’s also so many different kinds of people.”

    Fevah screened on August 17 at the Julia de Burgos Art Center as part of the New York Latino Film Festival (NYLFF). The fest was founded in 1999, aims to build audiences for Latinx cinema, support the film community with professional development, and foster relationships for Latino talent.

    New York Film Academy congratulates Chair of Screenwriting Randall Dottin on his NYLFF screening and encourages everyone to listen to his enlightening WNYC interview.

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    September 9, 2019 • Film Festivals, Screenwriting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 550

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Screenwriting Alum Shahad Ameen Debuts Feature Film at Venice Film Festival

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Screenwriting alum Shahad Ameen recently debuted her first feature film at this year’s Venice Film Festival (VFF). The film, a stark black-and-white drama filled with magical realism, was written and directed by Ameen.

    Scales (Sayidat Al Bahr in Arabic), tells the story of Hayat, a young girl who lives in a poor fishing village where every family must give one daughter to mysterious sea creatures who inhabit the nearby waters, who in turn are also hunted by the men of the village. Saved by her father, Hayat is banished from her village and branded a curse. 

    Shahad Ameen

    “I want the audience to relate to the main themes of the film: life and women’s roles within it,” Ameen tells Women and Hollywood in a thoughtful interview. “Although the film is set in the Arab world, this is a universal story that everyone can relate to.”

    Ameen originally hails from Saudi Arabia and studied the 1-Year Screenwriting conservatory program at NYFA’s New York campus in 2012. “I taught Shahad in 2012 and back then she was always the hardest worker in the room,” says NYFA-NY Chair of Screenwriting Randall Dottin. “Her stories consistently reflected the rare alchemy of rigor, complexity, and innovation along with a healthy dose of compassion for her characters.”

    Shahad Ameen

    Ameen’s film is a milestone for Arab cinema, as it is the first narrative Arab film to premiere at the Venice Film Festival, one of the three major international film festivals in the world, along with Cannes and Berlin. Scales premiered as part of the fest’s Critics Week, and screened in competition for the Luigi De Laurentiis Award for Debut Film.

    NYFA-NY Screenwriting Chair Randall Dottin was thrilled to hear the news about Ameen’s presence at Venice. “On behalf of New York Film Academy Screenwriting Department, I’d like to wish Shahad all the best as she competes with her debut feature film Scales in Critics Week at the 2019 Venice Film Festival. After reading Scales years before Shahad went into production, I’m excited to see her incredibly unique and powerful story on the big screen.”

    Shahad Ameen

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    September 3, 2019 • #WomenOfNYFA, Film Festivals, Screenwriting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 129

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) MFA Screenwriting Alum David Barbeschi Nominated to Popular Austin Revolution Film Festival

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    David Barbeschi has been racking up plenty of festival selections since earning his MFA in Screenwriting from New York Film Academy (NYFA). Most recently, his thesis pilot script Odysseus was nominated to the Austin Revolution Film Festival, an industry favorite fest that is ranked best on FilmFreeway.

    Odysseus is a television pilot developed by Barbeschi as part of the MFA in Screenwriting program at NYFA’s Burbank-based campus. The script is a sequel to the Ancient Greek poem by Homer, The Odyssey. The screenplay expands the mythology of the classic epic and follows Homer’s titular character Odysseus, now past his prime, as he sets sail for Central America to save his estranged son. He soon finds out that the gods he’d challenged in Greece are nothing compared to the ones to the west.David Barbeschi

    “The idea is to rediscover lesser known myths from other cultures,” explains Barbeschi, “through the lens of a more popular mythological character. For example, at some point, Odysseus will have to face off against the Mayan Gods.” In addition to the Austin Revolution Film Festival, Odysseus was also selected for  the Finish Line Script Competition.

    Barbeschi has also been finding success with his Feature 2 script, White Crow, which focuses on an agoraphobic woman who must guide her blind brother to a safe house through a dystopian city. To date, White Crow has been selected in several festivals, including the Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Contest, and was just nominated at the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards.

    Both scripts are personal to Barbeschi. “Something I’ve learned at NYFA,” he says, “which I applied when writing Odysseus and White Crow, was ‘write what you like, instead of what you think others will like.’

    “I started out as a producer before coming to NYFA,” he continues, “so whatever I wrote, I wrote solely because of its supposed commercial value, despite not liking the genre or the themes. Ironically, the only projects of mine that have really shown any kind of success are the ones where I took my teachers’ advice and focused on writing good and entertaining stories which I was passionate about.”
    David Barbeschi

    Barbeschi is working as a freelance screenwriter and development producer and is currently juggling over 10 different projects, including a short entitled Off-Road that he wrote and produced; the project is also gaining traction in the festival circuit. Additionally, Barbeschi is working on adapting White Crow into an animated short film.

    New York Film Academy congratulates MFA Screenwriting alum David Barbeschi on the festival successes of his multiple projects and looks forward to following his endeavors as he continues his filmmaking “odyssey!”

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    July 19, 2019 • Screenwriting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 837

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

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    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.

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    June 26, 2019 • Faculty Highlights, Screenwriting • Views: 779

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Screenwriting Graduates Celebrate with an Industry Pitch Fest

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    It was that time of year once more as graduating MFA and BFA New York Film Academy (NYFA) Screenwriting students recently attended their culminating Industry Pitch Fest Event.

    The Pitch Fest was held once again at the beautiful penthouse ballroom of the Andaz Hotel on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, surrounded by astounding views of Los Angeles. The location combined with how well-prepared our Screenwriting students are make this a favorite event of industry professionals.

    Industry Pitch Fest 2019

    A catered event and mingling opportunity for the students, executives, and faculty alike, this capstone evening celebrates the New York Film Academy’s graduating Screenwriting students and offers them an unique opportunity to jumpstart their professional development by pitching their Film and TV thesis projects to entertainment industry professionals.

    This year’s Pitch Fest was one of our largest events to date, including a record number of industry professionals coming out to celebrate and give invaluable input for the students to take with them as they move into the next stage of their careers.

    The students’ dedication and passionate love for their work shined as they pitched their thesis projects, which they had developed for nearly a year. Students left with new contacts, excitement about the scripts they’d worked so hard on, and a sense of what it’s like to meet with industry professionals.

    Considered by the Academy to be their first night as professional screenwriters, this group of talented and creative students’ hard work paid off as they pitched agents, managers, studios, and digital, VR, comic, TV, and film production company execs in a relaxed, roundtable environment.

    Organized and hosted by Jenni Powell, Ashley Bank, and Adam Finer, the event featured representatives from Hollywood companies, including: Monkeypaw Productions, Juvee Productions, Practical Magic, Verve, We are the Mighty, Boom! Studios, Heroes and Villains, Madison Wells Media, BURR! Productions, De Laurentiis, and Lit Entertainment Group.

    New York Film Academy wishes to thank all of the Pitch Fest participants, particularly our industry guests, without whom this evening could not have been possible. We’d also like to extend a big congratulations to all of our MFA and BFA graduates and wish them the best as they move forward in their professional journeys!

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    June 18, 2019 • Screenwriting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1132