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  • NYFA Student Directs Comedy TV Show for Kazakhstan Television

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    Egor Povolotsky and Medet Shayakhmetov

    Egor Povolotsky and Medet Shayakhmetov

    At just 22 years old, New York Film Academy BFA Filmmaking student Medet Shayakhmetov has taken giant steps toward achieving his professional goals. His numerous filmmaking credits include directing music videos for the top Russian rap artist duo Basta/Guf and a commercial for a Swiss social network — Swiss Social, which he wrote, directed and shot. Last spring he directed a comedy TV-show “Q-eлi,” about life in different parts of Kazakhstan, for the Kazakhstan TV’s “Channel Seven.” But his journey into the film industry wasn’t always smooth sailing.

    “It is very important to follow your heart, believe in yourself and believe that everything is possible,” says Medet. From a very young age he loved arts and wanted to pursue a career in design. But in high school his friend asked him to help make a video for a friend’s 16th birthday. Once Medet held a camera in his hands, he knew right away that filmmaking was going to be one of his life’s passions. He made a serious effort to choose the right film school while building a strong video-portfolio. His dream was to study filmmaking, particularly in the United States. And when—thanks to his talent, hard work and perseverance—Medet won a scholarship from the non-commercial organization “Saby Charitable Foundation,” he immediately chose the New York Film Academy.

    “Before I started my education at New York Film Academy I had already shot many music videos and commercials, but I never made a real movie. At NYFA I learned how to make films and work in a team, which is very important. On the first week of the program we were given film equipment and immediately began shooting our first project.”

    on the set of “Q-eлi”

    “Q-eлi” is Medet Shayakhmetov’s first big professional project for television. The practical on-set experience gained at New York Film Academy helped him to accept the offer to direct this project without any doubts. He already knew what the responsibilities of each crew position were and felt confident to plan and manage a full size cast and crew with more than 50 extras.

    “The knowledge I received from the Acting for Filmmakers course was very useful,” recalls Medet. “NYFA instructor Salvatore Interlandi taught us how to hold casting sessions and how to get the best performance from an actor on set.

    Medet is currently working on his thesis film and two new music videos. One is for the indie-pop band POMPEYA (post-production) and the second one is for the Chicago-based DJs FLOSSTRADAMUS (pre-production). After graduating from the New York Film Academy, Medet Shayakhmetov is planning to go back to his home country. He believes the film industry in Kazakhstan has a bright future and he hopes his contribution of the knowledge he gained at NYFA will help the industry to gain recognition on a global level.

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    December 16, 2015 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 6182

  • NYFA’s James Lecesne Gets Rave Review from NY Times

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    james lecesne

    James Lecesne

    As was made quite clear in the Oscar Winning Best Picture Birdman, having the approval of the New York Times is one of the most crucial components of putting on a successful show. While turning the pages (okay, clicking a link) of a recent Times article, we came across a rave review, highlighting none other than one of our very own, New York Film Academy​’s Oscar-winning Documentary instructor James Lecesne.​

    The New York Times’​ respected and well known critic, Christopher Isherwood, identified Lecesne as one of “the most talented solo performers of his (or any) generation,” in his review of James’ one-man show, The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey.

    In his one-man show, Lecesne portrays various characters of a small Jersey shore town as they struggle to understand what happened to 14-year-old Leonard Pelkey. Adapted from his YA novel, Absolute Brightness, this solo show begins with the the discovery of Leonard’s disappearance, follows a criminal investigation led by detective Chuck DeSantis, and concludes with a trial that reveals the shocking truth.

    The multi-talented Lecesne has been admired for many of his artistic traits, as well as his work in philanthropy. To attest to his tremendous talent, the first film he ever wrote, Trevor, won the Oscar for best live action short! It’s truly an honor to have Mr. Lecesne as a member of the New York Film Academy.

    The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey is showing at Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie Street in Manhattan, now until March 28.

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  • Meisner Instructor to Direct Hit Play ‘The Other Mozart’

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    The Other Mozart

    As stressed in our core values, the New York Film Academy prides itself on its instructors who often have their own professional endeavors simultaneously occurring on their own free time. Starting this Sunday and running until July 12th at the HERE Arts Center in New York City, NYFA Meisner Instructor, Isaac Byrne will be directing the international hit show, The Other Mozart. The show is the true and untold story of Nannerl Mozart, the sister of Amadeus – a prodigy, keyboard virtuoso and composer, who performed throughout Europe with her brother to equal acclaim, but her work and her story faded away, lost to history.

    Critics have already given The Other Mozart raving reviews including New York Arts, which said, “One of the most remarkable theatrical presentations I saw in 2013…Brilliant and absorbing.” 

    Set in and on a sweeping 18-foot dress (designed by Magdalena Dabrowska from the National Theater of Poland), the play is based on facts, stories and lines pulled directly from the Mozart family’s humorous and heartbreaking letters. Along with music composed by her famous brother and Marianna Martines (a female composer who inspired Nannerl), original music was written for the play byNathan Davis and Phyllis Chen (of Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival and the International Contemporary Ensemble) using clavichords, music boxes, teacups, and fans.

    For tickets and information, CLICK HERE

    If you’re a NYFA student interested in attending, use the code NANNERL for $25 dollar tickets to see the International hit show directed by NYFA instructor Isaac Byrne!

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    June 19, 2014 • Acting, Community Highlights • Views: 4856