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  • Q&A with ‘Ruth’ Director and New York Film Academy (NYFA) alum António Botelho

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) alum António Botelho hails from Lisbon, Portugal and has acted, produced, written, shot, and crewed on several projects both in his home country and aboard. 

    Botelho attended NYFA’s 2-year Filmmaking program in 2008 at our New York City campus, where he gained invaluable experience directing and shooting his own films as well as serving as an integral crewmember on other students’ films.

    His education and professional experience culminated this year in the release of Ruth, the Portuguese feature film directed by Botelho. Ruth is set in the early 1960s and tells the story of Eusébio, an immigrant from Mozambique and football (soccer) superstar who finds himself in a heated sports rivalry amidst political turmoil during the country’s fascist regime. 

    Ruth - António Botelho


    The New York Film Academy spoke with Botelho about his film and career earlier this year:

    New York Film Academy (NYFA): Can you talk a bit about the process involved in getting Ruth subsidized by Portugal?

    António Botelho (AB): In Portugal there are hardly any private companies (film or other) that finance their own movies. There isn’t a studio system. There are film companies who produce movies mostly by grants and state competitions with many categories (short films, first features, feature films, documentaries, documentaries short, animation, etc.). 

    It was through one of these state competitions that Ruth was subsidized. The film company in charge of the production had to present a budget and all sorts of documents boosting the film’s value and whatnot. 

    My part, in that competition entry, was to write a director’s view kind of document, with my own personal approach on how the movie would be made. It’s a matter of luck. It’s one in a billion.

    NYFA: How do you approach the filmmaking process?

    AB: I’m a very practical filmmaker. I consider myself a film buff first, then a filmmaker. Great movies are made every year, some of them share the same story, and so I know the movie that I’m making is probably not going to be a Citizen Kane… movies shouldn’t impose on themselves or their filmmakers. 

    I try to make a movie that makes sense. I put the script and the actors first, then I adapt to several circumstances… as all filmmakers do. 

    As [NYFA’s founder] Jerry Sherlock put it: “Story, story, story.”

    NYFA: How did NYFA help prepare you to be on set for your feature film debut?

    AB: NYFA helped me prepare in a sense that it taught me to having the most done — as a director — before entering the set. I prepare myself so that each day I know what I’m shooting, but also how it’s going to cut together. Having a big sense in all film areas, provided by the faculty, helps the filmmaking process and teaches you to respect your fellow colleagues. Filmmaking isn’t a solo thing. 

    Also, it taught me to act quickly in the face of adversity, because most times you’ll have to adapt.

    NYFA: Will Ruth be available online or in other countries?

    AB: Eventually it will be online in some of the screening platforms. What I can say for now is that there’s a possibility of it premiering in France in January 2019, and maybe also Germany.

    The New York Film Academy thanks António Botelho for his time and thoughtful responses and wishes him the best of luck in his promising career! 

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    December 26, 2018 • Filmmaking, International Diversity, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 736

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Soccer Program Takes Home Two Trophies

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailThe men’s soccer program at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus took home two Third Place trophies, now having a total of eight since the program’s establishment in 2014. The program is part of NYFA-LA’s Athletic Department, headed by Director, Elise Cregg.Men's Soccer 2018

    The men’s soccer head coach, Roy Lev-Ari, says both teams have flourished into groups of young men, working individually and collectively towards their academic and athletic goals. “It’s been a pleasure seeing the development of both teams,” declared Lev-Ari, “they’ve really dedicated themselves to each other and the team, keeping each other accountable and relying on one another.” 

    The efforts of the men’s soccer teams have cultivated the program into one of discipline, dedication, and resilience. Coach Lev-Ari works consistently with his players to help strengthen their mental stamina and develop the ability to succeed under high pressure, in addition to teaching them how to effectively communicate and build respect for one another. 

    Men's Soccer 2018“We had a rough start at the beginning, but a few weeks into the season our leaders stepped up willingly and helped unite the group,” added Lev-Ari. “Our Captain Diego Vicenti (MFA Filmmaking Fall 2016) leads the squad with undeniable talent and heart, and another alum, Alessio Mongardi (BFA Acting January 2015), sets the standard in effort and dedication for the new players. Our all-star goalkeeper Michael Sumner (January 2014 MFA Screenwriting) and the tremendously talented Nurmat Sakebaev (Summer 2015 BFA Filmmaking) make invaluable contributions to the team on a weekly basis.” 

    Diego Vicenti, Captain, reflected on the season: “It’s been a lot of fun competing with these guys and growing as a team; for some of us, this team has become another family outside of NYFA and away from home.” He continued, “I’m proud of all the boys! It took a lot of hard work but it’s all worth it.” 

    Men's Soccer 2018

    Coach Roy Lev-Ari is beyond excited and already working towards next season. “The boys are hungry for the championship title. I believe all the work we’ve put forth these past few seasons will come together and give us major success.” 

    The men’s soccer team continues to compete in the Universal Soccer League on Sunday and Monday nights. 

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    November 20, 2018 • Community Highlights, Sports • Views: 933

  • NYFA Soccer Team Wins Championship

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    nyfa soccer

    New York Film Academy Championship Soccer Team

    The New York Film Academy soccer team made history Sunday after winning the championship game,  3-2 against Cobra Kai.  

    This was the first championship game for our (11v11) soccer team and member year as we etch our name across the Los Angeles Municipal Soccer League.

    Soccer coach Gabriel Penaloza’s influence, momentous discipline and his teaching of a “can do” attitude, lead the players to this eventful season. Our players have adapted and carried the spirit of the New York Film Academy to higher level on and off the field.

    The New York Film Academy soccer team is now highly motivated to compete in the higher division next year. “This is a phenomenal achievement for our team, the school and I’m really eager to see what the future holds. I’m sure we will claim victory again and continue to do our best to represent our school,” said Adam El-Manawy, Athletic Coordinator and current player.

    All 22 players on the roster were part of this success. A special thanks to the “veterans” players who believed in this team since its creation in 2012. The team and the program as a whole wouldn’t be at this level today without them.Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    December 8, 2015 • Community Highlights, Sports, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 5105

  • NYFA Soccer Team!

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    New York Film Academy at Los Angeles now has its very own soccer team! Soccer, or football, as it is known outside of the States, is the world’s most popular sport, played in over 200 countries. Spearheaded by BFA Acting for Film student Adam El-Manawy, the NYFA team formed over the past couple months and practices near campus on the weekends.

    For Adam, soccer is a way of life. “I have played since I was four years old, and used to play in a club back in Belgium,” he says. “It’s like eating or sleeping for me.” But he says he had been missing out on the sport since moving to the US. He spread the word about creating a team, and 23 people responded in the first week. Proving to be as international as NYFA’s own student body, the team has players from 4 continents, many of whom had played in clubs back home, and one who had played professionally.

    The team just received NYFA jerseys, and is looking to start competing soon! For more information on how to join the team, email nyfa.soccer.team@gmail.com.Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    January 25, 2013 • Community Highlights • Views: 5162