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  • NYFA South Beach Welcomes Emmy Nominated Filmmaker Carlos Sandoval

    On Monday, January 30th, the New York Film Academy South Beach welcomed award-winning and Emmy nominated director and producer, Carlos Sandoval, for a special screening of his 2009 American Experience historical documentary, “A Class Apart,” which has been optioned by Eva Longoria to be turned into a feature narrative, and is currently in development with a major studio. Joined onstage by his Associate Producer, Jordi Valdés, current NYFA South Beach faculty member, the event was moderated by Mark Mocahbee, Chair of the NYFA SB Acting for Film Program. The screening was followed by an engaging Q & A with the student body.

    carlos sandoval

    Inspired by the enthusiasm of the students, Sandoval covered a wide range of topics, including recounting his story of how he came to make his first documentary “Farmingville” (ITVS) at 49 years of age, which consequently went on to win the Special Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.

    Referring to himself as “the accidental filmmaker,” he originally came to the story in part, moved by a headline “They Wanted to Get Some Mexicans” in the local newspaper (Newsday) regarding the attempted murder of two Mexican day laborers on the Long Island town of Farmingville. Carlos originally had thought as a former lawyer, policy wonk and journalist to potentially get involved in the issue(s) from the legal perspective yet ultimately came to realize that he felt compelled to do more.

    Of Mexican-American and Puerto Rican descent and having grown up in the southwest “the echoes of segregation were around us while I was still growing up,” Sandoval recounted. “I never thought I’d see a headline like that again, in what had just become the Twenty-First Century.” It was the power of story and, in particular, the power of the ability of the film medium to, “work and get at people through their emotions; through story” that propelled him to give documentary filmmaking a try.

    In “A Class Apart,” Sandoval would once again find himself returning to issues dealing with the discrimination of Mexican-Americans, but this time in a historical context.

    carlos sandoval

    Pooling from his own documentary filmmaking experiences, Sandoval discussed the differences in approach, the process and the challenges between making a historical documentary such as “A Class Apart,” and making verité docs such as “Farmingville” and his Emmy nominated and most recent feature length film, “The State of Arizona” (PBS).

    The school would like to extend its thanks to Carlos Sandoval for taking the time to share his stories and advice with the NYFA SoBe student body.

    February 16, 2017 • Community Highlights, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 1169

  • NYFA South Beach Student Wins Best Short Film at SoFlo WebFest in Miami

    marcus wellsNew York Film Academy South Beach student Marcus Wells won Best Short Film at the South Florida Web Fest (#SOFLOWEBFEST) in Miami for his mid-thesis film, “Soiled Roots.”
    South Florida WebFest is Miami’s premier festival dedicated to web entertainment that brings non-traditional voices of cinema to the forefront. The festival takes place during Miami’s epic art fair – Art Basel.
    “The web truly provides the freedom to tell your own story, and our goal was to ensure that the diversity of South Florida was reflective in this web festival,” said SOFLOWEBFEST Executive Director, Ashlee Thomas. “From Spain, to South Africa, Mozambique, Iran, and the US – SOFLOWEBFEST has niched itself to bring colorful stories from around the world to Miami.”
    Wells’ film is about a black mother who is influenced by her own mother’s drug dealing lifestyle which leads to risking the lives of their family. His story was inspired by NFL wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. When he was 10 years old his mother and grandmother were both arrested for dealing drugs. Thomas’ mother was given the chance to either disclose information about her own mother or to not say anything. His mother decided not to speak and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

    “What I hope to achieve with this film is feedback on my creative thinking,” said Wells. “This was my most challenging film thus far and would like others to view this story from my perspective. I also wanted to address the idea of bad seeds being planted within families and passed onto the next generation.”

    south beach marcus wells

    Wells plans on submitting his award-winning short to other local, national and international film festivals.

    He is currently working on his thesis film, which he plans to shoot this coming summer and complete by late summer of 2017.

    “NYFA has definitely given me the tools to create my own vision.,” says Wells. “Every teacher wants us to succeed and offers individual attention so that we can achieve the highest quality work.”

    Located in the heart of South Beach, New York Film Academy in Miami offers a wide range of degree, conservatory, and workshop programs designed for students like Wells to achieve their creative goals through hands-on, project-based curriculum.

    December 12, 2016 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1944

  • NYFA South Beach Takes Part in Kitetoberfest

    On Sunday, October 23, the sky of North Miami Beach’s Haulover Park was inundated with a kinetic vibrancy seen at this magnitude only once a year.

    nyfa kites

    The 24th edition of Kitetoberfest, ascended over the park; below, hundreds of onlookers and participants wandered the ample grounds, navigating food trucks, kiosks, face painting, and carnival games on the edge of a wide, open field perfect for flying.

    New York Film Academy’s South Beach campus brought our team to take part in the festivities and introduce ourselves to our new neighbors to the north: bringing tote bags, t-shirts, and streamers to offer as prizes to whoever stopped by the bean bag toss under our new NYFA Big Top.

    nyfa bean bag

    Kitetoberfest is a free event that takes place annually at Haulover Park in North Miami Beach, FL.

    Located in the heart of gorgeous South Beach, New York Film Academy SB offers a wide range of degree, conservatory, and workshop programs designed for students to achieve their learning goals in the amount of time that is best suited for them.

    We hope this will be the next of many partnerships between NYFA and the South Florida community.

    November 1, 2016 • Community Highlights • Views: 1203

  • NYFA South Beach Sponsors Miami Web Fest & Vet Fest

    juan duenas

    New York Film Academy Veteran Services Coordinator, Juan Duenas on the red carpet at the Miami Vet Fest.

    The South Beach, Miami campus of the New York Film Academy College of Visual and Performing Arts (NYFA) was a key sponsor of the 3rd Annual Miami Web Festival, and Miami VET Festival, which were simultaneously held recently in the “Magic City.”

    The Miami Web Fest is a four-day event showcasing the hottest new web series content from around the world. The festival is designed to create a work-play environment, attracting Miami’s vast and multicultural community of arts enthusiasts.

    During the Miami Web Fest, NYFA Filmmaking instructor Herschel Faber taught an exclusive Master Class for interested filmmakers. The workshop provided an overview of the importance of the screenplay, tips and tricks for making filmmaking dollars go further, shot framing, cinematography, and working with talent. The session provided a great overview of filmmaking with a concentration on utilizing storytelling in a visual and dynamic way. Professor Faber, who teaches Filmmaking at NYFA South Beach, brought a wealth of experience as he has spent the last 16 years working as a writer, director and producer of film and TV.

    The event also featured the VET Fest, which is a division of the Miami Web Fest designed to showcase films and web series with military themes or films created by military filmmakers. Bryan Thompson, a US Army Veteran and award-winning filmmaker created the VET Fest. Veteran filmmakers from across the country met at the event to showcase their films. As part of the support of the Vet Fest, NYFA’s Veteran Service Division provided a Filmmaking Program Scholarship, which was awarded to the veteran who was selected in the category of the “Best Film in the Festival.” The winner has the opportunity to use the scholarship at any of NYFAs domestic campuses.

    New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts, and the NYFA Veterans Service Division, are proud supporters of the Miami Web Fest and the VET Fest, which brought together hundreds of aspiring filmmakers including many service members.

    For more information on NYFA’s South Beach campus, please see miami.nyfa.edu.

    October 21, 2016 • Community Highlights, Faculty Highlights • Views: 1465

  • 20th BRAFF MarketPlace at NYFA South Beach

    Recently, the New York Film Academy South Beach hosted a number of filmmaking workshops as part of the 20th Brazilian Film Festival of Miami. The 20th BRAFF kicked off on Sept. 17 with the US premiere of “Enchanted” (2014) — Tizuka Yamasaki’s love story centered in the mythical world of the Caruanas — at New World Symphony – SoundScape Park.

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    Filmmaker Walter Carvalho with NYFA’s Pedro Fernandes

    The festival continued from Sept. 17 to the 20 at Miami Beach Cinematheque with two programs: Special Documentaries and the Brazilian Female Film Directors’ Screenings, the latter with a focus on women’s achievements in the audiovisual generating debates on women equality in contemporary society.

    The Competitive screenings were hosted by the art deco-style Colony Theatre from Sept. 21 to 24. Films in competition represented a diverse panorama of the latest Brazilian productions.

    The two day BRAFF MarketPlace event, which took place Sept. 19 and Sept. 22 at NYFA South Beach, included the following workshops:

    Welcome Remarks

    • Sandy Lighterman, – Film Commissioner – Miami-Dade Office of Film & Entertainment
    • Adriana Dutra – Founder & Director – Inffinito Festival Circuit & Brazilian Film Festival of Miami

    RioFilme, Rio’s Audiovisual Content Promotion and Investment Agency

    By Claudia Pedrozo – President – RioFilme

    An overview of the mission, objectives and operations of RioFilme’s investment lines, co-production and co-distribution operations and training programs.

    RioFilme & Film Commission Int’l Film Project Partnership Platform

    By Steve Solot – President – Rio Film Commission

    Solot introduced the International Film Project Partnership Platform, where filmmakers are able to get involved with a co-production with Rio Film, which is located in Brazil.

    This new and unique initiative aims to generate visibility and provide a contact interface between producers of the city and state of Rio de Janeiro and international actors to perform feature film projects, whether co-production, investment, marketing, agency sales or any other form of international partnership.

    “I loved the opportunity to get involved with the industry, said NYFA SB BFA Acting for Film student, Manuel Zota. “I was able to talk about my family production company, and hopefully we will be able to do something.”

    Music and Cinema: The Sound as language

    By Mo. Rodrigo Toffolo – Orchestra Ouro Preto

    Toffolo characterized the sound as acoustic phenomenon, understanding the transformation of its comprehension as a form of art until it gets to the movie theaters. An approach to sound as language.

    Book Launch & Cocktail reception

    “The Expanding Brazilian Film, Television and Digital Industry”

    By Steve Solot – President – Rio Film Commission

    Filmmaker Walter Carvalho – Screening & Debate

    brazil festival

    The event began with a screening of legendary cinematographer and director Walter Carvalho’s latest film followed by a casual filmmaking debate. After showing his work, “Keep the ridgeline, not the fainting plains,” Carvalho opened to a Q&A that transformed into a masterclass where students were able to get some insight from the legendary filmmaker.

    “I really liked the talk with Walter,” said BFA Filmmaking student, Ester Meyer Nunes. “He was able to show me so much in so little time.”

    “Filmmaker Success Strategies:  How to Increase Visibility and Financial Success for your Next Film”

    By Joanne Butcher – Independent Producer

    Students were given the opportunity to learn insider secrets of the film business — how to translate your creative filmmaking skills to rock your marketing and overcome internal blocks to financial and critical success.

    Butcher provided tips on how to improve your chances of success as a filmmaker, discussing a lot about the financial aspect of it. Students were also offered the chance to network with the indie-producer as well.

    September 27, 2016 • Community Highlights, Filmmaking • Views: 1658

  • NYFA Welcomes Master Sergeant (Retired) Juan Duenas to Support Veterans Services Department

    Juan Duenas

    Master Sergeant (Retired) Juan Duenas with Colonel Jack Jacobs, Medal of Honor Recipient, and Chair of NYFAs Veterans Advancement Program

    The New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA) is delighted to announce that Master Sergeant (Retired) Juan Duenas has joined NYFA as the Veterans Coordinator at the College’s South Beach campus.

    “The College is extremely pleased to have MSgt (Ret.) Juan Duenas become part of the NYFA’s Office of Veterans Services team,” stated Colonel Jack Jacobs, Chair of NYFA’s Veteran Advancement Program. “His long and illustrious career in the military, and his continual commitment to supporting troops when they transition out of active duty service, will mean that MSG (Ret.) Duenas will be a tremendous asset to the veteran students studying at NYFA”.

    MSG (Ret.) Duenas served in the United States Air Force Reserves for more than 25 years — retiring in 2007. From Nov. 1979 to May 2007 he served in the 482 Weapons System Security Flight at Homestead Air Force Base Fl. MSG (Ret.) Duenas also served as a Security Police Member conducting security protection of resources, was the Supply NCO for 9 years, Mobility NCO for 6 years, and Training & Quality Control Senior NCO for 8 years training over 100 Security Police members in 32 subject areas.

    Since 1979, MSgt (Ret.) Duenas had many overseas deployments, which included Germany, England, South Korea, Turkey, Brazil, and in 1999 was activated to Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base in Kuwait handling security and force protection.

    After 9/11, MSgt (Ret.) Duenas was called to active duty for two years to work with Central Command on Homeland Security issues. He has also deployed for humanitarian missions to El Salvador and the Hurricane Katrina Disaster support efforts. Additionally, MSgt (Ret.) Duenas served as committee member and coordinator for several Homestead Family Days in which over 2000 military personnel and their families attended.

    Currently, MSgt (Ret.) Duenas is a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10212, American Legion Post 133, Freedom Veterans of America, and supports the City of Miami Mayor’s Veterans’ Initiatives.

    September 8, 2016 • Community Highlights, Faculty Highlights • Views: 1943

  • Director Alexis Sweet Holds Guest Lecture at NYFA South Beach

    An often overlooked but crucial element in pre-production is storyboarding. Recently, the New York Film Academy South Beach invited director Alexis Sweet to the college to speak on the importance of this very topic. Sweet provided several storyboard examples from his own films and music videos, which he has been working on since 1981.

    alexis sweet

    Director Alexis Sweet at NYFA South Beach

    Sweet has worked on feature films and TV commercials as 1st Assistant Director with filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg, Hugh Hudson, Joe Pytka, John Boorman, Ridley Scott, Nick Roeg, Richard Loncraine, Spike Lee, Mike Figgis, Tsui Hark and others over the years.

    From 1995 to 2003, he made a number of wildlife documentaries in Africa for national parks and projects funded by the EU.

    By 2002 he had shot over 100 TV commercials for Italy, Romania, Germany, US, England, Kenya and the Middle East.

    In 2003, upon meeting Pietro Valsecchi, he was offered to direct two seasons of “RIS Delitti imperfetti,” an Italian television series that is currently number one in Italy and France.

    Given the fact that Sweet has such a vast background in the industry, students were able to openly ask questions and get a greater insight into the job of a director.

    The New York Film Academy South Beach would like to thank director Alexis Sweet for taking time out from his duties at the Miami Independent Film Festival to come and speak with our students.

    June 30, 2016 • Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 3249

  • Students at NYFA South Beach Support Local Veterans Charity

    On Friday April 22, students and staff of the New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA) South Beach Campus provided the filming and photography in support of the 3rd Annual Golf Fundraising event, which raised nearly $60,000 in funding for local veteran service organizations.

    The Charity Classic is an event organized by Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), in association with the mergers and acquisition and corporate community, to help raise awareness and funding to support veteran homelessness, veteran reintegration, and veterans and service members with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury.

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    On the left corner of the check is Jim Duffy, ACG’s Founder. To the right is Colonel Jack Jacobs and Lt. Colonel Tony Colmenares. Surrounding are volunteers and staff of Project 22.

    As a proud backer of the ACG Charity Classic this year, NYFA staff colleagues Richard Crites, Kyle Fritsche, and Gabriel Cacabelos, as well as NYFA students Samuel Romero, Florencia Portieri, Martina Marcet, and Eleni Nolas spent the day visually documenting the event, which will be used to further promote the Foundation’s future benevolent activities. The students who generously lent their time and talents for this important cause hailed from Argentina, Mexico, and Venezuela — representing the truly international nature of NYFA South Beach, and the College in general. NYFA’s Veteran Service Coordinator, Jhonson Simeon, led the team.

    Additionally, Colonel Jack Jacobs, NYFA’s Chair of Veterans Advancement Program, and Medal of Honor recipient, was on hand to meet with the nearly 300 participants. The acclaimed film, stage, and television actor, Stephen Lang, who was in Miami for the NYFA premiere screening of his film Beyond Glory, also contributed to the day by welcoming the donors and being available for photographs. Mr. Lang is best known for his recent role in Avatar and Gods and Generals.

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    (from left to right) Mike Davis, Steve Katona, Stephen Lang, Steve Paoloni, Jim Griffin, and Colonel Tony Colmenares

    This year’s recipient organization of the monies raised by the ACG Annual Fundraising Golf Classic is the “22 Project,” which is a registered 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to providing advanced medical treatment to rehabilitate service men and women in order to allow these deserving veterans an opportunity to function to the best of their ability in a peacetime environment.  The 22 Project is named because on average 22 veterans commit suicide each day.

    The New York Film Academy was delighted to be a part in this worthwhile endeavor, and the College thanks ACG and Project 22 for inviting us to participate.

    For more photos from this event, check out our Facebook Gallery Here.

    April 29, 2016 • Acting • Views: 1524

  • NYFA South Beach Campus Hosts Premiere Screening: “Beyond Glory”

    A red carpet, lights beaming into the sky, celebrities and local dignitaries posing for photographs—this was the scene this past Saturday night at the City of Miami’s historic Manuel Artime Theater, where the New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA) South Beach campus held a Hollywood-style film event in support of the veterans community of South Florida.

    nyfa south beach jacobs

    NYFA is grateful to have partnered with the City of Miami’s Office of Film & Television, Miami Dade College, and 8180 Films in presenting the documentary film, Beyond Glory, written and performed by the award-winning stage and screen star, Stephen Lang. The film was directed by Larry Brand, narrated by Gary Sinise, and was executive-produced by multiple film-industry award-winners, James Cameron and Jon Landau.

    Beyond Glory tells the stories of eight veterans from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. It renders first-hand accounts of valor that resulted in the awarding of the nation’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor. The oral histories of these eight men are brought to life through Lang’s commanding performance. The Wall Street Journal’s entertainment critic reported the experience as, “One of the richest, most complex pieces of acting I’ve seen in my theater-going life”. On hand Saturday for the Q & A with Mr. Lang was NYFA’s-own Colonel Jack Jacobs, the College’s Chair of the Veteran’s Advancement Program. The conversation, which was moderated by Maylen Dominquez, Associate Chair of Filmmaking at NYFA’s South Beach campus, was an inspirational exchange between the actor and Colonel Jacob’s, who is one of 75 living Medal of Honor recipients. Both Col. Jacobs and Mr. Lang personally knew the Medal of Honor recipients portrayed in the film, and there was a wonderful exchange of stories both of the battlefield valor and the colorful characters of the men.

    colonel jacobs

    The program began with a celebration of the collaboration between the City of Miami and NYFA. Mayor Tomas Regalado presented the key to the City of Miami to Colonel Jacobs in recognition of his valor in service to the country. The Mayor also presented Mr. Lang with a special certificate of appreciation. Lt. Col. Antonio Colmenares, the Director of Veteran Services in the City of Miami, spoke passionately about the need to support local veterans and joined the Mayor and others in welcoming the New York Film Academy to the South Florida community. NYFA’s VP and South Beach Director, Elli Ventouras, spoke about the College’s facility in South Beach, opened last September, which offers degree programs and workshops in filmmaking, acting, and photography, among other professional disciplines.

    It was a special evening, enjoyed by many Miami citizens—including those in military service—as well as NYFA faculty and students.

    You may view the entire photo album of our photo booth on the NYFA Facebook page by clicking HERE.

    For more images from the event, please click HERE.

    April 25, 2016 • Acting, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 1607

  • NYFA South Beach’s Movement Club Performs at Olympia Theater

    New York Film Academy South Beach Instructor Susie K. Taylor founded The Movement Club as an outreach organization of students whose purpose is to spread light through the “healing art of acting.” Late last month, The Movement Club put on an all-female performance called “Freedom is Beauty!! #F.I.B. at Olympia Theater in Miami, Florida.

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    “The New York Film Academy South Beach is excited to be a part of the Celebration of Women’s Month at the Olympia Theater in Downtown Miami,” said NYFA South Beach Director, Elli Ventouras. “Under the guidance of our inspirational Movement Instructor Susie K. Taylor, the female performers of our Movement Club will perform an Interpreted Dance. Susie has really motivated our students to reach their full potential!”

    “In the Lobby Lounge…ETC!” is Olympia Theater’s very own homage to classic Vaudeville and variety shows. Anything from sketch comedy to alternative entertainment, burlesque and improv. Produced by the Front Yard Theatre Collective, this month’s “ETC!” featured an epic collaboration of all-female, Miami based performers, celebrating Women’s History Month.

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    “When I founded the Front Yard Theatre Collective, I never imagined we would find a home in the historic Olympia Theater,” said Gabriela Fernandez from The Olympia Theater. ‘Thanks to “In the lobby lounge…ETC!’ we can maintain our primary goal of offering free quality entertainment for the benefit of our community.”

    NYFA’s group performed Pick A Song, a game where a lucky audience member offers up his or her favorite song and the F.I.B creates a couture movement piece for that specific song.

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    The experience was wonderful and Susie K. Taylor was “beyond thrilled with the students” as they joyfully applied their class work to their performance.

    Congrats to The Movement Club on putting on another successful performance. We look forward to the next show!

    April 12, 2016 • Acting, Community Highlights, Musical Theatre • Views: 1609