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  • NYFA South Beach Attends Supercon in Fort Lauderdale

    The Broward Convention Center played host for the 2017 edition of Supercon. Located in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, it was the ideal midpoint for people from the tri-county area. New York Film Academy South Beach was fortunate to be joined by Adam Nimoy, director, former NYFA Filmmaking instructor, and the son of Leonard Nimoy — AKA Spock from “Star Trek.”

    We were honored to be a part of Adam’s promotion for his documentary “For The Love of Spock.” Star Trek fans from all over excitedly came to meet Adam and learn more about his journey as the beloved son of Spock.

    Adam Nimoy Spock NYFA

    During the 4-day event, film buffs, comic book lovers, and anyone who loves a good excuse to play dress-up swarmed the convention center. Our NYFA South Beach booth was located in celebrity row, where fans swarmed Adam’s booth for autographs and personal pictures.

    NYFA got a first row seat to see how passionate the Star Trek fanbase is. There were Star Trek tables dedicated to the franchise, which also included a life-size captain’s chair that Adam couldn’t help but sit in and reminisce.

    At another end of the convention center, you could find a life-size version of the space station set where all the Star Trek characters would be found in a typical episode. Fans lined up to take photos with their family and friends, pretending to play the role of their favorite Star Trek character.

    NYFA Booth Supercon

    Adam’s Q&A on Saturday, which was moderated by South Beach Acting for Film Chair Mark Mocahbee, engaged fans that genuinely loved his documentary and were interested to learn his journey and process while making it.

    Adam ended his Q&A with a special surprise for everyone by premiering the teaser trailer of his newest project, “What We Left Behind: Looking Back at Deep Space Nine.” The crowd of about 200 people that filled the Q&A room was overwhelmed by excitement to be the very first to see his new trailer.

    Moments after the Q&A, the NYFA booth filled with fans that had just been at Adam’s panel hoping to speak to Adam directly and get an autograph.

    Adam Nimoy Signing Supercon

    For particularly impressive costumes, Mr. Nimoy would request photos with fans, which served as memorable moments for Trekkies.

    All in all, NYFA South Beach’s takeover at Supercon in Fort Lauderdale was a tremendous success and the Academy hopes to play a part again next year.

    Post written by: Sally Nieves

    August 8, 2017 • South Beach • Views: 639

  • NYFA Supports New Film Incentives in Miami-Dade County

    South Beach’s star is rising. Miami-Dade County’s reputation as an excellent filmmaking location has been cemented once again with a new announcement by the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources. A new local TV/film and digital entertainment production incentive program will soon boost and support film and entertainment projects and help improve the local economy and industry workforce.

    New York Film Academy in South Beach has followed the intense process and attended numerous meetings — including the first, at the Commission Chamber of Miami-Dade County on April 26, for incentives for the City of Miami Beach. Following were county-wide meetings on June 23, July 13, and July 18, all of which saw NYFA South Beach students and faculty attend to express their support.

    What does this mean for students & future film graduates of Florida?

    Students in South Florida will greatly benefit from the incentives as they reward filmmakers and production companies for hiring students or recent grads. Monetary breaks and rewards will also be available to hand-picked films that keep production local and meet specific criteria. This will help keep production in Miami and give more job opportunities to those who study or have studied film. The aforementioned criteria is included below.

    • At least $1 million must be spent during production in Miami-Dade County on payroll (for Miami-Dade County residents only) and other expenditures.
    • 70% (or more) of the entire production must be produced in Miami-Dade County.
    • Each production project is required to hire a minimum of 50 main cast and crew (employees) that are Miami-Dade County residents and must include at least one student/recent graduate who is enrolled at or recently graduated from a local college or university. Students do not have to be residents to qualify.
    • Salaries for Miami-Dade County residents hired must be a minimum of the current living wage as defined by County law.
    • A minimum of 80% of vendors used on the production project must be Miami-Dade County-based registered businesses.

    NYFA_Film_Incentives_Meeting
    More Job Opportunities for Film Graduates from Miami-Dade

    These factors will help ensure film production, when possible, will remain local, in beautiful Miami. Students and alums of schools such as NYFA will have more opportunities to get hands-on experience as the new law will incentivize filmmakers who hire at least one student or recent graduate.

    New York Film Academy anticipates effects from the announcement tremendously benefiting the South Beach location: “The New York Film Academy South Beach is very happy that the efforts of support of our staff and students for the Miami Dade Film Initiatives have helped in pushing the incentives through to become a reality,” Director & Senior Vice President Elli Ventouras said. “Being the only college in Miami to offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Acting for Film, in addition to our Bachelor of Fine Arts in Filmmaking, we feel that this initiative may help to open the doors for our students in the film industry in Miami Dade.”


    Up to $100,000 per project will be the rebate for qualifying productions. Eligible projects will be decided on an individual basis, and each project and grant agreement will require approval by the Board of County Commissioners.

    Miami has served as the primary location for many notable films, including such classics as “Scarface,” “Caddyshack,” “The Godfather II,” and the Oscar-winning critical and box office smash “Moonlight.” With the recent vote, many more filmmaking luminaries are sure to choose Miami as a production destination.

    Map of Miami-Dade County

    For more information on the TV/film and digital entertainment production incentive program, visit the Office of Film and Entertainment. For more information about New York Film Academy South Beach, visit our website.

    August 1, 2017 • South Beach • Views: 293

  • NYFA South Beach Faculty Team Up for “Scenes From Our Young Marriage”

    New York Film Academy South Beach faculty teamed up to produce the short film “Scenes From Our Young Marriage,” which will premiere at the Miami Film Festival on March 11, 2017. Ronald Baez, who will soon be teaching producing at NYFA South Beach, directed the film; Kevin Ondarza, NYFA South Beach Equipment Room Manager is a producer; Eddy Moon, NYFA South Beach Editing Room Manager, is a co-writer and producer; and Kyle Fritsche, NYFA South Beach Editing Room Supervisor and Facilities Coordinator, is the editor of the film.

    scenes from young marriage

    Founded in 1984, The Miami Film Festival is a charity that connects art with audiences, and fosters a value for cinema for future generations. Stars that have graced their red carpet through the years include Gregory Peck, Sofia Loren, Kris Kristofferson, Candice Bergen, Kevin Kline, Michael Caine, Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffith, Willem Dafoe, Demi Moore, Amy Irving, and many more.

    In the film, “Scenes From Our Young Marriage,” a young couple shares seemingly innocuous conversation in bed as we explore the emotional vastness of their short tenure in marriage.

    “My experience of making the film and seeing it fully realized was one that was full of perseverance and personal growth,” said producer Kevin Ondarza. “The set always had a positive vibe, and the work and passion that went into it from the cast and crew comes across on the screen. The process was long and strenuous, but probably one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life.”

    The official Florida premiere screening will be March 11, 2017 at 3:30PM at O Cinema Miami Beach.

    For tickets and more information, please CLICK HERE.

    March 1, 2017 • Community Highlights, Faculty Highlights • Views: 1903

  • 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: 1990

  • 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: 3078

  • 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: 1735

  • 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: 2222

  • 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.

    pedro and carvalho

    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: 2406

  • 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, Veterans • Views: 2650

  • 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: 3920