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  • NYFA Filmmaking Alum Ismael Gomez III Starts Production House And Releases Film ‘Death of a Fool’ on Amazon

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking alum Ismael Gomez III’s latest film, Death of a Fool, is now available on Amazon Prime Video. The film is the latest project from the Cuban-American filmmaker who, after graduating from NYFA, worked as a lead editor on several motion pictures and commercials that have been screened at Cannes, Tribeca, Miami, and Starz Denver international film festivals.

    Gomez was born and raised in Havana, Cuba and it was there that he fell in love with cinema. With directors like Coppola, Kurosawa, and Kubrick, Gomez was inspired to pursue filmmaking, leading him to study in the 2-Year Filmmaking Conservatory with NYFA.

    The coming-of-age fantasy film was co-written, produced, and directed by Gomez. Death of a Fool follows teenager Pablo and his dying grandfather, who begin conducting afterlife investigations in Miami after a mysterious man hires them to find the secret to immortality.

    “I remember being five years old, looking out my backyard one morning and seeing my dog, Charlie, lying motionless. He was sick for weeks and had now passed away. It was my first encounter with death and I did not know what to make of it,” shared Gomez, when asked about inspirations behind Death of a Fool. “It [the film] is built on the simple idea that if we could live forever, would we necessarily want to?”

    Film poster for ‘Death of a Fool’

    Before heading to Amazon, Gomez and his team were able to screen their film at Coral Gables Art Cinema, but it was around that time the pandemic hit. “We had to make the quick decision of moving online,” revealed Gomez. “Although I really wanted to expand theatrically, if there’s something filmmaking has taught me, it is to adapt quickly to rising obstacles, make a new plan and keep moving forward.”

    Gomez’s Death of a Fool was recently covered in The Miami Herald, which also mentioned Gomez’s Miami-based production house Rabbit Hole Pictures, that Gomez co-founded and continues to serve as the CEO.

    “Our mission at Rabbit Hole Pictures is to tell mystical stories that spark curiosity and wonder. For us the word mystical embodies a sense of mystery, awe, and fascination for the unknown,” Gomez shared with NYFA. “Fantasy always creates a striking contrast that helps us reframe and examine reality. It’s about telling stories that carry people far-far-away to look at themselves up close.”

    Still from ‘Death of a Fool

    Though the NYFA alum studied in New York when he was at The Academy, he recalled an experience that changed him forever when visiting his family in Miami in 2016. “I went to the theaters and watched Moonlight by Barry Jenkins and thought, ‘here’s a guy who has made this astonishing film completely in Miami and just won Best Picture at the Academy Awards.’ So, a fuse had been lit up inside me and begged the question: How many movies have we seen entirely produced in Miami?”

    In addition to wanting an authentic Miami represented in the film industry, Gomez also wanted Rabbit Hole Pictures to be a production house that showcases the fantasy genre. “I wanted to show a part of Miami that is rarely depicted on the big screen. Many clever producers have built sets that look like Miami, but the magic of the real thing cannot be duplicated,” shared Gomez.

    Rabbit Hole Pictures has already had a hand in several projects with a fantasy thriller currently in development. Gomez also shared that Rabbit Hole Pictures has recently announced a Movie Pitch Contest to help other creators during this time, and plans on granting a financial reward to help the winner fund their own project.

    New York Film Academy would like to congratulate Ismael Gomez III on the recent success of Death of a Fool and encourages everyone to check it out now on Amazon Prime Video.

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    September 4, 2020 • Entertainment News, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 371

  • NYFA South Beach Instructor Peter Baloff Holds Virtual Q&A with Emmy Award-Winning Producer and Director Michael Pressman

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    We’re collaborative artists. Our creative process involves working face to face and hand to hand, finding common objectives and making it all happen. As an instructor at NYFA South Beach during this pandemic, I miss the personal connection with my students and I know my students miss the social and professional interactions with their fellow students. We all miss being there.

    Peter Baloff (Left) holds virtual Q&A with Michael Pressman (Right)

    I keep looking for silver linings in this time of pandemic. I’m upgrading my landscaping, enjoying my wife’s new-found love of baking, reading more and catching up on some pretty good movies and TV shows. But it’s been hard finding silver linings teaching my students on Zoom. But this week, at long last, a silver lining appeared on Zoom, which I’d like to share with you here.

    For the past few years I’ve wanted to invite guest artists to our South Beach campus – accomplished actors, directors, producers, casting directors, cinematographers, so many other journeymen filmmakers with whom I’ve worked over the course of thirty years writing, producing and directing in Los Angeles. 

    As it turns out, Zoom opened the door for my first guest artist invitation. For those who attended, there’s no doubt a good time was had by all – by not only our South Beach students, but all students across NYFA’s campuses. 

    Michael Pressman (Right) on set with Richard Pryor for ‘Some Kind of Hero’

    Michael Pressman directed his first feature film when he was only 26 and went on to direct quite a few big studio hits, including Dr. Detroit and Some Kind of Hero, starring Richard Pryor. He ventured into television, directing TV movies and dozens of episodes of quality TV shows, such as Law and Order, Grey’s Anatomy, The Guardian and Sneaky Pete. As an Executive Producer, Michael became an experienced “Show Runner,” winning two Emmys for the acclaimed series, Picket Fences. His IMDB speaks for itself. 

    A natural story-teller, Michael regaled us with tales of working with famous actors, dealing with the studio system, casting, getting the most out of collaborating artists and coping with the ever-changing filmmaking technology. He advised our students on breaking into the business and offered strategies for success. 

    I’m convinced the intimate Zoom platform, allowing Michael and I to talk to each other like old friends, was an ideal and more comfortable format for Michael – far better, I believe than a staged event before a live audience. I’m told by those who watched it, the Zoom meeting with Michael Pressman resembled a late night talk show, as entertaining as it was informative. 

    Let’s all keep looking for those silver linings, knowing we’ll get together in person very soon.

    For more information on our NYFA South Beach programs, please contact  southbeach@nyfa.edu or check out our website here.

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    July 10, 2020 • Filmmaking, Guest Speakers, Producing, South Beach • Views: 536

  • New York Film Academy’s South Beach Campus Announces Winners for NYFA South Beach Made at Home Festival

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    With many festivals being cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New York Film Academy South Beach instructor Eduardo “Eddy” Santa-Maria decided to engage South Beach students to create their own films from home and have a place to have them shares and voted on for NYFA’s first-ever Made at Home Festival, presented by NYFA South Beach. The Festival’s winners included MFA Acting for Film student Yulia Korotkova (Student Choice Award), and One Year Filmmaking Conservatory student McKenzie Mortensen (Staff & Faculty Choice Award).

    “I constantly see students stop each other in the halls and ask ‘hey how’s that film going,’ and I’ve seen those same students leave that conversation inspired and ready to make a film of their own. That infectious creativity seemed to have died down as we move to remote learning,” shared Santa-Maria. “So, in order to get that vibe back, the itch to create, I figured the Festival would give them a challenge where their creativity would be put to the test and, hopefully, inject that sense of creativity that NYFA is famous for.”

    Students who participated in the Film Festival were given one month to develop, write, shoot, and edit a 5-minute film completely shot from their own home. With the Coronavirus pandemic shutting down many areas all over the country, students were encouraged to use what they had at home, from camera equipment (mobile phones, DSLR) to casting their film with only themselves or who they lived with. 

    McKenzie Mortensen, who won the Staff & Faculty Choice Award for her short film Quarantined, was inspired to make her film due to her own personal experiences of being alone during the pandemic. The Burley, Idaho native’s short film is a horror-comedy about a girl who becomes so bored and lonely that she makes friends with an evil villain, who crawls out of her television. In addition to the full film below, Mortensen has also shared her Quarantined storyboard available here.

    “I hope the audience was able to relate to my short emotionally since my film subject was very current,” says Mortensen. “I also hope they were able to let out a laugh, chuckle or giggle.” Mortensen will graduate from the One Year Filmmaking Conservatory from NYFA’s South Beach campus in September and plans to pursue a career in film editing. In addition to her short film Quarantined and Doritos Super Bowl competition entry, Mortensen also created a short stop motion film, which can be viewed here.

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    Utah vibes ❤️ #2019

    A post shared by McKenzie Mortensen (@mckenz_mort) on

    Winner of the Student Choice Award, Yulia Korotkova, was inspired to create her short film Waters after playing around with different shots and angles taken on her cellphone. After attempting to create a shot of someone being pulled out from under the bed, she was inspired to create a thriller about soul-collecting water that could be condensed for the Festival’s parameters. “The original script was a ten minute film and we [Korotkova and her husband] feel proud of having created this film only using an iPhone without any professional equipment,” she explains.

    Behind the scenes for ‘Waters’ (Directed by Yulia Korotkova)

    Korotkova, who was born in Russia and grew up in Venezuela, moved to Miami 11 years ago and is currently studying acting at NYFA South Beach. Waters, she explains, is her first-ever film. “I was hoping to entertain and, at the same time, show how there is no need for expensive equipment and large expensive production in order to tell a story.”

    NYFA South Beach student Yulia Korotkova

    While the film is not yet posted publicly, Korotkova has released a teaser trailer and encourages readers to check out some of the behind the scenes information for her film.

    Santa-Maria shares he hopes students can realize they don’t need huge sets, expensive cameras, or a large crew to tell a heartfelt story. “As cheesy as it sounds, I wanted our students to realize that no matter where they are in life, no one can take away their ability to tell captivating stories.”

    New York Film Academy would like to congratulate NYFA South Beach students McKenzie Mortensen and Yulia Korotkova for winning the top prizes for the South Beach Made at Home Festival and encourages everyone to watch each student’s available footage to get their own creative inspiration. 

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  • “One Night in Miami” Stars New York Film Academy (NYFA) Acting Alum Kieron Anthony As Cassius Clay

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    Last October, One Night in Miami premiered as a Miami New Drama production at Miami Beach’s Colony Theatre, starring New York Film Academy (NYFA) Acting Alum Kieron Anthony as legendary fighter Cassius Clay.

    The play was written by Kemp Powers and staged by Miami native Carl Cofield, associate artistic director of the Classical Theatre of Harlem. It imagines the events of February 25, 1964, after Clay had defeated Sonny Liston and won the World Heavyweight Crown. After the fight, Clay was joined at the Hampton House Motel Room by three other famous men of color — Sam Cooke, Jim Brown, and Malcolm X. 

    Kieron Anthony as Cassius Clay

    Leon Thomas III, Esau Pritchett and Jason Delane listen as Kieron Anthony’s Cassius Clay (standing on bed) recounts his victory over Sonny Liston in “One Night in Miami.” Photo by STIAN ROENNING

    While only the surviving member of the foursome, Jim Brown, knows what the men really discussed that night, One Night in Miami postulates what could have been happened when four such prominent personalities are confined in a small room after such an incredible evening. The play, which takes place during Segregation, also incorporates important themes of race and religion in the 1960s.

    Kieron Anthony plays the pivotal role of Cassius Clay, who the day after the night depicted in the play would announce his conversion to the Nation of Islam. He would change his name and be known by for the rest of his life as Muhammad Ali. Of his performance, Christine Dolen wrote in the Miami Herald that Anthony “conveys the young champ’s joyous confidence as he reenacts moments of his life-changing fight for his famous friends. He dials up the rhetoric and swagger when he goes outside to speak with the reporters who finally track him down, but with his friends he’s willing to show he’s still grappling with embracing and declaring his faith.”

    Anthony graduated from New York Film Academy South Beach’s 1-year acting conservatory in 2015. As part of an extremely diverse student body with classmates from around the world, Anthony received an educational experience unique from other acting schools in Florida, focusing on hands-on experience from faculty members currently working in the Miami acting scene.

    Yves Arispe, NYFA South Beach’s Director of Housing and Student Services, called Anthony’s performance “natural, believable, relatable as he delivered on every beat,” and that, “Kieron’s performance makes NYFA South Beach proud!”

    The New York Film Academy congratulates Acting alum Kieron Anthony on his stellar performance as Cassius Clay in One Night in Miami!

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    November 27, 2018 • Academic Programs, Acting, South Beach, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1783

  • New York Film Academy South Beach Students Attend 8th Annual Recent Cinema From Spain

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    Earlier this November, students from New York Film Academy’s South Beach campus attended the opening night of the 8th Annual Recent Cinema From Spain film series in Miami, Florida.

    Recent Cinema From Spain is produced by EGEDA US and The Olympia Theater in collaboration with the ICAA and the Centro Cultural Español in Miami (CCEMiami), and has run for the past seven years. The aim of the festival is to celebrate Spanish culture, including everything from art to music to food, and of course, film.

    This year’s Recent Cinema From Spain showcased six films, including Carmen Y Lola, Petra, Everybody Knows, and the US premiere of The Realm, a political thriller by the producers of Secret in Their Eyes.

    The opening night was Thursday, November 8 and included a red carpet event at the Olympia Theater, a landmark institution built in 1926 that has been a frequent hub of activity for the South Florida arts community. It was attended by, among others, several Spanish film celebrities as well as EFE Agency and Hola TV.

    Recent Cinema from Spain

    Dir. Santiago Segura (Sin Rodeos)

    Roughly a dozen students from New York Film Academy (NYFA) attended. This included students from NYFA South Beach’s BFA Acting for Film program, BFA Filmmaking program, and MFA Filmmaking program. NYFA’s degree programs are offered to and designed for students who wish to integrate intensive professional training with a comprehensive liberal arts education, helping them to become fully prepared for their chosen career path in the performing and visual and entertainment arts. In addition to the students who attended, a crew of three were able to conduct interviews on the red carpet. This included Steven Fares as the interviewer, Florencia Portieri as camera operator, and Ramon Burki as still photographer.

    The NYFA South Beach students who attended Recent Cinema From Spain had a wonderful time, and were greatly appreciative of the exposure to the Spanish culture offered by the festival.Recent Cinema from Spain

    Maylen Dominguez, Campus Director and Chair of Filmmaking of NYFA South Beach, reinforced this point, saying, “The Recent Cinema From Spain Festival held in Miami was a fun and inspiring opportunity for our students to get to meet actors, see a different style of filmmaking, and watch their fellow peers on the red carpet doing press in a professional manner.”

    No doubt the NYFA students who attended were inspired to get back to their studies and work on their own films that may very well be screened at the next Recent Cinema From Spain fest!

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    November 15, 2018 • Community Highlights, Film Festivals, Filmmaking, South Beach, Student Life • Views: 1659

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Sits Down with South Beach Director Maylen Dominguez to Discuss Women in Film

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    The New York Film Academy (NYFA) has announced that Maylen Dominguez is the new Campus Director of the South Beach location. Dominguez will also continue in her previous role as Chair of Filmmaking in South Beach.

    Maylen has spent the last three years as Chair of Filmmaking, having helped the fledgling South Beach campus establish itself as a force in the South Florida film industry. NYFA South Beach was the only Florida institution featured in Variety’s Best Film Schools of 2018 list. Additionally, the South Beach location was one of only three Florida schools featured in Hollywood Reporter’s Top 25 American Film Schools.

    NYFA South Beach Campus Director Maylen Dominguez


    Recently, NYFA had the pleasure to sit down and chat with the new NYFA South Beach Campus Director about her career, her time at NYFA so far, and her plans for the future:

    New York Film Academy (NYFA): What does it mean to you to be the new Director of NYFA South Beach?

    Maylen Dominguez (MD): I have a very special connection to Miami, this is the place where my father landed when he was 12 years old and exiled from Cuba. It’s the place where my grandfather, in his mid 50s, re-studied for his medical license and became a doctor again. They ended up moving to Puerto Rico, which is where my father met my mother, and where I was born.

    When I was two weeks old we moved back to Miami, and then my father, who was a doctor in the navy, moved all over the US. I moved to Miami three years ago to be the Chair of the Filmmaking Department, but have been blown away by the experience of living in a place that is so culturally diverse. I love that I get to speak Spanish again. I love that a cortadito (espresso shot) gets passed around periodically in the middle of the day at the office. And I love being back near palm trees and the warm ocean. So, it is an understatement to say how proud and grateful I am that I get to mix the three things I love: Miami, film, and education. The chance to inspire students from all over the world to tell their very unique and beautiful stories is a gift.

    NYFA: Can you elaborate a bit on your background and experience in the film industry?

    MD: I spent nearly ten years in LA hustling through all sorts of jobs in the film business. It was a real eye opener that no one cared about my academic accomplishments, and when I was in the agent trainee program at Endeavor (which is now William Morris Endeavor) the other four people in the mailroom were lawyers. But it was a great learning experience, I read 40 scripts a week and learned what made a story get through the system — and it taught me humility.

    Working with Nely Galan exposed me to producing and how to develop something from the seed of an idea into a television show. Working with Minnie Driver in her production company, I got to see the process of developing a film project. It was interesting to see, not only her acting process, but why she picked the projects she picked. During this time I learned how to produce movies independently. I also got invaluable set experience working with her. I had written and directed a few short films, a documentary, written a couple of features and TV spec scripts, and from this work received a scholarship from NBC to work in TV, but I soon became pregnant and put the crazy hours and lifestyle on hold. Now that my daughter is older, I’ve been writing again and am in the process of producing a short film and feature.

    NYFA: Can you talk about being an Hispanic woman in this industry?

    MD: One of our recent graduates is Cuban and he said to me, “I feel honored that I’ll be receiving my diploma from a fellow Cuban.” It really touched me because it reminded me that everything that I do is not just as me but also as the half Puerto Rican, half Cuban me. It’s inspiring when you can see someone of a similar background in a position of influence. The same is true in film and TV. If you are a little girl and you see a complex representation of different cultural backgrounds on screen, it allows room for that possibility to exist in your life. If all you ever see are women of color in subservient and service careers, as a little girl, you begin to believe that that’s as far as you can go. Film and television are such powerful media, and we must use it to make impactful positive changes in our culture.

    NYFA: Can you speak to being a woman in the film industry during the #MeToo movement, what has changed, and what still needs to be improved upon?

    MD: The only way to make changes in a broken system is to bring the bad stuff to light, the stuff that we don’t really want to talk about. And that, to me, is what this whole movement is about, understanding that as much power as was used to control women, leading them to be ashamed and hide things away, can now be turned into power as they break silence and help this not happen to the next generation of women in the film business. It’s led to some hard, but good conversations with film colleagues. And it’s something we talk about in our classes here. Both men and women need to talk about it with depth, empathy, and understanding in order to make real changes. I’m grateful that we have a smart, creative, open student population that is listening and ready to demand change and equality in the film business.

    NYFA: What do you think are the advantages to filming and studying film in Miami?

    MD: Miami is a vibrant, artistically rich, and diverse city, so location-wise it has endless potential. And the film community is still relatively small, so once you get your foot in the door everybody helps support you. Our campus is like a true family/small production company. We help each other through personal issues as well as all of the acting and filming struggles that happen. We also have fun together; we have small get-togethers for holidays and support each other’s successes. When our students graduate, it feels like a family member is leaving, you’re so proud of them but you miss them.

    NYFA: What is your vision for the future of NYFA South Beach?

    MD: I have a very clear image of NYFA South Beach being this large vibrant campus that becomes a center point for film and acting education in the Southeast. I see us continuing to be a creative hotbed where people in the local community, as well as the film community at large, want to partner and do projects with us.

     

    The New York Film Academy would like to congratulate Maylen Dominguez on her new position and thank her for her hard work and service to the community!

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    October 10, 2018 • #WomenOfNYFA, Faculty Highlights, Filmmaking • Views: 2343

  • NYFA South Beach Attends Supercon in Fort Lauderdale

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    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

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    August 8, 2017 • South Beach • Views: 2174

  • NYFA Supports New Film Incentives in Miami-Dade County

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    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.

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    August 1, 2017 • South Beach • Views: 2200

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

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    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.

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    March 1, 2017 • Community Highlights, Faculty Highlights • Views: 3882

  • NYFA South Beach Welcomes Emmy Nominated Filmmaker Carlos Sandoval

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    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.

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    February 16, 2017 • Community Highlights, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 4593