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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography Alumni Shoot Empire State Building Film

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    Isabel Padilla, recent graduate of the 1-Year Cinematography conservatory at New York Film Academy (NYFA), served as director of photography on the short film The Red Balloon, recently published on the official YouTube channel of the Empire State Building.

    Isabel Padilla

    NYFA Cinematography Alum Isabel Padilla

    The film, directed by Pedro Tamames, was the winner of a contest sponsored by the iconic New York skyscraper. Tamames submitted his ideas and storyboards a year ago, and was chosen to make the film out of all the submissions. Padilla has worked with Tamames for over three years, shooting all of his films—The Red Balloon was no exception.

    The film shot for two days in April and one in September on site at the Empire State Building. Padilla calls the shoot “a very unique and unforgettable experience for somebody who just moved to New York. The purpose of the project is to show students’ talent and to show the new Empire State facilities through a short film that everybody can enjoy. It was a great opportunity and a challenge, from which we all learned a lot through preparation and teamwork.”

    Padilla originally hails from Spain and attended the 1-Year Cinematography conservatory in Fall 2018 at NYFA’s New York campus in downtown Manhattan. She attributes her NYFA education and especially the lessons on delegating roles on set to the successful production of The Red Balloon despite its very tight schedule. 

    “Being able to delegate to other people was extremely helpful to be able to achieve the number of shots planned,” Padilla tells NYFA. “Communication is key, and both my ACs were from NYFA as well (Alejandro León and Beth Ribeiro), which, since we learned from the same place, made everything go smoother and more effectively.”

    Isabel Padilla

    NYFA Cinematography Alum Isabel Padilla

    Padilla has kept busy since graduating NYFA and is working hard to push herself both professionally and creatively. When asked what she would tell current students looking to pursue careers in cinematography, Padilla says, “My main advice is to get out there, to shoot with people you feel you have a creative connection with and to experiment with people from other atmospheres … Moreover, to create a good relationship with the director, be their friend. As a cinematographer, with a director you have to connect and see the project together as one, and to do that, you don’t just have two meetings but a full journey to get to the goal with both of you being happy and satisfied.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates Cinematography alumni Isabel Padilla, Alejandro León, and Beth Ribeiro on seeing their work published by the Empire State Building and looks forward to seeing their future projects! 

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    December 30, 2019 • Cinematography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 902

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Workshops at the Bilbao Bizkaia Design Week 

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) was honored to be included in the Bilbao Bizkaia Design Week earlier this month, held in the idyllic city of Bilbao, Spain. 

    Bilbao Bizkaia Blake Babbitt Featured
    Blake Babbitt, NYFA’s Associate Director for Recruitment, delivered a masterclass to creative Spanish students in which he outlined tools aspiring filmmakers need to have in their proverbial backpacks. The demonstration proceeded to show the delighted audience how to use these elements in their filmmaking and storytelling projects.

    The event was hosted in the magnificent Ensanche Building in the city center of Bilbao and sponsored by EIKEN – Basque Audiovisual & Digital Content and Five Lands (International Education), an official recruiting agency of NYFA.

    Bilbao Bizkaia Blake Babbitt Featured
    Babbitt’s stay in Bilbao included a visit to Ayalde School to deliver a second masterclass on visual storytelling to students coming from different educative centers in the area. The event was hosted by COAS and allowed youngsters with ages ranging from 15 to 18 to learn how to convey a story from paper to on screen.

    “Maybe there was a future storyteller in the audience,” states David Morera, CEO/President of Five Lands. “Who knows? If not, there were several students eager to enjoy a good story. At the very end, that’s one of the things that make us human.”

    Bilbao Bizkaia Blake Babbitt Featured

    (from L to R): David Morera (Five Lands), Fernando García (COAS), Blake Babbitt (NYFA) and Óscar Salazar (Five Lands)

    New York Film Academy is grateful to Five Lands International Education, COAS,a and EIKEN – Basque Audiovisual & Digital Content for hosting these events, and we look forward to returning to Bilbao in the near future!

    The live stream of NYFA’s Bilbao masterclass event is available here:

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    November 26, 2019 • Film School, International Diversity • Views: 915

  • Q&A with New York Film Academy (NYFA) Screenwriting Alum Maria Minguez

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Screenwriting Alum Maria Minguez started out as a 2nd AD and assistant director in her home country of Spain, but her true passion was writing and storytelling. 

    Minguez decided to move to New York and attend the Screenwriting school at NYFA’s New York campus, where she learned the skills necessary to begin her new career as a writer.

    Since then, Minguez has found success back in Spain, and has written the upcoming feature film Vivir dos veces, directed by renowned Spanish filmmaker Maria Ripoll and starring Inma Cuesta, Nacho Lopez, and Argentinian star Oscar Martinez.

    maria minguez
    NYFA recently spoke with Maria Minguez about her film, her life before screenwriting, what drove her to become a storyteller:

    New York Film Academy (NYFA): First, can you tell us a bit about yourself, where you’re from, and what brought you to New York Film Academy?

    Maria Minguez Vivir dos veces

    ‘Vivir dos veces’

    Maria
    NYFA: Can you tell us about your film Vivir dos veces?

    MM: Vivir dos veces is a script I started to write at NYFA for the Feature Film workshop. So the first draft was built on the notes my teachers and my classmates gave me. When I returned to Spain I continued working on it, writing more drafts, until I sold it to a producer. It was shot in October 2019 and it comes out at the end of 2019.

    NYFA: What do you feel most comfortable writing, whether themes or elements of a screenplay? What do you feel least comfortable writing?

    MM: The genres I feel more comfortable writing are dramatic comedy, such as Little Miss Sunshine; and dramatic thriller, such as Mystic River. It doesn’t matter if it is TV or film. The genres I feel the least comfortable writing are action movies and horror movies.

    NYFA: What other projects are you working on or do you plan to work on?

    MM: I have another feature film which will probably shoot at the end of 2019. And I have also been working on a miniseries for Tele 5, a Spanish TV channel, which is going to shoot in two months.

    NYFA: What did you learn at NYFA that you applied directly to your work on Vivir dos veces, or your work in general?

    MM: During the program we worked a lot on the structure of movies (three act structure, the eight sequencing system, etc.). It has been very useful to me. It is not easy to face a one-hundred-page script, but if you know how to structure it, you at least know the way you have to follow.

    NYFA: What advice would you give to students just starting out at NYFA?

    MM: To screenwriting students I have just one piece of advice: to WRITE. 

    NYFA gives you the opportunity to have people giving you notes all the time, and that is something not that easy to find outside of school. The best way to learn how to write is writing. So write a lot, all the time, and take the material to class so teachers can read it and give you notes.

    NYFA: Anything I missed you’d like to speak on?

    MM: I would like to add that when you become a professional screenwriter, you realize that it is not just important to know how to write. You also have to know how to handle producers, contracts, etc. So I encourage the students to pay attention during the business courses of NYFA’s programs.

    New York Film Academy thanks Screenwriting alum Maria Minguez for taking the time to speak with us about her career and her film Vivir dos veces. You can check out the film, now with its English title Live Twice, Love Once, on Netflix!

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    May 28, 2019 • Screenwriting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1332

  • Playwriting Students Attend “Guards at the Taj” at the Geffen

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    “Spain’s beloved poet and playwright, Federico García Lorca, whose work flourished in the 1930’s, asserted that duende—a simultaneously dark and beautiful moment of inspiration and truth that is both euphoric and painful as well as purely visceral for both artist and audience—is most present during live performances. The artists as well as the audience can feel the potent, devilish energy of creation when the art is happening right in front of them, wonderfully and devastatingly altering the air and therefore one’s senses, ultimately generating an atmosphere ripe for revelation. I agree with Lorca, and this is why it is vital for my students to see and experience live art.“ – Megan Breen, Playwriting Instructor at New York Film Academy

    On Sunday, October 11th, Megan Breen took her Playwriting class to Brooklyn playwright Rajiv Joseph’s exciting new play, Guards at the Taj, at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood. The story follows the complicated brotherhood between two Imperial Guards at the Taj Mahal in India, in 1648, when the exquisite and otherworldly palace was completed.

    geffen playhouse

    The Playwriting class is made up of screenwriting students who had read Joseph’s critical Broadway hit, Bengal Tiger and the Baghdad Zoo. The students were so responsive to its existential playfulness and provocative metaphysical explorations, that when the opportunity to see one of Joseph’s works live came about, they jumped at the chance.

    Guards at the Taj, and other works by Joseph, has a style that is more theatrical and magical, not as mainstream. It is visceral and thematically challenging with heightened language and a complex tone — the light and dark of duende. So seeing and experiencing how a play like this can be produced is exciting as well as educational for students who are new to playwriting. The students responded to the play’s visceral narrative, which allowed them to feel as if they were there with the characters and therefore more connected to them and their difficult, high stakes plights— soldiers at the whim of an insane ruler. They also loved the humor in the play, and the moving, heartbreaking struggles of the two best friends whose friendship must face an unthinkable challenge.

    geffen play

    After the play, the students engaged in a thought-provoking discussion of how to channel what they felt and thought as audience members into their writing, paying specific attention to the theatricality of the stage and how it is unique from film. Each student in the class will be writing his or her own one-act play.

    All in all, the field trip was an illuminating, fun and insightful outing vital to the students’ growth as new playwrights. Theater in Los Angeles is very much alive, and the students got to experience its vibrancy firsthand.

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    October 16, 2015 • Musical Theatre, Screenwriting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3517

  • NYFA Grad Earns 17 Awards for “Arde Lucus”

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    NYFA Gladiator
    There is a place that exists where heavily armed gladiators sharpen their blades and prepare to battle before thousands. It’s a lesser-known city that remains tucked away where hooved mythological creatures roam the streets and come together to feast with legendary gods while the Praetorian Guard continues its watch over the Roman Empire. Except this isn’t Rome, and this isn’t 117 A.D. Instead, it’s present day June in the northwest of Spain where Lugo, Galicia residents annually celebrate Arde Lucus: The pivotal day that the 3rd century Roman rampart connecting the cities of Lugo, Astorga, and Braga was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000. It’s also the only rampart entirely intact from the Roman Empire in the world.

    arde lucas

    New York Film Academy alumnus and Lugo native, Brais Revalderia has earned himself (so far) 17 international awards such as “Best Director,” “Best Documentary,” and “Best Concept” for his documentary Arde Lucus, and that doesn’t include his 26 international festival selections. The film takes an in-depth look at the 4-day celebration and its people that prepare all year to authentically transform Lugo back in time over 1700 years in celebration of the newly bestowed historical site. With the festival still just 14 years old, the city has overwhelmingly seen visitors recently reach half a million with 99% of its residents, including government officials, participating in the reenactment.

    “I thought I knew everything about the city I was born in but I was completely wrong,” says Revalderia. “I decided to do this documentary to learn about Lugo’s past but also because I love Galicia. Spain focuses on getting tourists to visit the southern areas of the country and the same doesn’t happen for Galicia. To me it’s the most beautiful part, has the best food, and is home to very important history of the world.”

    Revalderia graduated from the New York Film Academy’s Two-Year Filmmaking Program in 2013. With little budget, help from fellow NYFA alumnus, Ota Hsieh, and a crew of 15, Arde Lucus took an intense year of preparation, shooting, and postproduction to complete. When asked about his experience at NYFA, the award-winning director said, “I really liked the fact that it was a hands-on program. For someone like me who already had a Bachelor’s degree, it was exactly what I needed to learn how a movie really gets done.”

    arde lucas nyfa

    Revalderia’s goal of Arde Lucus is to help bring awareness to the rest of the world of his historical hometown and the Roman and Castrexo roots that surround it with his unique documentary. Already receiving more awards than he can count on both hands, it seems this is just the beginning for Revalderia as he is close to a distribution agreement in Spain for the film.So what’s next for the award-winning NYFA graduate? Piruleta & Media, a company Brais started even before attending NYFA, is riding its momentum and working on several films such as the completion of 237np, his 2nd year Sci-Fi thesis project which he says will “Impress people for sure,” with visual effects he confidentially states will be up to Hollywood standards.

    For those who loved Arde Lucus, Brais is also entering the postproduction stages to his latest documentary, Lordemani, which will transport viewers into the world of Vikings this time around. And if those films don’t sound intriguing enough, The Arkham Archives will showcase Revalderia’s take on Batman.

    arde lucas cast

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  • Vulnerables Airs on Viendo Movies

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    Vulnerables

    Miguel Cruz, Associate Chair of Acting at New York Film Academy in LA, had his first feature film broadcast on “Viendo Movies” Channel, which specializes in Spanish Language Films. Vulnerables, starring A-list actress Paula Echevarría, has opened theatrically in Spain, Colombia and, starting next month, in Peru. Sundance Channel will air the film for all of Latin America in 2014. The 2006 NYFA Filmmaking grad shot the independent film on privately financed budget of under $200,000.

    Miguel

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    September 11, 2013 • Filmmaking • Views: 3808

  • NYFA Acting Graduate Publishes New Book Based on Creativity

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    Sinapsis

    New York Film Academy acting graduate Dr. Ariel Orama López published a new theoretical framework based on Creativity and the recent findings of Neuroscience: the textbook is called CRËATIVE SYNAPSE: CRËATE.YOUR.UNIVERSE© (2013). It is the first theoretical framework that explains the behavior of the human being by integrating the following variables: creativity, neuroscience, and the new influence of the virtual universe. The collection book will be presented in the atrium of the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico on Wednesday, September 11, 2013, in a distinguished context of artists, health professionals and academics.

    Dr. Gregory J. Quirk, a prominent American researcher specialized in Neuroscience & Luca Spaghetti, the well-known Italian amico writer -who served as a guide to Elizabeth Gilbert on her journey through Italy while writing Eat Pray Love– elaborated the prologues of this substantial investigative work of thirteen years: they provide in their prologues a nourished and accurate view of this text book, according to their experiences. The art of the book includes the precious paintings and drawings of Ektor Rivera, Celestino & Ramon Bruin (from the Netherlands).

    The text arises from a practical & theoretical framework created by Dr. Ariel Orama López that departs from his preparation, experience and knowledge in science, human behavior, natural sciences and performing arts. It includes experiences of the author -with a logbook on his sensible hands- in contexts gifted with creativity and spirituality such as Mexico, California, Spain and Italy.

    AG COLOR

    Dr. Ariel Orama Lopez

    Ariel is a Puerto Rican professional actor & psychologist. He is a collegiate actor of the Colegio de Actores of Puerto Rico, a certified Executive Coach (specialized in Crëative Life Coaching) from TISOC, Barcelona, Spain and a licensed clinical psychologist. He was selected as a finalist of Taller TELEMUNDO: actores, in Miami, directed by the well-known actress nominated for an Oscar in the movie Babel (2006), the distinguished Mexican actress & professor Adriana Barraza.

    Ariel Orama has worked in commercials, theatre, short films, indie films, documentary, series, television, media writing, and voice-overs, summing more than 200 projects in arts (2001-2013). He is also a composer and singer: one of his songs (Seré/I’ll be) was selected for the Puerto Rican dramatic documentary The Eyes of the People (producers: Roberto Ponce & Gladys Albino) and his song (Alto Vuelas/ Flying Higher) was selected as the official Puerto Rican song for the World March from the Peace, celebrated in Argentina and New Zealand.

    He performed in fourteen Short-Films in California during his NYFA training in Acting for the Film (Los Angeles). Recently, he was selected as the Creative Coach & Consultant for the television program Idol Kids Puerto Rico (from the recognized English franchise Idol ©) and have offered courses at the Colegio de Actores de Puerto Rico and other relevant forums about Psychology of Character.

    Ariel directed and starred on the Puerto Rican Short-Film ESTEB∆N, which received national and international laurels and/or nominations (Director’s Choice: Best Film, Top Ten Film, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Editing & Best Music) in following contexts: Spain, California, Orlando and Puerto Rico.

    The Puerto Rican actor has received different awards in performing arts, including Best Direction Selection, Best concept, Best actor & Best Script. Ariel was one of the five recipients of the Sor Isolina Ferré Medal in Education of the Government of Puerto Rico, unique National distinction in service and education.

    Dr. Orama is member of the new movement Voces Unidas por el Cine Puertorriqueño and this special project has been presented on Telemundo (Acceso Total) expressing about of all this wonderful initiatives and his vision about the film in the Island.

    Currently, Ariel is co-directing and working as the scriptwriter (producer: Vane Vélez) for a documentary that will be presented on Festivals based on the emerging Film Industry in Puerto Rico -the “Shining Star of the Caribbean”-, called CINECONTRASTES©: it includes testimonials of relevant figures such as Jacobo Morales, Idalia Pérez Garay, Vicente Juarbe, among others relevant figures of the Industry.

    The book appeals to artists, academics, psychologists and to the general public. It is published in Spanish and soon in English. It can be acquired in different libraries of the World, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Sony.

    Prsentacion libro Dr Orama sept2013

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    September 9, 2013 • Acting, Diversity, International Diversity, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 8706