Earlier this month, New York Film Academy (NYFA) held a five-day Acting for Film intensive workshop in Shanghai, China. The workshop, which ran from July 15 – July 20, was taught by Anne Moore, NYFA-LA Associate Chair of Acting, and focused on the Meisner technique. The workshop culminated in filmed monologues and scenes.
“At this point in my life, it’s very hard to find people that still inspire me,” says Mike Wietecha, one of the students from the class. “Ms. Moore definitely inspired me as a teacher and and an actor. I can’t remember ever learning this much useful information in such a short amount of time.
“Thank you for an amazing week,” he adds.
The workshop took place on the Shanghai Theatre Academy Campus, and had a dozen students, as well as a Chinese translator. Half of the scenes were filmed in English, and half of the scenes were filmed in Chinese. The program was organized by Dr. Joy Zhu, PhD, NYFA Executive Vice President, China Region, along with an alum from the the NYFA MFA program.
“It was very exciting to see how receptive the students were to the acting techniques and exercises I put forth,” says Moore. “They were not only able to grasp these concepts, but also able to apply them to their scene work. It was amazing how much they grew and learned in one week.”
Interested in attending our next workshop in Shanghai, China? You can find more information about the program here.
Several students attending New York Film Academy (NYFA) in Florence, Italy came together to shoot a stunning new video about the experience of learning film and acting in the breathtakingly beautiful city.
All of the Fall 2018 Florence students were invited to participate in the shooting of a new video and photo shoot for NYFA’s Florence programs. By working as crew members, and acting in the piece, the students were getting first-hand experience doing the very things they came to Florence to learn.
The students went through auditions and casting, as well as interviews, to mimic the process it takes to score coveted roles in a highly competitive industry. While some of the students were assigned smaller roles than they may have tried out for, it was nonetheless a lesson in humility and acceptance that is needed to continue a career in the visual arts.
The leading actors cast in the video were students David Puskas (1-semester Acting for Film) and Faranak Moradi (1-semester Filmmaking). Additionally, Filmmaking students Joren Pelsma, Pietro Barba, Scott Carlson worked as camera assistants and second unit director of photography. Several other NYFA Florence students participated in the shoot as supporting actors, extras, make up artists, and other roles.
Everyone involved showed a deep level of commitment toward their craft and a passion for learning as much as possible. The shoot started at dawn—the Magic Hour—so the students were up very early and ready to work. To mimic a professional set, the students all sat and ate breakfast together before the first shot.
Students weren’t just involved in the production of the video, but the post-production as well. They were given the opportunity to watch an early cut of the video and give their feedback and notes for the next re-edit.
Projects such as this newest video are not uncommon at NYFA Florence, and students often have a chance to work on projects outside of their own that are deeply tied to the Renaissance city. Thanks to a well-established relationship between NYFA and the municipal government of Florence, NYFA students and staff are often invited to shoot professional videos in collaboration with the city of Florence itself, including its orchestral Strings City event. This, in turn, also gives the students professional credits to add to their resumes before they’ve even finished the program!
You can find more information on the programs offered at NYFA Florence HERE.
Recently, on a rainy afternoon in Florence, I had the wonderful opportunity to spend time with students at New York Film Academy’s (NYFA) Florence location, located in a charming state-of-the-art facility on Via Torta, near the Basilica di Santa Croce.
The students had just returned — soaked and exhausted — from a long day filming the last scenes of their final projects. The “crews,” each comprised of four or five students, all used the city of Florence as the “film set” for their visual stories. They were in the homestretch, although they still had a few demanding days ahead, editing their films before presenting their work at the graduation screening and celebration of the conclusion of their semester abroad programs in Filmmaking and Acting for Film. These students came from 12 countries — the United States, Hungary, Ukraine, Iran, Netherlands, Romania, UK, Kazakhstan, Czech Republic, Spain, Italy, and Mexico.
After unloading their camera gear, we sat down and spoke about the impressions of their time in Florence, and at NYFA, during the past 12 weeks. “Life-changing” was the most echoed description; all heads also nodded “yes” when one student said, “this study abroad opportunity has by far been the best experience of my life so far; during these months I have grown so much as a person and as a filmmaker. ”
One student fervently told me that, while he had had a passion for acting from a young age, before NYFA he had doubts about whether it was something he wanted to pursue instead of an economics degree; but now he wants nothing more than to be an actor.
All of the students’ reactions warmed me with joyfulness and “NYFA pride.” There was more under the surface because all of the sentiments were very familiar to me — each word and narrative brought back vivid and distinct memories…
It was 1976 when my feet stepped off a plane at the Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport in Rome and a new phase of my life began. Much of it stays with me to this very day, and now, encircled by this wonderful group of young “creatives,” more and more remembrances came rushing back to me.
I arrived at 18, never having previously left US soil, with just $300 dollars in my pocket and a full scholarship to study art in Florence that was graciously provided by publishing icon, Anna K. Meredith. At a later point I learned that Ms. Meredith, who at the time headed the family’s The Meredith Corporation — a massive publishing empire that produces dozens of the most popular magazines (including Sports Illustrated, Fortune and PEOPLE) — personally chose me as the first recipient of her generous study abroad grant.
My route to this study abroad experience was an extraordinary one; I was a freshman at the University of Denver and in the Spring of that year my favorite art instructor approached me — quite out of the blue — and handed me a formal document. “Read it!” she ardently and rather exuberantly stated. It was an acceptance letter from a US-accredited Art School in Florence. I was offered an acceptance and didn’t even know that I had applied! My professor, seeing my dismay, explained, “Jim, I applied on your behalf because I knew if you had this opportunity, it would change your art and your life in so many amazing ways.”
Now, I knew that in a week this delightful group of talented young people would be saying goodbye to the city of Florence, to the New York Film Academy staff and faculty, to their classmates and their friends, and that they would walk forward — as I did 40 years ago — into lives that will be forever changed for the better.
My teacher was certainly more accurate than she could ever have imagined. It is both the magic of Florence and the impact of the experience of studying abroad that simply cannot be explained well in words, because they reside in a spirit deep within the city — and at the same time — in one’s own heart.
On July 8, 2018, New York Film Academy (NYFA) began its eighth hands-on-workshop in Beijing, China. The 4-Week Filmmaking Workshop runs throughout July, and finishes on August 4th.
The classes are being held at the Beijing Film Academy, which, like other film schools in China, is collaborating with the New York Film Academy. NYFA hosts the workshop, providing instructors from both their New York and Los Angeles campuses, who fly out to China and stay for the duration of the course. In addition, a 1-Week Workshop will be offered later in the summer. The instructors include Ben Maraniss, Benjamin David, and Igor Torgeson.
By the end of the 4-Week workshop, each student will have shot three short films. Students are able to learn the various aspects of the filmmaking process, including writing, directing, acting, editing, and lighting a set.
The students attending the workshop have a diverse, international background, coming from several different countries across the globe. By combining such unique and distinct voices and cultural backgrounds, the students learn the art of filmmaking in a collaborative environment, sharing and gaining knowledge from each other’s perspectives. This allows them to tell fuller, richer stories.
In addition to the cultural experiences brought from their own backgrounds, students benefit from the rich experience of learning in Beijing, China, an ancient, complex city with centuries of history. Chinese cinema has been around nearly as long as the medium itself, and has been rapidly expanding and gaining global significance as each year goes by. By learning in Beijing, students are learning in one of the centers of a major cinematic industry.
Dr. Joy Zhu, New York Film Academy’s Executive Vice President for the China Region, elaborates on this point, saying, “Beijing is a very exciting and important place for storytellers not just from China or America, but from all around the globe to come and learn with the New York Film Academy.”
New York Film Academy workshops are also a great stepping stone to longer and more intensive programs, including One Year Conservatories in Filmmaking, Acting, Producing, and several other disciplines. Many students who have attended NYFA workshops in China in the past followed up with other courses, including in NYFA’s New York and Los Angeles campuses.
Whether as a step in a longer, worldly journey of discovery in the filmmaking arts, or as a singular lifetime experience, students studying at NYFA’s workshops in Beijing no doubt come away with memories and an adventure they will never forget.
If you are interested in studying with the New York Film Academy in Beijing, you can find more information here.
This October, President of the New York Film Academy Michael Young made a trip to China, visiting several of the nation’s educational institutions and attending several prestigious conferences and ceremonies.
The first stop of this trip was Xi’an Peihua University, a private institution over 100 years old with more than 25,000 current students. President Young delivered a captivating speech at the grand welcoming ceremony held by the school, where he met over 500 students and expressed his enthusiasm for Peihua’s internationalization efforts. He also encouraged students to focus on specializing their abilities to better achieve their ambitions.
After his speech, New York Film Academy and Peihua University officially signed the Cooperation Agreement, which includes cooperative programs such as the “1+3” Undergraduate and Graduate Program and the Study Abroad Program, among others. President Young was also inducted as an Honorable President of Peihua University, the first time since Peihua University’s founding that such a prestigious title has been conferred to a foreign educator. President Young next visited Shanghai Theatre Academy Lianhua Campus, where students who benefit from the “1+3” program by New York Film Academy and Shanghai Theatre Academy currently study. He talked to the school’s top professors, asking detailed questions about the students’ current learning environment and also patiently answering any questions himself. President Young encouraged the “1+3” students to take every advantage of the professional education that Shanghai Theatre Academy provides, and stressed the importance of mastering the English language to best prepare for their upcoming three-year study at New York Film Academy.
Traveling to Hangzhou, President Young visited the uniquely designed art building and facilities of Wankun Arts High School. The New York Film Academy signed a cooperation agreement with Wankun Arts High School to co-found the Student Resource base, which will help Wankun Arts graduates transition to NYFA’s undergraduate program. President Young also talked about potentially co-founding Arts School with the board from Wankun Arts High School.
Afterwards, President Young attended an event held by FlyCo Star Pictures Co. Ltd. By signing the Strategic Cooperation Agreement with FlyCo Star Pictures Co. Ltd., President Young and the New York Film Academy will help cultivate young and talented filmmakers to become leading figures in the film industry. With three NYFA graduates currently working at FlyCo Star Pictures Co. Ltd., President Young expressed his appreciation, while FlyCo Star praised the alumni’s contribution to the company.
Later that afternoon, President Young toured one of the leading media and communication institutions in China, Zhejiang University of Media and Communications (ZJUMC), where currently over 100,000 students are attending. He congratulated Huace Film Academy on its founding, and shared his enthusiastic confidence in the newfound cooperation between NYFA and ZJUMC. President Young also elaborated on this future cooperation, which will include detailed programs such as the accelerated degree and short-term study abroad programs, as well as further involving the NYFA 4-week workshop programs with ZJUMC’s traditional courses.
In addition to New York Film Academy’s educational commitment within China’s borders, President Young also shared exciting news about upcoming events at the New York Film Academy’s renowned New York campus. During the visit to Shanghai, one of the most vital discussions concerned Shanghai Film Week. The conference between NYFA, Shanghai’s Municipal Government, and Shanghai Film Art Academy came to an agreement, and NYFA will proudly co-host Shanghai Film Week in January 2018.
The New York Film Academy (NYFA) announced that NYFA’s Florence, Italy campus will, in September 2018, offer a semester ‘Study Abroad’ program in filmmaking and acting for film. This is a new opportunity for students—from anywhere in the world—to study in Florence for a 12-week semester. Traditionally, the NYFA Florence location has offered shorter term ‘workshops’ of 1-week, 4-week, 6-week, and 8-week with various starts from April to September. These workshops will continue to run.
The semester program offers 13 U.S. college credits, which are issued by NYFA in partnership with Endicott College; students can also receive transcripts of credits that are regionally recognized. All program lengths offer accredited transcripts upon completion of the coursework.
NYFA’s Florence programs have been running since 2003, and for most of that time they have been under the guidance of Diana Santi, Director of NYFA Italy, a highly regarded professional in the film industry.
NYFA Study Abroad at Florence, Italy
“We are very excited to launch the first ever semester program in Florence,” stated Ms. Santi. “While the program dates of September to December fit the study abroad model for American students who are enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities, we expect to have many international students join the program as is the case with our workshops”. She continued, “No one can dispute that Florence, and Tuscany, is the perfect place to make movies and enjoy a unique cultural experience.”
NYFA Florence is in the heart of the historic center of Florence and directly across from Cappelle Medicee and steps away from the Duomo. Instead of occupying class time in a typical classroom, students will utilize Florence as their classroom, filming and acting within the city itself. As one of NYFA’s core values is Learning by Doing, all of NYFA’s programs are hands-on and intensive. From the first day of the program, students will have their hands on the equipment or be acting in front of the camera.
“Going to NYFA was one of the best decisions of my life,” expressed a recent filmmaking student from Bulgaria. “The education is very practical and hands on, the tutors are very qualified and helpful, I made friends for life here and I would totally recommend the experience to everyone. I definitely feel more confident in trying to put my ideas on the screen then before, and it’s all thanks to these amazing people.”
For more information about studying abroad in Florence, Italy, please contact:
Hannah Gilliland firstname.lastname@example.org 212-674-4300