Tyler D’Andrea Lambert
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  • The 52nd NAACP Image Awards Winners

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    On February 2, 2021, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) announced its list of nominations for this year’s NAACP Image Awards, an annual awards ceremony crediting the outstanding performances in film, television, music, and literature of the past year. This year, NYFA alumni and guest speakers were among the list of distinguished nominees across multiple categories.

    Presenting this year’s nominees were Anika Noni Rose, Chloe Bailey, Erika Alexander, Nicco Annan, and T.C. Carson. The announcement also featured a statement from NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson:

    “We are excited to recognize and celebrate this year’s nominees, who at times throughout this unprecedented year have provided moments of levity, brought our communities together, and lifted our spirits through culture when we needed it the most.”

    Topping off the nominees was Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, featuring Academy-Award winner Viola Davis and NAACP Image Award-winner and the late Chadwick Boseman. The film garnered multiple nods, including a Best Actress nomination for Viola Davis and a posthumous nod for Best Supporting Actor for Chadwick Boseman, who sadly passed away last August after a battle with colon cancer. Boseman is also nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category for his role in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods.

    Still from “Jingle Jangle” (Netflix)

    Netflix, which led this year’s nominations with a whopping 48 nominations, also received multiple nods for the beloved family Christmas film Jingle Jangle from David E. Talbert. The film garnered ten nominations alone, including Best Motion Picture. NYFA alum, Francesco Panzieri, worked as the in-house compositing supervisor for the film which required multiple CGI sequences.

    NYFA alum Issa Rae in “Insecure” episode “Lowkey Feelin’ Myself” (HBO)

    Trailing behind Netflix in second for nominations was HBO, which scored 25 nominations including multiple nods for NYFA Filmmaking alum Issa Rae’s beloved show Insecure, which recently announced its fifth and final season to debut in 2021.

    Rae swept this year’s award nominations in all the top categories not only for Insecure but for her lead role in Universal’s The Photograph and guest appearance on the 46th season of Saturday Night Live. Rae’s full list of nominations can be found below:

    • Outstanding Comedy Series – Insecure
    • Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series – Issa Rae – Insecure
    • Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series – Issa Rae – Insecure (“Lowkey Feelin’ Myself”)
    • Outstanding Guest Performance – Comedy or Drama Series – Issa Rae – Saturday Night Live
    • Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture – Issa Rae – The Photograph

    Veteran and NYFA Alum Paquita Hughes

    HBO also received a nomination for HBO Max’s The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion, featuring NYFA alum Alfonso Ribeiro, for Outstanding Variety Show in which he, along with the cast, paid tribute to former castmate and NYFA guest speaker James Avery. Ribeiro also received a solo nomination for Outstanding Host in a Reality/Reality Competition, Game Show, or Variety Series for his work on America’s Funniest Home Videos.

    Not to be forgotten in the streaming competition, Hulu landed two nominations, including one for Outstanding Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special for Little Fires Everywhere, adapted from the 2017 novel of the same name by Celeste Ng. NYFA alum Paquita Hughes worked on the production team for the Hulu drama, starring Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon.

    Poster for “All In: The Fight For Democracy”

    All In: The Fight for Democracy from Amazon Studios earned producer and NYFA alum Lisa Cortes an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Documentary Film. The documentary, which currently holds a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, observes the history and current activism surrounding voter suppression with appearances by Stacey Abrams, Jayla Allen, Carol Anderson, and others.

    Acting for Film alum Tyler D’Andrea Lambert on “The Neighborhood” with Cedric The Entertainer

    Also receiving recognition this year is NYFA guest speaker, stand-up comedian, and actor Cedric The Entertainer. The actor, known for his iconic roles in Barbershop, Johnson Family Vacation, and Ice Age, has received a nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series for his lead role as Calvin Butler in the comedy series The Neighborhood from CBS. NYFA Acting for Film alum Tyler D’Andrea Lambert had the opportunity to work alongside the acclaimed actor for the nominated series.

    New York Film Academy congratulates all the nominees for this year’s NAACP Image Awards and encourages everyone to cheer on this year’s nominees when the 52nd NAACP Image Awards air on March 27, 2021, on BET, CBS, BETHer, VH1, MTV, MTV2, and Logo.

    View the full list of nominations below:

    SPECIAL AWARD CATEGORIES

    Entertainer of the Year
    D-Nice – Winner
    Regina King
    Trevor Noah
    Tyler Perry
    Viola Davis

    Social Justice Impact
    April Ryan
    Debbie Allen
    LeBron James
    Stacey Abrams – Winner
    Tamika Mallory

    TELEVISION + STREAMING CATEGORIES

    Outstanding Comedy Series
    “#blackAF” (Netflix)
    “Black-ish” (ABC)
    “Grown-ish” (Freeform)
    “Insecure” (HBO) – Winner
    “The Last O.G.” (TBS)

    Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series
    Anthony Anderson – “Black-ish” (ABC) – Winner
    Cedric the Entertainer – “The Neighborhood” (CBS)
    Don Cheadle – “Black Monday” (Showtime)
    Idris Elba – “In the Long Run” (Starz)
    Tracy Morgan – “The Last O.G.” (TBS)

    Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
    Issa Rae – “Insecure” (HBO) – Winner
    Folake Olowofoyeku – “Bob Hearts Abishola” (CBS)
    Regina Hall – “Black Monday” (Showtime)
    Tracee Ellis Ross – “Black-ish” (ABC)
    Yara Shahidi – “Grown-ish” (Freeform)

    Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
    Andre Braugher – “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC)
    Deon Cole – “Black-ish” (ABC) – Winner
    Jay Ellis – “Insecure” (HBO)
    Kenan Thompson – “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
    Laurence Fishburne – “Black-ish” (ABC)

    Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
    Jenifer Lewis – Black-ish” (ABC)
    Marsai Martin – “Black-ish” (ABC) – Winner
    Natasha Rothwell – “Insecure” (HBO)
    Tichina Arnold – “The Neighborhood” (CBS)
    Yvonne Orji – “Insecure” (HBO)

    Outstanding Drama Series
    “All Rise” (CBS)
    “Bridgerton” (Netflix)
    “Lovecraft Country” (HBO)
    “Power Book II: Ghost” (Starz) – Winner
    “This Is Us” (NBC)

    Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
    Jonathan Majors – “Lovecraft Country” (HBO)
    Keith David – “Greenleaf” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
    Nicco Annan – “P-Valley” (Starz)
    Regé-Jean Page – “Bridgerton” (Netflix) – Winner
    Sterling K. Brown – “This Is Us” (NBC)

    Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
    Angela Bassett – “9-1-1” (FOX)
    Brandee Evans – “P-Valley” (Starz)
    Jurnee Smollett – “Lovecraft Country” (HBO)
    Simone Missick – “All Rise” (CBS)
    Viola Davis – “How to Get Away With Murder” (ABC) – Winner

    Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
    Clifford “Method Man” Smith – “Power Book II: Ghost” (Starz) – Winner
    Delroy Lindo – “The Good Fight” (CBS All Access)
    J. Alphonse Nicholson – “P-Valley” (Starz)
    Jeffrey Wright – “Westworld” (HBO)
    Michael Kenneth Williams – “Lovecraft Country” (HBO)

    Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
    Adjoa Andoh – “Bridgerton” (Netflix)
    Aunjanue Ellis – “Lovecraft Country” (HBO)
    Lynn Whitfield – “Greenleaf” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
    Mary J. Blige – “Power Book II: Ghost” (Starz) – Winner
    Susan Kelechi Watson – “This Is Us” (NBC)

    Outstanding Television Movie, Limited–Series or Dramatic Special
    “Hamilton” (Disney+)
    “Little Fires Everywhere” (Hulu)
    “Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker” (Netflix) – Winner
    “Sylvie’s Love” (Amazon Studios)
    “The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel” (Lifetime)

    Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Limited–Series or Dramatic Special
    Blair Underwood – “Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker” (Netflix) – Winner
    Chris Rock – “Fargo” (FX)
    Daveed Diggs – “Hamilton” (Disney+)
    Leslie Odom, Jr. – “Hamilton” (Disney+)
    Nnamdi Asomugha – “Sylvie’s Love” (Amazon Studios)

    Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Limited–Series or Dramatic Special
    Aunjanue Ellis – The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel” (Lifetime)
    Kerry Washington – “Little Fires Everywhere” (Hulu)
    Michaela Coel – “I May Destroy You” (HBO)
    Octavia Spencer – “Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker” (Netflix) – Winner
    Tessa Thompson – “Sylvie’s Love” (Amazon Studios)

    Outstanding News/Information (Series or Special)
    AM Joy: Remembering John Lewis Special (MSNBC)
    Desus & Mero: The Obama Interview (Showtime)
    The Color of COVID (CNN)
    The New York Times Presents “The Killing of Breonna Taylor” (FX) – Winner
    The Reidout (NBC)

    Outstanding Talk Series
    Red Table Talk (Facebook Watch) – Winner
    Tamron Hall (Syndicated )
    The Daily Show With Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
    The Oprah Conversation (Apple TV+)
    The Shop: Uninterrupted (HBO)

    Outstanding Reality Program, Reality Competition or Game Show (Series)
    “Celebrity Family Feud” (ABC) – Winner
    “Iyanla: Fix My Life” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
    “Shark Tank” (ABC)
    “United Shades of America With W. Kamau Bell” (CNN)
    “Voices of Fire” (Netflix)

    Outstanding Variety Show (Series or Special)
    “8:46” (Netflix)
    “Black Is King” (Disney+)
    “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion” (HBO Max)
    “Verzuz” (APPLE TV) – Winner
    “Yvonne Orji: Momma I Made It!” (HBO)

    Outstanding Performance by a Youth (Series, Special, Television Movie or Limited–Series)
    Alex R. Hibbert – “The Chi” (Showtime)
    Lexi Underwood – “Little Fires Everywhere” (Hulu)
    Lyric Ross – “This Is Us” (NBC)
    Marsai Martin – “Black-ish” (ABC) – Winner
    Miles Brown – “Black-ish” (ABC

    Outstanding Guest Performance – Comedy or Drama Series
    Chris Rock – “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
    Courtney B. Vance – “Lovecraft Country” (HBO)
    Dave Chappelle – “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
    Issa Rae – “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
    Loretta Devine – “P-Valley” (Starz) – Winner

    Outstanding Breakthrough Creative (Television)
    Katori Hall – “P-Valley” (Starz)
    Keith Knight – “Woke” (Hulu)
    Ramy Youssef – “Ramy” (Hulu)
    Raynelle Swilling – “Cherish the Day” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network) – Winner
    Teri Schaffer – “Cherish the Day” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)

    RECORDING CATEGORIES

    Outstanding New Artist
    Chika – “High Rises” (Warner Records)
    Doja Cat – “Say So” (RCA Records/Kemosabe ) – Winner
    D Smoke – “Black Habits” (WoodWorks Records/Empire)
    Giveon – “When It’s All Said and Done” (Epic Records)
    Skip Marley – “Higher Place” (Island Records/ Tuff Gong Records)

    Outstanding Male Artist
    Big Sean – “Detroit 2” (Def Jam Recordings/G.O.O.D Music)
    Black Thought – “Streams of Thought, Vol. 3: Cane & Able” (Republic Records)
    Charlie Wilson – “All of My Love” (P Music Group/BMG)
    Drake – “Laugh Now, Cry Later” (Republic Records) – Winner
    John Legend – “Bigger Love” (Columbia Records)

    Outstanding Female Artist
    Beyoncé – “Black Parade” (Columbia Record/ Parkwood) – Winner
    H.E.R. – “I Can’t Breathe” (RCA Records/MBK Entertainment)
    Jazmine Sullivan – “Lost One” (RCA Records)
    Ledisi – “Anything for You” (Listen Back Entertainment/BMG)
    Alicia Keys – “Alicia” (RCA Records)

    Outstanding Music Video/Visual Album
    “I Can’t Breathe” – H.E.R. (RCA Records/MBK Entertainment)
    “Anything for You” – Ledisi (Listen Back Entertainment/BMG)
    “Black Is King” – Beyonce´ (Columbia Record/ Parkwood)
    “Brown Skin Girl” – Beyonce’ feat WizKid, Saint Jhn, Blue Ivy Carter (Columbia Record/ Parkwood) – Winner
    “Do It” – Chloe x Halle (Columbia Record/ Parkwood)

    Outstanding Album
    “Alicia” – Alicia Keys (RCA Records)
    “b7” – Brandy (Brand Nu/eOne)
    “Bigger Lov”e – John Legend (Columbia Records)
    “Chilombo” – Jhené Aiko (Def Jam Recordings) – Winner
    “The Wild Card” – Ledisi (Listen Back Entertainment/BMG)

    Outstanding Soundtrack/Compilation Album
    “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Music from the Netflix Film) – Branford Marsalis (Milan)
    “Insecure: Music From the HBO Original Series” – Various Artists (Atlantic Records)
    “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” – Various Artists (Atlantic Records )
    “Soul Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” – Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste and Tom MacDougall (Walt Disney Records) – Winner
    “The First Ladies of Gospel: The Clark Sisters Biopic Soundtrack” – Donald Lawrence (Relevé Entertainment)

    MOTION PICTURE CATEGORIES

    Outstanding Motion Picture
    “Bad Boys for Life” (Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Entertainment) – Winner
    “Da 5 Bloods” (Netflix)
    “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” (Netflix)
    “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)
    “One Night In Miami” (Amazon Studios)

    Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
    Anthony Mackie – “The Banker” (Apple)
    Chadwick Boseman – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix) – Winner
    Delroy Lindo – “Da 5 Bloods” (Netflix)
    Forest Whitaker – “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” (Netflix)
    Will Smith – “Bad Boys for Life” (Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Entertainment)

    Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
    Issa Rae – “The Photograph” (Universal Pictures)
    Janelle Monáe – “Antebellum” (Lionsgate)
    Madalen Mills – “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” (Netflix)
    Tracee Ellis Ross – “The High Note” (Focus Features)
    Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix) – Winner

    Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
    Aldis Hodge – One Night In Miami… (Amazon Studios)
    Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix) – Winner
    Clarke Peters – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
    Colman Domingo – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)
    Glynn Turman – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)

    Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
    Anika Noni Rose – “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” (Netflix)
    Gabourey Sidibe – “Antebellum” (Lionsgate)
    Nia Long – “The Banker” (Apple)
    Phylicia Rashad – “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” (Netflix) – Winner
    Taylour Paige – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)

    Outstanding Independent Motion Picture
    “Emperor” (Universal Home Video)
    “Farewell Amor” (IFC Films)
    “Miss Juneteenth” (Vertical Entertainment)
    “The 24th” (Vertical Entertainment)
    “The Banker” (Apple) – Winner

    Outstanding International Motion Picture
    “Ainu Mosir” (Array)
    “His House” (Netflix)
    “Night of the Kings” (Neon) – Winner
    “The Last Tree” (ArtMattan Productions)
    “The Life Ahead” (La vita davanti a se) (Netflix)

    Outstanding Breakthrough Performance in a Motion Picture
    Dayo Okeniyi – “Emperor” (Universal Home Video)
    Dominique Fishback – “Project Power” (Netflix)
    Jahi Di’Allo Winston – “Charm City Kings” (HBO Max)
    Jahzir Bruno – “The Witches” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
    Madalen Mills – “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” (Netflix) – Winner

    Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture
    “Da 5 Bloods” (Netflix)
    “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” (Netflix)
    “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix) – Winner
    “Soul” (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
    “The Banker” (Apple)

    WRITING CATEGORIES

    Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series
    Issa Rae – “Insecure” – “Lowkey Feelin’ Myself” (HBO)
    Lee Eisenberg, Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon – “Little America” – “The Rock” (Apple TV+)
    Michaela Coel – “I May Destroy You” – “Ego Death” (HBO) – Winner
    Mindy Kaling, Lang Fisher – “Never Have I Ever” “Pilot” (Netflix)
    Rajiv Joseph – “Little America” – “The Manager” (Apple TV+)

    Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series
    Attica Locke – “Little Fires Everywhere” – “The Spider Web” (Hulu) – Winner
    Erika L. Johnson, Mark Richard – “The Good Lord Bird” – “A Wicked Plot” (Showtime)
    Jessica Lamour – “Little Voice” – “Love Hurts” (Apple TV+)
    Katori Hall – “P-Valley” – “Perpetratin’” (Starz)
    Tanya Barfield – “Mrs. America” – “Shirley” (FX)

    Outstanding Writing in a Television Movie or Special
    Diallo Riddle, Bashir Salahuddin, D. Rodney Carter, Emily Goldwyn, Rob Haze, Zuri Salahuddin, Bennett Webber, Evan Williams, Will Miles – “Sherman’s Showcase Black History Month Spectacular” (IFC)
    Eugene Ashe – “Sylvie’s Love” (Amazon Studios)
    Geri Cole – “The Power of We: A Sesame Street Special” (HBO Max) – Winner
    Lin-Manuel Miranda – “Hamilton” (Disney+)
    Sylvia L. Jones, Camille Tucker – “The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel” (Lifetime)

    Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture
    David E. Talbert – “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” (Netflix)
    Kemp Powers – “One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios)
    Lee Isaac Chung – “Minari” (A24)
    Pete Docter, Kemp Powers, Mike Jones – “Soul” (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
    Radha Blank – “The Forty-Year-Old Version” (Netflix) – Winner

    DIRECTING CATEGORIES

    Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series
    Anya Adams – “Black-ish” – “Hair Day” (ABC) – Winner
    Aurora Guerrero – “Little America” – “The Jaguar” (Apple TV+)
    Eric Dean Seaton – “Black-ish” – “Our Wedding Dre” (ABC)
    Kabir Akhtar – “Never Have I Ever” – “…started a nuclear war” (Netflix)
    Sam Miller, Michaela Coel – “I May Destroy You” – “Ego Death” (HBO)

    Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series
    Cheryl Dunye – “Lovecraft Country” – “Strange Case” (HBO)
    Hanelle Culpepper – “Star Trek: Picard” – “Remembrance” (CBS All Access) – Winner
    Misha Green – “Lovecraft Country” – “Jig-a-Bobo” (HBO)
    Nzingha Stewart – “Little Fires Everywhere” – “The Uncanny” (Hulu)
    Steve McQueen – “Small Axe” – “Mangrove” (Amazon Studios)

    Outstanding Directing in a Television Movie or Special
    Beyoncé Knowles Carter, Emmanuel Adeji, Blitz Bazawule, Kwasi Fordjour – “Black Is King” (Disney+)
    Christine Swanson – “The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel” (Lifetime)
    Chuck Vinson, Alan Muraoka – “The Power of We: A Sesame Street Special” (HBO Max)
    Eugene Ashe – “Sylvie’s Love” (Amazon Studios) – Winner
    Kamilah Forbes – “Between The World and Me” (HBO)

    Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture
    David E. Talbert – “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” (Netflix)
    George C. Wolfe – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)
    Gina Prince-Bythewood – “The Old Guard “(Netflix) – Winner
    Radha Blank – “The Forty-Year-Old Version” (Netflix)
    Regina King – “One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios)

    LITERARY CATEGORIES

    Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction
    “Black Bottom Saints” – Alice Randall (HarperCollins Publishers)
    “Lakewood” – Megan Giddings (HarperCollins Publishers)
    “Riot Baby” – Tochi Onyebuchi (TorDotCom Publishing, imprint of Tom Doherty Associates)
    “The Awkward Black Man” – Walter Mosley (Grove Atlantic) – Winner
    “The Vanishing Half” – Brit Bennett (Riverhead Books)

    Outstanding Literary Work – Nonfiction
    “A Black Women’s History of the United States” – Daina Berry (Beacon Press)
    “A Promised Land” – Barack Obama (Crown) – Winner
    “Driving While Black” – Gretchen Sorin (W. W. Norton & Company)
    “Long Time Coming: Reckoning With Race in America” – Michael Eric Dyson (St. Martin’s Press)
    “We’re Better Than This” – Elijah Cummings (HarperCollins Publishers)

    Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author
    “A Knock at Midnight” – Brittany Barnett (Penguin Random House)
    “Greyboy: Finding Blackness in a White World” – Cole Brown (Skyhorse)
    “Lakewood” – Megan Giddings (HarperCollins Publishers)
    “The Compton Cowboys” – Walter Thompson-Hernandez (HarperCollins Publishers)
    “We’re Better Than This” – Elijah Cummings (HarperCollins Publishers) – Winner

    Outstanding Literary Work – Biography/Autobiography
    “A Most Beautiful Thing: The True Story of America’s First All-Black High School Rowing Team” – Arshay Cooper (Macmillan)
    “A Promised Land” – Barack Obama (Crown)
    “Olympic Pride, American Prejudice” – Deborah Draper (Simon & Schuster)
    “The Dead Are Arising” – Les Payne, Tamara Payne (W. W. Norton & Company) – Winner
    “Willie: The Game-Changing Story of the NHL’s First Black Player” – Willie O’Ree (Penguin Canada)

    Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry
    “Homie” – Danez Smith (Graywolf Press)
    “Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry” – John Murillo (Four Way Books)
    “Seeing the Body” – Rachel Eliza Griffiths (W. W. Norton & Company)
    “The Age of Phillis” – Honorée Jeffers (Wesleyan University Press) – Winner
    “Un-American” – Hafizah Geter (Wesleyan University Press)

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    February 4, 2021 • Diversity, Entertainment News, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1205

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Alumni Make Alma Mater Proud

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    In its 27-year history, countless students have graduated from the conservatories, camps, workshops, and degree programs of New York Film Academy (NYFA). NYFA is frequently and consistently pleased to hear the latest successes of our alumni as they continue to move forward in their careers and push themselves artistically in an industry that thrives on hard work and intensive competition. 

    Here are just some of the latest updates from alumni—filmmakers, actors, screenwriters, producers, musical theatre performers, documentarians, cinematographers, broadcast journalists, virtual reality and game designers, graphic designers, editors, animators, visual effects artists, and everything in between—as they continue to flourish in their crafts and make New York Film Academy proud to be their school of choice.

    Sakshi Talwar

    NYFA Sakshi Talwar took the skills she learned at our 1-week Filmmaking workshop to write and direct the short film Letter of Intent, which went onto be an official selection at the 2018 LA Shorts Awards. Last summer, the film won Bronze at the NYC Indie Film Festival, an incredibly impressive achievement for a filmmaker whose just getting started!

    Sakshi Talwar
    Varuun Pandya

    BFA Filmmaking alum Varuun Pandya has been called an “acclaimed screenwriter” by Broadway World and was recently honored for two of his screenplays. His script, The House, earned Best Screenplay at the Calcutta Cult Film Festival, while his script XYZ won Best Sci-Fi Short Screenplay at the Hollywood Just4Shorts Short Film & Screenplay Competition.

    Fabio Ribak

    MFA in Game Design alum Fabio Ribak is now a 3D Animator at Sony Playstation Studios. The company is hard at work developing their flagship console for the next generation of gaming devices, the Playstation 5. Ribak is working with motion capture animations in Maya cinematic cut scenes in video games.

    Tyler D’Andrea Lambert

    Tyler D’Andrea Lambert enrolled in the 1-year Acting for Film conservatory at NYFA’s New York campus after competing a 1-week workshop. Before he even graduated, Lambert earned an on-screen role on hit sitcom The Neighborhood in its seventh episode, “Welcome to the Barbershop.” Lambert got to act alongside series star and previous NYFA guest speaker Cedric the Entertainer, and told NYFA, I’m so glad I came here, it changed my life. I met some amazing friends, teachers, and the energy is great. Can’t wait to hit the pavement and start running. I’m excited for what the future holds.”

    Tyler D'Andrea Lambert

    Cedric the Entertainer & Tyler D’Andrea Lambert


    Davin Tjen

    BFA Producing alum David Tjen has put his skills to work as a segment producer at Mythical Entertainment. The incredibly successful production company was founded by Rhett James McLaughlin and Charles Lincoln “Link” Neal III, collectively known as Rhett & Link, and is the home of multiple projects, including YouTube series Good Mythical Morning, which boasts over 15 million subscribers. 

    Celeste Pillay

    BFA Filmmaking alum Celeste Pillay’s first professional gig on a feature film was as a production assistant on the Bollywood film Race 3, starring Salman Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez, and Anil Kapoor. She recently worked as a production coordinator on a Hollywood production in Abu Dhabi in a more senior role, leading the local crew through production and liaising between the local and international production teams. Only one year into her professional career, Pillay is off to a great start and already lining up projects with household name blockbuster directors!

    Celeste Pillay


    Linnea Lardsdotter & Johan Matton

    Linea Lardsdotter (2-year Musical Theatre) and Johan Matton (2-year Acting) are both native to Sweden and studied at our New York campus. After graduation, the two collaborated to form the Nordic International Film Festival. The fest is the biggest Nordic Film Festival outside Europe, and held its 5th annual edition in New York City, with a focus on women’s empowerment in the industry, including a panel discussion entitled “Breaking Boundaries.”

    Keren Seol & Muriel Moraes

    1-year Producing alumni Keren Seol and Muriel Moraes studied together at our New York City campus in 2011. Both are producers on the 2018 feature documentary Olympia, about Oscar-winning actress Olympia Dukakis. Seol previously produced several short films, TV pilot The Loft, documentary The Case of Josephine H., and TV movie The Reel Life. Among other credits, Moraes has worked on animated films Epic and Ferdinand. 

    Olympia
    Orlando Braun

    MFA in Producing alum Orlando Braun is now an associate producer on the Discovery ID series In Plain Sight. Braun previously won Best Musical Short at the New York Independent Film Festival and Best Director and Best Ensemble Cast at BAFF (Best Actor Film Festival), and was nominated for the Canadian Screen Awards Diversity Award and won the Award of Excellence in Filmmaking at the Canada International Film Festival. His short film War Bride premiered at the 2013 Festival de Cannes in the Short Film Corner followed by multiple Official Selections in other festivals.

    Cameron Cubbison

    NYFA alum Cameron Cubbison co-founded the screenwriting platform Screencraft after working as an experienced reader, script consultant, and screenwriter. As a studio reader and script consultant, he provided notes hundreds of screenplays and books for companies including the Sundance Institute, Lionsgate, Resolution, Paradigm Talent Agency, United Talent Agency, ICM Partners, Penguin Random House, Open Road Films, Attraction Entertainment, Circle Associates, Amazon Studios, and Fresh Voices. He currently has two spec film scripts and a web series in active development.

    Gianni McLaughlin

    8-week Filmmaking alum Gianni McLaughlin is preparing to adapt the the award-winning short film he made at NYFA’s New York City campus, Bless Me Father, into a feature film. The New Jersey filmmaker is also an actor, having appeared in Peaky Blinders and HBO’s The Deuce as well as FedEx and Perry Ellis advertising campaigns.

    Gianni McLaughlin

    Grettir Olafsson

    Grettir Olafsson hails from Iceland and earned his MFA in Game Design from NYFA-Los Angeles. He is now working as a game designer at Rockstar Games, the studio behind video game juggernauts Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, and L.A. Noire. 

    Eva & Diana Melkonyan

    Sisters Eva and Diana Melkonyan both attended NYFA-Los Angeles camps in summer 2018. Eva graduated from the 6-week Filmmaking camp for teens and Diana is an alum of the 2-week Acting for Film camp for kids. The sisters perform as a piano duo and recently played Carnegie Hall at a concert presented by Global Artists Debut Concerts, featuring winners from the Suzanne Culley Competition in the United States and the Viva-Music International Competition in Russia. The Melkonyan Sisters previously gave their debut concert at the Bolshoi Theater in Russia.

    Peipei Duan

    MFA in Producing alum Peipei Duan produced several short films while studying at NYFA-Los Angeles. One of the films, Lip Reader: Game of Detective, won the “Golden Award” at the 15th Guangzhou Student Film Festival. Duan was recently the recipient of the Cathay Bank Scholarship, which awards and supports Chinese students of great academic achievement. She will use the money to produce a new short film and take it to the Festival circuit.

    Peipei Duan
    Dave Cebrero

    8-week Filmmaking workshop alum Dave Cebrero is celebrating the fourth year of the Houston Latino Film Festival, which he founded. Surprised at the lack of film festivals in one of the largest cities in America, Cebrero took it upon himself to create the fest. “From its inception, we wanted it to become sort of a conference,” tells the Houston Chronicle. “The education aspect of it, we want it to grow.”

    Moe Myat May Zarchi

    1-Year Filmmaking alum Moe Myat May Zarchi studied in New York City and is determined to raise the industry’s awareness of cinema in her home country of Myanmar. She has created 3 ACT, the first-ever film magazine in Myanmar, which she also edits and write for. The magazine is already making an impact, and has been invited to the Tokyo International Film Festival as foreign press last year, and has also been acclaimed by both the French film magazine Cahiers Du Cinema and Japan’s Nikkei Asia Review.

    Maddie Quarm

    8-week Filmmaking alum Maddie Quarm has started work on her next film, Go For Alayna, a farcical comedy about an aspiring filmmaker and a famous actress who are pit against each other while working on the set of a big budget film. The film covers very relevant topics including the perception of female power, #MeToo, systemic sexism, and performative feminism—using satire to convey these themes.

    Reggie Luck

    BFA Producing alum Reggie Luck made the short film My Brother Wes while at NYFA-Los Angeles. The film recently won three festival awards: Best Narrative Short at the Marina del Rey Film Festival, Best Screenplay at the Culver City Film Festival, and Best Short Film at Battle of the Film Schools Film Festival. The film inspired by his grandchildren, and Luck has already locked most of the funds for a feature adaptation. He hopes to shoot the film this summer.

    Reggie Luck
    Anna Solano

    1-year Cinematography alum Anna Solano has shot the feature film The Farewell, about a Chinese family preparing for the death of their elderly matriarch. The film stars Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, and Gil Perez-Abraham and competed at the Sundance Film Festival. The Spanish cinematographer has also co-written Silent Notes, which she shot, and which is currently in post-production. 

    Jameelah Rose Lineses

    Atareek, the Saudi music video film written and directed by Jameelah Rose Lineses and winner of the Best Cinematography award at the International Film Festival Manhattan 2018, is now an Official Selection and will be competing at the Houston Asian American Pacific Islander Film Festival in Houston, Texas later this summer.

    Raitis Ābele

    Filmmaking alum Raitis Ābele co-directed Baltic Tribes with his brother Lauris Ābele, a feature documentary produced in Latvia that includes reenactments and animation to tell the story of a Swedish merchant named Lars and the pagan tribes from centuries ago. The film had its US premiere at the Baltic Film Festival in New York, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers.

    Kai D’Amour

    The Watchmaker was the Diploma Final Film for Kai D’Amour when studied Filmmaking at NYFA-Australia’s Gold Coast campus. The film has had numerous successes since then, winning the Top Shorts Online Film Festival, Screen It Film Festival, LA Film Awards, New York Film Awards, and Latitude Film Awards. Additionally, The Watchmaker was nominated for Best Narrative Film at GUFA (Global University Film Awards – Hong Kong), selected in the Top 8 out of more than 1800 short films entered into the fest.

    Obinna Eze-Ajoku

    MFA in Game Design alum Obinna Eze Ajoku is now the Technical Program Manager at Microsoft Studios, where he began as a Software Design Engineer. He is also senior consultant at Techno Brain Group and has previously worked for WWE, Electronic Arts, and Playstation for their triple-A game God of War.

    Farhan Abbas

    NYFA Filmmaking alum Farhan Abbas has been very productive and successful since graduation, and has been involved with several film festivals, won awards, and has facilitated creative workshops with other filmmakers. He was a Jury Member at the 6th Edition of Emirates Short Film Festival 2019, one of the biggest festivals in Dubai. How director showreel can be found here.
    UPDATE (July 22, 2019): Abbas was recently interviewed on the radio, sponsored by Voice of America, where he spoke about his filmmaking aspirations, achievements, and the challenges that have faced him along the way. He also made sure to give a shout out to New York Film Academy!

    Alexander J. Farrell

    Acting for Film alum Alexander J. Farrell went behind the camera to direct the stunning documentary Refugee, about a Syrian mother who was separated from her family while trying to seek asylum during the height of the war in her home country. The film shares producers with Oscar-winning documentaries Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11. Farrell first enrolled at NYFA’s New York campus in 2012, before completing his studies at our Los Angeles campus.

    refugee alexander farrell
    New York Film Academy congratulates all of our alumni on their incredible achievements and wish them the best of success as they continue to advance in their careers and contribute their artistic voices to the entertainment industry!

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    April 2, 2019 • Acting, Film School, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3050