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  • ‘Variety’ Names New York Film Academy as a Top Film School for Fourth Year in a Row

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    The New York Film Academy (NYFA) was recently announced as one of Variety’s “Top Film Schools for 2020.” This is the fourth consecutive year that NYFA has been included in the annual report for Variety’s selections of academic filmmaking institutions worldwide. The report, “The Entertainment Education Impact Report: The Top Film Schools and Educators From Around the Globe,” is created to identify cutting edge film schools that lead the way for students to have “successful careers in the entertainment biz.”

    The schools included in this list are known for their excellence in filmmaking education, guiding their students with “structure and encouragement and artistic expertise.” Due to the challenges caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the 2020 report also listed colleges implementing remote learning to keep students optimistic and engaged through the pandemic.

    Since March 2020, NYFA has offered online workshops available in film directing, acting, cinematography, documentary, photography, producing, screenwriting, editing, game design, broadcast journalism, and a list of musical theatre online classes. The courses are designed around remote learning and include live interactive instruction and one-on-one sessions with the instructor. Online workshops are also offered through NYFA Australia to accommodate for Asia-Pacific and Australian time zones. Throughout April to June, teens and kids after-school online workshops are also being offered. The instructors who are teaching online workshops are uncovering innovative ways to virtually bring the film industry to the student’s homes.

    “Our new online model has worked surprisingly well,” said Andrea Swift, Documentary Filmmaking Chair. “We’re making just as many films, and so far, our students have used the “limitations” of social distancing as opportunities to create some extraordinary work. Creativity loves an obstacle.”

    The Variety report continued by highlighting NYFA’s various creative disciplines that “span all forms and platforms,” beyond filmmaking. The piece also mentioned the large volume of programs at NYFA, including the fine arts degrees, graduate opportunities, conservatories, and youth programs offered year round. Variety also commended NYFA’s exceptional faculty and staff, who are all working industry professionals that are active in their respective fields. Additionally,Variety praised NYFA’s state-of-the-art facilities and equipment at campuses and locations worldwide.

    Since 2017, NYFA has been included in Variety’s Entertainment Education Impact Report, first acknowledging NYFA’s superior accelerated creative programs. Variety also called out filmmaking accomplishments of NYFA graduates, which included screenings at Venice, Toronto, Sundance, Cannes, and SXSW film festivals. Recently, NYFA alumni from the producing and cinematography programs have worked on exciting projects such as the “Tiger King” and Awkwafina’s award-winning film “The Farewell.”

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    April 27, 2020 • Academic Programs, Entertainment News, Film School • Views: 826

  • Variety’s Best Film Schools 2018, Brazil’s Agency France-Presse, & Shanghai: 1937 With the New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism School

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    For those of you who live outside the United States, you may have never heard of Variety. It is the Hollywood-based, leading entertainment industry newspaper/magazine in America. And last week it named the New York Film Academy one of the best film schools in the world. When I read the review, I was amazed to see that Broadcast Journalism was one of the departments they singled out for mention. They’ve done the impossible — they’ve rendered me speechless…

    One thing I am never speechless about is the work of our graduates. Yesterday I saw, via LinkedIn, a fabulous story done by NYFA Broadcast Journalism grad Suzane de Oliveira. Suzane works for Agence France-Presse (AFP) in Brazil. Here are the credits for the story:

    Entrevista exclusiva da Anitta pra AFP.
    Reportagem: Daniele Belmiro e Cecília Sorgine
    Imagens: Marie Hospital
    Edição de texto e vídeo e narração: Suzane de Oliveira
    We can’t take credit for Suzane’s wonderful writing and narration skills, but she learned how to edit video at NYFA. And this is a very well-cut story. So good, in fact, that AFP posted it online and on social media!
    Now, contrary to what some of you may believe, NYFA grad Gillian Kemmerer does not pay for the frequent mentions she gets in this newsletter — she just keeps accomplishing things! The latest is a scholarship to travel to Moscow for intense Russian language studies, then work there as a correspondent with an international news agency. That means good-bye to Asset-TV and mornings on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. However, if you need help with Russian grammar, Gillian, NYFA instructor Evgenia Vlasova will be happy to help you. (Because “once you are our student, you always are our student.”)
    On a personal note, I’d like to thank all of the current and former students and NYFA colleagues who wished me a happy birthday. (If you are adept at investigative reporting, you can figure out just how many birthdays it has been.) One of the nicest “gifts” I got was a lovely preview of my documentary Shanghai: 1937  by the China Global Television Network (CGTN). A special screening of the program is being arranged to take place in conjunction with the Shanghai International Film Festival in June. Negotiations are also underway for American and international broadcast distribution, along with home video and VOD.

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  • A Woman’s Place is in the Industry: A Women’s History Month Discussion at New York Film Academy Los Angeles

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    On International Women’s Day, March 8, the New York Film Academy (NYFA) Los Angeles campus welcomed 10 outstanding panelists for a dynamic and informative discussion entitled, A Woman’s Place is in the Industry

    The event was organized by NYFA Los Angeles Acting for Film Chair Lynda Goodfriend, and co-moderated by Head of MFA Feature Production Lydia Cedrone and Dean of Academic Advising Mike Civille.

    Panelists discussed the industry’s current climate, and offered their advice to students embarking on their careers. In a lively discussion, they shared both personal and professional reflections on their respective careers. 

    Each guest expressed her support of the New York Film Academy’s efforts to offer such a progressive and meaningful forum for women. 

    The evening ended with a lively Q&A with the audience. Several students asked pertinent questions about the direction the industry is heading, and learned from the panelists how the industry culture and women’s roles are changing — and how women can share an equal position in the industry.

    One student asked, “What is the most important thing that needs to change for women in the Entertainment Industry?”

    Actress Barbara Bain’s answer was to the point. “We need to pay women the same as men for the same work.”

    Dea Lawrence added, “We also need more women in positions of power … in the boardrooms, that’s where the decisions really get made.”

    The panelists suggested to our students that a greater emphasis on diversity in front of the camera, behind the camera, and in the content that is written and released, would lead to richer creative output without affecting the bottom line.

    The all-female panel included:

    Barbara Bain

    Three-time Emmy award-winning actress Barbara Bain is perhaps most recognized for portraying Cinnamon Carter in the popular Mission Impossible television series. Also well known for her philanthropy work, Barbara is the founder of the Screen Actors Guild “BookPals” Program, which promotes reading to children in schools throughout Los Angeles.

    Kelly Gilmore

    Former Senior Vice President of Global Toys at Warner Bros Consumer Products, Kelly Gilmore is responsible for licensing intellectual properties such as DC Comics, Harry Potter, Scooby Doo and Looney Tunes to major global toy companies, including Mattel, Hasbro, Spin Master and Funko. When Kelly retired in 2016, her team had the biggest financial year of her career, winning a total of nine awards. 

    Ronnie Yeskel

    Casting Director Ronnie Yeskel’s numerous high-profile film and television credits include such iconic films as Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction for director/writer Quentin Tarantino. In television, her credits include Curb Your Enthusiasm for Larry David. 

    Lisa Guerriero

    Camera operator Lisa Guerriero has worked on numerous films and television series as an operator and member of the camera crew. A trailblazer in this predominantly male-driven department, her credits include Suicide Squad, Mission Impossible and Fight Club, as well as the widely popular TV series Mad Men

    Elvi Cano

    Elvi Cano is the executive director at Egeda U.S. Elvi and her team in Los Angeles and Miami provide assistance to Spanish and Latin American filmmakers, and serve as a liaison between the U.S. film industry and those of Spain and Latin America. She is actively involved in the annual Platino Awards of Iberoamerican Cinema in Panama, Spain and Uruguay.  

    Jeanette Collins

    Veteran writer and producer Jeanette Collins began her writing career with partner Mimi Friedman on In Living Color, where they were nominated for an Emmy. Their many credits include A Different World, Suddenly Susan, Will and Grace, two seasons on HBO’s acclaimed Big Love, and Dirt. They are currently developing a mini-series for HBO about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

    Winship Cook

    Film, television and theater producer Winship Cook’s Paramount TV series credits include Down Home and Fired Up. She co-executive produced the Hallmark Channel movie The Family Plan.  Winship’s film credits include 102 Dalmatians starring Glenn Close and K-19: The Widowmaker directed by Kathryn Bigelow. She also developed and produced its off-Broad incarnation RFK, an award-winning show directed by Larry Moss. 

    Dea Lawrence

    As the Chief Marketing Officer for Variety, Dea Lawrence is responsible for driving Variety’s global branding and communications strategy — including overseeing the marketing and production of their 70 annual events and summits, and the Variety Content Studio, which creates storytelling for brands. 

    Valorie Massalas

    Casting director and producer Valorie Massalas’ numerous credits include such blockbuster films as Back to the Future 2 & 3 directed by Robert Zemeckis, Indiana Jones, and Total Recall, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone. 

    Jana Winternitz

    Award-winning producer and actress Jana Winternitz has worked with Legendary, 20th Century Fox, Disney and Focus Features. Jana enjoys generating strong and complex female roles for the screen. 

    We thank each guest for her participation!

     

     

     

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    March 20, 2018 • Acting • Views: 1998

  • Film Projection Nearly Finished

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    film projector

    Remember the days of projecting actual film onto the screen? It seems those days are coming to an end all across the world. In a recent report, its been concluded that almost 90 percent of theatrical movie screens around the world have now been converted to digital.

    What does this mean for the studios and distributors? For starters, it’ll cost a lot less not to have to convert back to 35mm film for the theater.

    Let’s break it down according to stats from a recent Variety article:

    • The countries with the highest digital screen growth in 2014 were the US, Mexico, China, Brazil, Russia, Italy, and Turkey.
    • According to a report by London-based IHS Cinema Intelligence, the global digital cinema penetration in 2014 stands at 89.8 per cent of the total screen footprint, reaching 127,688 screens. This marked a 14.7 percent increase from a total 111,328 at end of 2013.
    • Approximately 16,360 screens were converted to digital in 2014. Of these, 11,902 were 3D screens, or 72.3 percent of total.
    • In 2014 digital cinema penetration in Western Europe reached 96 percent, achieving the same level as North America for the first time.
    • A total of 11,902 3D screens were installed in 2014, representing 72.7 per cent of the total digital screens converted. Territories with the highest number of 3D screens installed were China, USA, Mexico, Russia and Brazil.
    • Central and Eastern Europe and Asia Pacific (not including lower grade E-cinema screens in India) have the same digital cinema penetration of 83.3 percent in 2014. They are followed by 79.5 percent in the Middle East and Africa. For the MENA region, the lag is mainly due to parts of North Africa.
    • This high percentage is partly driven by China’s continuing love of 3D. Asia Pacific recorded the largest digital screen increase, followed by South and Central America. Both these areas were lagging behind in 2013, but responded quickly to fill the gap and “have actually benefitted from the longer learning curves in other parts of the world,” the report said.

    At this point it’s only a matter of time until we reach 100%. Though, we’re sure there will be a few hardcore film enthusiasts who will hold strong to their nostalgic film days and refuse to convert.

     

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    February 6, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 5760

  • Art Imitates Life for Horror Film Director

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    Screenwriting Chair Eric Conner with 'Smiley' Director Michael Gallagher at New York Film Academy

    Screenwriting Chair Eric Conner with ‘Smiley’ Director Michael Gallagher

    Director Michael Gallagher attended summer camps at New York Film Academy’s Universal Studios campus 3 times as a youngster. He started making short films, music videos, and documentaries while in high school. Since then, he has started a wildly popular web series called Totally Sketch, which has over 850,000 subscribers on YouTube.

    During a recent guest speaker event at New York Film Academy, Gallagher shared his recently-released horror film, Smiley, which was released in theaters nationwide. He described how his experience with internet shorts helped prepare him for his first feature length film. “Most of the sketches I shoot are like little scenes,” he said. “It was like 110 sketches in a row.” Working with a tight budget, the indie film was shot in just 15 days, and the filmmakers were shooting as many as 8 pages of the script per day. But as Gallagher puts it, “Horror movies fit the low budget. You can do a lot more with a little.”

    Gallagher cast friends and actors with large YouTube followings to help build buzz around the film. To date, the trailer has racked up over 21 million views on YouTube. At just 23 years old, his first feature length film was about to be released in AMC theaters across the nation. Things were going well until users of the website 4Chan got wind of the film’s plot.

    Gallagher said he was going for authenticity when he decided to make 4Chan users the villains of his film. In an interview with Huffington Post, he said, “I anticipated a minor backlash of people leaving harassing comments online.” But he didn’t anticipate the website’s users posting his home address, his personal information, and leaving dozens of death threats on his cell.

    After interviews with the TODAY ShowInside EditionVarietyPaste (and the FBI), 4Chan users realized they were only giving him free publicity. Just as the movie was released in theaters nationwide, the threats disappeared.

    Much to 4Chan’s chagrin, we’re happy to report the Smiley DVD is now available for pre-order.

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    December 14, 2012 • Academic Programs, Guest Speakers, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 6501

  • Sarah Louise Wilson’s Feature to Air on PBS This Weekend!

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    Actor Steve Talley in ‘The Accidental Death of Joey by Sue’

    New York Film Academy MFA Film student Sarah Louise Wilson is riding a wave of success. Her films have played at 30 festivals worldwide. Her first short film, which premiered 3 years ago at Frameline, continues to make the rounds on the festival circuit, and is used as an educational tool in classrooms. She wrote, produced, and starred in her first feature film, Jelly, alongside Natasha Lyonne (Slums of Beverly Hills, But I’m a Cheerleader), and Ed McMahon in his last film role. Shot on 35mm, the film was sold to Sundance Independent and IFC. Her second feature length film, The Accidental Death of Joey by Sue, was bought by PBS, and will make its television premiere this weekend. Variety called it “Stylish and strange enough to mark Sarah Louise Wilson and [co-writer/producer] Neal Thibedeau as helmers to watch.”

    Continue Reading

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  • Deciphering Stanley Kubrick at the New York Film Academy

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    Director and NYFA Editing Instructor Rodney Ascher recently returned from the Cannes Film Festival where his first feature film, Room 237, was one of only two American films in the Directors’ Fortnight. His documentary explores numerous theories about Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film, The Shining, and its hidden meanings. The film premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and received glowing reviews from the major press. Here’s a roundup.

    • New York Times examined the documentary and called it an “intriguing” look at a growing subculture of Kubrick fans which has developed over the years.
    • “One of the great movies about movies…”  – Variety.
    • The Hollywood Reporter said, “Nutty, arcane and jaw-dropping in equal measure.”
    • On his blog, New York Magazine film critic Bilge Ebiri chose Room 237 as his Sundance pick. “The film expresses, better than any movie I can think of right now, the feeling of being lost inside the world of a film, and by extension being lost inside the world of film.”
    • “A brilliant work of alternative film criticism – and critique of criticism.” – LA Weekly.

    “Kubrick was my first favorite filmmaker,” says Ascher, “and one whose work has stuck with me throughout my life – The Shining in particular. The first time I saw it, I managed to sit through about 10 minutes. The music in particular filled me with an overwhelming sense of dread and doom that was more than I could take. It soon became one of my favorites.”

    Ascher says the idea for the film came after a chance Facebook posting. “My friend, Tim Kirk, who went on to become a producer of the film, posted an analysis of [The Shining] on my Facebook page. I became interested in the phenomenon — lots of people bringing up radical ideas. I thought we could make a pretty comprehensive field guide to what was in the film. It soon became clear that we could only get the tip of the iceberg.” Room 237 shares theories about The Shining from five people, told through voice over, film clips, animations, and dramatic reenactments. Ascher describes it as “not just a demonstration about how it has captured people’s imaginations, but also how people react to movies, and literature, and the arts in general.”

    The film was chosen to screen as part of the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes alongside Michel Gondry’s The We and the I. Room 237 is being distributed by IFC in North America and Wild Bunch in France. Watch for a theatrical release later this year. “It’s very exciting,” says Ascher, “I’d been used to being sort of an outcast with short films, screening to more … select groups. It was great. The screenings were packed, we were in a gigantic theater, got great press … I’m sure anyone would be excited.”

    See yourself premiering your movie at Sundance, screening it at Cannes, and getting fawned over by critics? Then look into our school and decide if it’s the right path for you.

    Rodney Ascher at Cannes Film Festival.

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    June 7, 2012 • Community Highlights, Digital Editing • Views: 5936