New York Film Academy
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New York Film Academy Master of Fine Arts


Documentary school student films amongst Tibetan Peace Flags Students film artists working in a studio with heat Documentary school student films and records sound at building site Documentary students film on a soccer field Documentary school students filming by the Brooklyn Bridge

Overview of our MFA in Documentary

MFA documentary program tuition includes exotic one-week trip The Academy makes the accelerated two-year schedule possible by creating an extended academic year allowing students to complete three full-length semesters in each calendar year.

New York Film Academy MFA in Documentary program is offered at our Los Angeles Campus.

Qualified students have the option of completing course work at the New York Film Academy in New York City in a one-year non-degree program and then applying their course work to be accepted for advanced standing in the MFA Documentary degree program.

The New York Film Academy is proud to offer a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree program in Documentary at our Los Angeles Campus. This two-year conservatory-based graduate program is designed to educate talented and committed prospective documentarians in a hands-on, total immersion, professional and supportive environment. The intensive curriculum challenges, inspires, and prepares candidates for professional work both as an independent documentary filmmaker and for the non-fiction film business.

The Master of Fine Arts in Documentary is an accelerated graduate degree program.

It offers qualified students a full course of production and study, including the opportunity to produce and direct a documentary in the second year. Candidates for admission to the MFA program must possess a Bachelor's Degree from a post-secondary institution.


In Year One, students undergo a thorough regimen of class-work and film production that builds the groundwork for a professional life in the art and craft of documentary filmmaking. Starting the first day of class, students are immersed in a hands-on education and an environment that empowers them to artfully tell their stories. Through a sequence of workshops, students begin to work through a number of visual, dramatic, and technical challenges. They rapidly learn the fundamentals of creative and technical skills they need to make a documentary. All students participate in an intensive series of courses such as Producing, Directing, Writing & Research, Cinematography, Lighting, Production, and Post Production Sound, and Digital Editing to prepare them for more advanced topics and projects in Year Two.

Based on an academic year, the curriculum is divided into three semesters. During the first semester, students will learn the art and technique of visual storytelling through class instruction, lectures and hands-on workshops. As the year progresses, students will produce films of increasing complexity and depth. By the end of the third semester, students will have produced eight documentaries and a short based on a topic of their own choosing. While the emphasis of the program is on hands-on immersion in the art of documentary filmmaking, students will also receive instruction on new media, film studies and the business side of the industry.


Coursework in the second year includes a series of highly specialized classes and workshops designed to further develop students’ knowledge and skills as professional documentary filmmakers. Students produce a promotional film for a non-profit as a group. They spend time perfecting their research and development skills as well as creating a business and marketing plan. Students learn professional techniques such as graphics, titles, animation, color correction and using a score. The final thesis is intended to reflect the student’s strengths as a documentary filmmaker and should be of professional quality. All students are expected to have a role in multiple thesis productions, besides their own.

Course Description

MFA documentary program tuition includes exotic one-week trip
  • Documentary Craft I This course introduces students to the craft of documentary filmmaking, establishing a foundation for all future projects. It’s the "Spine of the Documentary Program.” Through lectures and screenings, the instructor will highlight a specific documentary topic for students to analyze and discuss. Topics include observational film, character driven documentary and social issue/investigative film (three assignments). "Cinema Verite”, propaganda, re-enactment. Ethical considerations of working with documentary subjects, investigative techniques, journalistic objectivity, chronology and "real time” as well as the P.O.V of the filmmaker and directorial manipulation of documentary subjects. A vlog (at least three episodes) as an introduction to the New Media is an additional assignment. The course guides step by step through the process of making short documentaries.
  • Film Dynamics This course is designed to further students’ knowledge of the intricacies of feature-length documentary filmmaking by surveying the language and grammar of film including: the shot, scene, sequence, mise-en-scene, continuity, axis, camera angles, composition and montage. Even in the most observational, objective style documentaries, the filmmaker chooses where to point the camera, and which shots to use in the edited film. The choices the director makes ultimately determine whether or not it is a coherent story. This course will teach students how to make the correct choices through the mastering of visual storytelling techniques and understanding the forces behind successful films.
  • Introduction to Entertainment Law & New Media Documentary, once thought of as dull textbook style filmmaking, is the most vital and exciting form of filmmaking today. As the popularity of the form has grown, so have the complexities of the business overall. This course is a comprehensive look at the business aspects of documentary filmmaking. The producer of the documentary often has the primary creative voice of the project. In this sense, students are the producers of all of the work they complete in the program. Subjects covered include financing projects, writing proposals, contracts, budgets, film festivals, rights and distribution. Since it is essential for producers and filmmakers to keep abreast of evolutions in new media technology and the many new media outlets for distribution that continually emerge on an increasingly rapid basis, there will be a part of this course dedicated to introducing New Media.
  • Documentary Production Workshop Workshop sessions are group experiences focusing on a certain topic. Students will go out and mutually shoot. Workshop I is an observational experience. Students will shoot—with a 16mm camera on b/w film—a "behind the scene” on the lot. Workshop II focuses on interviews, and the third one will serve the actual needs and desire of the students. Workshops are student-driven classes in which student work is evaluated and critiqued. Workshops give students the opportunity to experiment and explore the medium within a learn-by-doing environment.
  • Cinema Studies I The Cinema Studies course introduces students to the critical concepts in documentary filmmaking through lectures, screenings, group discussions and occasionally guest speakers. It also gives an overview of film history. Each session will give students the chance to consider a documentary film or a documentary filmmaker with historical significance within the genre. Documentaries with groundbreaking styles and/or structures will be a priority.
  • Camera and Lighting I Digital camera and lighting class sessions are designed to help students master the many elements of digital video photography including white balance, shutter speed, focus, video latitude, gels, and filters. Through hands-on exercises, students will explore the possibilities of digital video. Other subjects include apertures, frame rates, and scene menus. Lighting classes help students maximize the use of available and natural light, as well as traditional studio lighting for interviews and controlled situations.
  • Introduction to Editing Documentary films, or films with nonfiction content, often find their true form in the editing room. This makes the editing process extremely important because a story may take a different shape after the footage is reviewed. This class, in addition to teaching students the fundamentals of editing with digital editing software, will teach students how to deal with the particular challenges of documentary editing. Some class hours will be devoted to guiding students through the process of editing their own films.
  • Writing for the Documentary I This course will cover the role of writing, as a storytelling and planning tool, in a documentary film. Documentaries, just like narratives, tell stories. Students will master the basic story elements of a documentary and will be introduced to characters, conflicts, story development, dramatic arc and the classical story structure. The course will introduce different ways of telling stories: with words (commentary, narration) and without words (character’s voice, scenes, situations). In regards to planning, it will define what logline, synopsis, approach, and point of view are, and how to convey them in writing.
  • Sound I This course will demonstrate the basic and most common devices for digital recording. It will provide training in using this equipment and emphasize the importance of acquiring usable location sound for a smooth transition into post-production. The course will also define what is a sound effect, an ambient sound and how to record dialogue / interview versus recording narration. It will raise the questions, what do I have to record while shooting? What sounds do I need for a successful mix?
  • Documentary Craft II The "Spine of the Documentary Program” continues. Through lectures, screenings, guest speakers and Q&A’s, students will understand the use and appearance of different genres and styles of documentaries, from event-centered films, progressive films, travelogues, biographies, film essays to mockumentaries or rockumentaries. Through a series of practical shooting/editing exercises, students will learn to apply their observations of other filmmakers’ works to bring to life the conceptual, emotional, and cinematic content in their own work, and develop the directorial vision for their Final Documentary project.
  • New Media II It is essential for producers to keep abreast of evolutions in new media technology and the many new media outlets for distribution that continually emerge on an increasingly rapid basis. The objective of this course is for students to develop an introductory sense of the filmmaking challenges and opportunities presented by new/digital/viral media – including pod casting, marketing films, and producing for the web/handhelds. Through readings, discussions, and hands-on production, students will develop critical and pragmatic insights into critiquing and designing new media experiences.
  • Entertainment Law II During this course, students will meet the challenges of producing and realizing profit from motion pictures and television programs with the legal and business-oriented approach necessary for any successful documentary filmmaker. This course will help students to become more generally skilled to respond effectively to issues and problems that are likely to arise in the course of their functioning as filmmakers, with emphasis on legal issues and business practices of immediate concern to documentary filmmakers. Subjects include copyright, plagiarism, contracts, location agreements, release forms, how to license footage, photos and artifacts, using music and scores.
  • Writing for the Documentary II This course goes deeper into the process of writing a documentary film. From research to shooting to editing, the subject matter may continue to reveal itself and evolve over time. However, the director is still responsible for delivering a narrative, finding the arc, and in some cases constructing the story from true events and/or "characters.” In this course, students will develop their ideas for their final documentary projects into documentary proposals, treatments, and scripts. Students will learn to convey the essential elements of a story through a properly formatted proposal, to write a treatment narrative that uses visual language and personal style, to use narration effectively, and to break down the treatment into a scene-by-scene split script.
  • Documentary Producing This course will list the duties and responsibilities of the director and those of the producer. In the field of documentary filmmaking the writer/director often is the producer as well. The producer makes the project happen by ironing out the specifics: scouting, breakdowns, budgets, permits, schedules, and legal issues. This course examines the job of producer by matching tasks and challenges with ways of approaching them. As students start to produce their own projects, the challenges will become clear, and some class time will be devoted to specific production "hurdles.” Students will hone group problem-solving skills, a film industry must-have, and learn through sharing real examples. All students will be required to turn in a detailed project description followed by a full budget.
  • Cinema Studies II In continuation of Cinema Studies from the first semester, students use this class to discuss documentary filmmaking techniques and using in-class screenings of classic and groundbreaking documentary films and non-fiction television programs. The course also highlights filmmakers with extraordinary achievements. The class focuses on award- winning documentaries, and hybrid fllms that combine documentary and narrative filmmaking.
  • Advanced Editing In this course students will learn advanced editing techniques used in documentary films. Through the exploration of digital editing software, students will learn its many possibilities as a tool for transforming raw material into compelling stories. The goal is for students to master the program and process so that they have a wealth of tools by which to express themselves creatively on their own evolving documentary projects.
  • Camera and Lighting II Students will be introduced to HD cameras and hybrid cameras (still & video). Throughout several workshops, this camera class immerses students in the technical and creative demands of cinematography in relation to documentary storytelling. Students will learn to go beyond getting a basic image and focus on how to visually convey aspects of the story such as tone, mood, place and relationships. Lighting is an essential component of this class. This class works hand in hand with the creative shooting exercises assigned in Craft II so that students understand how cinematography serves the story. Students will also learn how to shoot with green screens.
  • Sound II This is an advanced sound recording class. Documentary filmmakers are often working in difficult and uncontrollable environments. Students will be introduced to challenges they might run into. They will learn about different microphones, recording techniques and playback. Workshops emphasize how to record sync sound with external recorders. The theory of sound and soundtracks will be presented with samples. Working with sound in post—with emphasis on recording narration, laying multiple tracks, sound designing, and sound mixing—will conclude this class after their production period.
  • Final Documentary Workshop This course is designed to help students transform the written document of the script into a cinematic plan for shooting. In this course, students will investigate and find visual styles, tones and approaches as well as sound design elements that support the key action and emotional elements of the stories that their films tell. In addition, students will explore many aspects of the production process that will add maximum benefit to the pre-production, production and post-production aspects of their projects.
  • Final Documentary Film Project The culmination of the first year of the Documentary Program is a film of the student’s own choosing. Through extensive research, writing, and planning, each student produces a final documentary of up to 20 minutes in length. A committee of at least three NYFA instructors will oversee their Final Documentary projects. While in pre-production, production and post-production, students work one-on-one with their instructors during weekly or bi-weekly consultations.
  • Proposal Development / Grant Writing This class is designed as a creative and academic safe-haven for students to develop, write, and polish the proposals/treatments and scripts for their Thesis Films. This class incorporates the initial research of the selected topic, grant writing, and narration workshops. Students who intend to direct and edit their Thesis Films in Semester Four of the MFA in Documentary Filmmaking program must receive “project approval” from the Chair of the Documentary Program before proceeding to pre-production and production of their Thesis documentaries Semester Four.
  • Directing Documentaries nowadays are more than just talking heads, educational tools or observations. Think about re-creations, re-enactments or hybrids. This class will introduce the craft of directing and working with actors. Students will be provided with a selection of pre-published texts, including plays, television scripts, and scenes from produced feature length screenplays. They will workshop the scenes (both inside and outside of class) with actor students from the school or professional local community. Instruction and in-class critiques will focus on how the director is working and communicating with actors. The second part of this class will focus on the visualization of the students’ individual Thesis Documentaries through practical exercises geared toward developing a directorial vision, casting appropriate characters, and directing participants.
  • Thesis Development: Advanced Research The documentary script is a blue print for the film, but it is not the film. This class emphasizes the importance of experiencing the topic through in-depth field research and interactions with characters/participants in order to find a compelling story within the chosen subject. Guest lectures by professional researchers will highlight this aspect of the course.
  • HD, RED Epic & 35mm Workshop Students will participate in a weeklong intense workshop, camera tech, and production period featuring the use of more advanced high definition cameras, the Red Epic and the 35mm camera. This class includes a field trip to a camera rental house.
  • Master’s Seminar: Industry Perspectives On a regular basis, industry professionals will address New York Film Academy Master students following a screening of their recent work. A broad cross-section of the film community will be represented in this lecture series, including directors, producers, directors of photography, editors, writers, production designers, and distributors. All lectures will be followed by an extensive Q&A session.
  • Advanced Post Production In a series of lectures and hands-on demonstrations and field trips, students will study the constantly evolving world of high end digital Post-Production and finishing to film. Many aspects of Post-Production including telecine, datacine, Efilm, negative cutting, conforming, optical printing, color timing, answer printing, sound editing, sound track mastering, effects compositing, ADR, Foley, looping, and theatrical printing will be explored. Students will gain a fluid knowledge of the post-production process and how it differs based upon output goals, formats, and deliverables. Emphasis is on developing a method to identify needs, and delineate costs. Delivering benefits of postproduction tools and the confidence to complete professional productions.
  • Cinema Studies III This film studies seminar taught from the filmmaker’s perspective serves as a continuation of Cinema Studies I & II from Year One. Through screenings and discussions of historic and modern cinema, the focus is on documentary and hybrids. Students identify techniques they may use in their own films. They learn how documentary filmmakers have approached the challenge of telling stories with moving images from silent films to the digital age.

    A deeper understanding about reality and truth in documentary filmmaking, ethical discussions and international productions sharpens the student’s P.O.V.
  • New Media: Content in the Digital Age In the ever-changing world of the motion picture industry, it is essential for a filmmaker to keep abreast of evolutions in new media technology. New media trends are nearly impossible to predict. The climate changes so quickly that often times, revolutionary new ideas face obsolescence within months of their inception. This class will immerse students in this maelstrom of technological developments in filmmaking including web based production and distribution of content and marketing their projects and career. speeches of professional researches will highlight this part of the course. The second part of the course addresses documentaries with narration/ commentary or the personal essay or biography and helps to refine the filmmaker’s P.O.V. Students will develop new narrations for existing films. At the end of this class students come up with first thesis ideas and learn how to evaluate them.
  • Thesis Documentary Workshop This course guides students through all pre-production steps for their Thesis documentaries. It incorporates in-depth lectures on, and discussion of, the nuts and bolts of practical hands-on creative producing. Students will compile the directorial and production elements of their films into detailed director’s notebooks and producer’s notebooks to prepare for production. Upon completing this course, students are ready to embark on the production of the culminating documentary. These projects may be up to 30 minutes in length.
  • Thesis Documentary Production A Semester Four culminates in the production of the Thesis Documentary. This documentary project is the capstone project of semesters one through four. All students are challenged to incorporate lessons from all other courses in the design and execution of their final Thesis documentaries of any genre and style, and are produced in High Definition video. Students present their projects to a Thesis Committee and work individually with their mentors and instructors.
  • Thesis Documentary Post-Production A In post-production, students will be assessed on their ability to take their Thesis documentaries from rough assembly to locked picture to a finished product with sound mix and titles ready for exhibition. Through class critiques and one-on-one meetings with their individual mentors, students problem-solve to steadily improve each cut of their films on the way to achieving their individual visions. The course concludes with a screening of their final Thesis documentaries.
  • Thesis Documentary Production B Feature/series development Most filmmakers fail to have a follow-up project in place. At the New York Film Academy, students will develop a second project in addition to the Thesis Film. In a Round Table workshop atmosphere, students will evaluate and push their written projects, which are either a documentary feature of up to 60 minutes, or a bible plus an outline for at least one future episode for a non- fictional TV / documentary series. In addition, they will submit a proposal package that includes the narrative, visual style, budget, location and participants lists, biographies of the key personnel, goal / intent of the filmmaker, outreach, and marketing concept – ready for funding and/or producing. The class will conclude with a pitch meeting with producers and/or broadcast cable executives.
  • Round Table: Survey of Documentary Industries & Marketing As burgeoning film professionals, MFA students will learn the importance of balancing their artistic inclinations with a thorough understanding of the documentary industries. Topics will include marketing, financing the documentary in their different forms— independent feature length docs, series, reality TV, educational or industrial documentaries, art films—national and international co-productions, distribution models and deals, contracts and business plans. Students will explore multiple pathways to enter the feature documentary and non-fiction television worlds. Students will produce a reel with which to market themselves as directors, editors or cinematographers, and/or a demo reel for a specific project. In addition, students will meet working professionals during special guest lectures. Students have the option to combine this class with an internship with a Los Angeles-based production, post-production, or distribution company.
  • Thesis Crew Participation By participating as crewmembers in their classmates’ Thesis Films, students will gain further on-set experience and become more intimate with the nuts-and-bolts aspects of documentary filmmaking. To further develop their ability to collaborate on other projects, students are required to play an essential role, i.e. cinematographer, sound mixer, editor or producer, in another student’s Thesis Documentary.

Film Projects

MFA documentary program tuition includes exotic one-week trip
  • Project 1: Observational Film Each student produces a visual portrait of a person, place, or activity. Students are challenged to observe the subject closely, and find the most effective shots for revealing the subject to an audience. Use of camera angle, shot-size, focal length, and editing patterns are emphasized. Each student directs, shoots, and edits a film of up to 2 minutes.
  • Project 2: New Media Each student creates personal cyber-films for distribution on the Internet. Students are challenged to utilize the intimate dimensions of the player window to their advantage and attract the interest of the web-surfing audience. Each student directs, shoots, and edits three vlogs, each of up to 60 seconds.
  • Project 3: Character Film Each student is challenged to reveal an extraordinary or extremely ordinary person using image and sound to build a portrait. Students are challenged to record life as it happens rather than staging scenes or interviewing the subject. Each student directs, shoots, and edits a film of up to 8 minutes.
  • Project 4: Investigative Film/Social Issue This project should be on a social issue or topic. Students will research their subject matter extensively before beginning. They must use both interviews and narration as building blocks for this project. Students may provide a fresh perspective on a political issue or document a local story that has larger implications. Each student writes, shoots, directs, and edits a film of up to 10 minutes.
  • Project 5: New Media II Working in teams, students will produce an original web program. Using New Media and Documentary techniques learned in the first semester, students will be challenged to create a program that appeals to a web audience. Team projects may be up to 15 minutes in length.
  • Project 6: Final Documentary Film Project The culmination of the first year of the MFA Documentary Filmmaking Program is a final documentary of the student’s own choosing. Through extensive research, writing, and planning, each student produces a final documentary of up to 20 minutes in length.

Dates & Tuition

MFA documentary program tuition includes exotic one-week trip
Fees Per Semester

Tuition: $10,340 (USD) +
Equipment Fee: $690 (USD)

Students will also incur additional expenses on their own productions. This varies depending on how much film they shoot and scale of the projects.

Location & Available Dates

For Los Angeles:
January 2017 - January 2019
September 2017 - September 2019
January 2018 - January 2020
September 2018 - September 2020


MFA documentary program tuition includes exotic one-week trip
Barbara Multer-Wellin Barbara Multer-Wellin
Chair of Documentary

Barbara Multer-Wellin has written and produced hundreds of hours of non-fiction television programming and web content. Her work has been seen on HBO, Showtime, PBS, Lifetime, KCET, The Discovery Channel, UPN, Lifetime, Fit-TV, TBS, HGTV, and TLC. She won a 2013 L.A. Area Emmy for her work on the series television and web series Your Turn To Care which was also the winner of a 2013 Gracie Award. Ms. Multer-Wellin has produced two films for the acclaimed PBS documentary series Independent Lens. Taking The Heat: The First Women Firefighters of New York City, a documentary narrated by Susan Sarandon. The second film, Paul Conrad: Drawing Fire was also selected for the first digital release of Independent Lens films. She is a graduate of the California Institute of the Arts and is a former Chair of the Documentary/Reality Committee of the Producer’s Guild of America.

Wendy Apple Wendy Apple

BFA, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Experience as producer, director and editor in film and television, including Hard Rain with Bob Dylan, Appearing Nightly with Lily Tomlin, Don’t Drop the Ball with Kenny Loggins, The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing and many more. Wendy is a member of the Director’s Guild.

Alessandra Ascoli Alessandra Ascoli

Emmy-nominated producer Alessandra Ascoli brings extensive experience as a Producer of non-fiction television to her position at NYFA. Alessandra quickly found herself supervising, writing, producing and occasionally directing for pilots and shows such as Be My Date, Awesome Interiors, Simply Quilts, and Interior Motives with Christopher Lowell, for which she earned a Daytime Emmy nomination. After years of holding the position of Co-Executive Producer for series such as Great American Heroes with Trace Adkins, Keyshawn Johnson: Tackling Design, and Fix This Kitchen, Alessandra decided to broaden her skillset and became a logistical producer. Most recently, she has been the Line Producer for two hidden camera prank pilots for TBS and MTV, respectively, and a digital home makeover series for Disney’s Maker Studios.

Eric Babinec Eric Babinec

Eric Babinec has provided color correction and online editing services for hundreds of network and cable television programs and films Clients include networks and production companies such as 51 Minds Entertainment, LMNO Productions, Comcast Networks/G4 Media, TLC, OWN and Discovery. He founded ColorTime Pictures in early 2006.

Ashley Bank Ashley Bank

Ashley Bank has been working in the entertainment industry for virtually her entire life. She’s worked as an actress, stand-up comedian, producer, and writer. She has continued her work behind the camera, producing several award winning short films, one of which won the prestigious NYU Wasserman/King Award, and another of which was sold to IFC. She also worked as a producer for CBS News/48 Hours, and later for CBS News’ documentary department, working on documentaries for The History Channel, The Food Network, A&E, Discovery, and ESPN. She is a graduate of New York University, with a BA in Film, Journalism, & Political Science. She is also a graduate of The Second City Conservatory.

Carl Bartels Carl Bartels
Camera and Lighting I and II

A working cinematographer since 1996, Carl is credited with dozens of feature films and several award-winning documentaries. Originally from Massachusetts, Carl is now based in Los Angeles. He has shot numerous shows for Discovery and A&E, and directed several episodes. His most recent credits include Greedy, Lying Bastards, a documentary produced by Daryl Hannah, and Taken3 starring Liam Neeson and Forrest Whittaker.

Sanora Bartels Sanora Bartels

Sanora Bartels holds a Master of Professional Writing degree from University of Southern California. At USC, she studied screenplay under Syd Field, the author of Screenplay, the industry’s bible on screenwriting. She has worked as an Assistant Director on shows for Discovery and NatGeo Channel and produced several feature documentaries including Michael & Me and Taking the Hill: A Warrior’s Journey, a documentary about PTSD. Most recently, she was the Field Producer for the documentary Greedy, Lying Bastards, executive produced by Daryl Hannah.

James H. Coburn IV James H. Coburn IV

C.A.S., has been working professionally in Production Sound for over twenty years, mixing such independent features as Free Enterprise (1998) with Eric McCormack and William Shatner, and The Bronx Bull (2013) with William Forsythe and Joe Mantegna. His television work includes the series Black Scorpion produced by Roger Corman, the reality show Guru2Go for Discovery Networks’ channel Health TV, and most recently, segments of Kobe Bryant’s Muse (2015). He served on the Board of the Cinema Audio Society for seven years, and was instrumental in creating the CAS Technical Achievement Awards honoring innovation in the equipment and software used by production and post-production sound mixers.

Robi Colangelo Robi Colangelo

BA Academy of Fine Arts Milan Italy, Paralegal Certificate, UCLA. Robi has been a producer’s representative, an associate producer and president of her own company, Focus Documentaries. She works to help documentary filmmakers to draft deal memos, negotiate distribution rights and write and review contracts.

John Crossley John Crossley

After receiving his MFA in Filmmaking from New York University, John Crossley has had an eclectic career in the film business. He has produced, directed and lensed dozens of commercials and documentaries, developed a pilot for Bravo Network, shot imagery for Getty Images, Executive Produced live action for VFX house Zoic Studios and has taught filmmaking to young adults. Currently he teaches Camera & Lighting for documentary and narrative at New York Film Academy in Los Angeles.

Mary Beth Fielder Mary Beth Fielder

Mary Beth Fielder is a filmmaker and teacher with over twenty five years experience in film and television.

Fielder has written screenplays for Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros and directed the television drama, thirtysomething. She wrote and produced award-winning feature films Wild About Harry, named Best of Fest at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in 2009 and Togetherness Supreme, winner of Best International Feature Film at the 2011 Santa Barbara International Film Festival and multiple African Movie Academy Awards. Fielder has taught film directing, screenwriting and acting at USC, Loyola Marymount University, Tel Aviv University, New York Film Academy and the Dodge College of Film and Media at Chapman University.

Denise Hamilton Denise Hamilton

Denise Hamilton is a writer-producer for television whose work has been produced for NBC and CBS affiliates in New York and Boston, the Discovery Channel, the Fox Family Channel, E! Entertainment, de Passe Entertainment, and Quincy Jones-David Saltzman Entertainment. Ms. Hamilton wrote and produced the documentary Ngone’s Story: A Tale of Africa’s Orphans for the NBC/IBC series Horizons of the Spirit. Ms. Hamilton was coordinating producer for both the ABC-TV documentary Motown 40: The Music is Forever, and WNBC-TV’s For Peace Sake: Youth Speaks Out that won three local Emmys. She also was the writer and field producer of two hour-long documentaries on Rwandan refugees for GBGM Productions: A Harvest of Love and Refugee Camps of Zaire which aired on the Odyssey Channel; as well as Nicaragua, a 1-hour documentary on missionary work in that country. For the past nine years she has served as co-chairperson of the Black Association of Documentary Filmmakers-West. B.F.A. Theater, Howard University, M.A. Education, NYU.

Igor Kovacevich Igor Kovacevich

Igor Kovacevich produced psychological thriller Downloading Nancy starring Maria Bello, Jason Patric, Rufus Sewell and Amy Brenneman. The movie premiered in the main Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival and was distributed theatrically by Strand Releasing. Igor also produced Black Cloud, Rick Schroder’s directorial debut. The movie stars Tim McGraw and Rick Schroder and was distributed by New Line Cinema. Igor is originally from Sarajevo, Bosnia, and worked in Croatia early in his career (amongst others with world-acclaimed director Emir Kusturica). Igor earned his MFA in film directing/producing from Ohio University School of Film. Igor directed and produced a number of shorts and documentaries and the feature film 1000 Miles From Nowhere, which was shown at IFP in New York and at the Sarajevo Film Festival. Igor also worked at Focus Features/Universal Pictures in feature acquisitions and development.

Heather Mathews Heather Mathews

Heather Mathews is an editor and producer. She produced and edited the award winning short film, Miss This At Your Peril, and edited Spoonful, which premiered at Sundance in 2012. Having worked in film since before graduating from Sarah Lawrence in 1994, Heather moved to Los Angeles in 1998 to continue this passion. Working both in production and in the office for such notable filmmakers as David Fincher, Tony Scott and Gary Ross and with directors like Wong Kar-wai, John Frankenheimer, John Woo and Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu, Heather quickly accumulated a vast knowledge of the Hollywood machine. In 2007 she decided to change course and entered the American Film Institute to attain her MFA in film editing. Since graduating Heather has edited countless short films, both narrative and documentary, and number of music videos and spec commercials.

Matteo Nurizzo Matteo Nurizzo

Matteo is an editor for various short independent films. He has also been an Avid Certified Instructor since 2013. He is a freelance videographer and editor whose clients include: BM Factory, Banque PSA Finance, Castiglioni. Matteo was director and editor of "Style In Frames" for Comune di Milano. He was an industrial designer and graphic artist in Italy. He holds a Master of Science in Industrial Design from the Politecnico di Milano, Italy.

Huch Platt Huch Platt

Head of the New York Film Academy Sound Dept, Avid Pro Tools HD Certified Instructor, Owner Majestic Sound Studios, Foley Mixer, Dialog Editor on Flags for Our Fathers, Black Dawn and Stranger by Me. Huch has dedicated his life to teaching the art and craft of Sound Design and helping new Documentarians achieve amazing sounding films.

Charles Rose Charles Rose

AIC Cinematographer with over 30 years of experience on an international level having worked on motion picture narrative films, documentaries, commercials, music videos, and as a 3D cinematic consultant. Over 14 years of experience teaching all aspects of cinematic creation using 16/35 mm film cameras (Panavision, Arri, Movicam, Aaton) to all current digital cameras from Red cameras, Alexas, Sony F65 to DSLR cameras. Extensive experience teaching the concepts and techniques related to set illumination for both film and digital imagery creation.

Leander Sales Leander Sales

Member of the Motion Pictures Editors Guild, certified Avid instructor, worked with Spike Lee on nine of his feature films in the editing department as assistant editor, associate editor on Clockers and Girl 6, then as editor on Lee’s documentary Get on the Bus. Editor on HBO documentary Hookers at the Point, directed by Brent Owens. As a director, Leander won first place at the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame Film Festival of Oakland, California for his debut feature film Don’t Let Your Meat Loaf. The Life I Meant to Live is the second feature film Leander directed.

Mark Sawicki Mark Sawicki

Mark is a veteran visual effects cameraman with a large body of work, including The Terminator, X-Men and The Dark Knight Rises. In addition to having taught for many years, Mark is the author of Animating with Stop Motion Pro and Filming the Fantastic first and second editions, both published by Focal Press.

John Sisti John Sisti

John began his career as a recording engineer at A&M records working with such Artists as Captain and Tennille (Love Will Keep Us Together, Grammy award winning Record of the Year), Carol King, George Harrison, Barbara Streisand, Hoyt Axton, and others. John joined Sony Pictures’ then-new digital sound department as a sound editor. The following year, he became a sound supervisor for shows such as Mad About You which won two Emmys for best sound.

Features include, Cable Guy, Bottle Rockets, and Frances Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula which won an Oscar for best sound. John has taught recording engineering at the Sherwood Oaks Experimental College in its early years, music production and engineering at the Berklee School of Music in their Music Production and Engineering department, the NCSU School of the Arts and the sound design department at SCAD.

Zack Stoff Zack Stoff

Zack studied at Bates College and the University of Westminster in London where he pursued a Film and Television degree. Shortly after graduating, Zack directed and edited a BBC documentary in cooperation with The Prince's Trust entitled Hidden Talents, promoting a national project that encourages youth music programs for disadvantaged musicians. Continuing with his passion for music, Zack directed two short documentaries for Maroon 5, following their international tours between 2003-2005. These were released as special features on their DVD, Maroon 5 Live: Friday the 13th. This project gave Zack a renewed appreciation for documentary editing. Since then, he has focused his career on post-production, editing short and long form documentaries, music videos, and narrative films. He continues to work as an editor and assistant editor on several films, including Che Part One and Che Part Two, and Seven Days in Havana directed by Benicio Del Toro.

Tina Cesa Ward Tina Cesa Ward

Tina Cesa Ward is a writer, director and producer. In 2008, after having success in short films, Tina made the jump to new media. Her indie hit Anyone But Me has nearly 50 million views world wide and has won several awards including the first Writers Guild of America Award for Original New Media, which Tina won in 2011. Tina also won the International Academy of Web TV for directing in drama in 2013. And in 2015, Tina received the IAWTV award for writing in drama for her fourth web series, Producing Juliet. Tina is considered one of the early pioneers of web series.

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