NYFA’s History: A Timeline
In 1992, Jerry Sherlock, executive producer of The Hunt for Red October (1990), set out to create a school for filmmakers by filmmakers, establishing our total immersion filmmaking school, New York Film Academy. Sherlock envisioned a school that would provide a collaborative creative environment, industry-standard equipment, and a faculty of active industry professionals, giving aspiring storytellers the resources to write, shoot, direct, and edit their own short films. With a team of filmmakers and educators, including Harvard graduate and now NYFA President Michael Young, Sherlock opened NYFA in New York City’s Tribeca Film Center. In 1994, NYFA’s headquarters moved to the Tammany Hall Building in Union Square. In 2014, NYFA relocated to Battery Park, overlooking Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
Today, NYFA is a global institution with campuses in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Gold Coast (Australia), and Florence (Italy), as well as additional satellite locations. NYFA’s campuses are modern spaces with state-of-the-art, purpose-built classrooms, editing rooms, shooting spaces, with theatres at our campuses in New York City and Los Angeles. NYFA’s hands-on approach continues to set it apart from other film and art schools, giving students the confidence to pursue their goals as visual and performing artists while preparing them for real-world challenges in film, television, media, and entertainment.
|1992||A SCHOOL FOR FILMMAKERS, BY FILMMAKERS
Jerry Sherlock (1935-2015), executive producer of The Hunt for Red October, and his son, Jean Sherlock, (owner and principal) found New York Film Academy at Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Film Center. Jerry Sherlock assembles a team of filmmakers and educators, including Harvard graduate Michael Young (now President of the Academy) and Mitko Panov, winner of Cannes Palme D’Or, and create an alternative to traditional film schools. Together, they design and launch hands-on total immersion filmmaking workshops where each student writes, shoots, directs, and edits their short films. The first class includes 50 students from all over the world.
|1994||NYFA AT UNION SQUARE
New York Film Academy moves to its facility in Union Square at the historic Tammany Hall building.
|1995||LEADERSHIP AT NYFA
Filmmaker and NYU MFA Filmmaking graduate David Klein, later Senior Executive Vice President, joins the leadership at NYFA. To learn more about NYFA’s leadership, click here.
|1995||NYFA PROGRAMS AT CAMBRIDGE, PRINCETON, YALE, AND HARVARD
NYFA’s summer programs start at Princeton University in 1995, Yale University in 1996, UCLA in 1997, and Disney MGM Studios in Orlando in 1998. NYFA’s summer programs expand to other locations, including Cambridge University in England and Harvard University.
|1998||NYFA OFFERS SUMMER CAMPS AND WORKSHOPS FOR KIDS AND TEENS
NYFA launches summer camps and workshops for youth. Currently, there are a range of in-person and online visual and performing arts programs for youth available at our campuses in New York City, Los Angeles, South Beach (Miami), FL, Florence, Italy, and Gold Coast, Australia, as well as our satellite locations at Harvard University and in Paris, France.
|1998||NYFA STARTS PROGRAMS IN EUROPE
New York Film Academy’s first overseas program runs in Paris at the Sorbonne. In 2000, NYFA Paris relocates to La Fémis, the National Film School of France. Over the years, NYFA continues to run programs throughout Europe, hosting workshops in international cities including Amsterdam, Netherlands; Bilbao, Spain; Budapest, Hungary; Cambridge, London, and Oxford, England; Milan, and Rome; Italy; Moscow, Russia; and Porto, Portugal. In 2002, New York Film Academy starts programs in Florence, Italy, opening a permanent location in 2014 in a renovated Renaissance-era building, across the street from Le Cappelle Medicee in the center of the city. NYFA Florence becomes an official campus in 2021, and is now located near the historic Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence.
|1999||NYFA GOES TO HOLLYWOOD
New York Film Academy Los Angeles campus launches on the backlot of Universal Studios, where NYFA still hosts production workshops.
|2000||NYFA LAUNCHES LONG-TERM FILMMAKING PROGRAMS
Committed to providing practical training, NYFA launches the first 1-Year Filmmaking Certificate to provide students with the opportunity to create a range of short films. Today, NYFA offers graduate, undergraduate, 1 & 2-Year Certificate programs, as well as short-term workshops in Filmmaking.
|2001||NYFA OFFERS PROGRAMS IN ASIA
NYFA launches programs in Beijing, Shanghai and throughout Asia, with workshops running through 2017. Partnerships include The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, which NYFA collaborates with on a seven-year project to educate filmmakers and actors in the UAE, offering one-year and short term programs in Abu Dhabi. In 2012, New York Film Academy is officially recognized by the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China as an accredited educational institute of higher learning. NYFA workshops launch in conjunction with The Beijing Film Academy and CCTV. NYFA also runs programs in South Korea in partnership with Kaist University, an acting program in conjunction with Shanghai Theater Academy, as well as workshops in Mumbai and New Delhi, India; Kyoto at TOEI Film Studios and Tokyo, Japan; as well as Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
|2006||ACCREDITATION FROM NASAD
The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accredits the New York Film Academy and its programs, including the Master of Fine Arts in Filmmaking.
|2009||NYFA WELCOMES VETERANS AND MILITARY DEPENDENTS
NYFA welcomes veterans and military dependents to attend our Los Angeles, New York City and South Beach campuses to attend programs using the GI Bill and/or participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program. For approved programs, the Post-9/11 GI Bill provides up to 36 months of education benefits. Since, we’ve enrolled over 3000 veteran students and military dependents. The honorable Colonel Jack Jacobs, Medal of Honor recipient and on-air military strategist for NBC/MSNBC, is the Chair of the NYFA Veterans Advancement Program.
|2010||NYFA OFFERS PROGRAMS IN SOUTH AMERICA
NYFA launches short-term programs in Cartagena, Colombia. In 2013, the New York Film Academy ran filmmaking and musical theatre workshops in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in association with Instituto Cal De Arte E Cultura.
|2010||NYFA LAUNCHES PROGRAMS IN AFRICA
New York Film Academy visits Abuja and Lagos Nigeria, to train aspiring filmmakers in a four-week film workshop, working in partnership with Del-York International.
|2012||NYFA AUSTRALIA OPENS
In 2012, New York Film Academy Australia in Queensland opens. New York Film Academy Australia also runs programs in Sydney, Australia. Today, NYFA Australia is in a state-of-the-art facility at Southport on the Gold Coast.
|2014||LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
NYFA expands its Los Angeles campus into the Warner Bros. Music Building, located next to Warner Bros. Studios.
|2014||NYFA GOES TO THE SUNSHINE STATE
The New York Film Academy South Beach, Florida; College of Visual and Performing Arts opens in Miami.
|2014||TO INFINITY AND BEYOND
New York Film Academy forms a partnership with NASA as a part of its STEAM initiative, creating content to promote the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).
|2017||NYFA OFFERS STUDY ABROAD PROGRAMS
NYFA formalize our study abroad program by offering credits. In the summer of 2018, our first study abroad summer camps launch in Florence, Italy. NYFA now offers study abroad programs in Filmmaking and Acting for Film at NYFA Florence, NYFA Australia, Paris, France, and Beijing and Greater China.
NYFA receives WASC Accreditation.
NYFA Florence becomes an official NYFA campus.
|2022||NYFA LAUNCHES INNOVATIVE BACHELOR OF FINE ARTS (BFA) IN ENTERTAINMENT MEDIA
In 2022, NYFA launches its first general Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Entertainment Media. This program allows students to explore and get exposure to various forms of visual, narrative, and cinematic storytelling.
|2023||NYFA OFFERS FIRST ONLINE DEGREE PROGRAM
NYFA launches our first online degree, the Online MA in Entrepreneurial Producing and Innovation. This program is designed for students to develop advanced business, creative, leadership, and marketing skills. Students also gain a global perspective of the film, television, and emerging entertainment industries.