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New York Film Academy Documentary School Featured in IDA's Documentary Magazine

New York Film Academy Documentary School Featured in IDA's Documentary Magazine

November 22, 2017 The New York Film Academy’s Documentary School is honored to be the subject of a feature in Documentary magazine's Fall 2017 issue. Documentary magazine is the major international publication of the prestigious International Documentary Association (IDA).

NYFA Los Angeles Chair of Documentary Filmmaking Sanora Bartels and NYFA New York Chair of Documentary Filmmaking Andrea Swift gave an exclusive interview to Documentary magazine’s Tom Gianakopoulos, for the Doc University section. Gianakopoulos is also an instructor at NYFA Los Angeles’ Summer Camps programs, where he teaches screenwriting.

In a wide-ranging conversation about the New York Film Academy's Documentary School at both the New York and Los Angeles campuses, the two documentary department chairs answered questions and described the unique creative and technical aspects of NYFA's professional programs for Documentary magazine’s 18,000 print and 20,000 e-subscribers.

NYFA’s documentary program’s strengths and alumni successes owe much to the philosophy of learning-by-doing, NYFA Los Angeles Chair of Documentary Filmmaking Sonora Bartels explained: "Students at both campuses hit the ground running, and that first semester is a doozy. Right off the bat you have camera classes; you have directing classes; you have sound and producing classes—all of the practical instruction."

NYFA New York Chair of Documentary Filmmaking Andrea Swift agreed. "We are very story-focused and, as mentioned earlier, our structure comes from the guiding principle that you learn how to make films by actually making films. The beating heart of that is telling a story."

The interview in Documentary drew light to NYFA's recent inclusion in the Hollywood Reporter's list of the Top 25 American film schools, as well as stellar alumni successes including Raphael Neihausen’s Academy Award-nominated "Joe's Violin" and Muhammed Hamdy's Oscar-winning "The Square." Yet both NYFA program chairs were quick to point out that these represent just a small slice of the myriad perspectives and cultures represented by NYFA’s thriving, diverse, international student body.

"If you do documentaries because you want to learn about the world, come to NYFA," Sanora Bartels said in her interview. "You will learn about the world around you right here in the classroom, where you will figure out how to work with other cultures very quickly."

While documentary film industry is more popular than ever across sectors including academia, media, and popular culture, The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and IDA published a report this year on the uncertain sustainability and vital importance of the documentary industry, concluding, "Everyone is a stakeholder." The New York Film Academy is proud to be a part of the movement to sustain and promote documentary filmmaking across the globe.

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