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The New York Film Academy: What It Is, and What It Offers

The New York Film Academy: What It Is, and What It Offers


Founded by Jerry Sherlock (of The Hunt for Red October fame), the New York Film Academy has been in full operation since 1992. In the decades since its initial conception, it has gained a name for itself as a premier provider of intensive, hands-on education.


The title itself does leave some room for confusion however, since it doesn’t quite describe the full scope of the school. Firstly, the Film Academy extends beyond the realm of just cinematography; while screen writing, filmmaking and acting are all staples of the program makeup, new fields of study have been adopted in recent years. In particular, game design has seen a surge of interest following the industry’s explosion in popularity (and profitability) over the last decade, and the Academy’s photography courses have kept a similar pace.

Programs Offered

Courses themselves range from specialized 4 to 12 week workshops all the way up to advanced, full-length (and full-time) BFA and MFA degrees, though the range varies depending on program. Areas of study include, but are certainly not limited to:

– Filmmaking
– Acting for Film
– Film and TV Production
– Photography
– Animation (3D and traditional)
– Cinematography
– Game Design
– Documentary Filmmaking
– Broadcast Journalism
– Musical Theatre
– Screenwriting
– Digital editing

Gaining prior graduate qualifications is not a prerequisite for applying at the New York Film Academy. In fact, the NYFA also caters towards younger students with a series of summer camps in some of the study areas listed above. These are geared towards two separate age ranges; high schoolers (between 14 and 17) and tweens (aged between 10 and 13) are invited to attend the summer camps that are held annually at locations around the world.

Additionally, the issue of study location is another detail worthy clarifying.


NYFA Locations

Another slight misnomer within the New York Film Academy’s name is that it isn’t solely confined to its NYC birthplace at the Tribeca Film Center. Along with the number of programs it offers, it has also has grown in a physical sense and now incorporates facilities around the world. While not every degree program is offered at every location, the New York Film Academy operates in some capacity at the following locations:

In the US:

– New York City (though no longer at the Tribeca Film Center)
– Universal Studios, LA
– Harvard, Boston
– Disney Studios, Florida

Further Afield:

– Queensland, Australia
– Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
– Beijing, China
– Moscow, Russia
– Seoul, South Korea
– Florence, Italy
– Paris, France
– Mumbai, India
– Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

See this page for further information on the variety of locations in which the NYFA operates.

Program Content

Given the variance between the degrees offered by the Academy, it draws upon a pool of lecturers to deliver course content. All regular teaching staff are practicing experts in their respective fields and well suited to the subject matter they’re charged with delivering.

One factor that heavily distinguishes the NYFA from other schools is its ethos of offering a hands-on, intensive experience. While being thrown in the deep-end and spending more time in the field than in theoretical study isn’t for everyone, most students relish the opportunity to learn by doing with industry-grade equipment. As a case in point, students embarking on one of the main photography courses are given a free Canon 6D (or Nikon D600) with which to use in building their portfolio over the course of the degree.

Steven Spielberg

The NYFA is also notable for its use of guest lecturers. In the realm of cinematography, previous speakers have included instantly recognizable household names such as Steven Spielberg, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Spacey. Guest speakers from the field of photography have included such luminaries as Melvin Sokolsky, multiple-award winner and Acadamy Award nominee, and Lauren Greenfield (listed by American Photo magazine as one of the twenty-five most influential people currently working in photography).

A full list of previous lecturers is published here.


Learn More

Given the wide range of programs spread amongst numerous disciplines, it hasn’t been practical (or possible) to cover every facet of what the New York Film Academy offers.

For further details – including information on fees and financial aid – find out more via the official NYFA website. Alternatively, you can get in contact directly:

Address: 100 East 17th Street New York, New York 10003 United States

Tel: +1 (212) 674-4300

If you have some great Christian Film Content for the CFDb blog, contact us.


Annelie’s Christian Film World Blog

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