New York Film Academy Documentary Student

I enrolled in the New York Film Academy Documentary program in September 2011, because it was the most intense hands-on program I could find. I think it was a great choice! The program is structured around 6 film projects (two video logs and 4 shorts) in 11 months, which kept us extremely busy (often meaning more than 10 hours per day at school). I had the steepest learning curve in my life and have learned from some of the best in their field – professors who are also very productive film professionals. We had a lot of masterclasses where award-winning documentaries were presented by their producers, directors and cinematographers. I met some amazing young filmmakers. When our class started, we were 20 people from 18 different countries, which is a great experience on its own. In addition, doing a documentary program in a city like New York was a chance to quickly get to know the city in its endless diversity.

After graduating, I decided to take the opportunity to stay for an extra year of practical training (OPT). As of 1 November 1st, I will be interning at Oscar, Emmy, and Grammy Award-winning producer, Alex Gibney’s, Jigsaw Productions (http://www.jigsawprods.com). I will be assiting as an AVID intern on their latest Fela Kuti project (http://www.jigsawprods.com/fela/). As a big fan of Fela, and someone who spent part of their childhood in Nigeria, I am really looking forward to it :)

I cannot thank New York Film Academy enough for the fantastic year! A special thanks goes to our production professor, Alexandra Johnes (a kick-ass producer but also Neverending Story’s magical princess) for recommending me at Jigsaw!

Best to New York Film Academy :)

-Maria Stanisheva

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