Six NYFA Alumni Chosen as Official Selections at 2022 Micheaux Film Festival’s 4th Edition

New York, NY, July 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Los Angeles-based Micheaux Film Festival kicked off its fourth edition from July 11th - 17th, 2022 with a series of activations, digital panels, master classes, networking mixers, workshops, and film screenings. Included among the festival’s official selections were six films by New York Film Academy (NYFA) alumni. This year’s festival followed a hybrid model, with both online and in-person events held at the Regal Cinemas L.A. in downtown Los Angeles, California. 

Recently recognized as one of the ‘TOP 50 FILM FESTIVALS WORTH THE ENTRY FEE IN 2022’ by MovieMaker Magazine, the Micheaux Film Festival shares stories that focus on multiculturality, inclusivity of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), diverse representation, and gender/identity parity. 

Abraham Amkpa (Master of Arts in Film and Media Production) screened his thesis film Lift, a story of two Nigerian immigrants competing against each other in order to gain US citizenship, on July 16th in the Greater Heights program and was available online. 

"The Micheaux Festival was an amazing experience,” says NYFA alum and filmmaker Abraham Amkpa. “Its diversity of film programming, people, and its unique and disruptive marketing style make it worthwhile for all filmmakers to attend. Though still in its nascent stages, this promising festival's mission has a lot to offer independent filmmakers and people of color."

It’s Your Fault, a film by Kate Burduzhan (2-Year Filmmaking Conservatory), tells the story of Polina, a young woman looking to have some fun when she leaves a Russian nightclub with guys she just met, only to find herself in an unexpected and dangerous situation. The film was screened online throughout the festival run.

Over My Dead Body, the intermediate film of filmmaker Meital Cohen Navarro (Master of Fine Arts in Filmmaking) is about a young Jewish Persian-American woman who reveals to her parents that her fiancé is Muslim and is forced to choose between him and her family. The film was screened on Friday, July 15th, in the True States program.

Lethabo Mokgatle’s (Bachelor of Fine Arts in Filmmaking) thesis film Sebari Milach premiered on July 14th in the Origins and Odyssey program and was available online. The film surrounds a young African woman who is tricked by her mother into participating in a traditional purification ritual, only to face either mutilation or exile from her tribal society.

“This festival exposed me to so many creatives,” says NYFA alum and filmmaker Lethabo Mokgatle. “My team and I felt special with the red carpet experience and interviews. It was worth it.”

Taiwanese filmmaker Victor Shao (Master of Fine Arts in Filmmaking) screened his thesis film Date in the Love, Lust & Other Drugs program on July 15th, which was also available online. In Date, a nervous man and a reserved woman order dishes that take forever in an effort to prolong their awkward dinner rendezvous.
The film Tahriib (Those Who Travel North), by Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting and Master of Fine Arts in Producing alum Dan Smith, was screened online throughout the festival run. Slipping away the mask of anonymity shrouding the 1.8 million refugees who have entered Europe since 2014, the short documentary features six refugees who describe, in their own words and voices, their previous lives, dangerous journeys, and attempts to integrate into Western culture.

“It’s truly fantastic that so many NYFA alumni were official selections at Micheaux this year,” said Crickett Rumley, Senior Director of NYFA’s Film Festival Department. “This festival’s commitment to diversity and inclusive programming is superlative. They not only celebrate filmmakers, they help them move to the next level with panels, master classes, and networking events. I’m confident that our filmmakers will have gained tremendously from this opportunity.”

Celebrity ambassadors for the festival included actors Sharon Lawrence and Anthony Anderson. Honors went to Brenda Gilbert, the President & Founder of Bron Studios, who received the Oscar Micheaux Trailblazer of Excellence Award, and to director/cinematographer Ernest Dickerson, who received the Michael Ajakwe Pioneer of Influence Award. Event sponsors included the Oprah Winfrey Network, SONY Entertainment, Panavision, The Academy Museum, and Braham Entertainment.

New York Film Academy congratulates its alumni on their official selections at this year’s fourth edition of the Micheaux Film Festival and their well-deserved recognition.

About New York Film Academy
New York Film Academy (NYFA) is a leading film, media, and performing arts college that offers hands-on intensive undergraduate and graduate degree programs, certificates, and workshops across a multitude of areas of study in New York City, Los Angeles, South Beach/Miami, Gold Coast (Australia), Florence (Italy), Beijing and Shanghai (China), and more. Its programs are accelerated, and NYFA students can complete a four-year BFA degree in three years. NYFA’s online program offerings allow students the opportunity to advance their creative and technical skills in NYFA’s “Hands-Online Workshops,” available across NYFA’s film, media, and performing arts disciplines.
NYFA is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). This accreditation extends to all NYFA campuses in the United States and overseas.
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Meital Cohen Navarro at the 2022 Micheaux Film Festival Abraham Amkpa at the 2022 Micheaux Film Festival

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