I am an actor, writer and filmmaker from Johannesburg. I always knew I wanted to be an actor. I trained and practiced in theatre for almost as long as I can remember. Right around the time that I was transitioning more into film, I was given the opportunity to audition for a place at the New York Film Academy. I prepared two monologues for my audition, and they must have liked me because I was accepted to study Acting at the Los Angeles campus.
NYFA’s impact on my career as an actor has been incalculable. The international friends and professional connections I met while studying, living and working in Hollywood. I mean, it’s Hollywood. NYFA was across the road from some of the biggest studios in the business, and we, the students, got to work in those studios. Taking classes with industry professionals made it a fantastic place to hone my craft and expand my knowledge.
After graduating with a Masters degree I stayed for a while to cut my teeth on breaking in to the competitive Hollywood business. Along the way I produced a movie, appeared on National Television, and fostered relationships with other Hollywood actors, directors and filmmakers.
The experience is priceless. Not only am I a more confident and skilled actor for it, but I learned how to be a professional in the industry as well.
I also participated in the 2018 International ARTS Talent Showcase and received a call-back to showcase my talents in America.
The highlight of my entire trip was to receive my Diploma for Acting for Film at New York Film Academy.
This is something that no one can ever take away from me. I now have International Education, 3 Short Films and Multiple Film scenes to add to my resume with huge opportunities that awaits me in my near future.
None of this would be possible without Elsubie! She believed in me since the first time we met. She understood my Goals and Dreams. She Encouraged me, Taught me, Inspired me and Pushed me to be the best version of myself.
My name is Anya Sunica Cloete, I’m 18 and I’m currently studying at the New York Film Academy for Acting In Film. I am also a dancer and a aspiring commercial model. I was introduced to NYFA by Just You when I auditioned for a scholarship back in 2016, I was only 15 at the time when I received it. I finished high school and started at NYFA at the age of 17.
So far since I’ve been here at NYFA I’ve learned so much about the art of acting and how important it is to have a passion for it. We do a lot in a short period of time that requires hard work and dedication. Even though acting is my major, NYFA puts other valuable subjects in your curriculum to learn from such as directing, film editing as well as business of acting where you start to get into a mindset of a professional.
Being an international student and getting to live in Hollywood is already a blessing and not only is school and doing student films a lot of fun, you get opportunities to network with important people that can take you far. For example I’m a dancer as well so I use my free time to attend dance studio classes as much as possible to further my exposure in any way possible.
My story starts when I decided to take control of my own narrative. During my last two years of high school, I knew that the only way to be content with the path I’m taking, I had to study what it is that I loved. Upon doing all my research on schools that would be adequate for me to study film, I came across the New York Film Academy. The school embodied everything it is that I wanted to create and be a part of, so after applying, I attended auditions in Johannesburg and fortunately I was taken to the next round of the IATS talent show at the same time. The panel just so happened to included the same judge who was holding my NYFA auditions, I took this as an opportunity to broadcast myself twice in one month. Fast forward to now, as I sit in Los Angeles and think of my time at NYFA, I am beyond grateful for the tools I’ve been given in order to continue working on my craft and growing as an artist on each set I work on. For me, there has been no greater pleasure than stepping onto a Warner Brother’s or Universal Studios lot and calling it work. The pleasure of being able to look within myself to bring out a different character has been the dream job. I am constantly learning and growing, but this definitely is the best way for this young Durban girl’s story to start.
The experience at the NYFA was amazing. I've never been out of South Africa before so on this journey my head was wrapped around the education but I gained more than what I actually went for. For a moment I felt as though everyone who surrounded me was there to make an impact in my life just through my education. NYFA was not just a place of education but freedom, a safe space was created with great relationships which I will forever be grateful for. I look at NYFA and I think home.
Chanté van Heerden
Chanté van Heerden's dream became a reality when she auditioned for the New York Film Academy. She auditioned for the Acting for Film programme. After her auditions she received a letter of acceptance and a talent - based Partial Scholarship, before she knew it she was off to New York City. Upon attending the New York Film Academy she had the opportunity to work with a diverse range of students from all over the world. She also had the privilege of being trained by extremely skilled. talented and professional acting coaches. These include Brian O'Neill, Paul W Warner and Emmy award winning actress Blanche Baker. Since the successful completion of the programme and having graduated Chanté has achieved many milestones.
Ariana attended NYFA after being scouted at Arts 2018 and auditoned for a scholarship with Blake Babbitt. We continued out journey after Arts and attended NYFA for the 2 week acting for film scholarship. This was the most incredible journey for Ariana. She worked with excellent coaches for 2 weeks and did photoshoots as well as monologues. There were kids from all over the world including the son of one of the band members from New Kids on the Block .Ariana learnt alot and most importantly this experience has turned a once shy lass into a confident young person.The training and the care and the expertise was exemplary.
Nadiya Geldenhuys 22 years old was born in Kempton Park, South Africa. From a young age she studied drama at the Afrikaans Academy for Drama Arts in Kempton Park. Hettie Kritzinger, the owner of the Academy describes Nadiya as follows: “Nadiya lives Katharine Hepburn’s words: ‘As one goes through life, one learns that if you don't paddle your own canoe, you don't move’. One of the greatest stimulants for her imagination is the emotional involvement with her tasks and studies… Nadiya surely wasn’t born to be average. She was born to be something big. Someone very big”. Nadiya competed at various talent competitions on a national (SA Talent Championship, Talent Africa, SA Championships of performing Arts, and National Eisteddfods) and international level (AMTC - Actors, Models, and Talent for Christ). At the age of 16 she was scouted at the national round of The South African Talent Championship (SATCH), to represent South Africa in July 2014 at the AMTC Shine Convention in Orlando, Florida in the USA. This is a fantastic platform to promote local up and coming artists in the international industry. Nadiya attended AMTC, where she performed in various categories (Acting, Vocal, Modelling) and her amazing talent,
commitment and hard work truly paid off. Nadiya received several call-backs from agents attending the convention, and also landed a private interview with Christian Kaplan from 20th Century Fox Productions. She also performed in the final showcase in the acting category.
At age 17 Nadiya auditioned at the New York Film Academy (NYFA) for a talent-based scholarship towards their Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting for Film Degree programme. She was awarded the top scholarship as a South African at the time. Nadiya graduated from Hoërskool Kempton Park in 2015 and moved to Los Angeles January 2016 to study at NYFA, Los Angeles. In her second year in Los Angeles, Nadiya performed on stage at the 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival as the lead actress in the play, A Vegas Kind of Love. She shared the stage with well-known actors Matt Doherty, Nicholas Read, Kofi Boakye and Henry LeBlanc. A Vegas Kind of Love was seen and reviewed by multiple registered festival critics, some of the reviews were as follows: “The Vegas blond in this instance is played by Nadiya Geldenhuys, a 19 year old South African who comes off as early 20s and without a noticeable accent. Her role is a series of crazy hairpin turns, and she does an excellent job of justifying these 0ften-contradictory motivations as best she can” Better Lemons.com
“This really is a good, compelling play, and all five actors turn in excellent performances.” – Lyle Zimskind – LAist
“The writing, direction and actors are top notch and compelling.” Cindy D'andrea
“The acting and writing are top notch.” Diana Varco
Nadiya graduated in September 2018 as a film actress from NYFA. Her thesis film project which she wrote, casted, produced and starred in has won 5 film festival awards for best actress in a leading role. On April 18 2019, Nadiya participated in the New York Film Academy Los Angeles Acting for Film annual Alumni Industry Showcase – New Faces of Hollywood.
“We had an incredibly talented group of alumni this year and the showcase was the most successful to date,” says Lynda Goodfriend, NYFA-LA Chair of Acting for Film. The performances showcased NYFA acting school alumni in live scenes and short films written by them and directed by full time faculty, Michael McCartney. Nadiya features in several films, music videos, commercials and performed on various stages in Los Angeles.
‘Everything is possible if you have the passion and drive for what you want to achieve. It is important to stick to who you are, and find what strikes you at your core. For me it will always be acting and I look forward to the journey ahead’, says Nadiya.Follow Nadiya on Instagram - @nadiyageldenhuys