NYFA and AlmaU Forge New Film Education Partnership in Kazakhstan

ASTANA – New York Film Academy (NYFA) and Almaty Management University (AlmaU) signed a cooperation agreement in educational programs in New York on Sept.16, reported Kazinform news agency.

Asylbek Kozhakhmetov, AlmaU Founder and President and Michael Young, NYFA President. Photo credit: inform.kz.

This partnership, supported by the Dara Presidential Initiatives Fund, marks a significant milestone in the collaboration between higher education institutions in Kazakhstan and the United States. A key aspect of the agreement is the joint commitment to train skilled professionals for innovative careers and promote the growth of the creative industry.

According to Anara Sekeeva, the Dean of the AlmaU School of Media and Cinema, the agreement aims to foster progress and opportunities in the global international educational arena, particularly within the rapidly evolving film and media industry.

“For the country and our students, this agreement offers substantial advantages, enabling students to pursue their education without leaving the country. Kazakh students can gain a high-quality international education with a technical and contemporary understanding of the film industry, encompassing areas such as filmmaking and acting,” she said in an interview with the Astana Times. 

Photo credit: inform.kz.

Sekeeva emphasized the university’s current emphasis on filmmaking and the art of acting in cinema. 

“Under this agreement, we anticipate engaging in project-based activities such as film production, pitching, and student projects where students can create their films. There are also benefits for U.S. students, as the agreement allows them to study here,” she added.

The AlmaU School of Media and Cinema, a young institution established just one and a half years ago, offers a filmmaking program that allows students to choose their specialization: directing, producing, or screenwriting. This is the standard system used in U.S. universities, where the first two years provide a uniform foundation for all students before allowing them to select their specialization based on their interests and aptitudes.

It is located on Kazakhfilm’s territory, offering students the unique opportunity to engage in the production process while pursuing their studies. 

Sekeeva pointed out that current technological capabilities enable teams to shoot everything in virtual production studios, such as the one established in the Sport and Art Zone at AlmaU. 

She highlighted that this studio could significantly facilitate online learning, hybrid formats, or host teaching staff. It will also serve as a site for training current industry practitioners and enhancing their qualifications using this equipment.

Sekeeva mentioned that NYFA has had a long-standing presence in Central Asia and is already familiar with the Kazakh audience. 

“NYFA visits the country’s universities every year, conducting masterclasses and providing insights into their education approach, highlighting their practical orientation and technical equipment, which allows students to explore various roles, from focus-puller and casting director to specific camera operators,” she said.

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