New York Film Academy Partners with Anica Academy to Give Master Class in Producing

Award-winning producer Neal Weisman and Lucky Red Founder Andrea Occhipinti discuss the state of production, financing, marketing, and distribution.

New York, NY, March 27, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In the first week of March 2024, the New York Film Academy (NYFA) Chair of the Producing Department of its New York City campus, Neal Weisman, in collaboration with Anica Academy, conducted a master class in producing. Following the class was a conversation with the founder of Italy’s Lucky Red, Andrea Occhipinti, marking the first of many anticipated future collaborations co-headed by Diana Santi, Director of NYFA's Florence campus and programs.

"’Anica Academy Talks’ is a consolidated format, a series of meetings that provide an opportunity for presentations, events, and insights on the news in the audiovisual biz. We were very happy to host the master class ‘The Role of the Producer between the United States and Italy’ as a second appointment in 2024. It was for us, and for all the students who participated, a nice moment of exchange and deepening with speakers of great quality. Creating events and opportunities of this kind is one of the most important goals for our Foundation. For that, I would like to thank both Neal Weisman of NYFA and Andrea Occhipinti of Lucky Red,” says Sergio Del Prete, Director of Anica Academy ETS. 

The two leading industry professionals sat down in the beautiful lecture hall at Anica Academy’s campus in the historic city of Rome to discuss the importance of production as a field, the role of the producer, and the job’s future in the entertainment and media industry worldwide. 

The NYFA master class conducted by Weisman entitled, “What Does a Producer Do?” is a popular subject and lecture among students and faculty at NYFA. To-date, Weisman has conducted this lecture in other countries for various events to help educate aspiring producers and filmmakers on the profession and its ever-changing role in the evolving landscape of media and content. 

“This Master Class was particularly exciting because it explained the difference between the Italian and American film markets. The individual experiences shared by Neal Weisman and Andrea Occhipinti were extremely inspirational for all the students who were in attendance. We welcome the opportunity to offer more occasions like this collaboration with Anica Academy in the future,” says Diana Santi, Director of NYFA's Florence campus.

In addition to being a full-time faculty member and Chair of NYFA's Producing programs at the New York City campus, Weisman helped develop and found the school’s Online Master of Arts in Entrepreneurial Producing and Innovation degree. The online master's degree endeavors to meet the industry need for aspiring producers to develop advanced business, creative, leadership, and marketing skills while gaining a global perspective of the film, television, and other emerging entertainment industries. 

Weisman is an award-winning film and television producer with over 20 years of international experience. His producing credits include The Politician’s Wife (1995), which won a BAFTA and Peabody Award, as well as an International Emmy Award for Best Drama Serial; Seeing Red (2000), which won a Christopher Award; and My Kingdom (2001), starring Richard Harris in his last leading role. He also produced Let’s Talk About Sex (2009), a documentary broadcasted on TLC. 

The conversation-style Q&A following the producing master class featured Andrea Occhipinti, famed producer, distributor, and founder of Italy's Lucky Red, a leading Italian distribution and production company founded in 1987. The organization has distributed and produced the best of independent cinema, successfully introducing Italian audiences to great directors from all over the world such as Alejandro Amenabar, Lars Von Trier, Wong Kar-Way, Park Chan Wook, Michael Haneke, Jean Pierre, Luc Dardenne, Mario Martone, Robert Altman, Frank Oz, Atom Egoyan, and Hayao Miyazaki. To date, Lucky Red has more than 550 titles in its catalog.

Between 2013 and 2018, Occhipinti was the president of the domestic distributor division of Anica Academy and initiator of the recent summer theatrical programming development. Over his long tenure, Occhipinti received a "David di Donatello" Special Award for his commitment to theatrical distribution, the European Film Award for Best European Co-Producer, and won the “David di Donatello” as Best Producer for the film On My Skin by Alessio Cremonini and for the film Freaks Out by Gabriele Mainetti.

“While an international perspective is integral in the global media industry, focusing on specific similarities and differences between territories like Italy and the US enhances students’ and industry professionals’ strategies for success. Thanks to Andrea Occhipinti for providing the Italian perspective and to ANICA for providing a platform for this meaningful discussion. We look forward to continuing the conversation and further collaborations,” says Neal Weisman, Chair of the Producing Department of the New York City campus. 

To learn about NYFA’s producing programs, degrees, on-campus short-term workshops, and online workshops, check out the school’s discipline page

About Anica Academy

Anica Academy is a non-profit foundation that offers both basic and highly specialized training in cinema and audiovisual media for established professionals and recent graduates. Based in Rome, Italy, the institution's mission is to give the industry a new vision, one that is wide-ranging, contemporary, and well-informed. 

Visit to learn more. 

About NYFA

New York Film Academy (NYFA) is a leading film, media, and performing arts college that offers intensive undergraduate and graduate degree programs, certificates, and workshops across a multitude of areas of study in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Gold Coast (Australia), Florence (Italy), Beijing (China), and more. NYFA also offers online programs to provide unparalleled "Hands-Online" education experiences that allow aspiring storytellers across the world to access valuable industry knowledge from anywhere.

For more information, visit


New York Film Academy Partners with Anica Academy to Give Master Class in Producing New York Film Academy Partners with Anica Academy to Give Master Class in Producing

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