• Report: #686856

Complaint Review: Hollywood Film & Acting Academy

  • Submitted: Tue, January 25, 2011
  • Updated: Wed, December 28, 2011

  • Reported By: Maria — Los Angeles California United States of America
Hollywood Film & Acting Academy
1786 N. Highland Ave. Los Angeles, California United States of America

Hollywood Film & Acting Academy Hollywood Film And Acting Academy, scam, rip-off students, misleading advertising, false promises, fake contract, consumer abuse, illegal activities Los Angeles, California

*Author of original report: Guidelines of rebuttals

*Consumer Comment: This is a bogus complaint to make lies of being expelled studentd true

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Hollywood Film & Acting Academy is one of the worst actingschools in Los Angeles. It is a scam.Do stay away from it please.

ALmost all students since spring 2009 have NOT been satisfied and have NOT gotten what they signed up for.

Your money and tiime are utterly wasted, because it really is a bad schol, if you can even call Hollyowod Film And Acting " Academy" a school.

Classes are not structured and led by actor's who are not the best teachers. Some come because they need to; not because they want to teach. Some are great people really but you don't learn a lot from them as actingteachers. Most classes are not even on camera,and when there is camera it is a normal consumer cam without any of the usual professional lighting. A 2 cam setup is never used, but are normal in many other actingclasses in LA.How can this even be a filmschool as well?There is no single filmstudent.In general overpriced un-structured education.

Check with state and community colleges if you want the real deal,but can't afford universities or real academies. Hollywood Film and acting academy is NOT a REAL ACADEMY.it is FAKE.It is owned and operated by one man only,and his brother.All teachers are hired externally and not connected to or on the payroll of the business "hollywood film and acting academy".


Filmmaking program is not happening.There were never any filmmaking students since summer 2009. ALos this program is led by the school's owner who has not enough talent and experience as a filmmaker (he went to commerical LA Filmschool for 3 months) and has no talent at all for teaching. He never has ben a teacher anywhere, let alone at a film or acting school.

But then this man decided to start his own school.... bad idea.

Honestly, this man is also not capable of managing and owning a school.He is a glorified cameraman at best.

His name is Josh Sands, and he is really nice before you sign, because it is his living, he makes his money with this "school".

To get new students to sign Josh employs a team of underpaid telemarketeers who work on commision only basis.

Desperate people from the Hollywood streets, even homeless people,
come to him and try to get by in Hollywood by tricking aspiring students to sign, so they get a kickback.
These desperado's work on commission basis and they get money from Josh when they get you to sign.Sadly Josh even betrays a lot of these staff as well as he betrays students and I saw a lot of them leave while I was there.They had to sign a non-disclosure agreement..

Actor's House and background
I lived in the actor's house with convicted criminals, and homeless bum's who were just to eager to get a place to live.Even a woman who was most wanted was allowed in the house, after a fake backgroundcheck.
Josh Sands knew about her past as he did with the other criminals and some mentally unstable people whom he yet, knowingly, allowed in the house.Unsafe!!!
This is no place to send your son or daughter to!!
.Please people, do look into craiglist for housing or go for a cheap hotel even, just to get you started in Hollywood.But don't buy the "free housing"!
HOUSING IS NOT FOR FREE, because at 1500$ a month housing is factored into the costs of the "ultimate acting program".

The teachers are not all good, especially when the school's owner's brother, Larry Sands is your teacher.He does this so he can at least make a buck while staying at his brother;s because he does not get a lot of actingwork.He is not a teacher out of passion or belief or because he like to teach, he does it because he has to but he sucks at it.

Some teachers are allright, but in general you might better contact them directly yourself, because at the school you pay too much as a student and those "teachers", really :actor's who make an extra buck, do not get a lot.The money is for Josh, the owner who wants a profit.

Josh Sands loves money but couldn't care less about your acting career after you sign.

He does not return deposits made.

Josh in general is a killer of actor's dreams which is his biggest crime.

A lot of false promises were made before I signed a fake contract and none of the promises were kept. No movies were shot with students.Some short video's were done but the quality of those vid' is on the level of amateurs.Have a look at YOUTUBE, type the school's name and judge for yourself.omg.

My class was also promised imdb credit's but those home made vid's don't ever qualify, so that also was a false promise.

We were also explicitly promised industrycontacts and agents and managers who would come and see showcases.The recruiters and Mr. Sands all made it sound too good to be true... and it was.

Good actingclasses in Hollywood vary in price but are always cheaper than what you get here, it is way too expensive for what you get.You can meet teachers who are working actor's that is true,and some are even moderately famous, but they will not help you.You have to help yourself in Hollywood,and you will not get it just like that when you pay someone.You have to proof your skills and have to pay your dues. But that's not what you will hear at this "school".

Hollywood film and acting academy is not even a real academy.

Even the name is there to fool you. You don't even get a diploma when you "graduate". How can you? The place is not even registered as a school!!!


Look, if you can find any SUCCESFULL graduates of hollywood film and academy online who are satisfied and gotten what they were promised I dare you to post the results here. The reality though is: You will not find any.

When you do, you can be sure they are undertalented wannabees who lost about 10.000$ on average but are so fooled they don't yet realise they are tricked out of their money. Don't become one of them.

Do not sign , it is almost impossible to get money back...

Josh Sands has been disrespectful too to many people at the school and has always tried to escape out of the web of lies he spun himself.

I strongly recommend anyone to stay away from this place.


Together with all of my former classmates i hope one day Josh will have to close his school and pay for his crimes. He has verbally abused and threatened students, by his doings international students got in trouble. He wouild pay 200 $ a month to a fake college so those internationals could get their studentvisa. Yet Josh asked 300 $ a month "for service" and was always relcutant to help those people from abroad. He really used them,and abused them,also financially.He has stolen items and destroyed items and personal property from on camous students as he gains illegal access to their rooms.

He willingly and knowingly allows mentally instable and even homeless and convicted criminals in the house. He was even proud to have made a short video with Suge Knight...a criminal rapper artist who was filming at the back of the actor's house. Days later Knight got arrested ,again,... Josh has lied to teachers, not paid teachers, and not returned deposits for tuition and security to almost all students. For NO REASON.Or he made up a reason.Josh is NOT ALLOWED to enroll INTERNATIONAL students,but he willl have them anyways,and has caused great legal and immigration problems for almost all internationals he did enroll tru a fake ESL college.

Josh' business is not a registered and accredited school, nor academy, so no rules apply.WHen you sigh and live there,you actually live and study in a business. At any given moment students can be asked to l eave,and will be forced to do. It happened a lot, for no particular reason in many cases.No protection at all,in those cases. And you loose your money..plus he will try to collect more from you tru a fake collection agent in Florida (you wonder,why not one from CaLifornia?)

Many students claim their tuition deposits back and compensation for the parts of oral agreements NOT FULFILLED by Hollywood Film And Acting Academy.

if you need to convince yourself of the quality of thei "movies" go to their youtube:



Judge for yourself, and I hope you will find a better place.STAY away from this one please.

Research well before you arrive here. Do not believe any great promises.No one , no Hollywood Film And Acting Academy, no school no coach,no teacher, no manager, no agent , no studio, no director, no producer can and should promise you fame , success or wealth.



To make it in Hollywood it is about : hard work sacrifice, dedication, inspiration (10%), transpiration 90%), no pain no gain, focus, discipline, rest (not partying like Paris Hilton or so), work out, training actingskills, meditation, auditioning, reading,planning, work work work. IT TAKES A LOT.

I hope Josh SAnds will one day realise what he is doing and has been doing, taking money from unaware aspiring actors.You could say he is preying on actor's dreams as a parasite.He really cares about money and not much more.One day he will pay.

God will take care of it.

I hope you will find your way in this crazy funny town and have success.



This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/25/2011 11:51 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Hollywood-Film-Acting-Academy/Los-Angeles-California-90028/Hollywood-Film-Acting-Academy-Hollywood-Film-And-Acting-Academy-scam-rip-off-students-686856. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Guidelines of rebuttals

AUTHOR: hwfaastudentgraduate - (United States of America)

All post on this site should and are intended to warn prospective students to Hollywood Film and Acating Aacademy.

Hollywood Film & Acting Academy now smears former students as can be read in the rebuttal posted on nove,ber 19 2011.
How low can they go? 

It goes to show the complaints of former students must be true somehow....the school now fears for its reputation and all they can do is try go after the people they think are posting.

Which school will go as far as this and place names of individual former students online? 

tagline: Hollywood Film & Acting academy : EVEN " DANGEROUS " AFTER YOU LEAVE IT.
The stories connected to these names are lies,total fake. 

Also out of context on this site which is about the school and its services.

This site reader's are not here to be informed about former students and their supposed behavior.

As a former recruiter for HWFAA I can vouch for the integrity of students who posted. THeir post are 90% true. Of course you have to read between the lines, especially where they talk about the owner. I honestly still have hope the owner is trying to do hos best to turn everything around and make his school into the place he intends it to be. Until then: I would not send my own daughter (or son) to this place,which is the reason I am taking the effort to post here.

Advice: If you're going to be in Southern California, you can look at Long Beach City College, El Camino College, or Santa Monica College. Of the three, Santa Monica College has the best reputation.

You want to be careful when selecting your classes, though. Most film schools (UCs, Privates) do not accept film production courses in transfer from community colleges. I know a lot of people who weren't aware of that and they took 25 units of production courses, and when it came time to transfer, they only had 35 transferable units. They either had to transfer to lower-rate Cal State schools, or extend their community college stay by a year to make up the 25 units. 

Most film history, film theory, and film criticism classes do transfer. I focused on those, along with general education classes. I also took creative writing, art history, and photography classes to round out my 60 units. 

Your best bet is to make a list of the top three schools you want to attend, and then call their admissions counselors and ask them what they recommend you take at the community college level. That way you can design your curriculum around what your top schools are looking for. Chances are, if you meet the requirements for the top schools, you will also meet the requirements for the lower-tier schools (but not the other way around).

Good luck on your preparation and welcome to our great city of Angels. (yes, a great place to study too.)

ps. Hollywood film actor's academy rebuttal is also violating this website's rules:
from ripoffreport.com: 
Please note that rebuttals should NOT contain any of the following:Profanity, obscenity, threats of violence, racist remarks, false statements, personal information (i.e., social security numbers, credit card numbers, home address(es) or phone numbers), or any other information which violates Ripoff Report's Terms of Service;Rumors, speculation, or innuendo unless you have personal knowledge that your statements are true;Trivial comments (i.e., Nice report!) which do not add anything useful to the discussion.
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#2 Consumer Comment

This is a bogus complaint to make lies of being expelled studentd true

AUTHOR: Former Student - (United States of America)

The Hollywood Film & Acting Academy has Rules and regulations that each student has to follow.

Each student has to sign a contract so that they promise to follow the rules.

The people above are complaining because they were expelled for breaking the rules.

First off let me tell you who I am and why I am writing this in defense of Josh Sands, owner of The Hollywood Film & Acting Academy.

I am a former student who Josh let work in the office at the Academy. Since then I have really gotten to know Josh as a person and see him for who he really is and I'm tired of seeing him suffer because of the actions of people who don't take responsibilities for their actions. I want to remain anonymous because Brett Edwards, Henry Bibo, Akram Kanaan, Christopher Alison, Charles Murrey, Chelsie Foster and other people that lived in Actors house were secretly controlling me and other students of actors house until Josh Sands put a stop to it. I am still afraid for my life because Henry Bibo and other students who were friends with Henry verbally and physically abused me.

I asked Josh why he hasn't responded to any of the negative posts on-line. He responded by saying that he wanted to protect the former students from themselves. I asked him how and he said they if the real truth comes out then the people who wrote the lies would have to deal with the one lie that will change their lives forever. Their lies.

I am extremely grateful to Josh Sands & The Hollywood Film & Acting Academy for everything that they have done, that is why I am writing this response.

Josh is a good person who created a school for people who society looks down on, namely actors. When you aren't a famous actor, people look down on you, your parents don't support you, and businesses don't want to hire you. Josh gave me and other grateful actors like me a place we could call home and the ungrateful people who werent happy with the lives that they created for themselves created a very uncomfortable living situation.

So I am here to change the lives of the people who are lying about Josh Sands and The Hollywood Film & Acting Academy.

I found The Hollywood Film & Acting Academy because I was looking for a school that would teach me how to act and I found amazing
classes and a great place to live until people in actors house made it really uncomfortable.

BRETT EDWARDS from Louisville, Kentucky is upset because he got expelled for moving in Chelsie Foster's room and then started having sex with he. Brett was a controlling jerk that took advantage of her and everyone in the house by having meeting and manipulating everyone into doing what ever he wanted. Everyone in the house was terrified of him. Also i feel so sorry for Chelsie Foster, had just turned 18 and he was 26,  and he has having sex with her, that wasn't right.

HENRY BIBO you came to United States from Amsterdam and enrolled in the 6 month acting program as an international student. He was also enrolled at the huntington career college to take english as a second language, this is LEGAL by the way. He was told that he had to attend E.S.L. Classes and attend acting classes, by both The Hollywood Film & Acting Academy and the huntington career college.  However he was lazy and didn't attend and E.S.L. classes.

Here is what I saw from Henry Bibo, in the nicest way possible. When he didn't get what he wanted he would get in some ones face and yell and or push and once at night I heard him yelling at his parents for not sending money and then he started a problem with another student who he could pick on.

He wasn't a very nice person. The students of Actors House complained about Henry to Josh, so Josh scheduled a meeting with Henry. Henry blew up in the meeting and ran back into the class where I was and created a scene. Josh asked him to leave the class room nicely, he refused and then Josh called the police to have him removed. After Josh called the police Heny left.

I spoke to Henry and asked him what happened and he said that Josh had put him on suspension and gave him the opportunity to come back to the academy after completing a free anger management class. He then got upset and threw a bottle at the wall, then he got up and walked away. A few days later he packed his items and moved into a hotel and left the school.

Josh Sands didnt have his items removed or steal anything.

Henry Bibo has been lying to himself, his friends and his family just to cover up his actions.

Josh Sands gave him the opportunity to come back into The Hollywood film & Acting Academy, Henry Bibo chose to run way and blame someone else for his actions.

AKRAM KANAAN, you were expelled because you continually disrespected the instructors. YOU were let back into the academy because you mother called and begged Josh to let you back into the school. You later were expelled again because you had secretly recorded your conversation with Josh Sands.

CHARLES MURREY is upset because he is in collections for $6,000.00 the amount that he owns The Hollywood Film & Acting Academy for unpaid tuition.

CHELSIE FOSTER, is upset because he is the on again off again girlfriend of BRETT EDWARDS she will do anything he says because he mentally abuses her so that he can get what he wants.

BRETT EDWARDS has tricked the feeble minds of each of thesepeople to cover up his lies.
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