Founded in 2005 by human rights advocate Thor Halvorssen, the Moving Picture Institute is unlike any other foundation dedicated to promoting the ideal of liberty. At MPI, we believe that film, more effectively than any other medium, can bring the idea of freedom to life. In keeping with that belief, we are working to ensure that film becomes a center of genuinely democratic art in the coming years. Our goal is to guarantee that film's unique capacity to give shape to abstract principlesto make them move and breatheis used to support and promote liberty. Toward that end, we fund films from development through post-production, support up-and-coming filmmakers, and serve as a high-level intern placement service.
Historically, the film industry has been largely unconcerned with developing a distinctive and nuanced portrait of deep-seated American values such as free speech, freedom of association, and the free-enterprise system. Such values have been defined and defended almost exclusively in print and through oral argument. But as visual media become increasingly prevalent in our culture, and becomes the dominant channel through which younger people absorb ideas, Americans are depending more heavily upon movies for philosophical, moral, and social guidance. If the ideal of freedom is to endureif it is to maintain its vitality and relevance in our societyit must find its way into film, our most vital, relevant, and far-reaching art form. America needs a filmography of freedom, and MPI exists to meet that need.
To date, MPI has helped develop, fund, produce, or promote a wide range of films dealing with topics as diverse as Eastern European nations' revolutions against totalitarianism, the threats posed to American free speech by "libel tourism" in British courts, corruption and graft in public school systems, reform of the labyrinthine U.S. tax code, single-payer vs. free-market healthcare, post-Kelo eminent domain abuse, and the failure of the United Nations to carry out its peacekeeping missions.
MPI films are making a strong and immediate impact on national debates about crucial issues. Appearing regularly in prominent film festivals, they have won international critical acclaim and have garnered coverage from such pivotal news outlets as Newsweek, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. They have also been broadcast on television in many countries of North and South America and Europe.
MPI also helps filmmakers establish their reputations through its thriving fellowship program. Current fellows are writing, directing, and producing films on a wide range of topics, including seasteading" (where the ocean is a new frontier for twenty-first century pioneers) and the death-defying science of longevity. Such films add new, important perspectives to our thinking about freedomand are already opening doors for our fellows as they pursue their careers.
MPI is a charitable and educational tax-exempt foundation within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Our work is supported entirely by the generous contributions of individuals, foundations, and corporations.