See the New "Miss Virginia" Poster

Check Out the New Poster For MPI’s Upcoming Feature Film

It’s finally here! We’re excited to share the official poster for MPI’s first feature film, Miss Virginia.

 
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Based on a true story, Miss Virginia stars Emmy-winner Uzo Aduba as an impoverished single mother who is losing her teenaged son to the rough streets of Washington, D.C. Unwilling to see him drop out and deal drugs, she puts him in a private school. But when she can’t afford tuition, she launches a movement to change the system that is destroying him and thousands like him.

The film will release later this year.

Happy New Year from the Moving Picture Institute

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Goodbye, 2018. Hello, 2019.

2018 was full of milestones for MPI. Just this year we’ve:

  • Filmed and produced our first narrative feature film, Miss Virginia, which we’re currently submitting to major festivals.

  • Supported 70 filmmakers with hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants and wages to support their career development.

  • Placed 18 rising filmmakers into internships with major production companies such as MGM Studios (Creed, Skyfall, the Hobbit trilogy) and on the sets of our own original films.

  • Hosted 4 screenwriting workshops; 3 hands-on, multi-day intensive workshops; and 14 masterclasses from LA to NYC, which featured award-winning industry experts like television writer Rob Long (Cheers), animator Colin Brady (Toy Story), editor Tom Wilson (Mad Men), and showrunner Chris Brancato (Narcos).

  • Screened MPI Originals like Gringa, Moving Violation, and We the Internet TV at nearly 30 festivals nationwide.

This isn’t just success; it’s real impact. MPI is fast becoming ground zero for films—and filmmakers—that promote human freedom. And we’re just getting started.

We have big plans for next year. In 2019,

  • Miss Virginia will premiere in theaters across the country;

  • We’ll launch a pipeline of new feature-length and short film projects;

  • We the Internet TV will tour college campuses;

  • We’ll double down on the support we offer rising, pro-freedom talent.

From all of us at the Moving Picture Institute, we wish you a happy new year and look forward to keeping you up-to-date with our work in 2019.

Apply to Attend Our 2019 Screenwriting Workshops

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“Calling Card” and “Documentary Storytelling” Kick Off in January

Attention screenwriters—we’re excited to announce the launch of MPI’s 2019 screenwriting workshop series. This year, we’re offering six 13-week screenwriting workshops on Writing the “Calling Card” Short, Documentary Storytelling, and Concept Development.

Projects developed in MPI’s workshops, such as Toby Fell-Holden’s Balcony and Laura Waters Hinson’s Moving Violation, have gone on to significant success and acclaim at festivals.

Workshops will take the form of an hour-long, weekly conference call; participants will also complete weekly reading and watching assignments. Each participant will receive a $1,000 fellowship from MPI.

Our first two workshops of the year, Writing the “Calling Card” Short and Documentary Storytelling, kick off in January. Applications are due by January 2, 2019.

Have an idea for a script and interested in applying? Visit our Screenwriting Workshops page to learn more.

New Mini-Documentary from We the Internet TV

MPI-Supported Filmmaker Rob Montz Takes a Look at the Presidency

Today, the Moving Picture Institute's comedy news channel We the Internet TV released Trump as Destiny: Why the Reality Show Presidency Was Inevitable, a new short documentary from MPI-supported filmmaker Rob Montz. In this 15-minute documentary, Montz investigates the history of the presidency, the crises and wars that have forged our ideas of what a president should be, and shows us what made the “Reality Show Presidency” inevitable.

MPI-Supported Film Wins at SCAD Savannah Film Festival

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The Conqueror Takes Home Best Global Short

MPI-supported film The Conqueror won the award for Best Global Short: A Sporting Chance award at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Savannah Film Festival.

This documentary short by MPI-supported filmmaker Timothy Blackwood follows Jerome Conquest, a young man from one of Philadelphia's most dangerous neighborhoods who turns to boxing as a source of hope after losing his best friend to the streets. Despite his struggles, Jerome doesn’t see himself as a victim—he works hard, pursuing his dream of becoming a professional boxer and inspiring others with the belief that the same freedom resides in the hearts of all people.

Check out the Deadline announcement for a complete list of this year’s winners.

Business of Film Workshop

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MPI Filmmakers Learn From Top Hollywood Executives

Last weekend, we ran our annual Business of Film workshop. This weekend-long workshop equips filmmakers with the fundamentals of how to start and run a production company, negotiate effective contracts, pitch and sell projects, market for profitability and impact, finance their films, and more.  

Participants learned from industry experts Rob Mitchell (CFO, Bold Films), Ralph Winter (producer, X-Men films), Jessica Johnson (TV and New Media Entertainment Contracts Manager, SAG-AFTRA), and Tiffany Atwood (CEO, RPM Talent Group), among others.

Our filmmakers raved:

You guys did such a great job of getting a diverse array of expertise. From agents, to producers, to line producers, to marketers, to writers, to directors, each each speaker gave us entirely unique and useful insight into the film business. It was efficient beyond expectation.
This is—by far—the best workshop/summit experience I have ever had.
This event was so well organized, so well constructed, so carefully planned. It was truly a testament to the hard work and the dedication that you put towards your mission statement. I would jump on any future MPI events in a heartbeat.

Interested in attending one of our workshops? Check out our Filmmaker Opportunities page for more information.

Recap: Masterclass Dinner with "For Ahkeem" Director

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MPI Filmmakers Learn From Emmy-Winner Landon Van Soest

In September, select MPI filmmakers joined us for an exclusive masterclass dinner featuring MPI-supported filmmaker Landon Van Soest, an Emmy Award-winning director, Fulbright Scholar, and two-time Sundance Fellow. Landon is best known for his recent documentary For Ahkeem and his Emmy-winning MPI-supported documentary Good Fortune.

Participants learned about the independent documentary landscape, financing, selecting subjects, attaching quality producers, and distribution.

Interested in attending our next masterclass dinner? Click here to apply.

Recap: Masterclass Dinner with Buffy the Vampire Slayer Co-Creator

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MPI Filmmakers Learn From David Greenwalt and Maggie Mahrt

In September, select MPI filmmakers joined us for an exclusive masterclass dinner featuring writer, producer, and director David Greenwalt and freelance filmmaker Maggie Mahrt. David is the co-creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Grimm. Maggie got her start in the industry as David’s production assistant on Grimm, after which she went on to create numerous original, award-winning shorts, commercials, web series, and branded content.

Participants learned about the television business, writers’ rooms, television production, what makes a good showrunner’s assistant, and how showrunners interact with studio executives.

Interested in attending our next masterclass dinner? Click here to apply.

"Gringa" Wins at Fayetteville Film Festival

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The MPI Original Took Home Best Short

We’re pleased to share that our MPI Original short film, Gringa, won Best Short film at the Fayetteville Film Festival, beating out 27 other short films. The film depicts the story of a Cuban-American woman on a frenzied mission to find a rare car part before she and her abuelo leave for a trip to Havana. Watch the trailer here.

During the festival, MPI’s vice president of talent development, Lana Link—who also co-wrote and produced the film—ran a masterclass called “How to Tell Stories that Make an Impact.” Lana discussed how to pick a good story to tell, what impact can mean and how to achieve it, and how to make a story as good as it can possibly be. She also joined Good Day NWA to talk about MPI’s work.

We the Internet TV Launches New Patreon and Merch Store

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Win an Official We the Internet TV T-shirt

We’re excited to announce that MPI’s comedy news channel, We the Internet TV, has launched a new Patreon page. Fans of We the Internet TV will now be able to support their favorite equal-opportunity offenders by signing up to become a monthly patron—and, in return, get access to exclusive content not available anywhere else!

In addition, We the Internet TV has an all-new merchandise store so fans can now shop official swag, including t-shirts, hats, hoodies, and more!

For a limited time only, when you sign up to become a patron, you’ll receive a free official We the Internet TV t-shirt in your color of choice. Don’t miss your chance to become a part of WTI history!

Recap: Masterclass with "Narcos" Co-Creator Chris Brancato

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Learning What Makes a TV Show Successful

Today in New York, Moving Picture Institute filmmakers enjoyed a masterclass conversation with Chris Brancato, the co-creator and principal writer on the critically-acclaimed, Emmy-nominated Netflix series Narcos. He has a very impressive television career, working not only on Narcos but also writing for Hannibal and show running a season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Chris shared his insights on succeeding as a television writer, show running, and adapting true stories into narrative series. 

Want to attend our next masterclass? Click here to learn more and apply.

Production Wraps on New MPI Original Short

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New Short from Gringa and Mama Rwanda Producer Coming Soon

Another MPI Original short is on the way! Ryan Patch, co-producer and editor of popular MPI films Gringa and Mama Rwanda, recently wrapped production on Regulation, a dystopian short film that depicts a near-future world where all emotions are flattened and controlled by a computerized transdermal happiness “patch.” 

In this story, a young social worker named Mia (Sunita Mani) has second thoughts about her job administering the emotional-regulation patches when she's confronted with a young girl (Audrey Bennett) who doesn't want one. 

MPI supported the production of this film and also placed an intern on set to assist with camera operation.

Be on the lookout for more updates about Regulation.

“Gringa” headed to Fayetteville Film Fest

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Plus a Can’t-Miss Masterclass from Lana Link

MPI’s original dramedy short, Gringa, will screen at the 2018 Fayetteville Film Fest this weekend as part of the Narrative Shorts: Comedy Block. Gringa, co-written by MPI-supported filmmaker Claudia Murray and MPI’s vice president of talent development, Lana Link, depicts the story of a Cuban-American woman on a frenzied mission to find a rare car part before she and her abuelo leave for a trip to Havana. 

Many idealistic filmmakers tell their investors that they want to tell stories matter and can even fuel change in society. But how many filmmakers have defined what impact means to them? Or have maximized their potential for impact as early as the development stage? To answer these questions, Lana will be hosting a masterclass at the festival on “How to Tell Stories That Make an Impact.”

Check our Events page for more details on this weekend’s screening and masterclass.

We the Internet TV Sketch Nominated for Best Funny Music Video

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“Adele Calls an Uber” One of Three Contenders

We the Internet TV sketch “Adele Calls an Uber” has been selected to screen at this year’s Austin Comedy Short Film Festival—and has also been nominated for Best Funny Music Video! Catch it this weekend at the famous Alamo Drafthouse, and be sure to subscribe to We the Internet TV for other hilarious weekly videos.

Masterclass Dinner with Former Pixar Director Colin Brady

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MPI Filmmakers Learn From The Mastermind Behind Toy Story 2

Recently, select MPI filmmakers joined us for our second exclusive masterclass dinner. This special masterclass featured former Pixar director and animator superstar Colin Brady. Colin’s vast résumé includes co-directing Toy Story 2, directing an animation division on Game of Thrones, and supervising animation divisions on The Hunger Games and Hugo. Fun fact: he also animated the famous cat Thackery Binx in Hocus Pocus. Earlier this year, Colin spoke to our summer intern class at our annual Intern Summit. 

Over the course of the evening, the masterclass attendees discussed their projects with Colin and learned how art fosters originality and originality, in turn, produces the greatest creative capital. Colin also shared lessons from his own career and insights on the power of innovation and creating opportunities for oneself. Here's what one of our filmmakers had to say:

"You're onto something great. I feel very fortunate to have been a part of last night's dinner. Thank you!" – Masterclass attendee

Interested in attending our next masterclass dinner? Click here to apply.

We the Internet TV Goes to Austin Comedy Short Film Festival

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Not One But Two Official Selections!

We the Internet TV sketches “Adele Calls an Uber” and “Shocking Prison Secret” have been officially selected to screen at this year’s Austin Comedy Short Film Festival

The Austin Comedy Short Film Festival screens short comedy films, funny music videos, web series episodes, comedy television pilots, as well as, mockumentary films. These films are created every year by independent filmmakers from around the world, looking to have their creative work screened at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Lakeline. 

Visit our Events page for more details about these screenings, and be sure to subscribe to We the Internet TV for other hilarious weekly videos.

"Gringa" Screening this Weekend

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No Better Way to Kick Off Labor Day

This Labor Day weekend, the MPI Original dramedy short, Gringa, will screen at the 13th Annual Broad Humor Film Festival as part of the Shorts #3 block

Gringa, co-written by MPI-supported filmmaker Claudia Murray and MPI’s vice president of talent development, Lana Link, depicts the story of a Cuban-American woman on a frenzied mission to find a rare car part before she and her abuelo leave for a trip to Havana.

Founded in 2006, the Broad Humor Film Festival is world's first and only film festival dedicated to showcasing comedic films written and/or directed by women filmmakers. Find more information about the screening here.

Apply for MPI’s Pilot Screenwriting Workshop

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It's Not Too Late to Apply!

Calling all aspiring TV writers! MPI’s first annual Pilot screenwriting workshop. This new screenwriting workshop will be led by writer-producer Lana Link, MPI’s vice-president of talent development, and focus on the art of writing a marketable pilot for a television series.

Don’t miss your chance to snag a spot in this workshop—apply by Friday, August 24