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!