MPI Awarded GuideStar’s Platinum Seal of Transparency

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MPI COMMENDED FOR ITS ONGOING PROGRESS

Earlier this week, the Moving Picture Institute was awarded GuideStar’s 2019 Platinum Seal of Transparency. Achieving GuideStar’s highest rating demonstrates MPI’s commitment not only to transparency but also to creating real impact. GuideStar awards this seal only to nonprofits that can demonstrate ongoing progress and results. We are proud to be included among the select number of nonprofits that share this honor.

A special thanks to all who partner with MPI to make our work possible.

Recap: MPI Masterclass on Storytelling and Civil Liberties During SXSW

MPI’s Lana Link weighs in on the discussion.

MPI’s Lana Link weighs in on the discussion.

MPI REELS IN TOP INDUSTRY TALENT FOR AN EXCLUSIVE EVENING DISCUSSING CIVIL LIBERTIES

This week we overheard someone call SXSW the new World’s Fair. It’s a great analogy. At SXSW, people from around the globe explore what’s next in technology, storytelling, and society. The variety is tremendous: You can start your day at a panel about curbing the Orwellian surveillance state and end it at a workshop with a Marvel screenwriter. 

But a conference of this size and scale can also feel overwhelming. This is why the Moving Picture Institute was proud to sponsor an offsite space for creatives and leaders in their fields to wind down, have meaningful conversations, and reflect on how the craft of storytelling relates to major issues in our world. 

For the past two years, we have held public screenings and discussions relating to human rights issues. MPI-supported films such as The Immortalists have also screened at SX in the past.

This year we shifted gears toward communication and engagement. We hosted dinner at Il Brutto for 36 friends, old and new, which culminated in a panel discussion focused on Storytelling and Civil Liberties

This conversation featured a range of perspectives and experiences, including Ramfis Myrthil (Beast of the East Productions), Todd Belcore (Social Change), SJ Murray, PhD (EMMY®-nominated filmmaker; professor at Baylor University), and Alex Gladstein (Human Rights Foundation). We were also fortunate to feature performances from local artists Thelonious Love and Brooke Axtell.

The event had a huge impact on the storytellers in the room. Here are some of their comments:

My biggest takeaway was that film can spread the belief in freedom and help empower people to lift themselves up and inspire others.
Loved the panel. Mix of art and social impact. Amazing stories and people with incredible perspectives on where we need to go in life and art. Thank you!
My biggest takeaway was that nothing can change without empathy — especially for those you disagree with.

Want to attend MPI masterclasses? Apply here.


Thanks also to our partners who made this incredible event possible, including:

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MPI Original Short "A Piece of Cake" Coming Soon

Meredith (left) and Austin (right) Bragg pictured at our Business at MPI’s 2018 Business in Film seminar.

Meredith (left) and Austin (right) Bragg pictured at our Business at MPI’s 2018 Business in Film seminar.

New Short Film Begins Pre-Production

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve begun pre-production on A Piece of Cake, a new MPI Original comedy short from Austin and Meredith Bragg. The Bragg brothers are award-winning video producers and editors at Reason TV. Their videos have been viewed millions of times and have been featured on Deadline, CollegeHumor.com, the Atlantic, NPR, Politico, CNN, PBS, and Comedy Central.

In 2018, Austin and Meredith participated in MPI’s thirteen-week Concept Development workshop to refine their skills in character-driven narrative filmmaking. There, they developed an idea for a short dramedy about a father who breaks California law when he tries to buy a banned decoration for his daughter’s birthday cake.

After the workshop ended, MPI’s chief creative officer, Erin O’Connor, worked with the Braggs as they wrote and revised the script. Now, MPI is producing the film, with Austin and Meredith co-directing. A compelling look at over-regulation, the film will be produced in 2019 and will premiere in festivals in 2020.

MPI Heads to to SxSW

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Teaching Civil Liberties through Storytelling

Tomorrow, MPI is hosting a masterclass in Austin, TX, alongside the SXSW film festival. Entitled “Storytelling and Civil Liberties,” this sold-out masterclass will be led by MPI vice president of talent development Lana Link and explore how storytellers who care about civil liberties can make a difference in society.   

Featured speakers include:

  • Brooke Axtell, founder and director of She is Rising, a healing community for women and girls overcoming rape, abuse, and sex-trafficking;

  • Todd Belcore, four-time national award-winning lawyer, mediator, advocate, law lecturer, and co-founder of the nonprofit Social Change;

  • Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer at the Human Rights Foundation and vice president of strategy for the Oslo Freedom Forum;

  • Thelonious Love, a Houston-based artist and activist;

  • Dr. SJ Murray, Baylor professor, Emmy-nominated filmmaker, pioneer in the field of story design, and award-winning writer, director, and producer; and

  • Ramfis Myrthil, a New York-based filmmaker and founding partner and co-President of Beast of the East Productions.

Want to attend MPI masterclasses? Apply here.

Recap: MPI Masterclass with Arctic Filmmakers

Source—XYZ Films

Source—XYZ Films

MPI Filmmakers Get the Inside Scoop on Award-Winning Feature

Last Thursday, select MPI filmmakers joined us for a private masterclass with Joe Penna and Ryan Morrison, co-creators of the critically acclaimed 2018 film Arctic. Shot entirely on location in Iceland and starring Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal, Casino Royale), Arctic screened at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival before securing theatrical distribution.

Penna and Morrison offered the masterclass participants valuable insights into the journey to and through a debut feature film.

Here's what one of our filmmakers had to say:

I had a long list of questions to ask and barely opened my mouth, because they answered every single one of them through their casual and candid dialogue. It was inspiring to see two hard-working filmmakers reaping the benefits from defying all the odds. Their story was the perfect blend of information and inspiration.

Interested in attending our next private masterclass? Apply here.

"Regulation" Accepted into DC Independent Film Festival

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MPI Original Short Earns Coveted Shortlist Spot

MPI’s original short, Regulation, will screen at the 2019 DC Independent Film Festival in March as part of the Narrative Shorts block.

Written and directed by MPI filmmaker Ryan Patch, the film depicts a near future wherein a young social worker named Mia (Sunita Mani, GLOW) travels through a small town community administering behavior-modifying patches that guarantee happiness for the wearers. She must decide what to do when ten-year-old Kaleigh (Audrey Bennett, Broadway’s Frozen) refuses to accept the “happy patch.”

Following the screening, director Ryan Patch and producer Joanne Vo will lead an audience Q&A.

Find more details on the event here.

Recap: MPI’s Sundance Masterclass

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Sold-out Masterclass Highlights Transformative Power of Storytelling

Last month, MPI hosted a human rights-based masterclass alongside the Sundance Film Festival. The sold-out event, co-sponsored by Snowday, Tabu Filmz, and ACG Wealth, Inc. and led by MPI vice president of development Lana Link, explored how storytellers can use film to profile human rights issues such as human trafficking and spark social change for human rights. around those issues.

The event’s featured speakers included:

  • Brooke Axtell, founder and director of She is Rising, a healing community for women and girls overcoming rape, abuse, and sex-trafficking;

  • Dr. SJ Murray, Baylor professor, Emmy-nominated filmmaker, pioneer in the field of story design, and award-winning writer, director, and producer;

  • Conroy Kanter, president and founder of KK Ranch Productions, CEO of anti-trafficking organization Trafficked, LLC, and director of independent drama Trafficked; and

  • Tiffany Kieran, director of interactive programing and partnerships at EarthxFilm.

Following the masterclass, Brooke Axtell treated our filmmakers to a special musical performance.

Attendees gave the event a 9.8/10 rating and raved:

Everyone on the panel illuminated such important and often neglected foundations of storytelling and its power. I was moved, deeply. Thank you.
Wow. That was by far the most impactful event Ii’ve been to in years. More please!
An incredible, intentional event that upholds the true spirit of Sundance. Bravo!
Seriously considering changing the focus of my next film to a topic that creates social change.

Want to attend MPI masterclasses? Apply here.

"Regulation" Premieres in NYC

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MPI Original Short Will Screen at the Big Apple Film Festival

MPI’s original short, Regulation, premieres tonight at the 2019 Big Apple Film Festival in New York City.

Written and directed by MPI filmmaker Ryan Patch, the film depicts a near future wherein a young social worker named Mia (Sunita Mani, GLOW) travels through a small town community administering behavior-modifying patches that guarantee happiness for the wearers. She must decide what to do when ten-year-old Kaleigh (Audrey Bennett, Broadway’s Frozen) refuses to accept the “happy patch.”

Find more details on the event here.

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.