See "Regulation" in Phoenix This Week


Two screenings you won’t want to miss

MPI’s original short film Regulation screens again this week in Phoenix as an official selection in the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival. Festival-goers can catch screenings on Friday, April 12th, and Saturday, April 13th.

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.”


MPI-hiring-Dir. of Comm & Marketing

MPI is looking to hire a director of communications and marketing. This is a fantastic position with lots of opportunity for innovation, entrepreneurship, growth, and creative problem-solving. Plus it’s the movies! Learn more here — and if that description looks like you, please apply. 

In the Spotlight: MPI Filmmaker and Director Rob Montz

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Rob Montz Dubbed “Star Turn” for His Online Video Geniusness

Last week, Quillette, an online magazine dedicated to providing a platform for free thought, published an article on MPI filmmaker and director Rob Montz. They praise Rob as a serious documentarian who has the uncanny ability to produce high-end, intellectually sophisticated, and entertaining online videos.

Rob, who is best known for his fast-paced and hard-hitting short documentaries, produced and directed We the Internet TV’s campus free-speech trilogy Silence U. Silence U: Part 2 was awarded the 2018 Reason Video Prize and was covered in The New York Times and the College Fix.

His latest We the Internet TV mini-doc, Is Instagram Destroying Teenage Girls? A Montz Micro-Dose, examines how social media may be contributing to rising rates of depression amongst teenage girls.

You can watch Rob’s WTI mini-docs and more at the Moving Picture Institute's comedy news channel We the Internet TVand read the full Quillette article here.

MPI-supported Doc Screening at NYPAP


BATTLE FOR BROOKLYN Heading Back to...Brooklyn

The MPI-supported documentary Battle for Brooklyn will screen on Monday, April 15 at the Alamo Drafthouse from 6:00pm - 8:30pm as part of the New York Preservation Film Festival. A panel discussion following the screening will feature Norman Oder, author of the blog Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Report; Katia Kelly, whose blog Pardon Me For Asking chronicles development issues in Brooklyn; and one of the filmmakers. Tickets are on sale now.

A feature-length documentary by Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley, Battle for Brooklyn looks at how New York state abused eminent domain law to demolish Brooklyn homes and businesses, paving the way for a commercial development centered on a basketball arena. Following one resident’s lengthy fight to defy his eviction order and keep control of his apartment, the film drew praise from numerous reviewers: The LA Times called it “a deft look at a reluctant crusader and how financial sway and political override can so effectively trump the power of the average citizen."

Battle for Brooklyn won Best Documentary & Best Film at the 2011 Brooklyn Film Festival, and was one of fifteen films shortlisted for an Academy Award in the Documentary Feature category for the 2012 Oscars. Although it did not make the five final nominees, even being shortlisted was huge recognition for the filmmakers and MPI.

In the Spotlight: MPI-supported Directors Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley



all the rage—connecting emotions to health

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders states that around 80 percent of adults will experience lower back pain at some point in their lifetimes. Another prominent survey finds that half of adults experience lower back pain each year, and that around 30 million Americans suffer from it at any one time. A leading contributor to reduced productivity at work, back pain accounts for an estimated 264 million lost work days each year, while treating it costs Americans around $50 billion annually in health care costs. And yet traditional medicine has often found it difficult to treat lower back pain because, in many instances, it is unclear what is causing it.

The 2016 documentary All the Rage, directed by Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley (who previously directed the MPI-supported, Oscar-shortlisted documentary Battle for Brooklyn), examines the work of the late Dr. John Sarno (1923-2017), former professor of rehabilitation medicine at the New York University School of Medicine, whose unorthodox approach connects lower back pain to emotional rather than structural causes. Although Sarno’s theories frequently put him at odds with the mainstream medical establishment, his bestselling books have gained a large following, with thousands crediting him with their recovery from debilitating pain. Through interviews with Sarno, prominent patients, and other experts, the film asks viewers to take a more holistic view of healthcare and consider the role of emotional and mental states in fostering healing.

One of the film’s directors has first-hand experience of Dr. Sarno’s approach. When Michael Galinsky was immobilized by excruciating back pain, Sarno treated him and helped him recover, inspiring Galinsky’s 12-year effort from 2004 to 2016 to translate Sarno’s work to the screen. Other interviewees in the documentary, whom Sarno also helped, include “shock jock” Howard Stern, Seinfeld co-creator Larry David, and reporter John Stossel.

All the Rage is now available to stream on Amazon Video and iTunes.

"Regulation" Screens in Hollywood and Phoenix This Week


Don’t miss your chance to catch the latest MPI Original short!

MPI’s original short film Regulation will screen at festivals in Hollywood and Phoenix this week. On Thursday, April 4th, it will screen at the famous TCL Chinese Theatre as part of the Beverly Hills Film Festival, and on Friday, April 5th, it will screen at the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival in Phoenix. Check out our Events page for additional details.

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.”

MPI Film Voted Top Documentary

How Jack Became Black Awarded Prize for Important Documentary

We’re happy to announce that MPI-supported documentary How Jack Became Black was awarded Best Documentary: Important Documentary About a Socially Relevant Topic at Film Threat’s inaugural Award This! Awards. Founded in 1985, Film Threat is a prominent independent film news and reviews outlet; a champion of rising independent filmmakers, Film Threat launched its Award This! awards to recognize outstanding work in independent film.

This documentary, written and directed by MPI filmmaker Eli Steele, examines what it is like to be multiracial in an America dominated by identity politics. The film is available to rent or purchase via iN Demand (check your cable provider's listings), iTunes, and Amazon Video.

MPI Original Short "The Perfect One" Coming Soon

New short film begins pre-production

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve begun pre-production on The Perfect One, a new MPI Original short from MPI filmmaker Matthew Szewczyk. Matthew is an award-winning writer-director  whose work spans Funny or Die episodes, Uber commercials and music videos. In 2015, he won Best Director at the Studio City International Film Festival for his surveillance thriller The Right Hand of God, which he originally developed in an MPI screenwriting workshop.

In 2018, Matthew participated in MPI’s Calling Card workshop to develop a short film that could showcase his storytelling and directing skills. There, he developed an idea for a narrative short about a young painter who revives his family’s failing business by taking an innovative risk.

After the workshop ended, MPI opted to produce the film as an MPI Original short, with Matthew directing. A moving story of entrepreneurship and free expression, the film will be produced in 2019 and premiere in festivals in 2020.

MPI Awarded GuideStar’s Platinum Seal of Transparency



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.


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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