Sign up for the Collaboration Filmmakers Challenge!



Our friends at the Collaboration Filmmakers Challenge are entering the 8th year of their two-week short film competition in LA. Several filmmakers in the MPI network have participated in the past, thanks to the amazing prizes and networking opportunities. We are proud to sponsor the screening on June 7th.  

Participants who sign up to make a film must also give help to at least one other filmmaker, as well as receive help from another filmmaker in the competition.

If you don’t want to make your own film, you can sign up as a Collaborator and help others make their movies -- this is a great option for actors, for example. Check out this video for more information about CFC and its filmmakers.

Sign up on the CFC website—the cost is $40 for Filmmakers and $25 for Collaborators.

The best films, as chosen by CFC’s celebrity jury, will be shown to a full house at the prestigious Harmony Gold Theater. You'll have the chance to have your film seen by Two and a Half Men co-creator Lee Aronsohn and Iron Man producer Peter Billingsley. More judges will be announced soon.

They’ll also award over $12,000 in cash prizes, camera gear from RED and Moondog Labs, production software from Final Draft and Red Giant, and a chance to win a $10,000 grant towards your next film.

Here are the dates for this year's competition:

  • May 14—CFC Kickoff Party

  • May 15-29—Competition Period

  • June 7—Short Film Premiere (proudly sponsored by the Moving Picture Institute)

Legally Speaking: Texting Suicide

Can an online troll be held accountable for another’s demise?

JUST RELEASED: Constitutional law professor Barry McDonald and We the Internet TV’s Lou Perez hash out yet another free-speech question in a newly released episode of WTI TV’s “Legally Speaking” series.

A Massachusetts woman encouraged her boyfriend to commit suicide. Is she guilty of manslaughter, or was she within her First Amendment rights? If she's guilty, how should we punish online trolls who try to goad people into suicide? These are the questions raised in the latest episode of “Legally Speaking,” We the Internet TV’s series on the finer (and weirder) points of the First Amendment.

Watch the video here, and be sure to post your own questions about free speech in the comment section!

RECAP: MPI’s Business of Film April Session

business of film

filmmakers from across the country participate in virtual session on leveraging festivals

Last month, filmmakers and producers in our Business of Film program heard from Daniel Sol, the festival director and lead programmer of LA’s prestigious Hollyshorts Film Festival. Our filmmakers learned how to make the most of their calling card shorts and festival runs. To get a sense of the conversation and practical advice, watch Film Courage’s excellent playlist of interviews with Daniel.

Many MPI filmmakers have participated in the HollyShorts Film Festival, as well as the HollyShorts Monthly Screening Series at the TCL 6 Chinese Theatres. For example, MPI original short GRINGAwon the Monthly Series Audience Award in December. The MPI-supported documentary INCARCERATING USscreened in 2017. A few years prior, MPI filmmaker and Business of Film program participant Cyrus Saidi screened his MPI-supported sci-fi short L1TTL3 BR0TH3R.

This is "Legally Speaking"


We the Internet TV's head writer Lou Perez is at it again...with a brand new series, “Legally Speaking,” in which he joins forces with Pepperdine University School of Law professor Barry McDonald to bring viewers up-to-speed on all things First Amendment.  

Lou launched the series in early March and has since shared six episodes.

The latest episode, “Kitten Crushing Videos (yes, it's a thing),” follows the story of a California man who posts online videos of a woman crushing kittens with her heels. Illegal, right? No! Watch the video to understand why!

Subscribe to the WTI TV channel and click the bell to turn on notifications from them, so you don't miss any of their new videos.

We the Internet TV Launches #FunnyHateTour

WTI TV ’s head writer Lou Perez onstage

WTI TV’s head writer Lou Perez onstage

The Funny Thing About Hate Speech with Lou Perez Brings Comedy to Serious Debate

Last Thursday, We the Internet TV’s head writer Lou Perez kicked off the 2019 campus tour, The Funny Thing About Hate Speech, to a full house at SubCulture in NYC.

After some back and forth banter with the audience, Lou premiered the latest WTI TV mini-documentary, 5 Reasons Why We Need Hate Speech. Then former ACLU president Nadine Strossen and free-speech activist Zach Wood, both of whom are featured in the mini-doc, joined Lou onstage to discuss their first-hand experience of being censored.

This show was the first of five stops -- Lou plans to bring the tour to Denver, Portland, Berkeley, and Raleigh this fall. He promises new panelists for each show, along with fresh jokes and loud outfits. As always, he welcomes hecklers with open arms.

If you haven’t watched the mini-doc yet, what are you waiting for? Check it out here and be sure to visit WTI TV’s website for updates on tour dates and locations.

MPI Filmmaker Toby Fell-Holden Becomes Vimeo Staff Pick

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

Join us in congratulating Toby

Earlier this month, MPI-supported filmmaker Toby Fell-Holden was honored to learn that his short film Balcony had become a Vimeo Staff Pick. Way to go Toby! You can watch it here.

Toby is a critically-acclaimed writer/director. To learn more about his career and his advice for filmmakers, check out MPI’s 2018 Spotlight on him.

MPI at the 2019 WGFestival

2019 WGFest MPI panel

MPI Hosts Panel to Discuss Film Financing

In March, MPI participated in the annual Writers Guild Festival, a weekend-long event run by the nonprofit Writers Guild Foundation in partnership with the Academy Education and Nicholl Fellowship Programs. The festival invites acclaimed television and film writers to share their advice and experiences.

2019 marked MPI’s second year participating in the festival. Last year, MPI’s vice president of talent development Lana Link moderated an MPI masterclass panel with Craig Borten, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Dallas Buyers Club, about writing films for social impact.

This year, MPI’s panel took a practical approach to the screenwriting business with a  panel titled Indie-IY: Finding Financing for Your Film.

Sev Ohanian and Aneesh Chaganty, the filmmaking duo behind the hit film Searching, shared the compelling story of how they took that film from a short concept to a $75 million+ box-office success. Alex Saks, the principal at Page Fifty-Four Pictures who is known for her work on prestigious indies such as The Florida Project, talked about what she looks for as a producer and outlined numerous avenues to financing a film. Lana moderated as the panel addressed common questions from MPI filmmakers.

Here’s what some MPI screenwriters, whom MPI sponsored to attend, had to say:

Loved this weekend. So grateful to MPI for making it possible. I am inspired to push forward as a writer in a new way due to this weekend.
Thank you, MPI, both for affording me this unique opportunity, and also for your panel on film financing — easily the most daunting aspect of filmmaking from a writer’s perspective, and an irreplaceable session for WGFest!
Where else will you hear an industry veteran respond to a young filmmaker’s problem with, ‘Oh, that’s an easy solve! Here is exactly what you should do …’ That is what happened in a Q&A session at WGFest this past weekend. WGFest is an invaluable experience both personally and professionally.

MPI’s News Channel WTI TV Is Hitting the Road

2019 WTI TV Campus Tour Logo

The Funny Thing About Hate Speech Tour Launching This Month

On Thursday, April 25, come one, come all—it's going down! We the Internet TV will be launching its 2019 Campus Tour with the premiere screening of 5 Reasons Why We Need Hate Speech, a mini-documentary featuring WTI TV's Lou Perez.

We the Internet TV has become the go-to safe space for satire—74 million views and counting! This nationwide tour will bring WTI TV’s special brand of humor to the university free-speech debate through interviews with First Amendment experts, activists, and journalists. Decide for yourself whether hate speech has a place in society.

There will be live stand-up comedy and conversations with the scholars and thinkers who appear in the mini-doc...oh, and did we mention free drinks, free giveaways, and plenty of FREE SPEECH?!

(But please, no air horns. Lou really hates air horns.)

View the event page and purchase your ticket today!

MPI’s News Channel We the Internet TV has been Webby-Honored Again!


WTI TV Recognized in the 23rd Annual Webby Awards

We the Internet TV’s Stop Making Me Defend Donald Trump video has been selected as an official honoree in the Best Film & Video – Variety category this year. This recognition ranks We the Internet TV in the top 20% of the 13,000 entries submitted this year from all 50 U.S. states and 70 countries—a huge accomplishment. Furthermore, this is the fourth consecutive year that We the Internet TV has been recognized at the Webbys.

The Webby Awards, known as the “Oscars of the Internet,” are the Internet’s most respected symbol of success. As a Webby honoree, We The Internet TV proves yet again that we are setting the global standard for excellence in online media.

We the Internet TV remains the official safe space for satire. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for new videos every week!