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Annual Report 2013


The Moving Picture Institute (MPI) promotes freedom through film in two unique and effective ways: 1. By producing pro-liberty media content about individual rights, limited government, and free markets; and 2. By identifying and nurturing promising freedom-oriented filmmakers at every phase of their careers.

we reach MILLions

Unlike other organizations, MPI reaches people of all backgrounds and political persuasions through television, DVD, Netflix, iTunes, video on demand, and the Internet. Our films routinely screen in theaters, in schools, on college campuses, at think tanks, before state and national legislatures, at major policy conferences, and more.


MPI has a foot in the policy world and in Hollywood. That’s why MPI can produce creative, engaging work that inspires people to learn about freedom and why it matters. By educating while entertaining, our films have become a rallying point for property rights, free speech, education reform, entrepreneurship, fiscal restraint, and many more critical issues. MPI is changing Hollywood from the inside by seeding the entertainment industry with filmmakers who are committed to telling meaningful stories about freedom.


the career development of gifted comedians who spread the message of liberty with humor. MPI also launched its popular Screenwriting Workshops to help filmmakers critically analyze their scripts and become better storytellers for liberty. The support MPI offers filmmakers is second to none. Filmmakers in our programs screen their movies before state and federal legislatures, think tanks, and high-ranking universities. They and their films win major awards. More than six out of ten interns in our Hollywood Career Launch program go on to full-time jobs in Hollywood, where they change the entertainment industry from the inside out.


n its founding year, the Moving Picture Institute had one employee, a minuscule budget, and a remarkable vision: To promote freedom through film. Fast forward nine years and MPI films shape critical policy debates, win prestigious awards, and are available in over 88 million homes.

Over the past year, one of our greatest successes was with Pups of Liberty, an animated film that uses cartoon dogs and cats to tell the story of the American Revolution. The response from teachers has been overwhelming–the film is effectively inspiring young people across the country to learn about the principles of freedom at the core of our nation’s history. Because we educate while entertaining, MPI’s work reaches young people in a way that no other organization can. This year alone over 17,000 middle- and high-school teachers requested MPI films–including Pups of Liberty–through the Free to Choose Network. Because each teacher reaches around 100 students, over 1.7 million students learned about freedom from our films this year. Once we identify talented freedom-oriented filmmakers, we dedicate ourselves to fostering their development and ensuring that they bring the message of freedom alive on the screen. To that end, we provide them with grant resources, networking opportunities, skills training, and mentorship support. This year MPI dramatically expanded its available resources by launching two new programs. First, Project Standup fosters

2 MPI Annual Report 2013

This year MPI also expanded its staff. Lana Harfoush, formerly an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation, is MPI’s new Director of Communications and Marketing. Lana helps MPI filmmakers create and launch publicity campaigns for their projects. Naomi Brockwell–an actress, opera singer, and film producer–is MPI’s new Program Officer. Naomi draws from years of storytelling experience and technical expertise to mentor fellowship grantees and interns. MPI has built and continues to establish a lasting, resultsdriven legacy.You may recall that Battle For Brooklyn, our Oscar-shortlisted film about eminent domain abuse, inspired a grassroots movement to protect property rights. This year, Dog Days, MPI’s feature-length documentary about a man who pursues his dream of improving the Washington, D.C., street-food industry, is becoming a significant film in the food freedom movement–all while emphasizing the value of free enterprise and entrepreneurship. Honor Flight, a documentary by two MPI filmmakers about WWII vets visiting the Washington, D.C., war memorials constructed in their honor, broke a world record for the largest film screening of all time in 2012. In 2013, it screened before thousands at the Houston Astros’ baseball stadium. Storytelling has always been a vital part of the human experience. Technology has changed, but people still seek stories to teach us about the world, our history, our values, and ourselves. MPI’s stories move and inspire, and they’re why people from all political backgrounds willingly seek out our pro-freedom content. Thank you for your interest in MPI. I hope you enjoy reading this summary of our work in 2013. Sincerely,

Rob Pfaltzgraff President

Film Production and Promotion TABLE OF CONTENTS Program


MPI Annual Report 2013 3





474 Number of MPI film screenings on campuses and in communities in 2013

Number of students MPI films reach nationwide each year


9,422 Average weekly reach of MPI’s Facebook content in 2013

New internship partner companies in 2013 alone

17,000+ Number of teachers who requested MPI films through the Free to Choose Network in 2013

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40 New fellowships awarded through MPI programs in 2013

28,971 YouTube views for the Cap South web series

62% of former interns now work in Hollywood or independent film


1,568 Fans added to MPI’s Facebook page in 2013


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Number of MPI film trailers that have over 100,000 online views


Average number of stars MPI films earn on, out of 5

10,000+ Number of teachers who requested Pups of Liberty through the Free to Choose Network in its first 6 months


Rising Filmmakers Program fellowships awarded through MPI since 2006


Number of homes where MPI films are available through video on demand

Number of fellows who participated in the inaugural MPI Screenwriting Workshop


Internships awarded through MPI’s Hollywood Career Launch Program since 2006 MPI Annual Report 2013 5

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MPI Annual Report 2013 7

Film Production and Promotion Program



hrough our Film Production and Promotion Program, MPI provides grant support for high-quality pro-freedom films at all stages of development, production, and distribution. MPI works with existing projects, in addition to conceptualizing and producing our own original content. The Film Production and Promotion Program changes the culture and promotes liberty by educating and entertaining audiences. Films developed in this program receive critical acclaim and win awards at film festivals across the globe. They screen in theaters and on prominent television networks worldwide and reach a wide audience by DVD, as well as online through Netflix, iTunes, and more. MPI’s films provide policy groups, elected leaders, teachers, and collegiate student groups with effective tools to advance pro-liberty ideas in critical policy debates. Films greenlighted through this program may also receive MPI fiscal sponsorship, which enables a filmmaker to use MPI’s tax-exempt nonprofit status to receive grants or raise additional funding.


OBJECTIVES /Ensure the development and distribution of high-quality films with freedom-oriented messages /Promote these films in theaters, on television, online, on DVD, at festivals, in schools, and on college and university campuses /Change the culture by educating the public about the values and tenets of freedom /Offer media alternatives in the ideologically one-sided entertainment industry /Provide content to like-minded leaders, policy groups, and educators

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Film Production and Promotion Program



MILLION+ Number of homes where MPI films are available through video on demand



Program Highlights /MPI films are available in millions of homes worldwide through Amazon, Netflix, iTunes, and more /MPI films have reached millions of students nationwide /MPI films have screeneD Hundreds of times in theaters /MPI films have screened on prominent television networks in North America, South America, and Europe

1. MPI fellow Bob Bowdon speaks at a sold-out screening of The Cartel, 2. Ami Horowitz films U.N. Me, 3. MPI fellow Rob Montz speaks at a sold-out screening of Juche Strong, 4. MPI filmmaker Laura Waters Hinson on set, 5. Laura Waters Hinson (left) and Kasey Kirby (right) meet Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan at the Austin Film Festival. MPI Annual Report 2013 9

Film Production and Promotion Program



charming animated tale, Pups of Liberty brings to life the history and ideals of a momentous American event, the Boston Tea Party, using cartoon cats and dogs to represent the American colonists and their English antagonists. Released in 2012, it has already reached millions of students across the country.


The year is 1776 and the Redcats have just arrived in Boston, announcing taxes on newspapers and “teabones” from the Royal Tom-Cat. Unable to change the law, energetic young pup Anne Kennel and her father John, the town printer-hound, gather all of the colonist pups together to protest and stage a teabone boycott. Proclaiming “No Laws Without Paws!”, the pups rally for their independence and lead the Americanine Revolution. Pups of Liberty makes history accessible and fun for children, and shows them that sometimes all it takes is a single spark to bring about change. Pups of Liberty is available to teachers nationwide through the Free to Choose Network–and the response has been overwhelming. MPI played an instrumental role in creating this popular short by providing substantial grant support and mentorship to filmmakers Bert and Jennifer Klein through MPI’s Film Production and Promotion Program.

HIGHLIGHTS /Won Best Independent Short in the Kids First! Film Festival /ReCEIVED A Best Short Nomination in the Annie Awards /10,000+ Teachers ordered Pups of Liberty for their classrooms in 2013–that translates into about 1,000,000 young people seeing the film each year /Available on Vimeo On Demand

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Film Production and Promotion Program

1. MPI fellows Bert Klein and Jennifer Cardon Klein, creators of Pups of Liberty, 2./3./4. Scenes from Pups of Liberty.




“Our younger students loved this and it was a great way to introduce them to the material. Our older students enjoy it as well and it is nice to have something different from what they are used to seeing. It is a really fun way to introduce them to or reinforce the information. A few other teachers have borrowed the DVD and have enjoyed it just as much as I did!”

“Although we had discussed the American Revolution and the Boston Tea Party before, I don't think it made sense to them until they saw it presented in the dog/cat format. We really enjoyed the video.”

“This video was great! It shows the causes of the American Revolution in a way my students could relate to. My students and I were very pleased with this video. I know they definitely understood the term ‘taxation without representation.’ Thank you!”

“IT WAS GREAT! This was a wonderful way to introduce an historic event to children!” MPI Annual Report 2013 11

Film Production and Promotion Program



ilmmaker Rob Montz admits that he came to MPI with “approximately zero practical skills related to movie-making.”


But he had an innovative idea: to explore why North Korea, a country known for oppression, militarism, and economic mismanagement, had survived and retained its citizens’ allegiance far longer than many expected. MPI initially awarded Montz a Rising Filmmakers Program Fellowship, and later selected his project for the Film Production and Promotion Program. MPI’s technical expertise, grant support, and critical mentoring helped him to create a fascinating short documentary about life inside the Kim regime. After numerous interviews, research, and a visit to North Korea, Montz discovered that “juche” plays an integral role in keeping the country together. A propaganda-fueled national ideology, juche shuns foreign influences and puts the interests of the collective before those of the individual and family. To date, the film has enjoyed positive coverage in news outlets such as the BBC, the Economist, and the Huffington Post. It has screened at numerous film festivals, prestigious universities, and the Cato Institute. At a time when North Korea is making headlines for its escalating military threats, Juche Strong is shaping how Americans view and interact with that mysterious nation.

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HIGHLIGHTS /Film available for purchase at /Coverage in the BBC, the Economist, the Huffington Post, Yahoo News, and more /Official selection OF THE United Nations Association Film Festival /Official selection OF THE North Korean Human Rights Film Festival /Official selection OF THE Korean American Film Festival /Screened before the Cato Institute / Screened before the Seoul Foreign Correspondents Club in South Korea

Film Production and Promotion Program




Number of countries where Juche Strong screened in 2013

1./2./3. Scenes from Juche Strong, 4. MPI fellow and Juche Strong director Rob Montz speaks at a Cato Institute screening of the film.

“[A]bsolutely there is ‘hard’ tyranny [in North Korea]— secret police, labor camps, etc. But at least as crucial to the country persisting and avoiding collapse is the ‘soft’ tyranny of ideology—of using well-crafted propaganda to convince most of society that they’re vital parts of a great story.”


– Interview with Rob Montz in the Huffington Post

“If juche and the cult of the Kims has ‘worked’ as an ideology, that may be because it appeals to universal human needs in the way other religions do.” ––The Economist on Juche Strong MPI Annual Report 2013 13

Film Production and Promotion Program

Dog days


n an age when many doubt the power of selfdetermination and individual responsibility, Dog Days presents a powerful case for entrepreneurship and the American Dream. This feature-length documentary by MPI filmmakers Laura Waters Hinson and Kasey Kirby shows audiences that even in the face of an economic downturn, perseverance, hard work, and optimism can still improve people’s lives.


After losing his job in 2009, Coite Manuel sets off to build his dream business with the help of two unlikely women: Deane, his harp-playing aunt, and Siyone, a former East African refugee, hotdog vendor, and single mother of four. Staking his meager life savings on a vision to revive Washington, D.C.’s dwindling hotdog vending community, Coite faces bewildering challenges, from hostile city regulations to an entrenched local monopoly to the sudden popularity of food trucks. Even though success doesn’t come easily, the characters fight to maintain hope in the face of adversity. The film premiered at the prestigious Austin Film Festival on October 26, 2013. Numerous online and print publications have featured the film, including, KUT 90.5FM (Austin’s NPR affiliate),, the Austin Business Journal, and the San Marcos Daily Record.

HIGHLIGHTS /Premiered at the prestigious Austin Film Festival in 2013 /Earned praise in numerous outlets including Austin’s National Public Radio affiliate, the Austin Business Journal, and /D  irector Laura Waters Hinson won the 2008 student Academy Award for best documentary, the Cinema for Peace award in Berlin, and the audience award at the National Geographic All Roads Film Festival

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Film Production and Promotion Program

1. MPI fellows Laura Waters Hinson and Kasey Kirby film Dog Days, 2./3./4. Scenes from Dog Days, 5. Laura and Kasey film Dog Days.

“[E]xcellent new documentary.” – Baylen Linnekin, 3 4

“[I]t’s not just the vendors and their powerful stories, but also the supporting community behind it.” – 5

MPI Annual Report 2013 15

Film Production and Promotion Program


LASTING LEGACIES THE CARTEL 2081 Continues to raise awareness about property rights, limited government, and free markets, as well as the dangers of eminent domain abuse. Shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2012. Premiered to a standing ovation at the prestigious Hot Docs film festival in April 2011. Fifth-highest grossing movie in the USA on its opening weekend on a per-screen basis. Theatrical screenings in dozens of cities worldwide. Sold out in New York City theaters on opening weekend. Earned bipartisan praise in over a dozen major media outlets, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, ABC News, National Public Radio, and more. Available through iTunes and Amazon Instant Video.

16 MPI Annual Report 2013 Shaping the education reform debate since 2010. Anchored the first National School Choice Week in 2011. The trailer has been viewed over 70,000 times on YouTube. School choice legislation has since been passed or seriously considered in over a dozen states where lawmakers watched the film. Available through Amazon, Amazon Instant Video, and Netflix. Debuted in classrooms in 2011. Teaches viewers about individualism in the face of oppression and tyranny. To date, the film is in over 16,000 classrooms; that translates to an estimated 1,600,000 students watching the film each year. Premiered to a standing ovation at the Seattle International Film Festival. The trailer has been viewed over 283,000 times on YouTube and Vimeo. Available through Amazon and Amazon Instant Video.

Film Production and Promotion Program




Average number of stars MPI films earn on, out of 5

The Singing Revolution Exposes the deep-seated corruption of the United Nations. Enjoyed a bipartisan congressional screening on Capitol Hill in June 2012.

Continues to remain timely, compelling, and relevant as several state legislatures consider education reform and “Right to Work” legislation.

Screened over 750 times in theaters across 10 major cities in 2012. Used in classrooms, earning accolades from teachers and students alike. Earned bipartisan praise from the New York Times, the Washington Post, Access Hollywood, the L.A. Times, and more.

Helped shape the education reform and entitlement reform debates during the 2012 Democratic National Convention and the Chicago teachers’ strike.

Over 140,000 have viewed the trailer on YouTube. Available through iTunes, Netflix, and the U.N. Me online store.

10,000+ Number of teachers who requested Pups of Liberty through the Free to Choose Network in its first 6 months

Over 140,000 have viewed the short film on YouTube.

22% 59% 19% 2081

The Singing Revolution

Pups of Liberty The film has been screened hundreds of times worldwide, and was broadcast over 1,000 times on PBS. Thousands of teachers have requested the educational DVD for their classrooms, reaching over a million students in the past two years. The trailer has been viewed over 114,000 times. Available through Amazon, Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, and Netflix.

Teacher requests of MPI films in 2013 MPI Annual Report 2013 17

“I really appreciate this amazing community of intelligent, creative, and generous folks.” ––David LaRocca, MPI filmmaker on the Rising Filmmakers Program

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MPI filmmaker David LaRocca (right) speaks with designer Brunello Cucinelli (left) about LaRocca’s film Brunello Cucinelli: A New Philosphy of Clothes. Photo credit: Alessandro Subrizi

MPI Annual Report 2013 19




PI’s Rising Filmmakers Program provides fellowship grants to support the career development of filmmakers who are committed to telling compelling stories about freedom.

MPI awards grants to individuals who are committed to making marketable film projects about what freedom is and why it matters. The program has supported the professional development of more than 65 fellows since its launch in 2010, with participants including filmmakers, producers, directors, screenwriters, and more. MPI staff mentor these storytellers and give them valuable advice about their feature-length and short films. The program provides guidance on scripting, production, marketing, and distribution, as well as networking opportunities. Participants receive financial support for their work and some take advantage of other MPI resources, such as MPI’s Fiscal Sponsorship Program and MPI’s Screenwriting Workshop. Some even host interns.

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In 2012, the MPI Rising Filmmakers Program won the prestigious Templeton Freedom Award for Innovative New Media. A project of the Atlas

Economic Research Foundation, the Templeton Freedom Awards honor organizations that have done outstanding, innovative work to advance freedom. The distinguished Innovative Media Award recognizes those that use film or multimedia technologies to promote freedom in a compelling, creative way. MPI’s Rising Filmmakers Program is now recognized by the entire freedom movement as a force of innovation and impact. 1. MPI fellow Ray Griggs films The Wind in the Willows, to be released in 2015, 2. A scene from Dorian Electra’s upcoming music video about economics, 3. MPI filmmakers Nicholas Tucker (left) and Lucas Abel (right), 4. MPI fellow Tim Sessler films It’s Your Country, 5. MPI fellows Andrew Heaton (left) and Naomi Brockwell (right).

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The MPI Rising Filmmakers Program is unique.

No other organization supports rising freedom-oriented filmmakers on such a large scale. None achieves our return on investment. None has a foot in both the policy world and Hollywood. None has our potential for future results—and none has achieved with film what we have already achieved. 3 4


MPI fellow Chandler Tuttle made his first film, 2081, with MPI support. It got him signed with two major talent agencies. Tuttle is currently a partner at Freethink Media, which is partnering with MPI filmmaker Nicholas Brennan to complete Hard Rock Havana, a film about communist Cuba’s most famous metal band and freedom of expression.


List of Fellows from 2012–2013: Ted BALAKER Courtney Balaker Kjell Boersma Chris Boyce Naomi Brockwell Sean Buttimer Rich Camp Dorian Electra Toby Fell-Holden Andrew Heaton Laura WATERS Hinson Ben Howe Josh Jennings

Carmen Jimenez Ross Kenyon Kasey Kirby Bert Klein David LaRocca, PhD James Mackenzie Mary Mackenzie Kaleb Matson Rob Montz Rob Raffety Cyrus Saidi Tim Sessler Vanessa Workman

MPI Annual Report 2013 21



Andrew Heaton is a standup comedian, writer, and political satirist who is currently writing for the new FBN show The Independents. He has performed standup around the globe, and in 2013, the Broadway Comedy Club named him NYC’s Greatest New Comedian. He is a regular contributor to the Freeman, Barron’s Magazine, BrightestYoung Things, and His MPI fellowship project is based on “Prince of the Outback,” a piece he wrote for Reason magazine about a farmer who declared independence from the Australian federal government and founded his own micro-nation. Andrew has starred in other MPI fellows’ projects including Cap South by MPI filmmaker Rob Raffety and EconPop, a video series partnership between MPI and MPI filmmaker John Papola.

Toby Fell-Holden

Toby Fell-Holden is a British writer/director whose short films have screened at festivals around the world. He earned a bachelor’s in philosophy, politics, and economics from Oxford University, and relocated to New York in 2008 to pursue his master’s in film at Columbia University. He has been awarded scholarships from the Institute for Humane Studies and a grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He recently taught screenwriting to undergraduates at Columbia and is developing several feature film scripts. In 2013, Toby participated in MPI’s screenwriting workshop. MPI fellowship support enabled him to write, direct, and produce a short film called Little Shadow. Portraying a boy’s efforts to emulate and then escape the influence of his tyrannical military father, this short film celebrates individuality, independence, and freedom. It premiered at the Palm Springs International ShortFest in June 2013 (the same venue where his short film Nova Scotia premiered in 2010) and was nominated for the Casting Society of America’s Artios Award. Since there is no Oscar for casting, this is the top award in that field. Toby’s future filmmaking plans center on a series of narrative and documentary features about the perils of big government.

nicholas tucker

Nicholas Tucker is an award-winning independent filmmaker and co-founder of Passing Lane Films, a multimedia and film production company. He made a name for himself as an innovator with micro-budget improv filmmaking, completing and selling his first feature film before graduating from the Academy of Art University. His recent adaptation of Leonard Read’s I, Pencil won Best Short Documentary and the Audience Choice Award at the 2013 Anthem Film Festival. Made with MPI assistance, his 2009 documentary Do As I Say, based on Peter Schweizer’s bestselling book, is a wry, humorous exposé of respected leaders who privately embrace free-market ideas while publicly discouraging others from doing the same. His multimedia work has been featured by the NewYork Times, WIRED magazine, BettyConfidential, IEEE Spectrum magazine, as well as many other online publications. 22 MPI Annual Report 2013




ach fall, MPI filmmakers travel to the Tribeca Film Center in New York City for a special dinner honoring their achievements. It is a fantastic opportunity for the filmmakers to meet, network, and share ideas. In 2013, a record 32 fellows attended the event.


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Some filmmakers gave presentations about their latest projects. Last year’s presenters included Laura Waters Hinson and Kasey Kirby (Dog Days), Rob Raffety (Cap South), and Cyrus Saidi (L1ttl3 Br0th3r). They shared film clips, updates, and personal stories about the positive effect MPI has on their work. 4

“I had an absolutely wonderful time [at the Filmmakers Dinner] …. I’m grateful to have been brought into the MPI fold.” – Andrew Heaton, Rising Filmmakers Program participant

5 1. MPI filmmaker Cyrus Saidi, 2. MPI fellow Clay Broga (left) talks with MPI fellow Rob Montz (right), 3. Rising Filmmakers Dinner attendees, 4. MPI fellow Andrew Heaton, 5. MPI fellows and husband-and-wife team Lucas Abel (left) and Erin Kruger (right). MPI Annual Report 2013 23




PI filmmakers have made a splash at prestigious film festivals across the globe, but one event in particular attracts the liberty movement’s biggest leaders and policy makers: FreedomFest’s annual Anthem Film Festival. Thousands of freedom’s biggest names attend the FreedomFest conference each year. 2013’s gathering featured speakers on the cutting edge of liberty issues, including Senator Rand Paul, Fox Business Network host John Stossel, and publishing executive Steve Forbes. Hundreds of movers and shakers attended the Anthem Film Festival, with many films attracting standing-room-only crowds. The festival proved that MPI filmmakers set the bar for excellence in pro-liberty media. In fact, MPI filmmakers won a combined total of seven Anthem awards, including the FreedomFest grand prize for Cyrus Saidi’s narrative short L1ttle Br0th3r. This short film tells the story of a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who demonstrates extraordinary courage to expose a totalitarian dictator’s true nature. 1



"I could go listen to someone talk about the same subject, but in a film you can see a wide variety of people being interviewed, along with music, historical clips, and a great story arc."

– Anthem Film Festival attendee

MPI FILMMAKERS’ 2013 Anthem FILM Festival AWARDS /FreedomFest Grand Prize: L1ttl3 Br0th3r, Cyrus Saidi, director /Short Documentary Best Overall: I, Pencil, Nick Tucker, director /Short Narrative Best Overall: L1ttl3 Br0th3r, Cyrus Saidi, director /Audience Choice: Short Documentary: I, Pencil, Nick Tucker, director /Audience Choice: Short Narrative: L1ttl3 Br0th3r, Cyrus Saidi, director /Honorable Mention: Documentary Feature, Libertarian Ideals: Rebel Evolution, Anna Zetchus Smith, director /Honorable Mention: Short Narrative, Audience Choice: The Pilgrim, Sean Buttimer, director

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ohn Papola is an award-winning director and producer. He is a cofounder of Emergent Order, a media company that explores the virtues of a free society. He is also co-creator of EconStories, a media brand that combines economics education with creative storytelling.

Papola co-wrote, produced, and directed two economics rapbattle videos: Fear the Boom and Bust and Fight of the Century. Those economics videos have around 7 million combined YouTube views and are used in classrooms worldwide. He has worked with major brands and agencies, including Spike, Nickelodeon, MTV, Crispin Porter, Razorfish, and JWT. He is currently partnering with MPI to create EconPop, a web series that uses popular films to illustrate economic concepts.


nthony L. Fisher is an awardwinning writer, filmmaker, and voiceover artist. He currently produces the new Fox Business Network show The Independents, hosted by Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, Matt Welch, and Kmele Foster. Formerly he worked as a producer for ReasonTV, where he wrote, produced, edited, and performed voiceover on web-based documentaries. His work on civil liberties, the drug war, and Occupy Wall Street has been featured on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, and numerous news and political websites. A graduate of Emerson College, Fisher has been awarded a fellowship from the Institute for Humane Studies and has been a quarter-finalist for the Academy’s prestigious Nicholl Fellowship. He has sold short films for distribution on the Sundance Channel, Comedy Central, Shorts International, and AtomTV. His short films and screenplays have won awards at more than a dozen film festivals around the world. Fisher’s micro-budget comedy, Rent Control, was scripted with MPI fellowship support. He is also working on an epic dramatic comedy set in Berlin in 1989, on the day the Berlin Wall came down. He recently produced a feature film called Sidewalk Traffic.


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1. (left to right) MPI fellow Anna Zetchus Smith, MPI fellow Courtney Balaker, Janek Ambros, Reaves Washburn, and MPI Director of Development and Outreach Adam Guillette, 2. MPI fellow and Hating Breitbart producer Evan Coyne Maloney (center) with Hating Breitbart filmmakers Andrew Marcus (left) and Maura Flynn (right), 3. MPI’s Adam Guillette (left) and MPI fellow Cyrus Saidi (right), 4. John Papola, 5. Anthony L. Fisher. MPI Annual Report 2013 25

“I absolutely love going into work every day … and have learned more about the entire television production process than I ever thought I would.” ––Nancy Cockman, 2013 summer intern

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MPI Annual Report 2013 27




he MPI Hollywood Career Launch Program is a highly competitive internship program that places aspiring directors, producers, and screenwriters in paid positions at prestigious production companies such as NBC Universal, Lionsgate, and Magnolia, to name just a few.

These unique, learning-intensive experiences in the entertainment industry enable talented freedom-oriented filmmakers to launch successful film careers. Throughout the program, interns network with leading professionals, build mentoring relationships, and acquire vital skills. They gain hands-on work experience and networking opportunities. Interns regularly receive offers of full-time employment from their host companies or graduate into other MPI programs. More than six out of every ten MPI interns find permanent positions in the entertainment industry. 1

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“MPI’s internship program is the best I’ve come across in this town.” ––Allen Covert, screenwriter and actor, Happy Madison Productions


62% of former interns now work in Hollywood or independent film

“This internship with MPI has been a game changer…. My confidence and knowledge have blossomed with MPI ….”



Number of production companies that host MPI interns

––Hilary Miller, 2013 summer intern at Very Important Productions

64 Internships awarded through MPI’s Hollywood Career Launch Program since 2006


2012–2013 INTERNS Colin Albea Katharyn Blair Patrick Bowers Rich Camp Nancy Cockman Caroline D’Ambrosio Armando Doreste Jerome Gilbert Leigh Anne Gilbert Regan Hines Joseph Klein Jerry Liu James Mackenzie Hilary Miller Paul Rezzo Mark Wagner Ron Walter Matt Wood Stanton Yuwono

1. Several MPI interns participated in the 2013 Free Minds Film Distribution Seminar, hosted by MPI fellows Ted and Courtney Balaker, 2. MPI filmmaker Duncan Scott (back) with MPI interns Regan Hines (left), Matt Wood (center), and Tiffany Pransky (right), 3. MPI fellows Courtney and Ted Balaker mentored an MPI intern in 2013. MPI Annual Report 2013 29




n the summer of 2013, MPI introduced Matt Wood, a recent Texas State University graduate, to Duncan Scott, a Los Angeles–based MPI filmmaker. Duncan is currently working on a film about Ayn Rand called The Most DangerousWoman in America as well as the screenwriter of Atlas Shrugged the Movie: Part II.

MPI funded Wood’s internship with Scott in Los Angeles. Like many MPI intern hosts, Scott was impressed by his intern’s quality of work and positive attitude. Determined to see Wood succeed in the entertainment business, MPI extended his internship with Scott, who mentored him and helped him network. Soon after, Wood landed a post-production and web editing job with Atlas Productions, currently producing Atlas Shrugged the Movie: Part III. There he edits video for promotions and social media and helps locate footage for the actual film. Wood’s story exemplifies the power of the MPI network, and how vital it can be for a young filmmaker’s success in Hollywood. 1. Former MPI interns Matt Wood and Tiffany Pransky, 2. 2013 MPI intern Mark Wagner , 3. (left to right) MPI interns Francesca Parise and Tiffany Pransky, 4. 2011 MPI intern Tanner Mobley, 5. 2009 MPI intern Matthew Quandt , 6. 2010 MPI intern John Ma, 7. (left to right) MPI interns Caroline D’Ambrosio, Regan Hines, and Chantilly Alberti. 30 MPI Annual Report 2013





A spotlight on other Hollywood Career Launch success stories:


Former MPI interns Toby Fell-Holden, James Mackenzie, Laurie Thomas, and Rich Camp have been accepted into the MPI Rising Filmmakers Program, where they are writing and producing their own films. 2010 summer intern John Ma landed a full-time job as a digital strategist at FOX Broadcasting Company in 2012. He was promoted to business analyst at FOX within three months.


2012 summer intern Jerry Liu now works full-time for Taliesin Nexus, an organization that organizes workshops and training sessions for freedom-oriented filmmakers. 2011 spring intern Tanner Mobley landed a full-time job in the fall of 2011 with Millennium Films (Olympus Has Fallen,The Expendables). This spring, he received a promotion and he now serves as executive assistant to Millennium CEO Avi Lerner. Spring 2013 intern Mark Wagner landed a full-time job with his host, Very Important Productions, following his internship. 2009 intern Matthew Quandt is now an international film publicity assistant at Warner Brothers. He previously completed internships at Disney/ABC Television and Miramax Films.


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Screenwriting workshop

“What you guys have done is really propel everyone forward with their ideas and remind them that their stories are important and need to be told … I hope that the screenwriting workshops continue…” ––Naomi Brockwell, MPI filmmaker and Screenwriting Workshop participant

MPI Annual Report 2013 33




his year MPI intended to launch its first Screenwriting Workshop, but demand was so high that we held two! The seminar provides screenwriters with personal feedback and valuable instruction, enabling them to take their storytelling skills to new heights.


The workshops teach both documentary and narrative filmmakers how to translate their ideas into fascinating, marketable stories. The collaborative sessions refine participants’ treatments and scripts in order to create strong storylines, compelling characters, and clean structures. Screenwriters receive a small stipend to attend regular virtual workshop sessions, with each session focusing on one of the participants' active projects. Leading the seminars are MPI vice presidents Erin O’Connor and Maurice Black, who both hold PhDs in literature and have more than two decades of college teaching combined. Their expertise in storytelling–from character and plot to language and tone–is a terrific asset to fellows’ development.

“That whole screenwriting fellowship was really fun and illuminating for me, and I am so glad I was included.” 1. MPI fellow Ross Kenyon, 2. MPI fellow James Mackenzie (center) on the set of his short film, Audrey Makes a Mixtape, 3.MPI fellow Carmen Jimenez on the set of her short film Oasis, 4. MPI fellow Kjell Boersma reviews the script for his latest project, 5. MPI fellow Rich Camp. 34 MPI Annual Report 2013

––MPI Filmmaker

Ross Kenyon

screenwriting workshop


“Thank you for such a great experience!” ––MPI Filmmaker

Rich Camp



Number of fellows who participated in the inaugural MPI Screenwriting Workshop


5 MPI Annual Report 2013 35

36 MPI Annual Report 2013


MPI Annual Report 2013 37


FINANCIALS 2013 income $1,846,993.12


9.6% 2013 expenses



Programs: $1,496,458.15 (90.4%) Admin: $158,564.91 (9.6%) TOTAL: $1,655,023.06

rising filmmakers program hollywood career launch program



2013 PROGRAM Expenses Film Production & Promotion Program: $1,038,945.40 (69%)

FiLM Production & Promotion PROGRAM


rising filmmakers Program: $367,014.76 (25%) hollywood career launch Program: $90,497.99 (6%) TOTAL: $1,496,458.15

**This report is a statement of MPI’s financial position for the 2013 fiscal year, Jan 1–Dec 31. 38 MPI Annual Report 2013


LEADERSHIP Thor Halvorssen, Founder


Rob Pfaltzgraff, President Erin O’Connor, Vice President Maurice Black, Vice President Adam Guillette, Director of Development & Outreach Lana Harfoush, Director of Communications and Marketing Stacie Fulcher, Program Director NAOMI BROCKWELL, Program Officer


David Thayer, Chairman, Philadelphia, PA Rob Pfaltzgraff, Secretary & Treasurer, Philadelphia, PA Michael J. Friedman, NewYork, NY Kevin Harper, Philadelphia, PA Marc Leader, Wayne, PA Rebekah Mercer, NewYork, NY

Creative Council

Howard Hogan, Attorney Harry Kloor, Producer/Director Frayda Levy, Former President of MPI’s Board Rob Long, Writer/Producer Evan Coyne Maloney, Writer/Director Michael Mandaville, Writer/Producer john papola, Writer/Producer/Director Cecilia deMille Presley, Producer Duncan Scott, Writer/Director

Contact Phone: (646) 926-0674 Fax: (212) 202-3705 New York office

375 Greenwich Street New York, NY 10013 Los Angeles office

1414 N. Harper Avenue, Suite 15 West Hollywood, CA 90046 Twitter: @theMPI MPI Annual Report 2013 39


Thank you for reading about MPI’s work. In the coming year, MPI will continue to strengthen our programs and do even more to promote freedom through film. MPI will help fund and distribute more films, including Hard Rock Havana, Nicholas Brennan's documentary about Cuba’s most famous metal band. His film explores the challenges of preserving freedom of expression in the face of oppression.

MPI will launch more young filmmakers’ careers through fellowship grants that facilitate professional development, critical guidance, and networking opportunities.

As the legendary Hollywood cinematographer Conrad Hall once said: MPI will create more classroom content, “Billions of people have seen and been influenced by movies in the short history such as How An Economy Grows, of this industry.” So long as Americans an entertaining series of classroom episodes that teaches students about key watch films and online video content, economic principles. MPI will continue to harness those mediums’ powers to spread the message of freedom. 40 MPI Annual Report 2013

Report Design by Samarra Khaja Printing by Chelsea Partners This annual report has been printed on Flo Dull paper with vegetable oil-based inks. Manufactured acid and elemental chlorine free.

Film Production and Promotion Program

New York 375 Greenwich Street New York, NY 10013 (646) 926-0674

Los Angeles 1414 N. Harper Avenue, Suite 15 West Hollywood, CA 90046

42 MPI Annual Report 2013

MPI 2013 Annual Report  
MPI 2013 Annual Report