Build Your Professional Network through MPI’s Rising Filmmaker Program

April 1, 2021

MPI’s Rising Filmmaker Program offers an array of industry-leading workshops to help pro-freedom filmmakers take their craft to the next level. The program has supported 355 filmmakers with a total of 615 fellowships since it began in 2006.

Our Hollywood Career Launch Program places interns on the sets of MPI Original productions or at partner production companies, such as Skybound (The Walking Dead), BRON Studios (Joker, Bombshell), and Bold Films (Drive, Whiplash). Interns also regularly attend MPI talent development seminars on navigating the entertainment industry with top industry professionals. As a sponsor of the Academy Gold program, select MPI interns receive additional mentorship from members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and all MPI interns are granted access to Academy-hosted panels, private film screenings, networking opportunities, and educational workshops.

The MPI Short Film Creative Development and Production Lab is a comprehensive program that provides filmmakers with hands-on training and mentoring to take their initial film concepts through the process of developing, producing, and releasing a short film. Filmmakers accepted into the program receive fellowship grants and participate in MPI Screenwriting and Directing Workshops. Those with top scripts have the opportunity for their project to be produced as an MPI Original Film with a budget of up to $75,000. 

Similar to our Short Film Lab, MPI’s Documentary Development and Production Lab works with documentarians to take their initial film concepts through the process of developing, producing, and releasing a documentary film. Filmmakers accepted into the program receive a $1,000 fellowship grant and participate in an MPI Documentary Storytelling Workshop. Following the workshop, MPI may elect to acquire the project to produce as an MPI Original Film. Filmmakers are then mentored through the entire production process, which is funded by MPI.

Produced in partnership with Smock Media, MPI’s editing workshop Mindful Editor offers a select group of film editors the opportunity to sharpen the vital skill of editing. Filmmakers are taught to craft emotionally powerful stories while also addressing ways to reduce the burnout that comes with an editor’s demanding schedule.

Moving Picturecraft is MPI’s premier cinematography workshop led by award-winning MPI filmmaker Benjamin Gaskell and members of the American Society of Cinematographers. The workshop educates filmmakers on how lighting, camera, and lens technologies can help them achieve their artistic intentions. Fellows learn about the necessity of pragmatism and tangible wisdom in the craft of cinematography, how to capture the emotional focal point of a scene, and the importance of decision making behind the lens.

In addition to intensive workshops and labs, MPI hosts a series of Masterclasses that enable MPI filmmakers to network while learning from industry experts. Our filmmakers have the opportunity to learn from and interact with award-winning directors, television showrunners, Oscar- and Emmy-nominated writers, post-production professionals, and other experienced experts. These intimate gatherings provide MPI filmmakers the opportunity to receive individualized advice and inspiration for their projects.

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