MPI has acquired A Clean Slate to produce as an MPI Original Film. The documentary short was developed in MPI’s 2021 Documentary Production Lab by MPI filmmakers Tran Hoang Calvin and Zuri Davis. Tran will direct the documentary, receiving mentorship through the entire production process which is funded by MPI.
This uplifting documentary follows Shanyeill McCloud’s work with Clean Slate Milwaukee, a nonprofit she founded in 2012 which helps formerly incarcerated people expunge their records and start their lives again. In 2007 Shanyeill was convicted of misdemeanor battery protecting herself and her daughter from her abusive husband. Sentenced to parole, the charge upturned her life, making it nearly impossible to find employment. After almost 16 months unemployed looking for a job, Shanyeill began researching expunging her charge. Although she learned she was not eligible for expungement under current Wisconsin state law, she took the knowledge she had gained and dedicated herself to helping others navigate the process of receiving judicial clemency.
“When I met Shanyeill in 2020, I was stunned—she is a warrior for her cause,” said Tran. “She’s been fighting this fight for over a decade now, and along the way, she’s helped people from every walk of life–the suburbs, the city centers, and every ethnic background.”
MPI has worked with Tran since he was in high school. Over the years he has participated in numerous labs and workshops including the Dramatic Shorts Screenwriting Workshop and our Directing Workshop. He is the founder and executive of NODEHAUS, a Gen Z digital media agency. His previous producing and directing credits include CoinDesk’s Rizqi Presents Blockchain and the upcoming feature documentary An American Portrait. He is a graduate of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in film and television production as well as a double minor in cinema studies and business of entertainment, media, and technology.
“MPI has been an incredible partner all these years: from networking events that have helped me build a successful production company of my own to supporting my projects including my senior thesis film at NYU, all along the way they have connected me with experts and mentors who have worked directly in the industry,” continued Tran.
MPI board member and award-winning producer Kristi Kendall serves as a producer on the film and has worked closely with Tran during pre-production. Tran wrote, “Kristi has been helping me plot out the documentary; she gave great feedback on the concepts I was planning and has just been an all-around awesome person to work with on this.”
“This film is meant to highlight the life-changing liberation that a second chance can have,” Tran remarked. “It touches on all the massive topics we are reconciling today as a nation, such as racial injustice, economic freedom, and the over-criminalization crisis.”