MPI-Supported Filmmaker Accepts Tenure-Track Position at Leading University

August 8, 2019

MPI-supported filmmaker Laura Waters Hinson has been hired as an Assistant Professor in the School of Communications’ Center for Media and Social Impact at American University in Washington, DC. This tenure-track position is an impressive accomplishment and a testament to her powerful storytelling abilities. 

Laura first came to us through an MPI production grant to support her 2014 documentary Dog Days, which centers on American entrepreneurship, immigration, and the power of persistence. She then developed and helmed the MPI-supported film Mama Rwanda, which follows two mothers who are using entrepreneurship to overcome extreme poverty. A strong documentarian, Laura’s films have been broadcast on PBS and reached audiences in Congress and the United Nations. 

As a dedicated filmmaker looking to continually evolve her craft, Laura recently turned to writing dynamic, character-driven narratives. With this move to narrative film, Laura knew she needed a smart, compelling short film to showcase her talent. So in 2017 she joined MPI’s Short Film screenwriting workshop to write the script that became the MPI Original film Moving Violation. This mock-horror film shines a light on the growing surveillance state through the story of a jilted bride who goes ballistic on a speed camera that won’t stop ticketing her. Starring Milana Vayntrub (This Is Us, Silicon Valley), Moving Violation has had an impressive showing at film festivals across the country, nabbing awards for “Best Narrative Short” and “Best Comedy.” 

“I credit MPI with much of my success as a filmmaker,” said Laura. “I have never experienced such dedicated and principled support of freedom-based filmmaking in my entire career.”

Laura is a talented and sensitive teacher — we know that first hand, as she led MPI’s 2018 Documentary Storytelling writing workshop. American University is lucky to have her. Congratulations, Laura!  

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