MPI’s Network of Talented Females

March 15, 2021

From directors and cinematographers to fellows and interns, MPI is proud to support the work of inspiring female filmmakers. With March being National Women’s History Month, we thought it fitting to honor a few of MPI’s talented female filmmakers who are making a name for themselves within the industry. 

Laura Waters Hinson is director of the award-winning MPI Original Film Moving Violation, a mock-horror film which 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. Laura is also director of the award-winning MPI-supported documentaries Dog Days, which centers on American entrepreneurship, immigration, and the power of persistence, and Mama Rwanda, a story that follows two mothers who are using entrepreneurship to overcome extreme poverty. Now an assistant professor at American University’s School of Communication, Laura teaches storytelling and documentary and is set to lead MPI’s Documentary Storytelling Workshop this spring.

Claudia Murray directed and co-wrote the MPI Original Film Gringa, a dramedy that depicts the story of a Cuban-American woman on a frenzied mission to find a rare car part before she and her abuelo leave for a trip to Havana. Claudia is currently in pre-production for her forthcoming MPI Original Film Unloaded, a comedic short that touches on the themes of Second Amendment issues, cancel culture, and political correctness. Murray’s directorial skills won the Award of Excellence in Directing at the Southern Shorts Awards, Best Director at the UCLAxFilmFest, and Best Shorts Director at the Georgia Latino Film Festival. She is also the founder of her production company Colada and earned a JD from the University of Florida.

Elvira Ibragimova is a comedy writer and director who is gearing up for production on her MPI Original We’re Doing Good, a comedic web series which follows a progressive couple who try to “do good” in the world. Elvira participated in MPI’s recent Comedy Workshop where she initially pitched us on the concept for this series. Originally an architect, Elvira quit her firm after four years to pursue a career in comedy. She attended the Harold Ramis Film School at The Second City in Chicago and was selected for the competitive Viacom Viewfinder Directing Fellowship where she learned about directing television at Nickelodeon and directed her first TV episode on Nickelodeon’s Danger Force, which aired this past January.

Elizabeth Mirzaei is an MPI-supported writer, director, cinematographer, intern, and fellow. She is an excellent example of how motivated filmmakers who take advantage of MPI’s Rising Filmmaker Program can propel themselves quickly through our pipeline and through the industry in general. Elizabeth was accepted into MPI’s first Documentary Storytelling Workshop led by Laura Waters Hinson and is currently in production on her project from that workshop, the MPI-supported film How to Escape from Prison. The film earned a coveted spot in the exclusive Women in Film/The Sundance Institute Financing Intensive, as well as in the Points North Institute film intensive. 

Megan Harrington is a filmmaker and producer who participated in our 2018 Documentary Storytelling Workshop. Her project, The House that Rob Built, follows a women’s basketball coach that transformed and inspired his community. The film was acquired by Family Theater Productions and released on digital and Blu-ray last month. Prior to her MPI workshop experience, Megan worked with an MPI-placed intern while working as a production supervisor at Mpower Pictures in Santa Monica. 

Carly Hicks was a summer 2018 intern in the MPI Hollywood Career Launch Program. She completed her MPI internship in the business of film at Madison Wells Media (formerly OddLot Entertainment, known for films like Ender’s Game, Drive, The Way) where she made a lasting impression on her coworkers. Following her college graduation and a summer study at Oxford University, Carly began work as an East Coast Page at NBCUniversal in August 2019. 

Nicole Serrato, interned at Millennium Films and on the set of MPI Original A Piece of Cake. Her long-term goals are producing films and founding her own production company. Nicole was selected to participate in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Gold Program, in which MPI is a partner production company. Nicole so impressed the delegation from the Academy that she was chosen to give the program’s graduation speech in August 2019.

The list, of course goes on, so be sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter as we highlight the achievements of other talented female filmmakers within MPI’s network throughout the month!

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