Based on a True Story: Filmmaking for Impact


Moderator and Producer, Kemba
and Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game

Lana Link is a producer for MPI Original Films and a P.G.A. member. Her recent credits include five feature films, four feature documentaries, and over a dozen shorts. Her projects have premiered at Tribeca and SXSW, and gone on to stream on Hulu, Netflix, and more. She leads MPI’s talent development programming, including its Short Film Lab.


Subject and Executive Producer, Kemba

Kemba Smith is a presidential clemency recipient, criminal justice consultant, author of Poster Child, executive producer of Kemba, and founder of the Kemba Smith Foundation. She has worked with The White House, UN, Congress, and organizations across the country. She has received awards for her authenticity as a motivational speaker and advocate.


Director, Kemba

Kelley Kali is an award-winning filmmaker. Her feature film, I’M FINE (THANKS FOR ASKING), won Special Jury Recognition at SXSW, streamed on BET+, HBO Europe, and achieved a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Kelley recently directed two studio feature films, Jagged Mind and Kemba, and received the 2021 Academy Gold Fellowship for Women in directing.


Writers/Directors, Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game

Austin and Meredith Bragg are the writer/director team behind the award-winning film Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game. Previously, their MPI Original short A Piece of Cake was nominated for Best Narrative Short at Tribeca; they sold their web series to Warner Bros. Television; and they won the HP Masters of Short Film competition at Cannes.

Featured Films

A sheltered college student who falls in love with a man, only to learn he is a drug kingpin, finds herself in the middle of the government’s “war on drugs.” Based on the true story of Kemba Smith. Coming to BET+ this winter.
The story of Roger Sharpe, GQ journalist and real-life pinball wizard who in 1976 helped overturn New York City’s 35-year ban on pinball. Available now on your favorite streaming platform including Apple TV, Hulu, and Prime Video.
About MPI Original Films

MPI Original Films is a subsidiary of the Moving Picture Institute—a production company and talent incubator that creates high-impact films designed to entertain, inspire, and educate audiences with captivating stories about human freedom. 

MPI Original Films use the popular and accessible medium of visual storytelling to educate people about what freedom is and why it matters. We reach hundreds of millions by distributing our films to theaters and digital streaming platforms such as Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and YouTube. And MPI’s films and filmmakers consistently win major awards and screen at top-tier film festivals such as the Tribeca Film Festival and South by Southwest (SXSW).

Filmmaker Opportunities

MPI’s Rising Filmmaker Program identifies, trains, and supports a growing network of freedom-minded directors, screenwriters, producers, and industry executives.

MPI invests in filmmakers at key points in their careers placing them in prestigious production internships; working with them to develop high-impact concepts and scripts through the MPI Short Film Lab and workshops, and then acquiring the best scripts to produce as MPI Original Films; and connecting them with like-minded future collaborators and to new connections who can help them succeed in the entertainment industry.