Other Group

Moving Pictures Institute

Website:

www.thempi.org

Location:

New York, NY

Formation:

2016

Type:

Non-Profit

President:

Rob Pfaltzgraff

President's Salary:

$342,302 [24]

The Moving Picture Institute (MPI) is a production company that supports filmmakers and produces films that promote the principles of human freedom, especially as it regards free speech and human rights. MPI was founded in 2005 by Thor Halvorssen and Frayda Levy. [1]

The Moving Picture Institute is a former associate member of the State Policy Network, a coalition of free-market state-level policy organizations. [2]

Films

The Moving Picture Institute’s initial films were documentaries that differed from the left-leaning, anti-corporate, and pro-environmentalist films being produced at the time. MPI featured films and supported filmmakers presenting ideas that were pro-business, anti-Communist, and sometimes anti-environmentalist. [3]

The 2006 film Mine Your Own Business: The Dark Side of Environmentalism was billed as “the world’s first anti-environmentalist documentary,” and financed by the Canadian mining company Gabriel Resources. The film presents environmentalists as condescending elitists and impoverished locals as welcoming of jobs and development that would come from the mines. The film led to protests outside a screening at the National Geographic Society. Environmental groups like Greenpeace attacked the film as corporate propaganda. [4]

The 2007 film Indoctrinate U mimicked the guerrilla interview tactics used by documentary filmmaker Michael Moore to investigate political correctness on college campuses. [5]

The Moving Picture Institute has expanded beyond documentary films, and in the 2019 film Miss Virginia, MPI uses inspiration from a true story to promote school choice. Miss Virginia recounts the story of Virginia Walden Ford, [6] an education reform advocate and founder of D.C. Parents for School Choice, as she advocates for the creation of Opportunity Scholarships for low-income students to attend private school. [7]

Funding

The Moving Picture Institute is funded by donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations. While MPI does not disclose its donors, tax filings confirm donations from the Searle Freedom Trust ($582,380 in 2019), [8] Donors Trust ($575,850 in 2019), [9] and the Charles Koch Foundation ($422,750 in 2017). [10]

People

Thor Halvorssen is a co-founder of the Moving Picture Institute and the founding CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. Halvorssen is the founder, president, and CEO of the Human Rights Foundation, an advocacy group supporting international political dissidents opposed to authoritarian regimes. [11]

Frayda Levy is a co-founder of MPI and serves on the boards of the Marijuana Policy Project and the Foundation for Economic Education, and as president of the board of the New Jersey chapter of Americans for Prosperity. [12]

Nick Reid is the executive vice president of MPI and the former executive vice president of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. [13]

Joseph Corey is the director of philanthropic investments at MPI and former director of major gifts at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. [14]

Tara Gallardy is the director of production coordination at MPI and former director of events at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. [15]

Allison Ryan is the director of communications and marketing at MPI and the former director of media relations at the Cato Institute. [16]

Board of Directors

Sarah Atkins sits on the board of the J.P. Humphreys Foundation. Atkins formerly served on the boards of the Foundation for Economic Education, Citizens for a Sound Economy, The Future of Freedom Foundation, the Free to Choose Network, and the Atlas Network. [17]

Robert Balzebre is a former member of the Aspen Institute’s Society of Fellows. [18]

Virginia Walden Ford is an advocate for education reform, school choice, and parent empowerment. Ford was the inspiration for the film Miss Virginia. [19]

Michael J. Friedman sits on the board of the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures. [20]

Television writer Rob Long is the vice chair of the board of MPI and sits on the board of the American Cinema Foundation. [21]

Stephen Modzelewski serves as the chair of the board of MPI and on the boards of the Reason Foundation and the Institute for Justice. [22]

Mary Beth Weiss sits on the boards of American Commitment, American Transparency, and the Network of enlightened Women. [23]

References

  1. “Mission.” Moving Picture Institute, 2021. Accessed October 1, 2021. https://www.thempi.org/mission ^
  2. “The Network: New York.” State Policy Network, 2017. Archived from the original 2017. Accessed October 1, 2021. http://web.archive.org/web/20170705211747/https://spn.org/directory/#NY. ^
  3. Strausbaugh, John. “A Maverick Mogul, Proudly Politically Incorrect.” The New York Times, August 19, 2007. Accessed October 3, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/19/movies/19stra.html. ^
  4. Strausbaugh, John. “A Maverick Mogul, Proudly Politically Incorrect.” The New York Times, August 19, 2007. Accessed October 3, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/19/movies/19stra.html. ^
  5.  Strausbaugh, John. “A Maverick Mogul, Proudly Politically Incorrect.” The New York Times, August 19, 2007. Accessed October 3, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/19/movies/19stra.html. ^
  6. Go Back to School with ‘Miss Virginia.’” Moving Picture Institute, August 26, 2021. Accessed October 3, 2021. https://www.thempi.org/latest-stories/2021/8/26/go-back-to-school-with-miss-virginia. ^
  7. “Meet Virginia Walden Ford.” Virginia Walden Ford. Accessed October 3, 2021. https://www.virginiawaldenford.com/about-virginia/. ^
  8. Searle Freedom Trust, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2019, Part XV, Line 3a. ^
  9. Donors Trust, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2019, Schedule I, Part II. ^
  10. Charles Koch Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2017, Part XV, Line 3a. ^
  11. “Advisors.” Moving Picture Institute, 2021. Accessed October 1, 2021. https://www.thempi.org/advisors. ^
  12. “Frayda Levy.” LinkedIn, 2021. Accessed October 1, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/frayda-levy-7875123/. ^
  13. Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990), 2014, Part VII, Section A, Line 1a. ^
  14. “Joseph Corey.” LinkedIn, 2021. Accessed October 1, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/josephcorey/. ^
  15. “Tara Gallardy.” LinkedIn, 2021. Accessed October 1, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/tara-gallardy-59279bb3/. ^
  16. “Allison (Miller) Ryan.” LinkedIn, 2021. Accessed October 1, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/allison-ryan-b0483166/. ^
  17. “Advisors.” Moving Picture Institute, 2021. Accessed October 1, 2021. https://www.thempi.org/advisors. ^
  18. “Advisors.” Moving Picture Institute, 2021. Accessed October 1, 2021. https://www.thempi.org/advisors. ^
  19. “Advisors.” Moving Picture Institute, 2021. Accessed October 1, 2021. https://www.thempi.org/advisors. ^
  20.   “Advisors.” Moving Picture Institute, 2021. Accessed October 1, 2021. https://www.thempi.org/advisors. ^
  21. “Advisors.” Moving Picture Institute, 2021. Accessed October 1, 2021. https://www.thempi.org/advisors. ^
  22.  “Advisors.” Moving Picture Institute, 2021. Accessed October 1, 2021. https://www.thempi.org/advisors. ^
  23. “Advisors.” Moving Picture Institute, 2021. Accessed October 1, 2021. https://www.thempi.org/advisors. ^
  24. Moving Picture Institute, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990), 2020, Part VII, Section A, Line 1a. ^
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