MPI Masterclass Panel
JUNE 21, 2023 | Cinegrill Theater
Directing Features: How Shorts Helped Pave the Way featuring MPI Award- winning Directors
Dan Hanna -- R.J. Daniel Hanna is an award-winning writer, director, and editor. His screenplay Shelter Animal, which he twice workshopped in an MPI Screenwriting Workshop, was selected as one of five winners for the prestigious 2021 Academy Nicholl Fellowships. He directed the MPI Original Miss Virginia starring Uzo Aduba, Aunjanue Ellis, and Vanessa Williams. In 2022, Hanna premiered his second feature film Hard Miles starring Matthew Modine (Miss Virginia, Stranger Things) and Sean Astin (Rudy, The Goonies). He has also edited such titles as the disaster movie Supercell starring Alec Baldwin, Anne Heche, and Skeet Ulrich, and the horror film What Lies Below, which hit #1 on Netflix. His latest project is a horror thriller called Succubus, which he wrote and will direct, starring Ron Perlman (Nightmare Alley), Rosanna Arquette (Signs of Love), and Brendan Bradley (A Tale Told by an Idiot).
The Bragg Brothers -- Brothers Austin and Meredith Bragg are longtime MPI filmmakers who have achieved great heights with comedic short films including the award-winning MPI Original short A Piece of Cake starring Rich Summer (Mad Men, Glow) which was nominated for Best Narrative Short at the Tribeca Film Festival. A Piece of Cake derived from an MPI Short Film Lab and led to MPI developing and producing their debut feature, Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game, which premiered at the Hamptons International Film Festival last fall. The film, starring Mike Faist (West Side Story), Crystal Reed (Teen Wolf), and Dennis Boutsikaris (Better Call Saul, Billions), is based on the true story of Roger Sharpe, the man who helped overturn New York City’s ban on pinball. Previously, they sold their comedic web series, The Defenders of Stan, to Warner Bros. Television and co-wrote the pilot. In 2016 they won the HP Masters of Short Film competition at the Cannes Film Festival. The Braggs have produced projects for Reason TV, Turner Broadcasting, Visa, Atlas Obscura, AT&T, The Smithsonian, The Washington Post, Current TV, and two pilots for Warner Bros.’s online division.
Kelley Kali -- Award-winning filmmaker Kelley Kali (I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking), Lalo’s House) is the director of the forthcoming MPI and BET Original Film Kemba, inspired by the life of criminal justice reform advocate Kemba Smith. Kelley is an alumna of Howard University and the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. She was the only woman selected to direct the first creole dramatic TV series in Belize, Noh Matta Wat, for which she won the Paul Robeson Award. She then worked with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s New Form to develop the web series The Discovery of Dit Dodson, which competed in top-tier film festivals across the country. Her 2018 film Lalo’s House won the 45th Annual Student Academy Award and was in consideration for the 91st Annual Academy Awards. She also recently wrote, directed, produced, and starred in the original feature film I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking), which was an early pick for the narrative competition at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival. It went on to win Special Jury Recognition for Multi-hyphenate Storyteller (an award they created for her). The film can be seen on BET and BET Her, Amazon, iTunes, and HBO Europe. Kelley also recently directed, a feature film Jagged Mind for Hulu. Kelley’s accolades include: the Directors Guild of America Student Filmmaker Award, the Jury Award at the Diversity in Cannes Showcase sponsored by Viola Davis and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions, and more. And in 2021, she was selected as a recipient of the Academy Gold Fellowship for Women.
Watch the below short films from our award-winning directors.
Shelter | written and directed by Dan Hanna
A prison inmate volunteering at a rescue shelter puts her parole at risk to help an at-risk dog. Based on the Nicholl Fellowship Top 50 feature screenplay and starring Clea Duvall ("Argo," "Veep,") and April Grace ("Magnolia," "Joker"). 15 minutes.
A Piece of Cake | written and directed by The Bragg Brothers
When a desperate father discovers his daughter’s favorite cake decoration is illegal, he descends into a confectionery black market. Now he must make the ultimate parenting choice: break a birthday promise or break the law? Starring: Rich Sommer, Natalie Britton, and Riona O'Donnell. 12 minutes.
Lalo's House | co-written and directed by Kelley Kali
Inspired by true events, Lalo's House, follows the relentless courage of Manouchka, a 14-year-old Haitian girl, and her 5-year-old sister, Phara, who are abducted and thrown into an underground prostitution network that is posing as a Catholic orphanage. Forced to grow up prematurely, Manouchka must fight to save Phara and escape. 26 minutes.
Please come prepared with questions to help us facilitate an instructive conversation.
See you at the Cinegrill Theater, located in The Hollywood Roosevelt!
The Hollywood Theater
7000 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90028
Doors open at 8:00 p.m. // Panel begins at 8:30 p.m.
MPI will validate valet parking.
For questions or last minute cancellations, please email Tara Gallardy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MPI Masterclass Panels offer MPI filmmakers the opportunity to learn from entertainment industry experts.
© 2023 Moving Picture Institute. All rights reserved.
The Moving Picture Institute is a production company and talent incubator that creates high-impact films designed to entertain, inspire, and educate audiences with captivating stories about human freedom.