MFI Testimonials

Ariel Eliaz – Actor, “Due” , “Interrogation” ( MFI Summer 2014)

“I think I’d like to come back given that since shooting with you guys and adding it to my reel I landed an Agent and a manager within a span of 2 months from each other, filmed a co-star role for “DIG” on USA Networks. and got a directors session call back for “Mysteries of Laura”. Not to mention other auditions for TV and Film.”

David Litner - Director, “Fun Time$”  (MFI Summer 2013)

“i just want to thank Tony, Lisa, Jenny, and everyone who has made these past 2 years some of the greatest of my life. there isn’t a film program like this anywhere else in the world. The professional experience and the relationships made are not found anywhere else. I love you guys. My gratitude is everlasting.”

Chelsea Gonzalez - Actor, “Fun Time$”, “Friends” (MFI Summer 2013)

“Tony, I know we all wrote you notes in that book that we gave you at the end of MFI but now that I’ve taken a couple of days to digest everything that happened, I just wanted to send you a formal thank you.  What you said the first night we were at SilverSands was right…there is not another program out there like this.  I have truly learnt more about filmmaking in those two weeks then I’ve learnt in two years of being out of school and pursuing an acting career.  The entire faculty really was world class, the group of students were beyond talented, and I discovered a whole new love for filmmaking that I never knew I had an interest in.  I feel so inspired by all of the workshops that we had and I am planning on taking more filmmaking classes in the city.  I am also totally inspired to try my hand at writing and creating my own work…something I never even considered before coming to MFI. To make a long story short, thank you. This experience was life changing and I am so honored to have been a part of this program.”

Robert Mai - Writer-Director, “The Devil’s Timekeeper” (MFI Summer 2013)

“Imagine a place, a wonderful little place set in the idyllic grassy wonderlands of the Hamptons, where talented people of all shapes and sizes meet to make 23 top-notch short films; where a crack team of film production terminators work around the clock to provide you with locations/actors/miracles; where your classes take place in a three-story mansion and your meals include the same clam chowder that was made for the White House; where big-shots like Chazz Palminteri and Joe Pantoliano and Tony Goldwyn and Michael Nourri drop in to share their incredible stories with us; imagine, if you may, an environment that emphasizes story and character, and long-lasting collaborations with undeniably awesome film people. What is this utopia, this sanctuary of creativity and compassion and joy? Is it heaven? NOPE. IT’S MANHATTAN FILM INSTITUTE. I’VE BEEN THERE. IT EXISTS. AND IT’S SO FREAKING AWESOME.”

Tara Duffy  - Director, “Guys & Dolls” (MFI Summer 2013)

“i woke up so disoriented not being in that pink room. miss all you gorgeous, amazingly talented, bright, vibrant people. please keep in touch forever!”

John McCabe  - Actor, “Where’s Willie?”, “Screwed” Boys, “Lexicon” Prep (MFI Summer 2013)

“Just got home. And it all hit me at once. Everything that we just did. I swear that there was pure acts of magic performed back there. You’re all brilliant and talented and I hope to work + keep in touch with all of you. Thank you all for making that experience possible. Love y’all crazy peeps. Peace out for now MFI. See you all in the big leagues!!”

Mimi Khasidy  - Writer-Director, “The Terms” (MFI Summer 2013)

“Tony, Thank you again for a transformational experience – it was truly wonderful.  I am always dumbstruck at how much you and your team take on and manage to achieve.  It was a complete and utter pleasure to take part in all the madness, the learning, the doing and the sheer enjoyment of seeing so many films come to life in such a short period of time. You were right to force my hand a bit and I am grateful for it. I won’t be reluctant again.”

Blair Nichols  - Writer, “Ladies Over Drinks” & “Friends”, Actor, Co-Director, “Friends” (MFI Summer 2013)

“Thank you all. Love you all. It was amazing, so glad I was able to be a part of this. Unbelievable work, everybody!! Gonna miss it, that’s for damn sure!”

Oliver Frodo Orr  - Director, “Checkmate” (MFI Summer 2013)

“There are really no words to express my gratitude for everything that everyone did these past two weeks. With so many people with so much talent in one place, there was no way that this was going to be anything but phenomenal. Thank you all so much, and I’ll see you all next year.”

Edgar Pocasangre  - Actor, “Screwed” Boys (MFI Summer 2013)

“I wanna thank everyone, it was an amazing experience, MFI completely changed my life I’m so happy you guys are part of my life now! Thank You all for everything for making this 2 weeks so special! LOVE YOU ALL! Hope to see you all next summer at MFI!”

Gregory Voigt  - Director, “Mother’s Day” (MFI Summer 2013)

“My thanks go to everyone who made these two weeks at mfi one of the greatest two weeks of my life.”

Jamie McNeill  - Director, “Lexi-Con” Prep (MFI Summer 2013)

“MFI was my first sleep away camp ever and I expected to be homesick quite a lot. But you guys quickly became like a family to me and I felt like I was home away from home for two amazing weeks. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience with you all. Thank you guys! Keep in touch.”


Christiana Simon, Actor  (“I Love You” & “False Positives”)

“I wanted to thank you all for the wonderful experience that was MFI’s inaugural summer–words can’t begin to express how appreciative I am to have been included in such a passionate group of filmmakers. I walked away with not only more confidence in own abilities as an actor, but with a greater knowledge of all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. Not only am I able to walk away from MFI with a greater arsenal of tools to use in my career going forward, I walk away with many great friendships that never would have transpired were it not for you bringing us all together–and, for that, I cannot thank you enough.”

Yulia Laricheva, Actor  (“The Bar” & “In Her Footsteps”)

“Thank you for an amazing 2 weeks. It was really a transformational experience in every sense. I learned a lot and I’m just really grateful to be around people who can help me along in my growth process. MFI is a very special place in every sense. Thank you for creating it. You have amazing friends that believe in you, and in life that’s all you need to make dreams come true.”

Hannah Fleming, Actor  (“Not Alone” & “Chuckles the Clown”)

“I had so much fun those two weeks and felt like I learned so much about everything regarding acting and the big process of making a film. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life and I hope to come back next summer. I am beyond happy about how my films turned out!”

Mayank Saxena, Actor (“Dominoes” & “Hippocratic Oath”)

“The movies and sound came out great, thanks Tony – I’m happy my concerns were destroyed! Everyone looks good. Thanks for the 2 weeks, see you and the gang next year.”

Andrew Stewart Jones, Actor (“Home” & False Positives”)

“Thank you so much for the last two weeks. I’ve had a brilliant time. You’ve changed many peoples lives – some even for the better. LOL. Keep in touch and good luck with the remainder of the classes. Much Love!”

Ruth Coughlin, Actor (“Breaking In” & “Trapped”)

“The movies turned out pretty stellar. Looking forward to making a reel out of these two. Thank you for the blood, sweat, tears and laughter!”

David Litner, Director (“Hippocratic Oath”)

“Hey Tony-I wanted to just say thank you. You are one of the most energetic, passionate, approachable people I have ever had the joy of meeting. You did far more for me these past 2 weeks than I would have ever expected. I owe you a lot. Stay in touch. Thanks for everything!”

Parent of Luke Troast, Director (“Anniversary”)

“Good morning, Tony! Fabulous job by MFI! Thank you for all your time, efforts, and sharing your unbelievable talents with Luke! We love you!”

Parent of Sean O’Keefe, Director (“Compedians”)

“Tony, MFI opened up Sean’s eyes to directing and all the parts to making a movie. He really loved the experience, and was totally exhausted by the time it was over.  I had my doubts about Sean pursuing film in college, but because of your program, we are now convinced. Many thanks for being a mentor and role model for Sean, and encouraging him. Thankfully we found you guys, since I had no knowledge of film to begin with. Now, Sean wants to take a look at Chapman, and other college film programs.”

Matthew Charles, Director (“False Positives”)

“I wanted to thank you again for inviting me to MFI. It was a great experience, and a wonderful chance to not simply make a movie, but to collaborate with people of professional talent, and to learn through experience and not simply in a lecture. For a guy whose only plan this summer was to get a job, a chance to practice my craft was more than I could ever ask for. If you ever need a T.A. for future seconds, I’d gladly be willing to lend a hand.”

Mimi Khasidy, Writers Retreat With Chazz Palminteri

“Tony – I didn’t get the chance to see you on Friday before heading out, so here’s my feeble attempt to thank you for one of the greatest experiences of my life! I am so grateful to have been part of it and to have met you – how you manage to do all the things you are doing with the writers, actors, editors/tech film crew is astounding. And it’s very clear to me that you really LOVE what you are doing. Watching it was inspirational.”

Scott Reynolds & Nick Cofino, Writers Retreat with Chazz Palminteri

“Tony, I want to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for an unforgettable week. Nick and I believe you have created something special in Greenport, N.Y., and it was a privilege to be a part of the very first MFI retreat. Thank you for everything you have done for both Nick and myself. We wouldn’t have accomplished so much without your help, support and consistent positive attitude.”

Ashley Bryant, Actors Retreat with Larry Moss

“Dear Tony, The past two weeks have changed my life in the most powerful way. I learned so much from you, Jeff, Chazz and Larry Moss. I have such an appreciation for writers, stories and words. The Manhattan Film Institute will be one of the most memorable experiences I have had and I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to talk to me about so many things and supporting my short film – I will follow up when I have more things in place to ask for your input (if you don’t mind) “Writing is Re-writing” :) I look forward to chatting with you soon, as well as next years retreat.”