In 2012 MFI launched.  Our mission was to bring two disciplines together - Acting and Directing.  We accept 25 actors and 25 directors to make 25 original short films.  Inspired not only by years of teaching Directing and Screenwriting at Chapman University Dodge College of Film and Media Arts but also by my experiences as an acting student at Yale School of Drama, Circle in the Square and Williamstown Theater Festival I learned that working alongside world-class actors was a life-changing experience for an emerging artist.  I wanted to recreate a place where a struggling actor or filmmaker could come to learn how to take their craft to the next level and have the opportunity to collaborate with award-winning artists.  


MFI's faculty and mentors Bob Krakower, Wendy Makkena, Tony Goldwyn, Shannon Goldman, Joseph Pantoliano, Marcia Gay Harden, and Chazz Palminteri had all been given a chance to work with artists who had inspired them.  We all have memories of how important those experiences were to our own growth and remain eternally grateful for having had those chances.  


We have now created a place where we hope to give others that same experience.  That is what MFI is today.


The most important message I can give anyone who is considering coming to work with us is to let you know that you can trust our integrity, and intent to give artists everything we can to make work that they can be proud of. 


Tony Spiridakis




Dear Gang –


My good friend Tony Spiridakis has started a summertime boutique film conservatory on the North Fork of Long Island called The Manhattan Film Institute. Now, in the name of full disclosure, let me tell you: It ain’t cheap. But it is also priceless. The tuition includes room and board as well as class and your own reel by the time you leave the North Fork. Everything you need to know is on the website. Examples of the kind of films you’ll be making are there for you to see as well. 


In closing, let me tell you this about Tony. There are very few people who bring as much passion, intelligence, experience, and hilarity (you know how I like fun!) to teaching and film-making. For as long as I’ve known him, Tony’s talked about wanting to build “an artistic firehouse.” A kind of firehouse where all you did all day long was get ready to put on a show. It’s never mattered to him if it was a tv show, a movie show, or a freaking musical, he loves the energy and collaboration of the creative process. That process always needs a home. And now, at this stage of his career, he has decided to build his own firehouse. A conservatory type firehouse. And he is blessed with tremendous friends. Amazing, talented, experienced friends who will do anything for him. Larry Moss has been in residence. Chazz Palminteri will be there. Tony Goldwyn will be dropping by this summer. Joe Pantoliano will be dropping by, too. And knowing Mr. Spiridakis, I can tell you that other folks will undoubtedly be walking through his door. You will walk out of his firehouse with a film you’ve made yourself, mentored and guided by him and his terrific faculty.


The amazing thing about Tony is his incredible ability to teach people how to create something out of nothing. And not just any something, but a something you’ll be proud of.


All the best –– Krakower





Greenport, NY is where MFI programs are located. 

Brecknock Hall hosts all of MFI classes and workshops. 

Silver Sands Motel hosts all MFI students. 

Copyright © 2011 Manhattan Film Institute | All Rights Reserved

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