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For more than 30 years, The MPI Media Group has been a leading producer, distributor and licensor of movies, home entertainment, historical footage and more. They remain one of the largest, most successful, and fiercely independent entertainment companies in the world today. MPI’s wholly owned subsidiaries include MPI Home Entertainment, Dark Sky Films, and the WPA Film Library. The MPI Media Group operates from a 42,000 square foot headquarters in Orland Park, Illinois.
Founded in 1976 by brothers Waleed and Malik Ali, the company quickly became one of the foremost American distributors of 16mm non-theatrical films and documentaries for schools, municipal organizations and universities. By the time home video exploded in the mid ‘80s, MPI had amassed a library of more than 15,000 hours of footage and a collection of titles that ranged from Sherlock Holmes to The Super Bowl Shuffle.
In 1989, the Ali brothers Executive Produced the theatrical feature Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer, the provocative shocker that Roger Ebert hailed as “a superb docudrama of chilling horror” and Entertainment Weekly still calls “one of the greatest horror movies of all time.” In 2007, MPI garnered national headlines with the acquisition, restoration and theatrical re-release – and subsequent DVD release – of Becket starring Peter O’Toole and Richard Burton. The 12-time Oscar nominated 1964 classic was restored in conjunction with The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. MPI’s recent Collector’s Edition release of the 70mm visual masterpiece Baraka is on its way to becoming one of the top-selling High Definition DVDs in the industry’s history.
Today, MPI Home Video
produces and distributes more than 2,000 of the world’s most popular movies, documentaries, performances and television programs. Their holdings have included exclusive license agreements with the estates of John Wayne, Jackie Gleason, Frank Zappa and the Reverend Martin Luther King as well as historic concerts by Richard Pryor and George Carlin. The company pioneered the business of TV box sets with their landmark releases of Dark Shadows, The Honeymooners ‘Lost Episodes’, A Touch Of Frost and the epic ABC miniseries War & Remembrance. In addition being the original home video distributor of The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night, Magical Mystery Tour and Help!, MPI continues to market such celebrated music programs as Hullabaloo and The Music Scene and as well as essential performances and documentaries featuring Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline, The Carpenters, Dolly Parton, Harry Chapin, Loretta Lynn and many more.
Dark Sky Films
is a DVD and theatrical distributor dedicated to the discovery, preservation and production of new and classic horror, sci-fi and cult movies from around the world. In 2006, the company released the two-disc restoration of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, which was named DVD Of The Year by several national magazines. Dark Sky’s other acclaimed releases include Jim Van Vebber’s controversial The Manson Family, the 2006 German thriller Antibodies and the acclaimed 2007 French sensation Them.
is the feature film releasing division of MPI Media Group, a privately held global entertainment company. MPI Pictures maintains a strong and diversified presence in all facets of home entertainment distribution including: theatrical, home video, television and digital platforms.
MPI Pictures has fostered strategic partnerships with all major retail and rental home video accounts. MPI Pictures licenses films to television markets and digital platforms. These include (but are not limited to) iNDemand, HBO, Showtime, Netflix, Amazon, Xbox and iTunes.
Launched in 2012, MPI Pictures has quickly built a strong presence by acquiring a compelling slate of independent and arthouse films. Recent MPI Pictures releases include Little White Lies
(starring Marion Cotillard), The Big Picture
(starring Catherine Deneuve) and Americano
(starring Salma Hayek and Mathieu Demy).
MPI’s commitment to world history and culture made international headlines with their acquisition of The WPA Film Library – one of the largest collections of vintage and contemporary footage in the world – and the British Pathe Newsreel Archive. Their long-standing relationships with ABC and CBS News enabled MPI to create and distribute documentaries on such milestones as The Iran-Contra Hearings, The Fall of the Soviet Union, The Waco Massacre and the 2005 Tsunami, often within days of the events themselves. Their 1998 release Image Of An Assassination: A New Look At The Zapruder Film triggered international controversy and discussion by featuring the first-ever digitally enlarged frame-by-frame enhancement of Abraham Zapruder’s historic home movie. The company’s proficiency and integrity led The New York Times to hail MPI as “The specialists in instant video publishing.”
MPI’s foreign licensing division has licensed virtually all of their major acquisitions and original productions – including Becket, Henry, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Baraka and the upcoming horror thriller Plague Town – to most major territories. They continue to license and package their features and documentaries at Midem, Cannes, AFM and other international markets and festivals.
Following Waleed Ali’s passing in 2006, Malik Ali carries on the brothers’ shared vision for the company including a bold new slate of original productions, theatrical releases, licensing, and entertainment ventures around the world.