Earlier this week, MPTF (Motion Picture & Television Fund) hosted its ninth annual “Reel Stories, Real Lives” event virtually, and as always, it was a moving evening filled with extraordinary stories highlighting the impact of MPTF on the entertainment community.
Longtime advocate and supporter Hugh Jackman hosted the event, which featured powerful storytelling from Angela Bassett, Jason Bateman, and Danai Gurira, as well as a special appearance from Yvette Nicole Brown.
Angela Bassett performed the tale of Toni Vaz, written by Charla Lauriston (The Last OG, Ghosted, People of Earth, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt). MPTF’s Country Home is where she lives now, but Toni began in NYC. Her desire for adventure carried her through unexpected paths in the entertainment industry. She was a stuntwoman, an actress, and the creator of the NAACP Image Awards. She is a true leader who wanted better roles for herself and fellow people of color.
Jason Bateman shared the love story of television writer-producer Joel & Deborah Rogosin, written by Erica Rivinoja (The Last Man on Earth, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, South Park). Their journey through Hollywood brought them to MPTF’s Country Home where their curiosity and creativity flourished in their later years. They could never have guessed that they would need the compassionate care of MPTF in Joel’s final battle against COVID-19.
Danai Gurira imparted the true story of Ashlei, who turned to MPTF for help with Veterans survivor benefits for her son. Her story is one of resilience and strength, crafted by Anna Musky-Goldwyn (Supergirl).
“Telling powerful stories of how MPTF has stepped up to help entertainment industry members in their times of need is something we look forward to each year. Through these compelling narratives, we can educate our industry family on MPTF programs and services and assure them that we’re here for them as well. While our organization is nearly 100 years-old, MPTF has never been more essential to our entertainment community as now and we’ve never been prouder of our efforts to take care of our own,” said Bob Beitcher, President and CEO of MPTF.
“Reel Stories, Real Lives” was produced by Cate Adams, Kelly Brock, Kevin McCormick, Karen Rosenfelt, Tara Schuster, Greg Sills, and Courtenay Valenti. The event was generously sponsored by 24 Hour Home Care, The Animation Guild, IATSE Local 839, Biomeme, Cast & Crew, Entertainment Partners, and UCLA Health.
MPTF has been a lifeline for entertainment industry members, both working and retired, for the past century by providing social, financial, and health services. Since the pandemic began, MPTF has tripled the number of community members it serves, is assisting with financial relief, help with managing basic living expenses and health insurance, and issues around social isolation and loneliness, stress, and anxiety, and has made over 15,000 social work and care calls.