Raised in Castle Hill, Michael attended the University of Western Sydney Nepean and graduated in acting in 2006. After building extensive experience across film and theatre roles, he has since been identified as one-to-watch as an emerging screenwriter and director, having graduated from AFTRS Screenwriting in 2015 and subsequently selected to participate in Screen NSW & Metro Screenʼs First Breaks Film Lab.
Through this program, Michael wrote and directed the Screen NSW and Metro Screen funded and developed short film The Lake, which has received official selections around the globe and premiered at the Oscar and BAFTA-qualifying Encounters Short Film Festival in the UK, returning home for its Australian premiere at the 2017 St Kilda Film Festival.
Michael is interested in the themes of the outsider looking in – identity, race, the complexity of youth and coming-of-age feature heavily in his work. Upcoming projects include the short film There She Is, for which Michael was selected to develop as a participant in the Australian Film Television & Radio School (AFTRS), Screen Australia and Create NSW, NSW State Talent Camp in 2017. This year, he is one of two NSW-based screen practitioners to be successful in gaining a place to the National Talent Camp. He is also currently developing the six-part narrative comedy/drama If Pain Persists.
During his three months at Create NSW, Michael will learn about all aspects of the production finance process under Screen Investment Senior Manager Sally Regan and the Sector Investment team, before joining a NSW-based production company for a further three-month period. He will also be given the opportunity to attend key industry events during the placement to encourage further professional development.
Michael commented, “This is a fantastic opportunity that will not only provide invaluable insight into the production finance side of the business, but also a great chance for me to develop my drama production experience as I aim to deliver more diverse stories to Australian and international audiences. I’m very excited to join the team here at Create NSW.”
Michael replaces the formerly announced recipient Charles Billeh, who is working on an alternative feature film opportunity.
The Emerging Producer Placement initiative is an annual program offering professional placements for two emerging producers. In 2017/18 the opportunity was targeted at producers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.