PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
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Sean’s storyteller instinct took hold early, and an Honours degree in screenwriting and documentary film and extensive experience in media and marketing set him on the path towards the film industry. His work has screened around the world, including sci-fi short Sweetheart, which attracted studio attention after a long successful festival run, and in 2013 was the subject of a UK academic paper on African science-fiction. Most recently his documentary Outsider premiered in Montreal and has gone on to festivals including SA’s own Encounters Int. Doc. Fest 2014.
Sean is the founder & former festival manager of the Cape Town chapter of the shnit International Shortfilmfestival, celebrating, promoting and awarding South African and international short films yearly. As of 2015, he steps into the role of global coordinator for the shnit network, overseeing festival logistics, programming and awards in key shnit cities in Africa, Europe, Asia and South America, as well as artistic collaboration and exchange between filmmakers from cultures all around the world. He continues to sit on Cape Town’s festival board as an advisor, and as an Executive Producer on the yearly RealTime film programme, offering South African filmmakers the opportunity to produce films through the shnit Cape Town network of partners.
He has hosted panels on finance and distribution at Durban Film Mart and has served on the Writers’ Guild of South Africa’s executive council. He also produces and hosts weekly radio talk show and podcast Space Life and Other Dumb Ideas, focusing on science, technology and pop culture. Sadly, it seems science is not his calling; he’s resigned to have to live out his dreams of space through his work.
Michael co-founded Be Phat Motel Film Company in 2007 with the aim to develop and produce progressive cinema, and has seen a number of scripts into international development. In this period Michael has also made award winning commercials, short films and music videos, working with brands such as MTV, Axe/Lynx, Nike, Kulula(airlines), Wrigleys and Smirnoff.
His most recent music video is new Freshlyground single ‘Don’t Leave Me’, noted as an honest view of South Africa in 2015.
Michael’s half hour film, Sweetheart (2011), has screened at festivals in South Africa, Poland, Russia, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, Austria, Greece, Singapore, Costa Rica and the USA. Sweetheart also garnered interest from a number of influential online platforms, leading him to being invited to Los Angeles to meet agents and studios including Fox, Warner Brothers and WME.
In 2014 Michael directed the eight part web series, Ashbeclee. The comedy-drama is in the tone of HBO ‘Girls’, but set in Perth Australia. It focus on three female lead characters who are dealing with a quarter life crisis and first world problems. It was a brand sponsored series, gaining over 190 000 episode views.
Five Fingers for Marseilles is Michael’s first feature film as director..