Michael is a passionate believer in the power of film and documentaries and has an extensive experience in film making, both documentary and drama, in a variety of settings – from working with young people in east London, to leading and directing films in Sierra Leone. Michael is passionate about film-making and the arts in general, and made his first short film in 2001 for the in 23:59 Short Film Competition.
Michael and Leon Rainee at the Black International Film Festival 2010
His first documentary, ‘WAYOUT’, looked at the music industry and youth engagement in Sierra Leone, and went on to win Best Music Documentary at the Philadelphia Film Festival 2008 and was shortlisted for Best Short at the first Babelgum Film Festival. It has since gone on to receive over 20,000 Youtube hits and act as a hugely successful campaigning tool for WAYout.
For homeless charity Shelter, Michael worked with children and young people across Newham, producing and directing short films about their experiences in temporary accommodation. Michael worked with animators Salmagundi on the ‘In Their Own Words’ animated films, praised by Shelter’s Head of Communications, Policy and Campaigns as the ‘most powerful piece of AV Shelter has had in years’, and have been used nationally to raise awareness as part of their Million Children campaign.
He has recently directed and produced several films for international production company Wilderness Films.
Michael’s short film, ‘The Fall’, was an innovative short combining drama with animation, bringing together gritty social drama and exciting animation.
Michael directed two further awareness-raising dramas for WAYout in partnership with sexual health charity Marie Stopes, written by local writers and using local actors, filming both films in English and Krio. The films have since been used by Marie Stopes across Sierra Leone.
Michael’s most recent documentary, Stay Sailing, about the future of pirate radio in the UK, is now online and gaining critical acclaim from various magazines (such as Little White Lies and Shook), blogs and had led him to be invited to give masterclasses and Q&As at events such as the annual Radio Academy.
Michael is currently developing a documentary looking at child poverty, and also working on several scripts for dramas. He also has a strong background in music and radio, presenting on BBC 1Xtra as well as various community and internet stations; DJing in competitions and clubs across the UK; and producing music for soundtracks, such as the feature-length documentary Kimmie.
Michael also has a strong background in politics, social issues, current affairs, and charity work. In 2007 he founded international film/music charity WAYout, to engage and support disadvantaged young people and adults in Sierra Leone to voice their concerns via film and music-based projects.
- Stay Sailing – director, documentary (2010)
- Trouser Trouble/Bite Off More Than They Can Chew – director – dramas for Marie Stopes (in English/Krio – 2010)
- The Fall – writer/director, short drama, shown in festivals worldwide (2009)
- Spoken Word Boys – for Shelter (2009)
- In Their Own Words – for Shelter, animations (2008)
- WAYOUT – co-director/presenter – short documentary (2006)
- Kimmie – assistant producer/soundtrack producer – Britdocs feature documentary (2005)