Recently named a “TOP 25 SCREENWRITER TO WATCH IN 2021” by the International Screenwriters Association, Emmy Award winning commercial director turned screenwriter, Michael Graf, is known in Advertising for his “actor first, artful storytelling” style of directing.
Likewise, his character-centric, story-driven style of writing has been making waves around the world with feature screenplays, THE LAST INDIAN WAR and THROWING HAMMERS, winning awards and top honors at festivals in Paris, Park City, Los Angeles, New York, Nassau and Toronto. His first screenplay, WINTER OF FROZEN DREAMS, was produced for Lifetime network and stars Thora Birch and Dean Winters.
His most recent screenplays, VENICE OF AMERICA, was juried into the Venice Film Festival in Italy and is a Screencraft Top 10 Crime/Mystery screenplay and his newest script, PICKET CHARLIE, is climbing up both The Black List’s website Top 25 and is on the Coverfly Red List and in their Top 1% of screenplays. It was nominated for Best Screenplay at the Paris Arts & Movie Awards in France and is a Fresh Voices finalist for best Action/Adventure genre and their Spotlight Award for Best Written Female Lead Role.
Graf just finished a page one re-write of a script titled, GOD LOVES THE PACKERS, which is scheduled to go into production in the fall of 2021.
Michael’s also a working member of the DGA, has commercial work that debuted during the Super Bowl, and is currently the Writer In Residence at the University of Wisconsin’s Institute For Discovery. He lives on a small Wisconsin farm with his fine artist wife, Linda Massey, a miniature horse and three rambunctious Jack Russell terriers.
Unique traits: Has an infectiously memorable laugh - as a kid, Graf's laugh was even recorded by legendary Bob Hope.
Make Me Smile Budget: $10M - $30M | Music ⋄ Biography MAKE ME SMILE is a period biopic about the extraordinary and tragic life of legendary guitarist Terry Kath.
DEAD HORSE LAKE Budget: $1M - $5M | Film-noir ⋄ Crime DEAD HORSE LAKE is a noir drama about a desperate young woman in love with a hit man who must walk a delicate line when the hit man’s boss falls for her.
Throwing Hammers Budget: $1M - $5M | Sports ⋄ Comedy Throwing Hammers is a coming of age dramedy about a disgraced Olympics-bound curler that returns to his hometown and attempts to rebuild his life, but is drawn back into his love of the sport by his best friends.
PICKET CHARLIE Thriller ⋄ Action PICKET CHARLIE is an environmental action/thriller about a botanist turned US Forestry Ranger who must defend her island reserve of trees from brutal timber pirates in a near-future world ravaged by climate change.
THE LAST INDIAN WAR Sports ⋄ Biography THE LAST INDIAN WAR is the inspirational true-life story about how a group of Native American children kidnapped by the US Army overcome incredible adversity and racism to play one of the greatest championship football games ever played --against the very group responsible for their kidnapping.
VENICE OF AMERICA Budget: $30M+ | Historical ⋄ Film-noir VENICE OF AMERICA is a period noir drama based on actual events chronicling the early history of Venice Beach, CA about a private detective hired to investigate the murder of a famous radio celebrity that runs into trouble when the victim shows up alive the day after her funeral.
LEPER KHAN Budget: $30M+ | Action ⋄ Fantasy LEPER KHAN is an action/fantasy feature re-imagining Irish mythology about a Celtic prince banished to our modern world who must choose between the woman he loves in our world and saving the medieval clan of his world from his treacherous brother and an evil Celtic king.
Best Comedy Screenplay, Filmmatic Screenplay Competition
Hot 100 Screenplay, Capital Fund Screenplay Competition
2nd Place Best Screenplay, Los Angeles Independent Film Festivals Awards
Finalist for National Lampoon's/Stage 32 Search For Comedy Writer's Gold contest
Nomination for Best Feature Screenplay, PAMA Festival, Paris
Winner Best Feature Screenplay, PAMA Festival, Paris
Award Winner; LA All Sports Film Festival, Best Screenplay
Culture & Heritiage Award, Fresh Voices Screenwriting Competition
Emmy Award Winner
Cine Golden Eagle Award
Best Screenplay, WorldFest Houston
Director Of The Year, Screen Magazine Star Awards
Top Finalist, Emerging Narrative Series, IFP Market, New York
New York Festivals WorldMedal Winner