Michael Samstag

Michael Samstag

Rescue Docs Media
Film Festival Director and Filmmaker

Knoxville, Tennessee

Member Since:
May 2016
Last online:
> 2 weeks ago
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About Michael

Best known for his work directing and producing special features for the first three Harry Potter DVDs and the Van Helsing DVD, Samstags’ work on Van Helsing was featured in an article by American Cinematographer Magazine and the making of WAR & TRUTH was featured in the American Prospect. His last documentary, TALES IN FLIGHT, followed the inspirational stories of pilots who fly dogs to safety. Samstag is the founder and director of the Scruffy City Film & Music Festival which he founded in 2010.

His documentary feature film, WAR & TRUTH, won Best Documentary at the Annapolis Film Festival in November 2005 and the Director’s Choice Award at the Secret City Film Festival in 2007. His documentary, JUST GOT BACK chronicles Darryl Worley’s last trip to Iraq in 2010 and was honored with an Excellence in Media Award from the Daughters of the American Revolution. He’s also directed 30 shows for the Telly Award winning Backyard Habitat series for Discovery Network‘s Animal Planet Channel. A 1989 graduate of Hampshire College, Samstag has stayed busy working on a variety of television shows, feature films, music videos, corporate productions, and documentaries.



  • A Southern Fix

    A Southern Fix (2014 - 2016)
    Documentary by Rescue Docs Media Director The facts are startling -- approximately 3 to 4 million companion animals are killed each year throughout the United States. That boils down to over 9,000 animals every day, 399 every hour and over six animals per minute. That's too many. But how do we fix it? A Southern Fix is a 5,000 mile journey to find the solution.

  • Tales in Flight

    Tales in Flight (2014)
    Film by Rescue Docs Media (Documentary) Director A documentary film about Dogs in peril and the Pilots who fly them safely home.

  • We Have Not Forgotten

    We Have Not Forgotten (2010)
    Documentary by Packdog Productions Director Follow country artist Darryl Worley as he travels to Iraq to entertain the troops.

  • War and Truth

    War and Truth (2005)
    Film (Documentary) Director War and Truth chronicles the history of embedded journalists from WWII to today. When the United States went to war with Iraq, more than two thousand journalists charged across the Iraqi desert to document history and send the story home. Not everything they saw made it into the newspaper or onto the television news. The film details the courage and frustrations of journalists who risk their lives on the front lines. It dares to bring to light the images you won't see on the news and explores the true story of what it really means when a nation goes to war. Includes exclusive interviews with Helen Thomas, Joe Galloway, Norman T. Hatch, and more. Written by Anonymous

  • Backyard Habitat

    Backyard Habitat (2005)
    Television (Documentary) Director Hosts Dave Mizejewski and Molly Pesce share ideas for natural landscaping. In partnership with the National Wildlife Federation, this series teaches homeowners how to encourage wildlife in their yards from birds and butterflies to ducks and even skunks. Dave and Molly illustrate fun ways for the whole family to get involved with step-by-step and how-to instruction.

  • Harry Potter

    Harry Potter (2001 - 2004)
    Film by Warner Bros. Producer, DVD 360-degree Special Features This fabulous Bonus Disc includes never-before-seen footage, a 360-degree self-guided tour of Hogwarts and new interviews with director Chris Columbus and producer David Heyman. Plus, learn to play Quidditch with an original Quidditch montage featuring Oliver Wood and Harry; catch a Snitch; mix potions; perform transfigurations; explore Diagon Alley; meet the ghosts of Hogwarts -- and much more, through the disc's DVD-ROM features.

  • Van Helsing

    Van Helsing (2004)
    Film by Universal Director, DVD 360-degree Special Features You may catch glimpses of the inner workings of Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory while watching Van Helsing in a darkened movie house, but why not tour the massive and intricately detailed lair at your leisure? New Wave Entertainment located in Burbank, California, in partnership with the Tennessee duo of iPIX in Oak Ridge and Samstag Productions in Knoxville, is bringing virtual set tours of the maniacal doctor's lab and other Van Helsing sets to your home as part of the "added value content" for the film's DVD release, as commissioned by Universal Home Video.


  • Best Director, Blank Newspaper Readers Poll

  • Advancement of Independent Film, Secret City Film Fest

  • We Have Not Forgotten, Excellence in Media from the Daughters of the American Revolution

  • Roger Dodger, Best Film & Audience Award, Secret City Film Festival Shootout

  • Backyard Habitat, Telly Award

  • War & Truth, Best Documentary, Annapolis Film Festival


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