Building an organization dedicated to film and community
After being elected president of the University of Akron's student film club, The 2380 Project, Michael led the organization to revive an annual tradition: The Akron Film Festival. Following two years of healthy year-over-year growth and strong community interest, the festival became too large for a student organization to operate. As a result, Michael lead a passionate group of students and community members to convert the student event into a FUNDED AND BOARD-DIRECTED 501c3 non-profit organization: Akron Film Festival, Inc. The fledgling organization's mission was to provide the City of Akron with YEAR-ROUND, INDEPENDENT CINEMA PROGRAMMING, featuring multiple annually recurring film festivals, game summits, and educational opportunities.
During Michael's tenure as Executive Director (2007-2009), he led the direction and delivery of MULTIPLE FILM FESTIVALS, including three years of the annual Akron Film Festival, a special Halloween “Freakishly Short Animation Festival”, and many FILM WORKSHOPS. To deliver these large community events, Michael worked with THE CITY OF AKRON'S MAYOR'S OFFICE and local business leaders to establish sponsorships and a protocol for integrating the 501c3’s offerings into the community.
Today, the Akron Film Festival has EVOLVED INTO THE NIGHTLIGHT CINEMA, and operates daily out of its own brick-and-mortar theater with a full-time staff, screening independent, classic, short, and documentary films. Michael CONTINUES TO SUPPORT THE ORGANIZATION by volunteering his time and expertise. Most recently, he helped The Nightlight expand it's technical capabilities in order to offer a new outdoor screening experience: The Nightlight Under The Stars.