MICHAEL SKOLNIK (Director)
Without the King premiered at the 2007 Full Frame Film Festival and was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the 2007 HotDocs Film Festival. In 2006, Michael co-directed Lockdown USA, a documentary film about Russell Simmons and his quest to end New York State's Rockefeller Drug Laws, that premiered at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival and will air on IFC in May of 2008. Currently, Michael is in post-production for a film he is co-directing about Grammy Award winning artist, Wyclef Jean's quest to bring peace to his homeland, Haiti. In 2004, Michael Skolnik made his feature film directorial debut with the award winning On the Outs, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and won the Grand Jury Prize & the Audience Award at the 2005 Slamdance Film Festival. Michael was nominated for a Gotham Breakthrough Director Award and an IFP Indie Spirit Award for Best Feature. On the feature front, Michael has a development deal with Universal Studios and is currently working on a film for Imagine, produced by Brian Grazer.
In 2004, Michael co-produced and associate produced two documentaries for HBO: American Undercover series: Back in the Hood: Gang War II directed by Marc Levin (Slam, Street Time) and Heir to an Execution: A Granddaughter's Story, a film directed by the granddaughter of Julius & Ethel Rosenberg. In 2003, Michael directed Hooked: The Legend of Demetrius "Hook" Mitchell, a documentary film about one of the greatest playground basketball legends to ever play the game. Hooked made its world premiere at the 2003 Tribeca Film Festival. Michael also directed award winning La Esquina Caliente, a documentary about the baseball games between the Baltimore Orioles and the Cuban National Team. His first film, Danny Hoch's Jails, Hospitals and Hip-Hop¸ Michael served as co-Executive Producer.
In 1997, while an undergraduate at UCLA, Michael Skolnik founded Equal Opportunity Productions (EqOp), an arts organization run entirely by young people. EqOp's mission was to bring an eight week theater program into L.A.'s most underserved public schools to help address the lack of curricular arts programming in inner-city schools. Michael is repped by Philip Raskind and Chris Donnelly at Endeavor. Michael is on the board the Hip-Hop Theater Festival, Kid Power DC and the Advisory Board of IFP/NY.