Hey, I'm Michael!
San Francisco, California
Michael Axtell, award-winning video producer and owner of Dreaming Monk Productions, was born and raised in the misty hills of San Francisco, California. He is known as Yacouba Sangaré in Mali, named after his host-brother there. Michael has a passion for visual anthropology and is the descendant of several generations of farmers on his maternal side. He studied film and video production at the Bay Area Video Coalition and the San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking and recently won the Best Commercial Award as Producer for "Pancakes" at the 2016 HollyShorts Film Festival, the "Cannes" of the short film world. He first started building his craft while working for two years as a producer, director, cameraman, editor, and anchor on “Gaucho Scoreboard,” a sports television show at UC Santa Barbara.
He holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his work strives to highlight the wisdom and insight of ancient and traditional forms of knowledge while exploring the intersection between human ecology, science and technology, and the evolution of human consciousness.
Over the past several years, outside of work as a video producer, he has trekked to the Outback and Great Barrier Reef of Australia, walked on the sands of Zanzibar and the primordial Serengeti plains of Tanzania, regularly attended sumo wrestling events during a year of work in rural Japan, and has loved conversing with the locals in Spanish during his several trips to México. He traveled to Mali for a month to shoot footage for this film on his first trip there several years ago, and finished production in the spring of 2016 after two more amazing weeks in Mali.
Nyogon will be his first feature documentary film.
Projects I'm Supporting
Zen is Now: The Kwan Um School of Zen Today
Where the Kwan Um School of Zen is today
Fantastic Santa Monaco
A film about a group of performance artists who are looking for love, connection and significance in Los Angeles.
A violent altercation between a police officer and a black man left one person dead. A couple passing by must decide what they believe.
Paper Birds, Film Production Fund
A desperate TV starlet with a rocky career makes an attempt at getting back in the spotlight by joining the circus
Women's March - a documentary by TrimTab Media
On January 21, 2017, millions of women came together in solidarity to march in cities across America.
Sometimes global change starts with local action.
Frustrated at her inability to accurately remember a particular time of happiness in her life, Minny sets out to find it again.