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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.

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