An Artist's Journey featuring Writer | Director Michelle Steffes.
We will start with a short time of networking as we get and settle in to hear Michelle's career journey.
Michelle Steffes is an award-winning writing/director. Her short films are whimsical takes on reality and have played at festivals such as Florida, Hamptons, New Orleans and Austin. She directed the fantastical dramedy Driftwood for AFIs prestigious Directing Workshop for Women and the black comedy The Interview, which won grand prize at the Academy-qualifying USA Film Festival. Both Driftwood and The Interview were picked up for distribution by Shorts International. Her Arabic language drama Refuge has been translated into several languages and is currently playing on television in 22 countries in the Middle East. She also produced the short drama Day Labor, which went on to become a student Oscar finalist, and the short drama Short Term 12, which went on to become a student Oscar finalist, an Academy Award short list selection, and the US jury prize winner at Sundance.
In recognition of this body of work, Michelle was the only live action short filmmaker invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2012.
Michelle shadowed director Jesse Bochco on TNTs detective procedural Murder in the First and director Phill Lewis on Netflixs sitcom One Day at a Time.
Michelles work background is in the area of development, first as the Director of Development at Larger than Life Productions for writer/director Gary Ross, and then as a freelance arbitration consultant for over a hundred screenwriters who have undergone the WGAs credits determination procedure. She is also a feature screenwriter, adapting the 1920s ghost story The Mercy of Thin Air for Tango Entertainment and the Soviet spy novel A Quiet Life for Bad Penny Productions.
Michelle has trained at AFIs Directing Workshop for Women, Judith Westons directing labs, Los Angeles Film Studies Center, and iO West. She has also served on the board of Film School Africa, in the Kayamundi township of South Africa, which trains impoverished youth in film production and art therapy, and on the board of Alliance of Women Directors, dedicated to increasing the number of women in the directors chair. She currently serves on the Executive Committee for the Student Academy Awards.
Michelle lives in Sherman Oaks with her screenwriter husband Joey Aucoin and her two-year-old son.