Michael Davie

Documentary Filmmaker. Writer. Explorer.

Armed with a global perspective and a burning desire to tell the difficult stories unfolding on the world stage, Michael Davie is one of the freshest voices in documentary filmmaking today. His ease in front of and behind the camera sets him apart from the pack. Film producer, director, writer, and keen storyteller, Michael chases dramatic, real-life stories—from the glaciers of Denali to the frontlines of the Balkans, and into the heart of Africa. Recently, he co-created Oprah Winfrey’s landmark Belief series. At National Geographic Television, he created World Diaries, a series that took viewers into some of the planet’s most dangerous places. Most recently, National Geographic sent him to Australia to document the bushfires.

Michael's feature documentary The Choir, about music in a South African prison, won the AFI Best Director Award. His films War Child and Gorilla Murders both received Emmy Awards for outstanding investigative journalism and for the film Liberia: American Dream? Michael and his team received the prestigious Edward R. Murrow and Columbia DuPont awards.

In his stage show, Digging Deep, Michael recounts fascinating stories that occurred both in front of his camera and behind it, blending his filmmaker’s eye for detail with laugh-out-loud humor, and a deep understanding of the human condition, resilience, and the spirit of innovation. Through it all, he communicates hope for the future, as he describes in this NPR interview. A true global citizen, Michael was born in Rhodesia (modern-day Zimbabwe), then spent most of his childhood and early adulthood in Australia, where his father was a bush doctor on Norfolk Island.  He currently resides in Istanbul, Turkey.

Photos: courtesy Michael Davie

Featured Presentation

Bridging the Divide

Michael's passion for filmmaking centers on connecting with people. For twenty-five years he's parachuted into unknown and often hostile environments with a mission to reveal the human stories behind the headlines. Every one of Michael's films centers on remarkable people who at first glance may seem very different from ourselves but upon closer inspection share the same fears, dreams and ambitions as us. In his talk, Michael reveals the strategies and techniques which enable him to connect with anyone, anywhere, and takes us on a journey to meet an extraordinary cast of inspiring characters from the frontlines of change.

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©2020 by Deborah Benson.