Michael Bennett (Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Whakaue) is an award-winning screenwriter, filmmaker and author. Michael’s second feature-length drama, In Dark Places, tells the story of Teina Pora’s imprisonment for 21 years for crimes he did not commit. The television film is based on Michael’s book In Dark Places which won the Ngaio Marsh Award for best non-fiction book, and Michael made an award-winning documentary about Teina’s story. Michael’s short films Cow and Kerosene Creek screened at numerous film festivals including Cannes, Toronto, Berlin, London and New York, and his debut feature Matariki premiered at Toronto Film Festival and won awards in New Zealand and internationally.
Michael has written and directed for many television drama series. As well as his own film and TV and book work, Michael works in communities around New Zealand with Script to Screen, empowering locals to tell their stories on film, he works with developing filmmakers through the NZ Film Commission and Nga Aho Whakaari, and is head of the screenwriting programme at South Seas Film School. Michael’s second book, Helen and the Go-Go Ninjas (a post-apocalyptic time travel graphic novel co-authored with Ant Sang) was published by Penguin / Random House June 2018.
In 2015 Michael founded 10000 COMPANY with Jane Holland to create and develop original film and television projects. Their first production was In Dark Places.