Michael A. Simpson is a writer, director and producer of award-winning documentaries and feature films. He continues his brother Ron’s tradition of questioning authority and speaking out against social and political injustice, as his friends, both real and virtual, will attest. He’s a connoisseur of raisin oatmeal cookies, a walking storehouse of music knowledge and trivia, finds reasons to get his passport inked whenever possible, and remains a “rebel without a pause.” Sons of My Fathers is his first book.
Simpson is an Emmy and Peabody award‐winner, and the founding partner of Informant Media. The company’s inaugural production was CRAZY HEART, which he executive produced. For Informant, Simpson also executive produced HYSTERIA, STUCK IN LOVE and BOYCHOIR, and produced ERASED and KIDNAPPING MR. HEINEKEN.
A 25‐year veteran of the business, Simpson is a producer and director of more than 50 award‐winning feature films, documentaries, commercials and interactive programs. Under the Cairo Simpson Entertainment banner, the company and its principals produced more than 20 movies and television programs, and developed dramatic series for ABC, USA Network, TBS and HBO Independent Productions that Simpson wrote and executive produced. Simpson created, produced and directed two groundbreaking, original documentary series for TBS, “Portrait of America” and “The World of Audubon.” His work for “Portrait of America” garnered a George Foster Peabody, the broadcast industry’s equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize.
Simpson has expert knowledge of, and extensive experience in, the distribution of films. He has served on the boards of NASDAQ-listed, publicly traded corporations in the entertainment industry. During his tenures, the companies and their principals provided financing for, and distributed internationally, more than 70 films including John Sayles’ Academy Award®‐nominated “Matewan” (starring Chris Cooper, Mary McDonnell, James Earl Jones and David Strathairn); Sidney Lumet’s “Q & A” (starring Nick Nolte, Timothy Hutton and Armand Assante); “Guilty By Suspicion” (starring Robert DeNiro, which opened the Cannes Film Festival in 1991); “Switch” (starring Ellen Barkin and directed by Blake Edwards); and “1492” (starring Gerard Depardieu, Sigourney Weaver, directed by Ridley Scott). Journalist Todd Coleman, writing in PREMIERE Magazine, called the $45 million independently financed “1492…a feat of entrepreneurial derring-do nearly as impressive as Columbus’s journey.” At the time it was considered the largest purely independent movie ever financed and produced.
Simpson’s debut feature film as a writer and director, the critically acclaimed “Impure Thoughts,” was a Grand Jury Prize Dramatic Nominee at the Sundance Film Festival, widely considered the premier platform for American and international independent film. In 2012, the film was selected for preservation by the Sundance UCLA Archive.
Simpson was a juror for the 2005 Santa Barbara International Film Festival. In 2010, Simpson was named to the Honorary Board of CINE, which provides recognition to established and emerging filmmakers. The board includes other notable CINE Golden Eagle Award winners Ken Burns, Bill Moyers and Steven Spielberg. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Simpson studied method acting with Norwegian actress and artistic director Anne Gullestad, Den Nationale Scene theatre in Bergen, and co-founder of the Sogn og Fjordane theatre in Førde, Norway.