Michael Collins

Los Angeles, California, United States


Michael is the founder of Thoughtful Robot Productions, committed to sharing stories that inspire, connect, and galvanize change since 2003. He is a four-time Emmy and Grierson nominated filmmaker and recently joined the board of Telluride Mountainfilm festival. In addition to filmmaking, Michael volunteers as a meditation and breathwork instructor working with a wide range of populations including the LGBTQ community, creative activists, veterans, and military families. He writes, paints, and immerses in nature every chance he gets.

Michael's first film, GIVE UP TOMORROW, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2011 where it won the Audience Award and a Special Jury Prize for Best New Director. It was selected for the Puma Impact Award in 2012 and was nominated for an Emmy® Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism in 2013. GIVE UP TOMORROW won 18 awards worldwide.

Michael’s film ALMOST SUNRISE, chronicles the transformative journey of two Iraq war veterans who set off on a 2,700-mile walk to save themselves from suicide. It is the first film about “moral injury” and its connection to the suicide crisis. The film premiered at Telluride Mountainfilm in 2016 and has had 500+ screenings across the U.S., winning six major awards including the Cine Golden Eagle Award. It has been honored with media awards from government organization SAMHSA and the National Association of Social Workers. ALMOST SUNRISE was nominated for an Emmy® Award in 2018 for Outstanding Current Affairs Documentary.

In 2022 Michael released two films. The first, a feature documentary he produced, wrote, and edited called DELIKADO, an environmental thriller set in the Philippines. It premiered at Hot Docs in Toronto and is currently touring the world. It played Human Rights Watch Film Festival New York City, was Opening Night Film at Human Rights Watch in London in March and received a top award at the DC Environmental Film Festival. It won the Walkley Best Documentary Award for Excellence in Journalism in Australia, the Sustainable Future Award at Sydney International Film Festival, special jury prizes at LA Asian Pacific Film Festival and Doc Edge in New Zealand, and was nominated for the Tim Hetherington Award at Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival. It is a co-production with ITVS, TIME Studios, Naked Edge, Shark Island and many more. It premiered on US television as part POV’s 35 Anniversary season in September 2022. DELIKADO is nominated for an Emmy® Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism.

Michael’s other 2022 film BEIRUT DREAMS IN COLOR was made for Guardian Documentaries about a trailblazing rock band, a courageous fan, and a queer activist’s daunting battle against religious extremists for equality in some of the most hardline places in the world. The film is screening at festivals worldwide including Tribeca Film Festival in New York City and premiered on the Guardian in June 2022 for Pride month. It has won several awards at festivals worldwide and is nominated for an Emmy® Award for Outstanding Short Documentary.