Originally from Richmond, Virginia, Michael Gottwald graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He served as Executive Producer on Court 13's Glory at Sea
in 2007. In 2008 he worked for Obama for America as a Field Organizer during the primaries, as Ohio New Media Director during the general election, and he returned to work on the re-election campaign in 2011 as a Digital Program Manager in the Chicago headquarters. With Josh Penn and Dan Janvey, Michael produced Court 13’s
first feature film, Beasts of the Southern Wild
, directed by Benh Zeitlin. Beasts
won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in January 2012 and the Camera d’Or at Cannes in May 2012; it was nominated for four Academy Awards – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Michael was one of the producers of Ping Pong Summer, an 80’s era coming of age comedy directed by Michael Tully which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014. At the moment he is producing new cycles of the web series “High Maintenance”, as well as Geremy Jasper’s fiction feature film Patti Cake$, which has recently been through the Sundance Screenwriters and Directors Lab. Michael also produced documentary filmmakers the Ross Brothers’ second feature, Tchoupitoulas, which premiered at South by Southwest in March 2012 and was distributed by Oscilloscope Laboratories, in addition to their third feature, Western, which will premiere in U.S. Documentary Competition at Sundance Film Festival in 2015.