Michael Achtman is a writer, director and dramaturg working in film & video, theatre and photography, as well as an audio describer and access consultant. He collaborates frequently with Deaf and disabled artists, and his work explores accessible practice and distribution.
His short film, Awake, an existential comedy, is playing at international film festivals throught 2017-18 and won prizes a Festival Director's Award at look & roll (Basel) and the Liane Yasumoto Jury's Award at Superfest International Disability Film Festival (San Francisco).
His photography was selected for the Bow Open 2016 and will feature in the Bow Arts section of the London Art Fair 2017.
Other of his short films and videos, both narrative and experimental, have screened at festivals and galleries including Out (Toronto), the Horse Hospital (London), MIX (New York), Entzaubertfest (Berlin) and The Moscow Disablity Film Festival. He participated in several First Thursday screenings at filmpro, including a solo show, Michael’s Shorts.
His writing has been published in Playwrights Canada's Perfectly Abnormal: Seven Gay Plays and Written in the Skin: A Poetic Response to AIDS. In 2015, he was commissioned to write an adaptation of Edwin Abbott’s Flatland for Extant Theatre.
In 2010, he dramaturged and directed Pete Edwards' Fat, in London (Oval House, Rich Mix) and on UK tour to live art venues. In 2013-14 he dramaturged Caglar Kimyoncu's video installation,
COnscription, and in 2014 travelled with Caglar to Israel to workshop a new project, Objection-Israel. Michael served as Access Coordinator and Access Manager at Graeae Theatre from 2008-2014 and he continues to explore inclusive practices in his projects.
Recent projects / work
Writer / Director
Anna, who’s chronically ill, is visited by Doreen, a door to door proselytizer who makes herself at home and stays the day, slowly defrosting her non-welcome. Together, they walk in the park, bake a cake and watch an Ingmar Bergman film. Both women are blind, played by blind actors Alex Bulmer and Margo Cargill in this existential comedy.
Dramaturg and Exhibition Catalogue Editor
Video installation examining issues of conscription and conscientious objection.
A solo performance by Pete Edwards, UK tour/Edinburgh fringe Festival