Michael Urban has been a working screenwriter since selling his first screenplay in 2001, just six months after graduating from the American Film Institute with a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Screenwriting. In 2002 production began on that screenplay, resulting in the MGM/UA feature film, SAVED! Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, the film went on to win accolades at South by Southwest and the Gen Arts Film Festival.
SAVED! lead to a successful career as screenwriter, completing feature film assignments for Paramount, Universal Studios, MGM and Sony Studios. Additionally, Michael has sold original television pilot scripts to ABC, HBO, Lifetime and most recently Universal Cable Productions. In 2015 he co-wrote and co-Executive Produced the pilot for TRUE FICTION for the Bravo TV Network. He was also hired to write an original television movie for the USA network, currently in development.
In 2005, Michael returned to the American Film Institute as a member of the Screenwriting Faculty. In the fourteen years he has been teaching he has had the honor of working with the next generation of emerging filmmakers. His former students include hundreds of writers, directors and producers. Additionally, he has seen his students go on to win the Student Emmy Award, the Student Academy Award and the Cannes Palm D’Or for thesis films realized under his mentorship. Most recently he mentored TREE #3 and MILLER & SON — two of the three AFI Thesis films announced as winners of the 2019 Student Academy Awards.
While his core responsibilities at AFI center on mentoring student scripts and short film projects, he has also moderated several of the Institute’s prestigious Harold Lloyd Master Seminars. These seminars consist of a screening followed by a discussion with the filmmakers. Among the filmmakers Michael has hosted are, Mike White (SCHOOL OF ROCK), Vince Gilligan (BREAKING BAD/BETTER CALL SAUL), Lisa Kudrow (FRIENDS, THE COMEBACK), Jay Roach (AUSTIN POWERS, MEET THE PARENTS), Alec Berg & Bill Hader (BARRY), Ryan Murphy (GLEE, THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON), Christopher Nolan (THE DARK KNIGHT) and most recently Olivia Wilde with her directorial debut (BOOKSMART).