By Selena Zito GETTYSBURG – He almost was not asked to speak. In October 1863, President Abraham Lincoln received the same plain envelope that...
EARLY YEARS AND CIA
Michael Sellers is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Delaware where he was a National Finalist in the Rhodes Scholarship and Danforth Fellowship competitions before going on to the Master of Fine Arts in Film-making program at New York University. Shortly after leaving NYU, Sellers’ career took an unexpected turn when was offered and accepted a position as an intelligence officer for the Central Intelligence Agency. During his 10 year CIA stint Sellers served with distinction in Warsaw, Moscow, Addis Ababa, and Manila, where in the final month of his service he was directly involved in helping Philippine President Corazon Aquino survive a violent 10 day coup attempt by military rebels. For his efforts in the coup attempt he was awarded the Intelligence Commendation Medal. His work in Moscow during what journalists dubbed “The Year of the Spy” (1985) has been written about in a number of non-fiction works including Robert Wise’s “The Spy Who Got Away” (1988), Ronal Kessler’s “Moscow Station” (1990); Ronal Kessler’s “Inside the CIA” (1994); and Milt Bearden/James Risen’s authoritative “The Main Enemy” (2004).
Leaving government service, Sellers returned to film-making, first as a line producer and producer of local Tagalog language films in the Philippines (UMIYAK PATI LANGIT; CLASS OF 91; ANAK NG DAGAT); then co-producing international productions, also in the Philippines (RAGE and FORTUNES OF WAR starring Martin Sheen, Haing Ngorr, and MIchael Ironside). In 1996 his first film as writer/producer, GOODBYE AMERICA starring Alexis Arquette, James Brolin, Michael York, and Rae Dawn Chong was picked up by Buena Vista for US distribution while international distribution was handled by Quantum Entertainment, a Los Angeles based distributor Sellers founded in that year with partner Pamela Vlastas. After two more films set in the Philippines, (LEGACY starring David Hasselhoff and Rod Steiger and DOOMSDAYER starring Joe Lara and Udo Kier), Sellers relocated to Los Angeles and since then has written, produced, and/or directed 10 films, including the multi-award winners VLAD starring Billy Zane and Brad Dourif, KARLA starring Laura Prepon, Tess Harper, and Patrick Bauchau, and EYE OF THE DOLPHIN starring Carly Schroeder, Jane Lynch, and Katharine Ross. In all, his credits include 18 films since 1991. His most recent film, BENEATH THE BLUE, was released in November 2011. He continues as CEO of Quantum Releasing, which as of 2011 handles worldwide distribution for approximately 50 films.