Actor and filmmaker Michael Nardelli can currently be seen starring in the psychological thriller Circle.
Co-starring Julie Benz and Carter Jenkins, Circle focuses on 50 strangers who are held captive in a mysterious chamber. They face imminent execution and are forced to choose the one person among them who deserves to live. The film premiered at the 2015 Seattle International Film Festival, where it was highlighted as part of the festival’s Catalyst program for exciting new filmmakers. It also screened at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con, and the 2015 Savannah Film Festival. Circle was purchased by Netflix and released in October 2015. Film Buff distributed the film on all VOD platforms that same year. It has become a cult hit, with fans still debating its themes and ending online. You can buy the film on iTunes.
Michael made his professional acting debut as Stradivarius Helberg on the television show Quintuplets. He then co-starred in the independent film The Derby Stallion opposite Zac Efron and the comedy Grassroots with Jason Biggs. Soon after, Michael portrayed a lovesick teenager in the 3D horror film The Collection, and he has recurred on various television shows including My Name is Earl, CSI: New York, The Client List, The Mob Doctor, Revenge, Nashville and Hart of Dixie.
Michael recently completed a role in the independent film The Tribe from first-time director Roxy Shih. In it, he plays "Ryan," a psychologically tormented young man left to survive on his own in a post-apocalyptic desert. Michael was nominated for Best Lead Actor by the Nice International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema for his performance in The Tribe.
Currently, Michael can be seen on TV’s American Crime Story: The People Vs. OJ Simpson and the indie thriller Cassidy Way. A comedic short film he wrote/produced/stars in titled We’ll Get It is also making its way across the film festival circuit.
Michael first established himself as an independent film producer in 2010. His films include Another Happy Day, where he acted opposite Ezra Miller, Kate Bosworth and Demi Moore. It won the Waldo Salt Award for Best Screenplay at the 27th Sundance Film Festival, and was an Official Selection in the Sundance Dramatic Competition that year. Another Happy Day was released theatrically by Phase 4.
Michael went on to produce the romantic comedy The Giant Mechanical Man, starring Jenna Fischer, Topher Grace, Malin Akerman, Chris Messina, Lucy Punch and Bob Odenkirk. It was an Official Selection of the Tribeca Film Festival in 2012, and was purchased by Tribeca Film for theatrical distribution that year.
His film Circle premiered at the 2015 Seattle International Film Festival, where it was highlighted as part of the festival’s Catalyst program for exciting new filmmakers. Circle also screened at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con and the 2015 Savannah Film Festival. The film was purchased by Netflix and released in October 2015. Film Buff distributed the film on all VOD platforms that same year. It has become a cult hit, and an online debate is ongoing about its themes and ending.
Michael’s directorial debut came in the short film Dennis Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. The short is a satirical dark comedy featuring a character Michael created while studying with famed LA improv troupe The Groundlings. It premiered at the 2015 LA Comedy Fest and 2015 Palm Springs International Shortfest & Film Market. The short went on to win Best Short Film at the 2015 Atlanta Underground Film Festival, and Michael won Best Male Actor in A Short at the 2015 Chicago Comedy Film Festival. The short also played at the Savannah Film Festival, Melbourne Underground Film Festival, and LA Indie Fest.
Michael produced, wrote and stars in the short film We’ll Get It, currently playing at film festivals around the world. He's written his first feature film entitled The Transgression, and will direct it early next year. He’s also developed and will produce Stardrive, a serialized science-fiction television show. Currently, he's commenced production on Dark/Web, a digital series he created with Circle director Mario Miscione and brother Tim Nardelli. It will launch on the popular film blog LRMonline.com in 2017.
He is co-owner of Felt Films, a full-service entertainment company devoted to the creation of groundbreaking feature films, graphic novels, television series and web content.
Outside of work, Michael is involved with a number of charities, and he also is a self-proclaimed science fiction, comic book and gaming nerd. He received his bachelor’s degree in film and theater from University of Southern California.