Michael Mayer, the award-winning director, is the Israel Studies Project visiting scholar in Fall 2022. Michael Mayer’s feature debut, Out in the Dark, had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, sold to more than 40 countries, played in over 130 film festivals, and won 27 awards including a GLAAD Media Award nomination. Mayer’s second feature, Happy Times, won Best Screenplay at the Haifa International Film Festival and has achieved cult status in its home country of Israel – playing in theaters for over 6 months to sold out crowds and critical acclaim. Born and raised in Haifa, Israel, Mayer shares his time between Los Angeles and Tel-Aviv. In addition to teaching Introduction to Screenwriting for the Creative Writing program in the fall semester, Michael will take part in community events and workshops in Champaign and Chicago.