Cornelia Ravenal is an award-winning writer and producer. For Wilderness Films, she identifies projects and opportunities, often supplying the original vision and bringing together the resources and teams to make them happen.
As a producer, she’s made documentary and fiction films, plays and small screen projects. Recent notables include the award-winning documentary Moving Stories (2018) and the off-Bway hit Nirbhaya (2015), a NY Times Critics Pick. She’s also produced and co-directed three short films, including the half-hour, off-beat documentary Five Feelings About Food, which screened in over 25 international festivals and won five "Best" Awards.
As a writer, she’s had two hit musicals, two plays and three short films produced. She’s written for producers in the US and Sweden, including scripts for Oscar-winning producer Charlie Wessler (Green Book) and Lars von Trier's Zentropa. Awards and recognitions include The Seagram Award for New Music Theater, the Sundance Screenwriting Lab (two-time Finalist), the Nicholl (Semifinalist, top 2%), and the Writers Lab funded by Meryl Streep (2016 Semifinalist, 2017 Finalist, 2018 Lab).
She began her career writing book, music & lyrics for the hit musical Out of the Reach of Children, the longest running show in the history of The New Playwrights Theater. She co-wrote the off-off Broadway hit Two’s a Crowd with music by Zina Goldrich and recently wrote lyrics for the Susan Seidelman musical Boynton Beach Club. She's also developed musicals at the ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop and Lehman Engel BMI Music Theater Workshop and received grants and fellowships from AFI, NYSCA and the Swedish Film Institute.
Previously, she was a journalist and cultural critic for The NY Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Art Asia Pacific and others, including two years as a US Correspondent for India Today, South Asia's leading news-magazine. She's also worked as a speechwriter, communications strategist and producer of 40+ videos and multimedia events for Fortune 500 companies including Viacom, Time Warner and Citibank.
Her work as a founder and organizer began in the '90s with monthly events for diplomats, foreign correspondents, and media professionals at the National Arts Club and Ismael Merchant's Pondicherry. In 2013, she founded the forerunner of WIP (Women Independent Producers), an organization that now has more than 170 diverse members. She has spoken on panels and at institutions on film, gender, trauma and healing.
She holds a B.A. from Harvard University. She has lived in India, Egypt and Sweden. Her extended family comes from Eastern Europe, India, the Middle East and Scandinavia and embraces all five major religions, bringing a wide range of diverse influences to the work she produces and writes.
Mikael has over 25 years experience in the Nordic film and television industries. Widely known as one of Scandinavia's leading script doctors and dramaturgs, he’s worked on close to 70 projects in Europe and his native Sweden.
Films include Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Let The Right One In, Felix Herngren’s 2014 Swedish box office hit The 100 Year Old Man, and Mikael Marcimain’s Gentlemen, nominated for a record 13 Guldbagge (Swedish Academy) Awards. Recent projects include Borg vs McEnroe with Shia Labeouf, and Lasse Hallström´s upcoming film about Swedish pioneer abstract painter Hilma af Klint.
As a director, he's made two novella-length films, broadcast on Swedish National TV: Pass, starring Michael Nyqvist (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Fissura, which he also shot and edited, called “the best Swedish short of the decade,” as well as three award-winning shorts: The Other Woman, White Man’s Blues, and the offbeat documentary Five Feelings about Food, which have together screened in over 25 festivals, winning 5 “Best” awards.
As a scriptwriter, he’s co-written dramas and comedies, including I Love You: A Divorce Comedy, which opened nationwide in Sweden, and the TV mini-series Raoul Wallenberg for Viaplay. He's also adapted novels, including the stories for Astrid Lindgren’s classic The Brothers Lionheart for Tomas Alfredson and Stockholm Stories for Karin Fahlen. He’s also co-written a thriller for Lars von Trier’s Zentropa and is currently co-writing a script for SF Studios.
Mikael produced, co-edited and production supervised Moving Stories, directed by Sundance Best Director winner Rob Fruchtman, which screened in over 40 international festivals before its Amazon Prime release.
From 2006-09, Mikael was Senior Script Consultant for Commissioner Piodor Gustafsson at the Swedish Film Institute. Of the 25 films he developed, 15 were produced, including 2008 Sundance World Cinema Grand Jury Prize winner King of Ping Pong.
As Chair of the Gothenburg Film Festival's Swedish Film Day, he programmed over 100 Swedish shorts and features. He’s also been on the board of The Swedish Independent Filmmakers Association. He’s taught Story Structure at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm and Directing Actors at the Columbia University Graduate Film Program since 2014.
Mikael graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, in Visual & Environmental Studies and Psychology, and studied Film Theory at Stockholm University. He is an avid hockey player (captain of a New York City league team) and plays cello and keyboards in a rock cover band.