He is considered by many to be the greatest fiddler of all time. He’s a bluegrass superstar and a rising talent across other genres.
He’s an icon and an inspiration, eleven-time “Fiddler of the Year” and even a Grammy nominee—but that’s just part of the story.
Though born with disabilities that left him blind and partially deaf, Michael’s passion for fiddle has motivated him since he was just four years old.
“Flamekeeper” is more than a film about a fiddler.
It’s a genre-blasting tale of a man overcoming the odds, persevering with the love and encouragement of family, fighting personal battles and finally succeeding beyond his wildest dreams.
Even to those unfamiliar with fiddling, Cleveland’s music offers a rousing, toe-tapping soundtrack that sets this documentary apart as an irresistible music-driven experience.
In a time when documentaries are enjoying unprecedented success, “Flamekeeper” reaches out to an audience often overlooked by the documentary world.
“Flamekeeper” wouldn’t exist without the friendship developed between Director John Presley and Michael Cleveland. Presley's years of commercial and short film work, along with his experience as a musician, led him on a journey to uncover how Michael became the artist—and person—he is today. “Flamekeeper” is Presley’s first feature length documentary and the debut film for his production company, Validate Films.
Joining Presley was co-producer Cortlandt Ingram, a familiar name in the bluegrass world. After winning over one hundred fiddle contests early in his career, Ingram has since founded a leading company providing audio and lighting for events across the nation. Ingram's knowledge of the bluegrass genre was an invaluable asset to the production of "Flamekeeper".