Flamekeeper - The Michael Cleveland Story

Feature length documentary film




Michael Cleveland

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.


(From left to right) Cortlandt Ingram, Michael Cleveland, John Presley.

(From left to right) Cortlandt Ingram, Michael Cleveland, John Presley.

The Filmmakers

“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 composer, 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 sound and lighting services for events across the nation. Ingram's knowledge of the bluegrass genre was an invaluable asset to the production of "Flamekeeper".