Director Michael Kingsbury.

For over 26 years Director Michael Kingsbury has been telling the stories of women and their survival, including the very hard-edged stories of incest, rape and suicide attempts.

Raised by a free-thinking mother and father, in one of the first Free Schools in the USA that was paid by taxpayer funds. He has always had an independent mind.

Michael was the first in world history, in 2014,  to film the dramatic recreation of a poetry reading by famed woman dissident poet Irina Ratushinskaya, who survived three sentences in the far-left marxist Soviet Gulag camps.

Michael was the first filmmaker in world history to make films about the persecution, suffering, rape and execution of women in the leftist marxist USSR Gulag rape camps.

Women in the Gulag rape camps.

Michael has been telling the stories of persecuted women since 1994 with his first BW film “Hazel’s Portforlio” about a young artist living and recovering, surviving, from the rape by her father.

“Hazel’s Portfolio” a 16mm BW film about a young woman’s survival and recovery from rape by her father.

In his most recent Gulag film, Gulag Magadan (2017) the lead is a woman who is gang raped by Commissars in the USSR Gulag camp, then has her tongue cut out, and is shot in the snow, executed. But she remains defiant to the end. Strong woman.

Gulag Magadan (2017) Body-marking is a way the rape survivors of the Gulag camp are able to survive and take back control of their bodies.

Michael drew from his talks with Eastern Europe sex slave survivors, on their ordeal in the rape houses that still exist in many countries today. The film covers rape camps, suicides, body marking, courage in the face of certain death.

Woman rape victim in Gulag barracks in the groundbreaking film Gulag Magadan (2017) about women in the Soviet Gulag rape camps. A story that’s never been told.
Woman in the Gulag rape camps, attempts suicide by hanging. Gulag Magadan (2017)
Woman in the far-left marxist USSR Gulag rape camp, after she is gang raped, has attempted suicide, raped some more, and her tongue is cut out and she is executed in the snow.

In Gulag Magadan (2017), the lead is played by Elizabeta, a dissident woman with a bad mouth and thoughtcrimes, in the far-left marxist USSR Gulag rape camp, after she is gang raped, has attempted suicide, raped some more, and her tongue is cut out and she is executed in the snow.

In both of Michael’s films, “Hazel’s Portfolio” (1994) and “Gulag Magadan” (2017) the lead women survive rape,  blackouts, flashbacks, suicide attempts, and survive, one to find love, one to face execution by a Commissar.

Hi, I’m Michael Kingsbury, the director of the Celtic-Films tv series “Celtics”.

I started off as a fine artist, in classical figurative and portrait. I moved into photography first with 35mm, experimental pin hole emulsion cameras, ultra large format Cibachrome multimedia works, then medium format and large format 4″x5″, as well as pioneering multigrade step printing in the darkroom. and then 16mm film. Here is my ongoing Director commentary series on each film. I begin with a director commentary on my film Gulag Magadan. I have been shooting 16mm film since 1995. Kodak custom perforated cinema stock for me in still camera rolls for tests. Immediately in Film II at film school I began to cut negative and sync image to dialogue, even on un-synched  Bolex cameras, essentially matching image to sound. By Film IV I had made the only feature length dramatic features in 16mm for grad screening, cutting the negative myself and doing the opticals on an Oxberry mechanical printer. In film you have to think before you roll stock, digital does not nearly train the visual mind as much.In digital I’ve shot my films with Arri Alexa, Red Scarlet, Dragon, Canon C300, Blackmagic Ursa 4.6K,  Sony A7 III.

Celtics – independent, alternative film series 

I’m currently in pre-production in Celtics series. I’ve cast and filmed key introductory scenes of each of the eight lead Celtic Druid Goddesses and Gods.

My director introduction video #10

Part of my ongoing Director Commentary video series where I comment on the three Gulag films. I start off with the Gulag Magadan film, and am on #10 at this point.

Scenes of the Celtic Druid Gods in my Celtics series.

As the writer, producer, director of Celtics, the series, including my own illustrations and storyboards, I’m currently very, very busy. Working on the seventh revision draft of the Episode I “Druids” script for Celtics series. Drawing storyboards and concept illustrations for the small Druid tree platform set for the Iron Age forest we will be filming in.

Supporting the actor with everything they need. On set monitors so they can check their performances.


Before the Gulag film series I made a film about atomic bomb testing in civilian areas, called R-Files.



I also made Independence Pass (1996) about a Gulf War Syndrome survivor and his relationship tearing apart. Themes of patriotism, nationalism, globalism. Darkness, confusion, anger.


The first film I made on 16mm film was Hazel’s Portfolio (1995) about an artist who was sexually abused as a child. It was about an artist who didn’t like to be touched. She had been through that all, already when a child. Everything was taken away from her, and she only lived through her art. Most people will never understand.


Gulag film series, director commentary videos

Director Commentary for GULAG MAGADAN (2017), part 10

Director Commentary for GULAG MAGADAN (2017), part 9

Director Commentary for GULAG MAGADAN (2017), part 8

Director Commentary for GULAG MAGADAN (2017), part 7

Director Commentary for GULAG MAGADAN (2017), part 5

Director Commentary for GULAG MAGADAN (2017), part 4

Director Commentary for GULAG MAGADAN (2017), part 3

Director Commentary for GULAG MAGADAN (2017), part 2

Director Commentary for GULAG MAGADAN (2017), part 1


GULAG MAGADAN – Director Commentary 1

GULAG MAGADAN – Director Commentary 2

GULAG MAGADAN – Director Commentary 3

GULAG MAGADAN – Director Commentary 4

GULAG MAGADAN – Director Commentary 5

GULAG MAGADAN – Director Commentary 6

GULAG MAGADAN – Director Commentary 7

GULAG MAGADAN – Director Commentary 8

GULAG MAGADAN – Director Commentary 9

GULAG MAGADAN – Director Commentary 10

Pitch for Gulag Barashevo (2015)



Pitch for Gulag Vorkuta (2016)


Pitch for Gulag Magadan (2017)

Pitch for Gulag Magadan (2017)








Director Filmography

2017 Gulag Magadan feature, 35mm 4K, Red, Ursa 4.6K.

2016 Gulag Vorkuta feature, 35mm HD, Canon

2015 Gulag Barashevo feature, 35mm HD, 6k Red, Arri, Canon

2014 Gulag Vorkuta short, 35mm HD, 8 mins.

2013 Gulag Barashevo short, 35mm HD, 13 mins.

2003 R-Files (Rulison Files), DV, 40 mins.

1998 Crazy River, 16mm Color film, 90 mins.

1996 Independence Pass, 16mm BW film, 10 mins.

1995 Hazel’s Portfolio, 16mm BW film, 18 mins.



Cinematography, Nikon 85mm, portrait of a dissident in GULAG barracks, Michael Kingsbury

GULAG MAGADAN (2017) pitch

GULAG VORKUTA (2016) pitch





GULAG BARASHEVO (2015) feature film poster
GULAG BARASHEVO (2015) feature film poster

Gulag Barashevo, 2014, feature film pre-production poster.


Gulag Barashevo, 2014, feature film pre-production poster.


Gulag Vorkuta, 2014, short film


Gulag Barashevo, 2013, short film.

R-FILES Actor lineup-bannerR-Files, (Rulison Files), 2003, short film about the stopping of Project Plowshares, the testing of nukes on civilians.


Crazy River, 1998, feature film about an environmental activist couple.




Artist, Filmmaker, Writer

I have been an Artist for as long as I can remember. Drawing, painting, creating beauty for the world.

Classical drawing, black chalk on paper, 16″ x 24″. Michael Kingsbury
Classical drawing, 16″ x 24″, black chalk on paper. Michael Kingsbury
Classical figure drawing, black chalk on paper, 14″ x 23″, Michael Kingsbury


Classical drawing, black chalk on paper, 15″ x 24″, part of a larger full figure study.
Sketcheds for Gulag Vorkuta scenes, graphite on paper, Michael Kingsbury
Sketch for Gulag dissident scene in Gulag Vorkuta (2016), graphite on paper, Michael Kingsbury.


Mediums I have used, mainly oil on canvas and wood, graphite, black chalk, on paper,  emulsion photography. digital photography. All art by Michael Kingsbury.


United Center, Chicago

Artemesia gallery, Chicago