His first off-Broadway production, Song of the Lusitanian Bogey, earned him an OBIE Award for Best Director. His first play on Broadway, Does A Tiger Wear A Necktie? earned him a Tony nomination and a Tony Award for its star, Al Pacino.
This recognition led to his first feature film directing assignment on the acclaimed To be Young, Gifted, and Black. As a feature filmmaker, Schultz helmed the 1970s classics Cooley High, Car Wash, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Last Dragon, Krush Groove and many more. Car Wash won two awards at the 1977 Cannes Film Festival, for Best Music and the Jury Prize for Exceptional Technique. The 1980s saw him discovering talents like Denzel Washington, LL Cool J and Blair Underwood.
In the 1990s, Schultz directed many network telefilms and several two-hour movies for George Lucas' Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. His episodic series credits include Picket Fences, The Practice, Boston Public, Ally McBeal, Touched By An Angel, JAG, The Gilmore Girls, and The O.C. More recently, he has directed episodes of Lincoln Heights, October Road, Brothers & Sisters, Dirty, Sexy Money, and Women's Murder Club. Schultz also produced and directed the Warner Bros. series Everwood. His most recent feature film, Woman Thou Art Loosed, won the Best Film award from The American Black Film Festival and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, as well as a directing honor from The Black Reel Awards.
A DGA member since 1973, Michael Schultz has served as a co-chair of the Directors Guild of America’s African American Steering Committee.