Michael Apted’s career spans fiction and documentary in almost equal measure. After studying at Cambridge he began as a trainee/researcher at Granada Television, his first project, in 1964, a study of 14 seven-year- old children for current affairs series World in Action. These children were revisited every seven years, Apted taking over as director culminating (so far) with 56 UP (2012). He remained at Granada directing episodes of the perennial series Coronation Street and over 50 other episodes and dramas, receiving several British Academy Awards.
His first feature was THE TRIPLE ECHO (1972) and he continued in the UK until 1980 when he made COAL MINER’S DAUGHTER in the US, a bio-pic of country singer Loretta Lynn, for which Sissy Spacek won an Academy Award. Other films include GORKY PARK (1983) and GORILLAS IN THE MIST (1988) starring Sigourney Weaver as Dian Fossey who worked with gorillas in the wild. She was Oscar nominated for best actress as was Jodie Foster for Apted’s NELL (1994).
Apted continues to make films, TV programmes and documentaries, including the James Bond film THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH (1999). One of the most ecletic of contemporary Western film-makers, in1992 he undertook the challenge of representing the Native American battles with the Nixon administration in documentary – INCIDENT AT OGALA - and feature film - THUNDERHEART - in the process profiling the visceral power of documentary and structured power of fiction - which he combines in individual films of either genre.
He is President of the Directors Guild of America and was awarded the C.M.G. (Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George) for his services to British film and television industries in the 2008 Queen's Birthday Honors List.