56 Up

PBS Premiere: Oct. 14, 2013Check the broadcast schedule »

Filmmaker Bio

Michael AptedSince the 1960s, Michael Apted has helmed an extensive list of feature films and documentaries. His feature films include Gorillas in the Mist, Coal Miner's Daughter, Gorky Park, Thunderheart, Nell, The World Is Not Enough, Enigma, Enough, Amazing Grace and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the third installment in a series of films based on C.S. Lewis' books. His most recent film, Chasing Mavericks, for Walden Media and Twentieth Century Fox, tells the true story of Jay Moriarity, the youngest person to surf Mavericks, a famous giant wave in Northern California.

Apted's documentary credits include the Boris Grebenshikov film The Long Way Home, Incident at Oglala, Bring on the Night, Moving the Mountain, Me & Isaac Newton and his recent soccer film The Power of the Game. He also directed the official 2006 World Cup Film. But among Apted's most widely recognized documentary directorial achievements are his internationally acclaimed, multi-award winning sequels based on the original Seven Up! documentary: 7 Plus Seven, 21 Up, 28 Up, 35 Up, 42 Up, 49 Up and the recent 56 Up, which aired on ITV in the United Kingdom and was released theatrically in the United States to much acclaim. The films have followed the lives of 14 Britons since the age of 7 in seven-year increments.

In addition to his documentary and feature work, Apted has worked extensively in television, including directing the first three episodes of HBO's epic series Rome. Most recently, he directed two episodes of Showtime's new series Masters of Sex, and the season finale of another new Showtime series, Ray Donovan.

Apted was born in England in 1941 and studied law and history at Cambridge University. He has received numerous awards and nominations for his extensive body of work, including a Grammy, British Academy Awards, a DGA Award and the International Documentary Association's highest honor, the IDA Career Achievement Award. By the order of Queen Elizabeth II, Apted was made a Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George for his work in the film and television industries.

Apted joined the Directors Guild of America in 1978, was elected to the Western Directors Council in 1997 and became the fifth vice president of the organization's national board in 2002. He was elected president at the DGA biennial convention in June 2003. He served three terms as president of the Guild, which he concluded in July 2009. He has served as secretary-treasurer since 2011. He is also a governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.