When David Yates won an Empire Award as Best Director for the blockbuster Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, his only other feature film to date had been The Tichborne Claimant (1998), starring Stephen Fry and John Gielgud.
However, Yates had won many awards for his television work, including his first BAFTA TV Award for the BBC miniseries The Way We Live Now, a period drama starring Matthew Macfadyen and Miranda Otto. In 2003, he directed the drama series State of Play, for which he received a BAFTA TV Award nomination and won the Directors Guild of Great Britain (DGGB) Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement. The project also won the Broadcasting Press Guild Award, the Royal Television Society (RTS) Award, and Banff Television Festival's Rockie Award for Best Series.
The following year, Yates directed the gritty two-part drama Sex Traffic, for which he won another BAFTA TV Award and earned his second DGGB Award nomination. Yates earned an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special for his work on the 2005 HBO movie The Girl in the Cafe, a love story starring Bill Nighy and Kelly Macdonald. His other television credits include the telefilm The Young Visiters starring Jim Broadbent and Hugh Laurie, and the miniseries The Sins starring Pete Postlethwaite and Geraldine James.
Yates was born and raised in St. Helens, Merseyside in England and studied Politics at the University of Essex and at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He began his directing career with the short film When I Was a Girl, which he also wrote. The film brought him the prize for Best European Short Film at the Cork International Film Festival in Ireland and a Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco Film Festival. It also assured his entrance into the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield, England.
His graduation film, Good Looks, won a Silver Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival. Another short film, Rank, was nominated for a BAFTA Award.
He's also completed the three final films in the Harry Potter series: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009),