Michael Whyte was born in Middlesbrough, Yorkshire. He grew up in Bradford and after leaving school he went to study film at The Royal College of Art, London. His graduation film, 'Billy', was shown at the Edinburgh and London Film Festivals 1972. Since then he went on to make documentaries of social and political subjects. His first documentary,'Scream Quietly or the Neighbours Will Hear', was the first documentary to show the effect of domestic violence. Set inside Chiswick Womens' Aid, a refuge for battered wives, it let the women speak for themselves about their lives with violent partners. One of his later documentaries, 'Creggan', detailed life in the catholic Creggan Estate in Derry, Northern Ireland. This documentary was banned by the IBA for over a year; when it finally was transmitted it was highly acclaimed and won the prestigious Prix Italia, for best documentary, 1980. Michael Whyte turned to directing drama in 1985 winning various awards for his films, such as Catherine, a story of a girl who died of anorexia, (The Special Jury Award, San Francisco Film Festival, 1987, and the Prix Europa Award 1987.) As well as directing, he also writes screenplays and has had an exhibition of his photographs.