Growing up in Northern Ireland, Michael developed a keen interest in films from an early age. He started his Directing career in 2008, with his first short, 'Rip and the Preacher', which was selected by the British Council to tour over twenty festivals worldwide. He then went on to complete an MA in Directing at the National Film and Television School. Whilst there, he made “The Back of Beyond” which was nominated for a European Film Award. He also won 1st place at the Kodak Student Commercials Competition with a spot for Saga Holidays.
In 2015 he won the BAFTA for Best Short Film with 'Booglaoo and Graham’, which was also nominated for an Oscar at the 2015 Academy Awards. The film is a touching tale about two brothers and their pet chickens, set in Belfast during the early 1970s.
Following the win, Michael directed his first feature ‘A Patch of Fog’ starring Stephen Graham and Conleth Hill for Goldcrest and Northern Ireland Screen, which was then released in 2015. Michael also completed his debut documentary, 'Kick Me’, a film about the female kickboxing community in Northern Ireland in early 2017 as well as completing a six part comedy series called Derry Girls for Channel 4. Derry Girls has now gone on to win huge acclaim with the second series airing in March.