David Yates to receive Raindance Icon Award

Oct 3, 2023

Acclaimed British director David Yates will receive this year’s Raindance Icon Award, presented as part of the 31st Raindance Film Festival (25 Oct – 4 Nov). David will receive his award at Raindance’s Opening Gala party at the Waldorf Hilton on 25 October.

David Yates grew up in St. Helens, Merseyside. He won his first BAFTA Award for the BBC miniseries The Way We Live Now, starring Matthew Macfadyen and Shirley Henderson. In 2003, he directed the television drama series State of Play, for which he won the Directors Guild of Great Britain (DGGB) Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement. In 2004, Yates directed the gritty two-part drama Sex Traffic, winning another BAFTA Award and earning his second DGGB Award nomination for this unflinching look at sex trafficking.

Yates then went on to helm the last four of the blockbuster Harry Potter films: culminating in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, which brought the record-breaking franchise to an epic conclusion. In 2016, he directed the action adventure The Legend of Tarzan, starring Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz, before helming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them taking us to a new era of the Wizarding World created by J.K. Rowling. The film was followed by Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald in 2018, and The Secrets of Dumbledore in 2022.

He’s a fellow of The National Television School, and a recipient of a Bafta Britannia Award.

Alongside his directing work Yates supports emerging writers and directors, with funding for The Bush Theatre in West London, an annual scholarship at The National Film and Television School, and ongoing support for The Watersprite Film Festival in Cambridge.

David Yates says: “The Raindance Festival has been part of our film making landscape for over thirty years, championing and showcasing the work of emerging writers, producers and directors, from all over the world. Elliot and his team have encouraged, inspired and helped educate so many along the way, including me, and it’s an honour to be the recipient of a Raindance Icon Award as we celebrate and enjoy the work of this year’s latest generation of story tellers.”

Raindance founder Elliot Grove adds: “From making hard-hitting, award-winning television to taking the director reins of one of the biggest and most-loved film franchises of all time, David’s career trajectory is nothing short of inspirational. His ongoing support of emerging writers and directors is also commendable. An alumnus of the Raindance Film School, and a member of the Raindance Film Festival jury in 2019, David Yates is already a part of the Raindance story. His contribution to the British film industry is iconic, and it’s therefore a great privilege to present David Yates with a Raindance Icon Award.”

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