Michael Lavelle I.S.C. was born in Dublin and raised in Navan where at the age of 6 he started making short films with his fathers Super-8 camera. Following a degree in Law & French he studied cinematography at the National Film School of Ireland, followed by an MA in Screenwriting.
A short graduation film he shot entitled UNDRESSING MY MOTHER won over 40 international film festivals. It went to Critics Week in Cannes and received a special mention at Sundance. It went on to win the European Academy Award for Best Short Film in 2005.
His debut documentary feature film HIS & HERS premiered at Sundance in 2010 where Michael won the World Cinema Cinematography Award for Documentary. Asako Fujioka, on behalf of the Sundance jury, said the award was granted to the cinematography for its formal restraint and "Vermeer like qualities" .
Michael’s debut dramatic feature film, PATRICK'S DAY, received its world premiere at SXSW 2014. In 2015 he was nominated for an IFTA for his work on the film. Subsequently, Michael went on to win the coveted Haskell Wexler Award for Best Cinematography at Woodstock Film Festival. Wexler said that he gave the award:
"enthusiastically, based on what I consider true cinematography, not just on the traditional dexterity. Michael Lavelle's work on "Patrick's Day" shows a profound understanding of the story and his ability to employ DP
skills is subtle in unselfconscious ways to subliminally involve the viewer."
In 2018 FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY received its World Premiere at TIFF where it went on to win the FIRPRESCI Critics Award. He has shot three TV series and has recently completed principal photography on THE CASTLE, his eleventh feature film.
He is currently in prep on a new feature entitled THERE YOU'LL FIND ME.
In a recent article in Variety Magazine, Michael was named "the rising star" of Irish cinematography.