Evans was born in 1963 in Cardiff, Wales. He studied for a history of art degree at the University of Cambridge, and then took a year out before taking a one-year course in film at the University of Bristol, where one of his contemporaries was Michael Winterbottom.
Evans worked as a runner for a commercials company in London, before beginning directing on TV dramas, starting out with Welsh-medium productions for S4C, and worked on episodes of The Ruth Rendell Mysteries.
He then switched to film, with House of America (1997) about a young Welsh immigrant to the United States, who falls foul of the American dream. In 1998 controversy started over his Resurrection Man, a thriller set amid sectarian violence in Northern Ireland.
The later films of Marc Evans show a shift from an exploration of the relationships between national identity and myth, to an innovative reworking of the horror genre in the critically acclaimed My Little Eye, which tapped into the Zeitgeist via its embedded critique of the extremities of reality television and the internet. His first box office hit was the Big Brother-inspired horror film My Little Eye. In 2004 he directed Trauma starring Colin Firth, Mena Suvari and Brenda Fricker; script written by Richard Smith, which reprised the darker elements of My Little Eye via a chilling psychological study of amnesia and despair.
In 2006, he directed the Canadian feature film Snow Cake, starring Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman. His documentary In Prison My Whole Life, about death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal, premiered at the 2007 London Film Festival and was selected for the Sundance Film Festival in 2008.
Evans, in an interview at Cineworld Cinema in Cardiff, declared that he is working on a musical set in Swansea of the year 1976, with Catherine Zeta-Jones attached, which then changed to become Minnie Driver. The film, Hunky Dory, premiered at the 55th BFI London Film Festival and was released on 2 March 2012, in the UK and Ireland. The film also stars Kimberley Nixon and Aneurin Barnard, the West End Actor of Spring Awakening .
He appeared in A Life in the Death of Joe Meek, an independent documentary about the British record producer Joe Meek, which he was initially slated to direct.
Also in 2012, Marc Evans directed the ITV produced Doors Open, a television adaptation of a book by the Scottish crime novelist Ian Rankin. The film tells the story of a self-made millionaire, an art professor and a banker, who come together to undertake an audacious art heist. The TV movie is starring Douglas Henshall and Stephen Fry.
Evans also directed the upcoming documentary feature titled Jack to a King – The Swansea Story, about the rise of Swansea City Football Club to the Premier League for the past decade. It is produced by YJB Films and was released on 12 September 2014. During the documentary production, Evans admitted that, “The thing that appealed to me the most was that it was something totally outside my experience and a story I’d not heard before. It was a film without any adult supervision – it was there for the taking as no one said how it had to be made. We were free to make the kind of film we felt we could make.”
Evans is currently directing Cassy and Jude, an upcoming romantic comedy film based on the novel Cassandra at the Wedding by Dorothy Baker. The film is produced by Sam Taylor and Mike Downey of Film & Music Entertainment Ltd, and is executive produced by Stephen Daldry.
It is rumoured, that Marc Evans will direct another musical film, titled Once Upon a Time in Wigan, about the northern soul scene in Wigan Casino set in the 1970s. However, he is said to direct the Israeli-Palestinian comedy Birthright, produced by New York-based BoomGen Studios. The film tells the story of a shy Jewish-American boy, who follows the girl of his dreams on a trip to Israel, only to wind up lost in Palestine. The script for this movie was written by Ari Issler and Ben Snyder, after they had been on a trip to Israel.
Evans is a visiting professor at the University of Glamorgan's creative arts school ATRiuM.
Marc Evans is married to actress Nia Roberts; the couple lives in Cardiff, and have a daughter, Edith.East of the Moon (1988)
Letters from Patagonia (1988)
The Gift (1990, mini-series, co-director)
Friday on My Mind (1992)
The Ruth Rendell Mysteries: "Master of the Moor" Parts 1, 2 and 3 (1994)
Collision (2009, mini-series)
Playhouse Presents: "Gifted" (2013)
Hinterland: "Devil's Bridge" (2013)