After working for two decades on documentaries, shorts, and low-budget films, Australian writer/director Scott Hicks achieved international acclaim for the feature biopic Shine (1996).
Born in Uganda, Hicks spent his childhood in Kenya and Great Britain before his family settled in Australia during his teens. Though Hicks planned to major in English and drama in college, he was captivated by film studies instead. After graduating with honors, Hicks spent several years working on film crews for various Australian productions, including Bruce Beresford's early heist movie Money Movers (1978), as well as creating his own short films. During the 1980s, Hicks made several low-budget Australian-fiction feature films, directing the teen road movie Freedom (1982), and writing and directing Call Me Mr. Brown (1986), as well as the youth-oriented Sebastian and the Sparrow (1988). Hicks found more success, however, with his documentaries, earning a Peabody for his inside look at the Chinese Army, The Great Wall of Iron (1989), and an Emmy for Submarines: Sharks of Steel (1994).