At the age of 26, Steven Soderbergh permanently altered the face of independent cinema when he became the youngest-ever winner of the Palme d'Or at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival for sex, lies and videotape, his feature-film directorial debut. A simmering exploration of the nature of modern relationships and the links between sexuality and voyeurism, the film was an international sensation that established its director as one of the golden boys of world cinema.
Born in Georgia on January 14, 1963, Soderbergh grew up in Baton Rouge, LA, where his father was the Dean of Louisiana State University's College of Education. While still in high school, Soderbergh enrolled in the university's film animation class and began making short 16 mm films with second-hand equipment. After he graduated from high school, he went to Hollywood, where he worked as a freelance editor. Soderbergh's time in Hollywood was brief, and he soon returned home, where he continued making short films and writing scripts. One of his films, a documentary about the rock group Yes, earned him an assignment to direct a full-length concert film for the band. The finished product, 9012 Live, was nominated for a 1986 Grammy.