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Robert Scott Hicks (born 4 March 1953) is an Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning film director from South Australiamarker. He is best known as the screenwriter and director of Shine, the Oscar-winning biopic of pianist David Helfgott.

Personal life

Hicks was born in Uganda, the son of a homemaker and a civil engineer. He lived in Kenyamarker, just outside Nairobi, until the age of ten. His family then moved, first to England and, when he was 14, on to Adelaide, Australiamarker. Though British citizens, his father and grandfather were born respectively in Burmamarker and the West Indiesmarker, and spent their lives in far-flung locales as civil engineers building railways, bridges and harbors. His mother is Scottish. Scott lives with his wife and collaborator/producer Kerry Heysen in Adelaide, South Australia where they maintain their own Yacca Paddock Vineyard on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Their two sons, Scott and Jethro also live in Adelaide.


Hicks graduated from Flinders University in South Australia (BA Honors) in 1975 and was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1997. He graduated into an industry which was emerging from decades of inactivity, stimulated by renewed government support for the arts. South Australia was at the forefront of this Australian film revival, with established directors Peter Weir and Bruce Beresford coming to Adelaide to make their films. Hicks worked as a crew member on a dozen features over the next few years. At the same time, he was successful in bidding for contracts to write and direct short dramas and sponsored documentaries.

In his very early working years in the early 1980s, Hicks worked three times with WEA Records (Australia), firstly the movie Freedom filmed in and around Adelaide and featuring the music of Cold Chisel's Don Walker and the vocals of INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence. Following this, Hicks made a (very expensive for its time) music film clip utilizing 16mm film (not video) for popular South Australian band "Vertical Hold" who had a No.1 single in 1981, and another top 5 hit in 1982. Hicks' film clip was for their third single "Shotdown (In Love)" released in 1983 and was shown first on TV in Australia and then overseas including Hong Kong, Switzerland and at a U.S. "Aussie" Music Festival (in Los Angeles) late in 1983. He is, however, best known as the screenwriter and director of Shine, the Oscar-winning biopic of pianist David Helfgott. Geoffrey Rush won the Academy Award for Best Actor, for his portrayal as Helfgott, and the film was also nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Armin Mueller-Stahl), Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Music, Original Dramatic Score, Best Picture and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen. The AFIs gave it significant recognition as well, with nine nominations total.

Hicks’ first Hollywood studio film Snow Falling on Cedars (1999) starring Ethan Hawke, Max von Sydow and Sam Shepard, and based on David Guterson's novel of the same title, also received an Academy Award nomination. This was followed in 2001 by the adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Hearts in Atlantis starring Anthony Hopkins.

After working on Hearts in Atlantis, Hicks decided to take time off and enjoy living at home. In that time, he fell into working on television commercials. Hicks also enjoyed success in the world of American television commercials (which he terms “multi-million dollar mini-movies”) – one of which was inducted into the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Artmarker in New York.

More than six years later, Hicks resurfaced as a director in No Reservationsmarker. He followed that up with a more personal project, shooting a feature length documentary on the iconic composer Philip Glass, GLASS: a portrait of Philip in twelve parts. This film premiered at the 2007 Toronto International Festival, to great acclaim, and has since been released in the U.S. and at film festivals around the world. His latest project The Boys Are Back, an Australian-UK co-production which stars Clive Owen.

Hicks is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Hicks was a finalist in 2008 for the Australian of the Yearmarker Awards.


Director :

  • Snow Falling on Cedars (1999) (screenplay)
  • Shine (1996) (story)
  • The Space Shuttle (1994) (TV) (writer)
  • Submarines: Sharks of Steel (1993) (writer)
  • Call Me Mr. Brown (1990) (writer)
  • Sebastian and the Sparrow (1988) (writer)

  • GLASS: a portrait of Philip in twelve parts (2007) (producer)
  • The Ultimate Athlete: Pushing the Limit (1996) (TV) (producer)
  • Sebastian and the Sparrow (1988) (producer)
  • You Can't Always Tell (1979) (producer)
  • Down the Wind (1975) (producer)

  • GLASS: a portrait of Philip in twelve parts (2007)

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director:

Miscellaneous Crew:


  2. Filmmaker Scott Hicks

External links

  • LOVEFiLM Blog Scott Hicks at the London Film Festival screening of The Boys are Back (Oct 2009)

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