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Gavin Hood

Gavin Hood graduated with a degree in law in South Africa, then worked briefly as an actor before heading to the U.S. to study screenwriting and directing at the University of California in Los Angeles. In 1993, he won a Diane Thomas Screenwriting Award for his first screenplay, A Reasonable Man, which was inspired by a case of ritual murder. Judges included Steven Spielberg, Michael Douglas and Kathleen Kennedy.

After completing his studies, Hood returned to South Africa, where he got his first writing and directing work making educational dramas for the new Department of Health, which was just beginning to feel the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. For his work in educational television, Hood won one Artes Award (a South African Emmy) and was nominated for another.

In 1998, Hood made his 35mm film-directing debut with a 22-minute short called The Storekeeper. The film won thirteen international film festival awards, including the Grand Prize at the Melbourne International Film Festival in Australia, which qualified the film for Academy Award consideration in 1998. The Storekeeper paved the way for Hood's low budget feature debut, A Reasonable Man, which he wrote, directed, coproduced (with Paul Raleigh) and starred in opposite Academy Award nominee Sir Nigel Hawthorne. At the All Africa Film Awards in 2001, Hood won best actor, best screenwriter and best director. At the 2000 Sundance Film Festival, Hood was named by Variety as one of their ten directors to watch.

In 2001, Hood was hired to adapt and direct an epic children's adventure story, set in Africa, based on a novel In Desert and Wilderness by Nobel Prize-winning author Henryk Sienkiewicz. Though the film was set in Africa, where Hood grew up, it had to be filmed in the Polish language. Grabbing a chance to shoot in Super 35mm, Hood took the job, communicating with his actors and crew through a translator. The film became the highest grossing picture in Poland that year and won Best of the Fest at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival in 2002.

In 2003, Hood was approached by producer Peter Fudakowski to write a screenplay based on the novel Tsotsi by South Africa's most acclaimed playwright, Athol Fugard. The film was shot in South Africa in late 2004, and was released by Miramax in February 2006. (The rights were acquired at the Toronto Film Festival.) In addition to winning the 2006 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, Tsotsi received a Golden Globe nomination, and won prizes at the AFI Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, the Edinburgh Film Festival, and seven other festivals.

In 2007, Hood directed Rendition, staring Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2009.

Gavin Hood Facts

BirthdayMay 12, 1963 (60)
BirthplaceSouth Africa
Height6' 1" (1m85)  How tall is Gavin Hood compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Eye in the Sky
Ender's Game
X-Men Origins: Wolverine EXTENDED
Promotional Featurette: Wolverine and the X-Men: A Look Back and Foward
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
X-Men Origins: Wolverine plus Digital Exclusive
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