Born in Johannesburg, the son of a well-known nature photographers attended the private school St. Stithians College. Then he wanted the movie business, at the urging of his family, he decided, however, to go to the University of the Witwatersrand, where he completed the study of the legal system. He then practiced a profession in the legal system, but this was after half a year to become an actor.
In 1989 he played the lead role in the produced by South African Broadcasting Corporation television series The Game, a drama about rugby players. After just released on video horror film Curse 3: Blood Sacrifice ( 1991) he drove together money, moved to the United States and studied film at the University of California, Los Angeles. At UCLA awarded by a jury, which included, for example, Steven Spielberg and Michael Douglas, Hood 1993 for a book authored by him screenwriter Diane Thomas Screenwriting Award. To be filmed, the script, A Reasonable Man should be provided Americanized and with a happy ending, which Hood did not agree.
After his return to South Africa, he made himself as a director of television series about topics such as AIDS, prostitution and child abuse for the Ministry of Health a name. For this work, he was, among others, with an Artes Award, a South African film prize awarded. After minor roles in several U.S., little sensational films like Shadowchaser 2 ( Project Shadowchaser II, 1995) and Operation Delta Force 2: Mayday (1998), he realized the 22 -minute The Storekeeper 1998 his first 35 mm film. The short film is about the owner of a small grocery store in South Africa, acting after a few raids to defend themselves at last. The realized with 30,000 pounds drama won awards at numerous international film festivals, including the Grand Prize at the Melbourne International Film Festival.
The great success of the short film allowed him the script to film A Reasonable Man. The finally published in 1999 film is about an urban lawyer (played by Hood himself ), who investigated a case where a shepherd boy has a baby killed, as it should have been possessed by an evil spirit. The budget of the excellent at the International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary with the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury film was $ 60,000, according to estimates.
His next project was produced about 4.2 million U.S. dollars elaborate W pustyni iw Puszczy in Poland and based on a novel by Henryk Sienkiewicz. Hood stood in for the Poland Maciej Dutkiewicz, who could not direct it because of a kidney stone disease. The award-winning, among others, on the Giffoni Film Festival Children's film is about two children who are abducted by Egyptian rebels and must cross the desert after their escape. W pustyni iw Puszczy was the most successful Polish film of the year 2001.
The film adaptation of a novel by Athol Fugard was published in 2005 under the direction of Gavin Hood. The titled as Tsotsi drama with Presley Chweneyagae in the lead role is about a nine -year-olds in the slums of Johannesburg, who struggles with robberies and murders through life. The approximately three million -US-dollar film was in the favor of critics and won several internationally recognized film prices, including the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
In November 2006, the filming of Hood's first U.S. feature film Rendition. The director was able to Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal win for playing in the Middle East political thriller. The film premiered on 7 September 2007 at the Toronto International Film Festival 2007.