Steven Andrew Soderbergh is an American director, screenwriter, and producer. He is considered one of the founding pioneers of the independent cinema movement and among the most prolific filmmakers of his generation.
His directorial breakthrough – indie drama Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989) – lifted him into the public spotlight as a notable presence in the film industry. At 26, Soderbergh became the youngest solo director to win the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival which garnered the film worldwide commercial success, among numerous accolades. His breakthrough saw him to Hollywood where he directed crime comedy Out of Sight (1998); biopic Erin Brockovich (2000) and crime drama film Traffic (2000), the latter winning him the Academy Award for Best Director. He found further popular and critical success with the Ocean's trilogy and film franchise (2001–18); Contagion (2011); Magic Mike (2012); Side Effects (2013); Logan Lucky (2017); and Unsane (2018). Despite his film career spanning a multitude of genres, his cinematic niche centers on psychological, crime, and heist thrillers. His films have grossed over US$2.2 billion worldwide and garnered nine Oscar nominations, winning seven.
Soderbergh's films often center on the metaphysical themes of distorted reality, shifting personal identities, vengeance, sexuality, morality, and the human condition. His feature films retain distinctive cinematography as a result of his liberal use of avant-garde cinema coupled with unconventional film and camera formats. Many of Soderbergh's films are anchored by multi-dimensional storylines with plot twists, nonlinear storytelling, experimental sequencing, suspenseful soundscapes, and third person vantage points.