CAREER: Writer, journalist, screenwriter, movie producer, movie director, and television producer. Films produced include Rite of Pasage (television), 2001;Wildest Show on Earth, 2001;New York Justice (television series), 2001;Voyage of the Nautilus (television; and director), 2002; and Tasmanian Devil, 2005. Also appeared in the Australian television series Beyond 2000.
The Last Explorer: Hubert Wilkins: Australia’s Unknown Hero, Hodder Australia (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 2005, published as The Last Explorer: Hubert Wilkins, Hero of the Great Age of Polar Exploration, Arcade (New York, NY), 2006.
Also author and director of the documentary films Frank Hurley: The Man Who Made History, (television), 2004, and The Bridge (also producer), 2007.
SIDELIGHTS: Simon Nasht is a documentary film writer, producer, and director, who has written a book and made a film about a noted Arctic explorer. In The Last Explorer: Hubert Wilkins: Australia’s Unknown Hero the author details Wilkins’s early life growing up on a sheep farm in Australia followed by a chronicle of his exploits and contributions to early twentieth-century exploration. For example, Nasht writes about Wilkins’s foresight in being the first to use modern technological developments such as the airplane and submarine for exploration and his accomplishment of completing a world map in eight months based on his numerous flights. Nasht also explores how Wilkins combined his explorations with his scientific background to produce scientific firsts, such as revealing the relationship between the world’s weather and the Arctic poles, an achievement that garnered Wilkins knighthood.
“It was most gratifying . . . to find . . . a well-written biography of Wilkins, with much new factual information about his activities,” wrote Stuart E. Jenness in Arctic. Jenness also wrote: “Nasht has done a fine job of retelling Wilkins’s remarkable life,” adding: “His brisk, detailed, and down-to-earth style of writing holds one’s interest from beginning to end, and his many informative endnotes reflect the depth of his research.” George Cohen, writing in Booklist, commented: “Anyone interested in the history of polar exploration will want to read this book.” In a review of Nasht’s documentary film about filmmaker Frank Hurley, Frank Hurley: The Man Who Made History, Quadrant contributor Neil McDonald noted that the film “is thoroughly researched, handsomely shot with extensive extracts from Hurley’s films and selections of his stills interwoven with just the right balance between interviews with the participants and commentators.”
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES
Arctic, September, 2006, Stuart E. Jenness, review of The Last Explorer: Hubert Wilkins: Australia’s Unknown Hero, p. 328.
Booklist, September 15, 2006, George Cohen, review of The Last Explorer, p. 22.
Quadrant, September, 2005, Neil McDonald, review of film Frank Hurley: The Man Who Made History, p. 72.
Internet Movie Database, http://www.imdb.com/ (January 23, 2007), information on author’s film work.*