Academy Award-winning director Cynthia Scott was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and worked in theater as a second assistant director. She also worked in various positions for television, including public affairs producer in Canada and England before becoming a staff director at the National Film Board of Canada in 1972. While there, she directed several documentaries, including The Ungrateful Land: Rich Carrier Remembers Ste-Justine (1972), which won a Canadian Film Award. The National Film Board, funded by the Canadian public, also produced Flamenco at 5:15 (1983), which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject.
Turning to feature films, Scott co-wrote and directed Strangers in Good Company (1990), a docudrama about a group of older women stranded in a farmhouse when their tour bus breaks down. Scott and her co-writers scripted an outline and the dialogue was largely improvised by the cast of professional and amateur actors. It played to enthusiastic audiences in both Canada (where it was a box-office hit) and the United States, also winning several awards at international film festivals.