Frederic Alan Schepisi was born in Melbourne, Victoria, the son of fruit dealer & car salesman Frederic Thomas Schepisi and Loretto Ellen (née Hare). He began his career in advertising and directed both commercials and documentaries before helming his first feature film, The Devil's Playground, in 1976.
In 2011 Schepisi directed 'The Eye of the Storm'. Filmed in Melbourne, Sydney and Far North Queensland, and based on the novel by acclaimed author Patrick White, ‘The Eye of the Storm’ stars Charlotte Rampling, Judy Davis and Geoffrey Rush, and is about children finally understanding themselves, through the context of family.
In 2012 he directed 'Words & Pictures' with Juliet Binoche and Clive Owen.
Asked about the "gypsy-like existence" of a filmmaker, Schepisi has said: "It's the hardest thing. I think we're today's circus people. It's very hard on your family. [His wife] Mary travels with me and when everyone was younger and it was possible, I liked them to travel with me and be with me. Fortunately, Mary's an artist; she paints, and often finds inspiration from our locations." Schepisi has seven adult children.