Simone Smith is a self-taught BAFTA New Talent award-winning filmmaker who grew up in the east end of Glasgow, grafting in varying roles from trader at The Barras, to hotel chambermaid to casino croupier, before eventually following her curiosity for art, film and yogic philosophy.
In 2008, she established herself in Glasgow’s club scene as a VJ, projecting live visual art around Scotland's top clubs and music festivals, including The Arches, T-in-the-Park and Wickerman, vj'ing alongside legendary DJs such as Andrew Weatherall and Radioactive Man. She simultaneously worked up the ladder from Runner to self-shooting Director at BBC Scotland, where she refined her craft in production. Her love for working with actors led her to study physical theatre practice and travel to New York to work with experimental theatre collective The Wooster Group, founded by Elizabeth LeCompte and Willem Dafoe.
Since then, she has become a devoted mum to her 4 year old son Max, and has written and directed short films which fuse pure cinema with authentic experience—translating her experience of living in the world into form. Independently made on zero to low budgets, her films have been described as "surreal poetry", and "raw and unconventional", and screened at multiple Oscar, Bafta and Bifa qualifying festivals, including Edinburgh International Film Festival, Hollyshorts, BFI London, Beyond Fest, Aesthetica, and Encounters.
Her short film SLAP was BAFTA-nominated and won Jury Special Mention at Glasgow Short Film Festival where "the Jury was struck by the work of this director who is pursuing her own sensory style in design and narration." SLAP was also hailed by BFI's Sight and Sound Magazine as an "impressionistic knockout", and voted top-pick by Eden Court at Inverness Film Festival "It settles deep under the skin. I’ve never seen anything quite like it." Her short RED won a BAFTA New Talent Award and was praised as "Very original" by Stanley Kubrick's producer, Jan Harlen, and "a true work of art" by Ain't It Cool News. THE RINSING was broadcast on Channel 4's Random Acts, and won the Best Film award at London's Shorts On Tap.
Simone's latest short film THE MöBIUS TRIP was supported by Short Circuit/BFI-Network, and is now in the festival circuit, premiering at the Glasgow Short Film Festival and winning another Jury Special Mention Award praised for its "radicalism" and "strong and adventurous cinematic vision." Since then, it has gone onto screen at 40+ festivals worldwide and won multiple awards, including the UK Special Mention at Encounters, Best Film at Torino Underground, Best Midnight Movie at Final Girls Berlin, the Grand Jury Award at Chicago Underground Film Festival, and made the prestigious BIFA-longlist for Best British Short Film.
Simone is an EIFF Talent Lab participant of 2019, a BFI Network@LFF participant for 2023, and has two feature films in development with BFI Network and Screen Scotland: IT'S TOO LATE YOU CAN'T SAVE ME and UNTIL SHE BLEEDS.
"My work is a constant work-in-progress where I aspire to explore freely through instinct, and without any kind of pre-conception the construction of the still and moving image. I follow my instincts and emotions, expressing what I can't not express. It is animal, intimate, instinctive, a place to be both violent and tender, a diary of visual exercises with multiple interpretations, a spiritual place."
Simone is represented by Rowena Wallace at PEACH HOUSE.