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» Gustavius Smith

Gustavius Smith is an award-winning writer and director born in Nassau, Bahamas and currently resides in New York City. With interests in writing, film, music, and architectural design, he graduated from Florida A&M University where he majored in Theatre. Later, he worked in Nassau, Bahamas as a staff reporter for The Tribune newspaper contributing stories about politics, government, and corruption. In 2002, Smith’s passion for storytelling led him to New York City, where he currently resides. For several years, he worked at the DIA Art Foundation where he assisted with the operations of the museum, gallery spaces, and the administrative office.

Smith’s eye for socially driven stories enables him to create films that are empowering, provocative and entertaining. His short stories about Haitian migrants living in the Bahamas have been published by The Haitian Times, PolicyMic, NYIHA Media, and continue to inspire his work today. He has penned four feature-length screenplays: Heading North (in development); Built for Load (Winner of the 2007 Ansbacher Filmmakers Residency Award at the Bahamas International Film Festival); Goodbye Cowboy; and Foreigner.

Smith wrote/produced/directed two short films, Crude (2005) and Contact Zone (2010). Crude was officially selected to the Bahamas International Film Festival and the New York Short Film Festival. Contact Zone was part of the Creatively Speaking film series at MIST Harlem in Harlem, NYC in February 2013 and won several awards and has screened at the 2nd Annual Portland Maine Film Festival (October 2011); the 2nd Annual Urban Suburban Film Festival (June 2011),  the 13th Annual San Francisco Black Film Festival (June 2011), the 44th Annual World-Fest Houston International Film Festival (April 2011); the 14th Annual Magnolia Independent Film Festival (February 2011); the 1st Annual Blue Sky Film Festival (February 2011); the 7th Annual Bahamas International Film Festival (December 2010); the 6th Annual Montréal International Black Film Festival (October 2010); and the 1st Annual Williamsburg International Film Festival (September 2010).

Recently, Smith directed a commercial for Alternative Insurance Company in Haiti, which aired in June 2013. He also directed a music video for singer/songwriter Esnavi for her hit song Unexpected Love. The music video has been on rotation on VH1 Soul, Centric TV, Music Choice Video on Demand, and can be purchased on iTunes. The single reached the TOP 40 Urban Adult Contemporary Chart for 10+ weeks. Smith has been featured as a Caribbean filmmaker to watch on Black Street and Resonate TV, and is a member of Talk Cinema and the Bahamian American Association.

Awards

DIRECTOR’S CHOICE AWARD
Portland Maine Film Festival
CONTACT ZONE
October 2011

BEST SHORT DRAMA
World-Fest Houston International Film Festival
CONTACT ZONE
April 2011

BEST SHORT NARRATIVE
Magnolia Independent Film Festival
CONTACT ZONE
February 2011

BEST SHORT NARRATIVE
Blue Sky Film Festival
CONTACT ZONE
February 2011

BEST SHORT FILM
Bahamas International Film Festival
CONTACT ZONE
December 2010

HONORABLE MENTION
Montréal International Black Film Festival
CONTACT ZONE
October 2010

BEST NARRATIVE SHORT
Williamsburg International Film Festival
CONTACT ZONE
September 2010

ANSBACHER FILMMAKERS RESIDENCY AWARD
Bahamas International Film Festival
BUILT FOR LOAD
December 2007