Stef Smith is an Australian director and writer working across mixed-media, narrative and commercials. Stef won the Australian Director’s Guild Award for Best Commercial Content in 2021 and won Bronze at Shots Asia for New Director of the Year 2021. As an experienced commercials director Stef has shot campaigns for the likes of Pantene, Bumble, Telstra and Netflix.
Stef is currently in post production on a 12 episode magical realism series IT’S FINE, I’M FINE which she created and directed, financed by Screen Australia and Screen NSW and produced through Photoplay Films where she is a signed commercial director for Playtime. The series is due to premiere in April as Official Selection In Competition at CanneSeries 2022.
In 2020, Stef wrote and directed the short film, WEATHER GIRL, which was named as one of the Top 5 films in the Australia wide Unreal Engine Short Film Challenge. In 2019 Stef was sole series director on an 11 x 30 min episode original narrative ensemble series for Audible Originals Australia. Her film JOY BOY, was a recipient for Create NSW 2017 Generator: Emerging Filmmaker’s Fund and premiered on SBS Viceland and SBS OnDemand in 2018 where it received the highest views out of the Queer For Short program and broadcast views. The film has since gone on to win multiple awards including Best Australian Short Film at Melbourne Queer Film Festival, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Audience choice at Freshflix, Vivid Sydney and many more. The film continues to screen at festivals around the world. JOY BOY was nominated for Best Short Film at the Screen Producers Awards 2018, Best Casting in a Short Film at the Casting Guild Awards 2018 and the AACTA Social Shorts: Drama awards 2019.
Stef is a recipient of the 2018 Australian Director’s Guild Commercial & Content Directing Mentorship and was placed with Photoplay for professional development where she is now a signed director with Playtime. Stef was a participant in the 2018 MIFF Accelerator Director’s Lab supported by Create NSW and was funded by Create NSW again in 2018 to develop her television drama project, FISH, which was also shortlisted for Sundance New Voices Lab. Stef directed and produced ABC iView sketch comedy series THE LOST TAPES funded by ABC and Screen Australia, as part of their Fresh Blood initiative.
Stef has completed multiple Director’s Attachments shadowing directors on feature films and television series in Australia and the United States. Stef shadowed Trent O'Donnell on THE LETDOWN (ABC/ Netflix) for both Seasons One and Two as well as a short stint on NO ACTIVITY (US CBS) featuring guest stars JK Simmons and Bob Odenkirk. She also shadowed Rachel Ward for the feature film PALM BEACH starring Heather Mitchell, Sam Neil, Bryan Brown and Richard E. Grant. As well as assisting Cate Shortland in early development of a television series and shadowing Nash Edgerton on Season Three of MR INBETWEEN.