Sr. – Trailer

Chris Smith

Wisconsin-born director Chris Smith is known for independent films that reveal some of the more curious aspects of the “American dream”. Wry, empathetic, and wise, Smith’s films occupy a special niche in contemporary cinema. The iconic American Movie follows an irrepressible young director cobbling together a regional horror film. It won the Sundance Documentary Competition. His debut narrative feature The Pool won the Audience Award at Sundance and gained glowing reviews from critics and audiences alike. The film’s New York premiere was accompanied by a MoMA retrospective of Smith’s other feature work titled Chris Smith: American Original

Chris has made a lasting impression on the advertising world as well. With an expert eye for casting and a careful, precise production aesthetic, Smith’s commercial campaigns have garnered him equal acclaim. He has directed for brands like AT&T, FedEx, ESPN, Sprint, Truth, Geico, PlayStation, AIG, Verizon, T-Mobile, and BMW.  His work for Cingular Wireless and Geico earned him multiple Cannes Lions.

More recently, Chris has directed and produced a run of blockbuster documentary feature films and series for Netflix. He directed Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond, a documentary detailing Jim Carrey’s transformation into the role of Andy Kaufman for Man on the Moon. The film received critical acclaim, earning first prize at the Detroit Film Critics Society and nominations at the Emmys and the Venice Film Festival. 

Chris also directed Fyre: The Greatest Party that Never Happened, a documentary about the disastrous Fyre Festival and its aftermath. The film entered the pop culture zeitgeist upon its release breaking non-fiction streaming records. His docu-series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness and Tiger King 2, which he served as an Executive Producer, took the world by storm and was the most streamed series on Netflix, breaking his own record. 

Chris’ docu-series 100 Foot Wave takes a look at the decade-long odyssey of big-wave pioneer Garrett McNamara to conquer the 100-foot wave, and has since been renewed for a second season on HBO. Chris’s latest release is a four-part true-crime docuseries Bad Vegan, which he directed and executive produced for Netflix. The series follows Sarma Melngailis, a celebrated vegan restaurateur turned fugitive on the run.