From the Dennistoun skyscrapers in the East End to going to the Oscar-qualifying Hollyshorts Movie Festival, Simone Smith joined Bill Forsyth (Gregory’s Two Girls) and Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin) in putting Scottish cinema on the world map.
Over the past few years, the young mum has filled her boots with accolades such as the BAFTA New Talent Award and the Special Jury Prize at the Glasgow Short Film Festival as well as her dark and exciting short films such as Red (2012), Slap (2018) and Mobius’ Journey (2023) impressively captivated the world audience.
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Speaking to the Glasgow Times, the homegrown talent said: “The inspiration for my films has always come from growing up in the city.
“They have a sort of gritty, raw, post-industrial feel that’s very Glasgow.
“Most of my films are also entirely shot in the city. SLAP is completely shot Scotland Street, THE JOURNEY OF MOBIUS was half in Glasgow, half in Edinburgh, and most of my other short films were shot around the city.
“The sort of wonderful dysfunctionality of my Glasgow working-class family and their obsession with film was also a huge inspiration.
“My sister and I always loved watching every movie, probably too many scary movies when we were young, and I remember going to my dad’s house and just seeing his stash of VHSs.
“Between my mom, stepdad and dad, I really just grew up in an environment with a strong love of film.”
From maid and DJ to factory worker, Simone worked odd jobs until she found her way.
Although she labeled the idea of being a director and film creator as a ‘distant concept’, the self-taught person reached the top.
She said: “My career so far seems somewhat surreal, but interesting.
“I never went to film school, I just worked on projects on my own time, with my own money.
“Even after winning the Bafta, which was incredibly high, I didn’t get any money and I was still on my own with everything.
“It wasn’t until I started submitting Slap to festivals that I got an agent. Until then I wore all the hats.
“As a film director, I feel like I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.
“I’m just trying to create work and share stories that are honest and express my personality.
“Becoming a mom (a few years ago) has also been a perfect balance with my filmmaking.
“He gave me what I always needed but didn’t know I needed. He gave me some peace deep inside after always being so motivated in my career.”
So what’s next for this rising star?
Simone is currently working on two feature films, It’s Too Late You Can’t Save Me and Until She Bleeds.
Although a release date has not been revealed, The Glasgow Times can confirm that the films will be mainly set and shot in Glasgow, with some scenes in London.
To learn more about Simone’s work, you can find her website HERE
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