U of I Writer's Workshop
ANDREW SMITH is a filmmaker, screenwriter, poet and Associate Professor in the School of Media Arts at the University of Montana. With his twin brother Alex Smith, he has directed two widely-acclaimed feature films, The Slaughter Rule (2003) and Winter in the Blood (2013). He has made several short films, including the keening and Career Opportunities in Poetry, both of which have screened widely at national film festivals. He recently produced a short film, FIRE SEASON, directed by his wife Courtney Saunders, with whom he lives in Missoula, along with their two young daughters, Matilde and Elodie.
THE BROTHERS SMITH recently wrote, directed, and produced Winter in the Blood, a feature adaptation of the landmark novel by James Welch. Starring Chaske Spencer, Julia Jones, Gary Farmer, David Morse and Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, the film premiered in the Dramatic Competition at the 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival. It won the Grand Prix award at the Montreal First Persons Film Festival, and is currently screening at numerous film festivals including the Woodstock and Austin Film Festivals. A community-based, collaborative filmmaking effort, the film was shot on the Hi-Line of northern Montana, included the involvement of 15 students from UM’s school of Media Arts, as well as an internship program in cooperation with LongHouse Media, with eight young Native American filmmakers. Winter in the Blood will begin screening in theaters in Montana and elsewhere in the west in Autumn/Winter 2013-2014.
Previously, Alex and Andrew wrote & directed the award-winning feature film, The Slaughter Rule, starring David Morse and Academy Award Nominees Ryan Gosling and Amy Adams, which premiered at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim and went on to play all over the world, including New Directors/New Films at the Museum of Modern Art. It won the FIPRESCI International Critic’s Prize at the Stockholm International Film Festival, as well as many other awards at film festivals worldwide, and was nominated for the John Cassavetes Indie Spirit Award. Released theatrically by Cowboy Pictures and on DVD by the Sundance Channel, The Slaughter Rule regularly plays on Showtime, IFC and the Sundance Channel.
As a screenwriting team, the Brothers Smith were named in 1999 as among Variety Magazine’s Ten Screenwriters To Watch. They are currently adapting the Wallace Stegner novel, Remembering Laughter for acclaimed filmmaker Rodrigo Garcia. They recently wrote, and will direct the feature film adaptation of the acclaimed short story, Walking Out, by Livingston writer David Quammen. They also adapted the graphic novel Son of the Gun by legendary cult filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky for Fox Searchlight. They have collaborated with Terrance Malick, Lars Van Trier and David O. Russell and have written scripts for Columbia Pictures, HBO, Warner Brothers, Framestore, Disney and ESPN Films.