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BIOGRAPHY: Scottnes L. Smith

Scottnes is an award-winning film director and producer. His films are characterised with sharp performances, arresting visuals and storytelling that empowers.


After training at Wits University in Johannesburg, Arcada University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki, as well as completing a Masters at the University of Melbourne, Scottnes is driven to create globally resonant work, evidenced in winning top honours and awards at each of the scholastic programmes from those institutions. Winning Film of the Year at the University of the Witwatersrand, PASSAGE, and a Directors Guild Award in the Student category with THERE’S A BLUEBIRD IN MY HEART, which Scottnes produced.


Scottnes’ feature film debut project, HEAR ME MOVE was released in 2015. It premiered at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles and opened the Encontro de Cinema Negro Zózimo Bulbul: Brasil, África, Caribe e Outras Diásporas in Rio De Janiero. The film has gone on to win awards at the African Movie Academy Awards, the South African Television and Film Awards (SAFTA) and the Kalasha International Film Festival.


Scottnes has worked on several long form television projects as Director and Producer. Most recently, Scottnes directed 3 x episodes in the much-anticipated Netflix Original Series, JIVA, one of the very first scripted Netflix Origial series in Africa (released in July, 2021).

As part Netfix’s “Made By Africans, Watched By the World”, JIVA marks the streaming company’s commitment to diverse stories and developing global audiences. Scottnes also directed TV dramas THULA’S VINE, nominated for Best Drama Series in the South African Film and Televison Award (SAFTA), “Guilt” and travel series Vaya Mzansi”.


Scottnes continues to create unique film and television projects, including current TV projects DEMO’S AND EP’S and PHAROAH THE FEMALE FALCON, and feature APOLLO LIGHTS.


*Picture copyright: Drum Magazine, 1956

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