Richard Curson Smith

Director

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Film, TV & Theatre

Agent: Sean Gascoine
Associate Agent: Amy Sparks

Film, TV & Theatre

Richard Curson Smith is a freelance director, writer and producer who has made a wide range of single television films and series; across drama, documentary, comedy and performance. He has Bafta, Emmy, RTS, Grierson, Broadcast, Celtic Media, Canadian Screen Awards and Prix Italia awards and nominations. His production company is Absinthe Film Entertainment.

Film

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RUDOLF NUREYEV: DANCE TO FREEDOM

2015

IWC Media for BBC/ARTE/ZDF/ABC

Writer/director. Feature length drama-documentary telling the extraordinary story of Rudolph Nureyev’s defection in Paris at the height of the Cold war, during the Kirov Ballet’s tour of 1961. And the KGB’s attempts to return him to Moscow.
* Nominated for 2016 specialist factual BAFTA.
* Winner Dance Screen Best Film.
* Special mention Prix Italia 2016.

Television

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THE SON OF SAM

2017

Cream Productions/Absinthe for Discovery Network 2017

As series Producer. 3 part series about the panic that gripped New York in 1976-7 as a serial killer known as the Son of Sam stalked the city killing young women and couples late at night. The epic , flawed police investigation that finally led to his capture makes this one of the most extraordinary cases in 20th century crime. 40 years on the Son of Sam case still resonates and is told for the 1st time by the detectives, the surviving victims and the journalists who participated in the events.

FRANCIS BACON: A BRUSH WITH VIOLENCE

2017

IWC Media for BBC/ARTE ZDF

As producer/director. Francis Bacon was the greatest, rudest, drunkest and most sought after British artist of the C20th. He presented himself as Roaring Boy, Conveyor of Violence and Sensation, and Champion of figurative painting. All that was true enough, but behind it was a far more fragile world of love and loss that Francis Bacon sought to keep hidden, and which can now be revealed in a powerful feature-length documentary 25 years after his death.

END OF THE DREAM

2015

Cream Productions for Discovery Films US

Writer/producer. 2 hour dramadoc movie special about the manhunt to find the killer of Martin Luther King , following his assassination in Memphis in 1968. A fugitive on the run and the FBI desperate to track him down, through the US, Canada and London while the world suspects the FBI’s own involvement.
* Nominated for Canadian Screen Award: Best Biography

TED HUGHES. STRONGER THAN DEATH

2015

Matchlight for BBC

Producer/director. 90 minute documentary special. The 1st major documentary profile of this major, controversial poet’s life and work.
* Winner: Celtic Media Award 2016.
* Grierson nomination, Scottish BAFTA nomination.

THE APARTMENT

2012

Raw TV for SyFy/NBC

Dramatised account of a real life American haunting. For the Paranormal Witness series.

Drama

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THE MAKING OF A LADY

2012

Runaway Fridage for ITV1

Single feature length drama. A romance and psychological horror story set at the turn of the century, adapted by Kate Brooke from a novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and starring Linus Roche, Lydia Wilson and James D’Arcy.

THE MINOR CHARACTER

2012

Warp Films / Sky Arts

A 30min adaptation of a Will Self short story starring David Tennant. Critically very well-received, as well as breaking Sky Arts' viewing figures record by 300%!

MILIBAND OF BROTHERS

2010

Blink for More4/C4

Co-Writer & Director. Comic drama doc about the duelling Miliband brothers, made in time for the leadership battle. (Co-writer: David Quantick).

PRIMEVAL

2009

Impossible Pictures/ITV

Director. 2 Episodes in Series III.

WIRE IN THE BLOOD: 'Falls the Shadow'

2008

Coastal Productions/ITV

Director. Double Episode in the final series.

CONSENTING ADULTS

2007

BBC

Director. Wr: Julian Mitchell. Single drama about Jack Wolfenden, who steered the most significant piece of sexual legislation of the 20th century - the report that bears his name and decriminalised homosexuality in England. Starring Charles Dance. Won 2 Scottish BAFTA Awards.

PINOCHET IN SUBURBIA

2006

Tiger Aspect/BBC/HBO

Writer & Director. Feature-length dark comic drama about General Pinochet's arrest and 18 month detention in the UK at the end of the 1990s. Stars Derek Jacobi, Anna Massey, Peter Capaldi and Jessica Stevenson.

AGATHA CHRISTIE

BBC

Writer & Director. Drama exploring the real-life mystery of Agatha Christie's disappearance in 1926, the nationwide manhunt that followed, and the profound affect upon the woman who became the nation's foremost creator of mysteries. Stars Olivia Williams and Anna Massey. Nominated for a Rose d'Or Drama Award and a Grierson Award. Shown & repeated on Showtime in the US.

HOME

BBC

Writer & Director. A single drama based on a story by JG Ballard. An executive suffering from PTS vows never to leave his suburban home again. Thus begins a unique and disturbing social experiment. Stars Antony Sher. Nominated for an RTS Award. Nominated for 'Best Single Drama' at the Broadcast Awards.

SURREALISSIMO! The Scandalous Success of Salvador Dali

BBC

Single comic drama about Dali's rise to fame and his extraordinary adventures with the Surrealist group. Made for the launch night of BBC4, and simulcast on BBC2. Starring Ewen Bremner, Stephen Fry, Vic Reeves, The Mighty Boosh and Matt Lucas.

THE PRIVATE LIVES OF POMPEI

Illuminations/C4

As co-Writer and Director. Feature-length drama documentary following the fictional stories of inhabitants of Pompei in the run-up to the destruction of the city in AD79. FIlmed on location in Southern Italy with a Neopolitan cast. Extensive CGI work.

IF

Blast Films for BBC

Writer & Director. A futuristic drama documentary exploring the growing epidemic of obesity, set in a treatment clinic.

Documentaries

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SEVEN DWARVES

C4

Series Director. A comic observational documentary series. In PP.

BLUE DIAMOND

Afro-Wisdom Films for C4

An observational documentary following an undercover police operation attempting to crack a major ring of diamond smugglers in South Africa.

BEYOND THE FATAL SHORE

Oxford Films for BBC/PBS

Two films in the series with the art critic and historian Robert Hughes returning to explore his native Australia. A journey which is completely transformed when Robert was nearly killed in a car crash at the start of filming.

ANATOMY OF DESIRE

Optomen for C4

A series of four documentary films examining the science, history and psychology of human sexual behaviour; using case study stories and behavioral experiments.

MILLENNIUM

Jeremy Isaacs Productions for BBC/Turner Broadcasting

A series of dramatised short films in Mexico, India, Japan and Russia for this EMMY winning season about the last thousand years. Shown globally.

PANDEMONIUM

BBC Arena

Performance film about the body and the machine, capturing amazing and terrifying mechanical spectacles staged by a range of artists and technicians. Shown and awarded at various international film festivals, including New York film festival.

SPENDING THE KIDS' INHERITANCE

BBC

An RTS/BAFTA nominated observational documentary film for ‘Under the Sun’ about America’s travelling population of retirees, as over a million of them converge on their winter HQ in the Arizona desert.

THE LAST MACHINE

BBC/BFI

A series of five dramatised films in collaboration with Terry Gilliam as presenter, about the birth of the cinema and the modern world. Featuring Terry, Paul Rhys, Fiona Shaw and others. Screened on BBC and shown and awarded at various film centenary festivals.

HORIZON: NOAH'S FLOOD

BBC

The world’s 2 most eminent earth scientists search for a genuine flood catastrophe in early human history as the source for the flood myths in the bible and Gilgamesh.

DEAD PRESIDENTS

C4

EMMY nominated 3 part film essay with Gore Vidal, about the American Presidency, staged as an anti-presidential address.

INSIDE VICTOR LEWIS SMITH

BBC

Six part cult comedy series featuring Victor in a coma, trapped in a very unusual hospital. Directed all episodes. Featured Roger Lloyd Pack, Nickolas Grace etc.

10 x 10: WITH BOUNCING SOLES

BBC

The 1st season of BBC new directors scheme. A short comic film about Dr. Martens boots. Written with and starring Patrick Marber.

BURNING MAN

MTV/C4

Filmed as a documentary record of the astonishing Burning Man festival in Nevada