Chris Smith (filmmaker)

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Chris Smith
Director of the film 'The Pool' Chris Smith speaking at the presentation of his film on November 26,2007 at IFFI, Panaji,Goa.jpg
Smith at IFFI 2007
Born1970 (age 52–53)
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
Known for

Chris Smith (born 1970) is an American filmmaker. He directed American Movie,[1] which was awarded the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival.[2]


Smith completed his first film, American Job, while attending the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee's Graduate Film Program. He was nominated for a "Someone to Watch Award" from the Independent Spirit Awards.[3] Smith met Mark Borchardt, the subject of American Movie, while editing American Job, and began filming a documentary about the making of Borchardt's psychological thriller Coven. Both films played at the Sundance Film Festival,[4] and American Movie was bought by Sony Pictures for $1 million.[5]

Later works[edit]

His resume also included the Emmy-nominated Jim & Andy (2017), about the making of the 1999 Andy Kaufman biopic Man on the Moon.[6]

Smith wrote and directed the documentary Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (2019), about the Fyre Festival fraud.[7]

He also made a documentary about director Robert Downey Sr.,[8] co-directing together with Kevin Ford. The project, simply titled "Sr.",[9][10] was produced by Team Downey, Robert Downey Jr.'s production company.


Year Film Notes
1996 American Job Narrative feature
1999 American Movie Sundance Film Festival winner
2001 Home Movie[11]
2003 The Yes Men
2007 The Pool Narrative feature
2009 Collapse
2017 Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond Primetime Emmy Award nomination[12]
2019 Fyre Primetime Emmy Award nominations[13]
2019 The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann 8-part Netflix docuseries
2020 Tiger King 7-part Netflix docuseries
2021 100 Foot Wave 6-part HBO docuseries
2022 Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives. 4-part Netflix docuseries
2022 "Sr."


  1. ^ Maslin, Janet (1999-11-05). "American Movie". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "1999 Sundance Film Festival". Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  3. ^ 12th annual Spirit Awards ceremony - FULL SHOW | 1997 | Film Independent on YouTube
  4. ^ Ebertfest
  5. ^ "American Movie"-maker|
  6. ^ 'Jim & Andy': The Thin Line Between An Actor's Method – And Madness : NPR
  7. ^ "Fyre (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  8. ^ "Variety Chris Smith interview". 18 July 2021. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  9. ^ "Robert Downey Sr. Documentary from Netflix". Deadline. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  10. ^ Top Gun: Maverick Named Best Movie of 2022 by National Board of Review - The Hollywood Reporter
  11. ^ Home Movie (2001)|Roger Ebert
  12. ^ Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond|Television Academy
  13. ^ Television Academy

External links[edit]