Burleigh Smith

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Burleigh Smith

Smith in 2014
Born Andrew Christopher Burleigh Smith
(1979-01-07) 7 January 1979 (age 42)
Occupation Writer, director, actor
Years active 2003–present

Burleigh Smith (born Andrew Christopher Burleigh Smith, 7 January 1979) is an Australian writer, film director and actor. His work centres on relationships between men and women and often emphasises dry wit and desperate characters. His strongest influence is Woody Allen.[1]

Smith studied filmmaking at Curtin University of Technology, where he completed a Graduate Diploma in 2002[2] and a Masters in 2009.[3] He also studied under prominent Australian film critic David Stratton at the University of Sydney's Centre for Continuing Education.[4] In 2011, Stratton wrote that Smith's enthusiasm for film matched his own.

Smith lectured in filmmaking at SAE Institute, Perth, from 2007 till 2016.[5]


Films include:

  1. Flights of Angels (2006). A war veteran attends a friend's funeral. The turnout is pathetic and the few people present want to get the ceremony over. But the veteran won't let them forget his friend so easily. Trevor Wykes, Jaimie Leonarder, Lex Marinos. (ABC Television).
  2. Mere Oblivion (2007). Kenny Bunkport has nothing but trouble the night he takes his elderly grandmother out to dinner. Burleigh Smith, Elizabeth Caiacob. Winner of the Nicole Kidman Best Actress Award at Tropfest.[6][7]
  3. Gentle Persuasion (2008). Frank Fenner decides to practise psychology without any qualifications or ethics. He is soon blackmailed into helping a man exit his daughter from a cult. Burleigh Smith, Sarah Louella, Greg Higgs. Competed as one of eight finalists at Tropfest New York.[8]
  4. Love Like You've Never Been Hurt (2009). Problem gamblers orchestrate a romance between two broken hearts so that they can bet on the outcome. Burleigh Smith, Taryn Leggett. Opened the Perth International Arts Festival's Lotterywest Films.[9][10]
  5. Then She Was Gone (2010). Basil pursues Mia. But Mia is only interested in men who are masculine. Burleigh Smith, Sarah Louella.
  6. Ragtime (2011). Ernest is set up on a series of blind dates with various hard and damaged women. Burleigh Smith, John Waters, Geoff Morrell, Bridie Carter, Daniel Henshall, Penelope Andrews, Phyllis Foundis, Jennah Bannear, Ashleigh Galipo.
  7. The Things My Father Never Taught Me (2012). Melvin gives irrelevant dating advice to his three-year-old son. Burleigh Smith, Aiden Papamihail, Bridie Carter.
  8. Blue Drag (2013). A morose advertising executive has an unexpected romance with a potential client. Burleigh Smith, Jennah Bannear, Tiriel Mora.
  9. Fixed (2014) (Co-director). Jemimah wants Tilly to have puppies. At any cost. Screened as one of sixteen finalists at Tropfest.[11][12]
  10. Why I Hate the Left (2015). Ronald explains Right and Left politics to his six-year-old daughter. Burleigh Smith, Amara Harnisch, Rachel McCann.

Smith's debut feature will be a romantic comedy titled You Can't Play the Game If You Don't Know the Rules,[13] inspired by the self-improvement book by Dr. Irene Alexander. The film features Zoe Ventoura, John Waters, Tiriel Mora and Bruce Spence.[14]

The screenplay won the annual Garden State Film Festival's Screenplay Competition[15] and was performed on stage in Atlantic City in April 2014, directed by Diane Ladd.[16]


Book: As the World Falls Down: A Screenplay (2014). Wavebreaker. Melbourne, Australia. ISBN 978-0-646-92757-2.

Book: Daisy's Getting Married: A Screenplay (2015). Wavebreaker. Sydney, Australia. ISBN 978-0-646-95157-7.

Book: Goliath: A Screenplay (2016). Wavebreaker. Sydney, Australia. ISBN 978-0-646-95665-7.

Book: Ballads & Sighs: A Screenplay (2017). Wavebreaker. Sydney, Australia.

Book: How Equality Works: A Farce (2018). Wavebreaker. Sydney, Australia.


Following the death of Leonard Cohen in 2016, Smith began writing music. In 2018, he launched a music channel on YouTube.[17]


Love Like You've Never Been Hurt (2009)

Reviewing The Things My Father Never Taught Me, Hal Astell wrote "It's obvious that Burleigh Smith dreams of being Woody Allen and he's clearly doing much better than most wannabes ... He's great at making a mild idiot out of himself without ever losing believability. This is a wonderful little short on many fronts."[18]

The West Australian film critic Mark Naglazas described Smith as a "prolific Perth auteur who has made a string of Allen-inspired comedies that have played in festivals around the world and won numerous prizes".[19]

Smith won Best Director at the 2011 West Australian Screen Awards for Then She Was Gone.[20] In his acceptance speech, he dedicated the award to a Curtin University lecturer, who had told Smith on several occasions that he would never succeed as a director.[21]

Smith has also received a West Australian Screen Award for his 2004 documentary on W.A. truck drivers, Grinding to a Halt. He was nominated for Best Experimental Film for Party For One (2007) and Best Director for Love Like You've Never Been Hurt (2009).[22]

Discussing Mere Oblivion at Tropfest 2007 for Empire magazine, Oscar Hillerstrom wrote "Melange of stylistic influences leads to a black and white story about a man and his grandmother. Not quite funny, with sharp, truthful barbs."[23]

Reviewing Love Like You've Never Been Hurt in The West Australian, film critic Mark Naglazas wrote "Smith skilfully replicates a Woody Allen movie, right down to the black-and-white credits and the old-time jazz-inflected soundtrack, making for a kooky and charming contrast: the sophisticated New York romantic comedy relocated to a daggy Perth setting that climaxes (cringe) in front of the Bell Tower".[24]

Then She Was Gone screened at twenty-six festivals around the world. Winner of Best Drama at the Katoomba Short Film Festival,[25] Best Director at the West Australian Screen Awards,[26] Best Screenplay at the Angry Film Festival[27] and an Audience Award at the Sydney Underground Film Festival.[28]

Caught Short programmer Katharine Rogers described Then She Was Gone as "Smith's playful observation of unrequited love and the gross transformations people undertake in order to win affection. Confidently written and uniquely styled, Smith's film is an original take on a common theme."[29]

Smith's Ragtime screenplay was a finalist at the Beverly Hills Film Festival,[30] the Charleston International Film Festival,[31] the Mexico International Film Festival[32] and the Alaska International Film Awards,[33] was placed second in the Short Screenplay Competition at the Honolulu Film Awards[34] and received Honourable Mentions at the Canada International Film Festival,[35] Renderyard Short Film Festival (Spain) and the Skyfest Film and Script Festival (North Carolina).[36]

The Things My Father Never Taught Me has been accepted into over one hundred and thirty international film festivals.[37][38] Festival screenings include the Arizona International Film Festival,[39] the Asiana International Short Film Festival (South Korea), the Boston International Film Festival,[40] the Cambridge Film Festival,[41] the Canada International Film Festival,[42] Clint Eastwood's Carmel Art and Film Festival,[43] Mike Leigh's Cornwall Film Festival,[44] the Dungog Film Festival (Australia), the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, the Humboldt Film Festival, the Indianapolis International Film Festival, the Melbourne Underground Film Festival, the Mill Valley Film Festival, the Montreal World Film Festival,[45] and the Long Island International Film Expo (New York), where it screened on Opening Night.[46]

She Will Be Mine, an unproduced, short screenplay, was winner of Best Short Drama at the Woods Hole Film Festival Screenplay Competition[47] and Best Overall Screenplay at the Sidewalk Film Festival's Sidewrite Screenplay Competition.[48]

Fixed has been accepted into over ninety five international film festivals across ten countries.


  1. Not Just Fashion, Live From Australia: Auteur Burleigh Smith Template:Webarchive; by Leslie Amadio 8-3-12. Retrieved 15-4-14.
  2. Curtin University of Technology, Curtin Graduates 2002-3 Template:Webarchive; by Curtin University of Technology 2003. Retrieved 15-4-14.
  3. Curtin University of Technology, Curtin Graduates 2008-9 Template:Webarchive; by Curtin University of Technology 2009. Retrieved 15-4-14.
  4. Film and Television Institute, PAC Script Lab: Goliath; by FTI 17-3-10. Retrieved 15-4-14.
  5. SAE Perth Staff Profile; by Damian Masters 27-4-13. Retrieved 26-11-13.
  6. Tropfest, Mere Oblivion – Tropfest Finalist (TSI: "Sneeze") Template:Webarchive; by Tropfest 8-12-11. Retrieved 21-2-12.
  7. Blue Mountains Gazette, Film Passion Wins Out For Maths Whiz; by Matthew Rufus 7-3-07. Retrieved 21-2-12.
  8. Downtown Express, Seven-Minute Stories on the Silver Screen; by David Callicott 19-9-08. Retrieved 21-2-12.
  9. The West Australian, Movie Review: Please Please Me! Template:Webarchive; by Mark Naglazas 30-11-09. Retrieved 21-2-12.
  10. SAE Institute, Film Lecturer from SAE Opens LotteryWest Films Template:Webarchive; by Damian Masters 16-12-09. Retrieved 21-2-12.
  11. Tropfest, Fixed Template:Webarchive; by Tropfest 7-12-14. Retrieved 26-3-15.
  12. SBS, Here's your Tropfest 2014 finalists; by SBS Movies 12-11-14. Retrieved 26-3-15.
  13. Film and Television Institute, Smith's Local Short Cracks 100 Festivals Template:Webarchive; by Film and Television Institute 12-6-13. Retrieved 01-7-13.
  14. The Music, The Game Player; by Dave Drayton 24-4-14. Retrieved 24-4-14.
  15. Garden State Film Festival, GSFF Screenplay Competition; by GSFF 6-3-14. Retrieved 15-4-14.
  16. The Music, W.A. Screenwriter Wins New Jersey Film Comp Prize; by The Music 4-4-14. Retrieved 15-4-14.
  17. Burleigh Smith Music; by Burleigh Smith 12-12-18. Retrieved 20-12-18.
  18. Apocalypse Later, The Things My Father Never Taught Me; by Hal C F Astell 2-12-13. Retrieved 15-4-14.
  19. The West Australian, Perth rendered in Woody Allen style; by Mark Naglazas 16-8-13.
  20. Film and Television Institute, 24th W.A. Screen Awards Winners Template:Webarchive; by Liz Sideris 20-3-11. Retrieved 30-8-11.
  21. Youtube, Best Director, W.A. Screen Awards 2011; by Ted Derez 21-3-11. Retrieved 30-8-11.
  22. Film and Television Institute, Full List of Nominations Template:Webarchive; by Liz Sideris 19-2-10. Retrieved 30-8-11.
  23. Empire Australasia, Empire's Tropfest 2007 Template:Webarchive; by Oscar Hillerstrom 18-2-07. Retrieved 30-8-11.
  24. The West Australian, Movie Review: Please Please Me! Template:Webarchive; by Mark Naglazas 30-11-09. Retrieved 30-8-11.
  25. Film and Television Institute, Then She Was Gone Wins Best Drama at Katoomba Template:Webarchive; by Film and Television Institute 16-6-10. Retrieved 21-2-12.
  26. SAE Institute, SAE Film Lecturer Burleigh Smith Wins Best Director; by Damian Masters 21-3-11. Retrieved 21-2-12.
  27. Film and Television Institute, Best Screenplay Award for Burleigh Smith Template:Webarchive; by Film and Television Institute 15-4-10. Retrieved 21-2-12.
  28. Underground Film Journal, 2010 Sydney Underground Film Festival: Award Winners; by Mike Everleth 16-9-10. Retrieved 21-2-12.
  29. Film and Television Institute, Then She Was Gone Wins Best Drama at Katoomba Template:Webarchive; by Film and Television Institute 16-6-10. Retrieved 21-2-12.
  30. Beverly Hills Film Festival, Screenplay Competition Finalists Template:Webarchive; by Adam Ottmar 11-4-12. Retrieved 16-4-12.
  31. Charleston International Film Festival, Screenplay Finalists Template:Webarchive; by Summer Peacher 13-2-12. Retrieved 9-3-12.
  32. Mexico International Film Festival, 2012 Screenplay Competition Winners Template:Webarchive; by Mexico International Film Festival. Retrieved 23-6-12.
  33. Alaska International Film Awards, 2012 Film and Screenplay Competition Winners Template:Webarchive; by Alaska International Film Awards. Retrieved 14-7-12.
  34. Honolulu Film Awards, 2012 Screenplay Winners Template:Webarchive; by Honolulu Film Awards 28-3-12. Retrieved 28-3-12.
  35. Canada International Film Festival, 2012 Write Brothers Screenplay Competition Winners Template:Webarchive; by Canada International Film Festival 24-2-12. Retrieved 25-2-12.
  36. Skyfest Film and Script Festival, Winners Skyfest VI; by Ralph Roberts 2-10-11. Retrieved 25-2-12.
  37. FilmInk, Global Exposure Template:Webarchive; by Cara Nash 27-6-13. Retrieved 1-7-13.
  38. ScreenWest, ‘The Things My Father Never Taught Me’ gains 100th festival acceptance Template:Webarchive; by ScreenWest 11-6-13. Retrieved 1-7-13.
  39. Arizona International Film Festival, The Things My Father Never Taught Me; by Arizona International Film Festival 17-3-13. Retrieved 01-7-13.
  40. Boston International Film Festival, Boston International Film Festival Schedule Template:Webarchive; by Boston International Film Festival 11-2-13. Retrieved 01-7-13.
  41. Cambridge Film Festival, The Things My Father Never Taught Me Template:Webarchive; by Cambridge Film Festival 13-9-12. Retrieved 1-7-13.
  42. Canada International Film Festival, 2013 CIFF Award Winners and Official Selections Template:Webarchive; by Canada International Film Festival 1-3-13. Retrieved 01-7-13.
  43. Carmel Art and Film Festival, Film Schedule; by Thomas Burns 1-10-12. Retrieved 6-11-12.
  44. Cornwall Film Festival, Films Without Borders 1 Template:Webarchive; by Cornwall Film Festival 6-11-12. Retrieved 6-11-12.
  45. ScreenWest, WA short screens in Montreal, Cambridge and Long Island Template:Webarchive; by ScreenWest 24-7-12. Retrieved 1-7-13.
  46. Long Island International Film Expo, The Things My Father Never Taught Me Template:Webarchive; by LIFTF 2012. Retrieved 23-6-12.
  47. Woods Hole Film Festival, 2012 Screenplay Competition WinnersTemplate:Dead link; by Woods Hole Film Festival 13-7-12. Retrieved 14-7-12.
  48. Sidewalk Film Festival, Sidewalk Sidewrite; by Abbey Hester 26-8-12. Retrieved 6-11-12.

External links

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