Sandy Smolan - Early Career

Early Career

Smolan began his career directing documentaries. He directed "The Maghreb Journals", when he was 20, shot over five-months in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. He worked with Morley Safer and Charles Kuralt on two specials for CBS News and worked with Jim Brown on the feature release of "The Weavers: Wasn't That A Time". He produced numerous programs for PBS, including several award-winning shorts, several of the "Day In The Life' series of documentaries and the political themed "Sanctuary".

His critically acclaimed debut feature film 'Rachel Riiver", was nominated for the grand jury prize at the sundance film festival and took awards for best cinematography and a special jury prize for actress viveca lindfors.

He was nominated for Best Director for the Emmy Award-winning "Taking A Stand" for ABC with Betty Buckley. His television movies include "The Last Soldier" for HBO, the mini-series "Beach Girls" with Rob Lowe and Julia Ormond for Lifetime, and "A Place To Be" for CBS. He directed the acclaimed pilot for the CBS series "Middle Ages" and established himself as one of the top TV directors in Hollywood, beginning with "LA LAW" and continuing with dozens of prime-time dramas including "Northern Exposure", "Brooklyn Bridge", "Picket Fences", "Ally McBeal", "The District", "ED", "Dawson's Creek", "Everwood", "Chicago Hope" and "The OC".

He has become one of the leading directors creating original programming for the Internet and recently directed the ten-part web series "In Gayle We Trust" for nbc.com and the web series "First Day" for Alloy Entertainment, winner of a 2010 Advertising Age Media Vanguard Award.

Smolan's documentary "12 stones", about the transformation of a group of illiterate women in southern Nepal recently won the jury prize for best short documentary at the Tallahassee and Newport Beach Film Festivals. He has also produced and directed many other documentaries, including films for The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation and for public television.

Mr. Smolan was a featured speaker at the 2010 EG Conference in Monterey, California, and the 2010 INK Conference in Association with TED, in Lavasa, India.

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