MEET: Director Stef Smith
We're stoked at the reception of our Lady Beer ad. We've received a lot of virtual pats on the back and a lot of 'well done lads'. Which is great, but really that support should be channeled directly to the team of "lady creatives" who really owned this project. Here we meet just one of the awesome women behind the ad - uber-talented director, Stef Smith.
Hi Stef, we had the pleasure of working with you on the Young Henrys Lady Beer ad. What sparked your interest in working on this project?
We did! And what a pleasure it was! I've always loved the community lead ethos around Young Henrys and that it's run by people who care, not about profits, but about quality products and quality connections. So when Marketing Manager Andy came to me with the task of creating and directing an ad with a limited budget but creative freedom, the feminist in me wanted to challenge the advertising industries history of unnecessarily gendering products to make more money. And what better way to do that then by taking the piss? Young Henrys and Oscar were so supportive, and my producer, writer and crew were amazing to work with. I'll be forever grateful. I got to make a feminist beer ad. That's a fun thing to say!
Your work covers some diverse terrain. What’s the criteria for choosing what you work on?
People, really. If I can work with great people to tell great stories that help create a greater human connection, understanding or compassion, then I'm happy. My focus is on making the audience feel, whether that's the funnies or the sads or even the mads! As long as they feel something then I'm doing my job and it's worth it.
Broken, the film you produced, played as part of Sydney Film Festival’s Screenability Shorts program. Can you talk a little about what this inclusion means?
For so long there have been large parts of society that have never seen anything remotely like their lived experience on screen. And what a shame that is. Storytelling was vital to me growing up in the country and I've often joked that the cinema is my church. But in truth it always has been. In my loneliest moments, I go to the movies. In my saddest moments, I go to the movies. In the moments where I just want to eat popcorn, have a good laugh or watch shit get blown up, I go to the movies. To screen at Sydney Film Festival is a dream come true, honestly. I am so hopeful about the diverse and inclusive changes that are happening in the industry and I think we're going to experience a beautiful growth in the type of narratives hitting our screens. Let's continue working to give voice to the underrepresented and make the cinema a place of comfort and connection for all. Otherwise, what's the point?