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Martin Smith (documentarian)

Martin Smith (born January 28, 1949) is a producer, writer, director and correspondent.[2] Smith has directed dozens of nationally broadcast documentaries for CBS News, ABC News and PBS Frontline. His films range in topic from war in the Middle East to the 2008 financial crisis.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith (8281881074) (cropped).jpg
Born (1949-01-28) January 28, 1949 (age 68)
South Pasadena, California
Alma mater New York University Tisch School of the Arts (BFA, 1975)[1]
Occupation Director, Writer, Producer, Correspondent
Spouse(s) Marcela Gaviria (2012–present)
Website rainmedia.net

Contents

BackgroundEdit

Smith was born January 28, 1949 and raised on a citrus farm in Riverside, California and in Los Angeles. He studied Comparative Literature at Brown University and has a BFA (1975) from the Institute of Film & Television at the Tisch School of the Arts of New York University.[1]

In his 25 years producing and reporting, Martin Smith has covered the world: from revolution in Central America and the fall of communism in Russia, to the rise of Al Qaeda and the war in Iraq, to the inside story of the global financial meltdown. Smith was among the first journalists to investigate Col. Oliver North's clandestine network and one of the first western reporters to investigate the emergence of Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda network.

Smith began his career at CBS News as a film editor in 1976 and in 1982 directed and wrote his first documentary, "Guatemala", which won a both a George Polk Award for Investigative Journalism and an Emmy from the Academy of Television Art & Sciences. In 1983, Smith moved to PBS where he produced for the PBS science series NOVA and for FRONTLINE. In 1986 he produced "Who's Running This War" for FRONTLINE and won his second George Polk award. In 1989 he was executive producer of "Inside Gorbachev's USSR" with Hedrick Smith, winning a third Polk award and DuPont Columbia Gold Baton. In 1990, he was hired as a senior producer at FRONTLINE responsible for editorial supervision of over 50 documentaries in four years.

Between 1994 and 1998, Smith worked with Peter Jennings, the ABC News anchor, as a senior producer and oversaw a series of documentary specials for ABC's Peter Jennings Reporting unit, including "Hiroshima: Why the Bomb was Dropped", recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Award in 1995 and the George Foster Peabody award.

In 1998 Smith founded RAIN Media, an independent production company, which has produced nearly 50 hours of award winning programming for FRONTLINE, including: "The Terrorist and the Superpower", which was produced three years before the attacks on the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon. In the three months following 9/11, Smith produced in record time seminal films on the genesis of the attacks – "Looking for Answers" (2001), and "Saudi Time Bomb?" (2001). The Alfred I. Dupont jurors awarded Smith with his second Gold Baton and said of the body of work: "the series never flinches from showing why terrorist groups harbor such hate for America and includes people whose attitudes toward the United States are undoubtedly offensive to many viewers. Yet all of the programs are balanced and never sensationalized." Smith continued reporting on Al Qaeda in subsequent years. In the trilogy, "In Search of Al Qaeda", (2002), "Return of the Taliban" (2006) and "Obama's War" (2008), Smith twice interviewed President Pervez Musharaff on Pakistan's duplicitous Afghanistan policy. This work was had a major impact on US policy at the time, revealing Pakistan's double dealing. Excerpts from "Return of the Taliban" were used by US commander Karl Eikenberry in high level briefings of Bush administration officials. Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Smith also produced four films on Iraq for FRONTLINE: "Gangs of Iraq" (2007), "Private Warriors" (2005), "Beyond Baghdad" (2004) and "Truth, War and Consequences" (2003).

Smith also has extensively covered business and finance. Notably "HEAT" about how international business leaders are reacting to calls for carbon reduction in the face of climate change, "The Madoff Affair", an investigation into the world's biggest Ponzi scheme, and "Money, Power and Wall Street" about the causes of the global financial crisis. Most recently, Smith completed "The Untouchables" which examined the Justice Department's failure to hold Wall Street bankers accountable for mortgage fraud in the run up to the 2008 collapse. "The Untouchables" sparked an enormous reaction after its initial airing. Two Senators, citing Smith's interview with a senior Justice Department official in the documentary, demanded that Attorney General Eric Holder explain the department's position regarding not investigating big banks for alleged crimes for fear of collateral consequences. Several US attorneys' offices have screened the film and redoubled their efforts to investigate cases of fraud on Wall Street.

"Money, Power and Wall Street" won Smith his fourth George Polk award.

Personal lifeEdit

Smith lives in New York City with his wife and producing partner Marcela Gaviria. He is the father of five children.

FilmographyEdit

[3][4]

  • "The Terrorist and the Superpower" (April 1999)
  • "Drug Wars" (October 2000)
  • "Medicating Kids" (April 2001)
  • "Hunting Bin Laden" (September 2001)
  • "Looking for Answers" (October 2001)
  • "Saudi Time Bomb?" (November 2001)
  • "Dot Con" (January 2002)
  • "The Great Divide" (September 2002)
  • "In Search of Al Queda" (November 2002)
  • "Kim's Nuclear Gamble" (April 2003)
  • "Islands Under Siege" (June 2003)
  • "Truth, War and Consequences" (October 2003)
  • "Beyond Baghdad" (February 2004)
  • "The Choice 2004" (October 2004)
  • "Iraq: Reporting the War" (January 2005)
  • "House of Saud" (February 2005)
  • "Private Warriors" (June 2005)
  • "The Storm" (November 2005)
  • "Telling the Truth" (January 2006)
  • "Inside Hamas" (May 2006)
  • "Return of the Taliban" (June 2006)
  • "Telling the Truth" (October 2006)
  • "Requiem" (March 2007)
  • "Gangs of Iraq" (April 2007)
  • "Indonesia: After the Wave" (January 2007)
  • "The Medicated Child" (January 2008)
  • "Telling the Truth II" (January 2008)
  • "Living on the Edge" (June 2008)
  • "Heat" (October 2008)
  • "The War Briefing" (October 2008)
  • "The Madoff Affair" (May 2009)
  • "Obama's War" (October 2009)
  • "The Quake" (March 2010)
  • "College Inc." (May 2010)
  • "The Spill" (October 2010)
  • "The Spy Who Quit" (January 2011)
  • "The Private Life of Bradley Manning" (May 2011)
  • "WikiSecrets" (May 2011)
  • "Educating Sgt. Pantzke" (June 2011)
  • "The Interrogator" (September 2011)
  • "Cell Tower Deaths" (May 2012)
  • "Money, Power and Wall Street" (April 2012)
  • "Six Billion Dollar Bet" (June 2012)
  • "The Untouchables" (January 2013)
  • "The Retirement Gamble" (April 2013)
  • "Obama at War" (26 May 2013)
  • "Inside Assad's Syria" (October 2015)
  • "A Subprime Education" (12 August 2016)

Awards/honorsEdit

[5]

EmmyEdit

WinsEdit

  • Winner - Outstanding Background/Analysis of a Single Current Story - "Guatemala" (1982)
  • Winner - Outstanding Background/Analysis of a Single Current Story - "Drug Wars" (2000)
  • Winner - Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story - "The Storm" (2005)
  • Winner - Best Documentary on a Business Topic - "The Madoff Affair" (2009)
  • Winner - Best Cinematography - "The War Briefing" (2009)
  • Winner - Outstanding Coverage of a News Story - "Money, Power and Wall Street" (2012)
  • Winner - Outstanding Business and Economic Reporting - "Money, Power and Wall Street" (2012)
  • Winner - Outstanding Documentary - "United States of Secrets" (2015)
  • Winner - Outstanding Coverage of A Current News Story - "United States of Secrets (2015)

NominationsEdit

  • Nomination - Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story - "Saudi Time Bomb" (2001)
  • Nomination - Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story - "Looking for Answers" (2001)
  • Nomination - Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story - "Gangs of Iraq" (2008)
  • Nomination - Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story - "The War Briefing" (2009)

Writers Guild of AmericaEdit

WinsEdit

  • Winner - Best Current Events Documentary - "Truth War and Consequences" (2003)
  • Winner - Best Current Events Documentary - "Private Warriors" (2005)
  • Winner - Best Current Events Documentary - "Return of the Taliban" (2008)
  • Winner - Best Current Events Documentary - "The Madoff Affair" (2009)
  • Winner - Best Current Events Documentary - "The Private Life of Bradley Manning" (2011)
  • Winner - Best Documentary not covering Current Events - "WikiSecrets" (2012)
  • Winner - Best Regularly Scheduled, Bulletin or Breaking Report - "Educating Sergeant Pantzke" (2012)
  • Winner - Best Current Events Documentary - "Money Power and Wall Street" (2013)
  • Winner - Best Current Events Documentary- "Egypt In Crisis" (2014)

NominationsEdit

  • Nomination - Best Current Events Documentary - "Drug Wars" (2000)
  • Nomination - Best Current Events Documentary - "Hunting Bin Laden" (2001)
  • Nomination - Best Current Events Documentary - "Medicating Kids" (2001)
  • Nomination - Best Current Events Documentary - "Looking For Answers" (2002)
  • Nomination - Best Current Events Documentary - "Private Warriors" (2005)
  • Nomination - Best Current Events Documentary - "The Medicated Child" (2008)
  • Nomination - Best Current Events Documentary - "Heat" (2008)

Alfred I. duPont-Columbia AwardEdit

Gold BatonEdit

  • "Inside Gorbachev's USSR" (1990)
  • "Hunting bin Laden" (2002)
  • "Looking for Answers" (2002)
  • "Saudi Time Bomb?" (2002)
  • "The United States of Secrets" (2015)


Silver BatonEdit

  • "Truth War and Consequences" - (2003)

The Overseas Press Club AwardsEdit

  • Edward R. Murrow award in the category of best TV interpretation or documentary on international affairs - "Hiroshima: Why the Bomb Was Dropped" (1995)
  • Edward R. Murrow award in the category of best TV interpretation or documentary on international affairs - "Return of the Czar" (2000)
  • The Whitman Bassow Award for best reporting in any medium on international environmental issues - "Heat" (2008)
  • Edward R. Murrow citation in the category of best TV interpretation or documentary on international affairs - "The War Briefing" (2008)
  • Edward R. Murrow award in the category of best TV interpretation or documentary on international affairs - "Obama's War" (2009)

The George Foster Peabody AwardEdit

  • "Crisis in Central America" - 1985
  • "Hiroshima: Why the Bomb Was Dropped" - 1995
  • "Drug Wars" - 2000
  • "The Madoff Affair"- 2009
  • "The United States of Secrets"- 2014

Prix Italia AwardEdit

  • Documentary of the Year - 1987 ("Bombing of West Philly")

Polk AwardEdit

  • CBS Reports: "Guatemala", 1983
  • PBS FRONTLINE: "Who's Running This War", 1986
  • WGBH: "Inside Gorbachev's USSR"
  • PBS FRONTLINE: "Money, Power and Wall Street", 2012

Nancy Dickerson Whitehead AwardEdit

  • "Drug Wars", 2001

Society of Environmental Journalists' AwardEdit

  • Kevin Carmody Award for Outstanding In-depth Reporting, "The Spill", 2011

Other honorsEdit

  • Selected Recipient for the Top 100 Journalism Works of the Decade (2000–2010) for "Truth, War and Consequences"
  • The Edward Weintal Special Citation in recognition of a career of distinguished reporting on foreign policy and diplomacy by the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. Smith won this honor in 2007.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Writers Guild Awards to Tisch Alumni", NYU, 2010
  2. ^ Weiss, Joanna (2009-10-13). "Policy Reality Collide In Obama's War". The Boston Globe. 
  3. ^ "RAINMedia Films". 
  4. ^ "FRONTLINE". PBS. 
  5. ^ "RAINMedia Awards".