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Who's behind Luminous Content?


Sandy Smolan, Director


Mr. Smolan is an award-winning director whose work spans features, documentaries, television, commercials and VR films.  


His critically acclaimed debut feature film “Rachel River," 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.


His VR film “The Click Effect” previewed at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, was launched at The Tribeca Film Festival and was the first New York Times Op-Doc Virtual Reality film.  It was produced by Annapurna Pictures and Vrse in partnership with The Sundance Film Festival and The MacArthur Foundation, was nominated for an Emmy and was awarded the prestigious Lumiere Award for Best VR Documentary of The Year.


His documentary, “The Human Face of Big Data” won the Jury Prize for Best Cinematography at the Boston International Film Festival, was selected by the US State Department to be part of the American Film Showcase, and was broadcast on PBS in February 2016.


His television movies include "The Last Soldier" for HBO, the mini-series “Beach Girls” with Rob Lowe and Julia Ormond for Lifetime,

"A Place To Be" for CBS and "Taking A Stand," an Emmy Award-winning film with Betty Buckley for ABC, for which he was also nominated for Best Director.


As a television director his credits include the acclaimed pilot for the series "Middle Ages," as well as over 50 network series including

“Brothers & Sisters,” “Ally Mcbeal,” “The O.C.,” “Dawson’s Creek,” “LA LAW,” “Chicago Hope” and "Northern Exposure".


In original programming for the Internet, he directed the ten-part web series “In Gayle We Trust” for NBC.com and the web series

“First Dance” and “First Day” for Alloy Entertainment, winner of the Advertising Age Media Vanguard Award.


Smolan's documentary “12 Stones,” about the transformation of a group of illiterate women in southern Nepal won the jury prize for Best Short Documentary at the Tallahassee and Newport Beach Film Festivals.


He was the recipient of a 2015 James Beard Award for his short film, “Wall of Fire”.


He also produced and directed films in East Africa for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, four short films about sustainable development in India, Georgia, Peru and Rwanda and a series of films about technology, innovation and social responsibility sponsored by Intel, Microsoft, Applied Materials, BD Biosciences and Nokia.


Mr. Smolan was the associate producer of two network documentaries for CBS News; "The Cowboy, The Craftsman and The Ballerina" with Morley Safer and "Juilliard: A Life in Music", narrated by Charles Kuralt and winner of the Peabody Award.


His first documentary, The Maghreb Journals, was a 12 projector, 6 screen immersive installation shot over five months in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.


He was a featured speaker at the EG Conference in Monterey, California and The INK Conference in association with TED and he has been a panelist at The Sundance, Tribeca, Cannes, Hollywood Digital and Seattle Film festivals.