Ya’Ke Smith, known for his unflinching and veracious style of storytelling, is a rising voice in independent cinema.
His films have received world-wide acclaim, screening and winning awards at over 90 film festivals. The Director’s Guild of America, the Student Academy Awards, HBO, Showtime, and the City of Buffalo, NY, which proclaimed February 23, 2013 as Ya’Ke Smith Day, have honored him. His short, Katrina’s Son, screened at over 40-film festivals and won 14 awards. The film was also eligible for the 2012 Academy Award in short filmmaking. His debut feature, WOLF, which NPR called “an impressive piece by a young director,” premiered at the SXSW Film Festival and has gone on to screen and win awards at festivals across North America. The film is now available for download via several Video-on-Demand outlets. His short film, dawn., made its television premiere on HBO in February of 2015, and screened on the network for two years. The film was also streamed as part of Issa Rae's Short Film Sunday series on her YouTube channel. His multi award-winning digital series, The Beginning and Ending of Everything, is now streaming on facebook and youtube.
Ya’Ke has been featured on NPR, CNN, HLN, Ebony Online, Indiewire, Filmmaker Magazine and Shadow&Act.
Ya’Ke graduated with his B.A. from the Communication Arts Department at the University of The Incarnate Word, where he later became the youngest recipient of the Alumni of Distinction for Professional Achievement award. He received his M.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin’s film program, where he is currently an Associate Professor of film. He was previously the Morgan Woodward Distinguished Professor of Film at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Associate Professor of Film
Moody College of Communication
The University of Texas at Austin
Founder/CEO, Exodus Filmworks
Writer/Director, Award-winning drama, WOLF streaming now on kwelitv.com and
The Beginning and Ending of Everything now streaming exclusively on FACEBOOK
It is only a moment, one that will pass, one that the wind will envelop, and give back to you woven together with other moments in the tapestry of your destiny.