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Yvonne Smith

Yvonne Smith


Yvonne Smith is a producer, director, and writer. She has in-depth experience documenting political, social, and cultural history, bringing her unique cultural honesty to bear on films about the prime movers and shakers of the African American experience. She produced and directed Motown 40: The Music Is Forever, a two-hour documentary broadcast nationally on ABC and produced, wrote and directed Make It Funky, the episode on funk music, for PBS’s Emmy-nominated, Peabody Award-winning series Rock and Roll. Smith’s film about the controversial congressman Adam Clayton Powell was nominated for an Academy Award and awarded the Eric Barnouw Prize by the Organization of American Historians, the National Educational Film and Video Festival’s Best of Festival prize, the CINE Golden Eagle, and the Ohio State Award. Smith was the writer, director, and co-producer of Mo’ Funny: Black Comedy In America for HBO, which won a Cable ACE Award for excellence in cable programming and a CINE Golden Eagle. She also wrote, directed and narrated Ray Charles: The Genius of Soul for American Masters on PBS, and produced and directed Jewels in a Test Tube, a profile of biochemist Lynda Jordan, for the WGBH mini-series Discovering Women. During her six-year tenure at Great Performances  (WNET/Thirteen/PBS), Smith developed and produced the documentary Miles Ahead: The Music of Miles Davis and The Gospel at Colonus, a musical drama featuring Morgan Freeman, the Five Blind Boys of Alabama, and the Soul Stirrers. Her other credits include Parliament Funkadelic: One Nation Under a Groove, the musical variety show Ellington: The Music Lives On and several film and tape dramas for American Playhouse including For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange.