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ARTHUR CHRISTMAS

SARAH SMITH (Director, Co-Writer) marks her feature animated film directorial debut with Arthur Christmas.

In March 2006, Smith joined Aardman as Head of Feature Development. Within a year she was promoted to Creative Director, Features, with artistic responsibility for the studio's development and production slate, in which role she steered forthcoming releases The Pirates! Band of Misfits and Arthur Christmas from inception to greenlight. But having developed the story and then co-written the screenplay for Arthur Christmas with her long standing collaborator and writing partner Peter Baynham, she was compelled to see it through to the screen as its director.

Smith brings extensive credentials in British comedy writing, directing and producing to her current work. After her first assignments in theatre, she joined BBC Radio Entertainment where she produced and directed a wide range of classic and original comedy shows.  From there she moved to BBC television, spending over ten years at the BBC devising, writing, directing and producing a slate of original programming, including cult comedy sketch shows such as "Fist of Fun,” topical satire with Armando Iannucci including "The Friday Night Armistice,” Malcolm Bradbury's comedy drama "In the Red,” and the multi award-winning hit black comedy "The League of Gentlemen”. Her work won every major industry accolade including a BAFTA, Royal Television Society Awards, Sony Awards for Radio, and the Golden Rose of Montreux.

She left the BBC to pursue a freelance career with a focus on directing and writing across an acclaimed slate, including Julia Davis' black comedy "Nighty Night,” the "Armando Iannucci Shows,” the Johnny Vegas hit "Dead Man Weds,” comedy dramas "Thin Ice” and Sue Townsend's "Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years,” and Christopher Morris's "Brass Eye.”

Smith also spent a period in New York as executive producer overseeing two series from Oscar®-winner Michael Moore for British and US television.  

Her career first crossed into animation when she wrote episodes for the series "Bob and Margaret” (with Peter Baynham as the show runner), and in 2005, she collaborated again with Baynham, best known for Borat and "I Am Alan Patridge,” to create and co-write the BBC2's award-winning adult animated sitcom "I Am Not an Animal,” starring Steve Coogan and Simon Pegg.

Smith studied at Oxford University, where she was president of The Oxford Review.

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