Briar Grace-Smith 

Writer Director

Briar Grace-Smith is a filmmaker and one of New Zealand’s most celebrated writers of award-winning plays, screenplays, short fiction and television scripts.

Briar’s first feature film The Strength of Water was selected for the Sundance Writers and Directors Labs, premiering at Rotterdam and Berlin Film Festivals in 2009. She wrote the comedy horror Fresh Meat which screened at many global festivals including the midnight section of Tribeca Film Festival in 2013.

As writer/director of Charm, Briar was one of eight Māori women filmmakers who created the acclaimed feature film omnibus Waru, which screened in Official Selection at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival before going on to screen all over the world at festivals such as ImagineNATIVE, Hawaii International Film Festival and Palm Springs International Film Festival.

She was a storyliner and writer on Grace Beside Me, which was nominated for Best Children’s Television Series at the 2018 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards as well as the Logies. Her other television credits for New Zealand include Fishskin Suit, Kaitangata Twitch, Being Eve, Billy and the six-part drama series, When We Go To War as well as This is Piki in 2017.

Briar’s also highly experienced as a script consultant and works both locally—such as mentoring New Zealand screenwriters at the Aotearoa Writers Labs, working with Hugo Award- and Academy Award-winning writers such as Michael Goldenberg and David Seidler and Sundance Filmmakers’ Lab Artistic Director, Gyula Gazdag—and internationally—such as consulting on projects by indigenous writers from around the world at the imagineNATIVE Screenwriting Labs in Toronto and White Fish Lake.

Briar is an inaugural recipient of the Arts Foundation Laureate Award and was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2018 for her contribution to theatre, television and screen.

 For enquiries regarding Briar Grace-Smith, please contact us via email or on (02) 9319 7199.