Iain Smith (producer)

Iain Smith (producer)

Seven Years in Tibet" with French director Jean Jacques Annaud] Iain Smith OBE (born 1949 in Glasgow, Scotland) is a Scottish film producer, editor and director. He is most famous for his productions of Hollywood blockbusters such as "Seven Years in Tibet" (1997) and "The Fifth Element".

Smith has contributed to many film industry committees in the UK and is currently a Board member of the UK Film Council, Scottish Screen, the Production Guild of Great Britain and the Children's Film and Television Foundation.


He was educated in Glasgow at Willowbank Primary School, Hillhead High School and studied at Jordanhill College School leaving in 1968. He received a 1st Class Hons Diploma London School of Film Technique (1969/70).

He has been married for 35 years to Isabel Smith who is a successful physio-therapist and has three children. Ben is working as a sports journalist, Ailie, a make-up artist and Claire, who is studying English at Southampton University.

In the early 1970s, he worked as assistant editor, assistant director, production manager on numerous short films, commercials and children's feature films. He worked in London for several years before returning to his native Scotland to make "My Childhood" for the British Film Institute, the first of the award winning trilogy by the late Bill Douglas.

In 1976, he formed his own production company in partnership with Jon Schorstein (Smith Schorstein Associates Ltd) and produced television commercials, documentaries, children's feature films and low budget dramas. In 1978 production managed Bertrand Tavernier's "Deathwatch" starring Romy Schneider and Harvey Keitel. A year later he joined David Puttnam and Hugh Hudson to make "Chariots of Fire" starring Ian Charleson and Ben Cross.

He went on to line produce a variety of films for David Puttnam including Bill Forsyth's "Local Hero" starring Burt Lancaster and Peter Riegert, Roland Joffe's "The Killing Fields (film)The Killing Fields" starring Sam Waterston and Haing Ngor, and Roland Joffe's "The Mission" starring Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons. He also produced Brian Gilbert's "The Frog Prince."

In 1987 he formed Applecross Productions and went on to co-produce Richard Marquand's "Hearts of Fire" starring Bob Dylan and Rupert Everett followed by Michael Austen's "Killing Dad" starring Richard E. Grant, Denholm Elliott and Julie Walters. In 1991 he co-produced Roland Joffe's "City of Joy" starring Patrick Swayze and Pauline Collins, and in 1992, executive produced Ridley Scott's "1492 - Conquest of Paradise" starring Gerard Depardieu and Sigourney Weaver.

In 1994 he co-produced Stephen Frear's "Mary Reilly" starring Julia Roberts and John Malkovich, for Tristar Pictures, followed by Luc Besson's "The Fifth Element" in 1996, which starred Bruce Willis and Gary Oldman, and was produced by his company Zaltman Films Ltd for Gaumont.

He then produced Jean-Jacques Annaud's "Seven Years in Tibet" starring Brad Pitt and David Thewlis, for Columbia Pictures, followed by Jon Amiel's "Entrapment" with Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones, for Twentieth Century Fox.

Smith executive produced Tony Scott's "Spy Game" for Universal Pictures which starred Robert Redford and Brad Pitt, followed by Anthony Minghella's "Cold Mountain" for Miramax starring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Renée Zellweger. He went on to produce Oliver Stone's "Alexander" for Intermedia starring Colin Farrell, Anthony Hopkins and Angelina Jolie followed by producing Darren Aronofsky's "The Fountain" for New Regency/Warner Bros. starring Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz and Ellen Burstyn, and Alfonso Cuarón's "Children of Men" for Strike Entertainment/Universal Pictures..

He is currently producing Timur Bekmambetrov's "Wanted" for Universal Pictures.

He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2008 New Year Honours.


Iain Smith is a former board member of the UK Film Council, has served on the Scottish Film Council, the Scottish Film Production Fund, the Scottish Film Training Trust, and as a Governor of the National Film and Television School. He is currently Chair of the Film Skills Strategy Committee at Skillset, is Deputy Chairman of the British Film Advisory Group, a director of the Children's Film and Television Foundation, a director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival and sits on the joint board of Scottish Screen and The Scottish Arts Council in preparation for Creative Scotland.


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