The Guardian has announced plans to strengthen its coverage of film in America with the appointment of Nigel M. Smith (@nigelmfs) as entertainment writer. Smith will be based in Los Angeles, where he will deepen reporting at the center of the global entertainment industry.
Smith’s appointment signals an increasingly global focus on film as the Guardian continues to increase its investment and presence in the US. As well as writing specifically for the US edition, Smith will also act as part of the Guardian’s wider film team, led by Catherine Shoard, alongside reporters, writers and multimedia journalists based in London, New York and Sydney.
Smith joins from Indiewire, where he was Managing Editor, writing and editing daily for the site. He has conducted countless interviews with celebrities and filmmakers; served on juries for major film festivals; and moderated numerous panel discussions with acting and directing talent. He will report to Alex Needham, arts editor, Guardian US.
As part of the increased commitment to entertainment coverage in the US, the Guardian also announces a ‘premiere’ partnership with the 42nd Telluride Film Festival, the highly influential festival which takes place in Colorado over the 2015 Labor Day weekend. The festival is an annual gathering for film industry insiders, cinema enthusiasts, filmmakers and critics and is a major launching ground for the fall season’s most talked-about films.
The partnership with Telluride will see the Guardian join forces with the festival to help increase its exposure to a wider audience of influential film enthusiasts. As part of the partnership, the Guardian will be the named sponsor of both Telluride’s Noon Sessions, featuring filmmakers and actors in discussion about their projects; and of the festival’s closing celebration, the Labor Day Picnic.
The Guardian’s partnership with Telluride and Smith’s appointment are key steps towards creating a quality global film brand which will leverage the Guardian’s independent perspective and reputation for high quality film coverage to reach and engage a wider audience both in America and across the world. The Guardian’s film coverage is already read by an average of 10 million unique browsers a month.
Lee Glendinning, editor, Guardian US said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Nigel to the Guardian team and to establish our presence in Los Angeles. Our readers are hungry for more of our unique, independent culture coverage and Nigel is the perfect fit – bringing unrivalled knowledge of the entertainment industry. We’re delighted to add his voice to our growing roster of US journalists.”
Nigel M. Smith said: “I’m overjoyed and deeply honored to be joining a publication I value as much as the Guardian. As the company’s first-ever Los Angeles-based entertainment writer, I’ll strive to reflect the integrity of the brand while working to take it into new and exciting directions under the leadership of the Guardian’s amazing team, whom I admire greatly.”
Eamonn Store, North America CEO, the Guardian said: “The development of more US-authored film and entertainment journalism is a major focus for our ongoing growth plans in America. The appointment of Nigel will significantly strengthen our film coverage, while our partnership with the Telluride Film Festival – with whom we share an independent and open approach – will help us engage with more like-minded film fans across the US and further afield.”