Miriam Smith co-created & produced the critically acclaimed & award winning feature documentaries THE GROUND WE WON (2015) & HOW FAR IS HEAVEN (2012). Both films have had highly successful nationwide cinema releases in New Zealand and screened at film festivals around the world including Locarno, Melbourne, Warsaw and Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. THE GROUND WE WON recently won the Special Jury Prize at FIFO Tahiti, and the Best Sound award at the Moscow International Documentary Festival.
Miriam has written for literary journals, magazines, film and feature-length radio dramas for RNZ & BBC 4. She has also provided script development feedback for many writers and independent film producers. 
Miriam is alumni of the prestigious Binger Writers’ Lab in Amsterdam and the Script to Screen Aotearoa Writers’ Lab. She has a BA in English & Film (Senior English Prize winner) and a Masters in Creative & Performing Arts, majoring in screenwriting, from the University of Auckland.  
Miriam and filmmaking partner Chris Pryor are co-directors of the independent film production company Deer Heart Films, through which they’re currently developing a slate of boldly original drama & documentary films.

 

 

 

Video

2016
Simon Bowden talks to documentary makers Miriam Smith and Chris Pryor about news of the Harriet Friedlander New York Residency
1977
Born in Takapuna, Auckland
1989
First visits James K. Baxter’s grave at Jerusalem/Hiruharama. Meets Sister Anna-Maria planting daffodil bulbs and is enchanted.
2001
Graduates with BA in English & Film from University of Auckland, awarded Senior English Prize.
2005
Graduates with MA in Creative & Performing Arts from University of Auckland, majoring in screenwriting.
2006
Attends the prestigious Binger Writer’s Lab in Amsterdam.
2007
Returns to Jerusalem/Hiruharama and gains the Sister’s blessing to film with them.
2009
Gets chatting to Chris Pryor at a Guy Fawkes party and decide to together make what will become "How Far is Heaven"
2009
Makes multiple research trips to Jerusalem with Chris Pryor to meet the local community.
2010
Moves to live in the Old Convent at Jerusalem for the year to shoot "How Far is Heaven".
2010
Finally becomes a couple with Chris Pryor - the whole Jerusalem village is relieved.
2012
World premiere of "How Far is Heaven" at NZ International Film Festival, followed by a nationwide cinema release & filmmaker tour.
2012
Moa NZ Film Awards - "How Far is Heaven" nominated best documentary, documentary director, documentary editing, wins best documentary cinematography.
2013
Moves to Reporoa and live at Golden Springs Holiday Park to Shoot "The Ground We Won".
2013
"How Far is Heaven" screens at the Margaret Mead Film Festival, NYC - M&C married at City Hall, NYC!
2015
"The Ground We Won" premieres at NZIFF Autumn Events, followed by nationwide cinema release & filmmaker tour. The film receives multiple 5 star reviews.
2015
"The Ground We Won" premieres internationally - Melbourne, Locarno, Warsaw Film Festivals & beyond
2016
Buys first house with Chris Pryor and moves to Thames, all the while dreaming of New York.
2016
Receives Arts Foundation Harriet Friedlander Residency in New York with Chris Pryor!