the-agency-logo (1) 7 (1)

Abena Taylor-Smith

About Abena Taylor-Smith

Abena is a multi-award-winning writer and director with experience across HETV (Spellbound [Hulu]), continuing drama (Hollyoaks) and film festival production (Sheffield Intl. DocFest; BFI Talks, New Black Voices). She shadow-directed on Season 2 of Hulu’s hit show, The Great, mentored by director, Ally Pankiw.

Abena is a Network at BFI Flare mentee (2019-2020), mentored by Lizzie Francke; and an NFTS Diverse Directors Workshop alumnus.

Her storytelling passions, evidenced in her previous work, are youth media and coming-of-age stories (Ladies Day, 2018The Best is Yet to Come, 2020How to Kiss Another Boy 2022); relationship and romantic drama (One Day with Simone Ashley [British Vogue]); fairy tales, fantasy and mythology (Spellbound [Hulu]).

Abena was the Assistant Script Editor for the Disney+ show Nautilus, and wrote on the BAFTA award-winning short-form series, How to Be a Person, 2023.

As a director, she specialises in sensuous colour pop aesthetics and relationship drama. Abena is passionate about diversity, inclusion and telling stories centring underrepresented voices. Her strengths are telling joyful, dynamic stories of queerness and young women’s lives; as well as working with first-time acting and creative talent.

TRAINING COURSES

2018
SCREEN YORKSHIRE BOOT CAMP
Production training scheme for below the line talent.

2018
LIGHTS, CAMERA, POWER- FEMALE DIRECTORS WORKSHOP
Technical skills workshop at Panavision with hands- on experience of lighting and camera kit.

EDUCATION

2019
NFTS Directors Workshop
The National Film and Television School

In Development

    • Production
    • Company
    • Notes
    • UNTITLED TV PROJECT (2023)
    • Ten66
    • Writer

TV

    • Production
    • Company
    • Notes
    • SPELLBOUND (2023)
    • Hulu
    • Writer x 2 episodes
    • HOW TO BE A PERSON (2023)
    • Channel 4
    • Co-Writer on episode 3 "How to Kiss A Boy" BAFTA-Winner Best Short Form Programme
    • HOLLYOAKS (August 2022 – March 2023)
    • Channel 4
    • Storyliner
    • ONE DAY WITH SIMONE ASHLEY (December 2022)
    • British Vogue
    • Writer
    • NAUTILUS (June – August 2022)
    • Disney+
    • Assistant Script Editor
    • CORONATION STREET (2021)
    • ITV
    • Editorial Trainee
    • THE GREAT (2021)
    • Hulu, MRC Entertainment
    • Director Trainee – Shadowed Ally Pankiw on location during shooting Block#4

Film

    • Production
    • Company
    • Notes
    • THE BEST IS YET TO COME (2019)
    • NFTS/ Disney UK Directors Workshop
    • Short Film, Writer and Director, World Premiere- NFFTY Seattle- October 2019
    • NEW BLACK VOICES
    • BFI NETWORK/ THE SHOWROOM CINEMA
    • Curator New Black Voices, Black History Month 2019. Curated a programme of six films and Q&As plus a masterclass from rising black British filmmakers from around the UK.
    • UNTITLED DRAMA
    • BFI FILM HUB NORTH SCRIPT LAB
    • Writer-Director. Developed a short film script from concept to finished project with BFI script executives. Key scenes were performed to a sold out live audience at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester.
    • LADIES DAY (2018)
    • SHORTFLIX- Creative England Sky Arts
    • Short Film, Writer and Director, Screened at: Black Star, LSFF, the Iris Prize (shortlisted for Best British Short 2018), BFI Flare #FiveFilms4Freedom and many more. Awards: Audience Award (NFFTY Seattle), Best Young Director (Hebden Bridge Film Festival), Special Mention (Chicago CineYouth).

Theatre

    • Production
    • Company
    • Notes
    • LIMERENCE (March 2022)
    • Hope Mill Theatre
    • Writer
    • VIGNETTES (2021)
    • Hope Mill Theatre
    • Writer