Misha
Manson-Smith

Director and Writer for Film and Television

Misha is a three-time BAFTA nominated director, writer and producer based in London and LA.

Coming out of the documentary world as a director and editor of feature-docs such as the multi-Emmy and BAFTA winning Death in Gaza for HBO, Misha’s style is characterised by experiments in form that are darkly comic, rooted by visceral performances and executed with cinematic brio. His celebrated short Barbados, starring Michael Sheen, written by George Kay and produced by Fred Berger, premiered at Toronto and typifies his highly particular take.

Currently, his focus is on film and creating original dramas. Projects include Status: Anxiety with Blueprint Pictures, a satirical, YA thriller about a teenage police informant inveigling her way into the life of a tycoon.

Earlier in 2020, Misha re-teamed with his long-time collaborator Marc Wootton and Sacha Baron Cohen through his Four By Two Films to create, write, direct and EP the pilot Gooseberry (password ‘OMG’) for Lionsgate and Comedy Central. Set in Los Angeles, Misha’s anarchic, satirical comedy anthology is crafted like a film, but plays out entirely in the real world. Misha is currently working on further development for the series, as well hybrid fiction/reality feature films with Marc and their team.

In 2019, Misha directed two episodes (as well as action sequences across the series), of The Feed, the adaptation of the near-future sci-fi thriller for Amazon Studios starring David Thewlis. In 2018, Misha was lead director on Bryan Elsley's Kiss Me First, the seminal, RTS Award-winning adaptation of Lottie Moggach’s cult YA novel for Netflix and Channel 4 that combined live action drama with motion capture animation.

In drama, Misha also directed multiple episodes across all three seasons of Paul Abbott’s BAFTA-nominated, RTS-winning police drama No Offence. As lead director on the acclaimed second season of Danny Brocklehurst’s Ordinary Lies for Red Productions, Misha reinvented the tone and style of the show to wide acclaim. Misha broke through in drama directing the widely acclaimed single Excluded for BBC Two, which The Guardian reviewed as “all brilliant - immediate, tense, funny, sad, touching, relevant”.

In comedy, Misha developed, wrote and directed the pilot for Hoff the Record, and then wrote across the series, which went on to win the International Emmy Award for Comedy Series. He also co-created and EP’d Showtime’s notorious comedy series La La Land, which was described by both The Guardian and The Mirror as "Genius".

CV

Television

Writer & Director & Creator & Executive Producer 

Blueprint Pictures
In development
Gooseberry
(Pilot)
Creator Marc Wootton
Producer (Execs) Marc Wootton, Sacha Baron Cohen, Kara Welker & Dan Swimer
Four by Two & Lionsgate for Comedy Central

Writer & Director 

Producer (Execs) David Hasslehoff & Krish Majumdar
Starring
  • Craig Roberts
  • David Hasslehoff
  • International Emmy Award (Win) - Best Comedy Series.

    Me & You for Dave

    Director 

    The Feed
    2 x 60'
    Producer Simon Lewis & Sue Hogg (Exec)
    Writer Channing Powell
    Starring
  • David Thewlis
  • Michelle Fairley
  • Guy Burnett
  • Studio Lambert for Amazon
    Producer Bradley Adams
    Writer Bryan Elsley
    Starring
  • Tallulah Haddon
  • Simona Brown
  • Ben Chaplin
  • RTS Award (Win) Best Design.

    Balloon Entertainment and Kindle for Netflix, E4
    Producer (Execs) Danny Brocklehurst & Nicola Shindler
    Writer Danny Brocklehurst
    Starring
  • Con O'Neill
  • Kimberly Nixon
  • Rebekah Staton
  • Red Productions for BBC One
    Creator Paul Abbott
    Producer (Execs) Paul Abbott & Martin Carr
    Writer Paul Abbott
    Starring
  • Joanna Scanlon
  • Elaine Cassidy
  • Alexandra Roach
  • BAFTA Award (Nom) Best Drama Series.
    RTS Award (Win) Best Drama Series.
    Broadcast Awards (Nom) Best Drama Series.
    Broadcast Awards (Nom) Best Original Programme.
    La Rochelle TV Awards (Win) Best Foreign TV Fiction.


    Abbott Vision for Channel 4
    Producer Faye Ward & Nicky Kentish Barnes
    Writer Stephen Poliakoff
    Starring
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor
  • Jenna Coleman
  • Matthew Goode
  • John Goodman
  • Ruby Films for BBC Two, Starz
    Pramface (Series 2)
    1 x 60' and 2 x 30'
    Producer (Exec) Lucy Robinson
    Writer Chris Reddy
    Starring
  • Anna Chancellor
  • Scarlett Alice Johnson
  • Sean Michael Verey
  • Little Comet and BBC Comedy for BBC Three
    Excluded
    1 x 60'
    Producer Caroline Levy
    Writer Brian Fillis
    Starring
  • Monica Dolan
  • Bryan Dick
  • Craig Parkinson
  • BBC Drama and Factual for BBC Two
    Producer Allan Greenspan
    Writer Leo Richardson
    Starring
  • Holliday Grainger
  • Joe Cole
  • Nick Blood
  • Lionsgate for BBC Three
    Producer Kate Norrish & Polly Leys
    Writer Tom Browne
    Starring
  • Peter Capaldi
  • Matt King
  • IWC for Channel 4
    Producer (Exec) Drew Pearce
    Writer Marc Wootton & Peter Baynham
    Starring
  • Marc Wootton
  • BAFTA (Nom) - Breakthrough Talent Award for Directing.

    Tiger Aspect for BBC Three
    Producer Mob Dar
    Writer Marc Wootton

    British Comedy Awards (Win) - Best New TV Comedy.
    British Comedy Awards (Nom) - Comedy Performance.
    Rose D'Or (Win) - Best Comedy Programme.
    RTS Awards (Nom) - Comedy Performance.
    Indie Awards (Nom) - Best Comedy.
    Chicago Television Festival (Win) - Comedy Series.

    Tiger Aspect for BBC Three
    Producer Faye Ward
    Ruby Films for BBC Northern Ireland, BBC 3
    In development

    Writer & Director & Executive Producer 

    La La Land
    6 x 30'
    Creator Marc Wootton
    Producer (Execs) Marc Wootton & Charlie Siskel
    Starring
  • Marc Wootton
  • Melinda Augustina
  • Ruta Lee
  • Rose D'Or Award (Nom) Best Comedy Series.

    Fooling Nobody for Showtime

    Writer & Director & Creator 

    Producer Kelly McGolpin
    Starring
  • Daniel Kaluuya
  • Jonny Sweet
  • Greg McHugh
  • Ophelia Lovibond
  • Alex Macqueen
  • BAFTA Scotland (Nom) - Best Comedy Programme.

    Angel Eye for BBC Three

    Director & Creator 

    In Deep
    (Pilot)
    Producer Kenton Allen, Luke Alkin & Josh Cole
    Writer Tom Joseph & Thomas Eccleshare
    Starring
  • Ashley Walters
  • Adam Deacon
  • Paul Kaye
  • Big Talk for BBC Three

    Film

    Director 

    Barbados
    (Short Film)
    Producer Fred Berger, Jason Carden
    Writer George Kay
    Starring
  • Michael Sheen
  • Radha Mitchell
  • Ty Simpkins
  • Toronto International Film Festival - Premiere

    Imposter Pictures and Funny or Die
    Director Simon Egan (co-director)
    Channel 4

    Writer & Director 

    9 1/2 minutes
    (Short Film)
    Producer Ollie Madden
    Starring
  • David Tennant
  • Zoe Telford
  • Edinburgh International Film Festival - Premiere.

    BFI

    Director & Editor 

    Death in Gaza
    (Feature Doc)
    Producer Saira Shah
    Director James Miller

    EMMY Award (Win) - Exceptional Merit in Non-Fiction Filmmaking.
    EMMY Award (Win) - Non-Fiction Directing.
    EMMY Award (Win) - Cinematography.
    EMMY Award (Nom) - Non-Fiction Writing.
    BAFTA Craft Award (Nom) - Factual Editing.
    BAFTA Award (Win) - Current Affairs.
    Audience Award (Win) - Hot Docs Toronto.
    Chicago Documentary Film Festival (Win) - Innovation in Direction.
    AFI Silverdocs (Win) - Sterling Award for a Feature Film.
    Rory Peck Award (Win) - Feature Documentary.
    RTS Award (Nom) - Current Affairs.
    Grierson Award (Nom) - International Cinema Documentary.

    HBO

    Commercial