top of page

Smoking Bear is an award-winning independent production company founded by Ed Gibbs and Rubika Shah, with a focus on bringing diverse stories to broad, global audiences. As impact storytellers, they have a keen interest in popular culture and visceral, cinematic storytelling, and are innately drawn to stories exploring youth culture and rebellion.


They are best-known for their critically acclaimed feature doc WHITE RIOT, which won multiple awards including the Grierson Award for Best Documentary at the 2019 BFI London Film Festival. A New York Times Critic’s Pick in 2020, it was also nominated for Best Documentary at the British Independent Film Awards and BAFTA shortlisted in 2021.

Their slate of upcoming docs, docuseries and features includes THE MAD DOG OF EUROPE, produced with Paris-based Le Bureau Films and Cologne-based Heimatfilm.


Their earlier work includes the proof-of-concept short, WHITE RIOT: LONDON, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017 and again in 2024, as part of 'Sundance at 40'. The Crystal Bear-nominated LET’S DANCE: BOWIE DOWN UNDER, a rare mini-doc about David Bowie and MTV, premiered at the Berlinale in 2015 and screened nationally through Picturehouse. They also produced a series of acclaimed shorts for the BBC between 2014 and 2016, including a look at DO THE RIGHT THING, 25 YEARS ON with Academy Award-winning filmmaker Spike Lee. More recently, in 2021, they produced the award-winning 6x6 docuseries FOOTBALL & ME for the FA, which debuted on Sky. A follow-up series launched in summer 2022.


Writer-Producer Ed Gibbs hails from a background in film and music journalism. Prior to becoming a producer, he was the Sunday newspaper critic for The Sydney Morning Herald. A former magazine editor, he has also written and/or broadcast for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the BBC, Empire, GQ, Little White Lies, MOJO, Rolling Stone and The Guardian, among others.

Writer-Director Rubika Shah, a 2020 BAFTA Breakthrough awardee, also completed two back-to-back campaigns in lockdown for Academy Award-winning production house Grain Media, including a short drama series called FIGHT BACK for YouTube/Google, Tribeca and the United Nations. She is currently developing her dramatic debut feature with BBC Film.


sundancelaurel 2017.png
logo_master BAFTA.png
Sheffield 2017 orange.jpg
DOX-LOGO-2019-400 (1).png
tribeca-laurel 2016.png
bottom of page