Smoking Bear is an award-winning 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.
Their critically acclaimed feature doc WHITE RIOT 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 previous work includes the proof-of-concept short WHITE RIOT: LONDON, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and the Berlinale Crystal Bear-nominated LET’S DANCE: BOWIE DOWN UNDER, a rare mini-doc about David Bowie and MTV, which screened nationally through Picturehouse in 2017. They also produced a series of acclaimed shorts for the BBC between 2014 and 2016, including a look through 25 years of Do The Right Thing with Oscar-winning filmmaker Spike Lee. More recently, in summer 2021, they produced an award-winning short series for the FA promoting diversity in football, 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.