"One of the top film educators from around the globe"

Variety Magazine

"For nearly two decades, the San Antonio native (Ya’Ke) has been making films that grapple with race and social change"

The Texas Monthly

"25 screenwriters to watch"

Moviemaker magazine


The Pandemic Chronicles


Dear Bruh


Katrina’s Son

The Beginning and Ending of Everything



Blog Latest News

AFS Announces 2020 Feature Grant Recipients

Fifteen films. Sixteen filmmakers. That's the roster of titles that will receive a total of $111,000 in cash and $15,000 in goods and services under the Austin Film Society's AFS Grants for 2020.

The Austin Chronicle


We finally found a preschool that embraced and challenged our Black toddler, and COVID hit.

Timeout was their punishment. The threat of expulsion was his.

The Dallas Morning News


Taft’s 2019 Artist-in-Residence: Independent Filmmaker Ya’Ke Smith

His residency at The Taft provides a unique opportunity to bring his vision to our region and respond to his newly branded artistic landscape — both physical and human.

Soapbox Cincinnati


Creating Art From the Soul | Ya’Ke Smith | TEDxUTA

Ya’Ke speaks on the inspirations for his films as well as the impact he hopes they will have on the viewer.



Filmmaker Ya’Ke Smith weighs in on the times with ‘Pandemic Chronicles’ series

The shorts will serve to document a time when the world was askew.

The Dallas Morning News


Texas Filmmaker’s Short ‘Dear Bruh’ Aims To Give Voice To Murdered Black Men

Lays bare the way society places Black men and women in a box that’s all too often labeled “threat” rather than “opportunity.”

Texas Public Radio


Austin Filmmaker Ya’Ke Smith’s New Short, “Dear Bruh,” Honors Lives Lost to Police Violence

In a pleading voice-over, actors read a poem Smith wrote during the first wave of Black Lives Matter protests. “I ached, because I realized that when they killed you, they killed a piece of me too."

The Texas Monthly


Texas Filmmaker, Professor Discusses Racial Injustice, Being an Ally

Protests across the country over the death of George Floyd have sparked a call to action for reforms, but it’s also triggered a conversation about how white and non-black people can be better allies.

Spectrum News


‘The Beauty Black Communities Create in Order to Survive’

Vogue asked Black film academics from across the country about the movies we should be watching now and why.

Vouge Magazine


Want To Be A Good Ally? It’s About Listening.

And it helps to learn history too, “because this dehumanization of black people has been going on forever.”

The Texas Standard


Now Streaming in Austin: “dawn.”

There's a lot of discussion about the school-to-prison pipeline, but it's often forgotten that, once people are out of that pipe, they're just ejected with no support.

The Austin Chronicle


Dear Bruh: A Eulogy. A Baptism. A Call to Action.

The short film is an elegy born of our current moment, a moving reflection on love and loss, racism and history, suffering and endurance.

D. Magazine


Big Tree, Small Axe

D Magazine’s Peter Simek introduces Ya’Ke Smith’s urgent and arresting nine-minute film, Dear Bruh: A Eulogy. A Baptism. A Call to Action.

The Criterion Collection