The director and author from Mainz, Lars Smekal, focuses on societal issues in his works. He is particularly interested in individuals who are underrepresented or discriminated against, as well as the question of how we, as a society, wish to coexist. Smekal has made various appearances on radio and television broadcasts, including ARD's morning magazine.
He has been involved in exchange projects in Clermont-Ferrand (FR), Hasselt (BEL), Lodz (POL), and Kiev (UKR). Smekal identifies himself as European and has successfully built a good network through his participation in festivals across Europe. He feels a strong connection to Poland, as family members have roots in Silesia and were late expellees. In 2017, he participated in the "Oppose Othering!" workshop at the goEast Film Festival in Wiesbaden.
He completed his undergraduate degree in Art History, German Studies, and Comparative Cultural Studies in 2017, with a dissertation on Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel. In 2018, he received the Deutschlandstipendium in recognition of his academic excellence and special social commitment. In 2020, he was the lead figure in the Instagram campaign "Zusammen/Wspolnie" for the German Embassy in Warsaw. In 2021, he received the Film + Media Emerging Talent Support of Rhineland-Palatinate and the "IN FOCUS – 6 Points for Culture" project grant.
In 2022, he completed his Master's degree at the Mainz University of Applied Sciences in the course "Time-based Media". His final film, entitled "Memories of a Forgotten Childhood", explored the subject of addiction within the family home from a child's viewpoint, and was supported by HessenFilm and Media. It was produced under ecological standards and, as part of the "100 Green Productions" initiative, became the first Hessian film production to receive the new "green motion" label. The film premiered globally in San Diego (USA) and won the "Best Drama Short Film" award. During his trip to the United States, he was able to establish contacts in Hollywood.