About Susan Smiley

susan smiley bio
director and producer

Making Out of the Shadow was a labor of love for Susan. Thankfully the film has achieved what she had hoped, which is to help raise awareness and educate about serious mental illnesses and the complex issues surrounding people who suffer from these illnesses as well as how our medical establishment treats them. The film aired on PBS stations over 1400 times over an 8 year period. In addition, it had television broadcasts in 12 countries and has been translated into 8 languages.

Susan was a  founder and producer of Vine Street Pictures, a boutique production company which operated for 8 years and created documentaries and other non-fiction media content for corporations and educational institutions. Some clients included The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, University of Arizona, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Ehrlich Architects. She was producer of the independent documentary Fat Head: You’ve Been Fed and Load of Bologna, a serio-comic look at common myths and misconceptions about diet and nutrition.

Susan has spoken numerous mental health professionals, including psychologists and psychiatrists, social workers and nurses. In addition she’s presented her work at government agencies including the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, Justice and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

She holds a B.A. from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and an Ed.M. from Harvard University.