Leal "Al" Smith, began his career in marketing and spent 16+ year developing marketing campaigns for various agencies and fortune 500 companies throughout North America. While enjoying his work, he always had a passion for film and inspiring youth. Several years ago, he changed his career path and became an educator to help fill the void of the lack of positive male influences in communities of color. During this transition, Smith also became relentless to pursue his passion for film. In recent years, he has been able connect both his passion for education and his film initiatives to create thought provoking content through Purpix Media and Future Filmmakers.
- BA, Indiana University - Bloomington, IN
- MBA, Clark-Atlanta University - Atlanta, GA
- Summer Intensive Program - Vancouver Film School
GRANTS & AWARDS
- Recipient of the 2017 “Lilly Teacher Creativity Grant” through the Lilly Endowment to produce “The Black Hornet of Flatland Heights”
- Lilly Experience for Teachers in STEM - Committee Member
- Recipient of the 2018 The Robert and Susan Kozlowski L.I.F.T. Teacher Creativity Grant to produce the short film "Trapped"
- Recipient of the 2018 Indiana Arts Commission - Individual Artist Grant
- Recipient of the 2018/2019 Create Indy Award from the City of Indianapolis (Mayor's Office)
- Recipient of the 2019 Pike Education Foundation Teacher Grant
- Recipient of the 2020 Faith, Justice and the Arts Grant, St. Paul's Indy
Teacher & student create Music Video to call for justice
Teacher teams up with former student for Independence Day, A Juneteenth Anthem
Indiana teen former teacher collab for Juneteenth music video to spark conversation
Juneteenth music conversation created by Indiana teen and former teacher