About BlueSpark Collaborative - Award-winning media company

BlueSpark Collaborative film and research projects. Stories to change how we see the world.

The BlueSpark Team


Llewellyn Maurice Smith

Co-Founder, BlueSpark Collaborative

Llewellyn Smith’s filmography focuses on stories of history and science that illuminate social inequality and transformation. He is the recipient of Peabody and duPont awards, and other honors.

The groundbreaking projects Llew has produced, directed or contributed to include Eyes On The Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years (1987); Race: The Power Of An Illusion (2003); Reconstruction: The Second Civil War (2004); Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? (2008); Herskovits At The Heart Of Blackness (2010), American Denial (2015), Wounded Places: Confronting PTSD In America’s Shell-Shocked Cities (2014), and Slavery In Effect (2016).

As the first Story Editor for PBS’s American Experience (1988) Llew was central in the origination, development and acquisition of more than 70 programs for the acclaimed series. He was project director for the Emmy award-winning series Africans In America: America’s Journey Through Slavery (1997), and directed and produced the final episode Judgment Day.

For the PBS science series NOVA, Llew produced and directed Forgotten Genius (2007), the award-winning profile of African American chemist and activist Percy Julian.

His film Poisoned Water (2017), an examination of the Flint water crisis, won the AAAS Kavli International Science Journalism Award for best investigative television.

His documentary Cuba’s Cancer Hope (2020) tells why some American cancer patients defy the U.S. embargo on Cuba to seek lifesaving immunotherapy treatment in this socialist country. He is a writer/director for documentary series on Future of Work (2021) and the NOVA program Criminals vs Crime (2022), a look at the increasing role of Artificial Intelligence in our criminal legal system.

In 2021 Black Public Media named Llew one of the Top 40 Game Changers in public media over the last 40 years.

He is a director with Sam Pollard for the HBO film The Devil You Know, based on the best seller by NYT columnist Charles Blow (2023).

Annie Stopford, Ph.D.

Co-founder, BlueSpark Collaborative

Annie is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice and an independent scholar. Since moving to the U.S. from Sydney, Australia, in 2011, Annie has maintained a psychotherapy practice and continued to do psychosocial research and writing, as well as co-founding BlueSpark Collaborative with Llew Smith and working as a producer and researcher for BlueSpark film projects.

Annie’s research projects and publications over two decades have primarily explored intercultural and interracial contact zones, and in more recent years, connections between structural violence and contemporary conditions of violence and trauma in the U.S. Her work has been published in the disciplines of psychoanalysis, Critical Psychology, trauma studies, African studies, and applied violence studies. Her book Trauma and Repair: Confronting Violence and Segregation in America (Lexington, 2020) has been described by distinguished Harvard sociologist William Julius Wilson as an important contribution to literature on inequality and poverty in the U.S. and a compelling argument for including the physical and psychological suffering association with community violence in discussion about neighborhood effects.


Kelly Thomson

Kelly Thomson is an independent documentary producer/editor and long-time collaborator with Llew Smith. Her work with Llew and BlueSpark includes the Emmy-nominated and AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award-winning documentary Poisoned Water; the DuPont award-winning series Unnatural Causes, and Emmy-nominated American Denial. Other titles include Computers v. Crime, Future of Work, Cuba’s Cancer Hope and Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness. Most recently Kelly produced South to Black Power for HBO with Llew and veteran director, Sam Pollard. She is currently directing her second feature documentary, Die Before You Die. Her first documentary feature Savage Memory screened at festivals, museums and universities across the globe. Kelly is passionate about projects that bring storytelling and accessibility to complex social issues, particularly the impact of inequity. She lives in Boston with her husband, two kids and a dog.