Cole Smithey was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. He went on to study acting, filmmaking, directing, and screenwriting at San Diego State University, Hartnell College in Salinas, California, and at San Francisco City College.
Movies have played an important part in Cole's life since he saw Francis Ford Coppola's "Finian's Rainbow" at a drive-in cinema when he was five-years-old. Cole took pleasure in frequenting Richmond's late Biograph cinema on Grace Street to watch Marx Brothers' movies and such classics as "Harold And Maude," "Young Frankenstein," "Invasion Of The Body Snatchers," "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," and "Return Of The Secaucus Seven." Seeing Stanley Kubrick's "2001" at Richmond's former Capitol cinema made a special impression.
Drive-in cinemas also played a significant part in Cole's college life when he worked at the "Campus Drive-in" in San Diego where he watched films such as "An American Werewolf In London," "Time Bandits," and "A Boy And His Dog" from the drive-in's front row playground too many times to mention.
Cole visited the Cannes Film Festival in 1991 where he discovered the enormous scope of world cinema. He now returns every year to cover the world's favorite film festival.
Cole lives in Manhattan where he has worked as a professional film critic since 1997.
"There are only two kinds of movies, good or bad." - Cole Smithey