Kirsten "Kiwi" Smith
After getting a degree in English and Film from Los Angeles' Occidental College in 1992, Kirsten Smith intended to enter academia. Instead, an internship at a film company turned into a full-time job as a screenwriting developer. One of the scripts to cross her desk was by Karen McCullah Lutz, a Denver-based writer struggling to break into the business. The two women became friendly over a series of phone conversations and formed a creative partnership. Their first success came with 1999's lively teen comedy "10 Things I Hate About You," a loose update of Shakespeare's "The Taming Of The Shrew" starring a pre-fame Heath Ledger, and the two women have worked together regularly ever since. Dedicated to movies with strong female protagonists no matter who her collaborator, Smith's comic hits include the 2001 Reese Witherspoon smash "Legally Blonde" and the 2008 Anna Faris vehicle "The House Bunny," written to order after the comedienne expressed interest in playing a Playboy Bunny kicked out of Hugh Hefner's mansion. In addition to her film work, Smith published poetry throughout the 1990s, culminating in her 2006 young adult novel "The Geography of Girldom," a portrait of a young girl's coming of age written in verse.