Cole Smith is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and served as an Air Force officer from 2012 to 2017. During that time, he worked as a nuclear missile operator — working nearly 300 shifts in underground silos where he oversaw the targeting, maintenance, and security of up to 50 nuclear weapons. Cole’s essays on nuclear missile operations have been published in the Guardian. He has appeared on the BBC to discuss the state of the US nuclear missile force.

Cole is the recipient of the 2021 Sloan Screenplay award for his feature script Damascus, which tells the true story of a 1980 Titan Nuclear Missile explosion. He is also an award winning director. His latest animated short film, Bird Poop Fish, stars Kathleen Turner and is a 2022 CUFF select.

He works closely with Arts in the Armed Forces, a non-profit founded by Actor Adam Driver that brings world class storytelling to military audiences. Currently, Cole is developing his first feature, a western thriller called The Burial of Lefty Calloway.


Based on a true story - A young Air Force Airman must respond quickly to an accident at a nuclear missile site in order to avoid catastrophic damage to the country and save the lives of his closest friends.
- Genre: Thriller/Drama
- Recipient of the 2021 Sloan Screenplay Award                     

The Burial of Lefty Calloway                  
Lefty Calloway, a cowboy in northeast New Mexico, is captured and buried alive by a mysterious woman. If he is to escape his early grave, he must re-live the events of his past in an attempt to right his wrongs.
- Genre: Thriller/Western


Mutually Assured Destruction                  
In the wake of a sexual assault scandal, Chelsea, an Air Force fighter pilot, attempts to rebuild her life and career in a new job as a nuclear missile operator. But as she settles into her new community in Wyoming, Chelsea learns that most of her coworkers are barely in control of their own personal lives despite being charged with the control of the most deadly weapons ever created.
- Genre: Hour Drama/Comedy
- 2022 CUFF Faculty Selects
- Semifinalist, Humanitas — The David and Lynn Angell College Comedy Award

Sunday Money                  
After ending her marriage to a top ranked NASCAR driver, Melissa must rebuild her career as a driver manager with a reckless newcomer.
- Genre: Hour Drama
- 2021 CUFF Faculty Selects