Award-winning Welsh director and filmmaker Benjamin Reed has signed with Los York Films, the film discipline of the pioneering creative studio Los York, for exclusive spot representation in the U.S., his first foray stateside for commercial work. Based in London, Reed has directed a raft of music videos (from 2007-2016) and European commercials for brands such as T-Mobile, Pizza Hut, Moonpig and others.
“Ben is a real find, he fills a need at Los York for a director whose visual and has brilliant comedy chops,” said Seth Epstein, Los York Founder/ECD. “A lot of companies wanted him. Los York got lucky. Well, actually we offered to show him Griffith Observatory and he said “You can’t argue with that!” Seriously, Ben is seriously funny, but also technically gifted. He integrates special effects, design and transitions. Bottom line, he’s super talented, a great person to work with and just a wonderful human being.”
“Los York is doing something different and something new,” said Reed. “I like the company’s cross pollination of departments and the blending of production, post and creative. It seems like a fresh way to make great work. I’m looking forward to having some big laughs and making some proper American spots with them. The U.S. is where it’s at for comedy ads (sorry Canada, you know you’re funny too), and I’m looking for some great opportunities to bring my sensibilities to the screen, or at least give some of you guys a chance to try out your British accents on an eager listener. ”
Besides spots and videos, Reed directed the celebrated documentary Portrait of Kaye (UK/Finland, 2021), which premiered at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2021 winning a Special Jury Award. Starring a septuagenarian widower with agoraphobia, the film captures Kaye shut-in her small apartment expressing latent desires for her downstairs neighbour, causing her to reevaluate her relationship to sex, freedom and the outside world. Sight and Sound likened the film to the Maysles brothers classic Grey Gardens and hailed Kaye’s “vibrant personality – matched by her home’s idiosyncratic decor – and giggle-filled anecdotes make her company an utter delight, while director Ben Reed acts as a trustworthy off-screen confidant.” Portrait of Kay was also nominated for a BAFTA Cymru and is now available to stream in the US and Canada on The Criterion Channel and in South Korea via EBS.
“I’m really keen to dip my toe into the U.S. and Canadian comedy scene, which is so much more daring and consistent than anywhere else,” said Reed. “I like the real human stuff, funny people saying funny things. I enjoy looking for things, incidents, interactions, actions or gestures that are funny. People are full of humour and talent, and I think any humour in my work is a byproduct of an interest in the brilliance and uniqueness of others. Though I do also have a line of bread-themed jokes. My latest: what do French bakers wear under their uniform? Boulingerie.”
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