Finnish Artists Find a US Home with Leading Creative Collective Based in LA
Los Angeles, February 21, 2023— Creative collective Wild Gift, home to some of advertising and entertainment’s most exciting storytellers, is pleased to announce Finnish directing sensations Pete Riski and Misko Iho (“Misko”) have joined the company for US representation in commercials. Both have a deep catalog of award-winning work, including breakaway hits like Riski’s celebrated Cannes Lion-winning Wrigley’s “Sarah & Juan,” a story of young love which received over 70 million views; and Misko’s Lidl “The Cell,” a beautifully crafted branded short about human kindness rising up against the odds. Both directors have won Director of the Year and the Grand Prix at the Finnish Commercial Film Awards.
Riski and Misko bring a “Finnish sensibility” to Wild Gift, one that’s rooted in a deep love of cinema, a filmmaking approach in which less is often more, and a sensitivity toward subject matter and talent which yields memorable, emotional performances. The two directors met in Helsinki where they worked at the same production company. Later, both were repped by Rattling Stick who still represent them for commercials in the UK. They realized the benefits of bouncing ideas around when considering new projects and sought out a US company that was a good fit for both.
“The Finns are joining NATO, and Wild Gift,” quipped Wild Gift Founder David Mitchell. “Seriously, this is a huge signing for us. Pete and Misko are two major-weights in the film and advertising world. So many companies wanted to sign them. And rightly so, they are incredibly talented directors. From our first calls, we all hit it off immediately. And fortunately, they decided to join Wild Gift. They are indeed gifted, have a wonderful sense of humor and know how to make the right choices in the images they shoot, the jobs they take on, and the business decisions they make. As they say in their homeland, Rohkea rokan syö! Or in plain English, the brave eats the soup. We couldn’t be more excited to have them as part of our family.”
“Joining Wild Gift for me is about the love of filmmaking,” Riski said, “and that extends to all mediums. It’s something I sensed that David and Tomer DeVito [Wild Gift’s collaborating Executive Producer] had the same passion about. I also think it’s important to team up with people who share a similar worldview because it benefits the creative process and what we hope to achieve. The end result is work with a warmth and humanity that really stands out. I want to make films you don’t just see, you feel them.”
Misko said: “I value the relationships with the people I work with, and since our first meeting felt a strong kinship with Wild Gift’s David Mitchell whose extensive experience affords me the opportunity to keep learning from the best. I see Wild Gift as an excellent opportunity to be part of building something new with a great crew.”
Riski’s work has been honored by prestigious award shows and festivals around the world including Cannes Lions, AICP, the Webbys, the Effies, Epica, Kinsale Sharks, New York Festivals and many others. His latest work includes two 2022 films, Broken Ones, a teaser promoting award-winning Finnish author Tommi Laiho’s recent crime novel, and UNICEF “Gifts of Tomorrow,” a dramatic spot about the devastating consequences of war. Both received rave reviews among industry tastemakers such as shots and David Reviews.
Honored by Finland’s premier music video festival at the precocious age of 25 with its Lifetime Achievement Award, Riski cut his teeth on music videos, which he credits for schooling him on how to tell big stories in a minimalistic way and for understanding the key role music plays in emotional storytelling. Riski also is an accomplished long-form director, having directed a feature horror film and several TV series. The latest is the well-received Scandi thriller Bullets (2018), produced by the team behind The Bridge, The Killing and the Millennium trilogy of films.
Misko strives to "create little pieces of cinema" and loves working on extraordinary stories regardless of the genre. Even though he is at home with robots and creatures, he values memorable stories the most and strives to ground his films with human emotions. He also enjoys the collaborative nature of filmmaking and is constantly bouncing fresh ideas with his team to get the best out of every script. His commercial hits include Flonase "Petrified Petals," featuring a grotesque Mothra-like allergen Kaiju invading a city, and Daloc "The Robot," a spot for a security door company starring an intimate moment between two young boys envisioning a richly imagined and animated 3D mechanoid super-hero.
Misko explained, "I love telling fantastic stories that open windows into other worlds or extraordinary situations, pulling us away from the mundane and allowing us to experience events we couldn't otherwise."
From Helsinki and based in LA, Misko has roots as a graffiti artist, a premier visual effects artist and a music video director, early in his career picking up Music Video of the Year for artist Chisu at the Finnish Grammy Awards, the Emmas. He wrote and directed the award-winning short film The Patient, a thoughtfully paced dramatic story which stands out for its performance, cinematography and musical score. Misko was also a competitive skydiver, winning the Finnish championship and Euro championship in the formation skydiving category, which features dozens of people perfectly choreographed in one formation while being filmed by a skydiving photographer. “That’s the parallel between skydiving and directing,” Misko added. “The collaborative nature of working with a lot of people to achieve the same thing.”