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Acclaimed Director of Hardhitting PSA “Happy Birthday, Twitter” is Now Represented for Commercial Work in the U.S.
Creative collective Wild Gift, co-founded last year by production veteran David Mitchell, has signed Dylan Maranda the Vancouver-based director behind the powerful PSA “Happy Birthday, Twitter” for the Canadian Centre for Child Protection via Mischief (2021 AdAge & Campaign Agency of the Year & Adweek Breakthrough Agency of the Year) and No Fixed Address. On Twitter’s 15th birthday last year, the PSA called out the platform for lax policing of child predators on its service. “Happy Birthday, Twitter” won a multitude of awards including a Cannes Lion, Clio Award and D&AD and One Show pencils, as well as YDA and Young Guns honors for Maranda as one of his first major commercials.
“Dylan has a strong voice for narrative storytelling that hit me immediately,” said David Mitchell, Wild Gift’s Managing Director. “From the powerful performances in ‘Happy Birthday, Twitter’ to the harrowing visuals driving the stories of the firefighters on the front lines in ‘Towards the Fire,’ Dylan’s work evokes empathy and attention. Those are great tools for brands who want to make an impact.”
Maranda’s emotional video tribute to firefighters “Towards the Fire” for Coors Banquet was created by nonprofit Wildland Firefighter Foundation and agency Mischief. Filmed this past summer in British Columbia, the spot features real wildland firefighters on the front lines fighting fires while also dealing with the stresses of extended fire seasons and understaffing.
“I’m inspired by storytelling that moves people,” said Maranda. “That makes them question their outlook on the world, work that makes viewers feel part of something bigger than themselves. I think Wild Gift is the right environment to make magic happen. What struck me the most about the collective is that it is a place where every project matters. Working with good people, with integrity, is extremely important to me.”
Maranda’s credits also include “A Small Weight to Forge the Sea,” one of three commissioned videos for the Vancouver Biennale that features breathtaking images of ritual in a dark sea in front of a phalanx of oil rigs. Maranda’s visual sensibility has roots in photography, which he first studied in school along with directing at the SFU School for Contemporary Arts. His photo project “Been and Gone,” featured in OD Magazine, is a road trip series about drifting away from home and is being released as a small edition photobook next year. Maranda is currently in post-production on a narrative short called Master of the House, an ode to the kitchens he grew up in with his father who is a chef.
“My hope is to merge my commercial directing experience with my narrative ambitions,” Maranda said. “Working alongside someone like David Mitchell, with his wealth of knowledge from his time working with RSA Films and its legendary filmmakers, and his experience in the commercial and content worlds struck me as an extraordinary opportunity.”
Maranda is represented in Canada by Sequoia Content. Wild Gift is his first U.S. commercial representation.