Little Minx, a 2022 and 2024 AdAge A-List Production Company Standout, has signed Luke Gilford to its renowned stable of directors for commercial representation. A gifted multi-hyphenate artist, Gilford wrote and directed the critically acclaimed National Anthem, his debut feature film, which premiered at TIFF and SXSW in 2023. This summer, the film will close Raindance and Frameline film festivals before opening in select theaters on July 12th and nationwide on July 19th. hailed the film as "a blend of awe and grace… Gilford's work with performers and characters announces a major talent." Paste applauded the film as “effortlessly challenging all expectations… a miraculous feat,” while Vulture described Gilford as “a hot indie wunderkind, descending from the likes of Andrea Arnold and Chloé Zhao.” This past June 7th, the Critics Choice Association honored Gilford with the prestigious “Breakthrough Director” Award.

The film was inspired by Gilford’s photography monograph–also titled “National Anthem”–an intimate and moving document of America's queer rodeo subculture. Vanity Fair praised the book as being “rich with Gilford's tenderness for his subjects, while imploring us to rethink the hegemony of the American cowboy."

“When I saw the trailer for National Anthem, I felt a massive jolt of excitement,” said Little Minx Founder and President Rhea Scott. “I have always been intuitive in my director choices, and Luke was someone I needed to get to. When we first sat together, time just flew by–three hours felt like minutes. We completely synced, and I understood his sensibility, what he is capable of and how we can support him to shine in his commercial career, the way he shines in both his film and print work. There is no doubt in my mind that we will thrive together.”

“Rhea reached out to me when the trailer for my film was released. She was very moved by it and wanted to meet. It felt like an honest and authentic attraction,” said Gilford. “We’re aligned in the kind of work we want to make together, and the type of people we like to collaborate with. It was clear to me that Rhea understands what I’m doing in a deep and meaningful way. With Little Minx I plan to make work that shifts and moves culture. It’s about cultivating those projects that matter.”

Prior to National Anthem, Gilford has been recognized for his editorial and commercial work, which is characterized by a strong visual style along with a sense of intimacy and trust with his subjects. He has created campaigns for Apple, Prada, Maybelline, Valentino, Mercedes-Benz, American Eagle, Dom Perignon and Indeed, among others. His music video work includes Troye Sivan’s “Angel Baby,” Kesha’s “Raising Hell” and Blood Orange’s “Best to You.” Gilford’s fine art films and photography have been exhibited around the world; including MoMA in New York and FOAM in Amsterdam. Over the past decade, his work has often been featured in The New York Times, Vanity Fair and Vogue.

Gilford’s filmmaking and photography share a heightened connection between subject and viewer, something he credits to his natural ease and calm, which help nurture a safe space he brings to all of his sets. After his success with National Anthem, Gilford is excited to bring more of the film’s standout filmmaking craft, visionary casting and breathtaking performances to his commercials.

On making National Anthem, Gilford told Interview Magazine: “It was a primary goal of mine to craft a story that didn’t just immediately fall into cliches. So at every turn, as soon as you start to feel like you’re expecting something–an alcoholic mother, a kid in danger, or a three-way relationship–I wanted to move against what we’ve seen before. It was important to create something that wasn’t just leaning on cliches. I don’t think survival always has to be about violence or trauma. It can be about joy too, and celebration, and of course love. We all know this is a very scary time. Why do we need to see that on-screen all the time, though? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little bit of utopia–to give us hope, too?”

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