Backyard welcomes Kess Broekman-Dattner to US roster
The Australian award-winning writer and director’s work focuses on women-centric stories which aim to change the narrative
Backyard Productions announces the arrival of Australian born director Kess Broekman-Dattner (Kess BD) for US representation.
With industry awards up his sleeve, including Best Music Video at Sydney’s Independent Music Video Awards, Broekman-Dattner has enjoyed success in directing for musicians and brands alike, collaborating with global agencies like Clemenger, Saatchi+Saatchi and Ogilvy.
After honing his craft at film school, followed by a BA in Advertising, Broekman-Dattner made a name for himself directing narrative-based music videos and regional commercials. Raised in an art and business savvy, women-forward family by mother Fabian Dattner, an inspiring leader, ethics commentator, and women's leadership activist, Broekman-Dattner's directorial work is deeply rooted in women-centric stories. As a result, his output shows a compassionate, supportive, visually striking voice that can be seen in his heartfelt pieces for JCPenney, Homeward Bound, CDPHP and BetterHelp.
Soon after graduating, Broekman-Dattner worked as a director’s assistant with Exit Films, gaining valuable insight into the collaborative culture of shooting commercials. Prior to his move to America, Broekman-Dattner worked as a live action director with Oh Yeah Wow, a Melbourne production company home to top-ranking animators and VFX artists. There he created his award-winning fashion film for Sködia and the music video Through the Roof for Hermitude, which was nominated for Best Music Video at the Aria’s (The Australian Recording Industry Association Music Awards) in 2015.
Looking to the year ahead, Broekman-Dattner is currently wrapping a commercial for the hit broadway stage show, Hamilton, written in partnership with creative agency RPM. Outside of the commercial world, the filmmaker is also working on a long form project about the first alliance of all-women commercial airline pilots. Set in the 1970s, the story is close to the director's heart as the son of a hobbyist pilot father and world-changing mother. Broekman-Dattner is looking forward to teaming up with the Backyard team to research, plan and bring his trademark emotive treatments to life and taking on the biggest and most rewarding work yet.
Speaking on the new hire, Rich Schafler, EP/ head of sales at Backyard, comments: “As our roster expands we are always seeking innovative, free spirited and super collaborative creative artists. As a result of writing and designing amazing treatments, Kess’ work is powerful and has a unique visual style and feel to it. He is also very passionate about supporting the voices of women and ensuring diversity on and off set, something near and dear to us at Backyard.
We pride ourselves on being a company where all our artists support and challenge one another to become better artists, including referring to other artists, which is how we came to know Kess. I feel we are unique in having such a tight knit group and familial culture, particularly in a business where the competition is so brutally competitive. We’re lucky to have discovered a talent like Kess and are delighted to have him joining our amazing roster.”
Broekman-Dattner, director at Backyard comments: “Rich and Kevin came across as seasoned, no nonsense straight shooters, which in this business can be a rare quality. They immediately hit the nail on the head with how they saw us collaborating and how they could assist in ways that were curious, clear, unfiltered and savvy.
They also rep several good director friends of mine and we have a director’s support chat where we share work and rough cuts, insights into process, references, news and generally act as one another’s cheer squad. Ultimately the idea of being part of the Backyard family felt too good to pass up!”