Hey Wonderful signs Ada Bligaard Søby for commercials
A versatile filmmaker and artist, Søby directs commercials, narrative films and documentaries, and is an accomplished photographer.
Her work stands apart for its authentic performances, film craft and cinematic visuals. She has directed standout spots for Scandinavian brands such as Telenor, Arbejdernes Landsbank and mental health foundation Psykiatri Fonden. Her extensive photography portfolio includes the photo book The Best Is Yet To Come; it features portraits of Kate Moss and the Danish queen and is described as “painfully beautiful” with “oceanic depths that make everything else look like puddles” by Erik Kessels, a founder of legendary Dutch advertising agency KesselsKramer.
Søby’s most recent project is a puppet comedy short film called My Baguette / Your Baguette, a satire about sexism in the advertising industry shot during lock-down. It’s voiced by Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead), Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds) and Andre Royo (The Wire), and slated for release later this year.
“What struck us about Ada’s work is that it’s always impactful, she tells meaningful narrative stories,” Di Girolamo said. “She has a great eye and aesthetic. We love that she’s so accomplished in the advertising world and also comes from the art world as a photographer. She’s the embodiment of a contemporary filmmaker and artist, a storyteller who can touch today’s astute audience and culture on a wide range of subjects.”
“Hey Wonderful stumbled upon my work and found me,” Søby said. “I had been looking for the right home to be represented in the states. Hey Wonderful felt real and respectful. They are all-in kind of folks. I’m also all-in. I’m hoping for some scripts with a bit of realism and also humor. Anything which can digest this new world we live in.”
“I was immediately drawn in by the unique perspective of Ada’s work, she makes room for the viewer to truly connect with her characters, in both challenging and playful narratives,” said Sarah McMurray, Hey Wonderful Partner and Executive Producer. “But I’m most drawn to Ada’s intrinsic nature as a creator and storyteller. Applying that kind of drive and passion to branded and commercial work leads to real magic and I’m tremendously excited to see what Ada will achieve with a team behind her in the states.”
“I’m genuinely interested in people, so that helps my job,” Søby added. “Making commercials should be enjoyable. I’m ready to rumble for my clients. I like to collaborate with the world and let the talent show their talent. I always do my best to make them shine.”
Søby’s work defies typecasting and gravitates toward campaigns that are topical and thought-provoking, anything from comedy to cause-related work. She didn’t take the traditional route to directing, attending film or advertising school, instead getting her education living in different cities, traveling and meeting all sorts of people. Stops along the way have been in New York, where she landed a job when she was in her 20s assisting famed photographer Terry Richardson, then rode cross country on motorcycles with her camera and her boyfriend; in London, both in her free-spirited, squat-hopping youth on up to pre-pandemic; and in rural Canada where she once lived in a town of 3,000 people and went to rodeos every weekend for a year. After an introduction by Martin De Thurah in 2014, she holds the distinction of being the first female filmmaker signed to production company Bacon in her hometown of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Although Søby is self-taught, art was a steady part of her diet growing up. Her mom was an art historian so they lived along with her colleagues north of Copenhagen in the castle housing the Danish National Portrait Gallery. “I think the best education anyone can have is to hang out with cool people,” she said. “I don’t mean people who look cool, but people who do things. People who have their hands in the dirt and make stuff every day.”
Søby’s additional credits include the award-winning documentary The Naked of Saint Petersburg and highly praised Petey and Ginger.