Sanctuary has strengthened its directorial roster with the signing of noted filmmaker, Jessica Sanders.

With a background in documentaries and character-driven, visual storytelling, Sanders made her splash in advertising with a heartwarming ode to her roots in a Sony “make.believe” short film, for which she won a Cannes Young Director Award and gained the attention of Steve Jobs, who personally handpicked her to direct the launch ad for Apple iPad. During her career, the filmmaker has earned an Oscar nomination forSing, a short doc on aspiring young vocalists, and also garnered a Sundance Special Jury Prize for After Innocence, her documentary about wrongfully convicted men cleared by DNA that serves as the basis for her upcoming feature film, Picking Cotton.

Now signed to Sanctuary, which was founded by Owner/Executive Producer Preston Lee, Sanders joins a roster of acclaimed directors that also features Lucia Aniello, Cole Webley, Natalie Rae, Scott Pickett, Laura Murphy and Mike Andrews. “Preston has a great reputation of working closely with his directors,” she says. “I appreciated the spirit and talent of his roster, and it’s also one of the few production companies I know that has a roster with gender parity.”

Sanders’s diverse, storied directing background, which also includes campaigns for Amazon, Samsung, Procter & Gamble, Honda and Toyota, will prove beneficial at Sanctuary, where she’s quickly getting to work on a three-film campaign for Land Rover out of agency Spark44’s London office. “I’ve been a huge fan of Jessica’s work for years,” says Lee. “Her stylistic approach to filmmaking, especially in the documentary space, is fresh and inspiring. She also has an enormous range as a filmmaker – crossing seamlessly between docs and narrative work. I’m literally honored to be working with her.”

Sanders will be also be directing a short film for Refinery29’s SmashBox Anthology Series, produced by Sanctuary and Sanders.

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