Wednesday, June 20, 2018
  • Wednesday, Jun. 22, 2016
Director Jessica Sanders Finds Sanctuary For Spots, Branded Content
Jessica Sanders
  • CULVER CITY, Calif.
  • --

Sanctuary, a Culver City-based production house founded by owner/EP Preston Lee, has added director Jessica Sanders to its roster. 

With a background in documentaries and character-driven visual storytelling, Sanders made her initial major splash in advertising with a heartwarming ode to her roots in a Sony "make.believe” short film which earned an AICP Show honor and gained her a slot in the 2010 SHOOT New Directors Showcase. The piece also garnered the attention of Steve Jobs, who personally handpicked Sanders to direct the launch ad for Apple iPad. During her career, the filmmaker has earned an Oscar nomination for Sing, a short doc she produced (directed by Freida Lee Mock) on aspiring young vocalists, and a Sundance Special Jury Prize for After Innocence, a documentary Sanders directed, produced and wrote about wrongfully convicted men cleared by DNA that serves as the basis for her upcoming feature film, Picking Cotton.

Sanders’ directorial credits also span campaigns for Amazon, Samsung, Procter & Gamble, Honda and Toyota. At Sanctuary, she’s already embarking on a three-film campaign for Land Rover out of agency Spark44’s London office. Sanders will also be directing a short film Refinery29’s SmashBox Anthology Series, produced by her and Sanctuary.

She joins a Sanctuary directorial lineup which also features Lucia Aniello, Cole Webley, Natalie Rae, Scott Pickett and Fred Savage. “Preston has a great reputation of working closely with his directors,” said Sanders. “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.”

Other notable directing endeavors for Sanders include the lauded 2010 documentary March of the Living which details the lives and legacy of the last generation of Holocaust survivors. The story follows their journey back to concentration camp sites in Poland where they share their personal experiences with teenagers from around the world. The survivors dedicate their lives as tribute to the millions who were lost and to ensure that the Holocaust never be forgotten.

In a lighter vein, Sanders directed the romantic comedy short Bunion.

Prior to joining Sanctuary, Sanders was handled by production house Bob Industries.