Sam I Am has given its director roster an impressive boost with five new talents. These include writer-director, Aimée-Lee Xu Hsien Curran; designer-turned-director, Sinéad McDevitt; and directors, Anita Lee, Dominic Allen and Joris Noordenbos.
Sam I Am founder, Samantha Simpson, stated, “I’m super excited to bring together such a talented and diverse line-up of emerging directors. As we continue to expand on our directorial offering, alongside our stable of established photographers, we are selecting storytellers that each bring something unique and special to the roster. I can’t wait to introduce them to our clients and collaborators.”
Aimée-Lee Xu Hsien Curran creates work defined by rich visuals across both comedy and drama. She has directed commercials for H&M, CommBank, PayPal and Ad Standards, as well as music videos for artists, Lime Cordiale, and Aria-award nominees, Thundamentals, Hellions and Ruby Boots.
Curran’s work has screened at over twenty-five international film festivals. Her short film, Jump, won Best Short Film at the Palm Springs International ShortFest. The web series, SYD2030, which she directed, won Best International Web Series at the LA Film, TV & Webisode Festival, and was a finalist at both the Melbourne and Dublin WebFest.
Sinéad McDevitt is originally from Ireland with a background in graphic design and art direction and a collection of awards on her mantelpiece. She has directed campaigns for Rebel and AV Jennings; written and directed award-winning short film, Ballsy, and dance/VFX fusion, The Ocean; and created long-form TV series ,The Love Experiment having won second place at the MIPFormats 2019 competition in Cannes. The series is based on her short documentary, How to Fall in Love with a Stranger, putting the “36 questions” psychology experiment to the test.
She has hosted for TEDxSydney live onstage at the Opera House two years in a row and has also acted as the organisation’s Fast Ideas curator (a 30-second onstage pitching competition). She was commissioned by TED in the US to create its first-ever original short film program for the annual week-long TED event in Vancouver. In addition to short-form work, McDevitt is currently developing her first feature screenplay – a musical dramedy called Edie, whose original treatment placed in the top five for the ABC’s Girls series.
Anita Lee is inspired by telling honest and compelling stories that investigate our shared human experience and known for extracting raw, authentic performances. She has directed projects for Uniqlo, Qantas, Travelodge Hotels, CGU Insurance, Dulux, TAL Insurance, Macquarie University and SBS.
The Australian-born Chinese director is also committed to championing diversity on screen. Her debut short on loneliness and finding self-identity, Only One, screened at the Palm Springs International Shortfest, Rhode Island Film Festival, St Louis Film Festival and Miami Short Film Festival. Her second short, Here is Now, premiered at the For Film’s Sake Festival in Australia.
Dominic Allen, a director passionate about social justice, recently directed and produced virtual reality documentary, Carriberrie, a celebration of Indigenous Australian song and dance, which was widely applauded. His work with migrants also led him to partner with Sudanese rapper Bangs, which led to his directing the viral hit, Take You To The Movies (securing 20 million views). He has directed TVCs for SBS, The Australian Ballet and Save The Children.
Allen’s documentary work with Kimberly Aboriginal youth organisation, Yiriman, includes Dendy Best Australian Short film finalist, Two Men, which he wrote and directed. This earned him the 2009 MIFF Australian Emerging Filmmaker award and the Inside Film Rising Talent Prize. In 2011, he produced Tribeca award-winning feature film, Grey Matter, with Rwandan director, Kivu Ruhorahoza.
Joris Noordenbos’ work stands out for its celebrations of the beauty in the everyday, which the director achieves with a playful approach. Noordenbos has worked on campaigns around the world for IKEA (Norway), JA Hotels (Dubai), Nikon (Kenya), Ahold (USA and Kenya), Phillips (China), Maggi (Singapore), Dutch Lady Milk (Singapore & Thailand), Dr.Ci.Labo & Labolabo (Thailand), JDE Coffee (Eastern Europe, South Africa & Russia) and ABN Amro (Netherlands).
In addition to his commercial work, Noordenbos has made several short films. He also directed episodes of Spangas, a daily Dutch children’s television show centred on high school youth. He is based in Amsterdam and works regularly on projects in Asia, Europe, Australia and Russia.