Backyard Adds Director Kess Broekman-Dattner To Its U.S. Roster
Kess Broekman-Dattner
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Backyard Productions has added Australian-born director Kess Broekman-Dattner (Kess BD) to its roster for U.S. representation. With industry awards including Best Music Video at Sydney’s Independent Music Video Awards, Kess BD 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, Kess BD 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, Kess BD has turned out directorial work that 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, Kess BD worked as a director’s assistant with Exit Films in Australia, gaining valuable insight into the collaborative culture of shooting commercials. Prior to his move to America, Kess BD 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, Kess BD 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. 

Rich Schafler, EP/ head of sales at Backyard, commented, “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.”

Kess BD said, “Rich and Kevin [Allodi, Backyard CEO] 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,” continued Kess BD, “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!”


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