- NEW YORK
Bicoastal production company Honor Society has signed director Kristin Dehnert for U.S. commercial representation. Dehnert is an award-winning writer and director, fusing her eye for casting and instinct for comedic timing to helm irreverent, culturally-relevant comedy work for brands including Uber, Advil, Frito-Lay, Credit Karma, Wells Fargo, Michaels and ESPN. Her commercial directorial debut was a grand slam, winning the Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” contest with her spot “Check Out Girl.” The hilarious ad, which she also penned, soared to viral status, earning widespread media coverage and landing on The Ellen Show as one of Ellen’s top comedy spots from the big game. Her narrative short films have screened at over 60 film festivals across the globe, winning top awards including the BAFTA Award of Excellence at SXSW.
With Dehnert joining Honor Society, the roster is now made up of 42% female directors, with managing director/executive producer Megan Kelly taking a deliberate approach towards diversity and inclusion within the company, even before signing on with the launch of Free the Bid in 2016.
“Kristin not only has a natural ability for comedic storytelling, but her experience as a writer truly allows her to create in the moment and take creative concepts to the next level,” noted Kelly who hopes to develop opportunities for her in short and long-form content.
Dehnert said of Kelly, “She truly champions and supports all of her filmmakers and brings a nuanced understanding to the importance of cross-pollination between entertainment and advertising to create work that truly engages audiences.”
L.A.-based Dehnert began her filmmaking career as a location scout and manager for feature films, embracing the experience as an opportunity to work alongside top directorial talent including Nora Ephron, Robert Zemeckis and Nicholas Stoller. Dehnert made her directorial debut with Underground, a suspense thriller short she also co-wrote and co-produced. The film, which addresses themes of gender, race and fear, gained international notoriety and enjoyed a successful global festival run before getting picked up by IFC for domestic television distribution. Her background in writing and natural inclination towards improvisation shifted her focus into the comedy realm, with her short film Michael Peterson premiering at the Palm Springs International ShortFest and going on to win numerous awards and accolades. After making a splash in adland with her Doritos Super Bowl spot, she began rapidly building her comedy commercial reel as well as carving out a niche as a sought-after director of celebrity talent working with Mindy Kaling, Busy Philipps and Sophia Bush, among others. Dehnert’s standout debut work both in commercials and narrative shorts also attracted the attention of Disney, which commissioned her to pen a comedic short. Prior to Honor Society, she was signed with Spears and Arrows. In addition to her commercial work, Chicago-born Dehnert continues to write and direct her own projects and is currently in development on her first feature comedy script.