- LOS ANGELES
Humble, the bicoastal integrated production studio founded by Eric Berkowitz, has added James Rath to its directorial roster. This marks the first commercial representation for Rath who’s an educator, activist, YouTube star and filmmaker born with ocular albinism and nystagmus, conditions that left him legally blind. He uses film and creativity to shed light on the difficulties that face those with disabilities and brings his zest for storytelling and motivational approach to the Humble team.
Rath’s initial project with Humble, and first work in the branded content/commercialmaking world, is a project for Tommy Hilfiger’s Tommy Adaptive clothing line with agency Possible. The campaign is based on the notion that clothing is personal and the right outfit gives us the confidence to do what we love. Rath helmed a motivational commercial that showcases authentic stories that rarely get told. Rath related to the cast, bringing a new level of comfort to the group and forming a special connection that really shows in the final film, which introduces the new fall line of accessible clothes. The Tommy Adaptive fall campaign launched this month.
Rath is best known for his feature How Apple Saved My Life, which highlights Apple’s accessibility features. This short film was noticed by Apple’s accessibility team and led to that company’s chief exec Tim Cook inviting Rath to interview him and help improve Apple products for those with visual impairments. Since then, Rath has continued to shine a light on those with disabilities, being careful in his scripts, storylines and casting to show what the world of accessibility looks like and where it needs improvement.
“Joining the Humble team allows me to bring my creative platform for accessibility and change to the branded content space. Humble is a place that clearly cares about its directors, and I’m excited to join the team and find my stride,” said Rath. “In our first project together, Humble connected me with a brand that shares my values and let me tell their story in a way that’s authentic to my voice and vision, which was a dream come true and resulted in a really special spot for the Tommy Adaptive line.”
Rich Pring, Humble’s managing director, said, “James has an unparalleled understanding of the human spirit that shows in every project he works on across short films, web series and now branded content, which makes him a great addition to the Humble team. The Tommy Adaptive spot is a great way for the advertising industry to meet James, his style and what he stands for, and we can’t wait to watch him continue to spread his wings as a Humble director.”
Rath is also developing a television show called Blind Abroad, which aims to raise awareness for accessibility on a global level. Rath travels to other countries to meet others with disabilities, capture their stories and shed light on positive and negative aspects of accessible technology. He also has an educational YouTube channel where he discusses accessibility and some of the struggles he faces daily.