- LOS ANGELES
Global production studio UNIT9 has added filmmaker and screenwriter Maya Albanese to its roster of creative storytellers. UNIT9 will represent the director for commercials and branded content in the U.S. and U.K. She had been directing freelance for the past year prior to joining UNIT9. Earlier she was with production house brother for representation in the ad arena.
Albanese brings global expertise in filmmaking, branded entertainment and screenwriting to UNIT9. As a trilingual director, she has crafted work in English, Spanish and French, for brands including Disney, Warner Brothers, Chevrolet, L’Oreal, IBM, VISA, Google and more. Albanese is fresh off directing a series of magical realism spots for BIC and comedy spots for VISA, all of which combine her expertise in directing celebrity talent, visual effects and animation.
Earlier this year, she finished a dark surrealist comedy, Freeze, which she wrote and directed about women’s fertility. It stars Chris Parnell, Adrien Grenier, Mindy Sterling, Nora Zehetner, Rick Overton, Kel Mitchell and Queen Jazzmun. Freeze is an official selection of the Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase at the 73rd Cannes Film Festival and is slated to screen at festivals worldwide in 2020-2021.
Albanese made one of her first major marks in the industry when in 2018 she became one of six directors chosen by the Association of Independent Commercial Producers and the Directors Guild of America for the competitive Commercial Directors Diversity Program (CDDP) fellowship. In making the final CDDP cut, Albanese earned some funding for a spec commercial, which turned out to be “History” for Georgia-Pacific. In “History,” director Albanese introduces us to a gay couple, a high school student with Down syndrome, and an immigrant to the U.S. who each receive a letter in the mail bringing life-changing news. The couple reads that its adoption of a child has been approved. The student is notified that she has been accepted to Syracuse University. And the immigrant is informed that he has been granted permanent residency status in the U.S. A supered tagline reads, “History is written on paper. Which is why paper will never be history.”
“History” went on to be honored in SHOOT’s Best of “The Best Work You May Never See” gallery in 2018, named the second best piece of work in that year’s rundown.
UNIT9 executive producer Emily Malito said of Albanese, “I knew that we needed to sign her from the moment I saw her work while she was a DGA fellow. Maya brings a unique perspective to the table and a way of telling stories that captivates audiences.”
Albanese shared, “Telling moving stories that create more inclusivity in front of and behind the camera, whether that’s women, minorities or people with disabilities, is what drives me. I believe we need to continue pushing for this now more than ever. I’m really looking forward to working with the UNIT9 team to make bold, new stories come to life onscreen. Together, I believe we can make sure that all kinds of people get to see themselves reflected in media and advertising.”