Toronto's Sequoia Content Signs Director Bram Van Riet
Director Bram Van Riet says he feels like he’s home again. The director, a native of Antwerp and now a resident of San Francisco, has joined the Toronto-based Sequoia Content for Canadian Representation. The move reunites him with Executive Producer Suzanne Allan, his former EP when he was with Imported Artists.
Van Riet is an experienced European filmmaker who’s a co-founder of the international production company Caviar, which continues to represent him in the US, UK, France and Belgium. To view his reel, click here.
“Reconnecting with Suzanne and joining Sequoia Content feels like a homecoming,” Van Riet says. “I feel absolutely at ease working with her, like it’s a family. You need a sense of comfort to do great work, and that’s what she provides.”
Van Riet was also impressed with the Sequoia Content roster of talents, and welcomed being part of the community. “If you look at their body of work, and their philosophies about the work, I believe I can make a real contribution,” he adds.
Known for his emotional films that tell sensitive, human stories in largely visual terms, Van Riet grew up in a creative environment. His father, Jan Vanriet, is a noted Belgian artist, painter and poet, and his mother, Simone Lenaerts, a novelist. Not surprisingly, Van Riet was exposed to an eclectic mix of artistic influences, and found his passion in filmmaking.
Bram Van Riet's spot for Academy Sports tells a sweet tale about sharing.
His work includes heartwarming spots for brands like Toyota, in which a young couple find their Toyota SUV easily meets the needs of their growing family. For Academy Sports, he tells the story of a young boy who asks him mom for a new baseball glove, only so he can give it to boy next door, and the two can play catch. His Bounty “Let the Spills Begin,” produced for P&G’s Olympics sponsorship, depicts budding athletes spilling all sorts of liquids around the house as they practice gymnastics, track and field and soccer right at home.
Van Riet says his interest in film was inspired by wide range of cinematic forms and styles, from early 8mm filmmaking to Italian neo-realist films of the 1960s to American experimental films of the 1970s. This background allowed him to tap into his own creative talents, and he went straight to film school at Brussel’s LUCA School of the Arts after graduating from high school, immersing himself in the production process at an early age. After working his way up the production ladder, Van Riet launched his directing career with an award-winning campaign for the Belgian Olympic Committee, and has not looked back.
In reconnecting with the Canadian ad scene, Van Riet says that as a European, he feels a kinship with Canadian values. “There’s a social awareness here, a sense of humanity, with which I’ve always felt connected,” he says. “I’ve always liked the vibe here, and feel extremely comfortable working here.”
Allan would concur. “Bram is the perfect talent for our marketing culture in Canada,” she notes. “He has a beautiful mix of visual style tempered with an emotional sensitivity that allows him to capture moments of human interaction that feel totally natural. We’re delighted to have him be a part of our world."