Sandy Hook Promise “Back-To-School Essentials”

Henry-Alex Rubin

Henry-Alex Rubin is a renowned filmmaker and commercial director known for his strong command of craft and ability to find story and truth in all he does. Upon graduating from Columbia University’s film program, Rubin dove into directing with his feature debut Murderball, a highly visual documentary about quadriplegics who play rugby in mad-max style wheelchairs. Murderball was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Henry’s foray into commercial directing came with the celebrated Crispin Porter + Bogusky spot, “Whopper Freakout,” for Burger King; the spot would go on to win 3 Gold Lions at Cannes and the coveted “Advertising Excellence Award” at the AICP Show. Since then, Rubin has become one of the most awarded commercial directors in the world, with over 40 Cannes Lions to his name for brands like Adidas, Sony, Amex, AT&T, McDonald’s, Volvo, Samsung, Jaguar, Guinness, Gatorade. 

In 2013, Rubin released his first narrative feature, Disconnect, starring Alexander Skarsgård and Jason Bateman. The film received a six-minute standing ovation at it’s premiere at the Venice Film Festival. Recent groundbreaking spots by Rubin include his black and white spot with real people for TBWA\CHIAT\DAY and Gatorade celebrating the legacy of former Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter which received worldwide acclaim and an Emmy nomination for best commercial. His PSA, “Evan” with BBDO NY and Sandy Hook Promise was a short film about gun violence in schools which received over 100 million views and netted a Cannes Gold Lion in 2017.

Rubin’s latest installment for Sandy Hook “Back to School Essentials,” is the most haunting and perhaps most powerful piece yet for a sadly increasingly necessary cause. The follow-up which darkly examines school shootings as the “new normal,” was trending on Twitter within one day of its release and listed as SHOOT Magazine’s top spot of the week.  The short took home five Gold Pencils in this year’s One Show, two D&AD Yellow Pencils, and won Clio & Brand Storytelling’s inaugural Storytelling for Good Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the first advertising award to be presented at a major international film festival. The film also won Best Concept and Best Public Service Announcement at this year’s AICP Awards.

Henry-Alex Rubin’s film Semper Fi, starring Jai Courtney, Leighton Meester, Nat Wolff, and Finn Wittrock, was released by Lionsgate on October 4.