Sean Ellis - Biography

Oscar-nominated® director Sean Ellis started taking pictures when he was 11.  Trained as a still life photographer, Sean moved to London from Brighton in 1994. Applying his knowledge of the still life and using it to light fashion models, Sean became one of the new generation of fashion photographers who were most sought-after in the late nineties.

Sean has realised photographic campaigns for Davidoff, Patrick Cox, Pirelli, Landrover, Nina Ricci, Plein Sud, Christian Dior, John Galliano, Kenneth Cole and Hugo Boss to name a few. His work with magazines such as i-D, The Face, Visionaire, GQ, Arena, Arena Homme Plus, Dazed and Confused, Numero and Vogue has often pushed the darker side of fashion photography with a style that has been described as ‘cinematic’.This led to a crossover with moving film and a string of acclaimed music videos followed.

He has directed commercials for Jean Paul Gaultier, Cartier, Davidoff, Land Rover, Rimmel, 02, EA Games, Nike, H&M, Samsung, Roberto Cavalli and Hugo Boss.

Sean has collaborated with fellow director, David Lynch on a series of fashion images that were published in Harper’s Bazaar.

‘A photograph everyday for a year’ was the idea behind his first published book ‘365 – A Year in Fashion’ which includes commercial and personal work taken during 1999.

His Second published book ‘Kubrick the Dog’ (2010) is based upon portraits which he took during the life of his beautiful companion Kubrick.

Sean has written and directed three short films. LEFT TURN (2001), a dark psychological horror film. CASHBACK (2004), a visually rich black comedy which won the top award at over fifteen international film festivals, including the prestigious Chicago and Tribeca Film Festivals and was also nominated for a 2006 Academy Award®. His most recent short VOYAGE D’AFFAIRES (2008), has been shown at the Hamptons Film Festival, the Chicago Film Festival and was nominated for a 2008 British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA) award and won best film at the 2010 Fuji Short Film competition.

His first feature film was born from the short film of the same name, CASHBACK (2006), which includes the original short film within its running time. This quirky romantic comedy was picked up by French major Gaumont, who launched it at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. The film enjoyed its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival 2006 and its European and US Premieres at the San Sebastian Film Festival 2006 and AFI Fest 2006 in Los Angeles. It was released by Gaumont in France in January 2007 and around the world throughout 2007 and 2008 to much critical acclaim.

Sean’s second feature film, the psychological thriller, THE BRØKEN (2008), stars Lena Headey (300, The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and Oscar nominated actor Richard Jenkins (The Visitor, Burn After Reading) and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2008. It enjoyed its UK release on January 30th 2009.

His third feature film  METRO MANILA (2012) staring Jake Macapagal and Althea Vega, won Best Film, Best Director and Best Achievement in Production at 2013 BIFAs and also picked up The Audience Award for World Cinema at Sundance Film Festival 2013. Set in the Philippines, this is a harrowing portrayal of a family’s struggle to build a better life for themselves.