Strike Anywhere, the LA and San Francisco-based production company known for its focus on storytelling, adds the talented Katya Bankowsky to their burgeoning roster of directors. Bankowsky is a former agency executive producer and director with a reputation for creating grounded, vivid and stylized work. Working alongside industry creative leaders as an EP led to her directing campaigns in-house for global agencies like mcgarrybowen. Her signing is a strategic move for Strike Anywhere, as it continues to work in traditional and non-traditional media with a formal directorial roster.
Katya Bankowsky is a California native who became a New Yorker upon graduating from Yale. After college, she took a production job in advertising, which served as her film school and where she learned the art of the 30-second movie. Bankowsky soon went freelance and began shooting her feature documentary Shadow Boxers, which chronicles the emergence of women in boxing and the stellar rise of the first undefeated world champion Lucia Rijker. Bankowsky directed, edited and produced the film and also boxed in the first NYC Golden Gloves to allow female competitors. Shadow Boxers premiered at the Toronto and Berlin International Film Festivals, picking up awards across the festival circuit before obtaining worldwide distribution.
Bankowsky’s non-documentary work includes award-winning TV commercials, branded entertainment, and digital campaigns for clients including Reebok, NFL, WNBA, Verizon, the US Olympic Committee, Chase, and Brazilian Brahma beer. She has worked with Maya Angelou, 50 Cent, Jay-Z, and numerous top-tier athletes. Bankowsky recently directed a piece for The New York Times on French fashion icon Michele Lamy, which kicked off a web series she writes, directs and co-stars in alongside Lamy.
Bankowsky’s directorial style is visual, musically driven and equally hard and soft. She has a way of finding the beauty in the rough corners and the fierceness in the sublime while avoiding clichés. Her understanding of how to communicate a brand message can be attributed to her years as an in-house EP/Director at Amster Yard and mcgarrybowen. This point of view can be seen in the campaign she directed for the NFL this past summer, a series called The Handoff, which is the league’s largest social media campaign to date.
On joining Strike Anywhere, Bankowsky says she is happy to add her creative point of view to their roster. “I want to help Strike Anywhere dig into a broader range of projects outside of traditional content. Tapping back into my agency experience, we can offer so much to both clients and agencies by extending that collaborative thinking. We all know the ad-world model is being transformed and we all want to figure out what interesting opportunities can come from the changes in the industry.”
Bankowsky said there was an instant connection with EP Cori Cooperider. “I felt her laid back positive energy and enthusiasm immediately. I liked that Cori was also interested in the quirky web series I’m doing with Michele Lamy in addition to my commercial work. This showed me Cori is someone who sees that the future of advertising is the intersection of art and commerce, something that continues to evolve every year. Strike Anywhere feels like a perfect fit for me because they are actively working all angles and aren’t locked into traditional expectations.”
The signing of Bankowsky underlines impressive growth in 2017 for Strike Anywhere, which is bolstered by a fierce triad of sales teams comprised of Devine Reps for the west coast, KK & Joanna in the midwest and Mr. Bartlett for the east coast territory.
Strike Anywhere also furthered their reach in international markets and entertainment, filming recently in Canada, Dubai, China, Thailand, Japan, Germany, and South America as well as completing feature films with distribution from 20th Century Fox and Netflix.