On The Cusp, Longlist - Commercial

Under Armour, The Guilty Ones (Director's Cut)

Dawit N.M., Nina Meredit


Believe it or not, this is the first-ever spot that I worked on; before this, my work consisted of music videos and photos, as I'm a photographer. This project came about through Nina Meredith, a fantastic director who firmly believed that working together would get us the job and make for something beautiful. When she first approached me to co-direct this project, I was hesitant as I had a not-so-good experience co-directing a while back. However, Nina pitched the idea that I mainly focus on the visuals, while she primarily focused on the agency side of things and the performance bit. From there, I was ready to go. If I'm not mistaken, we made the initial treatment in a couple of days with the fantastic help of Couscous, Floor Bijkersma, and Shane Patrick. After winning the job, production was insane. What made the production insane was that we were re-creating shots that I used for my Mereba Trilogy and reimagining it for Steph Curry's brand. The shots I referenced from the Mereba films came from my photography, and the fact that those photos would later inspire a whole global campaign for Steph Curry is insane to me.

Dawit N.M. is a Director and Photographer currently based in New York. Born in 1996 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, he later moved to Hampton Roads, Virginia, United States, with his family at the age of six. He gained a deep interest in the visual arts at a young age and became an ardent autodidact, committing himself fully to learning the art of filmmaking and later photography. His subjects have taken audiences into worlds of loss, devotion, intimacy, and innocence. In the same vein, the images question the transparency of narratives that are shaped by western influences. His work explores communities dear to him, as he takes his lens to landscape, architecture, and the people alongside his travels. This includes his first self-published photography book, Don’t Make Me Look Like The Kids On TV (2018). Dawit aims to blur the line between self and stereotype, dynamism, and stillness. His directorial debut—a visual accompaniment for American singer/songwriter Mereba debut album entitled The Jungle Is The Only Way Out (2019)—got him a nod the same year for Emerging Director at the American Black Film Festival. His first exhibition, The Eye That Follows (2020), was on view at The Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, VA which also happens to be the first museum he’s ever been to in the states.