HSBC, Passing

Rupert Russell

Missing Link Films

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Rupert wrote and directed this direct-to-client campaign for HSBC. This film is one of two from the series that launched during Pride 2020. As a gay man, he was interested in exploring the idea of 'passing'. He says "It's common to think for many LGBTQ people the struggle is over and they’re free to come out of the closet. The reality is that even in the most 'tolerant' places many struggle to be themselves. They have to pass as straight or an 'acceptable' version of a queer person. The penalties can be severe for people, and often racialised too with BAME queer people paying a far higher price than white queers. I wanted to show the toll this takes on people, from the psychological to the social to the economic."

Rupert Russell is a writer and director, of both live-action and animation. His films tackle big ideas with breath-taking visuals, wondrous animation, and original reporting. He always go to the heart of the story, whether it is war zones in Ukraine and Somalia, chaos in Iraq and Venezuela, or protests in the U.S., India, Hong Kong and Tunisia. His feature debut, Freedom for the Wolf, charted the global crisis of democracy, won the Audience Award at the Slamdance Film Festival and was nominated for the Cinema for Peace ‘Most Valuable Film of the Year’ Award during Berlinale 2019. His animated series on the Trump phenomenon, How the World Went Mad, premiered at Sheffield Doc/Fest and earned him a spot on the shortlist for the Young Director Award at Cannes Lions 2019. His current project, Price Wars, is both a feature documentary film to air on Arte and a book to be published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson (Hachette). He has a Ph.D. from Harvard University in Sociology. He has directed commercials for HSBC and the U.N.