In Brief: Director X’s prodco heads to the U.S.

Plus, AntiSocial adds two to support its growth, while Apex and Ruckus grow their client roster internationally.

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Top row, left to right: Karena Evans, Director X, Taj Critchlow. Bottom row, left to right: Dean Rosen, Fuliane Petikyan.

Fela expands to Los Angeles

Toronto-based music video and commercial production house Fela – founded by Taj Critchlow and the Julien Christian Lutz (professionally known as Director X) – is heading to the U.S.

Best known for music videos for the likes of Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and Rihanna, the pair have also been in demand for commercial and branded content, producing work for the likes of Facebook, Toyota, Fuji, American Express and Nike. Last summer, the duo shut down Popp Rok – their previous production boutique under the Mile Inn umbrella – in order to independently launch Fela, which gave itself a mandate to elevate Black voices – its roster of directors is currently 53% BIPOC and 38% female-identifying. Some of its work since then has included Underplayed, a full-length documentary produced with Bud Light spotlighting the gender inequality among DJs.

Fuliane Petikyan will be leading the L.A. office as managing director. Karena Evans – an actress  and director known for her work behind the camera on P-Valley and the upcoming pilot for HBO Max’s reboot of Gossip Girl – has also joined the company as creative executive producer and will be represented by Fela for commercial and music video work. They join a leadership team that also includes Toronto-based COO Dean Rosen.

AntiSocial adds client and media expertise

Social agency AntiSocial has added to its team, hiring Alyssa Campbell as executive producer in Toronto and Kristain Oliveira-Barnes as director of media in Vancouver.

Focused on storytelling, user journey and brand voice in social media platforms, AntiSocial was acquired last year by digital production studio Thinkingbox to round out its client offering.

The new hires have been tasked with driving the agency’s growth on the east coast. Campbell was most recently an account supervisor at Leo Burnett Toronto, and has been tasked with helping AntiSocial grow its offerings and client base. Oliveira-Barnes, who joins from the media team at Major Tom, will work closely with head of media Alex Chan, who says her track record will be an asset as the agency looks to elevate its products and services in media.

Apex and Ruckus add three new clients

Apex PR and digital sister shop Ruckus have added three new assignments at home and abroad.

Both Apex and Ruckus will work with Re/Max Europe on an assignment geared towards driving the real estate network’s thought leadership and sector analysis efforts. The assignment is an expansion of its work with Re/Max Canada, for which the two agencies handle PR, reputation management, social content and digital marketing efforts.

Apex has also picked up work with solar product manufacturer Mitrex, handling integrated communications, stakeholder outreach and working closely with its in-house media division to support its growth goals in Ontario. It has also been named media relations AOR for Traeger Grills, promoting its brand across Canada.