Oscar winner Sam Mendes to make ad directing debut

LONDON - The Oscar-winning film director Sam Mendes has signed with RSA Films and intends to devote himself to directing commercials for the next year.

The director of the films 'American Beauty' and 'Road to Perdition' has spent most of his career in the theatre. A former artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse, he has directed plays such as 'The Blue Room', 'Cabaret' and 'The Birthday Party' in the West End and on Broadway.

In 1999, Mendes, who this week married the actress Kate Winslet, won the best directing Oscar for 'American Beauty'. He is currently one of the film industry's most sought after directors but has no commercials directing experience.

At RSA Films, Mendes will join a high-profile client list, which includes Chris Hartwill, Chris Cunningham and the company's founder, the film director Ridley Scott, who recently directed Bartle Bogle Hegarty's latest series of commercials for Barclays Bank featuring Samuel L Jackson.

Earlier this year, Adrian Harrison quit as the managing director of RSA London, a post he held for six years. He was replaced by the executive producer Kai-Lu Hsiung. The head of production, Debbie Garvey, was simultaneously promoted to deputy managing director.

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