Alek Keshishian is an award-winning director, writer, producer, and photographer. After graduating from Harvard, Keshishian began his career directing iconic music videos for artists including Bobby Brown, Run DMC, and Chrissie Hynde.
When Keshishian was just 24, Madonna asked him to film her Blonde Ambition tour for HBO. Within a matter of days, Keshishian convinced Madonna to let him make a documentary of her entire tour both onstage and off. The groundbreaking film “Truth or Dare” became the highest grossing documentary of its time and changed the conversation about celebrity and the LGBTQ community.
Following “Truth or Dare,” Keshishian directed Warner Bros.’ “With Honors,” starring Brendan Fraser and Joe Pesci. The film was number one at the box office for the first two weeks of its release.
At age 29, Keshishian went to London for a two-week vacation and ended up staying for ten years. Turning his back on Hollywood, Keshishian focused on starting a new life in Europe, concentrating on photography and commercials. During his time in London, he created award-winning ad campaigns for numerous brands including Coca Cola, Peugeot, Volkswagen, and Max Factor.
In 2007, Keshishian returned to the US after writing, directing, and producing the indie comedy “Love and Other Disasters,” starring the late Brittany Murphy, Matthew Rhys, and Catherine Tate. The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and its London premiere as the gala screening for the BFI London Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.
While back in the US, Keshishian focused on his writing, penning scripts for Paramount, Universal, and Warner Bros. During this time, he collaborated on numerous projects with David Fincher and co-wrote Madonna’s first feature, “W.E..”
Keshishian also continued to direct ad campaigns and other projects for Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Natalie Portman, Orlando Bloom, Jean Reno, Chelsea Handler, Conan O’Brien, and Sandra Bullock. His work captured these artists in novel, surprising, and authentic ways.
In 2015, Selena Gomez told Keshishian that she had watched “Truth or Dare” seven times and asked if he would direct her video for “Hands to Myself” (which was cited by Rolling Stone as one of the “sexiest music videos of all time”).
In 2016, Selena asked him to film her Revival Tour. Keshishian had declined making any other music documentary, but he was captivated by Selena’s vulnerability and authenticity. After filming for a couple of weeks, they decided the timing wasn’t right and paused filming. Selena asked Keshishian to film her trip to Kenya in 2019 which blossomed into a much bigger journey – a documentary that would follow Selena on her road to recovery and renewal after a time of darkness in 2018.
Keshishian’s documentary, “Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me,” will open the AFI Film Festival and will be released by Apple TV+ on November 4.