- CANNES, France
"Hope,” an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) spot directed by James Rouse via Blur Films in Madrid for agency Sra Rushmore, Madrid, took the Grand Prix honor in the Cannes Film Craft Lions competition. In addition to securing the Grand Prix for Rouse’s direction, “Hope” garnered a Film Craft Gold Lion for its script, which cast light upon attacks on hospitals and health care workers in areas of armed conflict. The goal of the overall campaign is to raise awareness about these attacks that occur every day where the victims are not only healthcare personnel, but also entire civilian populations that die, are maimed, or fall fatally ill after being deprived of doctors and health centers where they otherwise would have sought care. (Rouse is handled by production house Outsider in the U.S. and U.K.)
Among other multiple Film Craft Gold Lion winners was Apple’s “Barbers”--for Direction (Dougal Wilson of Furlined) and Editing (Rick Russell of Final Cut). In the spot, a pair of barbers are having a slow day at work--that is until one barber uses his iPhone to take a portrait of a customer’s new haircut, then hangs it up in the shop window. Everyone who sees the portrait can’t help but stop and stare, and soon more and more customers flood into the shop wanting their own fantastic new look. The story unfolds in a series of haircuts and portraits that happen in quite magical ways. One hairstyle leads seamlessly to the next, creating a faster pace, with an escalating sense of fun and surprise.
Another Apple film, “Welcome Home,” scored a Film Craft Gold Lion for production design/art direction. Directed by Spike Jonze of MJZ for TBWA\Media Arts Lab, “Welcome Home” introduces us to a frazzled FKA twigs as she arrives in her tiny apartment after a trying day. The singer/songwriter asks Siri for music. As HomePod fills the room with smooth immersive sound, the whole house comes alive and becomes her dance partner, transforming her mental and emotional space. Christopher Glass was production designer on the spot, with TBWA\Media Arts Labs’ Robbin Ingvarsson serving as associate creative director/art director.
Copping Gold Lions for Visual Effects and Use of Original Music was German supermarket EDEKA’s “Christmas 2117” directed by Matthijs van Heijningen of MJZ for Jung Von Matt, Hamburg, with VFX from MPC London and music by composers Simon Heger and Christian Vorlander of 2wei Music. Sterntag Film, Hamburg, was the German production house on the job. This four-minute online film fast forwards us 100 years to 2117 when AI has taken control of society. Humans live deep down in the woods. Our abandoned cities are the new home to robots that don’t care about Christmas. That suddenly changes when one of them finds an old Christmas movie in an abandoned cinema. Fascinated by what he sees, he decides to find out what makes Christmas so special. In the woods, far away from modern technology, he finally finds what he is desperately looking for. He meets a lovely family that invites him for Christmas and shows him what this special holiday really is about: love.
Also garnering two Gold Lions was BMW/Mini’s “The Faith of a Few” which was honored in the Cinematography and Sound Design categories. Greig Fraser served as DP while Cam Ballantyne of ANORAK/Beatworms was the sound designer. Daniel Wolfe directed via ANORAK Film for agency Jung von Matt. This piece takes us back to 1964 at the start of Rallye Monte Carlo when most everyone doubted the MINI--everyone but one man, John Cooper, whose unwavering determination eventually silenced the embittered symphony of the naysayers. Comments like “sweet little tin can”, “big dreams with small chances” and “surely will be defeated” are woven together into an intricate tension-filled soundtrack promptly silenced as the MINI John Cooper Works crosses the finish line victorious against all odds.
Earning a Gold Lion for Animation was Blink Productions, London, for BBC’s “The Supporting Act.” This tug-at-the-heartstrings, toe-tapping story centers on 10-year-old Isla as she prepares for her school Christmas talent show by practicing her dance moves everywhere from her front room to between the supermarket aisles. But Isla feels that her father Raj is always just a bit too distracted with work to notice her dance. As the curtain falls for her big moment, and Isla freezes up with stage-fright, Raj steps up to the plate by supporting his daughter and encouraging her to remember the moves, showing that he was in fact paying attention all along. Elliot Dear of Blink directed for agency BBC Creative.
Winning a Gold Lion for Cinematography was DP Adam Beckman for Christie’s “The Last da Vinci,” a hidden-camera film which shows the real-life reactions of those who came to see the famed artist’s lost masterpiece on public display. Painted in divine light, each viewer is delicately framed like Leonardo’s depiction of Christ, mirroring the very artwork they are viewing. The response creates an emotional film--a story of awe, admiration, joy, reverence, sadness and beauty--as people gaze upon the last privately owned da Vinci before its public auction. Set to a track which perfectly matches the emotion and expressions of viewers, as the music stirs, so do the faces. The film never shows the painting itself. Instead, it only showcases the impact the work has on viewers, making the people in its presence the centerpiece of the film and their emotional response the voice. Nadav Kander of Chelsea Pictures directed for Droga5 NY.
CBS Sports’ “Teasing John Malkovich,” a teaser for an AFC Championship football game garnered a Gold Lion for a script penned by Rob Schulman and Billy Scafuri of CBS Sports. The promo opens with Oscar-nominated actor Malkovich reading a script to a piece he’s about to perform. He becomes so frustrated with the poorly written dialogue that he calls his agent to complain about the part. After a tense and occasionally humorous back and forth with his agent, Malkovich confronts the film’s director on stage as they’re setting up for the first shot. It’s at this point that the Malkovich and the audience are clued in to what this film is supposed to be about--it’s a “sports tease,” a short film that airs right before a big sporting event to get the audience excited for the game. The irony being that if the audience at home sees the “tease” then they’ve already decided to tune in for the game. Once Malkovich realizes that, he delivers a riveting performance as only he can.
“Disgusting Stories” sponsored by Bahay Tuluyan took a Gold Lion for Use of Licensed/Adapted Music. This is a haunting animation of actual drawings by sexually abused children. The drawings were donated by Dr. Elspeth McInnes, a sociologist from the University of South Australia, for the benefit of Bahay Tuluyan (Shelter House), an Australian foundation based in the Philippines that provides refuge and rehabilitation for victimized children. The foundation sought the support of the composers of Grammy-nominated song “Torn,” by Australian singer Natalie Imbruglia who allowed Bahay Tuluyan to use its song. “Torn” is a love song told in the context of child abuse. A father is every child’s first hero, or first love--someone perfect and someone who seems to really care until the child realizes who he really is. And the feeling is replaced with helplessness, hatred and fear. Agencies were TBWA\Greater China and TBWA\Santiago Mangada Puno.
And rounding out the Film Craft Gold Lion recipients was Go Gentle Australia’s “Stop The Horror,” honored for its casting. A six-minute film based on the true story of terminally ill patient Greg Sims, “Stop The Horror” was promoted as a “horror” film by Australian director, Justin Kurzel ("Assassin’s Creed," "Snowtown") of production house Revolver. The short documents Sims’ brutal last days before he died. It captures the unbelievable pain and unnecessary suffering he had to endure at the end of his life. The film is so distressing, it includes an age-gate and several warnings before the viewer can watch it. When the film begins, a ‘Stop The Horror’ button appears on-screen so the viewer can escape the film if it becomes too distressing. Once clicked, we revealed that Greg Sims did not have that same right--he could not escape the horror. Viewers are then presented with the contact details of their local politicians so they can express their support for a Voluntary Assisted Dying law. Agency was Cummins&Partners.
Entertainment Lions for Music
The aforementioned Apple’s “Welcome Home” was one of two pieces scoring Grand Prix honors in the Entertainment Lions for Music competition. The musical fantasy features a new song, “Til It’s Over,” from rising star Anderson Paak as the HomePod changes FKA twigs’ entire world.
Sharing the Music Grand Prix was Jay-Z’s “Smile,” which tells the personal story of the rapper’s mom.
Gold Lion Entertainment for Music winners were; Spotify’s “David Bowie Is Here”; Logic’s “1-800-273-8255” by London Alley L.A., Def Jam Recordings and Visionary Music Group; and Reporters Without Borders’ “The Uncensored Playlist” from DDB Group Germany, Berlin.
The Entertainment Lions Grand Prix went to KPN’s “Evert_45” from N=5, Amsterdam. It is about a boy who tells his story through social media, from the year 1945 A boy sharing his first-hand account of WWII with kids today, using contemporary communication platforms. What better way to let young people experience the reality of war and the value of freedom? During national liberation celebrations in the Netherlands, Evert_45 did just that, piquing interest in history. “Evert_45” is an immersive campaign played out as an ongoing series on Instagram, YouTube and evert45.com. Evert’s war story recounts his journey to find his brother in hiding after escaping a German labor camp. The narrative was carefully crafted from numerous insightful interviews with WWII eyewitnesses, historians and teachers. The initiative was developed in response to a Dutch newspaper article featuring interviews with elderly resistance fighters who pleaded to keep their stories alive when they would no longer be around to tell them.
Prominent among Entertainment Gold Lions winners was “Breaking2,” a 55-minute documentary produced by National Geographic Studios in association with Dirty Robber and in partnership with Nike. The film tells the journey of three world-class runners as they attempt to run a marathon in under two hours. Bringing humanity and personal voice to the enormity of this moonshot moment and incredible athletic pursuit, the film highlights the selection of runners, the identification of ideal marathon conditions, and the creation of a running shoe that can make it all possible--all while channeling the main characters as a source of personal inspiration. Martin Desmond Roe of Dirty Robber directed “Breaking2.”
Among other Entertainment Lion Gold recipients were Go Gentle Australia’s “Stop The Horror,” as well as Montefiore hospital’s “Corazon,” which as reported earlier won the Health & Wellness Grand Prix. Directed by John Hillcoat of Serial Pictures for NY agency JohnXHannes, “Corazon” depicts the real-life story of Elena Ramirez (portrayed by Ana de Armas whose credits include Blade Runner 2049 and Hands of Stone), a young Dominican woman living in Santo Domingo who is selling her body to provide for her family--only Ramirez’s body is failing her. She has a bad heart and has been given months to live unless she gets a new heart. After fainting, Elena meets a U.S.-based cardiologist, Dr. Mario Garcia (portrayed by Demian Bichir, an Oscar nominee for A Better Life), who is volunteering in his native hometown of Santo Domingo. Ramirez is past the point of help from conventional medicine, but Dr. Garcia gives her a fighting chance to live via a mechanical heart surgery that he and his colleagues can only perform at Montefiore in the Bronx. Ramirez sets out on a journey from Santo Domingo to New York City, facing challenges along the way, but always motivated by her conviction to live. This is a story of chance, hope, courage, friendship, love and generosity.
Brand Experience & Activation
The “Today at Apple” in-store experience scored the Grand Prix in the new Brand Experience & Activation Lion competition. Today at Apple is daily programming to help people take their creativity further. With sessions happening every day in every Apple Store around the world, people can come together to pursue the things they’re most passionate about like photography, music, and coding. All using the latest Apple products and technology. They learn by doing as they work hand-in-hand with Creative Pros (an entirely new Apple role) and renowned musicians and artists. The goal of Today at Apple is to encourage human connection, inspire learning, and unlock the creativity in us all.
Brand Experience & Activation Gold Lion winners included: Downtown Records and The Atlantic’s “Live Looper” from BBDO NY; Intel’s “Intel Drone Light Show at the Olympics”; Skittles’ “Exclusive the Rainbow” from DDB Chicago; Diesel’s “Diesel: Go With the Fake” via Publicis Italy and Publicis NY; and MGM’s “Universal Love” out of McCann NY.
The latter is a collection of reimagined wedding songs for the LGBTQ community, celebrating the enduring and overwhelming power of love and music to unite. Universal Love offers six newly recorded versions of iconic love songs that give same-sex couples a soundtrack for their own love stories and feature pronouns changed to reflect the world of LGBTQ relationships. The album includes boundary-changing songs from some of today’s most-beloved artists. Bob Dylan, one of the most influential and successful recording artists in American history, is among the visionary artists participating in this unprecedented project. Dylan re-recorded “She’s Funny That Way” as “He’s Funny That Way.” The album features five additional stellar artists whose involvement is a testament to the urgency of equality in entertainment: Kesha (“I Need a Woman to Love Me”), St. Vincent (“And Then She Kissed Me”), Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie (“And I Love Him”), Kele Okereke of Bloc Party (“My Guy”), and Valerie June (“Mad About The Girl”).
Global digital agency Isobar won the Grand Prix in the Digital Craft Lions for “Aeronaut VR,” a three-and-a-half-minute room-scale experience designed for William Patrick Corgan (Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins) and his music single, “Aeronaut.”
“Virtual reality had sparked Corgan’s curiosity when we first met with him,” said Dave Meeker, executive producer of Aeronaut and Isobar’s global director of emerging technology “The capabilities of virtual reality served as an entirely new palette of inspiration and a mechanism for Corgan to connect with his fans while attracting an entirely new audience. We saw this as an opportunity to venture into completely new territory, pushing the boundaries of music, technology and creativity and we’re honored to have been recognized for this achievement.”
The powerful content was designed as a fully immersive and participatory VR experience, and 2D video was filmed within the VR experience using Cinemachine, a new software tool from Unity, a creation engine.
The 2D video was filmed inside the 3D VR world and was imagined by San Francisco artist and filmmaker Danny Bittman using Tilt Brush and Blocks from Google, and brought to life by entertainment network Viacom and the Isobar U.S. team.
At the Mixed Reality Capture Studios, Isobar filmed the performance on a stage using 106 cameras, then used computer vision algorithms to create textured 3D surfaces of everything in view. The team then further processed the resulting holographic video to provide some consistency in the meshes over time as well as compressing it for easier transmission and viewing. The team then worked inside of the VR experience by collaborating, reviewing designs, and discussing interactions. The two experiences were created over the course of a year, beginning In November 2017 with the 2D video launch, coinciding with an event that shared a preview of the VR experience. It was also previewed at Business Insider’s Ignition 2017 Conference and at CES 2018 in the Dentsu Aegis Network Clubhouse. The world premiere of “Aeronaut VR” took place in March 2018, at SXSW’s Virtual Cinema and will be available to the public later this year.
Client Christie’s Agency Droga5 New York David Droga, creative chairman; Ted Royer, chief creative officer; Laurie Howell, Toby Treyer-Evans, creative directors; Tom McQueen, sr. copywriter; Sally-Ann Dale, chief creation officer; Jesse Brihn, Bryan Litman, co-directors of film production; Jennifer Chen, sr. producer, film; Isabella Lebovitz, producer, film; Phillip Cheng, Kelly Appleton, Annie Vlosich, Carlos Valdivia, associate producers; Mike Ladman, music supervisor; Tasha Cronin, Justin Durazzo, co-directors of interactive; Grace Wang, producer, interactive; Cliff Lewis, director of art production; George McQueen, sr. art director; Bianca Escobar, associate director, art production; Daniel Wagner, strategist; Colleen Leddy, head of communications strategy; Ben Nilsen, communications strategy director; Amy Avery, chief intelligence officer. Production Chelsea Pictures Nadav Kander, director; Adam Beckman, DP; Pat McGoldrick, exec producer; Jon Dino, producer. Editorial Cut+Run Gary Knight, editor; Natalie Kasling, assistant editor; Lauren Hertzberg, exec producer; Eytan Gutman, sr. producer; Marcia Wigley, producer. Telecine Company 3 Tom Poole, colorist; Alexandra Lubrano, exec producer. Conform Jogger Matt Dolven, Joseph Grasso, Flame; Yukio Lytle, exec producer. Music Max Richter, composer. Song: “On the Nature of Daylight” Audio Post Sonic Union David Papa, mixer.