Jones, Kaufman Win Grand Prix; “Posts Into Letters” Scores People’s Choice Honor At ADCAN Awards
ADCAN Awards ceremony at The Mill L.A. on Thursday, Oct. 18
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The ADCAN Awards--a celebration of creativity as a force for good--recognized the stellar work of emerging filmmakers and animators who were tasked with creating a 30 or 60-second original film working from a brief for the competition’s charity partners. Winners were unveiled and honored last week (10/18) at a ceremony hosted by ADCAN partner, The Mill in L.A.

Earning this year’s Grand Prix were Peter Jones and Ben Kaufman for their work for Young Health Movement. As Grand Prix winners, the two fillmmakers were awarded a commission to complete a short for Airbnb’s "Open Homes" program which offers free, temporary housing to people who’ve left their home due to conflict, disasters, or medical care.

Meanwhile taking the People’s Choice prize was Change the Ref’s “Posts Into Letters” from director Chris Neal and EP Thom Fennessey of Great Guns for FCB Health Network’s Area 23. The initiative transforms social media posts into handwritten letters to petition members of Congress to introduce stricter gun control laws. “Posts Into Letters” was developed in reaction to the outpouring of social media posts in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The font was developed using the handwriting of Joaquin Oliver, one of 15 students killed during February’s mass shooting. His handwriting is donated by his parents, Manuel and Patricia Oliver, who are co-founders of non-profit organization Change The Ref. The anthem film for the initiative features Parkland students and family members of the victims, who explain the importance behind the initiative. In a candid interview, Manuel Oliver shares his ambition for “Posts Into Letters” to give voice to Joaquin, and to create a movement that Congress can’t ignore. Fittingly, the film features music written and performed by the Parkland Drama Club in memory of the friends they lost.

ADCAN provides emerging creative talent with access to industry leaders, charities with work created to promote their cause, and the creative industry an opportunity to discover new talent. This year’s ADCAN briefs focused on the “Hope of Youth.” The youth themed charity partners included: March For Our Lives in support of stricter gun control rules; Ashoka, helping society develop the next generation of changemakers; Springster, a mobile platform aimed at digitally connecting marginalized and vulnerable young girls around the world; United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the United States fighting for the dignity and protection of all undocumented immigrants across the nation; and the Young Health Movement, working to make known the impact of social media on the mental wellbeing of young people. 

For the first time ADCAN also included an Open brief as part of their collection of briefs. This was an opportunity for creatives at any stage in their career to submit work in any medium addressing the issue of Gun Safety. This category was judged by March For Our Lives. 

ADCAN gives winners the opportunity to participate in industry led educational workshops hosted by stalwarts of the creative community in both Los Angeles and London including Anonymous Content, PRETTYBIRD, Exile and Arcade Edit, Hey Wonderful, Psyop, Park Pictures, Nexus Studios, Rattling Stick, Partizan and Vice.

Eleven pieces of work were shortlisted from entrants around the world including the U.K., U.S. and Australia. This year’s winning films are:
Winning Filmmakers:
Ashoka: "Think Big" by Laura Elise Ellis and Hannah Berry George.
Springster: "Growing up Springster" by Vicky Klaynman and Kasey McLaughlin.
United We Dream (joint winners): "El Sueno" by Emilio Gamal Boutros and Jack Cain--and "Time To Tell The Truth" by Meigan Brown and Tobias Owen.
Young Health Movement: "This Is Social Media" by Peter Jones and Ben Kaufman.
Special mention for United We Dream: Crayona by Aishwarya Sadasivan.
Runners up for Young Health Movement: IRL by JUICY AKA Jocelyn Anquetil and Lucy Hawes.

Open Brief Winners:
"Posts Into Letters" by Area 23 (n FCB Health Network agency) and Great Guns director Chris Neal and EP Thom Fennessey.
Open Brief Shortlist
Runner Up: "Drop Your Guns" by Michael Harris & Neil Walshe, M&C Saatchi Australia. 
Special Mention: "America’s Gunniest Home Videos" by Alan Jones & Angelo An, M&C Saatchi London.
Special Mention: "Revolution" by Artist Ø & Sam Hunter. 

Grand Prix Winners:
Peter Jones and Ben Kaufman claimed this year’s Grand Prix for their work on behalf of the Young Health Movement. As a result they won a prize, furnished by AirBnB, in the form of a commissioned project for Airbnb’s “Open Homes” initiative which offers free, temporary housing to people who’ve left their home due to conflict, disasters, or medical care.
All shortlisted filmmakers become part of the ADCAN Alumni and will benefit from ADCAN’s ongoing support and advice, as they continue and progress in their careers. 


Client Change the Ref Agency Area 23--An FCB Health Company Tim Hawkey, managing director, executive creative director; Bernardo Romero, group creative director/SVP; Andy Gerchak, creative director, VP; Fabio Ozorio,  Guillermo Aracena, associate creative directors; Clay MacGuire, sr. copywriter; Natasha Winter-Best, art director; Elan Schoonmaker, producer; Ronnie Caltabiano, associate creative director/VP; Bill Hanff, director of technology. Global Creative Partner FCB Global Fred Levron Production Great Guns Chris Neal, director; Chris Weatherly, DP; Laura Gregory, Thom Fennessey, exec producer.


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