Another year and another Cannes festival has come and gone and I really missed being part of it this year. This new and peculiar yearning for the gutter bar and all things Lion surprised me and made me question exactly what it was that I missed so much. Did I miss the excitement of the shortlist, the expectations and the disappointments accompanied by the renewed vigour for entering next year’s awards? Actually no I didn’t. It’s the opportunity I lost, the opportunity to learn. Cannes is a splendid place and the experience is truly unique, but the real landscape that captivates me is the cerebral one. Where else can you experience first-hand what the best minds in our industry are creating, how they are creating it and what medium is the new ‘it’.
but the real landscape that captivates me is the cerebral one.
The excitement of learning something new with the intention of putting that something into practice the moment you touch down has always been the defining achievement. I think you learn far more from attending a celebration like Cannes than you do by tossing in a fistful of hopeful entries and sending the same senior creative team every year. I believe if we focus on attendance and the learning we would be better off, if we focus on the winning we’ll always be playing catch up. So from now on we won’t be entering anything unless we have an obvious winner and i mean obvious: think of Miroslav Klose in front of an open goal from three feet away. Instead we will be sending as many of our team as budget allows and not the old sceptics, but the young minds that would benefit the most.
learn far more from attending a celebration like Cannes than you do by tossing in a fistful of hopeful entries
I have often heard the disgruntled mumblings from the junior creatives before about attending shows and I have ignored them using the seniority equals perks argument and I can unequivocally say this has been a mistake. Why don’t we take the awards budget and split it straight down the middle, 50% for entries and 50% to send the talent of tomorrow to Cannes etc. Allow the knowledge hungry access to all the seminars, immersion into all the screenings, let them learn more about the categories they know least about and learn to appreciate the good and detect the bad, they will meet colleagues from across the globe some better than them and some worse. Then let them come back invigorated and challenge the way we do it. Watch the Lions come roaring back to the region then.