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A view from the Festival: Day Two

The team behind the Cannes Lions Highlights Blog deliver their round-ups of the second day of the Festival

Today was a great day of content inside the Palais des Festivals. There were sessions that were, by turns, engaging, moving and utterly eye-opening. 

created on Sunday 18 Jun 2017

What emerged was a theme of disruptive change, following yesterday’s focus on excitement in change. Speakers investigated the transition taking place across the whole industry and there was also a strong focus on diversity and inclusion. The message was clear: whoever you are, this is the time to pioneer change and be honest about it along the way.

During 'The Power of Boredom: How Ordinary Can Be Extraordinary', director, Yungsuk Nah talked about the latter. He explained how he had recently noticed the growing societal imperative to do nothing as a reaction against increasingly hectic lifestyles. As a result, he filmed a series of two men doing the most ordinary things. It was an honest existence centred on eating three meals a day, but despite this, what he created was a highly engaging watch. Nah calls it ‘realistic fantasy,’ forging a new type of documentary. In general, it was a session that looked at a new-found power and fascination in boredom in our modern world.

As well as talks, there was also a huge element of participation today, and a clear structure that threaded each session together. If you ‘learn-by-doing,’ today was geared for knowledge! From watching memes and firing questions at Marcus Collins, to writing an immersive theatre performance, to listening to the future of advertising in an experiential podcast, the entire itinerary resulted in satisfied consumption and clear take-aways.

Immersion allowed audiences to understand the application and potential of the key themes from Day One. Again the impassioned speakers delivered, weaving in their personal stories with global and emotional tales we can all relate to.

Platon is famous for taking raw and striking photographs of political and iconic leaders that span generations. In a touching story about his final encounter with Muhammad Ali, Platon shared Ali’s wisdom with the crowd: “I am not the greatest. People saw themselves in my story, in my struggle, in my rise. If you can get others to see themselves in your story, you can achieve greatness. But it was not me who was great. It’s called bridge building.” The session, hosted on the Inspiration stage at Lions Health, ended in a standing ovation.

“I am not the greatest. People saw themselves in my story, in my struggle, in my rise. If you can get others to see themselves in your story, you can achieve greatness. But it was not me who was great. It’s called bridge building.” 
Photographer Platon quotes Muhammad Ali at Lions Health
Both 'Location, Location, Location' and 'Rehearsing for Real: Behind the Curtain of an Immersive Experience' highlighted the importance of real, tangible spaces, as we all cchange our behavior in response our locations. Harnessing space, with its cultural, figurative, semiotic and nuanced values, Collins claims, will aid the creation of better fiction. The potential lies in the detail, further championed by Dana White, President of UFC, who has been successful in expanding his niche sports’ content offering to global audiences.

The feeling of involvement, tingling optimism and confidence in pushing through adversity with creativity, resonated at the end of the day.