From breathing life into cultural institutions to flawless cinematography and VR finally coming of age, a huge breadth of work was recognised and elevated as the finest in the world at last night’s awards show. It saw one of the Festival’s youngest categories, Digital Craft, celebrated alongside Film Craft, Creative Effectiveness and Radio.
Touching on youth, religion, drugs, male culture, prejudice and freedom, Iconoclast’s Film Craft Grand Prix-winning ‘Territory’ for musician The Blaze follows a young Algerian man’s moments with family and friends, both before and after he’s deported from France. Described by Jury President Robert Galluzzo as a “stunning example of what vulnerability and poetry can look like on screen”, a piece which “constantly moved” the jurors.
He explained that, in a jury comprised of six women and four men from all over the world, there was plenty of healthy debate but ultimately the Grand Prix decision was unanimous. Jurors stayed up deliberating until 01:00 and watched the piece around 20 times before recognising it not only a Grand Prix winner, but a “gift to the festival audience”.
Galluzzo said: “The casting is stunning, the cinematography is stunning, the editing is suberb – it’s a piece of film that has an ambiguous get important narrative that you can watch over and over again.”
Music was also at the heart of the Digital Craft Grand Prix winner – Analog and W&N Studio’s ‘Real-time Virtual Reality Experience’ for Bjork’s Notget VR experience transports the audience to Vulnicura, a world where they can connect with music and Bjork herself. The VR technology enables the viewer to explore the environment during the performance as mist, motes and entities fill the space around Bjork.
It embodies Jury President Henry Cowling’s belief that “innovation and taking risks is integral to digital craft” as a category that must “create experiences that couldn’t exist in other platforms or media”.
The Grand Prix winner did this to aplomb, with Cowling asserting that “it combines all the facets of digital craft from across all the projects we looked at, to the highest possible level. It’s breaking new ground in media storytelling and experience design and is doing it in a way that’s absolutely virtuous.”
And from the high-tech and innovative to the old-school and traditional, this year’s Radio Grand Prix winner took the craft back to what Jury President Mario D’Andrea described as “a very traditional brand with a very traditional way of doing copywriting”.
In a campaign aimed at spurring people to get their KFC Double Down Burger, Ogilvy & Mather’s ‘Repeat the Punchline’ featured men from all walks of life confessing some of the rather sad things that have happened to them. And the saddest thing of all? The fact that the Double Down is coming off the menu.
Meanwhile, Creative Effectiveness Jury President Jonathan Mildenhall noted that fortune really does favour the brave when it comes to the category, and jurors saw a host of ideas that were genuinely innovative and risky, where the clients and agencies “clearly understood how to live in the uncomfortable space necessary for the work to be truly remarkable.”
It was Leo Burnett’s ‘Van Gogh’s Bedrooms: Let Yourself In’ for the Art Institute of Chicago, though, that scooped this year’s Grand Prix. The exhibition recreated Van Gogh’s famous ‘X’ painting and made it available to everyone on Airbnb, so they could quite literally immerse themselves in the life of the artist.
Mildenhall said: “It’s one exhibition, in one building, in one city – and yet it created a huge global conversation which incrimated the attandance of 133,000 visitors
He continued: “The exquisite craft skills of Van Gogh’s bedroom, putting craft at the heart of the execution and idea, and the fact that it introduced the Institution of Chicago to a new and younger demographic made it stand out to us as jurors. We were inspired as a jury about the level of creativity that’s driving cultural change for the good of humanity.”