How would you define the Film Craft category in 2019?

It’s about magnificent ideas translated through exceptional craft. Filmmakers who bring a level of craft that raises the work to an art form. I also think it’s still hard to beat film when it comes to eliciting a strong emotional response. The category to me is about finding and rewarding the innovators – those who find a new way to make film convincing and powerful, in an emotionally honest way – those who are the finest exponents of the craft.

What makes a great Film Craft entry in your opinion?

A great film is mesmerising. It takes hold of you. Whether it be comedic, dramatic or whatever, it must hold you and make you feel something. It comes down to the director’s creativity and craft (and great agency creative partners). A great film is not the output of one person alone, but multiple creative minds aligning with a singular shared vision. A great film is the result of many elements coming together – elements that could have created hurdles at any point – but that have combined to produce something memorable. Ideas that are ‘great’ also make a point to shift culture and storytelling. The world is such a divided place at the moment, and I hope to see films that reflect where we are today in culture. 

The world is such a divided place at the moment, and I hope to see films that reflect where we are today in culture. 

What’s your favourite Film campaign from the past 12 months and why?

Kasikornbank’s Friendshit is still my favourite film from the last twelve months. And I am not alone, judging from the amount of times it has been awarded at shows around the world. The originality is uncompromising. Characterful performances, an insight into society, delicious film craft and the product beautifully incorporated into the story (turning out to be the true heroine). The result is something you can’t look away from.

If you were on the Film Craft jury what would you be looking for and taking into consideration this year?

Exceptional craft throughout the execution. A different point of view. Unexpected moments, honesty and emotion in the storytelling. Films when everything went right. Films that survived the process and made me feel, that drew me in.

No matter the platform or delivery media, film must be a story to engage. 

How do you think the Film Craft category has changed over the past couple of years in advertising?

There’s always a drive to award the most deserving work, to be able to say “we discussed, analysed, debated, fought and awarded the best”. Jurors want to be able to stand by their decisions and the awarded winners. At a festival like Cannes Lions, this will never change.  

One element that has changed, though, is the rigour and research around scam work, regional colluding and other dark marks against the industry. Cannes Lions in particular (and Spikes Asia and Dubai Lynx) put a lot of effort and technology into the judging process to reassure all entrants that there is no favouritism or underhandedness in the jury room.

How must ‘traditional’ film content work with other platforms in order to remain relevant?

It just has to do what it’s always done – entertain. Tell a story. No matter the platform or delivery media, film must be a story to engage. This is why it will always be relevant. Work that exhibits exceptional mastery of both the technical (visual sophistication) and emotional (beauty, humour, skill with talent) components of directing a piece of work will always stand out.

Creativity and craft are the gold currency of our industry

Can a ‘lone’ film break through on its own?

Absolutely. Films with social agendas or messages that are also intrinsic to that brand’s set of values will break through.  

What can you see as the future of the Film Craft category in years to come?

Creativity and craft are the gold currency of our industry. No absolutes, no big data or analytics can replace a great idea or story in the hands of a true creative.

Are you attending Cannes Lions this year and if so what are you most looking forward to?

Definitely – I never miss it. I think there’ll be a flood of very earnest and serious stuff, work that tackles social issues. I’m looking forward to seeing the effects of See It, Be It [Cannes Lions’ drive to achieve gender equality in senior creative leadership].