Christopher Thiery, Co-President of Prodigious France, was part of the Film Craft jury at Cannes. We spoke with him about the work, and what it was like taking part the first in-person Cannes Lions for 3 years.
Firstly, how was the experience of being in the judging room?
It was a fantastic and unforgettable experience. It was my first participation in Cannes as a juror, and in the best category - Film Craft!
It was the first real-life return to Cannes since the pandemic, so there was a lot of enthusiasm and expectation from the jury. There was also a new voting system: firstly via an online platform, and finally in-person with all the jurors, for 3 days onsite.
It is first and foremost a human adventure, incredible in such a short time to have an osmosis like this. We are all from different countries, sometimes even from different cultures, with different functions and jobs, but the magic is there... which was something we all agreed on!
What were the key themes in the work this year?
There was an American supremacy which I imagine was common with previous years, they simply deliver great productions. We also saw very strong work from South America, and a rise in powerful, well-crafted work from India. The same thing for many of the charity campaigns.
Do you have a favourite piece of work from the entries you judged?
Absolutely, even several. I loved Burberry's 'Open Spaces', and two other campaigns won me over, a campaign for WhatsApp's 'One' and the Grand Prix 'The Wish' for Penny.
Has the explosion of digital content changed how you judge great craft?
No, when you judge the craft you judge the rendering, the execution, and how it elevates the idea. The technique and the format don't matter, only the result!
What learnings will you be sharing with your team following your experience on the jury?
That Cannes is an achievement, not just another festival. It is necessary to remain permanently engaged with the best work, watch it throughout the year, and be inspired. A campaign which succeeds in the course of the year will have more chance of performing in Cannes.
We also have to be careful with the categories when entering our work.