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Creative inferno: Dante revisited

What happens when 250 of world's best creative minds meet with a view to showcase and reward the best of world's creative talent?

What happens when 250 of world's best creative minds meet with a view to showcase and reward the best of world's creative talent? One more academy comes into being and one more award is instituted.

The Dante Academy is the brain-child of UK-based Neeraj Nayar, a 10-year awards veteran on the Cannes committee and founder of many international ad awards. Its mission is to identify education and training-oriented charitable projects in the creative industries on a worldwide scale which could benefit students and encourage them to ultimately join industry. It would also encourage and financially support these initiatives taking place anywhere and pinpoint some three to four projects each year.

The good news is that some of India's best creative minds are also on board - including the national creative chief of Ogilvy & Mather Piyush Pandey, and Ravi Deshpande, creative director of Contract Advertising. To broadbase its appeal members are being drawn from not just advertising, but also packaging, design, interactive.

The academy will also run the world's first global awards run by creative people, called the Dante Awards. The academy will be chaired by World Writers chief, Simon Anholt. Creative lights on board include Neil French, creative chief of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide; Dragan Sakan, Saatchi & Saatchi, Europe; Benn Nott, Benjamin D; Veronique Hermans, Euro RSCG; Michel Rogale, JWT France; Milka Poglianai McCann Erickson Italy; Marcello Serpa, Almap BBDO, Brazil.

The academy has also floated the global Dante Awards, which will run across 16 major categories by media. Entries will be accepted from across the world and scanned by the academy members. The 'good-enough' works will be put into purgatory.

They can be seen on the creativeparadise.com for a period of a year. The rejects will be consigned to `inferno.' The chosen few who ultimately enter paradise after the Final Judgement will be seen on the site with their credits.

Within the awards programme, students can enter on a minimal fee of 5-10 and they get five real briefs from academy members. They are not expected to create finished films or ads but are judged on the basis of an idea. Those who pass the test go to purgatory and will ultimately be flown to the awards function from anywhere in the world. Part of the booty generated for the exercise will be recycled into advancing the projects and development of the industry.

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