said international jury members fail to understand local nuances are being proved wrong this year. First the 'Nodding Bull' campaign by JWT bagged a Promo Lion, which was followed by Grey's win for its 'Heena' campaign.
Now, two other Indian entries have been shortlisted for the Film Lions despite their local touch. The McCann Happydent commercial that has Sufiana music in its background score has been nominated in the sub-category, Best Use of Music. The ad has also been shortlisted in another sub-category, Sweet Foods and Snacks. Besides, the Nike ad, which has a mix of Goan and Latin music, has been nominated for a Film Lion in the sub-category, Best Use of Music.
A big surprise was the nomination of a three-minute film for the Eye Bank Association of India to promote eye donation, entered by Code Red Films in the sub-category, Fundraising and Appeals. This film has been shot by Gajaraj Rao and Subrat Ray, and has been written and conceived by Manish Bhatt and Raghu Bhat. The film has a completely Indian touch, but is quite emotional.
After interacting with the jury members in the other categories, it was evident that the juries are appreciating the emotions in Indian ads. The wins for Leo Burnett's radio spot on female foeticide and O&M's adoption campaign are examples. It will be no surprise if this film also wins a Film Lion.
The film begins with a Holi celebration in a boys' hostel. In the background, a Holi song is played, but at the end, one realises that the children shown playing Holi are all blind. The ad ends with one of the blind boys asking the warden of the hostel how many colours there are. The warden says, "Red, green, yellow…" The child then asks, "What is green colour like?" The warden is speechless. He only murmurs: "How can I explain it to you?" The ad ends with a super: '67 people including the creator of this film have agreed to donate their eyes after watching it'.
However, it won't be easy for this Indian entry because there are 16 other entries shortlisted in the category
The other nomination for the Film Lions is also a surprise. The Bajaj Fans film done by Leo Burnett has been nominated in the sub-category, Home Appliances and Furnishings. In this category, the Indian entry will have to fight it out with five others from Brazil, Thailand, Spain, Germany and France.
There was speculation about the Royal Enfield-Chord commercial - again conceived by Manish Bhatt and Raghu Bhat for A Advertising - being nominated for the Film Lions, but it failed.
So, until Saturday morning out here at Cannes, we are keeping our fingers crossed, hoping to win a lion this year… after two years.