Cannes 2013: No Film Shortlists for India

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Cannes | In Advertising | June 20, 2013
Of the 3125 Film entries received this year, 285 have been shortlisted. These don't include any Indian entries.

India turns back disappointed from the Film Lions jury. Last year a total of 3475 entries were received for the Film category from world over. This year's figure (3125) is 10 per cent less than last time's.


This time India sent in 45 Film entries. In 2012 we sent 56, in 2011 we sent 61, in 2010 we sent 58 and in 2009 we sent 50. The last time India won a Film Lion was in 2011; in fact, that year we got two of them. In 2010 we won one Film Lion, in 2009 we won two and in 2008 we got one.

Speaking of last year, recall that an Indian entry won a Gold Lion at Cannes 2012 in a related yet very different category, namely, Film Craft. We're referring to the emotion-laden 'I am Mumbai' film for Mumbai Mirror created by Taproot India and directed by Abhinay Deo of Ramesh Deo Production.

Lifebuoy film

The 'I am Mumbai' film won its Gold in the Film Craft category for Best Direction last year. Interestingly, the same piece of work didn't get a Lion in the Film category last year. afaqs! had reported at the time that the Film jury president found the ad "too emotional and loud."

In a pre-Cannes conversation with afaqs!, Deo explained the difference between the two categories - Film and Film Craft. He said, "Film Craft is not that much about the idea. Rather, it is more about the execution and actual craft. That includes aspects like how well the film is edited, the music, cinematography, direction, art, production design and the like. Film, however, includes the core idea of the commercial and the brand thought as well."

This year's Film Craft shortlist will be out tomorrow morning. Hopefully India will impress the jury with its film making skills. After all, the jurors will have in place a checklist very different from that of the Film jury. So, fingers crossed.

An Indian aside...

Recall that in a cover story done by afaqs! earlier this month, we'd mentioned that though Lowe Lintas and Partners India does not participate in any creative awards, its ads still stand a chance of being awarded at these very shows. This is because of Lowe's Global Creative Council. This 30-member body that came into existence around three years back comprises creative talent from around 20 of Lowe's global offices. The council is free to pick work from Lowe India and enter it in any global award forum. afaqs! had learned at the time of compiling this cover story, that Lowe London would be entering Lowe India's work at Cannes this year.

Well, as a result of this arrangement, one of Lowe Mumbai's ads has made it to the Film Lions shortlist this time. This is the 'Help a child reach five' film for Unilever's popular soap brand Lifebuoy. Chrome Pictures Mumbai is the Production House.

One may argue that this is a rather convenient set-up that allows Lowe India to milk the best of both worlds: the agency maintains its anti-award stance while its work gets evaluated by international juries.

In the words of Amer Jaleel, national creative director, Lowe Lintas & Partners, "What comes first is important; the work we take to this council comprises work that has already succeeded in the Indian market and work that we're proud of. If the council feels it meets the criteria set by international award forums, they enter it, but we never make ads in a particular manner just so that we can present it to this council."

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