Judges comments by Ryan McManus, Regional CCO at VMLY&R South Africa
Overall it was pretty tough to judge. It felt as if there were a lot of things that we have seen before and I hope we can keep pushing our craft and film making to be as diverse, interesting and unique as the talent that exists in SA. I hope 2020 brings bold & brave clients, agencies and production companies who tell amazing stories in our unique South African voice, that inspires not only each other, but awakens the next generation of creative storytellers.
Best of Reel: City of Cape Town ’16 Days of Activism’ by Jason Fialkov from Carbon Films – Direction Craft
I have to give this to Jason Fialkov for a beautifully directed set of 3 short ads. The performances that make these films are so subtle and nuanced, very well directed, and excellently and simply told. It’s the restraint that makes these films work, which I think can be one of the hardest things for a director to do, particularly when tackling a difficult subject. The kids are completely believable in their roles and the casting and performances are fantastic. The films feel like a moment from a feature film rather than a ‘commercial’, and it leaves the viewer with a powerful truth and importantly, an immediate behavior that can be changed. I like that they inspire action instead of just awareness. Congrats to Jason the team who put this together.
Special Mention: Google ‘Google Station’ by Kyla Philander from Bioscope Films – Direction Craft
Kyla Philander‘s film for Google is just really sweet and super authentic. It has a great real feeling to the treatment and the cast … and just feels like a nice honest, refreshing take on the power of connectivity… without trying to be overly emotional or manifesto-like and dramatic. Simple and well told and leaves you with a great feeling about the initiative.
Special Mention: Jeremy Loops ‘What Would I Know’ by Rob Smith from Carbon Films – Direction Craft
Rob Smiths film for Jeremy Loops is super original, somewhat strange but engaging piece. It’s one of those fun films that you want to watch and is a good bit of entertainment and an original angle, treatment and story.