Yesterday I watched the Saatchi and Saatchi New Creators Showcase, which is a must-see for me. It used to be called the Saatchi and Saatchi Young Directors’ Showcase, which is basically what it is. It’s a curated reel of some of the hottest young talent working in film. They changed the name this year to reflect the fact that storytelling has changed and everyone is always on their phones, or something. Or because millennials. It wasn’t terribly clear to be honest, but at least two of the films played out on phone screens, so there you have it. I also noted that the new name doesn’t include an apostrophe, possibly because storytelling is now storydoing, or post-storydoing. It doesn’t matter what they call it, it’s always worth seeing, although it’s also a bit of an onslaught. The films tend towards the avant-garde, the surreal and the frankly bizarre, and I did find myself thinking “Doesn’t anyone do comedy anymore?”
Later on I met Rahul Sabnis from IHeartMedia, who’d just taken part in R/GA’s Innovation Exchange Showcase. This is an event where female-led startups are connected with global business, tech and marketing leaders who can give them guidance on how to market and grow their businesses. He said it had been the most inspiring part of the Festival for him so far. There’s a lot of emphasis on female leadership and on growing female-led businesses. I may sometimes miss the old days where the Lions were simpler somehow, and more focussed on advertising, and I may make facetious comments about unnecessary name changes that seem to reflect more of a concern for being “relevant” than being accurate (and don’t have apostrophes) but there are some great initiatives happening and the Lions are giving young creatives (and old ones) more access to an array of inspiring people. Earlier in the week I went to a Young Lions Week seminar, where five female creative leaders shared frank and often very funny stories about their experiences of growing into leadership in an industry that’s traditionally been male-dominated. Everyone spoke about imposter syndrome – that feeling of deep-seated doubt in your own ability and the consequent fear that you’ll suddenly get found out and exposed as a fraud. (So it’s not just me, then?)
On to last night’s ceremony, where the Innovation Grand Prix was won by a software start-up founded by hearing-impaired people.