Cannes Lions

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Success at Cannes for Obama's Election Advertising Campaign

The advertising campaign that helped Barack Obama to win the US presidential election has been given acclaim and awards at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Awards. Advertising agency Droga5 won the Titanium prize for presenting an idea that is “provocative, challenges assumptions and points to a new direction” for ‘The Great Schlep’ campaign featuring Sarah Silverman intended to boost support for Obama amongst Jewish voters. In addition to a video where Silverman urged young "Jewish grandchildren" to persuade their grandparents living in 'swing state' Florida to give Obama their votes, the campaign also included an interactive website.

The Obama campaign also picked up the integrated prize for its innovative use of three or more different types of media to deliver a powerful message. It got recognition as a creative use of different media across the board from television, new media and online to grass roots door to door campaigning.

The film category also included aspects of Obama’s election campaign, where Charles Stone III, who created the famous Budweiser 'Wassup' ads in 2000, was given a special jury commendation for his new version of the ad. The 2008 version showed the formerly happy and chilled out characters going through tough times after eight years under George Bush, being posted to Iraq and affected by the Wall Street crash. Unfortunately this ad was not eligible to win a prize in the film category as the rules state that all entries must be commissioned by a commercial client and work towards promoting a corporate identity design, but the judges felt it deserved special recognition for being such a powerful political statement.

Another big winner was newspaper The Zimbabwean, for their campaign which used the country’s almost worthless banknotes on billboards, giving a whole new meaning to sign printing and scooping gold awards in both the Titanium and integrated categories. Other successful campaigns included the "dance" ad for T-Mobile featuring a huge dance sequence in Liverpool Street Station, and a paused bank robbery scene advertising a Philips TV in a unique interactive way.

Cannes Lions 2008 - NON-BLINKING WOMAN

Cannes Lions

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The 11th Mumbai Film Festival, organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI), got off to a great start with a star-studded attendance. The MAMI committee led by Chairman Shyam Benegal and trustees Yash Chopra, Amit Khanna, Shabana Azmi, Amol Palekar played host.

The festival was inaugurated by a visibly impressed Ambika Soni, the Information and Broadcasting Minister of India. Also present at the event was the Chief Minister of the State of Meghalaya, Dr DD Lapang, who was there to promote the potential the beautiful locales of his state, held for Bollywood.

With the formalities over with Farhan Akhtar & Karan Johar took over as emcees.

First up, Shyam Benegal gave the welcome speech. This was followed by a Yash Chopra's felicitation for Outstanding Achievement in Film. An elated Mr Chopra said, "Such appreciation for once work is always a very humbling experience. I am happy that God has given me the strength and the ability to make films for so many years and I will continue to do so till my last breath.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Shashi Kapoor for his career spanning six decades.

Then it was time for some popcorn! The Informant directed by Academy-Award Winner Steven Soderbergh, officially kick started the film fest on screen.

The films in competition will be viewed on eight screens at Fun Cinemas (Andheri), Metro BIG Cinemas (Marine Lines) & BIG Cinemas R City (Ghatkopar) and judged by MFF 2009 Jury Members namely, Hollywood screenwriter and director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull), Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, Philippine filmmaker Brillante Mendoza, Indian filmmaker Shaji N Karun, and former Director of Locarno Film Festival Irene Bignardi.

This year MFF carries one of the richest cash awards for its International Competition for Directors debuting feature films. The prize money is US$ 100,000 (approximately Rs 50, 00,000).