Julian Schreiber, executive creative director at Special Group is representing Australia on the Cannes Film Lions jury. Schreiber, along with most of the other Australian and NZ jurors, writes exclusively for CB.
A key thing I learnt today about Cannes judging that no one ever talks about, is snack strategies. There is a lot of very serious discussion across the juries about snacks. The when, the what. Is it savoury? Is it sweet? How many breaks do we get to have them? Does anyone have any more of the bird seed thingy packets? It’s the dark underbelly of the judging process. One Creative Data jury member from the States was so worried about the snack situation that she actually flew her snacks in – I kid you not. She brought a ready supply of pepperoni jerky and shelled pistachio nuts over from the States, defying any food and health quarantine laws. She assured me that the US and Europe have been sharing the same pests since forever, so it was fine. I asked her to check if she had accidentally brought a raccoon with her.
But in all seriousness, I can see why snacks are a topic. Energy and caffeine levels equals concentration. And when you’re staring at a screen in darkness for 10 hours, you need to concentrate. Not because it’s not incredibly interesting, but because you quickly become category cops, assessing not just if work is great but if it belongs in the category you’re judging. We spent the day shortlisting everything from 6 second online ads to feature length films and everything in between. And as you watch, you quickly get humbling insight into the cultural trends of our world right now. The political, the musical, the cause work, even the comedy all offer up a fascinating point of view on the state of play of our world today. We’ve now finished ordering everything that made it in the room from the pre-judging phase or as they call it the longlist or the long-shortlist. The next step is work out a cut-off point based of the lowest hanging fruit from that order to create the final shortlist. And that’s when the discussions really begin.