Saatchi & Saatchi: New Directors Showcase

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An army of giant eyeballs descended from the sky, floating and dancing in mid-air above the stage to open the Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors' Showcase, representing the innovative visions of the 23 directorial talents featured at the event. The show featured a diverse array of storytelling talents from around the globe, from traditional live-action directors to a generous selection of mixed media and animation artists. Audience favorites included the dazzling City Paradise, about a Japanese girl's fantasy-filled adjustment to London life, from Passion Pictures' Gaelle Denis, which also earned the Grand Jury Prize at the Annecy animation festival earlier this year. A Japanese thread ran through other crowd pleasers, like Watermelon Love, an oddly sensual manga-inspired tale from Japanese-born Woof Wan-Bau of Nexus Productions. The audience bestowed perhaps the most generous applause on VW's "Singin' in the Rain" number from Stink's London-based directing duo Ne-o, aka Jake Knight and Japanese native Ryoko Tanaka.

Other dazzlers included the touching Over Time from Partizan Lab's Oury Atlan (in conjunction with Damien Ferrie and Thibault Berland), a melancholy tribute to Jim Henson about a family of Kermit-resembling puppets who attempt to reanimate their dead puppet master.

On the live-action front, comedy of course was king, with work from Epoch's Matt Aselton, Harvest's Michael Downing and Landia's Andy Fogwill & Agustin Alberdi. Laughs were plentiful for a pair of spots from the "If MTV Were" campaign, directed by HSI's Randy Krallman, along with Aaron Stoller. On a more serious note, Adam Smith's video for The Streets' "Blinded by the Lights" kept the crowd rapt. AdCritic subscribers can view a selection of the featured work online.

Directors in this year's showcase are: Matt Aselton (Epoch Films); Michael Downing (Harvest); Gaelle Denis (Passion Pictures); Chris Nelson (Annex Films); Oury Atlan (Partizan Lab); tokyoplastic (Picasso Pictures); ne-o (Stink); Ugly (Ugly Pictures); Mateus de Paula Santos (Lobo); Frank Devos (Quad Productions); Associates in Science (Partizan); Eric Hillenbrand (Tempomedia Filmproduction); Baptiste Masse (Milk elementary resources PH); Brett Foraker (4Creative); Kezia Barnett (The Sweet Shop); Luciano Podcaminsky (Pioneer); Woof Wan-Bau (Nexus Productions); Honest (Czar.US); Joseph Kosinski (Anonymous Content); Randy Krallman (HSI Productions); Marcus Tomlinson (; Andy Fogwill & Agustin Alberdi (Landia); and Adam Smith (Blink Productions).

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