Cannes 07

Puppet Show and Lots of Clips Take Stage at Saatchi Showcase

Packed Auditorium Celebrates Work of 18 Directors at Annual Cannes Event

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CANNES (AdAge.com) -- Saatchi & Saatchi's 17th annual New Directors Showcase opened with a poignant but fun-filled Bunraku-inspired performance that followed the journey of a new director as he
The show was executed in the format of a Japanese Bunraku puppet show -- where 'puppeteers,' rendered invisible by their black clothes, manipulate spotlighted forms on a darkened stage. The difference in this case was that the 'puppets' were real people.
The show was executed in the format of a Japanese Bunraku puppet show -- where 'puppeteers,' rendered invisible by their black clothes, manipulate spotlighted forms on a darkened stage. The difference in this case was that the 'puppets' were real people. Credit: Pat Denton
sprouts his wings in the obstacle-laden advertising industry, facing giant puppet versions of the "big fat creative director," the "big beautiful client," as well as budget cuts personified as a flying samurai. (See full webcast of the show on the Cannes Lion website.)

Playing to a packed Grand auditorium, and a spillover audience watching over live video feed in another theater, the show again featured a broad range of genres and forms from 18 directors.

The live-action work, which represented about two-thirds of the showcase, was especially strong and inventive this year. Director-choreographer Trish Sie, repped out of Bob Industries, opened the show with her wildly popular "Treadmill" video for pop band OK Go's "Here It Goes Again," which received more than 16 million hits on Youtube and earned a Grammy award for best short-form video. Other live-action clips came from Partizan's Rozan & Schmeltz; the duo shot the ultimate in post-kegger pranks in a clip for Justice vs. Simian's "We Are Your Friends," while Blink/Furlined's Ramon Bloomberg shot a clip for Stark Haze's "Horse Territory."

In the spots category, the showcase featured Nike's "Less Pain" from director of photography/director Joaquin Baca-Asay of Park Pictures/Gorgeous; a quirky exploration of what-ifs, for the Discover Channel directed by 300ML of Hungry Man Rio; an acrobatics-filled spot "Human Machine" for Freddy.it; a kid roadies documentary-style short for XFM, from Academy's Tony Barry; and Gorgeous director Vince Squibb's unsettling spot for Transport London, out of M&C Saatchi, a poetic illustration of an otherwise uneventful day gone awry.

Short films included a hilarious story of a man and his pet toupee, from Landia's Luciano Quilici, and impeccable performance work from Amy Gebhardt of Australia's Wildyam Films in "Look Sharp," which shows the lengths one bold female photographer goes to get the best shot from a surly young man and his more mild-mannered friend. The showcase also featured the baffling "Marjorie Daw" from Academy's Conkerco, which showed crowds caught up in bizarre sideways and upward gravitational pull.

Animation and multimedia yielded some of the crowd favorites: Lev Yilmaz's short "Horny"; line and collage-styled animation of a John Lennon interview by the Electric Co.'s Josh Raskin; a connect-the-dots inspired PSA, "No Will," by Lobo's Nando Cohen; and bold and graphic t-shirt animations from Jonas & Francois of El Nino@75. Tom Reilly of Cartel also appeared with some psychotic stop motion, and Minivegas created a world of flora and fauna devouring creatures for John Cale's "Jumbo."

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The 18 New Directors
Trish Sie, Bob Industries
Vince Squibb, Gorgeous
Rozan & Schmeltz, Partizan
300ML, Hungry Man
Minivegas, Mini Vegas
Nando Cohen, Lobo
Ramon Bloomberg, Blink
Lev Yilmaz, Lev Yilmaz
Amy Gebhardt, Wildyam Films (Sydney)
Johnny Green, Knucklehead
Josh Raskin, Electric Co., Toronto
Luciano Quilici, Landia Buenos Aires
Tome Reilly, Cartel, New Zealand
Borgato & Berte, H Films, Milan
Joaquin Baca-Asay, Gorgeous/Park Pictures
Jonas & Francois, El Nino @ 75, Paris
Conkerco, Academy Films
Tony Barry, Academy
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