New Directors Shine at Saatchi Showcase

Published on .

Along with a look at a wide ranging assortment of work from up and coming international directing talent, the audience at the 13th Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors Showcase was treated to a glimpse into a possible future in which A level directors are displaced by upstarts and find themselves exploring new lines of work. That future scenario, in which commercial and feature star Tarsem has turned to a career as an orchestra conductor was played out before a packed house at the Cannes screening Wednesday. Showcase mastermind, Saatchi worldwide creative director Bob Isherwood set the stage and was followed by Tarsem, who faced the audience, took a breath and then turned to address a full orchestra which launched into Prokofiev’s "Romeo and Juliet" under the seemingly capable hands of the director-turned-maestro.

After, the commercial, short film and video work of 27 young directors from around the world was screened to a largely appreciative audience. Highlights of the showcase included an oddly poignant Moby clip from directing collective Stylewar, featuring a live action/animation story of aliens with a message for earth, a kinetic short film for Nike from Iceland’s Thor, now signed with Stink in London, and an elaborate clip from Black Dog’s David Slade which played with frame rates and direction. The audience also responded warmly to a Nike spot from Biscuit’s Brewster Macwilliams. which sets up a drive-by shooting in the hood but ends with a rain of golf balls instead of bullets, a visually compelling clip featuring an animated humanoid dancer/martial artist from Jarbas Agnelli of Brazil’s Ad Studio and a short film from Timothy Bullock, an account person at Saatchi in Sydney who was a winner at Australia’s young directors event, Tropfest. The showcase also featured Rawson Thurber's. Terry Tate for Reebok and the well known Mill Valley Film Festival spot from Anonymous Content's Carter & Blitz.

Many in the tough audience at the event agreed that the showcase was not as uniformly strong as it has been in previous years, and Saatchi’s Isherwood acknowledges the difficulty in growing and garnering work for budding directorial talent in a market which has seen many higher level directors taking on work that would typically be reserved for those on their way up the directing ladder.

Isherwood says the showcase was founded 13 years ago as platform to expose the depth of talent around the world. Now, he says U.S. and U.K. production companies are more aware of and involved with talent from outside the London/L.A./New York axis and he cites a budding trend of U.S. producers using local talent when shooting abroad. "The result is that more U.S. work has more of an international flavor," says Isherwood. Saatchi staffers in each international office sifted through 500 submissions this year to arrive at the 27-director reel, with the final choices made by the agency’s worldwide creative board.

A selection of this year's featured spots can be viewed by clicking here or on the links above. The directors in this year's showcase include: Rawson Thurber, FM Rocks, L.A.; Brewster Macwilliams, Biscuit Filmworks, L.A.; Marc Swadel, New Films, London; Nathan Price, Silverscreen Productions, Wellington, New Zealand; Stylewar, Stockholm, Sweden; Chanel, Numero 5, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Steven Diller, Radke Films, Toronto; Fabio Soares, Conspiracao Filmes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Pleix, Chased by Cowboys, Paris; CJ Waldman, Harvest, L.A.; Anthony Atanasio, Naked Project, New York; Nicolas Kasakoff, Nunchaku, Buenos Aires, Argentina Timothy Bullock, Prodigy Films, Australia; Rafael Fernandez, Rockfight, L.A.; Thor, Stink, London; Acne, Acne, Stockholm, Sweden; Blue Source, Blink Productions, London; David Slade, Black Dog Films, LA; Carter & Blitz, Anonymous, L.A.; Richard Anthony, Method Films, London; Arran Bowyn, The Business, London; Yann Malka, Garlic Films, Madrid, Spain; Marc Wilkins, Big Fish Filmproduktion, Berlin Germany; Paula Hernandez, Wasabi Films, Buenos Aires, Argentina Jarbas Agnelli, Ad Studio, Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Bob Kerstetter, Lushadelic, San Francisco. -Teressa Iezzi

Most Popular
In this article: