FILM SHORTLIST: Anti-Americanism? What anti-Americanism?

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Although conspiracy theories about anti-American sentiment among the jury pool have gained some currency among the U.S. delegation since the awful performance of U.S. agencies in the Press & Outdoor competition, the Film shortlist should quickly put them to rest. Not that the results in the other categories shouldn't have already. So far, the U.S. has won eight Cyber Lions, the same number as last year; one Lions Direct trophy, down from two; and one Media Lion, plus the Media Grand Prix, down from three Lions last year.

PS2 "Rebirth": With a Grand Prix like this, who wants a Lion?
Only the U.S. net of three Press & Poster Lions -- down from 15 last year -- gives one pause, but then so does the Press Grand Prix, a clumsy, nonsensical execution for PlayStation 2 from TBWA/Paris that shouldn't have won even if the entire field had consisted of nothing but PS2 work from TBWA/Paris. The agency's excellent "Broken Thumb" piece for the game Alpine Racer 3 -- which cleverly features a clicked-out thumb fitted with a snow bum cast -- only won a Silver Lion. Is a full-grown man emerging from the womb two notches better than that? The jury was apparently split. The rest of us just get to shake our heads.

American agencies did very well on the Film shortlist however, rating more than quarter of the almost 600 spots on the list, from which the jury will select the Lions that will be presented here Saturday night. Practically every credible U.S. campaign of the last year is represented, from Ogilvy & Mather's "Cat Fight" commercial for Miller to Goodby, Silverstein & Partners' "Sheet Metal" spot for Saturn, and everything in between. All the favorites made the cut, including 11 spots from Wieden + Kennedy and Nike, four from Crispin Porter + Bogusky and MINI and another four for Volkswagen from Arnold Worldwide. Reebok's Terry Tate made it, as did Frankenstein as spokesmonster for Osteo-Biflex from Cramer-Krasselt. Y&R/Chicago landed six NASCAR spots on the list and Y&R/New York placed five clips for the NFL. Everything Fox Sports did last year is here, both from Cliff Freeman and TBWA/Chiat/Day. Berlin Cameron/Red Cell made the list, even with a somewhat bland spot starring domestic celebrities Courteney Cox and David Arquette.

Anti-American sentiment? If anything, the Film jury has been too kind. -Jim Hanas

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