'The Gift' Wins Film Craft Grand Prix

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"The Gift," a visually stunning online film for Philips from DDB London, RSA Films and director Carl Erik Rinsch, won the inaugural Grand Prix in the film craft category at Cannes.

WHAT IT IS: "The Gift" is part of the "Parallel Lines" campaign touting Philips' cinema-scaled TVs. DDB challenged RSA directors to create a series of short films, each around the same six lines of dialogue. From 45 treatments, the agency commissioned five films that could be viewed on Philips' site, enhanced with the "Ambilight" technology used in the TV sets, and elsewhere online.

"The Gift" is a futuristic, visual effects-driven story set in Moscow and features an android butler involved in a spectacular chase scene. The film's slick look earned Rinsch plaudits from viewers and attention from the entertainment world -- talk of a feature-length version of the "The Gift" swirled after its online launch, and Rinsch was also tapped to direct the remake of "Logan's Run."

WHY IT WON: Film craft jury chair Jon Kamen, president and co-founder of Radical Media, said judges were "completely blown away by the entry in terms of craftsmanship in every category" and that the pick was unanimous. The film won the Grand Prix in the directing category and also won Gold in the visual effects category.

THE NEW LION: The film craft Lion includes 10 categories: production design, direction, copywriting, cinematography, editing, use of music, sound design, effects and computer graphics, and animation.

THE JURY: The first film craft jury was smaller than a typical Cannes jury and included directors as well as agency and production company players. Joining jury chair Kamen were Joao Daniel Tikhomiroff, president, Mixer, Brazil; Fran├žois Chilot, president and producer, Les Producers, France; Calvin Soh, vice chairman and chief creative officer, Publicis Asia; Ringan Ledwidge, director, Rattling Stick; and Daniel Bergmann, head of production company Stink.

LION COUNT: The jury handed out a total of 42 film craft Lions: one Grand Prix, 11 Golds, 21 Silvers and nine Bronzes. The Grand Prix winner in the film category, Old Spice's "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" from Wieden + Kennedy Portland, won a Silver craft Lion in the directing category (the spot was directed by MJZ's Tom Kuntz).

PHILIPS ON A ROLL: This is the second Grand Prix in as many years for Philips. The marketer won the top prize in the film category last year with its "Carousel" project. Philips' head of integrated marketing, Gary Raucher, the client behind both campaigns, attended the craft press conference and addressed the company's track record for producing high-end content that uses entertainment rather than overt messaging. "We have to deliver relevant and creative content for people who choose to spend time with our brand," said Raucher. "Creativity and effectiveness are not mutually exclusive." According to Raucher, the "Parallel Lines" films were viewed 8 million times.

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