Saatchi & Saatchi Unveils New Directors Reel

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Neill Blomkamp's "Evolution"
A vanishing Bob Isherwood and the presence of Ogilvy & Mather chairman and CEO Shelly Lazarus in the audience were just two of the weird and wonderful sights off the screen at this year's Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors Showcase, held on Thursday morning in Cannes. (Actually, Lazarus vanished too -- halfway through the screening). On screen, there was the work of 26 new directors, ranging from the relatively established Scott Hicks -- whose A-list credits belie his relative newness to the commercials world -- to breakthrough talent like Spy Films’ Neill Blomkamp, Turnpike Films' Justin Reardon, creative-turned director Jeff Labbé, and’s The Elvis.

Javier Blanco's "Box"
Blomkamp’s beloved "Evolution" spot for Nike was a crowd favorite, as was a charming spot for an Argentine airline, in which two young children catch a plane’s shadow in a box, directed by Compania Cinematografica’s Javier Blanco. Two directors from Toronto’s Reginald Pike, the Perlorian Brothers and Mark Gilbert, were also well received by the crowd, which was unusually well-behaved, perhaps reflecting the festival's new serious tone, brought on by the presence of top client and agency brass. The Perlorian Brothers selection was the duo’s well-known short film on the evolution of an ad idea; Gilbert’s was a kooky spot for Guru energy drink.

Gary Eck's "The Money"
Other highlights included a wryly humorous and kinetic Coke spot about teenage summers from Believe Media’s Vogel Villar-Rios ; a hard hitting anti-drunk driving spot from The Elvis out of @radical/Paris and a short film from Australia’s Gary Eck.

Isherwood opened the show by introducing the showcase's theme of "Directors as Illusionists" and then brought to the stage top director Daniel Kleinman, who proceeded to conduct an illusion involving a large wooden box. Kleinman, a natural onstage, put Isherwood in the box, chained his hands, and had the box hoisted into the air. Moments later, of course, the box broke open and Isherwood appeared magically in the balcony.

James Rouse's "Trojan Games"
The complete list of directors on this year's Saatchi reel is as follows: James Rouse (Outsider/London), Jakub Kohák (Stillking Films/Prague), Alex Rutterford (Black Dog Films/London), Neill Blomkamp (Spy Films/Toronto), Javier Blanco (Compania Cinematografica/Buenos Aires, David Gordon Green (Chelsea Pictures/N.Y.), Cameron Platter (Suburban Films/Cape Town), The Elvis(, Mark Gilbert (Reginald Pike/Toronto), The Perlorian Brothers (Reginald Pike/Toronto), Miguel Sapochnik (Casarotto Ramsay & Associates/London), Ivan Bird (Serious Pictures/London), Dougal Wilson (Blink Productions/London), Scott Hicks (Independent Media/L.A.), Jan Vogel & Rene Villar-Rios (Believe Media/L.A., Justin Reardon (Turnpike Films/Santa Monica), Russ Lamoureux (Hungry Man/N.Y.), Laurent Bourdoiseau (Les Telecreateurs/Paris), Wilfrid Brimo (Wanda Productions/Paris), Cláudio Borelli (Cia de Cinema/São Paulo), Gary Eck (Gary Eck/Australia), David Preizler (Epoch Films/N.Y.), Rasmus Laumann (Easy Film/Copenhagen), Steve Hudson (Outsider/London), Jeff Labbé, and Soandsau (Quad Productions/Paris). -Teressa Iezzi
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