Kendrick Lamar’s stunning single-take short film “We Cry Together” scooped up the Film Craft Grand Prix at Cannes Lions on Tuesday, besting two other close contenders—including one directed by the jury president, Somesuch director Kim Gehrig.
Kendrick Lamar’s short film ‘We Cry Together’ wins Film Craft Grand Prix at Cannes
“We Cry Together” was shot with live vocals in 2020 and released last fall. Directed by Lamar, Jake Schreier and Dave Free (through Lamar’s creative collective pgLang), it features Lamar and actress Taylour Paige engaging in a five-minute-plus verbal altercation—using the lyrics from the song “We Cry Together” from Lamar’s album “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.”
It was shot in a single take, with remarkable choreography and cinematography. See the uncensored version below (which is NSFW due to language throughout, as well as sexual material toward the end).
Gehrig, the jury president and one of advertising’s top commercial directors, applauded the piece for its assured craft across filmmaking disciplines.
“It’s a brave piece of work that uses film craft in all of its faculties,” she said at a press conference announcing the category winners. “The direction is impeccable. The performances are unlike anything we saw in any other piece of work. The choice to shoot in a single take, and the cinematography in every frame. The lighting. The production design. And just that all these crafts came together to that something brave, that’s shocking, that makes you think, that makes you feel.”
In the end, Gehrig had to abstain from the final Grand Prix deliberations—as a spot she directed, Apple’s “The Greatest,” was also in contention for the top prize. The third top contender was the music video for “Cash In Cash Out,” by Pharrell, 21 Savage and Tyler, The Creator.
In the end, “The Greatest” won three Gold Lions for different aspects of craft. (It also won one of two Grand Prix handed out Tuesday in the Entertainment Lions for Music competition.) The two other gold winners in Film Craft were “Shout” for Movistar by VMLY&R Mexico City and “A Train of Memories” for Sotetsu by Six Inc., Good Design Company, Hakuhodo and Hakuhodo Kettle.