'Normal People' star Paul Mescal performs a lockdown dance in film launching Samsung talent competition

U.K. campaign aims to give a platform to young performers

Published On
Dec 21, 2020

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Samsung has tapped Paul Mescal, the Emmy-nominated Irish star of "Normal People" who has been one of the breakout stars of the pandemic in the U.K., to front a new talent platform called "Samsung Spotlight" it's launching in the U.K.

The new initiative from Samsung, which champions emerging performers in the arts industry who have "lost their stages’" during the pandemic, debuts with a film in which Mescal performs a contemporary dance called "Lockdown" in a warehouse; he performs to an imaginary audience of mannequin-statues, symbolic of an absent audience that cannot be present due to the pandemic.

It was created to inspire young performers to enter the Samsung Spotlight competition, which invites students and creators with a minimum age of 16 to submit audition videos to Instagram hashtagged #Samsung Spotlight. Performances can include any type of artistic style, such as dance, physical theater, mime, self-expression, poetry or acting but must be a completely original piece of work.

Mescal will be judging the competition and will pick the top three winning films to be reshot in 8K video with a full production crew using Samsung Galaxy S20 devices. The three winning performers will have their content displayed across Samsung’s digital channels, in-store screens and will feature in a new digital ad. PR agency Taylor Herring is handling the campaign.

“Following the events of this year and impact on the arts industry Samsung wanted to provide a spotlight for arts students and creators across the UK and Ireland who have had their stage taken away from them," said Tom Morey, director of corporate marketing at Samsung U.K., in a statement. "Samsung Spotlight has been created to give performers the opportunity to share their talents and get the chance to have their work shared with the world.” 

Mescal commented: "There are thousands of performers in the arts industry that have been affected by the closures of theaters, venues and stages who have and are going through an incredibly challenging time. I’m really proud to launch Samsung Spotlight which aims to help performers by giving them a platform to showcase their talents. I can’t wait to see what type of performances people come up with and I’m looking forward to judging the entries.”