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Cannes Lions Special Section

Cannes About Town: In the Jury Room

'We're looking for the previously inconceivable', a piece of work that goes far beyond just never having been done before, you're looking for a piece of work that will change the entire industry.

That’s how Malcolm Poynter, Mobile Jury President introduced us to the weight of responsibility you have as a Cannes Lions juror. Ask anyone in the creative industry from Brazil to Sweden which award they would most like to have on the mantelpiece and they will all tell you ‘a Cannes Lion’. It is the most respected, internationally recognised award that you can receive, because they are so hard to win. Of the 45,101 entries across 24 categories, less than 3% will be awarded. To be shortlisted at Cannes the work will need to be exceptional, to win the Grand Prix it will have to be world class.

The mobile jury, hard at work.
The mobile jury, hard at work.

As one of 384 jurors, you have been chosen because you have the experience and expertise to select that one piece of work. You will be looking for a needle in a haystack and you will work with 15 of those jurors 12 hours a day for 5 days in a locked room, watching 1,259 case films, sifting, filtering and debating every nuance to find it. You’ll miss all the lectures, workshops, latest trends in technology, parties, opening galas and networking opportunities because you have the most important job of them all. When the work is awarded and the team that brought it to life collect their award on stage at the Palais, you will need to know that piece of work better that the creatives that built it because the industry will scrutinise your decision, the press will have their opinion and the judges will be judged.

It’s an honour to be able to say you were a juror here, because your selection will become an icon, it will change the industry and it will inspire creativity globally. As a juror, unlike the winners, you’ll never be famous, see your picture in the newspaper or have agencies chase you around town making offers, but at Cannes there might just be one thing better than winning and that’s deciding who’s winning.

About Emma Carpenter

Carpenter judged the 2016 Mobile Lions, which recognise device-driven creativity...

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