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Cannes Lions Content Feature

#CannesLions2017: “This is who we [Africans] really are” - Sunu Gonera

SA's craft and production industry proved itself at the annual Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. Here, Sunu Gonera of Egg Films shares his views from behind the scenes.
Sunu Gonera.
Sunu Gonera.

Shot in Ghana, Absolut One Source topped South Africa’s iTunes charts, was nominated for Best Music Video at The South African Music Awards and Metro FM Awards, and was also the most nominated and most awarded campaign at South Africa’s IAB Bookmarks, which celebrate digital excellence. The campaign is seen as such an excellent example of African creativity that it was presented as a case study on the main stage during Cannes Lions.

The work also converted into a Gold Lion in Entertainment, two Silver Lions – for Entertainment and Entertainment for Music respectively, and a Bronze Lion in Media – also the only Media shortlisted work from SA.

Little wonder Gonera said at the time:

For a long time, South African creatives looked overseas for inspiration… In contrast, One Source is a celebration of the creative revolution taking place across the continent as we embrace who we are as Africans. All credit to Native VML, Absolut and Pernod Ricard for seeing the opportunity in showcasing Africa in a completely different light on a global stage.
That’s impressive stuff. I pinned down Gonera for his views on SA’s performance at Cannes Lions 2017, the calibre of the SA craft and production scene and more…

BizcommunityShare your views on SA’s performance at Cannes Lions 2017 and how this ties in with our already impressive wins at D&AD and One Show earlier this year.

I feel privileged to be part of an amazing year. Our success at Cannes is an encouraging sign that we can pursue our unique African voice and still remain relevant internationally.

BizcommunityExplain your involvement in the Cannes campaigns that did SA proud.

I directed Absolut’s One Source music video featuring Khuli Chana, as well as the four documentaries that were also part of Native VML’s campaign. Absolut was a great example of successful collaboration between artist, client, agency and director. We all got involved wherever needed; I even found myself producing parts of the music track alongside Chana and his team.

BizcommunityLet’s talk about the calibre of the SA craft and production scene – where do we shine and where do we need to buff and bulk up our muscle?

The South African production scene has always been highly regarded. However, I think we are just starting to explore authentic African aesthetics across all cinematic disciplines. Too often, we have watched outsiders trying to tell us what Africa really embodies, so it’s about time we own our world and say: “This is who we really are.”

Balanced and inspirational as always. Watch Sunu’s Cannes Lions-winning work embedded below:

Click here to find out more about Egg Films’ international success in 2017, and be sure to follow them on the follow social media channels: Egg Films Twitter | Sunu Gonera Twitter | Egg Films Youtube

About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is former Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality, and of course, gourmet food and drinks! She can be reached on Twitter at @Leigh_Andrews.
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