Cinemark Announces Winners Of SA Cannes Young Lions Competition

They had just 48 hours to complete the task, from brief to concept to shooting, editing and the final production of a 60 second commercial. But, for one creative team, those could just be the most important 48 hours in their exciting young advertising careers to date!

The Cannes Young Lions competition for 2017 is currently underway around the world. Here in South Africa, the Cannes Lions festival’s local representative, Cinemark, announced its participation in this year’s event, with its sponsorship of the Film category, in partnership with Air France.

Amri Botha, Lynne Wylie (Head of Marketing at Ster-Kinekor) and Carina Coetzee

Following a very close judging process of the shortlisted Top 20 entries last week, that lucky team is Amri Botha and Carina Coetzee, from the Cape Town-based agency, Ninety9cents. Their winning commercial has just earned them an all-expenses paid trip to attend the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity from 17 – 24 June 2017, in Cannes, France. During the festival, Amri and Carina will also compete in the global Cannes Young Lions competition in the Film category, which follows the same 48-hour format.

“This is the chance of a lifetime for these two young creatives, who are currently in a state of disbelief, but completely overjoyed! Attending the Cannes Lions festival, dubbed the ‘Oscars’ of the global advertising and creative industry, is a life-changing experience and a sensory overload of all things creative,” says Motheo Matsau, Chief of Marketing and Sales of Ster-Kinekor Theatres. “We are delighted to be giving Amri and Carina this amazing opportunity, and look forward to following their first Cannes journey with them.”

In addition to their trip of a lifetime, the winning team’s commercial will also be flighted in Ster-Kinekor cinemas, and will be used by UNICEF South Africa to boost its current anti-bullying campaign.

With only a few points separating the top three teams, second place was achieved by Gregory Booysen and Drew Murphy from King James in Cape Town, with third position going to Gert Laubscher and Marina Andreoli, in a collaboration between Cape Town agencies Ogilvy and Hello Computer.

Judge Peter Khoury, who is himself a previous Young Lions winner, was impressed with the overall standard of the entries. “The difference between the best and the rest was very apparent though. There were a handful of entries that were really engaging, thought provoking and had a great call to action.”

On his Young Lions win, Peter commented: “I was lucky enough to win the local Young Lions competition many years ago. Competing with some of the advertising world’s brightest new talent is an unforgettable experience. I am sure that the 2017 winners will live up the expectation and do South Africa proud.”

THINK creative hub’s Nkgabiseng Motau and Mukondi Ralushayi have previously entered the local Young Lions competition. “We had an amazing experience as part of the judging panel, being able to experience a creative brief through of the eyes of SA’s young creative talent. Overall, the standard of the work was high, but there were one or two that stood above the rest in all categories, simply executed and conceptually very strong. We particularly enjoyed the work that was interactive in nature, incorporating cues from the tech world that cyber-bullying inhabits.”

Rayana Rassool was grateful that UNICEF South Africa was part of this process. “It was a great process to be a part of, and really tested my skills and knowledge around film and messaging related to behaviour change. My role at UNICEF also focused on social and behaviour change and for me this was a true test of messaging. We look forward to engaging further with the winning team to understand the logic behind their entry.”

The challenge was put out to find the country’s top young creative team (aged 30 or under), comprising two young professionals or freelancers (for example, an art director and a copywriter), who are currently working in a creative communications, advertising or digital agency in South Africa.

They were asked to register to enter this year’s competition, which is regarded as both a career-enhancing and life-changing event for the participants and eventually, the winning team of two. More than 40 teams registered and braced themselves for 12:00 noon on 22 April, when the creative brief was uploaded on the Cinemark website, and the 48-hour countdown began.

The task at hand was to create a 60 second commercial for UNICEF South Africa, in response to its current campaign on bullying, but more specifically, to the current social media focus on cyber-bullying. The finished product should create awareness around the negative impacts of cyber-bullying and the possibly devastating consequences your cyber actions could have on someone else: we need to make people stop and think about this, before hitting the “SEND” button

When the entries closed at 12:00 noon on Monday, 24 April, 40 entries had been posted and the shortlisting judging panel had their work cut out for them! A shortlist of 20 entries was finalised for the main judging event by a panel of industry experts at Ster-Kinekor’s head office in Sandton on Tuesday, 09 May 2017.

The make-up of the final judging panel comprised professionals, experts in their field, and some exciting young industry creatives: Sibusiso (Sbu) Sitole, who is the co-founder and Creative Director at The Odd Number; 2017 Cannes SA judge in the Outdoor category and Chief Creative Officer of TBWA/Hunt/Lascaris Peter Khoury; exciting young creative talent in the form of Nkgabiseng Motau and Mukondi Ralushayi, the co-founders and Creative Directors of creative hub THINK; Mike Jones, strategic planning director of NATIVE VML; winner of this year’s SAFTAs 11 Young Achiever Award, actor and director Thapelo Mokoena; Rayana Rassool, a Communications for Development specialist for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) South Africa; and Karen Moross, a child counsellor at the Family Life Centre in Johannesburg; and, representing Cinemark, Motheo Matsau and Lynne Wylie, Head of Marketing.

The winning team will be jetting off to ‘live their best life’ for a week in the south of France, and compete at the Cannes Festival for the prestigious honour of being crowned the Young Lions of Cannes 2017. Sponsors Cinemark will fly them to Cannes, courtesy of Air France, to attend the festival and compete in the global competition. The prize comprises: return flights, accommodation during the festival, entry into the Cannes Young Lions competition and a full week’s registration to attend the festival.

Amri Botha and Carina Coetzee survived the South African leg of the most intense 48 hours of their lives – and the first part of their dream has come true. They will have the support of the entire local creative industry when they fly the flag of Team South Africa on the global stage in Cannes.

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers.

Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry.

Catch him on Twitter:
And IMDb: