Since 2005 Sri Lanka has had a consistent and growing presence at the festival. Industry leaders as well as aspiring young professionals have had the opportunity to attend the Cannes Lions International festival of creativity.
It was my father who encouraged me to become a copywriter. So, to be standing on the steps of the Palais des Festivals on his fifth death anniversary, was bitter-sweet. My pilgrimage to Cannes was as much for him, as it was for me. I call it a pilgrimage because for any red-blooded advertising person, the Lions is a chance to pay homage to that sacred, powerful, awe-inspiring phenomenon; the Big Idea.
Someone once asked me to “describe Cannes in one word”. I said “cannot”.
Its true. Cannes is the personification of “you get what you give”. Actually, you get more. The venue is a hive of activity, creativity, levity and learning. Everyone’s there,from newbie hot shots to global heavy weights, from Oscar winners to Box Office Giants, from Indie Directors to Creative visionaries. The sessions are usually jam-packed.
If you watched Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris and chuckled at how Owen Wilson marveled at meeting Hemingway, Dali & the Fitzgeralds, then you could perhaps transpose the very same chuckle to how I reacted when I ran into a certain Mr. Piyush Pandey & the newly crowned Lion of St. Mark.
The snails I ate, the lions I envied and the many litres of rose I downed, made it truly a once in a life time experience. It was more depressing than inspiring for me to see some of the amazingly crafted work on display.