Non-profit platform for creativity and good, ADCAN today announces the winners of the 2017 ADCAN Awards—the fourth installment of the annual, free-to-enter competition, which provides unsigned filmmakers and animators access to industry leaders, charities with original content to promote their cause, and the film and animation industry an opportunity to find new talent.
This year’s entrants were asked to create original 30-60 second films inspired by a brief developed with one of six partner charities: The Helen Bamber Foundation, which supports refugees and asylum seekers who have experienced extreme human cruelty, such as torture and human trafficking; The Fawcett Society, the UK’s leading charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights; City Harvest, a food surplus redistribution service; WERK for Peace, an LGBTQ+ charity set up in the wake of the Orlando massacre last year; Grid Alternatives, an initiative providing solar electric systems to low income families; and NEDA, The National Eating Disorders Association based in the US. Each organization will be able to use the films to further promote awareness for their cause in a way that may otherwise be unattainable due to financial constraints.
“GRID Alternatives does unique work connecting disadvantaged communities to solar power and ensuring that work-training opportunities to access clean energy jobs are available to populations in economic need,” says Michael Kadish, Executive Director, GRID Alternatives GLA. “That's why we were thrilled to have a group of talented storytellers respond to our brief, and to watch them apply their creativity to our mission. It was so interesting to see the different ways film can successfully promote the different causes that participated in ADCAN, and I for one believe that with filmmakers and animators like these offering their service to nonprofits, the creative industry's impact on the world can be a much needed positive influence for change.”
From the more than 80 original films submitted, ADCAN’s judging partners Anonymous Content, Nexus, Partizan, Park Pictures, Psyop, Rattling Stick, and VICE, narrowed down 18 films for the shortlist, from which six winners were then selected based on the merits of both creativity, craft and impact. The winning films are:
City Harvest: Using Great Food Badly by Jack Meredith and Ato Yankey (London, UK)
Fawcett Society: Equal Pay 88 by Peter Jones and Kunyalala Ndlovu (London, UK)
Grid Alternatives: Señor Sol by Adri Lodolo and Camilo Barria (Miami, FL)
Helen Bamber Foundation: Such a Loser by Aoife McCleary and Daniel Pattison (London, UK)
NEDA: When the Fat Girl Gets Skinny by Abby Thompson and Blythe Baird (Minneapolis, MN)
Werk for Peace: We Are Here and We Will Dance by Rio Davey and Rowan Fitzgerald (London, UK)
Senor Sol swept up the Grand Prix and the accompanying 10k rental credit prize from Keslow Camera, while Adri Lodolo & Camilo Barria from Black Animals were awarded the People’s Choice. All films may be viewed here.
“We are continually seeking creative spaces to express ourselves, and ADCAN inspired us to use our voices for something meaningful, to make an impact, and help other people improve their lives,” says Grand Prix Winners Adri Lodolo and Camilo Barria. “We felt attracted to GRID Alternatives by their innovative way to understand social equity. The use of solar energy and the democratization of its knowledge within low-income communities is an excellent example of how to use technology for social change. It is also a way to explore how important it is to create a message using an inclusive language, dignifying people’s life while avoiding stereotypes and misrepresentations. One of the most rewarding experiences for us is to know that being part of the ADCAN initiative, step by step, we‘re helping to make a better world.”
Longtime supporter of the awards, The Mill hosted the celebration outside of the U.K. for the first time this year on October 19 at their Los Angeles studio. Winning and shortlisted filmmakers were honored with a special performance by WERK for Peace founder Firas Nasr, as well as an open conversation about using creativity as a force for good with Jason Sperling, Executive Creative Director at RPA and Saturday Morning’s Creative Executive Geoff Edwards, Executive Creative Director Keith Cartwright, and Global Creative Director Jayanta Jenkins. As part of the competition, winners and shortlisted filmmakers were also invited to attend two days of exclusive industry workshops led by some of ADCAN’s greatest supporters including Mark Romanek from Anonymous Content, Vincent Haycock and AG Rojas from Park Pictures, and Ringan Ledwidge from Rattling Stick. The group will also participate in speed-mentoring with heavy hitters from The Director’s Bureau, Hungry Man, Prettybird and Stink, and 101-like sessions with the good people of The Mill, Keslow Camera, Exile Edit, Barking Owl, and Company3/Method Studios.
Founded by creative and production veterans Brydon Gerus, Dan Heighes and Deborah Casswell to help emerging talent get a foot in the door, ADCAN is a collective of top film and advertising industry executives and companies, all volunteering their time and expertise to use creativity as a force for good. It was created as a way to provide an opportunity for unsigned creative minds while also mobilizing the film and advertising industry to make a real difference. Because we can.
“This year’s ADCAN has been uniquely special because we managed to both expand our reach globally and focus on critical and relevant issues no matter which side of the Atlantic you’re on,” adds Eric Voegel, Executive Director of ADCAN. “ADCAN has an infectious domino effect of positivity going for it: we take the opportunity to shine a light on causes we care about, which in turn inspires a large group of talented, emerging artists to do the same. All told, we enabled people from around the world to use creativity as a force for good 82 times and in 82 different ways. And now we get to turn our attention toward enabling the charities to cast their glow further out into the world in hopes of effecting real and positive change.”
Previous winners have gone on to find success in the industry, some have even secured full time employment with leading production companies Rattling Stick and Partizan. All shortlisted filmmakers will become part of the ADCAN Alumni and will benefit from ADCAN’s ongoing support and advice, as they continue and progress in their careers.