The Film Lions have often been considered the ‘King of Cannes’, a real showstopper you don’t want to miss. This year, Deutsch CCO Pete Favat is overseeing the prestigious award, marking his first time as Jury President at the festival. LBB’s Liam Smith chatted with Pete to find out how he’s preparing his jury.
LBB> Pete, this is your first time presiding over a jury at Cannes. How are you preparing yourself for your stint in the jury room?
PF> This is my first time as President of a Cannes jury and I’m honoured to be doing it, especially in this great company. I’ve attended Cannes for more than a dozen years. In 2014, I was honoured to judge the Film Lions and in 2016, I served on the Titanium Lions jury. As President of the Film Lions, the pressure is even more intense because the category has so much incredible work.
I’m preparing myself by going in with an open mind. We’ve been individually pre-judging work in the weeks leading up to the Festival, but the purpose of a jury is to make yourself open to a lively discussion around the strongest creative out there. And I’m the facilitator of that. This year, we’ll have some powerful voices speaking up during these jury meetings, and collectively (not individually), we will determine the best work of the category through provocative and open-minded conversations.
LBB> What words of advice will you be giving to your jury?
PF> To award something a Lion, you have to ask yourself if it’s worthy of the history and legacy of Cannes. Lions represent doing something extraordinary - a fresh, new way to tell a story.
So my advice to the jury will be just that. Are the films extraordinary? Are they original and shareable? That’s the mark of work that deserves a Lion.
LBB> How do you feel the Film category has evolved over the past decade?
PF> While the last few years have focused a lot on the best technology powered by creativity, I believe we are starting to see a resurgence for film. I think we’ve seen that film will never die. It’s still the strongest way to get people to actually feel things. And VR is bringing a new dimension to it.
From a judging perspective, film is tough. Everyone’s an expert. There are tons of opinions. There’s a lot to live up to and over the years, this category has set an extremely high bar.
After all these years, film is still at the pinnacle of making us think and feel emotion. Based on what I’ve seen so far, we’re going to be judging some pretty powerful work in film this year.
LBB> What will you be looking out for in the entries to this year's Film category?
PF> The films that win at Cannes will push the boundaries of the category in a way that we haven’t seen before. We’re going to see some of the greatest films from around the world. This year, the bravest storytelling wins.
LBB> What do you think will be the big talking points at this year’s festival?
PF> I think the tech companies always give us a lot to talk about at Cannes. But I also think it’s the work that’s winning that gets the most buzz, and deservedly so. People will be talking about the work that’s winning and why. There’s a great opportunity to elevate the industry through these conversations, especially when the dialogue is open with our clients.
LBB> How will you be spending the rest of your time in Cannes? Are there any events or talks you’re eager to attend?
PF> I think we’ll be booked pretty solid on the Film jury, but if time allows, I’m looking to hear talks that I can’t hear anywhere else. And the amazing power of Cannes is that it brings so many of us together. I look forward to seeing colleagues from around the globe and celebrating the ways our industry is moving forward because of the great minds behind it —both agency people and the bravest clients.