The 2009 Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors' Showcase Asks

Today, Saatchi & Saatchi presents a line up of the world’s best new directing talent at the 19th Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors’ Showcase (NDS).

This year’s Showcase answers the question ‘Who’s next’?’  A concise expression of the Showcase’s purpose to identify, nurture and spotlight new creative talent.

Past Showcases have featured directors such as Michel Gondry, Tarsem, Jonathan Glazer, Danny Kleinman and Mark Romanek.

The event is single-minded in its focus on new directors. However, the Showcase continues its rich heritage of drama and surprises, including this year, an invasion of zombies.

To find the featured directors, Saatchi & Saatchi have their 150 offices worldwide submit candidates. They also trawl a number of highly relevant online channels, and partner with sites such as BUGvideos.

From an initial line up of several hundred candidate directors, the Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide Creative Board made the final selection of 23, a clear indication of the high standard the Board sets.

Commenting on content, Saatchi & Saatchi Creative Director, Global Culture, Richard Myers said, “It’s reassuring to find there are so many outstandingly talented new directors.  The level of creativity and expertise is very high indeed.”

“This year’s Showcase contains only a small number of traditional TV ads, which can be explained by global economics.  Not only are established directors making themselves more available, there is a general desire to ‘play it safe’ when it comes to choosing a director.  What this means is that new talent is often being overlooked.  Fortunately, other genres, music videos in particular, are plugging the gap for new directors to demonstrate what they can do.  The result is a seriously creative and eclectic Showcase.”

In line with this year’s theme and focus, Marc Price, the new director featured at this year’s Cannes Film Festival with his zombie film ‘Colin’, which he made for just £45 ($70), introduces the Showcase.  He speaks passionately about his experience in making ‘Colin’, before introducing the Showcase - as a fellow new director.

Marc says, “I just hope my story gives any new director with an idea for a film the confidence to just grab a camera and make it happen.”

Saatchi & Saatchi’s commitment to finding and showcasing the very best in new directing talent has lead to the launch of the New Directors’ Showcase YouTube Channel, making the Showcase even more accessible to fans and to up and coming directors, as well as simplifying the search for fresh talent by production companies and agencies.

The permanent NDS branded YouTube Channel gives the whole event a new and exciting digital element, with the NDS reel airing on the Channel as the live event is happening in Cannes.  This allows viewers around the world to play the reel, rate and comment as they watch it, participating in the ‘People’s Choice’ poll.  The Channel will also collect, in high-quality, all of the clips featured over the 19 years of the Showcase.

The NDS Channel will be part of the ongoing event, one that will play out all year, not just one day, so increasing the chances for new directors to be picked up.  From now on, visitors will be able to upload their own film to the YouTube Channel and submit it for consideration in forthcoming Showcases.

Tom Eslinger, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide Creative Director for Digital commented, “For the past several years, we’ve selected videos from online channels like Vimeo, YouTube and creative blogs like NotCot and Motionographer. With our own permanent Channel, we can constantly ‘fish where the fish are’ via YouTube, while also having potentially millions of eyes helping us ‘fish for talent’ all the time.”

“The anticipation of ‘Who’s Next’ will always be at the Showcase, but by launching a permanent YouTube Channel, we have made the search and debate for contenders into a permanent online social event”, comments Eslinger.

Summing up, Richard Myers says, “with this year’s Showcase we’ve created a bridge between its roots and its future”.

The Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors’ Showcase has become one of the most popular events during the Cannes Lions Festival. Again this year, it took place in The Grand Auditorium. The Showcase was again webcast on the Cannes Lions website.

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