As one of the biggest events in the Cannes congress calendar, Lions International Festival of Creativity is a massive draw to the city and the French Riviera with big name stars coming to speak at the event as well as thousands of applicants entering their hard work in hopes of winning a coveted Lions statue. In addition to that, Lions winners can be invited to join the Cannes Lions jury; a career-defining opportunity for any of the talented and inspiring people that attend. The events are held in the famous Palais des Festivals in Cannes with 4 award ceremonies, an opening and a closing ceremony.
What is Lions Festival?
Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity was established in 1954 and brings together the creative communications industry annually to learn, connect and network. The June festival marks the start of the creative year and, as well as bringing together some of the most talented and inventive people in the world, it’s used to outline the year ahead. Each year almost 11,000 registered delegates from 90 different countries enter and attend the 7-day long festivities in a bid to earn the most well-respected award in the advertising industry.
The mission of Cannes Lions is to celebrate the powerful force that is creativity in businesses and the change it can bring to the world. Through a global network of official Lions representatives and a series of awards, events and training, the aim of inspiring and challenging the industry is ongoing.
In the 1990’s the festival added a programme of learning in the form of seminars and workshops. The festival has since grown immensely with 2013 featuring nearly 130 different seminars over the 7-day event. Famous and well-known names come to speak and share words of wisdom from all over the industry and include musician, Jack Black, F1 driver Jenson Button, photographer Annie Leibovitz and founder of the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington.
How are the awards given?
Each jury in the Cannes Lions Festival is made up of industry experts in each field from all over the world. Jurors are instructed to reward advertising that is both creative in its idea and in its execution and advertisements are usually entered by the agencies that created them.
The categories awarded include Film, Media, Press, Radio, Mobile, PR and Creative Effectiveness among a whole range of others. The festival launched a brand new category in 2013 for innovative technology that facilitates creativity and named it ‘Innovation Lions’. Global start ups can now also apply for the Start Up Academy in order to receive festival passes and mentorship sessions that will come in handy for the future.
The Young Lions competitions are open to advertising professionals up to the age of 28 years old to work in teams of 2 across a series of categories including print, PR, design and young marketers. Regional competitions are held in each country to select teams to go forward. The winners of those rounds then go on to the final round of competitions at the Cannes Lions Festival.
Cannes Lions offers 3 specialist events to help those working in specific sectors to work on their skills and knowledge they need to move forward in the industry.
Lions Health – Dedicated to showcasing inspiring ideas and connects global healthcare and pharmaceutical professionals in order for them to share problems, knowledge and advice.
Lions Innovation – This kick starts collaborations between investors and start up companies as well as exploring the technology and data that enables creativity.
Lions Entertainment – Bringing together people who revel in sound and vision; Lions Entertainment creates compelling brands with partnerships and inescapable creativity within platforms, agents and agencies, studios and labels.
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