The New York Times and Droga5 win Film Grand Prix, Canada shut out

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Despite 11 shortlist appearances, Canadian advertising came away empty-handed in the Film Lions awarded Friday night.

The Grand Prix was awarded to The New York Times and Droga5 for “The Truth is Worth It,” a series of five short films chronicling reporters’ efforts to chase, develop and write some of the biggest and most important stories of our tumultuous times (see all five films below).

“To be the best film you really have to have a brilliant idea, but it has to be combined with a brilliant execution,” said jury president Margaret Johnson, chief creative officer and partner, Goodby Silverstein & Partners.

“They’re all incredibly intense,” said Johnson of the five films. “And I think part of that intensity comes from the voice [of] the journalists, [which] I think brings a lot of credibility, authenticity and intensity to each of the spots.”

“[It is] a campaign built on the profound importance to society of what The New York Times actually does, highlighting the journalists behind it.”

“The platform itself is incredibly flexible,” she added. “It’s as current as what’s happening in our world today. So I just like that it’s not a campaign that’s a blip, it actually can continue on, and has a ‘bigness’ to it.”

Asked about Nike’s popular “Dream Crazy” a favourite for the Grand Prix, Johnson said the jury did talk about it. “[We] all agreed that it is an amazing campaign, very great. Our favourite part of that campaign was the print, the outdoor. Bam, amazing headline. It was super simple and it got straight to the point. So for us, it was an incredible campaign, but the key piece was the print.” While “Dream Crazy” was the Grand Prix winner in Outdoor, it did not win in Print.

The Film competition was especially competitive this year, said Johnson, with a record number of entries. “[It was] super competitive, we have the best storytellers in the world using this platform.” In total, there were 2,793 entries—including 93 from Canada—of which 262 made the shortlist.

David Brown