On Thursday, Saatchi & Saatchi premiered the 26th edition of its annual New Directors’ Showcase at the Lumière Theatre in Cannes, to an audience of more than 2,300 Cannes Lions delegates. This year the Showreel features 20 directors, including one Artificial Intelligence director. The audience will be challenged to identify the AI film, which was created through a collaboration between Saatchi & Saatchi, Team One and Zoic Labs in Los Angeles.
Of this year's submissions, Andy Gulliman, NDS Curator and Producer, and Director of Film & Content, Saatchi & Saatchi, said, “There’s an abundance of craft and different techniques on the NDS 2016 reel; from Claymation to full on AI, beautiful cinematography and amazing narratives. What’s amazing this year is there are more directors not represented by production companies than any previous year. This year it was harder to find the humor we’ve recognized in previous years. In 2016 dedication to craft outweighs laughs.”
Here's the NDS Class of 2016:
Albert Omoss Undercurrents
Anni Mathison Eclipse
Bennet Silverman Handjob Cabin
Caroline Bartleet Operator
Connor Hurley El Perro Del Mar 'In The Woods'
Dan DiFelice Carved in Mayhem
Dorota Kobiela Loving Vincent
Grant Singer Skrillex 'Red Lips'
Jake Dypka Hollie McNish 'Embarrassed'
James Burns We Live This
Jason Kupfer Invaders
Layzell Bros Harvey Nichols 'Shoplifters'
Matt Lambert Mykki Blanco 'High School Never Ends'
Nicolas Davenel KCPK ft. STS 'Who Wants It'
Nicos Livesey Radkey Glore
Reed Morano Coordown 'How Do You See Me?'
Rupert Burton AICP Reel
Studio Smack De Staat 'Witch Doctor'
Tomas Vergara Isolated
Uri Lotan & Yoav Shtibelman Jane Bordeaux ‘Ma’agalim'
You can see their featured work here.
Three female directors are featured this year; Reed Morano, Caroline Bartleet and Dorota Kobiela. There are noticeably fewer commercials on the 2016 Showreel as highlighted by Reed Morano’s "How Do You See Me" film for CoorDown, which stars Hollywood actress Olivia Wilde, and the Layzell Bros ‘Shoplifters’ ad for Harvey Nichols.
American director Connor Hurley wrote, produced, directed and starred in a cinematic music video ‘El Perro del Mar’ for In The Woods. Hurley is currently gearing up to produce a feature film about the US prison system.
British actress and director Caroline Bartleet won the 2016 Best British Short Film BAFTA for her 7-minute short film ‘Operator.’ Bartleet based the script on a real life 999 call, (similar to 911 in the US) which inspired her to make the film and showcases the composure of emergency services operators during crises. Another short, ‘We Live This’, a documentary directed by James Burns, follows the lives of four young boys from the projects in New York. The NDS Showreel features an excerpt from the short.
Burns spent time in solitary confinement at age six and was later incarcerated at an adult facility in Colorado when he was still a minor spending years in the criminal justice system. American filmmaker and musician Jason Kupfer’s horror short ‘Invaders,’ which was featured at Slamdance and Beyond Fest, won at Fantastic Fest and documents an attempted burglary turned into gory slasher fest. Bennett Silverman (USA) also pays homage to the horror genre in his trailer for breakout horror movie ‘Handjob Cabin’, which follows four friends whose vacation is interrupted by an overly friendly ghost.
The AI director featured in the 2016 Showreel goes under the pseudonym of Anni Mathison and is the result of the experiment commissioned by Saatchi & Saatchi and Team One in a short film named “Eclipse,” conceived, edited and directed by machines. The short film debuts today on the anniversary of scientist Alan Turing’s birth on June 23, 1912. Turing was the first to ask the question, “Can machines think?” which then leads immediately to the question can machines be creative?
Of Eclipse, Team One Chief Creative Officer Chris Graves said, “What’s next in the evolution of what it means to be a director? Because of innovations in technology, the definition has changed over the years. We are continuing to explore and advance the art of filmmaking, and are challenging the creative community this year, by asking them and the world, ‘Can a film made by machines move you?’”