Anthony Svirskis' Cannes Diary #3

Screen Shot 2018-06-21 at 8.05.25 am.jpgAnthony Svirskis (left), chief executive officer at Tribe is representing Australia on the Cannes Social & Influencer Lions jury. Svirskis, along with most of the other Australian and NZ jurors writes for CB.

THE OTHER day, I may have written something optimistic about bonding with my fellow jury members. 'Growing close,' was the phrase I used.

Yeah, about that.

We've spent four days on lock-down, deciding the fate of the entrants: Judge, jury and executioner. Today was the big day: the last 200. The final bloody countdown.
Screen Shot 2018-06-21 at 8.05.39 am.jpgThe room was tense. It was already scorching from the French sun, but things around the table got heated. One minute you're eating cake and drinking beers, the next you're arguing fiercely about which of the entrants would make the cut. Different opinions, driven by different schools of thought, background and ideas were bound to make for fraught discussion.

Two hours into the day we'd managed to make it through just twenty submissions. We needed a break before one of us broke. So, we took a breather; to change tune, to reset a bit. It was a good idea. We came back in, found a common rhythm, and stopped squabbling. Sort of.
 
It endured. Total consensus was rare, even on the industry-lauded pieces, we pulled apart definition, context and social relevance. It was hard work, but such an edifying experience. It reminded me how important it is to hear different opinions, to engage with those with different expertise. Trying to understand another's perspective is a learning curve, regardless of if you agree with it or not.

We got on with the job. Time was running out. By 9pm we'd finished our first draft of the shortlist, but it needed a final review. Here we go again. Round two: Fight.

A mini debate commenced, but didn't last long. Everyone was hungry and weary. Spending that long in a room does things to you. Though I've learned a highly-important, existential lesson: Pizza is the universal food of peace. They could stop wars with it if everyone just sat down and ate a slice. We chilled out, got back to it, and smashed through the remainder.

Screen Shot 2018-06-21 at 8.05.48 am.jpgAfter 14 hours we made it. Over the finish line. There exists a tight, thorough shortlist. We can't wait to show it the world. It's the first time this award has been done, and it's going to be a good one. The quality of work is astounding.

It was arduous, but a fantastic experience. The guys and girls are all great, even if they are wrong sometimes. Fourteen hours, though. I was dead to the world. Walking home, I didn't even stop to listen to The Killers playing at Spotify Beach. I couldn't open up my eager eyes. I'm definitely not Mr. Brightside.

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