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Anthony Chelvanathan makes Cannes history

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Anthony Chelvanathan made history by being the first-ever Sri Lankan to serve on the jury at the prestigious Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.  Anthony joined a world-class panel of judges who evaluated and awarded the best work presented in the ‘Direct’ category at the festival. 

Born in Sri Lanka, Anthony took up residence in Canada after the start of the country’s conflict in the mid 80’s. Today, he is one of Canada’s most awarded creative directors who has to his name numerous globally acknowledged accolades, including several Grand Prix awards. He embarked on an illustrious career at Leo Burnett Toronto to make a name for himself as one of the most talented and prolific creatives in Canada and went on to secure worldwide acclaim.

Anthony has a very close working relationship with the Leo Burnett office in Colombo and visited the country on two occasions in 2017 to help the local office achieve its ambition of earning global recognition for its work. 

Commenting on Anthony’s appointment to the jury, Ranil de Silva, the founder of Metal Factor (the local representative of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity) said: “We are delighted that Anthony was selected to serve on the Cannes Lions jury, and more importantly, to be recognised as a representative from the Sri Lankan advertising community. He had the opportunity to be a juror alongside some of the advertising industry’s most revered movers and shakers. Metal Factor has always strived to provide Sri Lanka’s marketing communications industry the best possible exposure at the world’s biggest ad festivals. We are extremely proud of Anthony for being the first Sri Lankan to be recognised and to be invited to contribute as a judge at the Cannes Lions.” 

Also sharing his thoughts, Anthony Chelvanathan said: “It truly is a great honour to be selected as the first Sri Lankan to serve as a judge at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. I would like to thank Ranil de Silva, my friend and colleague, for making this wonderful opportunity possible and for all the support that has been rendered to me. To serve on the Cannes Lions jury and to be the first Sri Lankan to be a juror is a very special privilege. 

In his career that spans over 15 years, Anthony has been recognised with nearly every national and international industrial accolade and honour, including D&AD, Cannes, One Show, ADC, Communication Arts, LIA and Clios. His exceptional work in both the traditional and digital spaces has led to him being ranked the number one art director in Canada multiple times. 

In 2009, The Gunn Report ranked Anthony sixth in the world and his Cannes Gold Lion-winning campaign for James Ready Beer was the top out-of-home campaign. 

In 2015, his follow-up video to the #LikeAGirl campaign got more than 90 million views from around the globe while his TSN outdoor campaign promoting the Rogers Cup was among the most awarded billboard campaigns in the world.

In 2017, Anthony’s IKEA ‘parchment paper’ execution racked up multiple Golds in Cannes, adding to his tally of more than 100 international awards, including a Grand Clio.

Founded in 1954, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is an eight-day program that focuses on creative inspiration, celebration, education and networking. Over 15,000 delegates from around 100 countries attend the festival, making it the only truly global meeting place for communications professionals to connect, share and discover the latest advancements, trends and innovations in the industry.

Metal Factor is the official local representative of the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. The organisation was established by renowned advertising professional Ranil de Silva who set up the project as a CSR initiative to support an industry which has rewarded him immensely. Metal Factor is committed to uplifting the standards of the marketing communications industry in Sri Lanka and is dedicated to helping Sri Lanka’s ad industry gain global recognition. 


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