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Nine young professionals to represent SL at Cannes Lions Festival in France


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By Shannon Jayawardena

Nine young professionals from the marketing communications industry are to represent Sri Lanka at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity in France next month. 

The representatives are the winners of this year’s local competition that was held recently. 

The competition was conducted by the IAA Sri Lanka Chapter, under the auspices of Metal Factor, the local representative of the Cannes Lions Festival. The competition was judged under six categories out of which winners were selected from only three, due to lack of quality, stated officials at a press briefing. 

IAA President Laila Gunasekara said: “The local competition was great fun and is a wonderful thing to be involved in, because we really do see the creativity and potential of the young people. I felt that the judges were a little harsh on the competitors, but that was only to keep the absolute best standard going. So from digital, television and design, we won’t be sending any winners.”

“The judges said that PR was fabulous, print was outstanding and the media really had a high standard, which is very heartening to know. The festival serve as an extremely important platform for our youth, who will play a pivotal role in taking our industry forward,” emphasised Gunasekara.

Out of 96 participants, Sanoj Fernando and Dulanjali Gunawardane from Ogilvy Media emerged winners under the media category, Maheshi Dunuwilage and Chanchala Gunewardena from Bates Strategic Alliance emerged winners under the PR category, and Tara Weerasinghe and Aadhil Izath from Dentsu Grants emerged winners from the print category. 

Alongside the local Lions competition, the Young Lions Marketers competition took place, selecting Chamindri Gunawardane and Arshad Mohideen from Softlogic Life to participate in the competition as well. Finally Dilushi Prasanna from the Academy of Design was selected to attend the Roger Hatchuel Academy and to compete in France. 

Metal Factor Founder Ranil de Silva stated: “I believe that the future of this industry is in the hands of the youth, and whatever that can be done to empower and energise them is very critical. This is the first time that we are having such a small festival, and it has been restricted to five to six days.  We are proud to continue our tradition of sending Sri Lanka’s top young professionals to compete at the Cannes Young Lions competition. “ He also added: “At the Cannes Young Lions Competitions, our teams will be able to showcase their skills and knowledge in a global competition. I have no doubt that they will make our industry and country very proud.”

The competition runs across multiple categories and provides youth in the industry with an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete against each other, while learning and broadening their horizons at the same time. 

The program is only open to professionals under 30 years, and is designed to celebrate and unleash the potential of industry’s young talent. The local nine will meet and compete with over 15,000 delegates from around 100 countries. 


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