JWT’s Asela wins Sri Lanka’s first Cannes Lions Young Creative Academy scholarship

Monday, 10 June 2013 11:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Asela De Silva, Senior Copywriter at JWT Colombo, has been awarded a scholarship to attend the prestigious Cannes Lions Young Creative Academy – a week-long creative program that will take place alongside the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity starting from 16 June 2013. Asela is the first Sri Lankan to be awarded a scholarship to the academy.

A highly commendable aspect of Cannes Lions is the emphasis it places upon training and nurturing young creative talent through a number of interactive workshops and academies. One amongst many academies at the festival is the Cannes Lions Young Creative Academy - a ‘bespoke learning program’ established in 2012.

The academy focuses on encouraging and developing creative thinking, evaluating and validating new ideas, and understanding as well as developing innovations. Unilever, the sponsor of the academy, offered five fully-paid scholarships to this year’s festival for young creative talent from developing and emerging markets.

The scholarships were awarded according to the best entries submitted in response to Unilever’s creative brief, which asked entrants to develop a CSR campaign for one of its brands (the entrants had five brands to choose from).

Asela, who submitted an entry for Surf Excel, was one of five entrants to win the scholarship from over a 100 countries that were eligible to submit entries. Speaking immediately after the announcement, Asela had this to say about his achievement: “I’m truly honoured to represent JWT and Sri Lanka at Cannes. It’s obviously an amazing opportunity. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Every young creative in Sri Lanka should make the most of these opportunities. I’m meeting some brilliant creative thinkers at Cannes this year.”

Inspiring creativity for over six decades, Cannes Lions is the world’s greatest celebration of creative communications. Over 11,000 members of the global creative industry will meet in Cannes for a festival that showcases the most outstanding creative work produced around the world over the last year.

Whilst the awards ceremony is one of the most popular events at the festival, the seminars are a critical backbone, bringing together creative thought-leaders, industry gurus, non-advertising creative stars and clients for keynote presentations, discussions and debates about global creative trends, innovations and technologies.

The academy offers 35 industry creatives the unique privilege of interacting with inspirational creative thinkers from the ad industry and elsewhere. Bob Isherwood, the present Dean of the Young Creative Academy, was the former Worldwide Creative Director of Saatchi & Saatchi, and it was during his tenure that the network won over 8,000 awards.

Isherwood himself possesses an awe-inspiring laundry list of awards and achievements; notable amongst them is Australia’s First Gold Lion for Film at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Isherwood is also one of few people in the world to win a Gold award for Advertising from D&AD.

This year’s academy will also feature the following speakers: George Lois (Master Communicator), David Droga (Founder and Creative Chairman of Draog5), Sir Alan Parker (Film Director, Producer and Screenwriter), Tim Mellors (Worldwide Chief Creative Director, Grey Group), Yonathan Dominitz (Founder and Trainer, Mindscapes), Daniel Lamarre (President and CEO of Cirque de Soleil), Mary Lee Sjonell (Executive Creative Director of The Storytelling Academy), Janet Kestin (Founder of SWIM) and Lama Jigme Rinpoche.