I was delighted to hear the news from Cannes yesterday - 5B won the Entertainment Lions Grand Prix - so well deserved! Big congrats to J&J, UM Studios, Saville Productions and my friends Brendan Gaul and Rupert Maconick. This project stood several tests of patience and perseverance and these guys just knew this story needed to be told. It’s terrific to see it getting the attention it deserves. It’s out in theaters now, so go see it on the big screen!
We were fortunate to screen 5B during Brand Storytelling at Sundance Film Festival this past January. I had been briefed about the film from both Brendan and Rupert and I knew it would be an emotion-driven story directed by top Hollywood talent. The film screened at 8pm on the closing night of Brand Storytelling in the Silver Lake Lodge on Deer Valley mountain. The room was full of brands, agencies, media and production partners. I was unsure how settled this audience might be during the closing night of a mega-networking event. I was hoping that the chatter would stop and people would focus on the film and the story. And did they ever! After the first 90 seconds, the room fell completely silent. When credits rolled ninety-four minutes later the audience still sat in a sort of stunned silence as we continued to absorb the impact of this heart-wrenching story. Respectful applause began softly and then more emphatically as we rose to our feet, many, myself included, wiping away tears.
5B is a story that needed telling and J&J, to their credit, put the funding behind the project that brought it to life. This film is the first brand-funded film to be accepted into the Cannes Film Festival, which in the scheme of things, you might consider a greater honor than the Entertainment Lions Grand Prix. I’m wondering today how many brands are taking note of this accomplishment by J&J and considering funding of a feature film or series? This will be a topic at Elevate, July 28-31 as we reveal the results of a 500+ brand marketer survey seeking insight to the questions related to brand investment and participation in entertainment projects. I’m hoping we see more of this sort of bold brand move to discover and tell stories with impact. Seems like the right thing at the right time.
About Rick Parkhill
Rick Parkhill is a B2B media entrepreneur, founder of InfoText, Digitrends, iMedia and BrandStorytelling. A media junkie and observer, infatuated with the impact of media and technology on culture and society. Producer of over 100 advertising and media events, publisher, and journalist.