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Brand Storytelling 2022 Brand Film Award Recipients

Jordan P. Kelley & Reilly Parkhill, Brand Storytelling

On March 9th, 2022, the Brand Storytelling Winter event closed with the presentation of several awards to films, brands, and filmmakers elected to participate in this year’s Brand Storytelling Brand Film Showcase. Awards for social justice, purpose and impact, brand value, best director, and a grand jury award were given to acknowledge the outstanding work created and presented in each of these designated categories. Here’s a closer look at the awards given:

In the category of Social Justice, the film ‘Black Boys’ was awarded for its powerful position on spotlighting the biases and injustices faced by African American youth and men in all facets of their lives. Jon-Thomas Royston, CEO and Co-Founder of Never Whisper Justice, the organization creating disruptive social justice media, accepted the award on behalf of both the organization and the brand. The film stands out not only because it calls for real change in education, equity, and equality for its subjects, but because it supports those calls to action with the Frontlines of Justice e-learning platform and a pledge from Old Spice to improve high school graduation rates in marginalized schools by ten percent in the next eight years.

In the category of Purpose & Impact, the film ‘Dear Santa’ was awarded for showcasing the Postal Service’s ‘Operation Santa’ program’s positive impact on customers and their communities. Brendan Gaul, Global Chief Content Officer of Mediabrands, accepted the award on behalf of the USPS. ‘Dear Santa’ demonstrates how a national brand can impact all the communities it reaches across the country by offering something tangible like the ‘Operation Santa’ program to each of those communities, regardless of locale, income, and resources.

In the category of Brand Value, the film ‘Way of the Wildcard, Mira Rai: The Girl Who Runs on Happiness’ was awarded for is exemplary ability to capture a story that simultaneously entertains and connects with the company’s values most prized by its consumers. Jono Stevens and Jonny Madderson, Co-Founders of JustSo, accepted the award as the film’s directors and on behalf of the brand. The film tells a story of triumph and overcoming immense obstacles in a way that is both familiar and new. The ideals at the center of the film are ideals shared strongly by the audience Red Bull intends to reach with all of its content, earning it the Brand Value Award.

In the category of Best Director, the director of the film ‘The Show’, Nadia Hallgren, was awarded not only for her masterful visual telling of the making of The Weeknd’s 2021 Super Bowl Halftime Show, but for doing so against the unprecedented circumstances of working through the COVID pandemic. Nadia herself accepted the award, thanking her team and the brand for their contributions to the effort. Nadia’s ability to work through the difficulties before her by creating and adhering to health and safety guidelines on the fly while simultaneously forming personal connections with the cast and crew resulted in the capturing of a fascinating story resulting in a wonderful film.

This year’s Grand Jury Prize was awarded to ‘Learning to Drown’ from The North Face. Receiving the highest praise from the selection committee, ‘Learning to Drown’ is a thoughtful and captivating exploration of what it looks like to be engaged in a battle with mental health, set against the backdrop of an extreme sport. Legendary snowboarder and subject of the film Jess Kimura accepted the award, giving a touching tribute to her late partner Mark Dickson and his mother. Her ability to be so open about the difficulty of grappling with mortality and lost love set the film apart from the field, rightly earning it the honor of the Grand Jury Prize.


Congratulations to all this year’s winners and a special thank you to each of the brands selected as well as the 150+ submissions we received to participate in Brand Storytelling 2022. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year.


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