Acclaimed director Spike Lee kick-started a young filmmaker’s career in Cannes yesterday by announcing him the winner of the MOFILM user-generated content initiative.
The competition led by MOFILM, a pioneer of crowd sourcing for entertainment and mobile, saw twelve global advertisers, including Nokia, Doritos, Kodak and Philips, hand over a real brief to consumers. The challenge was to produce a 30-second commercial for any of the various brands in 6 weeks.
Lee personally judged a shortlist of twelve films and whittled them down to a final three, before announcing 23 year-old Hiroki Ono of Japan the winner with his film for Nokia. All three finalists had been flown to the festival by the competition’s organisers.
Lee, famed for films such as Malcolm X, 25th Hour and Inside Man, has been the professor of film at New York University for the past twelve years and is a long-term advocate of raw film styles.
“Anything that gives young people a chance to show what young people can do, I support,” said Lee. “You don’t need to be employed by an agency to make commercials. Before creativity was a lockdown. I’m 52 and my generation went to film school just to get access to equipment. Now they can say, ‘I don’t need to go to film school’.”
Picking up a mobile phone on the table in front of him, Lee said: “We’re coming to a time very soon where we’ll go into a theatre and see a film shot entirely on a mobile phone. You have to make your own breaks. You can’t wait for some hand to come down and anoint you the next Tarantino, or whoever.”