CANNES, France—In an upset, the Film Craft jury at Cannes Lions awarded its Grand Prix to a music video, The Blaze’s “Territory,” over the pre-festival favorite, “We’re the Superhumans,” which advertised coverage of last summer’s Paralympic Games on Britain’s Channel 4.
“Territory,” which also screened Thursday morning at Saatchi & Saatchi’s New Directors’ Showcase, is a remarkable piece of film, touching on issues of masculinity and vulnerability upon the occasion of a man’s homecoming. Its oblique narrative is advanced with astonishing craft skill from The Blaze, the directing team comprised of cousins Guillaume and Jonathan Alric, who also wrote the song.
Jury president Robert Galluzzo, founder and executive producer at Finch Australia, acknowledged that it is “a little strange” to choose a music video over a branded piece for the Grand Prix. But the jury was simply too enamored of “Territory” to deny it, he said.
“It was very hard not to award something that we believe was flawlessly crafted,” he said. “The casting is stunning. The cinematography is glorious. The music track is amazing. The edit is superb.”
The Grand Prix discussion indeed came down to “Territory” versus “Superhumans.” The latter, created by 4Creative and directed by Dougal Wilson, was also stunning, Galluzzo said, though he added that if you look at “Superhumans” enough times, “you can find tiny little flaws in it.”
“Superhumans” won five Lions in the category—two golds and three silvers.
In the end, the decision on the Grand Prix was unanimous.
“It was a wonderful story that we’re all passionate about,” Galluzzo said. “We watched it at least 20 times, and when I got back to my hotel I wished I could watch it again. It is a wonderful story about celebrating the human condition. We see it as less as a Grand Prix and more of a gift to the festival audience.”
Guillaume and Jonathan Alric, who made the piece under their directing name The Blaze, spoke about “Territory” with Fader magazine in April.
“We all have a place we call home, and we often live far from it,” Jonathan said. “‘Territory’ tells the story about a young guy going back to his family after a long time. It was, for us, a way to show strong feelings like love, and maybe the arrogance of youth. This situation is never easy—you sometimes have to fight to feel home again, in a place you don’t belong anymore. It’s a strong feeling of joy, and contradiction.”
“It’s not only about masculinity,” added Guillaume. “We’re always looking to highlight youth in our music videos—this is something that is really important to us. The way you act with your friends, and family, the way you share moments, this freedom.”