The two winning films from MOFILM’s Guinness Africa contest were broadcast on Pan-African TV this month, spurring us to take a look back at this landmark campaign. The contest was MOFILM’s first chance to really engage in Africa and to connect with African filmmakers who are telling authentic, contemporary stories specific to that region’s culture.
Guinness has been sold in Africa since the early nineteen hundreds and today, Africa accounts for about 40 percent of the volume of Guinness brewed and sold globally. Guinness came to us looking to build on its strong heritage in Africa, while updating it for a new generation of stout drinkers. The brand wanted to tap in to authentic stories about the new generation of positive minded individuals who make up an integral part of the Africa of now. Showcasing people who emulate this bold new spirit and who are “made of more”.
As this was MOFILM’s first contest to be open only to African filmmakers, we set out on a Pan-continent roadshow to connect with up-and-coming creators in the region visiting Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, to tell filmmakers about the Guinness contest and MOFILM in general. It was an amazing experience to meet so many people who were so passionate about telling stories and as a result of our efforts overseas we were overrun with incredible entries.
On judging day, the quality was so good, that Guinness decided to award a joint first place prize. The winning films were premiered at the African International Film Festival in 2014 before broadcasting both on Pan-African TV.
Peter Walker – Dark
Peter worked as a senior creative in the advertising industry for years, wining many awards and high profile recognition for his work. Eventually he decided that he was tired of coming up with great ideas that were executed by someone else and decided to make films himself. He started a small production company with his partner, Annalize, and has never looked back. He’s recently become a proud dad, so now has to juggle filmmaking with power naps and changing nappies.
Like all of the filmmakers we reached out to in Africa, Peter was excited and enthusiastic about showcasing what Africa was made of. He found that the brief really resonated with the type of story he wanted to tell and decided to focus in on the problem of “loadshedding”. A huge issue, particularly in South Africa and Nigeria, loadshedding is the sudden loss of power for hours and even days at a time. Peter wanted to look at the positive way people embraced these periods of darkness and demonstrate that when the lights go off things are still happening, people are still creating and new and exciting things can come out of the dark. This phenomenon for him perfectly captured the spirit of the young generation in Africa, they have the mindset and drive to embrace the opportunity as opposed to surrender to the inconvenience.
Fabian – Who am I?
Fabian has always had a desire to tell stories and been passionate about the world and peoples lives around him. His route in to film was slightly more traditional then Peter’s studying directing and cinematography at the prestigious South African film school AFDA. Ever since his AFDA days Fabian’s passion for filmmaking has grown and grown achieving a great deal of recognition for his talent and work, including an invitation to attend the Berlinale Talent Campus in 2012. With this brief for Guinness, Fabian saw another opportunity to showcase his talent and flair for storytelling on a brief that resonated perfectly with his interest in telling stories about the Africa of today.
Fabian honed in on the idea of creating an inspiring film that would speak to African men and women, many of whom felt burdened by their past and by a lack of education and opportunities. He wanted his story to show young individuals in Africa that the possibility to be who they want to be is infinite, so long as there is a will, there is a way. His piece follows the movement of African people – a humble and proud people that stand firm in their belief of turning hardship into something incredibly positive and creative. It speaks of new generation Africa; Standing proud on where they have come from and confident in where they are going.
If you want the opportunity to make amazing films for brands like this then check out our live briefs!
1. The anniversary of the first ever uploaded YouTube video has inspired this month’s film roundup! ‘Me at the zoo’ is the first video to have been uploaded to YouTube, uploaded at 8:27pm on Saturday April 23 2005 – featuring the site’s cofounder Jawed Karim.
2. With the surge of the touristy selfie-stick now in full motion, it may come as quite a surprise that the selfie-stick was originally invented in the 1980s by a Japanese man named Hiroshi Ueda, whom afer being frustrated with the photo skills of passers-by ruining his vacation photos — decided to use his engineering skills to take things in his own hands creating what was then known as the “extender stick”!
3. Here’s a sweet video for the lovers out there; check out Gies proposing to his girlfrield Amanda; all filmed with a GoPro on his dog Roo’s back!
4. With the shift from TV to social advertising made very apparent in all brand strategy; Jameson whiskey have created these great 3D style Facebook and Instagram videos!
5. After all the in-your-face PR for Jay-Z’s TIDAL, it’s slightly awkward to find out it’s (unsurprisingly) flopped, the numbers backing this up as the app falls out of the top 700 iTunes download list… and to make things worse, rivals Spotify and Pandora have moved up at the same time!
On Tuesday pop rock sensation The Plain White T’s released their new album ‘American Nights’. This album has a special significance for us here at MOFILM, or rather the first track on the album ‘Pause’ does, because it represents our first ever collaboration with a multi-platinum band.
Re-wind to last year and Lipton came to us with a very interesting challenge. They were looking for films that expressed their new brand positioning ‘Be More Tea’ – a call to action to pause and be more mindful and engaged in the always-on world we live in. Having been unable to convey their message through traditional TV advertising, they were confident that with our unique approach and network of talented creatives and filmmakers we could provide the answer.
Working with one of our filmmakers Ze Pedro we figured that the best way to convey Lipton’s message was through music. Or rather, a music video with a commissioned song that perfectly expressed the attitude and feeling of ‘being more tea’.
Thanks to some unlikely inspiration from some very junior MOFILM’ers (our chief creative director’s kids to be precise) we came across this video
and decided that the band we wanted to collaborate with was The Plain White T’s.
A few weeks later, ‘Pause’ was written and recorded – an upbeat, catchy song that perfectly reflected Lipton’s new brand positioning of embracing the moment and moving away from an ‘autopilot’ existence.
Here is the official music video, shot by Mike Venezia, the outcome of our first ever band collaboration.
To accompany the single’s release and the launch of the music video we also created a lyric video using footage from all over the world and shot by some of our most talented and prolific filmmakers: Raul B Fernandez, Jamie Muir and the Neymarc Brothers (edited by Ze Pedro, animated by KODE LDN).
If you’re keen to get involved with some great projects like this check out the new briefs!