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Cannes 2015: On my way to a Cannes debut: Sanjay Mehta

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Cannes 2015: On my way to a Cannes debut: Sanjay Mehta

The one thing that I am worried about, is being overwhelmed!
The humungous number of parallel activities, from speakers to workshops to parties to networking, I am wondering how I will be able to make the best selection and the most optimum use of my time.

But wait, I am running ahead of myself…

It all started several months back, when an innocuous sounding email landed in my inbox. It said that my name was being considered for a nomination to the Cannes Jury and whether I will be interested to be considered.

Wait a minute! What!

In the middle of occasional event speaking invites and such, that do come in, this was like a bolt from the blue.

Then I saw that it was about a “nomination”. Well, maybe they send a lot of names. And few get selected. So what the heck, let’s put the hat in the ring. I said sure, I’d be interested.
And quickly forgot all about it.

Till another few weeks went by, and in came an email to say that I had been selected!! To be on the Mobile Awards Jury at the Cannes Lions 2015.


I had to check the domain name of the sender and the link and all that. I didn’t want to be a victim of a different kind of phishing attack!

Turned out that it was all genuine and indeed, I had been selected!

What an honour! What a rare privilege!

And here I am, a few more months later, about to embark of my Cannes debut journey. And not as a visitor, not as a delegate, but as a juror.

A part of just 13 folks from India, out of a total of 300-odd jury members from all over the world.

And I am looking forward to the next 10-12 days with a childlike enthusiasm and excitement!
The next 6 days are going to be grueling morning to evening jury duty, going over hundreds of entries in the Mobile category. I have already done the preliminary viewing of about 400 entries and I was super-impressed, to say the least. Being a tech driven category, there’s phenomenal innovation including use of proximity sensing, augmented reality, creating actual mobile driven products, and some fascinating user experience stories.

Debating and discussing these with other jury members, and seeing the rest of the entries, is going to the task cut out for me, over the next few days.

Before we get into the festival proper. Which I am only able to imagine.
More of these, I will share as I experience it over the next few days.
But I can imagine creativity brimming to the surface all over.

And there is Cannes, the place itself. And Nice. And the rest of the south of France.
Folks are telling me about the awesome places to see and go to.
And here I am wondering when I will even get the time?!

Let’s see what best I can make of the Cannes debut then. But I have reserved the best for myself, for AFTER the Cannes Lions. It’s a wish-list, and if I can make it happen, it will perhaps pip even Cannes, in terms of the sheer high of the experience. But no hints on that one, for now. Will share when it happens, and when I am there. Till then, fingers crossed!!

Will be tweeting and periscoping and meerkating and instagramming and doing vines as much as I can. I believe there’s free WiFi most places. So stay connected to get a glimpse of Cannes.

The author is Joint-CEO, Social Wavelength.

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