Cannes Lions 2019: 7 out of 11 jury members selected from India are women

Garima Khandelwal of Mullen Lintas and Pallavi Chakravarti of Taproot Dentsu, both jurors this year, share their views on the gender balance in the jury panel

by Noel Dsouza
Published - May 30, 2019 8:47 AM Updated: May 30, 2019 8:47 AM
Cannes Lions

The organisers of Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity released the final list of the 2019 jurors earlier this month. A total of 11 jurors have been selected from India this year, and seven of them, which amounts to nearly 63 per cent, are women creatives. 

The jurors selected from India are: Deepshikha Dharmaraj, MD, Genesis Burson Cohn Wolfe (PR jury); Ishteyaque Amjad, VP, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability, Coca Cola (Sustainable Development Goals jury); Pallavi Chakravarti, Executive Creative Director, Taproot Dentsu (Direct jury); Praful Akali, Founder and MD, Medulla Communications (Pharma jury); Garima Khandelwal, Chief Creative Officer, Mullen Lintas Group (Film jury); Rathi Gangappa, CEO, Starcom (Media jury); Sandipan Bhattacharyya, Chief Creative Officer, Grey (Brand Experience & Activation jury); Saurabh Varma, CEO, South Asia, Publicis Groupe (Creative Effectiveness jury); Geet Rathi, Creative, Design Director, TBWA, India (Health & Wellness); Malvika Mehra, Cheif Creative Officer, Dentsu India (Design); and Tista Sen, Senior Vice President, National Creative Director, JWT, India (Glass). 

The figure of 63 per cent is indeed a progress since it has gone up from 46 per cent in 2018. exchane4media spoke to Garima Khandelwal and Pallavi Chakravarti about their views on the number of women jurors selected from India and what they look forward to about the festival of creativity. 

Khandelwal, who is a first-time judge at Cannes Lions feels a juror is a juror; not a male or female. “The ratio is in conversation because this year we have spoken about the need for gender balance more than ever. It’s heartening to see capable and respectable names at the world stage, and I am also glad there are a lot of first-time jurors in this year's jury,” she said.
 
Chakravarti, who will be judging the Direct category, stated, “I believe a juror should be chosen keeping some clear criteria in mind. She or he should have won awards, should have produced culturally relevant and clutter-breaking work and should have earned the respect of peers and clients alike. If all these parameters are met, then gender diversity on the jury further increases the prospects of varied points of view, richer debates and a more well-rounded assessment of the work on the table. So yes, it’s a good move in my opinion.”

Speaking about the creative campaign entries that stood out and has a sure shot of winning both nationally and internationally, Chakravarti commented, “It’s Cannes. Anything can happen. So can’t predict any sure shot winners, or at least we won’t know till the festivities begin and with it, the buzz. Gillette’s ‘The Best Men Can Be’ campaign is one that comes to mind. I feel it will be a violently debated campaign this year. Let’s see who wins a Lion.”

Talking about what they look forward to most, Khandelwal said, “I’m hoping that the films I voted for win the metals and I come back recharged and rebooted.”

Chakravarti remarked, “Great ideas. The same as always.” 

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