Curiosity, research, open mind: How Cannes Lions shortlist jury members are prepping

We speak to Ashwini Deshpande, Sumitra Sengupta and Anusheela Saha to know their feelings on being part of the shortlist jury

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Jun 1, 2022 8:37 AM  | 4 min read

Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity recently announced the list of its shortlist jury members – a line-up of eminent advertising experts from across the globe who will be shortlisting world-class creative work and benchmark excellence from thousands of entries that the festival has received from across the globe, this June. The line-up consists of nine excellent industry insiders from India, who will be participating in the remote process soon. e4m recently interacted with a few of them to know their feelings on being part of the shortlist jury and how they are preparing to judge and benchmark the work.


Ashwini Deshpande, Co-founder & Director, Elephant Design

Deshpande, who has been a part of the Cannes Design Jury earlier, is expecting to see “well crafted, well-curated work that is not just testing the limits of software or hardware but also pushes the boundaries of the human mind and creative thinking,” as the shortlist jury for Industry Craft Lions.

She is also excited to attend the full festival this time, “As a jury member in 2015, I was unable to attend any of the talks or events that took place during the Cannes Lions Festival as the judging takes long hours. The advantage of being on the Shortlist jury would be to get to attend the festival in its entirety!”

Speaking of the benchmarks that she has set for judging the entries, Deshpande quips, “While judging craft, I don't want to get taken in just by the beauty of a piece. Sometimes a seemingly ugly image requires intense craftsmanship and conveys a message very powerfully. I will be looking for that edgy, disruptive use of craft as well.”

On being asked how she is preparing herself for the process, she replies, “No amount of networking or travel prepares you for the deepest insights from local or hyper-local cultural nuances. That is where accompanying write-ups help. And one can always reach out to a jury member from a specific region or read up on the internet. It is fascinating to see a lot more cultural context seeping into the work that gets entered at Cannes Lions.”


Sumitra Sengupta, Executive Creative Director, FCB India, India

As part of the Film Lions Shortlist Jury, Sengupta says, “The thought of seeing all the work before the jury sees it, is a big high. And I think this is a gift that never stops giving. I mean judging here changes you and I am looking forward to not being the same again. I am expecting to see all kinds of epic work, considering they are coming from all over the world.” She is looking forward to seeing ideas that make her jealous and have the power to bring a change in behaviour and are never finished.

On her preparations, she highlights, “Curiosity and sleepless nights should see me through the whole process. That’s the only way I can get to know what I don’t. So yes, it’s going to be lots of research, asking endless questions and drinking coffee.”


Anusheela Saha, Group Creative Director, FCB, India

Saha, who is a part of the Mobile Lions Shortlist Jury is really excited about the category, “I am a tech fiend and device-driven creativity always delights me the most. I am most looking forward to seeing and evaluating work which uses existing technology and pushes its boundaries.”

On being asked about her parameters to judge the work, she replies, “The intrinsic use of the portable platform and how best it’s applied to a specific category.”

She is preparing herself to assess the work coming from global locations, even ones whose culture and society she might not be completely familiar with by keeping an open mind.



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