The Leica M-Monochrom “Soul” film won five awards at the Cannes Lions Festival

The short film "Soul" which was created for the launch of the M-Monochrom camera in the Leica Store in São Paulo, won five awards at the Cannes Lions Festival and a total of 17 international awards. This controversial production was not associated with Leica Camera AG - it was created independently by Sentimental Filme production company and FNazca / Saatchi & Saatchi agency.

Press release:

TRIUMPH IN CANNES: ALMA (SOUL), PRODUCED BY SENTIMENTAL FILME, WINS FIVE AWARDS. FULL OF PRAISE FOR DIRECTOR VELLAS

Latest international award for the first-ever Leica brand campaign in Brazil brings total to 17

Alma (Soul), the movie produced by Sentimental Filme, directed by Vellas and conceived by agency F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, has just scooped five awards at the Cannes Lions Festival in France on Saturday (22/06).

The first Brazilian campaign for Leica, the legendary German camera company, was developed for the launch of the M Monochrom digital camera and to introduce the single brand concept store in São Paulo. Alma has won the Golden Lion for Cinematography, the Silver Lion for Direction and two Bronze Lions for Editing and Art Direction, all in the Craft category. In the Film category, one of the most fiercely contested, Alma took the Silver Lion in the Retail Stores segment.

Alma tells the gripping story of a war photographer from the point of view of his camera. These latest awards bring the tally of international accolades for the film to 17.

"It is like a dream come true: it's a huge thrill to win all these awards at Cannes, one of the most important festivals for the sector. For me, for the whole team that made the movie and for Brazil this is a confirmation of the strength of our creativity. Alma is a dense film, longer than traditional advertising, in black and white and, moreover, it does not have a happy ending. All these victories are very rewarding and we are very happy", said a thrilled Vellas, the director.

The movie

Told between wars and loves, this is an engaging story of a photographer narrated from the unusual viewpoint of the lens of his own camera. Shot in black and white, the movie sports unconventional angles and, sometimes, deliberately blurred images, as if the camera was held in the photographer’s actual hand or slung round his neck. The movie has already racked up a string of awards (see the complete list below). You watch the movie in full here: http://vimeo.com/65571903

The director

Born in 1982 in Rio de Janeiro, Vellas (Felipe Vellasco) moved to São Paulo in 1995. Initially he studied

marketing then went to work in the creative departments of leading agencies such as DM9DDB and Ogilvy & Mather. After several years as an art director, he decided to switch to working for production companies as an art director and animator. He quickly began directing his own projects and after a few years worked with a partner. Since 2012 he has been a solo director of live-action movies for Sentimental Filme.

The production company

During 11 years of creative activity, Sentimental Filme has become one of the most important advertising film producers from Brazil. Winner of several national and international awards, including a Bronze Lion at Cannes, three Clio Awards, and two One Show prizes, the company also comprises a division that produces content for TV, internet, entertainment, interactive advertising, corporate communications and new media. Its major clients include Fiat, Ford, Panasonic, Volkswagen, Visa, Procter & Gamble and AB Imbev.

Film-Craft-Winners

Awards received for Alma (“Soul”)

Cannes Festival of Creativity – Cannes, France

  • Film category: 1 Silver Lion at Retail Stores segment
  • Craft category: 1 Gold Lion for Cinematography, 1 Silver Lion for Direction, 2 Bronze Lions for Art direction and Editing

D&AD Awards – London, UK

  • Film Advertising Craft category: 2 Yellow Pencils for Direction and Cinematography

FIAP (Festival Iberoamericao De La Publicidad) - Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Section: Audiovisual Production Techniques: 4 Golds in the categories for General Direction, Art Direction, Photography, Sound design and 1 Silver in Editing.
  • 1 Gold in the TV and Film section.

One Show - Los Angeles, United States

  • ONE SHOW DESIGN – 1 Gold for Broadcast and Moving Image.

Clio - New York, United States

  • Film Technique: 2 Golds in the categories Best Direction and Cinematography. Finalist for Editing and Sound Design

Wave Festival - São Paulo, Brazil

  • 1 Gold in the Film category
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  • MS

    Awesome!

  • Soul

    Robert Capa.

    • 103David

      …who, of course, didn’t use a Leica.
      Was carrying a Contax and a Rollei when he stepped on the land mine.

      • Stanco55

        Hey- that’s no excuse as to why Leica et al can’t profit from a photographic icon’s death and legacy!

        • Nathan Amedee

          Why let the facts get in the way of a good story.

    • Cajun Exile

      News Flash…Capra was not the only war photographer who ever lived.

      • Justin Booze

        Please, tell me what other war photographer during the time frame as portrayed in this vignette was also assigned to a French regiment and stepped on a landline. They seem to be a dime-a-dozen according to you.

  • MB

    Pathos

    • 103David

      Bathos

      • a. Lurker

        Nice.

      • MB

        Ethos?

  • dannybuoy

    Expertly shot and directed. I love the low angle shot of the soldier running. Really conveys the desperation and energy of battle.

  • One More Thought

    I know some criticized it for exploiting war and death, but to me that was always silly. It exploits war and death only so much as all of the movies and TV shows made about war do, which is to say that it uses war as a subject to make a point. If you criticize this ad, then criticize every movie and TV show made about war for exploiting that subject for commercial gain.

    It’s a finely crafted piece, and one that deserves to have won these awards.

    • http://leicarumors.com/ Leica Rumors

      I am also one of the few that actually like this film.

    • Stanco55

      Agreed, it’s a finely filmed and crafted ad, a high end commercial suited to push a high end product; a well financed, publicity promo that bases its entire alma on what seems to be one helluva faulty premise (either purposely or negligently) to make money on the tragic death of a photographic icon.

      • One More Thought

        I appreciate your comments, but I disagree that they are trying “to make money on the tragic death of a photographic icon.” i think they are trying to make money by association with a photographic icon, who just happened to meet a tragic death. One could argue that an ad like this could have been made if Capa had survived.

        Was Stephen Spielberg trying to make money off of the holocaust with his movie Schindler’s List? Or trying to make money off of the tragic deaths of soldiers during D-Day in Saving Private Ryan?

        For that matter, what about video games that involve war?

        I think you have producers telling a dramatic story involving the tragedy of war. Admittedly there is commercial gain in mind, but no one is celebrating a tragic death. I realize this is a grey area but I find the ad, if anything, honors the life and sacrifice of Capa in a very tasteful way.

        • Stanco55

          I’m not a particular fan of either of the two Hollywood extravaganzas mentioned- but, please, they were not… outright adverts selling a particular product.

          The very climax of this whole commercial is Mr. Capa’s death- and how his Contax, Nikon, Rolleiflex has been metaphysically reincarnated into a current day Leica Monochrom M. Good to know there are no brand name restrictions up there- I’m sure Leica would have no objections whatsoever if one of their’s was reincarnated in a Sony, Canon, Nikon ad…

          Finely filmed, high production values, award winning- yes, yes, and yes! Also add: commercial (obviously), pretentious (overbearingly), and apparently- blatantly erroneous (either negligently or purposely).

          And if it is truly meant to honor Capa’s life and sacrifice, then a significant portion of every Monochrom M sold should go to fund photojournalists who have been maimed in conflict, or to the families of those killed.

          • Nathan Amedee

            I couldn’t agree more. A very (well made) silly and childish film.

            By the way, it is not a commercial approved by Leica, according to what I’ve heard from them directly.

            That may change now. Success has many fathers.

          • http://leicarumors.com/ Leica Rumors

            Yes, Leica Camera AG was not involved in this film in any way.

          • Stanco55

            Translation: Leica can leisurely profit from this “independent” advertisement (specifically made to sell their product without any ties to them whatsoever- take it to the bank)
            while maintaining “plausible deniability” from any possible negative
            publicity.

          • One More Thought

            I respectfully disagree when you state that Hollywood war movies “were not… outright adverts selling a particular product.”

            The product was the movie itself, and yes the movies were meant to sell tickets (and DVDs, downloads) and make money. There have been thousands of war movies made, all with the intent of making money. It’s the same financial profit motive.

            To me there is no difference between making a movie to make a profit, or making an ad to sell a product to make a profit. Either way there is the profit motive. And in the case of war movies, TV shows, video games, et al, all use the subject of war in one way or another to try to make a profit.

            So condemn this ad if you will, but to be consistent you must condemn all of those other war movies, etc.

          • Stanco55

            By your definition, art and commerce are one in the exact same- that’s a tad too pessimistic… even for me.

          • One More Thought

            Art is commerce when it is intended to sell and make money, as all movies and TV shows are…

            There’s nothing wrong with that; we all have to pay the bills, including artists.

          • Stanco55

            There are artists who make art for art’s sake- whether it sells, or not (eg- Vincent Van Gogh).

            There are artists who make art specifically intended for sale (eg- commissioned art work, publicly viewed films).

            And there are “artists” who make artistically fashioned work meant strictly as promotional vehicles for the sale of the commercial product featured (the highly stylized crap above).

          • One More Thought

            I regard those last two categories as basically the same for the purpose of this discussion: you are referencing people creating a form of art or entertainment for the purpose of making money.

            Whether it’s an ad or a movie, it does not matter. If the creators use the topic of war or any tragedy or violence, then by definition they are using that subject matter as their context in which to impact the audience, and hence create profit for themselves and others.

            You are criticizing the creators and sponsors of an advertisement for telling the story of a war photographer and his death in order to sell cameras; yet you give a pass to creators of movies, TV shows, video games, et al, for telling their war stories to sell their movie, TV show, video game, et al, and hence make a profit.
            You make an arbitrary distinction between ad producers and movie, TV show, video game producers, as if movie and TV show and video game producers are not motivated by profit. That’s not reality.

          • Stanco55

            You continue to conflate advertising with literature, or in this case film making. Shakespeare was a story teller, a writer, a playwright- and yes, he did make a living through that art. Agreed. But he never wrote a play strictly in the service to sell a physical, commercial product of someone else’s creation- that would be an advertisement.

            There is nothing “arbitrary” in that distinction; surely, you can discriminate between the two.

          • One More Thought

            Why bring Shakespeare and Van Gogh into the conversation? It’s revealing that you use those two rather than a more modern example such as a movie studio, or bet yet, a video game producer.

            A summary of my logic; some criticize the ad as using a tragedy of war as a means to tell a story to sell a product. Yet those who make war movies, TV shows, video games all do essentially the same: they use war as a means to create a story so as to sell a product. It does not matter if the product is physical like a camera, or intellectual property such a movie, game, etc.
            The essence remains: war is used as a subject to create a story that the distributor hopes is compelling enough to generate a financial gain. Period. It doesn’t matter what the product is: the movie, the video game, the camera, a car, etc. The motive is the same: financial gain.

            I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing, but if someone does believe that it is wrong to use the subject of war in a story to generate financial profit, then one must also criticize war movies, TV shows, and video games, at the very least.

          • Stanco55

            The need to reduce everything to the level of a video game pretty much explains your failure to make the distinctions necessary to further this conversation.

          • One More Thought

            I am sorry but your last post makes no sense. I made an analogy with video games (as well as with movies and other commercial media)…I don’t even know what you mean by “reducing everything to the level of a video game”…that’s pretty vague.

            I am also sorry that you don’t understand my point conceptually; I understand yours but do not agree with your distinction. I group modern commercial media together and note that producers of modern commercial media all take license to use war, tragedy, whatever, as a subject matter to create a product to produce a profit. For me the motive is what matters, not the exact form of modern media.

            You make what is to me an artificial distinction between making money from an ad and making money from another form of modern media, such as movie, TV show, video game, etc. I get that. But again I respectfully disagree.

            I wish you the very best! No hard feelings.

          • Stanco55

            No hard feelings. Cheers!

        • Stanco55

          I’m not a particular fan of either of the two Hollywood extravaganzas mentioned- but, please, they were not… outright adverts selling a particular product.

          The very climax of this whole commercial is Mr. Capa’s death- and how his Contax, Nikon, Rolleiflex has been metaphysically reincarnated into a current day Leica Monochrom M. Good to know there are no brand name restrictions up there- I’m sure Leica would have no objections whatsoever if one of their’s was reincarnated in a Sony, Canon, Nikon ad…

          Finely filmed, high production values, award winning- yes, yes, and yes! Also add: commercial (obviously), pretentious (overbearingly), and apparently- blatantly erroneous (either negligently or purposely).

          And if it is truly meant to honor Capa’s life and sacrifice, then a significant portion of every Monochrom M sold should go to fund photojournalists who have been maimed in conflict, or to the families of those killed.

  • Just Me

    As always, Leica invite the glorious past to market the not so glorious present…

  • Henry

    “Nice, BUT a historical mistake “when the sound of the Kalashnikovs became unbearable… he stopped”. Kalashnikovs only came into service in 1949. Capa already stopped war photography by then and was working on Russia Journal, Irwin Shaw’s book on Israel and the formation of Magnum. The only time he would of seen Kalashnikovs in war would be in Indochina. The North Vietnamese was supplied with Chinese AK47 for the battle of Dien Bien Phu in March- May 1954. This is well after he went back to war.

    Capa was using Contax II and Nikon S when he died. He didn’t use a Leica since the Spanish civil war. All D-Day pictures were taken with a Contax. Trying to sell someone’s soul, at least get your facts right.”

  • dalethorn

    Awesome commercial – Oliver Stone-like blending of characters and events raised to a new level – the blending of wars, then (oooooooh…) the Leica III morphs into a Monochrom and simply steps over the graves of all else in between. I love it of course, having forked over $8k for the Monochrom and another $11k for the f0.95.

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