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Art Director from PACIFIC Digital Group wins 2020 U.S. Cannes Young Lions Competition

San Diego art director bring prestige home with first place Cannes competition

Written by Matthew Potter
on 06.16.20

Nico Cortinove, a senior art director from PACIFIC Digital Group in San Diego, California, earned first place in the national division of the Cannes Young Lions film category. Cortinove bested over 900 applicants, a record number for the U.S. division. This is the first time a member of the San Diego creative advertising industry has achieved placement in the prestigious competition.

About the 2020 U.S. Young Lions Competitions

The U.S. Young Lions Competitions are open to teams of two professionals 30 years or younger. Teams work on briefs set by NGOs including United Nations, Save The Children, Amnesty International, UNHCR, and more.

For their submission, Cortinove and his partner Eduardo Balloussier, associate creative director at Grey New York, received a briefing for CureSearch, a national non-profit organization that funds the most promising innovative research to develop new and better treatments for childhood cancer.

A Lifetime in 30-seconds or Less

The duo was inspired by data showing that 2 out of 3 pediatric cancer survivors develop chronic diseases due to dated, toxic chemotherapy treatments. They created a universal story for these survivors through a fictional character named Amy. The 30-second film follows Amy, starting at her initial diagnosis and continuing throughout her post-treatment life.

Using effects to simulate an old photo projector, the film follows Amy’s journey, which is highlighted by life milestones such as college graduation, marriage, and childbirth. “Our film takes a dramatic turn when Amy is faced with congestive heart failure stemming from her previous treatment,” said Cortinove. “We hoped to send a powerful message to corporate partners to invest in less toxic treatments.” Watch the film:

What’s Next for the Award-Winning Team?

Cortinove will represent Team USA and compete in the global competition at Cannes Lions in France, June 21-25, 2021. The other winners and finalists can be found at http://canneslions.ncm.com/young-lions/winners.