Cinemark has cancelled the 2016 Cannes Young Lions after a decade of sponsoring the local leg of the competition. In a statement issued on Thursday evening, the South African cinema advertising and marketing sales house said it was with a “heavy heart” that it made the difficult decision.
“Over the years it has become challenging for Cinemark to fund the prize. In the other 80 regions that run the Young Lions competition, the ad agencies or the winners themselves are expected to foot the bill for their trip to Cannes, while each year in South Africa, Cinemark has taken on this expense,” said Yvonne Diogo, marketing manager and account executive of media sales.
“Last year, a statement was made to the industry that it may be the last year that Cinemark was able to sponsor the prize,” Diogo added.
The company has executed South African leg of the local Young Lions competition for over a decade. It sponsored a prize for the winning pair from South Africa, allowing them to compete internationally at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. The prize included Young Lions delegate passes for both winners for the seven days at the Cannes Lions Festival, return flights and accommodation for the pair and often, an allowance.
“Although we were keen to go ahead, it is with a heavy heart that I now must confirm that amidst the sharp depreciation of the rand, it is no longer viable for Cinemark to fund the Young Lions prize to Cannes Lions 2016. It would simply be unreasonable to continue to execute the competition in its current format, without follow through on the prize that the competitors have become expectant of,” said Diogo.
She said while this year’s competition was cancelled as there was “little improvement in the rand”, Cinemark hoped they’d be able to pick up the sponsorship again in the future and would “continue to seek out opportunities to secure sponsorship from local business and agencies in order to fund the prize or alter the competition to include a prize that would still be compelling for future competitors”.
Diogo said cinema advertising was thriving, however. “The cinema advertising business is thriving and we always wish to broaden this success by uplifting young talent.
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