The 61st Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, which took place at the Palais des Festivals from 15-21 June saw the biggest names in advertising and communications gather to recognise the achievements of the industry over the last year.A global event for those working in the creative communications arena, the seven-day festival is considered the largest gathering of worldwide advertising professionals, designers, digital innovators and marketers. And this year’s event saw Bournemouth University graduate Martin Stirling win a top prize for his 2-minute short film ‘Most Shocking Second a Day Video’. Created as an “awareness” piece for NGO Save the Children, Stirling’s video follows a year in the life of a young British girl whose life is falling apart after an imagined civil war.Replicating the ‘one-second-a-day’ video style made famous by bloggers, the film aims to highlight the effect the Syrian civil war has had on the country’s children.

Heralded as “one of the internet’s most watched directors”, Stirling’s video has already clocked up over 50-million views online. Adding to the millions of views already collected by the filmmaker’s other viral videos ‘LEGO: Everything is NOT awesome’ and ‘Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) force fed under standard Guantánamo Bay procedure’. The director, who graduated with a BA (Hons) in Television Production from Bournemouth University in 2007, was keen to point out that views aren’t always in his mind when creating his work. “I always concentrate on crafting a beautiful story with an emotional punch and hope to hell that people find value in the message by sharing it”, says Stirling. With the filmmaker now adding this prestigious advertising award to a string of worldwide acclaim, including D&AD awards and a BAFTA nomination, he’s aiming for bigger things next. “As much as I love creating short content it’s time for a bigger challenge”, says Stirling. “I’ve created a TV series which is about to go into development and I’m shooting my debut feature in January next year”.

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