After a decade of sponsoring the local leg of the Young Lions competition, it is with heavy heart that the organisation has announced the cancellation of the 2016 event.

Passionate about development within the brand communications industry, Cinemark has executed the local Young Lions competition for over a decade, allowing young creatives to showcase their talent and have their award-winning entry screened across Ster-Kinekor cinemas. The company has also continuously sponsored a prize for the winning pair from South Africa, allowing them to compete internationally at the Cannes Lions Festival. The prize has 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.

“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 fit the bill for their trip to Cannes, while each year in South Africa, Cinemark has taken on this expense. Last year, a statement was made to the industry that it may be the last year that Cinemark was able to sponsor the prize,” explains Yvonne Diogo, Marketing Manager & Account Executive: Media Sales for Cinemark.

“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.”

The Cinemark team has not made the decision lightly or easily and wish to continue to execute the competition and allow young South Africans an opportunity to attend the international festival in the future.

“The cinema advertising business is thriving and we always wish to broaden this success by uplifting young talent. However, with little improvement in the rand at present, the international expense has made Young Lions 2016 unviable. We will 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,” says Diogo.

Cinemark urges anyone with queries to please make contact with Yvonne Diogo.

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