London-based animation and production studio, Nexus Productions has been awarded the Grand Prix for Film for Johnny Kelly’s Chipotle commercial Back to the Start at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
 
Alongside the Film Grand Prix, Chipotle also won the Grand Prix for Branded Content and Entertainment as part of the Cultivate Campaign  (for Best Integrated Campaign), a Gold for Animation in Film Craft, and a Silver for Viral Film in Cyber lions.  
 

The short animated film about sustainable farming was created through an alliance of CAA Marketing, a division of Creative Artists Agency (CAA), along with client Chipotle, Willie Nelson, Coldplay, and director Johnny Kelly.

Chipotle founder Steve Ells met with Johnny Kelly in London to talk about his passionate efforts to source food on a more sustainable and ethical basis. Willie Nelson, known for his support of family farmers, was a perfect collaborator for the music.

The pace and timeline of the film is captured in camera using traditional stop frame model animation techniques to track the life of a farmer.  Filmed in one sweeping take, the short was animated over four-weeks on one large all-encompassing model background.

The track is available on iTunes with 60 cents from every sale going to the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation.
 
Charlotte Bavasso, co-founder, Nexus Productions, says, “As you know, it has been an incredible few months for our film Back to the Start and for it to be awarded the Cannes Grand Prix is the absolute cherry on the cake. It is so good to win the Grand Prix again, seven years after Honda Grrr received this great honour in 2005.
 
"We are so proud of Johnny Kelly, as well as all our crew and production staff at Nexus who continuously push the boundaries of creative excellence with heaps of humour, warmth, and expertise.”
 
The film’s director Johnny Kelly says, “The last thing you expect when you make a film about the history of industrial farming practices is for anyone to even watch it, never mind win an award, so I am incredibly grateful to have been honoured by the jury here at Cannes.
 
"Chipotle and CAA were kind enough to label the project a ‘film by Johnny Kelly’, although the truth is I played a small role surrounded by much more talented brainiacs, least of all the legendary Willie Nelson. A giant pile of thank you’s go to the hardest working producer I’ve ever encountered – Liz Chan – who kept the entire ship afloat (and powered the stop motion shoot with bacon sandwiches each morning).”
 
Nexus directors ManvsMachine scooped a Gold Design Lion for their More4 Rebrand, for Broadcast Design and Graphics.

Other Cannes winners from the UK included Final Cut’s Joe Guest who received a gold in Film Craft for Editing on Rainbow for Lurpak through Blink Productions and in Sound Design, there was a gold for Wave Studios, also for Lurpak Rainbow, with Aaron Reynolds behind the sound design and arrangements.

The Palme d’Or, given to the most awarded production company, was presented to MJZ USA.

Staff Reporter

Share this story