The traditionally producer-led jury of the YDA welcomes a creative on board to bring a different perspective.

Next month’s CFP-E/shots Young Director Award will take place in Cannes. During it, new directing talent from across the world will vie for recognition from a jury traditionally made up of some of the industry’s most prominent producers.

But, for the first time, this year will see an agency creative take a seat at the jury table, as Matthieu Elkaim, ECD at BBDO Paris joins those casting their creative eye over the YDA entries. We talk to Elkaim about why he accepted the invitation and what he’s looking forward to about the judging process.


What made you accept the invitation to be a judge on the YDA?

The idea to be part of a jury made up of production experts is really exciting. I’m sure I’m going to learn a lot and that is the beauty of these jury sessions; meeting people from everywhere, with different experiences, backgrounds, point of views, it forces you to be open minded.

And I expect the YDA to be a refreshing moment with many pieces of work I will discover; that is rare in our industries nowadays.


The jury is traditionally made up of production-side people; what do you think the addition of a creative to the jury will bring to the discussions?

We’ll find it out in Cannes !


With the tools to become a director now at everyone’s disposal, has that made finding new talent that can genuinely compete in the marketplace more or less difficult?

I think that you can have the most sophisticated tools, with free access [but] this will never be enough to become a great director or just pretend to be one.

Technique is not enough. We need young people with a point of view, an opinion, people who question themselves about the world they live in. This is the base for a great director. Maybe I’m wrong but I think we can recognise these people easily.


Last year The YDA introduced a new, socially aware category called Changing the World Frame By Frame; what role do you think directors and the ad industry at large has to play in global social education?

I do think that brands have the power to change the world and make it better if they decide to do it. We are here to help them.


What will you be looking for in the shortlisted work when you sit down with your colleagues to judge the YDA?



How important would you say the annual YDA competition is to the industry at large?

YDA is the only festival that highlights the newcomers. It’s not just important, it’s necessary.


Above and beyond the YDA, what are you most looking forward to about Cannes 2017?

The endless discussions about the awards!


By Danny Edwards, SHOTS

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