2009 – Surani Perera’s experience

The Roger Hatchuel Academy – The BEST way to experience the Cannes Lions Festival

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Living, learning & partying with 34 strangers from around the world sounded unnerving at first. To do this at the hallowed Cannes Lions Festival, ‘The’ biggest advertising festival in the world sounded unbelievable! Never had the excited 23 year old me, thought I’d find so much in common with students from as wide cultures such as Portugal, Nigeria, Spain & Dubai. Clive Challis & Rick Boyko guided us through a week packed with absorbing learning at the Palais des Festivals, including discussion sessions with advertising God’s like Piyush Pandey, Neil French, Michael Conrad & Donald Gunn – the list is exhausting! We even got to attend the festival seminars. The most inspirational for me being Kofi Annan’s tik tik tik discussion on climate change & Obama’s campaign manager on how they executed the ‘Change’ campaign. I did all of this with minimum sleep. Karaoking & partying till 3am with my new found roomies guaranteed that! Being a student at the academy entitled us invites to all the award ceremonies & VIP parties. My mates and Ieven got our hands on a real Grand Prix award trophy & posed for photographs! All this culminated with a graduation ceremony at the end of the week. It really widened my eyes to the world of advertising, & how communicating through engagement can really change the way people think – in ways unimaginable. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to be exposed to the many possibilities out there, at just the beginning of my career (I’d call it a hobby), The Roger Hatchuel Academy – definitely is the BEST way to experience the Cannes Lions Festival

Surani Perera

Surani Perera