The world has grown accustomed to the Palme D’Or for the best feature films and the Cannes lions for the best advertising films, but the dolphins for the best corporate films and documentaries, who also found their home on the French Riviera, in the South of France, the public knows much less about. However, now it is the Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards that sets a global standard for corporate films; the event was founded in Vienna, Austria, by Filmservice International, in 2010, and has been constantly growing ever since. The success of the festival is associated with the increase in the number of participants as a whole, prestigious participants, innovative and qualitative works, as well as honorary members of the jury (some of them Oscar and Emmy winners).

Award received from Alexander Kammel by ITMO's Ekaterina Boglayeva and Natalia Ros

Every year at the Corporate Media & TV Awards festival, awards are honored to the world’s best corporate films, online media and TV productions. Filmmakers, TV channels and even students can participate in the international competition. There were about 1,000 applications this year from more than 40 countries, all the way from Brazil, USA and Canada to Australia and New Zealand. Most of the projects came from Germany, Great Britain, Austria, France and Switzerland. The international expert jury awarded the coveted trophies to 174 of the films.

"Cannes is well known for film festivals, and during the year there are less famous advertisement festivals held here. Traditionally, people working in the video production industry gather at Cannes. This is a good atmosphere for informal communication between professionals in the field, great for inspiration. This time the festival was awarded to 174 "dolphins". We had a unique opportunity to see all the videos in the competition - a huge number of gigabytes of inspiring content. It was an interesting experience, which will have a positive impact on filmmaking at the University, because we already have a few ideas," - shares Ekaterina Boglayeva, head of the ITMO's Press Service.

There are altogether five main categories in the competition: Corporate Films and Videos, Documentaries and Reports (TV, Online, Cinema), Corporate Online Media, Production Arts & Crafts, and Students. ITMO University with it’s ITMO Opens Doors film took silver in the category “Marketing Communication B2C” in the main category “Corporate Films and Videos”. There were 55 films submitted in this category, and 12 of them received a prize (including ITMO). This is one of the most popular categories, with particularly high competition. ITMO University became the first Russian University to receive a prize at this festival, which puts ITMO amongst such companies as British PRETZEL & PEGGY, German Biermann-Jung Kommunikation & Film, Panda Pictures GmbH (BMW film), Rivelty Group (Alfa-bank film) and others. There were also non-commercial films and social action videos included in the contest. Separate categories were devoted to films that discussed problems related to environmental issues and concerns, medical films, history and civilization, science and technology and others. All the winners and their films can be seen here.

"This win is particularly exciting and important for us, as in this competition, we weren't just competing with universities but with large businesses and international companies that create video content at a very high level. To be selected as winners among such professionals in the capital of creative festivals, Cannes, is a huge honour. This demonstrates that ITMO University has reached a high international standard in its promotional work," explains Ekaterina Boglayeva. 

Industry professionals, jury members and media representatives from around the world met during a welcome party on the first day of the awards and the names of all winners were announced on the second day of the ceremony at the gala dinner.

The festival’s jury was made up of Oscar and Emmy winners, as well as corporate communication specialists, guaranteeing an objective assessment. This year’s jury is comprised of 50 distinguished artists, including famous writers, film directors, screenwriters, composers, professors, CEO’s of creative companies and others.

"Besides the awards ceremony, the organizers prepared an extensive program of workshops and lectures on various subjects, great for video professionals - those who came to receive the award. For ITMO University, the most relevant proved to be a master class on video for social media, an area which we will develop in the future, as it is a priority for us. We are talking about promotion in social media using video content, which, according to many experts at Cannes, will account for about 80% of all internet content. As we work with a young audience for which social networks are the primary information source, it's important for us to develop in this area," - says Natalia Ros, ITMO University's manager for public affairs.

The release of the winning movie “ITMO opens doors” was in April 2017, right before the summer admission campaign. The video itself is an invitation for all applicants to become students at the first non-classical university. In the film, the young man discovers the power of the code word “ITMO”, which opens all doors. The film has already collected around 140,000 views, much higher than the average number of views of other clips of the University (however it still does not exceed the record of the University for the number of views for the Hirsch index growing video). The Cannes award-winning movie was produced by the company Great Advertising Group.

Among the 174 winners, only four were from Russia: besides ITMO University, the "Dolphin" was awarded to Alfa-Bank and producer Rivelty Group (also in the Marketing Communication – B2C Category), Sberbank with producer "Mercator" (in the Informational films category). The fourth award also went to the company "Mercator", whose video won in the category Human Resources.

The organizers noted that while traditionally there is a strong representation from high tech companies in the competition, educational establishments had a much higher representation this year than in previous years. Amongst the winners in the education sphere, besides ITMO, there were four universities, from Switzerland, Hungary, Sweden and Australia. Dolphins were also awarded to the British International School in Chicago, the European Commission Directorate-General for Education and Culture, and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

"This year we had a lot of entries from educational institutions. It was really interesting to see so many universities investing nowadays in video content. Of course, if you see that students are watching YouTube, spending their time on Facebook and other online platforms, that's the way to catch them today, to get them interested. So, first of all, a university has to be appealing to them, and then they will go to your website and find out more information about the university. And having a really good video helps a lot - especially when the competition in the sphere of education is getting so high.", added Alexander Kammel, the Festival Director. 

Winners in all categories are awarded Gold and Silver Dolphins. The “black dolphin” is awarded only in the “Arts and Crafts” category. One of the gold winners also takes home the Grand Prix prize, a white dolphin. The blue dolphin is awarded to the best production company of the festival. There are also other special prizes awarded separately at the request of the jury or suggestion of an official partner of the festival.