(This article was first published on 7 April 2018 in the Weekend Argus, a weekly regional newspaper distributed in the Western Cape, South Africa.)

Yazeed Kamaldien

An international advertising festival scheduled for Cape Town next week is making its mark for not simply praising conceptual work but instead focusing on the crafters behind the scenes.

Called Ciclope, this festival is more like a film awards show, recognising the best directors, artists and others involved in making adverts.

It is the first time in its eight-year existence that the festival has a focus on Africa, although most of its entrants are from South Africa, indicating that its reach is not yet that wide.

The finalist’s work will be screened at the one-day festival at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa at the V&A Waterfront next Tuesday. An awards ceremony is planned after the screenings.

African advertising talent has been largely underexposed globally.

Festival director Francisco Condorelli said they decided to extend their footprint to Africa after a number of entrants from the continent took home awards at their last annual Berlin finale. Festival chapters have been spread out across various cities, including Los Angeles, New York, Sao Paulo and Sydney.

Festival director Francisco Condorelli. Picture Supplied

Condorelli said: “It was a testament to the calibre of work emerging from the continent. This bolstered our decision to host a regional leg of the show in Africa.”

Africa, he added, has been “largely underrepresented on the global stage”.

The contest also has a low budget category for production companies that have created quality adverts without much cash.

The little feet of a newborn baby appears in one of the finalist’s adverts.

Various forms of advertising, including television commercials, mobile application and interactive installations, are judged.

“The purpose of the awards is to shine a light on production excellence across the African continent. We are excited to turn the world’s attention to the craft work produced in Africa,” he said.

Winners at the Cape Town leg go through to the annual finals planned for Berlin later this year.