We ended up getting over two thousand submissions, from all over the world, and with help from the creative directors at Wieden, narrowed them down to forty people who we invited to Portland for a weekend.
On the first evening everyone met over drinks and food. We spent the next morning at the Living Room Theaters, as each finalist presented what he or she submitted to get invited.
It was an amazing group of people - writers, illustrators, designers, editors, filmmakers, strategists, dreamers. They came from London, Tokyo, Sweden, Canada, Belgium, Malaysia, Australia and all over the United States. Several from Portland.
We didn't have a specific outcome in mind other than making a connection with 40 talented, interesting people, though several were hired for fulltime, part-time, freelance and internships at W+K offices all over the world. Robin stays in touch with many of the finalists, and they stay in touch with each other. I enjoy hearing about what they're up to.
Anrick, one of the finalists, sent me a few film recommendations, and I thought I'd pass them along.
'The Northeners' by Alex van Warmerdam is my all-time favorite film, a surreal and very human look at small communities in Holland. I found out a few years ago my mum is an extra in this film. It was apparently one of the worst days in her life.
'The Werckmeister Harmonies' by Bela Tarr. A very strange and harsh Hungarian film featuring a whale.
'Aaltra' by two Belgian directors. Its black humor, and not very pc. But in its hardness and occasionally distasteful humor there is a heart and a soul to be found.
'Father and daughter' by Michael Dudok de Wit. Its a short dutch animated film which is both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the very same time which has the capacity to bring me to tears even when I'm watching it on youtube, at the office. If you like the film you should also check out 'The Monk and the Fish'.