Cannes: Saturday Morning and Procter & Gamble discuss the launch of 8:46 films

The short film series reclaims the time it took to end George Floyd’s life and fills it with stories of Black joy.

Creative collective Saturday Morning launched a new venture called 8:46 Films on Friday, a series of short films created in partnership with Procter & Gamble honoring the legacy of George Floyd.

The series, part of P&G’s “Widen the Screen” initiative that celebrates Black creativity, joy and experiences, features four short films that are eight minutes and 46 seconds long — the same length of time that police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd’s neck to take his life.

The films debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival last week, but Keith Cartwright, co-founder of Saturday Morning and chief creative officer of creative agency Cartwright, discussed the initiative on P&G’s “Widen the Screen” panel at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on Monday.

He said the series aims to reclaim the time it took to take Floyd’s life by replacing the trauma of the video of his death with narratives of joy and love.

The debut films include She Dreams at Sunrise, directed by Camrus Johnson; Slow Pulse, directed by Marshall Tyler; Pearl and Henry, directed by Gibrey Allen; and Cupids, directed by Zoey Martinson.

“You cannot tell authentic stories if you don't have authentic storytellers,” said Geoff Edwards, co-founder of Saturday Morning and executive creative director at Gale Partners. “Hollywood has told Black stories but they haven't told them with Black authors.”

Saturday Morning has worked with P&G to promote racial justice in the past. Most famous was The Look, the Emmy-nominated film about unconscious bias that Black men face. The pair then followed up with The Talk, a film about the conversations Black parents have with their children about racism.

“The stories of black life are so complex and so varied, but you wouldn't know that by looking at the vast majority of films that are being made in modern Hollywood,” Cartwright said. “There are plenty of films that outline the struggle and the drama of the Black experience, but we're so much more complex than that.”

P&G is investing heavily in purpose-driven film. In addition to Widen the Screen, the CPG giant is co-producing a series of shorts under the Queen Collective, which aims to accelerate gender and racial equality behind the camera by supporting Black female directors.

On Monday, Marc Pritchard moderated a P&G sponsored panel at Cannes to discuss the ways companies can address inequities and champion diversity in all sectors of the creative industry.

The discussion, which included commentary from Cartwright alongside other panelists addressed P&G’s three fundamental principles for supporting purpose-driven initiatives: “start inside,” “use your voice” and “change the system.”

Panelists discussed ways to develop a diverse talent pipeline, accurately represent Black stories and achieve equity through diverse-media buying.

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