However efficiently you try to organise your schedule for Cannes Lions, the jam-packed agenda means you almost always experience FOMO. And while the celebrities and CEOs are pretty much guaranteed a full audience, there are also some lesser-known newcomers we’re pretty excited about. Here are five storytellers making their debut appearances at Cannes Lions 2016.
Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, MuslimGirl.net
Amani founded the online magazine MuslimGirl with the aim of “taking back the narrative” and “raising the place of Muslim women in mainstream society”, and has since become something of a symbol for modern Muslim women. She has appeared in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 for 2016, as well as being named one of this year’s New Faces of Feminism by Teen Vogue.
Amani’s first panel at Cannes Lions, ‘The Future Is Rebellion’, starts at 11am on Saturday 25th June.
Mobeen Azhar, Documentary Filmmaker
Mobeen’s work digs deep into controversial contemporary subjects such as terrorism and homophobia. His films include ‘Inside Gay Pakistan’, ‘Generation Jihad’, and ‘The Secret Drone War’.
Mobeen will be joining MakeLoveNotPorn founder Cindy Gallop on Sunday 19th June in a panel entitled ‘Sex: The Final Frontier’, which will explore life and love (and yes, even advertising) in the Tinder age.
Aidy Bryant, Saturday Night Live
In addition to being a cast member of comedy institution Saturday Night Live, Aidy Bryant has also appeared on Broad City and Girls. She is one of many comedians taking to the stage at this year’s festival to promote humour as an important tool for telling stories and achieving change.
Aidy will join her SNL co-star Vanessa Bayer at The Girls’ Lounge on Tuesday 21st June for ‘Gender Equality Is No Laughing Matter’, to talk about equal representation in media, as well as the importance of women advocating for each other.
Lynsey Addario, Photojournalist
Since beginning her career as a photographer with no training in 1996, Lynsey Addario has travelled the world chronicling life under the Taliban in Afghanistan, the South Sudanese civil war, most recently the plight of Syrian refugees.
Lynsey will appear at Cannes Lions on Thursday 23rd June at the Getty Images panel, entitled ‘Unfiltered: Storytelling From The Frontline’, to discuss the role of images as a universal language.
Shaun Ross, Model / Actor
Shaun Ross is famously the “first albino South-African supermodel,” as well as the new face of the Ford Motor Company. Oh, and he knows Beyoncé.
Shaun will be appearing at the ‘Masculinity Today’ panel on Friday 24th June, a session which promises to explore how notions of masculinity and gender roles are shifting, especially among millennials, and how brands and agencies also need to update their ideas of what makes a man.