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The New Normal

Industry: Retail & Distribution
Media:TV & Cinema
Style: Minimalism
Write a short summary of what happens in the film

“The New Normal” is a provocative retrospective journey through the history of America’s unjust prohibition of cannabis. The camera seamlessly moves through a connected diorama set composed of frozen scenes of injustice and important cultural turning points. A cast of real people affected by prohibition bring authenticity and emotion to each scene. The film culminates with a message of hope, punctuated by an idyllic vision of the future where cannabis is no longer stigmatized, it’s as normal as buying groceries.

Cultural/Context information for the jury

Three out of every four Americans arrested for cannabis are people of color. Therefore, it was important that we cast Black Lives Matter activist and actor Jesse Williams to bring his first-hand perspective on how prohibition has affected these communities. Jesse, a former history teacher, plays the role of the slave-owning George Washington, a historical paradox that brings into question the one-sided story of American history. Channeling his past profession he continues to educate the audience making references to injustices like the New York City policing policy known as stop and frisk, where many minorities were stopped and searched by the police without just cause. The film also references “Reefer Madness,” a government-sponsored anti-cannabis propaganda film from the 1930s infamous for its wildly inaccurate claims and ludicrous scare tactics.

Please tell us how you designed/adapted your campaign for the single country / region / market where it aired.

This film was specifically targeted to the states in the U.S where cannabis is legal. The familiar historical nature of the narrative is immediately relatable to this audience. It is the condensed story of cannabis prohibition in America, a history Americans have lived through and been affected by every day. The film's argument for normalization of cannabis is a message that our audience has been calling on the government to legislate on for years.
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Film
Single-market Campaign
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Film
Social Behaviour & Cultural Insight
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