Rob AIF web


with Rob Sanderson

9 August 2023

After the triumph that was the first ever Young Arrows we are super hyped for this second year. So why should YOU enter? There are a multitude of reasons why young talent in the world of advertising should take the plunge and submit their work and we can talk about the benefits of recognising young talent until the cows come home, but who better to tell you why than our inaugural winners. First up is Robert Sanderson, our 2022 New Director winner.

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Robert won the New Director category for his film Dropped for Certified Sports through House 337.

Since winning the Young Arrows, Robert has been signed to Rattling Stick, Cabell Hopkins who runs the offshoot of Rattling Stick had this to say, “Rob's visceral shooting style and ability to tell nuanced and compelling stories about impactful subjects made him stand out from the rest as a special talent that we could all get excited about.”

Robert spoke to us about his Young Arrows experience and here’s what he had to say.

Why did you / your company enter you in the Young Arrows?

House337 have been 100% behind me for the entire project, their faith really did make it happen. They did everything that they could to elevate me and the project and get it out there. As a major agency they obviously follow the Arrows carefully so when the Young Arrows opened they saw it as a great opportunity to elevate the message and get me and the film out there.

What did think about being entered?

Excitement and nervousness often go hand in hand - and it did. The criteria for entry on the Young Arrows is also more specific (and fleeting), so I knew I only really had one chance to enter, and only one category to enter. I knew I was sitting on a good film, so it was all just an exercise in finger crossing.

How did it feel to win? Did you expect to win?!

I just went and sat in the lobby with a pint! It was such a big event that I just ran away for a bit. Walking around the after party carrying the award was amazing though, people were so kind and it was such a positive buzz. My film seemed to touch so many people, it was great to just be able to talk about the subject matter.

Has winning had any impact on your career / career decisions?

I’ve joined Rattling Stick, which couldn’t be any bigger for me, if I had to distill down the reasons for entering an award it would be to get signed….by someone great. Rattling Stick are literally one of the reasons I’m in this industry. For them to see me as a talent and person that they want to develop and grow is beyond exciting - having the Young Arrows put me on that radar shows the direct impact that winning can have.

What do you think the benefits are of giving young talent opportunities in this way?

The problem with filmmaking is that when you’re starting out you have to back yourself, because no one else will, which can be an obstacle for so many reasons. Once you’ve forced yourself over the hurdle then it’s platforms like Young Arrows that you need to get your work seen - by the most relevant audience. Other awards and platforms will be full of work from established names and other awards are prohibitively expensive - Young Arrows is perfect, the Arrows platform gives you incredible exposure in a space that’s protected in an inclusive, affordable way. One other important thing to note about the Young Arrows is that it takes place at the most perfect time of the year because people are actually around! My film picked up a couple of other awards, but awards season tends to climax in the summer, when all the connections that you could hope to make decide to disappear for a few weeks, the timings for Arrows means that if you get noticed, you can be having meetings the next week.

What are your career goals?

Being a professional commercials director is such a hard and rarified position, just to have a career is the goal. I think there’s something holistic about winning more Arrows with Rattling Stick as they were so influential to me, and the Young Arrows had such a big part in me joining them, to repay that faith with Arrows would be amazing.

What would you say to someone thinking of entering this year?

Why wouldn’t you?

The Young Arrows 23 is open for entry until Wednesday 6 September - Download the Entry Pack here

Winners will be announced on Wednesday 1 November at BFI Southbank - Tickets are on sale here

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