Josh Morrice, a young Auckland filmmaker, was among a small contingency of New Zealand talent making waves at the Cannes Film Festival this year. A graduate of film from Victoria University in Wellington, Morrice made the bold decision to leave the advertising world in pursuit of a full-time career in film. This May, Morrice was flown to the French Riviera where he received the Grand International Winner award at the international Nespresso Talents contest for his film Subak that told the story of the rice-farming community in Bali.

Josh Morrice’s film earned him the top prize in the fourth series of the global contest, beating 370 other entries from 46 countries. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Josh says a highlight of his experience abroad was to be recognised within his industry among his peers and heroes. The prize nets Josh €5,000 for his film career and a mentoring session with cinema specialists in Cannes – the ultimate prize pack for any budding creative.

The Nespresso Talents contest pushes creatives out of their comfort zone by requiring films to fit a unique vertical 9:16 format, ideal for modern-age smartphone viewing. This year, entrants were asked to get creative with the theme ‘We Are What We Eat’, encouraging aspiring filmmakers to deep dive into the foodie stories that inspire them most. Films were wide-ranging, from a sci-fi set in space, to a tribute to traditional Indian farming.

Josh’s winning film Subak explores the cultural and sustainable tradition behind the farming of paddy-rice fields in Bali. His passion for exploring meaningful concepts through film is clear in the storyline and vertical format cinematography that show the Balinese staple food as an experience and ritual in itself.

Speaking of his film, Josh says, “Subak has been at the core of Balinese culture for over a thousand years. It’s a system that could teach the western world a thing or two about how a democratic, cooperative, sustainable farming system can work in a way that is both economically superior and socially responsible.”

The theme, ‘We Are What We Eat’, is universally relevant. As foodies, we know food is so much more than it appears to be. It’s the nuanced flavours, experiences and cultures that come with it that leave the best taste in your mouth. From a street market loaded with history to a family dining table, food brings people together and creates moments that wouldn’t otherwise be what they are.

The competition’s application of a vertical format is a nod towards our 21st century tendency to consume content on smart phones above anything else. In the last five years alone, vertical video viewing has grown 600%. With social media playing an integral part in everyday life, particularly with younger generations, filmmakers are now venturing into producing video and telling stories that are easily consumed on smartphones.

Nespresso makes the effort to source high-quality, sustainable ingredients and to take care in the full production process to moment of consumption. The company’s commitment to sustainable practices is upheld via the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program which connects the company directly with farmers to build sustainable farming practices and provide benefits for farming communities.

For more information on the winning films, film entries and Talents contest, visit www.nespresso.com/talents.

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