Grand Jury Perspective: Marie-Claude Guay

New York Festivals 2018 TV & Film Awards Grand Jury represents 32 countries on 6 continents. Known for its powerhouse jury comprised of prominent international broadcast and film industry executives, NYF’s jurors are award-winners themselves and are passionate about excellence and innovation. Their reputation in diverse areas across all platforms provide each entry with the utmost of attention and make them qualified to select the World’s Best TV & Films.

Grand Jury member, Marie-Claude is Head of Strategic Communications and Innovative Initiatives for Tata Communications













This week’s Grand Jury Perspective features 2018 jury member, Marie-Claude, Head of Strategic Communications and Innovative Initiatives for Tata Communications Montreal, Canada. Marie-Claude spent 14 years researching, interviewing, producing and telling stories from over 30 countries, as a Radio-Canada reporter and through Cpasifou, her independent multimedia project around the world. She is an award-winning journalist and has covered many election campaigns, as well as major economic, environmental, cultural, social, and educational issues.

In the interview below, Marie-Claude shares her insights on what make great content, her thoughts on her path to success, how story structure has changed with mobile, and what’s next on the horizon for her.

New York Festivals: Talk about what qualities makes great content?

Marie-Claude Guay: We have to go beyond the required ‘strong characters, image, facts and figures’ ingredients. We have to keep asking ourselves: Who are we doing this piece for? Why are we telling this story? What do we want to convey? This is about adapting the storytelling to its audience, while keeping a strong focus on the objectives of the piece. And not be afraid to direct and accompany the characters that we bring on camera, so that their message is well carried.

New York Festivals: What was your mantra for career success? Was your path to success linear or a winding road…how so?

Marie-Claude Guay: My career path is everything but linear! I think that if we want to learn and grow, as a professional and an individual, we need to push our curiosity out of our comfort zone. Not hesitate to take calculated risks. And most importantly, not be afraid to fail. There is nothing wrong about trying and failing, as long as we quickly learn from our failures and build on them. It is also important to surround ourselves with people we trust: in my career, success never came alone, it came in team.

New York Festivals: What projects are on the horizon for you?

Marie-Claude Guay: Next 3B: a social enterprise launched in January 2017, aimed at realizing the development potential of the next 3 billion people joining the Internet. 60% of the world’s population remains unconnected to the Internet today and 200M fewer women than men are online in developing economies. Why? There are 3 main barriers that prevent them connecting: affordability, local content and customer readiness, which includes cultural challenges, illiteracy and lack of digital skills. By facilitating internet adoption, we enable access to information. With new internet users will not only come new audiences, but also new voices that will want to communicate, be heard and participate in the global economy.

New York Festivals: Talk about how story structure has changed with the spread of mobile?

Marie-Claude Guay: With the spread of mobile, the power transited from the media to the audience. The story structure has adapted to the mobile users’ fragmented needs, whom process content faster and whom consumption varies through the day. More efforts are invested in user experience. It has generated exciting opportunities: for example, platforms and content format have become more agile to facilitate speed (frequent updates, live stream, etc.) and to enable transformative technologies (virtual and augmented reality). This has also brought a number of challenges, such as technology and culture change investments, as well as revenue models transformation and fake news management.

It will be very interesting to see the impact of the fast-coming 5th generation mobile networks on the storytelling production industry.

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