Over millennia, the simple torch has morphed from mere functionality to pure form—it’s grown from a simple source of light to a symbol of enlightenment and hope, and a reminder of the renewing power of fire. And whether it’s from father to son or Olympic runner to Olympic runner, the concept of “passing the torch” has long stood for the rite of passage, the carrying on of information or talent or responsibility. It is the quintessential moment in an apprentice’s practice, the seminal moment when the master hands over the proverbial keys to the shop.

New York Festivals is committed to the development and promotion of the next generation of creative talent, and in this spirit created the Torch Awards. Each year, we’ll present a new competition for 18-25 years olds that explores a creative challenge with real-world potential. Five Finalist Teams will be called to New York City to present their work to a live panel of judges—but not before they get the opportunity to polish it during an intensive work session with a very exclusive mentor: a member of the New York Festivals World’s Best AdvertisingSM Executive Jury, some of the most awarded and accomplished chief creative officers on the planet.

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2014 Grand-Winning Team, DDB Beijing, with Lava Records
recording artist, Jetta
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2015 Grand-Winning Team, Ohayo, with Broadway's Triple Threat,
Charlotte d'Amboise

The 60-second spot: It’s a fixture in advertising—a single minute to not only tell a brand’s story, but to also connect the viewer to that story and create a unique, personal narrative.

For the 2015 Torch Awards, New York Festivals® has partnered with The Project Solution, an international nonprofit organization that collaborates with small, like-minded nonprofits around the world that require small grants to fund a critical infrastructure project in their region.

"Our philosophy is centered around the idea that small solutions can make a big impact. With a dedicated group of annual donors, our focus is on completing projects that offer long-term change.

Our approach to project fundraising is based on the idea that anyone can be empowered to be a philanthropist. Most donors have a limited amount of money to give, and we believe that everyone deserves to know where their money is going. The cornerstone of this thinking is our 'Subscription for Change' program, which allows anyone to donate a fixed sum of money on an annual basis. We in turn, take 100% of these donations and pool them with other donors to fund a project. In essence we create a true person-to-person solution, and our unique model has allowed donors from ages 7 to 70 to make a real difference in the lives of others."

Entrants in the 60-Second Spot Challenge will be presenting their creative concept for a one-minute video promoting The Project Solution’s “Subscription for Change” program, and competing for the chance to see their work go live.

Create your team, read the brief, and start working on your idea for a 60-second video that shows people how they can make a real difference in the lives of others with this year's nonprofit parter, The Project Solution.

Five Finalist Teams will be called to New York City to present their ideas, but they won’t be on their own. Before they head into the pitch, they’ll fine-tune their work during an intensive work session with their mentor—a member of the New York Festivals World’s Best AdvertisingSM Executive Jury. Then they’ll have 10 minutes to sell it to a jury panel including members of The Project Solution team and more members of the Executive Jury.