AUBG Graduate Wins Gold Medal in a Prestigious Film Festival

July 22, 2014

Competing with participants from 35 countries, two ambitious young Bulgarians placed their country in the spotlight by winning the gold medal in the film category of the most prestigious global advertising festival – Cannes Lions. A part of this year’s victorious duo, Vladimir Gerasimov, is a well-known name on the AUBG campus.

Vladi was drawn to AUBG by the allure of the liberal arts education which allowed him to juggle between different classes and majors and extra-curricular activities. As a graduate, he looks upon AUBG as a unique place that fosters creativity. He was actively involved in theater plays and served a term as the president of More Honors, a student creation that “represents the funny and bright side of student life.” Vladi considers these experiences crucial and exciting as they gave him “creative momentum” to pursue his creative endeavors and to do what he loves. The people he encountered at AUBG are an equally important part of Vladi’s experience there.  “I think it is the people that I met there that changed my life more than anything else,” he confesses.

After graduating, Vladi immediately started working for Noble Graphics, a creative studio, where he first served as client service but is currently the agency producer. His work includes coordinating almost all departments within the agency while simultaneously balancing the budget. As such, his position, in his own words, does not entail much “creative input, or at least on a daily basis” but he enjoys working at a small company with a friendly atmosphere. At Noble Graphics employees are encouraged to participate in their projects of choice and are granted the opportunity to work with “some of the most creative people in Bulgaria (and not only),” as Vladi adds.

While keeping an open mind is a key part of working at the agency, Vladi also puts a high value on creativity and innovation – an important aspect of the overall AUBG experience. Together with his colleague Zhelez Atanasov he had 48 hours to come up with an idea, shoot and edit it for the Cannes Lions festival. Following a little bit of brainstorming and improvising, the team produced a “simple, one-shot, one-minute video”, which won them the gold at the Young Lions Film Competition. After the announcement, the duo thought that they had actually won the silver medal, which “left us speechless and overwhelmed with joy,” says Vladi, who still finds it hard to believe they had won the gold.

What is his trade secret then? Although he does not have a recipe for success, Vladi believes that AUBG taught him a lot about hard work owing to the “endless, sleepless nights of shooting, rehearsing, brainstorming” and allowing him to realize what he wanted to do with his life. According to his personal experience, “creativity is a matter of mindset” and failure is the best type of experience since the process is more important than the end goal. This is the core of his advice to current and prospective AUBG students – to avoid “the safe choice”, work with professionals they trust without the need for excessive micromanagement, be polite and understanding, and paraphrasing Sir John Hegarty: “Be naive and believe that your ideas could change the world for the better.”

Story by Yoana Savova

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