Identity's Laurent Chanez Directs Unhate Short Film for Benetton

Identity's Laurent Chanez Directs Unhate Short Film for Benetton

Identity director Laurent Chanez completed a short film to kick off Benetton's new Unhate advertising campaign. The emotionally charged piece for the Italian retailer debuted in Paris November 16, 2011 at an event unveiling the brand's Unhate initiative created to oppose and undermine hate culture in society. The short film, along with :15 and :30 cut-downs will be airing globally in-cinema, on television and online.

Executing a concept developed by Benetton's internal agency Fabrica in collaboration with 72andSunny, Chanez shot the "Unhate" film that explores the fine balance between love and hate, juxtaposing compelling images of people from all walks of life embracing, fighting, rioting and kissing. Set to a soulful instrumental strings track composed by Kouz, the film was prepped, shot and finished in the nearly impossible schedule of 12 days. The film was shot in Prague, and director Chanez credits the talents of an amazing team that included line producer Claire Barnier, assistant director Fred Monnet and DP Arnaud Potier for working tirelessly to create the final clip.

"The timeline on this project was crazy, but we got it all done and it was well worth it in the end. We didn't have a ton of equipment or lighting, and our set ups were all very fast. We were able to move around quickly with an agency creative team who gave us the flexibility to keep moving forward on what was a very ambitious three days of shooting, with a cast of over 40 principles plus extras," said Chanez. "The casting was crazy, I think I got to see half of Prague kissing."

"It was not an easy feat to get done, but we did it. It would not have worked if everyone involved wasn't in sync," said Joe Masi, executive producer and owner, IDENTITY. "The agency was great and rolled with all of the punches. Laurent and the creative team saw eye-to-eye right from the beginning. You hear those cliches all of the time that less time to prep usually creates the best work , and in this case, I would have to agree."

The "Unhate" short film was unveiled by Benetton on November 16, 2011 at a launch event in Paris. To tease the film, the agency released a highly-publicized controversial outdoor print campaign showing doctored photos of influential political figures including Barack Obama, Hu Jintao and Benjamin Netanyahu in intimate embraces posted in Tel-Aviv, Rome, Milan, New York City and Paris. Benetton has also set up a digital kiss wall, encouraging consumers to contribute photos of themselves, and has pledged to collect bullets in hot war zones to be made into a dove sculpture that will be donated to a North African nation.