2020 AICP Next Branded Content & Entertainment Winner “5B” created by Saville Productions and UM Studios for UM

06 / 17 / 2020

Johnson & Johnson’s ‘5B’, created by UM and produced by Saville Productions, was a winner in Next Branded Content and Next Purpose Driven Awards!

Last night, the 2020 AICP Next Awards debuted during a special virtual premiere held online in the wake of social distancing initiatives driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. The presentation is the first of three virtual celebrations that comprise AICP Week – which will also include premieres of the AICP Post Awards on June 17th and the AICP Show: The Art & Technique of the Commercial on June 18th.

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For U.S. Media Agency of the Year UM, Making Cannes-Worthy Movies Is Just Part of the Job

03 / 02 / 2020
Adweek gives a nod to our 5B documentary and the evolving ad model: authentic, genuine, long-format documentary content.

Adweek gives a nod to our 5B documentary and the evolving ad model: authentic, genuine, long-format documentary content.

Projects like the documentary 5B help it keep pace with clients’ ever-changing needs

In late 2018, a gripping documentary called 5B came out that told the story of nurses who were on the frontline of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s. The movie was screened at the Cannes Film Festival last year and covered by the likes of NPR and The Washington Post.

The film originated from an unlikely source: UM. A media agency that makes movies? For UM’s executives, projects like these help Adweek’s U.S. Media Agency of the Year keep pace with a diversity of clients and their ever-changing needs—whatever those needs might be.

“We are here to solve our clients’ business needs. They evolve over time, all the time,” notes Eileen Kiernan, UM’s global CEO. “If we have the skills and the wherewithal to solve that need and step up with a valuable solution, we will.”

In the case of 5B, longtime client Johnson & Johnson came to UM with a conundrum: It was looking for a way to reinforce its commitment to nursing and to squash stereotypes around the profession that harm recruitment efforts. Through UM Studios, the agency’s original content arm, the idea for 5B was born.

“Johnson & Johnson had a very open mind to whatever solution came up,” Kiernan says. “It could have been a 30-second ad, it could have been a two-minute YouTube video—it could have been anything.”

5B ended up winning the Cannes Lions Grand Prix in Entertainment last year, proving that UM has both the resources and talent to pull off far more than what’s typically expected of a media agency. Kiernan says the documentary is just one example of UM’s innovative spirit and willingness to “race towards” disruption rather than shy away from it.

Continue reading on Adweek.




Saville’s EP Rupert Maconick is a producer on Liam Neeson’s latest film Memory

02 / 20 / 2020
Liam Neeson will lead the cast of Memory, directed by Martin Campbell and produced by Rupert Maconick of Saville Productions

Greenlighted! Saville’s EP Rupert Maconick is a producer on Liam Neeson’s latest film Memory, an action thriller from Casino Royale director Martin Campbell based on the 2003 Dutch film The Memory Of A Killer.

As the European Film Market gets underway in Berlin, here’s a last minute project that should stir some buyer interest. Liam Neeson will lead the cast of Memory, an action thriller from Casino Royale director Martin Campbell.

Pic is based on the 2003 Dutch film The Memory Of A Killer, Dario Scardapane (The Bridge) has written the screenplay for the English-language version.

Neeson will play an expert assassin with a reputation for discreet precision who, when he refuses to complete a job for a dangerous criminal organization, becomes a target and must go on the hunt for those who want him dead.

Cathy Schulman (Crash) is producing through her Welle Entertainment banner, with Rupert Maconick and Arthur Sarkissian. Black Bear Pictures’ Teddy Schwarzman (The Imitation Game), Michael Heimler (I Carry You With Me) and Ben Stillman (Gold) will executive produce and Black Bear will fully finance the film, which is scheduled to commence photography in August.

Continue reading on Deadline.

Saville’s “5B” documentary directed by Dan Krauss and Paul Haggis picked by SHOOT as the Best Work of the Year!

12 / 12 / 2019
5b wins Shoot's Best Work of the Year for long form documentary content

5B is named after the San Francisco General Hospital’s ward which opened in 1983 as the first full-fledged hospital unit dedicated to treating people with AIDS, the documentary shows the positive power of nursing, continuing a theme which Johnson & Johnson has championed over the years.

5B tells the stories of caretakers, patients and others impacted by the pioneering hospital ward, introducing us to the likes of Mary Magee, a nurse who came out from New York with the hope of landing a job at 5B so that she could care for, comfort and protect AIDS patients who at that time were given a death sentence. Then there was Dr. Paul Volberding, an oncologist who committed to patient care at 5B even though he acknowledged fear for his health and that of his family since the extent of AIDS’ contagious nature wasn’t known at the time. He related that he and his wife had a hard time talking about the potential perils.

Saville worked with agency UM on 5B which was acquired by Verizon Media for distribution, including a theatrical run.

Watch the trailer and continue reading on Shoot Online.

Movie Review: Anthony Hopkins, Jonathan Pryce shine in ‘The Two Popes’

12 / 10 / 2019
Anthony Hopkins and Jonathon Pryce walking outside in scene from The Two Popes directed by Fernando Merielles of Saville Productions
This image released by Netflix shows Jonathan Pryce as Cardinal Bergoglio, right, and Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict in a scene from “The Two Popes.” (Peter Mountain/Netflix via AP)

Saville director Fernando Merielles (City of God) delivers another masterpiece in his latest film “The Two Popes.”

You might not expect a talky drama about two popes at the Vatican to be engaging.

But that’s exactly what filmmaker Fernando Meirelles pulls off in “The Two Popes,” thanks to a pair of superb performances by Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict and Jonathan Pryce as successor Pope Francis; both sure to get a look come Oscar time.

Set in 2012, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pryce) flies from Argentina to Rome to ask Pope Benedict (Hopkins) his permission to retire. While the conservative pope and progressive cardinal initially clash due to contrasting world views, Pope Benedict eventually thinks Bergoglio might be the perfect choice to take over his position (with Benedict retiring due to scandal) and lead the Catholic Church into the 21st century.

Continue reading on Washington’s Top News.

Oscars: 159 Features Submitted Into Documentary Race

11 / 13 / 2019

Saville documentary #5B submitted for the Oscars!The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has unveiled the 159 documentary features that have been submitted for the 92nd annual Academy Awards.

Continue reading in Variety.

IDA Awards: Documentary Feature and Shorts Shortlists Announced

10 / 21 / 2019
Lost and Found by Oscar-winning documentary director Orlando von Einsiedel

Saville director Orlando von Einsiedel makes IDA shortlist with his documentary, Lost and Found!

Shorts that made the cut this year include National Geographic’s Lost and Found, from the Oscar-winning director Orlando von Einsiedel, and Alexander A. Mora’s The Nightcrawlers; MTV Documentary Films’ St. Louis Superman, Sami Khan and Smriti Mundhra’s portrait of a Ferguson activist; and Easter Snap, the latest project of RaMell Ross, who was Oscar-nominated earlier this year for his doc feature Hale County This Morning, This Evening.

Continue reading in Hollywood Reporter.

How Covering the AIDS Epidemic Helped ‘5B’ Documentary Subject Cope

09 / 30 / 2019

10 miles from his house, “5B” co-director Dan Krauss found an incredible story, preserved “like an insect in amber, for over 30 years.”

Saville director Dan Krauss and Paul Haggis discuss Entertainment Lion Grand Prix award winning documentary 5B


When Paul Haggis and Dan Krauss set out to make their documentary “5B,” about the first AIDS ward at San Francisco General Hospital, they originally wanted to tell a story about nursing in 2019. Their mandate for the film, which was financed by Johnson & Johnson, was to tell a story about nursing.

Krauss told the audience at the International Documentary Association’s (IDA) annual screening series that, initially, he thought he’d be traveling to a far-flung location — not one 10 miles from his home in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“We had a vision of traveling to global hotspots and following nurses in Haiti and more contemporary, frontline nursing stories,” Krauss said. “I wish I could take credit for discovering the story, but all credit really belongs to the researchers who were heading the work of finding our story. They came to me one day and said, ‘You know about the story: the first AIDS ward.’ So we had spent a lot of time looking for stories in far-flung parts of the globe, and 10 miles from my house was this incredible story that had been preserved, like an insect in amber, for over 30 years, just sitting there.”

Continue reading on IndieWire.

‘5B’: Film Review Cannes 2019

06 / 25 / 2019

The Hollywood Reporter reviews 5B, our Entertainment Lions Grand Prix award-winning documentary!

5B documentary directed by Dan Krauss pays tribute to medical professionals at America's first AIDS unit at San Francisco General Hospital

Co-directors Dan Krauss and Paul Haggis pay warm tribute to the nurses and volunteers who set up America’s first AIDS unit at San Francisco General Hospital during the crisis years.

The ravages of the AIDS crisis, the stigmatization of its victims and the shameful prolonged indifference of the Ronald Reagan government have been widely chronicled in both narrative and nonfiction features. But the heroism of the nurses and volunteer caregivers manning the frontlines is a largely overlooked aspect that’s worth remembering. Co-directors Dan Krauss and Paul Haggis set out to do just that in 5B, a stirring assembly of first-person oral history and extensive archival footage that honors the pioneering work carried out in that ward, which opened in 1983 at San Francisco General Hospital in direct response to a state of emergency still being widely ignored at that time.

This is a straightforward, no-frills project built in conventional style around a series of talking-head interviews. Despite a nagging tendency to milk sentiment from wrenching subject matter that requires no manipulation, the doc is notable for its admirably inclusive perspective. It covers both the selfless contributions of people fighting the good fight — gay and straight, men and women, medics and nonprofessionals — as well as the conservative forces who tried to discredit the efforts of 5B staffers to bring dignity and compassion to what at that time was a death sentence. The film will be released theatrically through Verizon distribution arm RYOT in June.

Continue reading on The Hollywood Reporter.


06 / 18 / 2019

‘5B’ tells the story of nurses at San Francisco General who established an early AIDS ward. Directed by Dan Krauss. Produced by Saville Productions.

From AIDS ward at San Francisco General Hospital in documentary, 5B, directed by Dan Krauss and produced by Saville Productions

A Johnson & Johnson-commissioned documentary about heroic nurses in the early days of AIDS has won the Entertainment Lions Grand Prix at Cannes.

“5B” is the story of a group of nurses at San Francisco General Hospital in the 1980s who established a ward to care for AIDS patients. Made by UM Studios New York, Highway 61 Films and production company Saville, it’s based on resurfaced records of people who were nursed in one ward, 5B, at the dawn of the AIDS epidemic before much was known about the disease, and connects J&J’s brand focus on “care” and “touch” with how nurses cared for the patients.

Jury president Scott Donaton, global chief creative and content officer at Digitas, described the 50-minute film, which opened June 14 across selected U.S. movie theaters, as “a brave idea, beautifully told and brilliantly executed. It gives you chills and it wouldn’t have been told without the bravery and commitment of the brand in telling the story.”

“It won because we need more stories in the world like this,” he added. “For brands going forward in entertainment, having values and expressing values is going to be the best way to connect with people.”

The documentary, directed by Oscar-nominated director Dan Krauss, wasn’t the only contender for the Grand Prix, according to Donaton. “There was a lot of love for it from the beginning but it wasn’t a slam dunk.”

Continue reading on AdAge.