Hiscox is celebrating courageous filmmakers at this year’s Austin Film Festival

Posters for Hiscox's Courage Award at the Austin Film Festival

For the third year in a row, small business insurer Hiscox will be giving its Courage Award to one lucky filmmaker at the Austin Film Festival, which kicks off today and runs through next week.

The award, which is voted on by the audience, is presented annually to a film that embodies risk and courage. As a sponsor of the festival, Hiscox – whose strapline is ‘Encourage Courage’ – is using the opportunity to plug its entertainment insurance offerings to attendees.

The company tapped Gyro to create a promotional campaign for the award, which will run throughout the week-long festival in the form of pre-roll idents, animations and posters.

The campaign shines a light on movie milestones that were groundbreaking at the time they occurred but have now become commonplace, like the fact that it wasn’t until 1960 that a flushing toilet was shown on screen. Another spot states that “it took until 1964 to show an interracial marriage on screen,” while a third states that 1969 marks the first year a naked man was shown on screen.

A fourth reminds viewers that it was only seven years ago that Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win an Academy Award for best director.

Each spot ends with the message, “Courage in filmmaking takes many forms.” According to Gyro, the design and animations for the campaign were inspired by legendary movie titles designer Saul Bass.

“Filmmakers have a tough – if not impossible – job just getting some of these brave films made,” said Kash Sree, executive creative director at Gyro New York, in a statement. “That’s what really inspired us as we looked to praise these courageous filmmakers for their creative work.”

Russ Findlay, chief marketing officer at Hiscox, added: “With over 40 years as a leading media and entertainment insurer, we know it takes courage to make a great film. We’re proud to celebrate the courageous writers, directors and producers at the Austin Film Festival.”

Last year, Hiscox’s Courage Award went to the documentary Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405.

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