B-Reel Films (BR•F) directorial duo TAO/S, made up of brothers Aaron and Winston Tao, have had a monumental Cannes Lions this year. On the heels of winning Best Direction at the AICP Show, the pair took home the Silver for Best Direction for their stirring campaign film “The Rabbit Hole.” The six-minute short for SOS International, an at-risk children’s nonprofit, was also shortlisted for Best Script, Best Editing, and Best Sound Design in the Film Craft category.
The honors from Cannes add to an already fruitful year for TAO/S and the film, which explores the grim and often misunderstood reality of child sex trafficking as it follows two young sisters striving to make their dream to go to Hawaii come true. Since 2022, “The Rabbit Hole” has been widely shortlisted and won at the AICP Show, D&D Awards, Anthem Wares, Shots, and 1.4 Awards, among others.
As the acclaimed branded short hits the global standard for excellence in creativity and effectiveness, this Cannes Lion win magnifies TAO/S’ exceptional directorial talent. This year, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity announced their receipt of a total of 26,992 entries for the 2023 Awards, an increase of 6% from 2022 — and, remarkably, “The Rabbit Hole” is one of only a handful of projects coming home a winner.
In the film, TAO/S subtly convey how two relatable girls, their shared dream, and their youth are tainted by a largely invisible undercurrent of exploitation using stark, opposing images to build tension.
In this way, “The Rabbit Hole” is the pinnacle of this duo’s style, defined by an emotionally compelling and deeply human approach to storytelling, as well as an emphasis on complex, nuanced characters and social issues. This same heartbeat is evident throughout TAO/S’ previous work for Volvo, Ford, The Yard Muay Thai, and the Helen Bamber Foundation, which aids refugees dealing with trauma in assimilating into society.
TAO/S are currently in development for their feature, GOODBYE, HURRICANE, an Academy Nicholls semifinalist, Sundance semifinalist, and Black List x CAPE finalist for 2021. They are signed with BR•F for commercial representation in the United States.