Carlos El Asmar’s Honorary Pick | TMA 2021

The honorary pick was created in 2017, during our second edition of The Motion Awards (TMA). At the time, the Director of TMA was a former student of mine from NYU named Onley Atwell, and it all started when she asked me to watch a piece that not only didn’t win but wasn’t nominated.

We love what we do so much, and the standard is so high that whether the submissions win or not, we try to view as many as possible. I was particularly excited to see what Onley was highlighting.

As I began watching, I immediately saw what she meant; the message was so cataclysmic that it needed more exposure. We knew we had to find a way to honor this project, but the integrity of the judging system was paramount. 

After talking it through, Onley came up with the idea of creating the ‘Carlos El Asmar Honorary Pick.’ I would choose one piece with a message so powerful that it transcended any notion of judging criteria or assessment of craft.

I loved the idea, but I must admit, I was hesitant to put my name to anything. I have always been a very private person. For many years, most people were unaware that I was even involved with Motionographer, let alone the Co-Founder. You won’t find me on social media, and only recently have I appeared on our own about page. However, if getting the message out truly was the most important thing, then I would do all I could to help.

And so, it became a tradition. Every year our team would assess videos that weren’t picked for a Motion Award, and I would decide our ‘honorary pick’ based on its cultural relevance and, well, what spoke to me most.

I have to say that this year was the hardest for me emotionally. As I watched dozens of videos, I found myself immersed in tales of the pandemic, mass shootings, grief, refugees, climate change, and babies lost. 

It was tough at times. I cried, I got angry, but I also watched in awe as Motion Design was used in a myriad of creative ways to help give a voice to those who need it most. Behind the tears and anxiety, I found myself with a familiar feeling of pride that drowned out the negative emotions. It makes me feel proud that what we do matters and that how we choose to spend our time in creative endeavors can impact so many people. 

This year’s winner did just that. 

‘Migrants’ was a graduation project for five students from PÔLE 3D in France. It encapsulated three subjects close to my heart: our problems with climate change, immigration, and the treatment of refugees. It took me through a gamut of emotions and reminded me that we need to do better; we need to be better. We are not only responsible for ourselves; we must take care of each other and the planet.

In 2022, we plan to make a big splash with the return of our legendary creative festival, F5. It’s been a few years in the making, but even way back in 2019, we knew what we wanted the next theme to be. Since we were last together, F5 Empath has been a dream waiting to be realized.

And now, with everything that’s happened, we believe empathy is more important than ever.

Please take some time to watch ‘Migrants’ and share it far and wide.

You can you relive some of this year’s greatest moments in Motion Design by visiting our winners page here.


Directed by Hugo Caby, Antoine Dupriez, Lucas Lermytte, Zoé Devise, and Aubin Kubiak

Original Music by Yann Menou
Sound Design by Juliette Béha
Sound Design assistant : Félix Vigne
Final Mix by Thomas Rouvillain, Nextsoundlab

Distributed by Patrick De Carvalho | Je Regarde