ADC Awards

The ADC Annual Awards is the oldest continuously running industry award show in the world. Now in its incredible 102nd year, these awards celebrate the very best in advertising, digital media, graphic and publication design, packaging and product design, motion, experiential and spatial design, photography, illustration and fashion design all with a focus on artistry and craftsmanship.

2023 ADC Awards - Advertising

Through the Five Passes - Shot on iPhone

Agency TBWA\Media Arts Lab / Shanghai

Client Apple


Craft in Video / Cinematography

Annual ID


About the Work

Chinese Opera is a key part of Chinese New Year traditions, tracing back to the first dynasty of Imperial China. The majestic art form of musical theatre has since been supplanted by ever-changing modern entertainment. This year, the ambition for Apple’s annual CNY film is to reinvigorate the ancient art form with a movie-grade quality captured entirely with the latest iPhone 14 Pro. Through the Five Passes is a coming-of-age story about a young opera practitioner who goes against all odds to give the performance of a lifetime, even if just for a mere five minutes. Based on a renowned Chinese Opera story, the title itself is a famous expression that embodies a powerful spirit to do whatever it takes to overcome adversity. The story celebrates the spirit of resilience, particularly following the turbulent year of 2022, when people pushed through despite the constant uncertainty of China’s Covid policies. Traditionally captured in a static frame or onstage play, our ambition was to take Chinese Opera and inject contemporary aesthetics through innovative cinematography. With the iPhone’s versatility at our fingertips, we were able to breathe fresh new life into this ancient art form. We captured Chinese Opera with filmmaking techniques that include ingenious camera placements on and off stage, on and around the performers. Getting close enabled us to capture intricate details and dynamic movements to show viewers a never-before-seen side of Chinese Opera, all while showcasing the latest iPhone features. From dazzling choreography to rich colors, it all came together to create a surrealistic and artistic opera performance from our protagonist in his final encounter. This dream-like sequence represents his personal journey filled with emotional hardships, and is reflected in the powerful yet fluid motions of the camera, altering the viewing experience of Chinese Opera for the modern day audience.

2023 Awards

Total Points: 21



TBWA\Media Arts Lab / Shanghai

Art Director

Dong Luo


Peng Fei


Varqa Buehrer


Peng Fei

Chinese Opera Consultant

Wei Chen

Production Designer

Qing Liu

Related Awards





Follow Us