The animated short film 47 was one of the biggest winners at the 2024 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity earlier this month.

The six-and-a-half minute film featuring ‘Robert’ was inspired by the real life story of a man who lives with Down syndrome and didn’t receive his first job until he was 47 years old.

Backed by stop-motion, CGI and puppetry – as well as a cover of “Carry On” by indie pop band Fun – the film tells the story of Robert, who is told that various life moments and opportunities are not for him. 

That is until he is offered a job at Café Joyeux, a global chain of cafe-restaurants that hire and train people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Currently, the company has more than 200 full-timers worldwide.

Bolstered by its inclusive message, the animated film received a Bronze Health & Wellness Lion as well as awards in non-health categories, even when considered against prominent advertising efforts from other industries.

Ultimately, 47 also received a Bronze Entertainment Lion, a Silver Digital Craft Lion and a Silver Film Lion.

Klick Health, a 2024 MM+M Agency 100 honoree, wrote the script for the film, which was supported by audio production company Canja Audio Culture and animation house Zombie Studio.

Following its wins in Cannes – not to mention numerous honors at the 2024 Clio Health awards – Café Joyeux hosted a screening of 47 at the French Embassy’s Villa Albertine at the Payne Whitney mansion in New York on Thursday afternoon.

The nonprofit restaurant, which started out in France, opened its first U.S. location in New York in March and hosted a screening fundraiser to support its continued employment opportunities.


We had an amazing time at Villa Albertine for the screening of the award winning film 47! If you have not seen it already its a great film with an even better message (best viewed with a cup of Cafe Joyeux coffee) #fyp #47 #medicalmarketing #medtok #cafejoyeux #nyc

♬ original sound – MMMNews

How 47 came to be was due to Café Joyeux enlisting Klick for marketing work in the spring of 2023. Yet it was the story of Robert that sparked an interest by the agency to create a short film. 

Amy Fortunato, VP and group creative director at Klick, said the objective was to take a frustratingly common situation faced by the nearly 8 million Americans who live with intellectual disabilities and give it an optimistic bent.

That meant underscoring the constant rejection received by Robert and positioning Café Joyeux as the answer that provides a place of purpose.

“In healthcare, there are plenty of statistics and data – so you have to really believe in stories to humanize that data and connect to the mission,” she said. 

In addition to screening the film, Klick worked with its media partner Firefly to donate media space atop digital advertising screens on taxis within a one mile radius of Café Joyeux’s location in midtown Manhattan. 

For Café Joyeux’s U.S. CEO Sylvie Giret, the purpose of the film isn’t only to highlight the work her organization is doing to encourage people living with intellectual disabilities and equip them with life skills to be active members of the workforce – it’s also to challenge other businesses to step up and follow suit.

She said while some companies won’t reject an applicant who has a disability, they will often task them with menial assignments or place them in the backend of the operation, essentially hiding them from the general public. 

This contrasts with the approach of Café Joyeux, which features its crew members in the front of the restaurant and cross-trains them on duties so they can learn as many responsibilities as possible.

Additionally, at a time when companies are embarking on ways to be more inclusive, either on the basis of race, ethnicity or gender, Giret said more organizations should apply the same effort for those who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Acknowledging that there isn’t an overnight solution to this problem, she said her organization has provided others with a framework to be more inclusive and is in conversations with companies that want to follow their lead.

Having the additional attention and recognition due to the honors received in Cannes further uplifts the work and its widespread impact.

“This is not only showing Café Joyeux to the world but capitalizing on the mission that’s bigger than us,” she said.