Hot in 2018: Things we loved

All the things that made us happy in the past 12 months.

Black Panther

As well as being critically acclaimed and the second-highest grossing film of the year, Black Panther demonstrated the power of diverse stories. Starring a predominately black cast, it brought in $1.3bn globally. Michelle Obama said it would "inspire people of all backgrounds to dig deep and find the courage to be heroes of their own stories". Let’s hope the film industry follows its success by broadening the tales it tells on screen.

Chabuddy G

There’s nothing the industry needs more right now than some "ultrapaneers". Inspiration should therefore come from Hounslow’s "Dahl Boy", Chabuddy G, who has successfully made the move, alongside the crew from Korrupt FM, from a budget YouTube hobby channel to BBC Three, then BBC Two. Now, there are ambitions for the silver screen. Chabuddy G, the brilliant, deluded creation of Asim Chaudhry, has also been noticed by brands, making his breakthrough in ads for British Airways, the International Cricket Council and Google.

The Defiant Ones

Agency chiefs and creatives alike were captivated by documentary series The Defiant Ones when it launched on Netflix. The four episodes tell the story of Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre and their improbable creative partnership. Besides the compelling storytelling, one episode was, in essence, a massive ad for Beats headphones. To this day, it is held up as an example of brands doing entertainment right.

Normal People

Sally Rooney’s tale about a girl and boy’s life-changing connection was one of the best novels of the year and captured the zeitgeist of contemporary relationships. This addictive page-turner is testament to the power of storytelling and disproves the notion that literature is dying in the digital age.

Childish Gambino

Donald Glover – aka Childish Gambino – captivated audiences around the world with his jaw-dropping music video This is America, which commented on racism and gun violence, while his raw performance stole the show at Lovebox festival. The "multi-hyphenate" artist also enjoyed mainstream success with his TV series Atlanta and starring role in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Glover’s creativity is a compelling protest amid a time of political unrest.

Allbirds

San Francisco-based sustainable fashion brand Allbirds launched in the UK in October, bringing its utilitarian trainers, styled from eucalyptus, wool and sugar cane, to Covent Garden in a store designed and built by brand experience agency XYZ. Its original Merino wool trainers, the Wool Runner – dubbed the world’s most comfortable shoe by Time – have quite the fanbase, spotted on everyone from Mila Kunis to Barack Obama. But it is the company’s commitment to natural materials that makes these the kindest soles for kind souls.

Isle of Dogs

Wes Anderson brought his beautifully crafted animated Isle of Dogs to the screens in spring. Meanwhile in London, around 50,000 culture hunters packed into 180 The Strand to check out the handmade puppets and 17 perfectly miniaturised film sets made at 3 Mills Studios. The exhibition was extended due to overwhelming demand.

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