The thrill of the hunt

Red Lion creates a digital escape room on Instagram in honour of the Toronto Silent Film Festival's lost films.

This year’s Toronto Silent Film Festival is based around the theme of lost films: movies thought to be lost to the passing of time, only to be found in a vault somewhere and restored for our viewing pleasure.¬†Escape rooms, for those not up on the latest group activity trends, are something of a real-life video game, where you and a group of friends get locked in a room, hunting for clues to figure out how to escape. To promote this year’s festival, Toronto’s Red Lion used the idea of searching for what might have otherwise been forgotten to create a digital, silent film-themed version of an escape room on Instagram.

Red Lion, which has gotten in the habit of using Instagram to promote the festival, used 30 different videos that were arranged into one full, panoramic shot of a dusty old shed. By tapping an individual video, you can search that part of the room for a clue or, if you’re lucky, a lost film reel that contains a piece of the code that will get you out. The letters combine to create a hashtag and, when you select the right one, you are able to unlock the door and escape to sweet, sweet daylight.

(You could also just try tapping every hashtag, if you want to be a cheating killjoy.)


Brand: Toronto Silent Film Festival
Agency: Red Lion Canada
President, Chief Creative Officer: Matt Litzinger
Associate Creative Director: Pepe Bratanov
Designer: Duncan Collis
Copywriter: Kyle Carpenter
Account Director: Nicole Spinner
Account Executive: Abi Berkley
Solutions Director: Lauren Brown
Producer: Meghan Cassidy
Director: Eden Robbins