The six international awards competitions include the Advertising Awards, the Radio Awards, the TV & Film Awards, Bowery Awards, Global Awards and AMEA Awards.

Berkowitz, whose first job was to launch Hyground alongside Brian Searle-Tripp and Bob Rightford, moved to London in 2007 for a year. He joined Wieden+Kennedy Delhi in 2008 as creative director and spent four years living in India, working on building local brands and global projects in the London and Amsterdam offices.

Berkowitz returned to South Africa in 2012 to join King James as creative director and head of integration; He currently leads the creative teams in the HaveYouHeard group.

"It's an honour to represent the local industry in judging global work alongside an international panel," Berkowitz says.

"I hope to bring a different perspective to the panel; South Africans are blessed with the opportunity of growing up in one of the most culturally diverse places on earth. I think our exposure to different ways of life and the understanding and empathy of cultural nuance that brings — coupled with our professional upbringing among brilliant minds in a small country with a big creative reputation — enables us to look at global work through a wider lens," adds Berkowitz.

"The world deserves a little bit of light-heartedness from the ad fraternity this year. I was reminded recently that, while our duty is always to inspire people to take notice and engage with the brilliant things our clients do and the purpose that drives them, it's only advertising. We are in the fortunate position to deliver messages in a way that can make people smile, laugh and yes, sometimes cry. This year, I'm erring on the lighter side," Berkowitz says.

"2020 pulled the rug out, but every new challenge presented an opportunity to innovate or invent and that's what we live for as creative people," adds Berkowitz.

"Beyond the obvious immediate effects of working from home, being sensitive to the mood of the audience in the work and having to reinvent ways of working, especially in the experiential and production space, I feel that one of the best things to come out of Covid-19 was the liberation clients felt in taking more risks and trying new things because they had to," says Berkowitz.

"It's often a more difficult conversation to have when given the choice between what we know works and heading into uncharted territory that has the potential to work even better. I think considering the successes that both agencies and clients have experienced by being thrust into a totally new deep end, there will be a lasting effect that leads to more innovation on both sides in the future," Berkowitz concludes. 

For more information, visit You can also follow the New York Festivals on Facebook, Twitter or on Instagram