Char­lotte Day Wilson to launCh mu­siC viDeo grant for fe­male DireC­tors

NOW Magazine - - CMW -

The 2018 Prism Prize was awarded on Sun­day, May 13 at TIFF Bell Light­box to Char­lotte Day Wilson’s mu­sic video for Work.

She and the video’s di­rec­tor, Fan­tavi­ous Fritz, have an­nounced they will do­nate part of the $15,000 prize money to a women’s shel­ter and use the rest to cre­ate a one-time mu­sic video grant for fe­male direc­tors.

The Work video is el­e­gant and min­i­mal­ist, yet qui­etly pow­er­ful – a sin­gle shot of women, gen­derqueer and trans folks from Wilson’s com­mu­nity de­scend­ing an es­ca­la­tor.

“Our video was very much about cre­at­ing a space for peo­ple,” the Toronto-based di­rec­tor ex­pands in a phone con­ver­sa­tion with NOW.

“And we wanted to con­tinue in that spirit and also cre­ate space for a new voice to emerge, and also just kind of keep pay­ing it for­ward to the com­mu­nity.”

The ju­ried Prism Prize, which awards the best Cana­dian mu­sic video of the year, has faced crit­i­cism in the past for its dis­pro­por­tion­ately male nom­i­neel­ist, and you could feel the tide shift­ing a bit at this year’s gala, which co­in­ci­den­tally took place on Mother’s Day.

Grimes won the Hi-Fi­delity Award, which is given to an artist’s cre­ativ­ity and in­no­va­tion in mu­sic videos over a broader body of work. Nice For What and God’s Plan di­rec­tor Karena Evans won the Lipsett Award for in­no­va­tive and unique ap­proaches to mu­sic video art, and in her rap­tur­ously re­ceived ac­cep­tance speech re­marked on how she was the award’s first fe­male re­cip­i­ent. In point­ing it out, she said, she in­tended to not be the last.

Though Bell Me­dia was a spon­sor of the event, many of the pre­sen­ters con­spic­u­ously lamented the me­dia gi­ant’s dis­con­tin­u­ing of MuchFACT, which has funded tens of thou­sands of Cana­dian mu­sic videos over decades and helped de­velop the ca­reers of many of the artists present.

“Mak­ing videos is hard and it doesn’t re­ally pay much,” said Kea­van Yaz­dani, who along with Sean Brown won the Au­di­ence Award for Daniel Cae­sar’s Freudian, A Visual. “Let’s hope some­one steps up so we can get fund­ing back soon.”

“We made our video with MuchFACT and that fi­nanc­ing body has been su­per help­ful to me and a lot of peo­ple in our com­mu­nity,” says Fritz. “We’re re­ally feel­ing the loss of that or­ga­ni­za­tion, so I guess this also helps fill that hole in a very small way.”

He says a few peo­ple have al­ready reached out to him and Wilson about po­ten­tially con­tribut­ing to their grant, and that they’re con­sid­er­ing set­ting up a sep­a­rate jury for it. But he ad­mits the idea is still “half-baked” and says they’ll an­nounce some more con­crete in­for­ma­tion about it in the next cou­ple of weeks.

In our cover story with Wilson in Fe­bru­ary, the Toronto soul singer lamented the lack of women in tech­ni­cal mu­sic roles and said, “I’m al­ways look­ing for the up-and-com­ing women do­ing in­ter­est­ing things and pro­duc­ing.”

Now she’s quite lit­er­ally putting her money where her mouth is.

RichaRd TRapunski

Karena Evans (left), Char­lotte Day Wilson and Ma­rina Nedic at the 2018 Prism Prize gala.

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