If MTV’s annual music video awards show is a celebration of the promo as a vehicle for star power, the UK MVAs are all about honoring it as an art form, as the winners at last night’s award ceremony amply proved.
The ceremony was held in London’s South Bank, and saw industry figures fly in from all over the world to find out who had picked up this year’s coveted gongs. While other music video awards tend to focus on the musicians, the UK MVAs give due recognition to the directors, production companies, producers and commissioners who create the films. The event is consequently an industry must, and the night had an enjoyably competitive air as host Adam Buxton unveiled this year’s winners.
Director Khalil Joseph picked up the big award of the night, the Music Video of the Year, for his haunting film Until The Quiet Comes for Flying Lotus, shown above. The video, which was produced by What Matters Most and commissioned by Warp Films, also picked up the Best Alternative Video – International award.
The certain winners for audience enthusiasm on the night were a group of production company folks from France, mainly from Division Paris and Iconoclast, who loudly greeted any nomination from their directors with whoops and cheers. By halfway through, we at CR, who were sat near them, had pretty much become French ourselves, such was the power of their excitement. And this was no bad thing, as many awards were gathered by the French contingent, including Best Dance Video – International won by directors Fleur & Manu from Division Paris for their video for Pursuit by Gesaffelstein, shown above. The video also won in the visual effects category.
Other French winners included:
Best Pop Video – UK by Alex Courtès (Division Paris) for Willy Moon, Yeah Yeah.
Best Rock/Indie Video – International by Megaforce (Iconoclast) for Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Sacrilege. This video also picked up the best editing gong.
Best Alternative Video – Budget by Fleur & Manu (Division Paris) for Connan Mockasin’s Faking Jazz Together.
Best Styling in a Video by Division Paris for Earthquake by DJ Fresh vs. Diplo (feat. Dominque Young Unique), directed by Jonas & Francois.
Other standout winners for CR on the night included:
Josh Cole’s video for Not Giving In by Rudimental (feat. John Newman and Alex Clare) won the Best Dance Video – UK award. CR has covered Josh Cole’s photography and film a lot over the years, most recently in May. This video is produced by OB Management and Rokkit.
Bison’s video for London Grammar’s Wasting My Young Years won Best Alternative Video – UK. Production company is A+, Academy.
Ian & Cooper won Best Urban Video – UK for Back To Me by Joel Compass. Production company: Prettybird.
Zaiba Jabbar won Best Pop Video – Budget for Who Am I? by Tiny Dancer. Production company: Partizan.
Ola Martin Fjeld won Best Dance Video – Budget for Call Me by Pixel. Production company: Filmfaktisk.
Stevie Russell won Best Rock/Indie Video – Budget for All I Want by Kodaline. Production company: Tidal.
Lamar + Nik won Best Urban Video – Budget for their video for Magnolia by Lushlife.
Canada won the Best Art Direction and Design award for Trying To Be Cool for Phoenix. Production company: Partizan, Canada.
Tom Jobbins won Best Animation for his video for We Can Be Ghosts Now by Hiatus (ft. Shura). Production company: Film Club @ Th1ng.
The inaugural Best Interactive Video award went to Amsterdam-based design studio Moniker for their brilliant video Do Not Touch, created for the song Kilo by Light Light. You can play with the video here.
As well as the awards for videos, the UK MVAs gave out a clutch of gongs for individual contributions to the industry over the last year. These include Best Director to Megaforce; Best New Director to Andrew Thomas Huang; Best Producer to Liz Kessler; and Best Commissioner to Dan Curwin.
Finally, there was the annual Icon Award, which provided one of the ‘wow’ moments of the night. The recipient this year was Julien Temple, recognised for his huge contribution across music video, film and documentary. Temple not only received an email from David Bowie that was read out on the night, but also a live appearance by Ray Davies, who gave the award to the director, describing him as his “old cohort and conspirator”. Temple himself, while clearly pleased at the honour, remarked “I like to think I’m an iconoclast, it’s a bit of a bummer being an icon”. He also suggested that one of his videos, for heavy metal band Accept, which featured in a round-up of clips of his work shown at the event, had provided inspiration for Miley Cyrus’s notorious Wrecking Ball video, directed by Terry Richardson. We’ve included it below, we’ll let you decide…
What is clear from this year’s list of winners is that it’s been another very strong year in promos. Music videos often seem surrounded by bad news stories, particularly of ever-shrinking budgets. But the skill and artistry on show in the winners (and nominees) at this year’s awards, plus the evident passion shown by the audience, demonstrates that promos continue to be one of the most creative and influential art forms we have – long may this continue.
To view a list of all of this year’s UK MVA winners, and find out more about the awards, go to ukmva.com.