The fifth edition of the Prism Prize took place in Toronto last night. The awards show celebrates the best in Canadian music videos, and this year’s big winner was Montreal-based director Martin C. Pariseau.
He took home the Grand Prize for his work on Kaytranada’s “Lite Spots” video. The accompanying $15,000 cheque is termed by Prism Prize founder Louis Calabro “the most lucrative for any music video award in the world.”
The winner of this category is determined by the votes of over 120 music and film industry professionals.
The audience award is based on public votes, with the 20 videos on the Prism longlist being eligible. This year’s winner is Winston Hacking, for Andy Shauf’s clip for “The Magician.”
The Special Achievement Award, presented by Slaight Music, went to Revolver Films, headed by industry veteran and pioneer Don Allan. This award goes to a Canadian music video artist for their creative achievements and exceptional contribution to music video art on a world stage.
Formed in 1983, Revolver has earned more Juno and MMVA Awards than any other Canadian company. In his acceptance speech, Allan noted with pride that the previous winners of the award, Floria Sigismondi, Christopher Mills, and Director X, all cut their teeth on Revolver-made videos.
Presenting Allan with his trophy was his friend Fab 5 Freddy, a legendary graffiti artist, rapper, filmmaker and hiphop veejay on the New York City scene.
The Lipsett Award honours a Canadian music video artist for their innovative and unique approach to the medium. This year’s winner is Kid. Studio, a company which has worked with the likes of the weeknd and Majid Jordan.
A new award this year was The Hi-Fidelity Award, presented to a Canadian recording artist with a strong identity in music video art. July Talk took home this trophy.
The well-attended awards show was very efficiently run, and the crowd was entertained by the routines of comic Aisha Brown.
Notables spied at the event included directors Curtis Wehrfritz and Jared Raab, club owner Shaun Bowring, artists Cold Specks, Harrison, July Talk, Clairmont the Second, and Brendan Canning, and man about town Cam Carpenter.
At the post-show reception, Grand Prize winner Pariseau confided to FYI that the win was a surprise. “I didn’t think my video was Canadian enough,” he said. He also joked that he’s likely to get a warning from his bank about “unusual activity” when he deposits his cheque.
To recap, the 2017 Prism Prize Finalists were:
A Tribe Called Red feat. Black Bear - "Stadium Pow Wow" (Director: Kevan Funk)
Andy Shauf - "The Magician" (Director: Winston Hacking)
BadBadNotGood ft. Kaytranada - "Lavender" (Director: Fantavious Fritz)
Grimes - "Kill V. Maim" (Directors: Claire and Mac Boucher)
Harrison ft. Clairmont the Second - "It's Okay, I Promise" (Director: Scott Cudmore)
July Talk - "Picturing Love" (Director: Jared Raab)
Kaytranada - "Lite Spots" (Director: Martin C. Pariseau)
PUP - "DVP "(Director: Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux)
PUP - "Sleep in the Heat" (Director: Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux)
Wintersleep - "Amerika" (Director: Scott Cudmore)