Last night (July 26), Haviah Mighty’s Thirteen, directed by Theo Kapodistrias, was crowned Grand Prize Winner of the 2021 Prism Prize. The fan-voted Audience Award was won by directors Evan Elliot & Lance Sampson for Pay it Forward by Aquakultre.
The annual awards recognize outstanding artistry in Canadian music videos. A jury of more than 130 media professionals from the music and visual arts industries selected the Grand Prize winner, recipient of the $20,000 cash prize.
The 2021 Prism Prize recognized the visual excellence of the Top 10 Canadian music videos of the year in a virtual presentation focused heavily on the nominated works. The show was narrated by Canadian rapper Cadence Weapon, and written by music journalist Sajae Elder. Along with the Grand Prize and Audience Awards, the 2021 virtual presentation recognized several Special Award recipients in the Canadian music industry.
Art punk band and multimedia collective Crack Cloud was presented with the Hi-Fidelity Award, established to recognize recording artists who utilize music video in innovative ways.
Director and photographer Gennelle Cruz was awarded the Lipsett Award, established to celebrate a unique approach to music video art.
Cinematographer Jordan Oram was granted the Special Achievement Award (presented by Slaight Music), established to recognize an exceptional contribution to music video art on the world stage.
Renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer and artist Leanne Betasamosake Simpson was given the Willie Dunn Award (supported by Telefilm Canada), presented to a Canadian trailblazer who has demonstrated excellence within the music, music video and/or film production communities. As the recipient of this award, she received a $2,500 honorarium and was asked to select an emerging Canadian creative to spotlight during the Prism Prize presentation and to be the beneficiary of $2,500; she selected Inuk musician Beatrice Deer.
“Music videos have always possessed the power to expand a viewer’s experience beyond the song. With Thirteen, Haviah and Theo take it one step further with their powerful and important storytelling. This is artwork that we are honoured to add to the distinguished list of Prism Prize Grand Prize winners,” said Louis Calabro, VP, Programming & Awards at the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television and Founder of Prism Prize.
Each year, the Prism Prize jury reviews more than 300 eligible Canadian music videos and votes to determine the Top 20 long list and the Top 10 shortlist. Following a second jury vote of the Top 10 shortlist, the Grand Prize winner is selected and awarded $20,000, while all other creative teams on the Top 10 shortlist will receive $1,000 courtesy of Patron partner Slaight Music.
All videos from the 2021 Prism Prize Top 20 are eligible for the Audience Award. All Prism Prize Award recipients, including the Grand Prize, Audience Award, and all Special Award winners, receive equipment rental grants in the amount of $2,500, courtesy of partners at William F. White International Inc.
Prism Prize Patron Partners are Slaight Music, Telefilm Canada, FACTOR, and supporting partner, William F. White International Inc.