Music

The Belle Game's 'Low' wins Prism Prize for top Canadian music video

Said the Whale and Clairmont the Second were also honoured at Monday night's gala.

Said the Whale and Clairmont the Second were also honoured at Monday night's gala

Vancouver indie-rock band the Belle Game's Kevan Funk-directed music video for 'Low' is the 2019 Prism Prize winner. (Arts & Crafts)

Kevan Funk, the director of Vancouver indie-rock band the Belle Game's music video for "Low," is the winner of the seventh annual Prism Prize.

The award for best Canadian music video of the year was handed out on Monday evening during the Prism Prize gala presentation at Toronto's TIFF Bell Lightbox. The prize was decided on by a jury of more than 120 Canadian music and film industry professionals. 

Funk beat out nine other shortlisted videos from artists such as Cadence Weapon, Jessie Reyez, Classified and Daniel Caesar for the $15,000 prize. In fact, Funk had two music videos in the 2019 Prism Prize top 10 as his Belle Game clip went up against his Blue Hawaii video for "Do You Need Me." Funk has also created videos in the past for A Tribe Called Red, Braids, the Zolas and Wake Owl. In 2016, he released his debut film, Hello Destroyer.  

The winning video, which explores how impersonal sexual contact can be, sometimes, by looking at the making of sex dolls and toys in a factory, was an idea that Funk said he's been wanting to execute for five years. "We made this film with four of us running around L.A.," he explained in his speech at the gala. "It was really weird and really fun, and I'm really proud of the work we made." 

Funk added that "music videos gave me the career I have now and I would love to be able to help someone else. I really believe in this form." 

The Belle Game guitarist Adam Nanji praised Funk for his work, in a statement: "Our band's music really deals with the grey areas of life," he said. "So to have someone that we trust that could add an expanded view to what we're already singing and playing about is such a blessing."  

Editor's note: video below is NSFW.

A number of other awards were also handed out at the gala. Director Johnny Jansen, who put together Said the Whale's "UnAmerican" video, took home the Prism Prize Audience Award, which was based on thousands of online votes.

Lacey Duke, whose work includes videos for international stars like Janelle Monae, D.R.A.M. and Esperanza Spalding, was honoured with the Special Achievement Award for her exceptional contribution to music video art on a world stage. 

The Lipsett Award for innovation and unique approaches to the music video medium was handed out to Soleil Denault, the director behind many of Montreal duo Milk & Bone's videos including "Nevermore," "Daydream," "BBBlue" and "Peaches."

And finally, Toronto rapper and director of many of his own videos, Clairmont the Second, was awarded the Hi-Fidelity Award for "exhibiting a strong visual identity through music video." His latest videos for "Grip" and "Do You Drive?" are from his 2019 release, Do You Drive?.

Previous winners of the Prism Prize include Martin C. Pariseau for Kaytranada's "Lite Spots," Emily Kai Bock for Arcade Fire's "Afterlife," Philip Sportel for Kalle Mattson's "Avalanche" and last year's winner, Fantavious Fritz, for Charlotte Day Wilson's "Work." 

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