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The Berlin Music Video Awards (BMVAs) has come to an end with a spectacular close on its fourth and final day, leaving attendees thinking about this year’s designs at the fashion show, which brought on the catwalk futurism, avant-garde, haute couture and cutting-edge designs. The event culminated in a breathtaking celebration of music, fashion, and artistic excellence.

The previous days were full of networking, music videos, workshops and much more. Some highlights include AI and animation summit, impact play show and live performances.
The Animation summit discussed recent trends and innovations in the animation field. The audience was able to ask questions and discuss topics with industry professionals.
The AI summit, carried out by an industry expert Yonata Dor discussed the intersection of artificial intelligence and music video production. Thought-provoking discussions centred around the impact of AI on creative processes, the role of technology in shaping visual storytelling, and the potential for AI to revolutionize the music video industry. Attendees left the summit with a deeper understanding of the possibilities that emerge when AI and artistic vision converge.

The final day of the BMVAs commenced with a glittering carpet that brought the designer and nominees to Club Gretchen with T1 Berlin’s VW Bus “Bulli“. The glittering carpet was the start of the dazzling fashion show, featuring renowned designers and emerging talents who presented their exquisite creations on the runway. The fusion of music and fashion created an electrifying atmosphere as models showcased the designers` designs. The fashion show served as a testament to the interplay between music and visual aesthetics, highlighting the transformative power of creative collaboration.

The closing ceremony brought together the distinguished panel of judges, artists, and industry leaders to honour the exceptional talent showcased throughout the event. The last 2 awards were presented for The Best Music Video and The Best Production Company categories, recognizing outstanding achievements in visual storytelling, technical prowess, and artistic vision. The winners stood as a tribute to the creativity and ingenuity of the music video industry.

W I N N E R S:

SONG: Pharrell feat. 21 Savage & Tyler, The Creator – Cash In Cash Out
DIRECTOR: François Rousselet
LABEL: Columbia Records

The winning music video for The Best Animation goes to „Cash In Cash Out,“ a captivating collaboration between Pharrell Williams, 21 Savage, and Tyler, The Creator, which is a visually stunning and thematically rich experience from the ETC (Electric Theatre Collective)! Directed by François Rousselet, this video shows a seamless blend of music and visuals, which has left a lasting impact on the festival jury and viewers. Through stunning animation techniques, vibrant colours, and imaginative storytelling, it takes viewers on an exhilarating journey into a futuristic world of opulence and ambition. The ETC has done an amazing job of seamlessly converging individual artistry to create a memorable audiovisual experience. Their performances, complemented by the mesmerizing animation, showcased each artist’s unique persona and added depth to the storytelling.

SONG: +K+M+B – ++
DIRECTOR: Bingi Bongi

The winner of The Best Concept category goes to +k+m+b music video for “++“. This video is a captivating work of art that transcends traditional music videos. It delves into the depths of human emotions and existential questions, inviting viewers to embark on a visual and introspective journey.
The director and winner Bingi Bongi has combined his signature elements of suspense, absurdity and black humour for a visually captivating, powerfully symbolic, and mesmerizing story to captivate the
imagination and leave a lasting impression long after the final frame. The dark electronic band from Latvia competed against big names like Lizzo, Dermot Kennedy and Little Big, but had tremendous success over them with the video’s symbolism, surrealism, and stunning cinematography.

SONG: Black Midi – Sugar/Tzu
PRODUCTION: Friend London
LABEL: Rough Trade

The winner for Best Editor goes to Arthur Le Fol & Noel Paul for their work on the music video
“Sugar/Tzu“ by Black Midi. This video seamlessly transitions between contrasting scenes, each with
its own unique visual style, and uses light and cinematography masterfully. The editing style
employed in the video is fast-paced and visually striking, creating a sense of urgency and keeping the
viewer fully engaged. These elements have gained the video’s favour over other nominated videos
like “Music For A Sushi Restaurant“ by Harry Styles and “Disco Maghreb“ by DJ Snake. Quick cuts,
time manipulation, and innovative transitions further enhance the surreal and disorienting experience,
amplifying the impact of the music and visuals to have this music video rise above the rest.

SONG: Nother feat. Moon Leap – US
DIRECTOR: Marco Santi
PRODUCTION: Illmatic Film Group
LABEL: Abyond

The winning music video for Most Trashy is a song for fresh beginnings and a twisted love ballad
about the end of the world. The song, according to Nother, is „a way to face your fears, asking help
from someone you love.“ This concept is illustrated by director and winner Marco Santi through a
chef teaching his young employee how to dance in order to get him ready for a special date. Santi is
an award-winning director from Italy working in film, music and advertising. His film, “Clara’’, won
six prizes at the international festival, 48FILM Project. This time, he has captivated the audience and
bested other category videos, like “Miss You“ by Oliver Tree and Robin Schulz, with its amazing
combination of bass-heavy ballad with an unforgettable storyline of a person’s courage and the power
of dance.

SONG: Cheesecake Syndicate – Hahahaha (Don’t You Just Know It)
PERFORMER: Alex Bazela
DIRECTOR: Max Ksjonda

When things feel jinxed and the whole world seems to be conspiring against you, Best Performer
winner Alex Bazela knows how to look on the bright side of being ill-fated and to smile through it all!
The music video for Cheesecake Syndicate’s song “Hahahaha (Don’t You Just Know It)”, directed by
Max Ksjonda, takes you through a chaotic morning where everything goes wrong, one fall after the
one, but one also might just manage to slip into love. In competition with others like Tove Lo and
Hannah Mason, Bazela shined bright with every inch and muscle being put into this story. This greatly
executed production is enhanced by his performance, with a mix of fluid structured dance and
comedic storytelling, you can’t help but smile yourself!

SONG: Labrinth – Kill For Your Love
DIRECTOR: Ernest Desumbila
LABEL: Columbia Records

Best Director winner Ernest Desumbila sets us in a cyberpunk future on a journey of sweet violence
for torturous love, a love that is trying to survive it all. With the world twisting and falling apart, she
still finds his way back to him. „Kill For Your Love“ by Labrinth is a song that speaks of the lengths
we are willing to go to for love, and the video perfectly captures the essence of that message. From
the stunning transitions to the intricate details of movement, colour, and characterization, every aspect
of the video is a masterpiece in its own right. Up against other music videos from big artists like
Falling in Reverse and other known directors like James Chapell, Desumbila’s work made a statement
for itself and came out on top.

SONG: Cero Ismael – WY
DIRECTOR: Tim Darmenov
PRODUCTION: Emily Barendse & Quintin Baker /Tebbernekkel Production Company
LABEL: The Orchard Music

The music video for Cero Ismael’s „WY,“ directed by Tim Darmenov, captivates viewers with its
visually stunning cinematography that earned them the esteemed Best Cinematography Awards at the
Berlin Music Video Awards 2023 for Boas Van Milligen’s work. Set against a backdrop of
mesmerizing landscapes, the video follows a narrative of self-discovery and transformation. With
exquisite black-and-white lighting and expertly composed shots, the cinematography skillfully
enhances the emotional journey portrayed in the song. Each frame is meticulously crafted, evoking a
sense of introspective beauty. The music video of „WY“ truly showcases the mastery of Boas Van
Milligen and Tim Darmenov in creating a captivating visual experience that perfectly complements
Cero Ismael’s powerful music.

SONG: Shjrunken Heads – Cremantique
DIRECTOR: Remy Lafont
LABEL: Hot Fools Record

The music video for Shjrunked Heads’ “Creamantique” directed by Remy Lafont, stands out as a
remarkable achievement in the Low Budget category and takes the win! Despite limited resources,
Lafont skillfully creates a visually engaging and imaginative experience. The video showcases the
artist’s creativity and resourcefulness, utilizing unique DIY props, clever set designs, and creative
camera techniques to bring the song to life. The director’s ability to maximize the impact of every
frame on a limited budget is commendable. Through unconventional visuals and a distinct artistic
vision, Remy Lafont successfully captures the essence of the music and leaves a lasting impression on
the viewer. This work is a testament to the power of creativity and innovation in storytelling, and
Lafont’s directorial talent shines through in this exceptional low-budget music video.

SONG: Slowthai – Yum
DIRECTOR: Crowns and Owls
LABEL: Interscope Records, True Panther Sounds

Slowthai is a British rapper and songwriter known for his unique style and energetic performances; he
gained recognition in 2019 with the release of his debut studio album, “Nothing Great About Britain”.
His new music video “Yum” is the winner of our Most Bizarre category and can be described as
creatively disturbing. Directors and winners Crowns & Owls visually display everything you can
expect from Slowthai’s brilliant and complex mind. “More coke, more weed, more E’s, more trips…”,
the “Yum” music video shows everything that people want him to do but don’t do anything for him.
slowthai’s music videos demonstrate his ability to push boundaries and challenge societal norms.
They incorporate unique visual styles, compelling narratives and powerful imagery to create an
immersive experience that complements his music’s raw and honest nature.

SONG: Raven Bush – Circle
DIRECTOR: Phillip Kaminiak
PRODUCTION: Landia Mexico

Liminal spaces, backrooms, big city and rooftops. A bird’s eye perspective on the big and huge
product of humanity, while humanity itself is dying in it. Director and winner of the Best
Experimental category, Phillip Kaminiak, brings us “Circle”, showcasing the modern human being’s
circle of life – and death. The video shows humans dancing to the rhythm of ancient tunes, dressed in
all black, with just a big red dot on the forehead; they are all part of the same entity and this entity is
dying. This entity is nothing else than humanity, surrendered to machines and the high speed
movement of capitalism. Filmed in Mexico, “Circle” competed against other names such as Victor
Van Rossem, Daniel Brandt and Zeugl. It had been a hard battle, but in the end, it was clear that there
were no equals. Circle is a stunning video to reflect on how far we’ve come and how it’s impossible to
go back: nothing is left, but dance.

SONG: Uni and the Urchins – Clear
DIRECTOR: Charlotte Kemp Muhl
PRODUCTION: Charlotte Kemp Muhl
LABEL: Chimera Music

What does it mean to be clean? Purity, innocence, whiteness: forget it all. The winner of the Best Song
category is going to make you want to do the wrong thing. After five different nominations, Uni and
the Urchins take first place for their song “Clean”. No other lyrics match so well with the
instrumentals; the after-taste of 70s Rock is perfect for the subject of transgression and naivety. The
repetitive beat takes from psychedelic rock and gets you to push the repeat button without even
thinking. The American band has raced with different compatriots and people from all over Europe –
Ukraine, the United Kingdom, France and Germany itself – with the other nominees coming from
Canada and Puerto Rico. The competition was stiff, but “Clean” came out on top. May they have
persuaded the jury to get unclean? Well, if it is, they might have been the right thing.

SONG: Ziak – Même pas un grincement
DIRECTOR: Bleu Désert
LABEL: Universal Music Division Capitol Music France

The winner of the best VFX category for this year goes to the VFX team at SQUARE for their work
on the music video “Même pas un grincement“ by Ziak. The song is about the struggles of a criminal
lifestyle and living in silence. The video takes you deeper, microscopic view into the creation of
different mechanisms of criminality like vehicles, guns, robots etc., leaving you to wonder what’s
human, what’s criminal, and what’s in between. The French nominee competed with big names like
Ed Sheeran and the five-time-nominated Uni and the Urchins. However, neither Ed Sheeran’s video
for “2Step“ which mixed nostalgia with a marriage of the visuals, dance and music nor the
eye-catching and out-of-the-box thinking visuals of “Simulator“ by the Uni and the Urchins have
struck the jury members as much as the dystopian machines of the criminal life.

SONG: Fatoumata Diawara feat. Damon Albarn – Nsera
DIRECTOR: Gregory Ohrel
PRODUCTION: Pelican Paris & Jeanne Gay

Immerse yourself in the bright colours in the music video for “Nsera”, the winner of the Best Art
Director from Gregory Ohrel and Anais Profit. The Afro-pop song of the Malian singer Fatoumata
Diawara is in collaboration with Damon Albaran from the Gorillaz. It’s a mesmerizing visit to Africa
through powerful shots that mix local traditions with modernity. Director Ohrel has captured the
viewers with its storytelling, epic visuals and African history condensed into a 3-minute video. Big
names like Oliver Tree and Nina Chuba were racing for the same nominations, but this piece of art
soared to the top. This time the clever and artistic use of colours and a showcase of history won
against psychedelic, cyberpunk and suburban aesthetics of songs like “Tippa My Tounge“ by Red Hot
Chili Peppers and “Shinigami Eyes“ by Grimes. “Nsera”, meaning destination in Bambara language,
goes right to the core of the message: reach into your own roots and you’ll find your home.

SONG: Thom Draft – Tense
DIRECTOR: Albert Albert
PRODUCTION: Iconoclast
LABEL: Animal63

“Tense“ by Thom Draft is the winning video of the Best Narrative category at this year’s BMVA
festival. From director and winner Albert Albert, this music video shot entirely by smartphone shows
the life of a teenage girl who goes viral after discovering she has a unique superpower on Instagram
Live. Albert’s work has a far reach, like his music video for Duke Dumont’s “The Giver” which has
reached 50 million views on Youtube. This narrative video has had major success over other
innovative videos like “Take Me to America“ by Salvatore Ganacci, who directed and produced the
music video himself, and “Borderline“ by Tove Lo, which is a love story on the edge and depicted in
revenge. “Tense” is a small masterpiece of our modern reality that leaves you wondering what
happens next.

SONG: Fatoumata Diawara feat. Damon Albarn – Nsera
DIRECTOR: Gregory Ohrel
PRODUCTION: Pelican Paris & Jeanne Gay

Immerse yourself in the bright colours and vivid life of Mali and other African cultures in the music
video for “Nsera”, the winner of Best Music Video for the 11th edition of the Berlin Music Video
The Afro-pop song of the Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara is in collaboration with Damon Albaran
from the Gorillaz. It’s a mesmerizing visit to Africa through powerful shots that mix local traditions
with modernity. Director Ohrel has captured the viewers with its storytelling, epic visuals and African
history condensed into a 3-minute video. Big-name videos like “Kill For Your Love” from Labrinth
and “Cash In Cash Out” from Pharrell feat. 21 Savage & Tyler, The Creator were racing for the same
title, but this piece of art soared to the top. “Nsera”, meaning destination in Bambara language, goes
right to the core of the message: reach into your own roots and you’ll find your home.

This year’s festival featured some well-known social media personalities, including Instagram BerlinJesus, Precious Marie Mayasosua Manzo, TikToker Jordan Prince, TikToker and Blogger Broownshaawty, and professional dancer, actor, and choreographer Sebi Jaeger. And from abroad, Polartropica, Jay Samuels, Charlotte Kemp Muhl, and others.
As the Berlin Music Video Awards come to an end, attendees and participants were left with a renewed sense of inspiration, having witnessed the profound impact of music videos as a medium of creative expression. The event has not only celebrated outstanding talent but also fostered connections, facilitated collaborations, and paved a path to a new wave of new music videos for the next year.

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