Pre-selection committee statement
There are cinematically strong music videos shot analog that use Nordic tableaus and picturesque landscapes to visualize contemporary music. We see filmmakers and artists who are confident enough in their own ideas to stay true to them and not let small budgets stand in the way of making music video magic. Another trend is a nostalgic love for the ’80s and ’90s aesthetics, sometimes with clear references to the horror genre. Representation also seems to be held in high regard this year, as many themes are about not letting old and traditional ideas about who you are and who you can love dictate your life.
However, in an era where anyone can make a movie on their cell phone, there is an expectation that the music videos should display a high level of artistic ambition in terms of storytelling and visual competence. This year, like last year, the selection committee would have liked to have seen a greater will to take risks and push innovation.
We have noticed a certain lightness in several of the music videos. Often there’s a tendency to highlight form over content. This may be a signal that the Norwegian music video feels less responsibility to dwell on the political and societal pressing questions of 2019, or refrain from engaging in a debate about identity. Even if the Norwegian music video is strong in terms of craftsmanship, it lacks a political edge or loud voice that would push it to an international level.
This year there was a noticeable decrease in submissions. We hope that this is due to a temporary slump, and that Norwegian directors keep on pushing the music video format up and above. The selected films impressed us with its stellar cast, beautiful cinematography and believable narrative. What they all have in common is that, hard to pin point, but oh so obvious element it takes to succeed as an artist: Ambition.
Karima Furuseth has a degree in visual arts from Malmö Kunstakademi, but works as a music producer and flans journalist. She has experience from Dagens Næringsliv, Aftenposten, Vagant, VG, Vice, Dagbladet, Filmmagasinet Z and NATT&DAG – in the latter she was the music and cultural editor. Karima has 10 years of experience as a booking agent for Øyafestivalen and has the last few years herself arranged and played at a nu,ber of venues in Norway and abroad. Together with visual artist Ida Ekblad she runs the record label Schloss.
Thor Brenne works primarily with short films and music videos, both in Norway and abroad. Brenne won the award for Best Music Video during the Norwegian Short Film Festival in 2010, as well as Best Director during Nordic Music Video Awards (2015) og Best Nordic Documentary på Minimalen (2019). Several of his works have premeired at Nowness, Noisey and Vimeo Staff Pick.