Prism Prize chooses the 20 best Canadian music videos of the year

Over 120 jurors chose a longlist that includes many Toronto-centric videos from the Weeknd, PUP, Clairmont The Second and others


The Prism Prize has announced its longlist of the top 20 Canadian music videos of the year. The list was voted on by a jury of over 120 people who work in film, arts and music. 

The list will be whittled down to 10 on March 27 and the winner will be awarded on May 13 in a gala and screening at TIFF Bell Lightbox. The director of the winning video will receive $15,000 in prize money. 

It’s a strong showing for Toronto, including the Weeknd’s Secrets (filmed at U of T Scarborough and the Toronto Reference Library), PUP’s hyper-local choose-your-own-adventure video for Old Wounds, Clairmont The Second’s self-directed ode to his Weston neighbourhood and Charlotte Day Wilson’s quietly powerful Work, which features a single shot of women, trans and genderqueer Torontonians descending an escalator. Videos for songs by Feist, Harrison, Jessie Reyez, Alvvays, Alice Glass and Daniel Caesar also made the cut.

Last year saw the death of MuchFACT, which funded many an indie music video, but that likely won’t fully affect the slate of submissions until next year’s award. In the meantime, this is a strong list of contenders for an award that has previously gone to Kaytranada, Timber Timbre and Arcade Fire (among others). 

Watch all 20 videos below.

A Tribe Called Red, feat. Black Bear – Indian City (director: Combo Bravo)

Alice Glass – Without Love (director: Floria Sigismondi)

Alvvays – Dreams Tonight (director: Matt Johnson) 

Belle Game – Spirit (director: Kheaven Lewandowski)

BEYRIES – Son (director: Philippe Grenier)

Charlotte Day Wilson – Work (director: Fantavious Fritz)

Clairmont The Second – The Ave In You (director: Clairmont The Second)

Cri – Rush (director: Didier Charette)

Daniel Caesar – Freudian, A Visual (director: Keaven Yazdani and Sean Brown)

Feist – Century (director: Scott Cudmore)

Flying Hórses – Tölt (director: Alexandre Richard)

Grimes feat. Janelle Monáe – Venus Fly (director: Grimes)

Harrison – Right Hook (director: Eva Michon)

Homeshake – Every Single Thing (director: Wen hao Chang) 

Husser – Can’t Blame Em (director: Emilie Lavoie) 

Jessie Reyez – Gatekeeper (director: Peter Huang)

Leonard Cohen – Leaving The Table (director: Christopher Mills)

PUP – Old Wounds (director: Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux)

The Weeknd – Secrets (director: Pedro Martin-Carelo)

Young Rival – Elevator (director: John Smith) 

richardt@nowtoronto.com | @trapunski

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