On May 20th, the four-day Berlin Music Video Awards festival drew to a close at the Nuke Club. The BMVA was founded in 2013 and since then it has been annually awarding prizes to the brightest music videos regardless of their origin, budget and popularity.
The presence of ‘Berlin’ in the name of the festival refers not just only the location of the event but also to its essence. It is an awards event but you won’t encounter black ties or evening dresses. An array of creatives from all over the world congregate to celebrate the freedom of art and diversity of cultures. On the grounds of the festival people enjoy beer and tapas, browse a trademark Berlin-style flea market stocked with vintage and handmade goods. The program of this year’s festival was full of DJ-sets, a burlesque show and a panel discussion on Sex in Music Videos. On the third day of the BMVA, when the temperature had almost hit 30°C, the organizers set-up a small inflatable pool for people to cool off in however only a few guests were enticed to bathe as the everybody’s attention was still caught by the endlessly diverse show of contemporary music videos. As we are so accustomed to watching such videos on the small screens of our smartphones, on the computer or on television, the music clips take on a whole new life being shown under the the dark, cinematic settings on the big screen.
The main victor of the award ceremony was the Russian video Kolshik directed by Ilya Naishuller for the band Leningrad. It was not only awarded the Best Music Video of 2017, but also in nominated for Best Concept. The producer of the video, Dmitry Muraviev, who received the prize on behalf of the team of creators, told me that Berlin is one of the best places for the creative people to meet each other: “You walk down the street of Berlin and realize, that there are actually a lot of these people. But to be honest, some of them are more pretend to be creative than they truly are”.
On top of ‘Kolshik’ there was a number of other music videos with Russian origin including Nothing by Tesla Boy and My Love is Like by Therr Maitz, Icecream by Aquaaerobika and Through the Sky by Dana Sokolova. One of the more trashy videos at the festival was Martyrs and Matryoshkas made by Russian-born artist and illustrator Karina Akopyan for the British DJ Venice Calipso.
Producer Polina Soshnikova and director Alina Pasok, who were in charge of “The Most Trashy” video in 2016 presented two videos at once this year: Russian Style by The Hatters and Hateful Love by Little Big. These two told me that their videos are orientated on both Russian and Western audiences and that overall Russia is itself a big global trend nowadays. And I could not agree more! Personally I became familiar with Little Big’s videos thanks to my Dutch friend.
For a list of all the winners of BMVA 2017 click here.
**Text written by guest author Dana Ioffe.
**Photo from Martyrs and Matreshkas by Karina Akopyan