Iris Kim, Mustafa, Chiiild, Sammy Rawal Earn Prism Prize Special Awards
These four luminaries of the Canadian music video world will receive their prestigious honours at a live screening and awards presentation at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto on Thursday, July 7.
By Kerry Doole
Iris Kim, Mustafa, Chiiild, and Sammy Rawal have been named as 2022 Prism Prize Special Awards Honourees. The Special Awards recognize a group of groundbreaking creatives who have had a profound impact on the music video industry in Canada and abroad.
The Prism Prize, an annual awards event that recognizes outstanding artistry in music video production, announced the four multi-talented artists selected yesterday (June 7). These Special Awards will be presented at a live screening and awards presentation at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto on Thursday, July 7.
“The level of musical and artistic talent that exists in our country is second-to-none,” said Louis Calabro, Interim CEO at the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television and the Founder of Prism Prize. “In our tenth year of the Prism Prize, we continue to discover talent at a higher rate than ever before. Not only are these artists making some of the best music in the world, but they are serving to elevate our country’s incredible arts scene through music videos. It is very rewarding to recognize these creatives who are giving back to our industry in a major way, and we look forward to celebrating them on July 7.”
The 2022 Prism Prize Special Awards honourees are:
The Hi-Fidelity Award (supported by FACTOR, the Government of Canada and Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters) recognizes recording artists who utilize music video in innovative ways; with previous recipients including Crack Cloud in 2021, Daniela Andrade in 2020, Clairmont The Second in 2019, and Grimes in 2018. The 2022 award is presented to Chiiild.
From Montreal, Canada, Chiiild has spent years honing a unique blend of pop, R&B, soul and jazz behind closed doors and just released their debut project, Synthetic Soul. Chiiild uses music to tell stories about diversity, ask questions about humanity, and unify people over shared personal experiences. Taking influence from music as diverse as D’Angelo, Tame Impala, Pink Floyd and Marvin Gaye, they’ve created an expansive timeless sound that is uniquely genre-bending yet still somehow reminiscent of something you’ve heard, or felt, before.
Established to celebrate a unique approach to music video art, The Lipsett Award is presented to Iris Kim. Previous recipients include Gennelle Cruz in 2021, Tranquilo in 2020, Soleil Denault in 2019, and Karena Evans in 2018.
Iris Kim is a Toronto-based director who appreciates the dramatics of a swooping dolly-in, a tight edit and juicy visuals. Her attraction to storytelling is driven by honest conversations, quiet and loud personalities and vivid moments, which is ultimately, the formula she exclaims, makes for one interesting film.
Recognizing an exceptional contribution to music video art on the world stage, the Special Achievement Award (supported by The Slaight Family Foundation) is presented to Sammy Rawal. Previous recipients include Jordan Oram in 2021, Bardia Zeinali in 2020, Lacey Duke in 2019, and Cherie Sinclair in 2018.
Director/Digital Artist Sammy Rawal has earned international attention for his original, hyper-stylized approach to image-making featuring bold colour, choreography, and innovative VFX. Sammy’s work is informed by a mashup of culturally diverse influences, fashion and hip-hop. He has brought his signature quick-fire style to commercial campaigns, music videos, 3D inspired video portraits, and digital installations for clients such as Cardi B, Lizzo, Kelis, Elton John, Reebok, Twitter, Axe, and Chanel. His work has been shown at the BFI Southbank, Art Gallery of Ontario, the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, and nominated at the UK Music Video Awards, the Berlin Music Video Awards, and the Juno Awards. Sammy’s passion for LGBTQ+ rights flourish through his work and commercial projects; most recently, Sammy directed the social campaign for Dan Levy’s “See with Love ” eyewear which assists small businesses, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and entrepreneurs located in historically disadvantaged communities.
Presented to a Canadian trailblazer who has demonstrated excellence within the music, music video and/or film production communities, in the lead-up to the presentation, the Willie DunnAward (supported by Telefilm Canada) is presented to Mustafa. As the recipient of this award, Mustafa will receive a $2,500 honorarium and will be asked to select an emerging Canadian creative to spotlight during the live screening and awards presentation and to be the beneficiary of $2,500. Previous recipients include Leanne Betasamosake Simpson in 2021 and Laurieann Gibson in 2020.
Twenty-five year old singer/songwriter Mustafa Ahmed grew up fighting. He would do so firstly as a child growing up in Toronto’s Regent Park community, matching up with other children his age at the behest of the older kids from around the way. Somehow, it did not harden him. He would continue fighting, though now against stereotypes, as an adolescent poet dispelling notions of who Black Muslims from Regent Park were with every stanza of his continuously celebrated poetry. He would attempt to fight again, this time on behalf of his immediate community, as a member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Youth Advisory Council, an effort that helped him realize his mission would be better served by amplifying the stories he’d collected over the years through song. And that is how we got Mustafa, child of Sudanese Muslim immigrants, one time Pan American Games Poet Laureate, cherished collaborator of acts like Majid Jordan, The Weeknd, and Khalid, and the artist whose debut project When Smoke Rises aims to exalt the Regent Park MC whose legacy Mustafa fights for now, Jahvante “Smoke Dawg” Smart.
To learn more about the previously announced Top 10 Finalists for the $20,000 Grand Prize and the eligible videos for the Audience Award, supported by Stingray, please visit PrismPrize.com.
ABOUT PRISM PRIZE
The Prism Prize is an annual event that recognizes outstanding artistry in music video production through a slate of awards including the Grand Prize, which carries the largest cash prize in the world for music videos. Established in 2012, this annual honour gathers a jury of more than 130 Canadian arts professionals who vote to crown one video as best of the year. Previous winners of the Grand Prize have included Theo Kapodistrias for Haviah Mighty’s Thirteen (2021), Peter Huang for Jessie Reyez’s Far Away (2020), and Emily Kai Bock for Arcade Fire’s Afterlife (2014).
The Prism Prize is a division of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, an organization that shares the common goal of promoting and supporting homegrown Canadian creative projects while inspiring and developing the next generation of talent.
Prism Prize proudly acknowledges its Patron Partner, The Slaight Family Foundation, its Lead Partners, Telefilm Canada, FACTOR and the Government of Canada, and Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters, and its Supporting Partners, William F. White International Inc. and Stingray.
For information, please visit PrismPrize.com.