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Every year, the Prism Prize aims to highlight the union of music and visual media, recognizing groundbreaking visuals from the best Canadian music videos of the year. Past winners include Rich Aucoin, Arcade Fire, and Timber Timbre, and this year’s nominees include Grimes, Harrison, and Drake.
Drake’s “Hotline Bling” is in contention for the grand prize of $10,000, and one better, its director is being honoured with the Special Achievement Award. Director X will be recognized for his exceptional contributions to music video art on the world stage, an accolade that’s gone to Floria Sigismondi (Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, David Bowie) and Christopher Mills (Modest Mouse, Interpol, Broken Social Scene) previously.
It’s well deserved, because Director X’s videography is as staggering as his aesthetic is distinctive. Born Julien Christian Lutz, the Brampton-born, Toronto-based filmmaker made a name for himself as Little X, helming videos for Canadian hip-hop luminaries like Maestro (Fresh Wes), Choclair, and Rascalz. He went on to drop the “Little,” and become one of the most influential video directors of all time, working with the likes of Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar, and surprisingly, even KoRn.
To commemorate the occasion, we’ve pulled a few of our favourite Director X videos below. On Sunday, May 15th, the Prism Prize Award Presentation at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto will screen the top 10 nominated videos, and award the Grand Prize, along with the Audience Award, the Special Achievement Award, and the Arthur Lipsett Award for innovative and unique approaches to music video art.