Berlin, save the date: 27. – 30. May, 2015 at K17- The Club! The Berlin Music Video Awards are an annual festival that puts filmmakers and the art behind music videos in the spotlight. Supporting both unknown and famous artists, it is a primary networking event for the video and music industries in Europe. Filled with a vast selection of music video marathons, professional judges, live performances, filmmaking workshops and networking events, the festival is not only a meeting ground for filmmakers, but also for musicians as well as all music enthusiasts. It’s a rare occasion where artists compete in categories such as Best Art Direction, Best Song as well as Most Trashy. No matter the language, genre or popularity, BMVA rewards on quality, originality and diversity. KALTBLUT spoke to BMVAs creator Aviel Silook on what to expect from one of Berlin’s most exciting festivals this year.
KALTBLUT: What gave you the idea to create the BMVAs?
Aviel: Working as an event manager for Berlin’s nightlife could be fun but at some point you get tired of small talks and people who are not in a “clear state of mind”. So after 10 years in the party scene I decided to do something bigger and something that I could be proud of, to follow my dreams. As a teenager I was very much attracted to the music video form of art, I wanted to be there. I didn’t know exactly as what, but I just wanted to be there. I learned all my English from songs and my best friends were the VJ’s of MTV and MCM programs. I was staying awake until 3am and skipping school just so I could see the banned videos that they don’t play during the day. At some point I started making music as well as becoming a hip hop producer but I’d rather use my energy to promote hundreds of bands and filmmakers from different styles.
KALTBLUT: How do you feel the BMVAs have grown since starting in 2013?
Aviel: The event has grown very much. We tripled the number of guests from the first year to the second one and we had many guests from abroad, bigger prizes and the venue was much bigger as well. This year we decided to have the 3 days before the event and the final day in different places. But for us the goals for growing are not ending with the size of the venue. We work hard during the entire year to expose our nominees and direct media partners to their videos in order to give them more online visibility. For example, our main media partner Dailymotion is highlighting the winning videos on their main page the following weeks after the event. They really do a great job with helping the music video industry.
KALTBLUT: Do you feel it’s a good way to give independent artists the opportunity to get their work into the spotlight?
Aviel: Many of the winners last year described the event as the happiest day in their lives. I couldn’t ask for more than that. Besides the spotlight I think that those filmmakers are craving for professional feedback. Many of the artists who sent their videos in the first edition send it again in the second one, and also now in the third one. It’s very nice to see how they get better. Very often people surrounding the artist see how hard they work on their piece and they are afraid to tell him the truth: that they could do it better. We are always happy to give constructive feedback, especially face to face when they come to the event.
KALTBLUT: What type of video do you look for? Are there any restrictions?
Aviel: Well, we are not looking for a certain type of video. Trashy, fancy, weird, low budget or high budget: there are different categories where any video could fit. The most important thing for us is that they stay original and not try to be something that they are not.
KALTBLUT: What have been the main highlights of past awards?
Aviel: Oh God the last event was so much fun! Everybody came with such a positive vibe, maybe because we have so many guests from abroad who are excited it brings some fresh energy to the Berlin Scene. There was a lot of style, good music, famous artists who came to perform like Leeroy Thornhill (ex The Prodigy member), and the lead singer of Baccara (“Yes Sir, I can Boogie”) who did a punk cover to her hit. It was the best week of my last year for sure, and of course we can’t forget about the naked beavers who came to the stage and stole the trophy from the final winner.
KALTBLUT: What are you most looking forward to this year? Is there anything new planned?
Aviel: The most exciting question is, “Who will be the winner?” I really want to know that myself! This year we will have the event in two different venues, both in Friedrichshain. We will have our opening as an open air hip hop and trap party; live shows and DJs then on the 29th we will have the experimental culture day. We named the day in order to promote our new category “Best Experimental”. That day we will have all the weird and bizarre videos shown and some very weird live acts. Grausamme Tochter will come to perform and take part of our jury panel for the “Most Bizarre” category, together with the Trio of the Mythological Blitz party organizers. There are more and more surprises coming up, and we won’t stop! We aim to have a fun and crazy event. It’s important to mention that the BMVAs are not just a film festival, we bring a new creature – something between a music/film festival and an awards show. We like to make it very cozy where people get much love and appreciation for their art.
KALTBLUT: How do you see the BMVAs expanding in years to come?
Aviel: The most important thing for us is to increase the exposure of the artists and for that we are always happy to collaborate with media or other organizations and enlarge our circle. Besides that, we aspire to be the main address for music videos in Europe. We want to give the equal chance for good, unknown and well known filmmakers and musicians. For the event we will probably introduce it to bigger, more interesting venues and have more live acts as well.
The BMVAs kick off on the 27th May until the 30th, and you still have until the 1st April to submit a video! See the BMVAs website for more details.
Aviel is being very generous to our KALTBLUT readers – the first 10 people to write ‘KALTBLUT’ on the Facebook event page will win a ticket to this years BMVAs! Good luck!