Theo Kapidistrias, the director, was named this year's Prism Prize winner for his work on the music video for Haviah Mighty's Thirteen, organisers said Monday. The medal, one of several awarded for accomplishment and craftsmanship in Canadian music videos, is worth $20,000.
Kapidistrias' work on Mighty's video beats over the work of nine other selected artists who worked on videos for bands such as TOBi, Mustafa, and Sean Leon. Aside from Kapidistrias, the fan-voted audience award went to directors Evan Elliot and Lance Sampson for their work on Acquakultre's Pay it Forward video.
The winners were revealed at a virtual ceremony narrated by Canadian rapper Cadence Weapon, the second such Prism presentation since the start of the COVID-19 epidemic. Thirteen has been getting a lot of attention since its release in 2019 on Mighty's first album 13th Floor, which earned her the Polaris Music Prize that year, making her the first hip-hop artist to accomplish so in the prize's 14-year history.
Speaking to CBC Music ahead of the video's release last year, Mighty stated that the song explicitly targets the 13th Amendment of the United States, which abolished slavery except as a punishment for crime, with a global message.
Kapidistrias directed and animated the film, which he created to seem like a fairytale. The video's strong message and capacity to "extend a viewer's experience beyond the song" were highlighted by Louis Calabro, vice president of programming and awards at the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television and the prize's creator.
Crack Cloud, an art-punk band, also won the Hi-Fidelity Award on Monday, which honors "recording artists that use music video in new ways." Gennelle Cruz received the Lipsett Award, which is presented to a creative who approaches music video art in a distinctive way, and Jordan Oram received the special achievement award.
Finally, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, a famous researcher, writer, and artist, received the Willie Dunn Award. This award, named for the Montreal-born singer-songwriter, film director, and politician, is given to "a Canadian pioneer who has proven distinction within the music, music video, and/or film production sectors."
Simpson earned a $2,500 honorarium as part of the award, as well as the chance to choose a young Canadian artist to showcase at the presentation and receive an honorarium of their own. Simpson picked Beatrice Deer, an Inuk musician.
Kevin Funk for Belle Game's Low, Fantavious Fritz for Charlotte Day Wilson's Work, and Martin C. Pariseau for Kaytranada's Lite Spots are previous Prism Prize winners. Last year, during a virtual presentation given by Haviah Mighty, director Peter Huang won for his work on Jessie Reyez's Far Away.