On July 23 Prism Prize announced the Grand Prize and Audience Award winners for the eighth edition of the annual awards, recognizing outstanding artistry in Canadian music videos. A jury of over 120 Canadian creative arts professionals selected director Peter Huang as the 2020 Grand Prize recipient for the Jessie Reyez music video “Far Away.” The Grand Prize carries a $20,000 cash prize, increased from $15,000 thanks to a contribution from Stingray. The fan-voted Audience Award was awarded to directors Keavan Yazdani and Sean Brown for the Daniel Caesar ft. Koffee music video “CYANIDE REMIX.”
Huang and Reyez's heartbreaking video for "Far Away" makes a vivid statement about the lives ruined by ICE and the Trump Administration's immigration enforcement policies.
“Music videos offer the unique opportunity to add depth and meaning to a song for an unforgiving look at the world at large,” says Louis Calabro, VP of Programming & Awards at the Canadian Academy and Founder of Prism Prize. “We could not be more honoured to crown Peter Huang’s “Far Away” the 2020 Prism Prize Grand Prize winner, a video that is an unfortunate representation of reality for many people.”
Following the cancellation of the in-person 2020 Prism Prize screening and awards presentation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the virtual event celebrated the Top 20 music videos of the year and Special Award winners, narrated by Canadian rapper and musical force Haviah Mighty and written by music journalist and editor Del Cowie.
Also honoured in the virtual presentation were the previously announced 2020 Special Award winners, a group of groundbreaking Canadians who have had a profound impact on the music video industry. Singer/Songwriter Daniela Andrade was presented with the Hi- Fidelity Award (supported by FACTOR), established to recognize recording artists who utilize music video in innovative ways; creative filmmaking production house Tranquilo was the recipient of the Lipsett Award (sponsored by iHeartRadio Canada), established to celebrate a unique approach to music video art; and pop videographer Bardia Zeinali was granted the Special Achievement Award (presented by Slaight Music), established to recognize an exceptional contribution to music video art on the world stage.
Famed creative director and choreographer LaurieAnn Gibson was awarded the inaugural Willie Dunn Award, honouring a Canadian trailblazer who has demonstrated excellence within the music video community. As the recipient of this award, LaurieAnn was asked to select an emerging filmmaker to be the beneficiary of $5,000 courtesy of the Canadian Academy; she selected Noor Khan, an emerging Scarborough-based director and producer.
All Prism Prize Award recipients, including the Grand Prize, Audience Award, and all Special Award winners, receive equipment rental grants in the amount of $2,500, courtesy of partners at William F. White International Inc. All Top 20 runners-up receive a $500 cash prize courtesy of Patron partner Slaight Music and MVP Project partner RBCxMusic.