Kingston Film Office launching second edition of Music Video Initiative

A production at Kingston Penitentiary, where The Headstones and Amaal have filmed music videos. Submitted photos.

After a successful launch in 2020, the Kingston Film Office has again partnered with the Kingston Canadian Film Festival (KCFF) for the second edition of their Music Video Initiative.

The project pairs local production companies with local performers to create music videos, according to a release from the Film Office. Each team receives $2,000 from the Kingston Film Office and the Kingston Canadian Film Festival, and the videos will premiere at the 2023 Kingston Canadian Film Festival.

According to the release, the Music Video Initiative was first launched by the Kingston Film Office in 2020 with the videos set to premiere at that year’s Kingston Canadian Film Festival, which was cancelled mid-event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The inaugural project saw more than 100 bands apply, and 15 production companies and more than 200 members of the community participate. Sadly, the KCFF event that sought to premiere the videos live at the Ale House, followed by a Bedouin Soundclash concert, was forced to turn away attendees to the sold out show, as the reality of the pandemic and subsequent restrictions was first setting in. However, videos from the 2020 edition are available for viewing on the Visit Kingston website.

“We’re thrilled to see the Music Video Initiative return after a successful first run in 2020,” said Alex Jansen, Film Commissioner for the Kingston Film Office, which is now sharing space with the KCFF office, a move that both organizations hope to see result in many partnered projects in the future. “The goal of the project is to provide meaningful industry development opportunities for the local industry to help further establish Kingston’s film and media sector. It also supports two priority areas identified in the City’s Creative Industries Strategy: film and music.”

In 2022, returning production companies include AKAFLK Productions; bnice Films; Happy Kid Productions; Jackie Li Media; Jamstone Productions; Mickayla Pyke Media; and Untold Storytelling, according to the release. In 2020, Untold Storytelling won the Jury Award, along with Skeleton Park Arts Festival, and Jamstone Productions won the Audience Award.

“There are several things like the Music Video Initiative, that are already happening in our community, we’re just giving it a platform within,” said Moira Demorest, Special Events Coordinator for KCFF, as well as KPP Productions, which is co-hosting a launch mixer tonight, Thursday, Jun. 2, 2022, at 5 p.m., as part of SPRING REVERB (details below). “We were already going to do this initiative with the Kingston Film Office, and with the Kingston Canadian Film Festival. We’ve already done it before, [and] it was such a success the first year. Unfortunately, it happened in 2020, the year that everything sucked. This year we’re doing it again, it’s [providing] a huge boom to local filmmakers, and also the musicians and the crews [involved].”

Local production companies and musicians are encouraged to apply to the program, the Film Office stated. Applications are open from Friday, Jun. 3 to Sunday, Jul. 31, 2022. Production companies will be confirmed on an ongoing basis and are encouraged to apply early. Musical artists will be selected by August 31, 2022. Additional details and application forms are available on the Kingston Film Office website.

Since the Kingston Film Office was established in 2018, the city has increasingly become a sought-after location for film and television production, seeing record levels of activity in 2021 as it hosted productions such as Murdoch Mysteries, Reacher for Amazon, and The Mayor of Kingstown with Paramount, the organization stated. According to the release it is estimated that film and television production in Kingston generated a $5,000,000 direct economic spend in 2021. Part of the Kingston Film Office’s mandate is to facilitate programming and opportunities that develop the production sector locally.

The Music Video Initiative launch mixer takes place at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jun. 2, 2022, at The Broom Factory, the new space being shared by the Film Office and KCFF, located at 305 Rideau Street. But interested parties needn’t worry if they can’t make the mixer — applications open the following morning, and all are welcome to apply.

With files from Dylan Chenier.

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