Jameson Music Video Grant

Jameson Music Video Grant: Meet Our Judging Panel

ICYMI: we’re offering a local filmmaker and musician R200K to make a kick ass music video. We announced the second Jameson Music Video Grant on 1 February 2017, and entries started streaming in. When applications closed on 31 March, we had 550 (!) concepts in our inbox. We’ve since gone through each and every one, and we can honestly say that the local film and music industries are on fire. In fact, this year’s Jameson Music Video Grant entries were so good that we couldn’t make a call on who to award the money to. So we roped in a few industry experts to help.

 

Meet the minds who will help choose this year’s winner:

Jameson Music Video Grant

Even though he had a promising career in banking, Sunu Gonera couldn’t ignore his desire to tell stories. Now he’s a full-time filmmaker and director whose impressive showreel includes the Khuli Chana ‘One Source’ music video, short films like Riding with Sugar and Pride, as well as commercials for global brands like Nike and Coke Cola. We invited Sunu to join our panel of judges because his eye is trained to spot a brilliant story, and he has the ability to envision it unfolding on screen.

 

Tell us about your daily grind.

It’s not as glamorous as you think. Like all directors, I spend more time pitching and prepping than I actually do directing on set. My primary role is to have a very strong idea of what I want and then make sure everyone knows where we’re going. At the same time, I need everyone to know that every idea is welcome, because I’m always trying to steal every brain I can. I bring everything to my work. This industry exacts an enormous amount of your soul, time and energy, but I love it.

What was your big break? 

Michael Middleton is the reason I am doing what I am doing. I owe a great deal of my career to him, Peter Gird and Janet Sender, who took me on with zero experience, beyond acting and banking. I also owe a lot to Ogilvy Joburg, who were the first agency to take a chance on me. My first ad with them, for Sports Trust, won awards and opened a lot of doors. And of course my first feature film, Pride, with Lionsgate and Terrence Howard, just after his first Oscar nomination. That was something a lot of people said was impossible.

What was the most significant project / job you’ve done so far. Why was it so meaningful?

One Source, the Absolut campaign I did with Native VML and Khuli Chana. I felt like the brief was written for me and the project gave me the opportunity to push boundaries and celebrate our African-ness, something which I’m passionate about. I particularly loved shooting in Ghana. If I hadn’t become a director, I would have been a music producer, so producing the track with Khuli was a dream for me too.

How does your career force you to be brave and bold every single day?

I’m constantly trying to make dreams real, which always involves sticking your neck out, thinking outside the box, and making things work regardless. I’m very much: burn the boat when you land on the island if you want to take over the island. Because if the boat is still there, you might be tempted to take the safe route home. So the high-pressure nature of this industry suits me; I thrive on it. When I have a goal, I find that takes over and drives out the fear. Thankfully, South Africans in general have a can-do attitude, and I have an amazing support system at Egg who constantly make the impossible possible, often within challenging budget and time constraints.

What are you working on at the moment? Anything coming up that you can share? 

I’m trying to get my passion project Riding with Sugar off the ground. It’s been a 14-year journey so far. I’m also really excited about South African advertising work at the moment – it feels like we’re finding our voice and are on the cusp of something special. So lots of pitching. And lots of prepping.

More about Sunu: eggfilms.tv

Jameson Music Video Grant

Crystal Birch is a stylist, wardrobe designer and milliner. She’s the woman behind some of SA’s most striking and memorable images, and her untameable taste, approach and energy is instantly recognisable. More recently though, she’s been busy designing and making her own range of wildly wonderful headwear. We roped her in to judge the Jameson Music Video Grant entries because she has the vision to recognise ideas with great potential.

 

Tell us about your daily grind.

I’m up early, I usually move fast and go to sleep late at night. This has all entered another level with my recent newborn girl.

What was your big break? 

People probably think that my big break was being the Creative Director of Africa’s Next Top Model, or making Jack Parow’s hats, but I’d like to think that I’m still waiting for many big breaks to happen, or rather personal goals to be reached.

What was the most significant project / job you’ve done so far. Why was it so meaningful?

We did a road trip for an FNB job and ALL the wardrobe and props that I sourced were given to the people that we street casted. It was very emotional, as everyone needed the clothes, food and props so much.

How does your career force you to be brave and bold every single day?

The film industry is fierce and competitive. People are not always transparent and open about budgets. You need to stand up for yourself, not be a push-over, think on your feet, adapt quickly, and read your clients well.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am busy transitioning form being a stylist to being just a full time milliner. This includes a new studio, a new online store, new collaborations and a new summer collection for Paris as well as a winter collection for SA.

More about Crystal: Facebook | Instagram

Jameson Music Video Grant

Singer and songwriter Moonchild Sanelly has dubbed her signature sound African Ghetto Funk, which has taken the industry by storm. She’s had a #1 Single on 5FM, performed at SxSW and toured Europe. Recently she also launched her own fashion label called Moonchild Cultwear, which is just as refreshing as you’d expect. We approached her to join our Music Video Grant judging panel because her approach to music, fashion and life in general is everything but predictable, and she’ll look at the entries from a different angle.

 

Tell us about your daily grind.

Designer and Songwriter by day. Designer and Performer by night. I juggle the two. I studied Fashion Designing in Varsity. I work between home and studio in Johburg. 

What was your big break? 

Is it here yet?!

Not sounding unappreciative to any but I’m ticking boxes and haven’t ticked thee box yet. It’s constant growth. From Catalyst to Tshepang Ramoba to Redbull to Just music to Sjn Agency… to the future… we grow.

What was the most significant project / job you’ve done so far. Why was it so meaningful?

Writing about real and ignored issues and having people inbox me with appreciation coz I made them feel that they aren’t alone. Relateability. 

How does your career force you to be brave and bold every single day?

I’m an independent expressively different artist whose personality and aura are “bold-filled”.  The industry rather makes it more fun coz you have got to have something beyond special to exist in it.

What are you working on at the moment?

My album and winter fashion range. In Partnership with a now completed collaboration between myself and Standard Bank. I’ve got a new single out with Locnville right now on iTunes called #Skeez. 

Anything coming up that you can share? 

I’ve got a new music video and single with a Japanese band dropping. I’m working on my album now feat Jack Parow, Dave Scott from the Kiffness… and more! I’m excited for 2017!

More about Moonchild: moonchildsanelly.co.za | Instagram

 

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A platform for fearless creativity and cultural investigation.
  • Katlego Baaitse

    Very cool, Sunu Gonera’s work is great. Can’t wait to see who’s chosen, holding thumbs.

  • Ryan Zimdollar Moss

    Yeah, so keen to see who gets chosen. Itd be great to see someone hail from the eastern cape and show the creative talent we do have here! Holding Thimbs

  • Katlego Baaitse

    Counting the days guys 🙂 when are we finding out?