"Hymn" by Kesha, directed by Isaac Ravishankara, features Kesha in the back seat of a convertible as she’s driven by an invisible force where she meets a tribe of people who join together and prepare to be whisked away to a better place in hopes of a better future.
Hurray for the Riff Raff’s “Pa’lante” – the fervent call to arms for working class Latinx that was lauded as one of the year’s best songs by Pitchfork, NPR Music, Entertainment Weekly, Billboard, The Guardian + more – serves as the powerful musical force behind a new short film directed by Kris Merc (De La Soul, Hannibal Burress). Shot in Puerto Rico earlier this year, alongside Alynda’s hometown in New York, “Pa’lante” offers an intimate, first-hand glimpse of life after Hurricane Maria via the journey of single mother Milagros (played by Mela Murder of the acclaimed film The Florida Project) and her family – a living testament not only to the everyday struggle after the storm displaced thousands last year, but also the strength, beauty, and identity of an island that embodies the phrase (“forward”) as its national philosophy.
Shooting on location struck close to home for everyone on set, many of whom are of Puerto Rican descent. Hurray’s own Alynda Segarra is shown alongside images of her father and overlaid with archival footage of civil rights activist group the Young Lords. Member and founder of the Nuyorican Movement, Pedro Pietri, is also shown reciting his poem “Puerto Rican Obituary” - the epic work that would come to serve as inspiration for the song almost 50 years after it was first published.
For the director Kristian, this was a very personal video as his family was displaced by Hurricane Maria and his grandfather passed in its aftermath: “We really wanted to showcase talent of color, stories by people of color - it was important to me to make sure this was a diverse production that had Puerto Ricans working on it. The conditions on the island are still very poor. During the production we could all feel how painful it all was, how it’s been so long without enough help. The island is still strong, the people always positive, but you can’t help but feel the desperation and pain of the colonial condition, the sense of abandonment. Pa’lante is a very Puerto Rican mindset – be it a family struggling to stay together, or recovering from the hurricane, the Puerto Rican people are strong and they will always stand and move forward. And there is a beauty to that.”
Welcome to the world of "Dirty Computer", where marginalized people fight to exist in a world that wants to rid them of their “dirt” and all the things that make them special. Janelle Monae's, "Dirty Computer", directed by Andrew Donoho & Chuck Lightning, is an emotion picture that ties Monáe’s recent music videos into one cohesive whole. The movie finds Monáe portraying Jane 57821, living in in a totalitarian future where people are known as “computers."
Division's Alex Courtès teams up with Sean Paul and Major Lazer in this killer and larger than life video. Starring throughout the video, Alex finds himself facing many a challenge trying to capture the video. Featuring cameo performances by legendary DoP Simon Chaudoir, "Tip Pon It" is a laugh out loud ride that filmmakers will more than appreciate.
"A Good Night" by John Legend ft. Bloodpop, directed by Mishka Kornai, is about a magical night where two people immediately fall in love in the age of dating apps. The night transforms into a fantasy future where our couple sees themselves getting married. The video was shot using twenty-three Google Pixel 2 phones over the course of 14 hours.
"Aries", directed by Ben Newman returns with one of the most iconic and stylish performance videos of 2018. Hip-hop heavyweights Pharrell Williams, Mike Will Made iT, Quavo, Big Sean and Rae Sremmurd perform on planet ARIES amidst alien natives. The video also features the new BMW i8 convertible and some incredible VFX from Carbon in LA.
"Miss Smith" by Moodoïd, directed by Nick Roney, is a meta performance piece that takes you behind the scenes of its own casting to show the raw and unrehearsed reactions to the song for the first time.
You can read about how Nick was inspired for the video here: http://directorsnotes.com/2018/03/28/nick-roney-miss-smith/