TORONTO — A heartbreaking music video for Jessie Reyez’s song “Far Away” has emerged the winner of this year’s Prism Prize.
The $20,000 cash award was given to director Peter Huang whose visuals portrayed Reyez as one half of a young couple whose connection is forever severed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Huang was revealed as the winner during a virtual ceremony on Thursday night, a replacement for Prism’s annual Toronto awards presentation that was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Far Away” was chosen by a jury of more than 120 creative arts professionals.
Other Prism winners included directors Keavan Yazdani and Sean Brown, who picked up the fan-voted Audience Award for their Jamaica-shot video of Daniel Caesar’s “Cyanide Remix,” featuring Koffee. The video includes a cameo by Toronto brothers Jae and Trey Richards, best known for their popular YouTube comedy channel 4YE.
Choreographer and creative director Laurieann Gibson was the inaugural recipient of the Willie Dunn Award, which recognizes a Canadian trailblazer in music videos. Gibson worked on choreography with Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys and Beyonce, and directed numerous Lady Gaga videos, including “Judas” and “You and I.”
The recognition allowed Gibson to select an emerging Canadian music video talent to receive a $5,000 cash grant. She chose Noor Khan, a director based in Scarborough, Ont. and raised in Saudi Arabia, who explores migration and the Muslim experience in her work.
The online ceremony also celebrated the previously announced Top 20 contenders for the Prism Prize, who each received $500 in cash.
Watch the “Far Away” music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JF0bPET0XNY
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David Friend, The Canadian Press