Kingston Music Video Initiative applications open

The Music Video Initiative run by Kingston Film Office (KFO) is returning, and expanding, this year. 

The project first took place in 2020, giving local production companies $1000 to produce a music video for a local artist.

This year, the funding from KFO is being matched by the Kingston Canadian Film Festival (KCFF), bringing the budget for every project to $2000. 

COVID made for a condensed schedule during the last edition of the project, and KFO Film Commissioner Alex Jansen says with a year's absence and more clarity this year, the Music Video Initiative has been able to take strides.

"If anything the whole piece is a bit more structured, it's a bit more formalized," Jansen said. 

"There's going to be more time to work on them, there's going to be more partners involved and there's going to be more budget."

The videos from 2020 were presented at the 2021 virtual KCFF, and this year's 15 greenlit videos set to premiere at KCFF in March 2023 could be the first to do so at the festival's in person event. 

Jansen said 2020 was sort of a trial run of the program which went very well, and this year is about expanding on what worked while allowing for a bit more flexibility. 

"The goal is that we're going to see a lot more music videos, a lot more bands being showcased," Jansen said. 

For production companies, the project presents a good opportunity to showcase ability and become more connected to a growing film industry in the Kingston area. 

Jansen said some production companies from 2020 that may have stood out in the process have already been connected with industry coming into Kingston, working in a variety of roles on larger scale productions. 

He said the Film Office looks at the project as essentially a training opportunity for the community and builds  relationships with production companies, helping them "level up" and pair them to industry.

Jansen says he envisions this year's Initiative bringing Kingston locals along with Queen's and SLC students on board, and that it provides a chance to connect the broader Kingston creative network to work on projects on their own, something he says happened since the 2020 edition. 

"A lot of stuff kind of happened organically," Jansen said.

"So we're just going to try to continue to do that... that's kind of a big part of what we want to do, just kind of foster and connect the creative industry."

In 2020, over 100 bands applied with 200 community members participating in the creation of the videos. 

Jansen said 2020 saw a wide variety of musical genres showcased, as well as a variety of styles included throughout the different videos. 

He said the project will once again showcase some of that diversity, and has a mandate to make sure there is broader representation of the community in general. 

Bands and production companies have until July 31 to apply.

Story by Owen Fullerton, YGK News, for the Local Journalism Initiative