The YMVC – Youth Music Video Competition has become an eagerly awaited part of each year’s First Cut! Youth Film Festival. Since 2016, this mentoring programme has facilitated the production of a remarkable and varied body of music videos by emerging filmmakers, aged 18 to 23, working with tracks by up-and-coming bands. Under the overall guidance of acclaimed director Brendan Canty and his company Feel Good Lost, the involvement of film and music professionals has ensured a consistently high standard of mentoring and industry engagement. But it is ultimately the raw talent of the filmmakers who participate that makes YMVC as exciting and dynamic a springboard as it has become. What follows as an overview of each year of YMVC with examples of the work produced and notes on the success stories that followed several of them…
Our five YMVC (Youth Music Video Competition) 2021 directors were; Anna Heisterkamp, Aisling O’Regan Sargent, Darragh Scott, Emma Murphy, Robert Bass, Eoin Byrne and Josh Meany. The directors were paired with renowned Irish music artists Junior Brother, Bantum, Niamh Regan, Alex Tierney and God Knows, to devise and create professional quality music videos for their latest tracks.
First Cut! Youth Film Festival continued to partner with Feel Good Lost for the fifth annual YMVC. A group of outstanding young filmmakers were selected by directors Brendan Canty, TJ O’Grady-Peyton and Lochlainn McKenna for the opportunity to make a music video under their mentorship. Each finalist has been matched with a track from up and coming Irish acts.
The 2020 YMVC Award went to Richard Harvey for his beautifully shot video for Even The Sun Don’t Shine On Lonely Hearts In Shadow (ADT). The outstanding team of judges were: Marina Brackenbury – Head, TV and Film at Scott Free Films (UK), Brian Carmody – Co-founder/Managing Partner of Smuggler Films, Ayla Amano – Director, Allyn Quigley – Director / Editor, Aisling Malone – Producer, Daithi O’Dronai – Musician, Colm Hogan – Cinematographer, Norma Howard – Assistant Director, David Lester Mooney – Producer, Alan O’Gorman – Screenwriter.
Richard Harvey – ADT (Even the Sun Don’t Shine on Lonely Hearts in Shadow)
Elliot Ruddy – CMAT (KFC)
Daragh Goan – Pillow Queens (Ragin’)
Ann Upton – Ye Vagabonds (I Courted a Wee Girl)
Elliot Ruddy is a director, editor and motion designer from Sligo working full time at Bold Studios in Dublin. He started taking filmmaking seriously at 15, when he won second place in an online video advertising contest for Duracell. He has worked both on set and in post for large brands such as Tesco, AIB, Sky TV, Betfair, Facebook and Google.
Daragh Goan is a writer and director from Firhouse, Dublin. He’s in his final year of the BA in Film & Television Production at the National Film School, having just wrapped shooting on his final year project S.O.S. He’s interested in making character driven, socially conscious films.
Ann Upton is a stop motion animator and filmmaker from Waterford. She recently graduated from the BA in animation at IADT Dun Laoghaire. Her graduate short Dorothy premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh, andcontinues to screen at festivals. She now tutors on the animation program at IADT while perusing personal and commercial projects.
Richard Harvey is a director from Dublin. He studied filmmaking in IADT and has been freelancing ever since. He has a relaxed andmindful approach to directing and creates stylised films with personal subject matters. He often writes stories dealing with themes such as toxic masculinity and the dysfunctional family.
Brendan Canty is a writer/director from Cork. His phenomenally successful video for Hozier’s Take Me To Church received two MTV VMA nominations and was voted video of the year by The Irish Times. He has directed campaigns for Budweiser, Sky Sports, Lloyd’s Bank, Three Mobile and a campaign video for President Michael D. Higgins. He recently completed his second short film, Christy, which was funded by Screen Ireland.
TJ O’Grady-Peyton was shortlisted at the YDA in Cannes for his Adidas Super film after graduating from the London Film Schools filmmaking. He’s directed work for clients such as Asics, Volkswagen, Gatorade, Diesel, Good Year, GoreTex and BMW. His short films have screened in festivals such as Tribeca and Clermont Ferrand. His short Wave was picked up by The New Yorker after winning an IFTA for Best Short in 2018.
Lochlainn McKenna (A.K.A Locky) is a music video, film and commercials director from Cork. A music video he crafted for Cork electronic duo aboveDat won the 2017 YMVC. One of his videos for electronic artist Daithí received a Vimeo Staff Pick and another led to a nomination at the 2019 UK Music Video Awards. Locky has worked with world renowned acts such as Westlife and Keane, and has directed commercials for brands such as Heineken, Toyota, Aldi and Sky.
The filmmakers who participated in YMVC 2019 and the artists they made the videos for are:
Elena Horgan – Kobina (Shogani)
Robert Montgomery – Kobina (Knots)
Eva Wyse – All Tvvins (Build a Bridge)
Ben Kavanagh – Morning Midnight (Ancoat Junction)
Conor McCormick – True Tides (The Answer)
Naomi Fagan – Laoise (I Mean)
The 2019 YMVC award winner was Elena Horgan’s video for Kobina’s Shogani. This track, according to the artist, “deals with trying to contend with mental health struggles and finding solace in another.” The video is built from over 1000 images shot individually on 35mm which accounts for the warm, nostalgic feeling that blankets the entire thing.
The 2019 panel of judges consisted of Daithí (musician), Niall Byrne (Nialler9), Lorraine Geoghegan (Hinterland Films), Christian Tierney (Photographer), Dave Hanratty (Joe.ie + No Encore), Leah Joyce (Academy Films) and Kate Dolan (Director).
The quality of the submissions for YMVC 2018 were so high that mentors Brendan Canty and David Lester Mooney expanded the competition to include six instead of five filmmakers which had been the number in previous years.
Alexander Kuribayashi – Ryan Vail (The Wait)
Greg Murphy – Pale Rivers (Ice Field)
Michael Marren – Paddy Hanna (Mario Lanza)
Sam McGrath – La Galaxie (Women in Love)
Eleanor Rogers – Tim Chadwick (Belong)
Sean Sheridan – Bitch Falcon (Prime Number)
The year’s winning video by Alexander Kuribayashi was selected as the official release for Ryan Vail’s Breaking Minds.
The runner-up video, Sam McGrath’s video for La Galaxie’s Women in Love, also became the song’s official video.
The 2017 YMVC lineup of filmmakers and musicians was as follows:
Lochlainn McKenna – aboveDat (Better)
Andrew McConnell & JJ McDunphy – Joshua Burnside (Ephrata)
Matthew McGuigan – Daithí feat. Elaine Mai – (Wrap Up Tight)
Nathan Ivor Barlow – Bantum feat. Rusangano Family + Senita (Daithí Remix) (Feel Your Rhythm)
Rachel Mc Gill- Ryan Vail (East Berlin)
The 2017 YMVC award winner was Lochlainn McKenna. Better was used by aboveDat as the song’s official video and it went on the win the Best Editing award at the Kinsale Shark Awards where it was also nominated for Best Music Video Under 10K and Best Cinematography. This was a crucial stepping stone in launching Lochlainn’s subsequent career which has seen him make videos for the likes of Westlife and Keane, as well as commercials for Heineken, Toyota, Aldi and Sky. He would later return to YMVC as one of the mentors.
The impressive 2017 award jury – which inlcuded mentors Brendan Canty and David Lester Mooney as well as Louise Ní Ghamhna (director), Piers McGrail (cinematographer), Eoin French (aka Talos) and Stevie G (Red FM DJ) – also gave a special mention to Andrew McConnell & JJ McDunphy. As well as music videos, this talented duo have gone on to make the documentary The Screaming Minority.
The first ever YMVC launched the Competition in grand style. The 2016 filmmakers and the artists they made videos for were:
Brendan Corcoran – Meltybrains? (Know My Name)
Charlie Doherty – Kobina (Big Heart)
Christian Tierney – The Academic (Northern Boy)
Aaron Moran – The Altered Hours (Who’s Saving Who?)
Cian Desmond & Jack Desmond – Daithí (April)
Christian Tierney and Brendan Corcoran tied at first place for the 2016 YMVC prize.
The videos embedded below from Christian Tierney, Charlie Doherty and Brendan Corcoran became the official videos for the tracks by The Academic, Meltybrains? and Kobina.
And Christian Tierney went on to become Conor McGregor’s personal videographer…