Music Videos Program
A range of classic, innovative, and stylish work showcasing the scope of music video culture.
Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.
George Carlin once famously said - "The planet is fine, the people are f**ked." Shivi, an entitled city girl, has just realized she's got nothing to wear for her big date. She has her eyes on something new. A red dress. But when she can’t attain it, her delicately balanced sense of sanity comes crashing down. Now she’ll go to any lengths to get it. Even if it means punching your best friend in the face. Because that dress? That dress means happiness. 'Screaming on the Fly', is steeped in the concept of excess. It's the story of a girl trying to find satisfaction in a hyper-capitalistic world. When we're always consuming, how much is enough?
A vampire and a Cosmic Cowgirl find love on a dying planet. An animated music video for the wistful country ballad, "Stealing Dark from the Night Sky," by Arlo McKinley from his 2022 album, "This Mess We're in."
Miguel’s got a new girlfriend and is living in a state of romantic bliss, but when his friend Diplo first meets her, he can’t shake the feeling that something is a bit off about her. Diplo decides to investigate further and starts finding clues that she may not be showing Miguel her true self. Diplo decides it’s time to step-in and save his friend from this toxic relationship, culminating in a confrontation more shocking than either of them could have imagined.
The Actor is a chamber piece written and directed by Saskia Dixie to accompany the eponymous song by alt-J from their 2022 album "The Dream". It follows the story of the all-American actor after his demise in a dilapidated LA hotel. Discovered by his lover, The Heroine, the tale bends into a posthumous pas de deux as she grapples with her loss.
'This Is Not America' is a blistering, heated rejection of U.S. imperialism and the country’s history of exploiting and erasing people from across Latin America and the Caribbean.
Away from civilization, a small group of women forms a doctrinal and conservative religious group. A pregnant girl joins the order on the condition that she gives up the child. After her illegitimate newborn is sold by nuns to a mysterious clergyman, the girl suppresses her emotions, making her vulnerable to evil that is just around the corner. ‘I died’ is a horror-themed narrative story shot in black and white.
In a time when social media dominates the collective consciousness, how do we decipher what is authentic and what is a manipulation of reality? Stuck in between time, a faceless Pearl journeys through the world of the unseen, willing to trade her soul to become society's idea of the perfect woman. But what is left when she gives everything?
Shirou and Moco, two iconic characters of the Free Fire license, take on a Bonnie & Clyde vibe in this modern and post-apocalyptic road trip set among deserted roads and abandoned buildings.
An Asian family celebrating at a Chinese restaurant for their daughter's engagement joyfully sing karaoke on stage when suddenly a group of racist hecklers shout at them. The head of the family, usually quiet and reserved, gets up on stage to sing next.Through a dreamscape fantasy and a montage of childhood flashbacks, the father is transformed into mega pop star "Baba", and finds his courage to be the force needed for good. He snaps back to reality, back to the restaurant, and back to the hecklers in the room. With a newfound sense of urgency, the father confronts the hecklers and rallies the entire restaurant of onlookers to boot them out.
Hornet Director Sam Mason pays tribute to Mac Miller with a surreal & stirring film commissioned by Miller’s family. Following Mac Miller's dog Ralphie as he embarks on a quest into unconsciousness, the film is a dreamscape portrait with abstract yet realistic CG animation, ethereal transitions, and a genuine, heartfelt story.
"Smuggler" director Phillip Youmans’ newest music video 'Beautiful Life’ for Michael Kiwanuka sets a game of Russian roulette as the backdrop of Kiwanuka’s emotive track. Exploring the phenomenon of DMT, Youmans interweaves the perspectives of four teenagers, each experiencing their life flash before their eyes before pulling the trigger. Through striking storytelling carried by authentic performances from the nuanced and diverse cast, Phillip Youmans entwines his craft and the powerful single from Kiwanuka into a matter of life and death celebrating the real strength in the human spirit.
"Smuggler" director Ebeneza Blanche directs the “Point & Kill” video for Little Simz featuring Obongjayar. The project brought Little Simz back to Lagos for the first time since her childhood. The track celebrates a well known phrase in Nigeria, a connection between Simz & Obongjayar and the extension of that to family and friends in Nigeria. The closing scene finds Simz and Obongjayar surrounded by armed police officers, depicting a tableau of her holding a machete to a police officer's neck in a brave and defiant stance ending on an ambiguous note, giving viewers plenty to ponder.
"Smuggler" director Allie Avital’s latest music video ‘Wolf’ for Yeah Yeah Yeah's captures a woman trapped in a monotonous relationship. The sterility of her protagonist's home life to the deep and colorful wilderness emphasizes the need to reconnect with the natural world; putting her in a trance. The spatial awareness and cinematography bring this piece to life as we see the woman weaving effortlessly through heavy brush and forest, seemingly unbothered by the rough terrain. She is free and hungry. The striking cinematic style creates a powerful film about female agency and giving into our natural desires.
"Smuggler" director Andre Muir directs the music video "Truffles" for Mick Jenkins. What does upsetting the status quo look like? A black man fighting for their dignity? A black man being successful? A black man unapologetically existing? Those questions immediately create the visual of a black man standing in a white world… or more specifically a black man standing in the middle of a white suburb - the myth of Black suburbia. A Groundhog Day kind of story, where Mick wakes up each day as his neighborhood slowly gets replaced. All the activities are nods to things black people have been arrested for, whether it's smoking, running, or even trying to get back into your home.
Number One Popstar is in a cycle of depression she can't seem to get out of. While on her lunch break with coworkers, she decides she can longer take it and begins dancing through the restaurant, eventually inspiring both her coworkers and strangers to join in. Together, they (at least temporarily) are able to "Dance Away The Pain."
To Mothermary there’s nothing scarier than religion. In this music video for their song, "Coming For You" Remixed by Nicolaas, they explore what happens when religious dreams become reality. Obsession, marriage, death, blood, suffering, self-flagellation, and faith, this surreal horror story follows two nuns who prefer reality to religious metaphor, partaking in the actual blood of Christ
"Somebody I F*cked Once" is the first video in a narrative trilogy of music videos written, directed by, and starring Zolita. Zolita plays a popular cheerleader who thinks she has it all figured out. She's the head of varsity cheer, has a hot jock boyfriend, and she's a shoo-in for prom queen. Everything changes when she falls head over heels for Gia, the art outcast. Prom is coming up and Zolita must decide if she has the guts to dump her boyfriend, own her sexuality, and be with the girl she loves.
Drew Ashby is an emerging voice for the new generation of artists, whose sound is an electric marriage of Jazz, Alternative R&B and Hip Hop. The visual analogizes his experience busking in the subway. Drews harmonious vibrations fill the desolate station opening a fascinating window to a surreal world. He travels through time and space to find a love he can call his own.
A loving couple have their devotion to one another put to the test when they become engaged in a bloody fight for their sanity- and lives. This music video for Ben Abraham’s gorgeous love song takes a sharp turn into the absurd.
This film is an expansive metaphor embodying the hardships women go through in their ascension to power. It’s a piece that challenges the viewer to look at stigmatized imagery and asks them to see beyond their first impression, to see the female form not in moments of sexuality but instead in moments of truth, intensity and power; to see a woman wielding a gun; to see a woman express vivid, honest emotions. Throughout the film, we express the female-identifying experience through various visual metaphors–to see ourselves for what we all go through, what we survive through and what we transcend.