The inaugural Philadelphia Video Music Festival kicked off last night at PhilaMOCA with a massively fun night of local music and filmmaking. Songs spotlighted in the Philly Music Video Showcase came in hip-hop, punk, avant garde or electronic; videos were animated and comic, experimental and surreal, narrative and cinematic; both were all-around impressive.
I was pretty psyched to be one of the jurors for this event, alongside DJ Robert Drake of WXPN, Emily Guendelsberger of Philadelphia City Paper and Q.D. Tran of The Deli, and we collectively narrowed 150+ video submissions down to a two-hour program. 20 videos were selected for showcasing, with many of the filmmakers and musicians in the house to talk to the audience after their video screened.
In addition, three invites guests gave some background on standout videos that have emerged from the Philly scene in the past couple years; Raj Halder of Lushlife talked about the “Magnolia” video, Ben Runyan of City Rain talked about the video for “The Optimist” with director Simon Rogers, and Sean Huber of Modern Baseball screened and discussed the “Your Graduation” video.
On a personal level, one of the most inspiring things about the event was seeing all the musicians mingling who might not have met otherwise. After the show, I spotted rapper The Bul Bey chatting with punk troubadour Erik Petersen of Mischief Brew – the former’s “Where I’m From” and the latter’s “O Pennsyltucky” are very different sonically, but they’re pretty much about the same thing: having a love-hate relationship with your home, but embracing it with a sense of pride all the same. So cool to hear them mutually admiring one another’s work.
Below, watch all of the showcased videos. The Philadelphia Video Music Festival continues tonight at 7:30 with a History of the Music Video panel featuring Stephen Pitalo, and runs through Sunday night; more information can be found here.
The Bul Bey ft. Devon – “Where I’m From” – dir. SameDNA
Hurry – “Oh Whitney” – dir. Dylan Steinberg
Slow Animal – “Only One” – dir. Dylan Hansen-Fliedner
Sabrina Cuie – “No Wawa in the Hood” – dir. Sabrina Cuie