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A still from "Little Life" directed by Pascal Huot.

4 music video picks from Mirror Mountain Film Festival

By Matías Muñoz on December 1, 2017



Matías Muñoz is the founder and editor of Ottawa Showbox. After a few years of presenting concerts, Showbox recently began its quarterly concert series which features performances by some of the best emerging and established musicians in Ottawa.

Music videos were once a pillar of the music industry, as MTV paved the way for musicians to reach audiences in a whole new way. Some argue that the quality—and significance—has declined along with MTV and Much Music’s movement away from music-based programming. However, the digital age has given artists and musicians new creative pathways to explore. The technology to make and distribute music videos to the masses is immensely greater than it ever was in the past.

Videos still connect artists, musicians, and listeners, but are pushing boundaries in ways never thought possible. They still inform pop culture and stimulate our minds in ways TV and film do not, and no other medium of short film can connect us on a global scale as music videos can.

The third edition of Mirror Mountain Film Festival features some incredible music videos with a local flare, some of which have already garnered international attention. Here are some music video picks being shown at the festival happening this weekend.

Pony Girl – “Little Life”

Ottawa art-rock wonders Pony Girl have served up a visually stunning video from the track “Little Life” off of the 2015 LP Foreign Life. The song’s deep rhythms and delicate arrangements are brought to life by obscure silver imagery that appears pointillistic and pixilated. The video was directed by band member Pascal Huot and premiered on Exclaim!, and was also screened as part of an interactive music video party at Cucalorus Festival in North Carolina last month.

Screening in: Local Heroes, Friday December 1, 7:30pm

Steve Adamyk Band – “Carry On”

One of my all-time favourite Ottawa groups is the Steve Adamyk Band. These poppy punk rockers are sure to get anyone up off their butts and dancing, and their video for “Carry On” is no exception. It features wild moves on wheels by crucial local organizations Girls+ Skate 613 and Ottawa Quad Rollerskating, and animation by Tyler Ivan Goodman and Colleen Green. Director Lesley Marshall is a staple artist here in town, and her wacky style is always a blast to experience.

Screening in: Local Heroes, Friday December 1, 7:30pm

Apollo the Child – “My Hero Drives a Cab”

Whether in the poetry, slam, or music scenes here in Ottawa, Khaleefa ‘Apollo the Child’ Hamdan has garnered a reputation as powerful lyricist wise beyond his years. When fused with visuals in a music video, his words and ideas become even more potent. This “CinePoem” is based on a spoken word piece by the same name, and tells the story of Hamdan’s relationship with his father. The touching tribute features impressive illustrations by David Coates and sketches by Suzanne Marsden, and was directed, filmed, and edited by Randy Kelly.

Screening in: Local Heroes, Friday December 1, 7:30pm

Liu Bei – “Atlas World” (Solomun Day Remix)

Although Liu Bei is based out of London, UK, the sinister music video direction, cinematography, editing, colour grading, and screenplay was done by Ottawa-based prodigy Morgana McKenzie. The young phenom created the story in which “a malignant spirit forces a girl into a perilous journey through a watery underworld.” The music video has received widespread praise, and McKenzie was awarded Canada 150 Award for Best Film at Toronto International Film Festival, Best Film at Luminescence Film Festival, amongst many others. This showing is sure to be a highlight at Mirror Mountain this year.

Screening in: Fantastic Voyages, Saturday December 2, 7pm

Visit for the full festival lineup. Mirror Mountain show tickets are $5 each, and a full festival pass is $20. Tickets and passes are available online and at the door. The 3rd Mirror Mountain Film Festival will be at Arts Court Theatre (2 Daly Ave) from December 1–3, 2017.