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Babelgum’s talent-scouting continues with film and music videos competitions

Babelgum The free, independent Web TV platform today announced the launch of its brand new “Babelgum Music Video Awards” ™, in partnership with Music Nation. Following the success of the Babelgum Online Film Festival, which showcased the work of gifted independent filmmakers, Babelgum has now created a special contest focusing solely on music videos.

The Web TV company has launched this new competition to seek out and reward talented musicians and video directors, with a focus on indie artists. Once again, the audience vote will be crucial in picking the finalists, together with the professional jury consisting of Michel Gondry, David Ford and additional celebrity judges soon to be announced.

The competition offers bands the chance to win one of three prizes:

• The Grand Prize, a record development deal with Universal Music UK, will go to the final winner selected by the professional jury, announced on February 6th 2009;

• The “Performance Award”, an opening slot at a gig at one of MAMA Group’s live music venues, for the band with the most audience votes at the end of voting January 27th 2009;

• The “Mobile Award”, promotion in a Babelgum application for mobile devices, will go to the 40 semi-finalists.

Submissions are open now through the 16th November. Screening and voting will start on 17th November on the Babelgum TV platform, and will continue for around 2 months.

Babelgum CEO Valerio Zingarelli commented “This is a great opportunity for young musicians and video makers to expand their audience and find a new route into the industry. Today’s web users can’t get enough of new, non-mainstream music acts, so the Internet is an excellent place to present strong musical talent and an original vision to a vast audience. Building on the success of the Babelgum Online Film Festival, Babelgum is keen to expose new artists and help them overcome the obstacles of a system that’s still controlled by the majors”.

Details on the voting and prizes and full terms & conditions can be found on the Babelgum and Music Nation’s websites.

Professional Jury Bios

Michel Gondry

Musician, director, filmmaker, graphic designer, eclectic and visionary creative artist, Gondry is the quintessential artist of the 3rd millennium.

Michel Gondry was born in Versailles, France. His career as a filmmaker kicked off when he created music videos for the French rock band Oui Oui, where he played drums. The band released two albums as well as several singles and Gondry directed their video clips, which were shown on MTV. Björk saw them and asked Gondry to make her first solo video for 'Human Behaviour', which went on to win practically every existing music video award. Their collaboration proved long-lasting, with Gondry directing a total of six music videos for Björk. Gondry has worked with other music stars such as Rolling Stones, The White Stripes, Chemical Brothers, Foo Fighters, Massive Attack, Kylie Minogue, Daft Punk, Lenny Kravitz and Radiohead. In addition to video clips, Gondry has also created TV commercials for Levi’s (the Drugstore spot won the Palme D’Or at the Cannes’ Festival in 1994), Smirnoff Vodka and GAP.

According to the 2004 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records, Michel Gondry's Levi's 501 Jeans "Drugstore" spot holds the record for "Most awards won by a TV commercial”. Gondry is often cited, along with directors Spike Jonze and David Fincher, as representative of the influence of music video directors on feature film. He made his feature film debut with Human Nature in 2001 but success came in 2004 with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (also his second collaboration with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman), which earned him an Academy Award for best screenplay. The Science of Sleep, starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Charlotte Gainsbourg, hit theatres in September 2006. Gondry’s latest film Be Kind Rewind, which he wrote and directed, opened in February 2008.

David Ford

David Ford first achieved prominence with his first solo album, I Sincerely Apologise For All The Trouble I’ve Caused, recorded in the cellar of his Sussex flat over a period of 18 months.

Following the release of I Sincerely Apologise… in 2006, which was critically lauded across the board for its utterly persuasive tunes, searing honesty, politico-social protest (“State Of The Union”), Ford toured Britain, Australia, Canada, and America for most of 2005 and 2006. He played the U.S. with artists such as KT Tunstall, Gomez, Aimee Mann, and Ray LaMontagne; he played four times at SXSW, performed at the Bonnaroo Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival (alongside Elvis Costello and New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint), and made his U.S. television debut on NBC’s Last Call with Carson Daly.

Ford then returned to Eastbourne to make his second album with James Brown (Nine Inch Nails, The Killers, Ash), who co-produced five of the tracks. The resulting Songs For The Road (released in the UK last fall) further proves Ford, with his open-throated, raspy howl, lush melodies, and haunted lyricism, is not the standard wounded male troubadour.

Known for his searing solo performances, Ford caused a critical stir in the U.S. this past spring with his live, one-take, multi-instrumentalist video for “Go To Hell” ( Demonstrative of his captivating live show, the video earned praise from publications ranging from New York Magazine to Wired’s Listening Post blog, in addition to hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.

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