A lifestyle expat travel blog about culture, history, Brexit, the Royal Family, travels around the world, Europe, and being British in Berlin!
What a summer! May has been amazing and June is coming along nicely. Early summer is also the beginning of “the season” and what a merry time I have been having.
At the beginning of June, I went to a musical cabaret show that had Mozart break dancing and hip-hopping, and last week, I got really close to fun and laughter with Bill Bailey at the stand-up comedy show in Berlin and boy, have I got lots of stuff for you in June. Oh yes, so stay tuned!
But what did I do in May? How can I forget? How can you forget? May was great for my young blog and thank so much for being supportive everyone, and either reading it, sharing it, or letting me explore the wonders of this fine city – Berlin.
Oh yeah, I digress. May!
Well, in that lovely spring-summer month, I was overwhelmed by death and destruction through Shakespeare, I went to a fabulous, glamour, slightly erotic show at the Friedrichstadt Palast, I went along to the all night museum event that takes place once a year. I went on a fantastic alternative walking tour that you really shouldn’t miss, and what I haven’t yet written about was that I was so lucky, so enormously lucky, to have randomly met a public relations person, who then invited me to come and check out the Berlin Music Video Awards.
Yeah, you heard me. Me. To get on that most coveted guest list. A Music Award Event. In Berlin. Amazing or what!
The organisers were so lovely that after meeting me, they allowed me to hang out with them, meet, have drinks with, and interview some of the jury panel, guests of honours, performers,
prize winners, nominees, V.I.P’s, the photographers, the movers and shakers of the independent music world, and also the founder of the Berlin Music Video Awards and the man and brains behind it all; the young and enormously attractive: Mr. Aviel Silook.
WHAT IS THE BERLIN MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS?
Well, the Berlin Music Video Awards or BMVA is an annual festival that puts filmmakers and their art behind music videos. In the spotlight. Supporting both unknown and famous artists, it is a primary networking event for the video and music industries in Europe.
With a vast selection of music video marathons, professional judges, live performances, filmmaking workshops and networking events, the festival is not only a meeting ground for filmmakers, but also for musicians as well as all music enthusiasts, and boy, was it just.
It was crazy.
The 2nd Berlin Music Video Awards was held between the 28th and the 31st of May 2014, at a hip industrial metalbox called the Platoon Kunsthalle in Berlin Mitte. In fact, I had been to this venue before! Not only was it about 10 minutes from my house, but it was also the venue of the Bloggers pre-ITB party, the place where I met travel and social media bloggers for the first time. Ever. In. My. Life!
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?
Well, the BMVA brings together independent and established filmmakers, musicians and all music video fans, through the live event of screening 120 nominated music videos and announcements of winners for each category such as Best Director, Best Animation, Most Bizarre, and Best Live Act.
Live performances, camera workshops, 3D animation/VFX and editing, filmmakers and directors forums, and networking with fans, other musicians or film makers, and the industry. A platform for everyone including people who direct, produce, edit or perform, to people who are simply truly interested in the art.
Anyone can participate.
Budget, label and names are not a determining factor.
I was made very welcome by La Vern Marquez (Aviel’s Production Assistant / Social Media Person), Andrea (a very active member of the volunteering team), Carmen Talavera Armero (one of the main PR people), and Deborah Di Nauta (the Press Relations Manager). Carmen in particular was lovely and allowed me to hang out with her and interview as many people as I wanted, so I did.
I asked people to describe the festival event in one word. This is what they said:
“Independent.” “Trashy.” “Ambitious.” “Cynical.” “Bollocks.” “Enthusiastic.” “Lovely.” “Eclectic.” “Glitzy, but light-hearted.” “Teamwork.” “Jagermeister.”
Here are some interview extracts from Golden Wolf: winners of the Best Animation category. Dog Blood – Chella Ride. They were a really fun bunch of people based in London but consisting of British, French and Spanish nationalities. I laughed so much while interviewing them. All I can say is that they wanted to eat their award, shared the huge bottle of schnapps with one and all, and danced both nights away. A great bunch of happy, young people! “We’ve been accused of being part of the Illuminati because people think we worship and sacrifice goats!” “Berlin is fantastic.” “This award will take us to the moon.” “It’s our first award and we’re going to boast about it!”
Here are some interview extracts from another British artist – Naren Wilks – for being the overall winner for Best Production and also Best VFX category: The Correspondents – Fear & Delight. “I make short films and this is the first music video that I’ve ever made.” “The BMVA is terrific.” “Festivals are better organised and better funded in Germany.” “I’m considering learning to speak German as Germany seems to be the place to be!” “I like to make films that appeal to people with a short attention span, and I want the film to be fun as well.”
I also interviewed one of the hosts of the evening, an American comedian based in Berlin called Daniel Stern, who had me in stitches over his very natty (fashionable) bow tie with expressions like “I thought it was amazing.” “That this award exists says a lot about Berlin.” “You can have an award that presents most bizarre, most trashy, and everyone explicitly understands that it’s a celebration of the nominees.” “I’m getting paid in Jaegermeister.” “The event is a little bit like playing pretend but it’s also definitely very real and authentic.”
I interviewed Andrea who is one of the active members of the organising team and the person to go to, as practically everyone directed me to her for anything that I needed or wanted! She described the BMVA staff team as “dedication and time.” “I’m simply amazed that it’s all happening.” “People who are trustworthy but willing to work for little or no pay.” “I love music.” “Make contact with people.” “The team are very dedicated: technical, filming and editing, working so hard.” “The BMVA is a chance for everyday people to connect. A mixture of mainstream and underground.”
Of course, I couldn’t imagine the night over, if I didn’t get the chance to interview the founder and Artistic Director, of the Berlin Music Video Awards. A guy originally from Israel, so humble and unassuming that I probably would have walked passed him a thousand times if he hadn’t been pointed out to me! A young man with huge ideas and a warm heart, seemingly loved and respected by all who came in contact with him. Mr. Aviel Silook.
It must have been at least 03.30 when I interviewed him, as the after-party was rocking, people were drinking cocktails galore, and the noise level had increased 1,000 fold. Thankfully, there was the electronics room that was a fraction quieter, and so Aviel graciously and shyly, agreed to be interviewed by a girl whom he was meeting for the very first time. Me.
Why did you organise this event?
It’s not about winning. It’s about presenting cool stuff to people and to let everybody know what is going on right now.
What gave you the inspiration as the creator of the Berlin Music Video Awards?
I love music videos. I think it’s important to keep this form of art alive.
I heard only this morning, that music video is out of date but obviously, it isn’t!
As you can see, everybody is celebrating this form of art here. Everyone around us is an artist, producer, actor and film-maker, and they’re all here because they believe in this project and they don’t want to bury music videos. They’re all on a mission. Together.
It’s not about me as one person. I’m surrounded by 45 team members and each person is passionate and crazy, and they trust me. It’s about trust and passion.
As an Israeli, why did you choose Berlin as the home of your project?
It’s easier to attract people to such a city like Berlin. Berlin is highly rated and brings people together and as you can see. At 03.37 in the morning, they are still here, drinking, and having fun!
How do you think local Berliners see this event?
Local Berliners see me as an intruder because I came to the city with horrible German, and took the name from them. They asked themselves why they (the local Berliners didn’t do that). I tell them that they were sleeping, doing drugs, etc, but I was focused on my life and I wanted to make things happen. You can’t put the blame on someone who is making action. Things happen with hard work and passion.
Berlin has a lot to offer. Do you think that the Berlin Music Video Awards will really put Berlin on the map, as a city to be reckoned with?
I will not say that ever. It’s a big thing to say. We’ve done a great thing bringing 5,000 people together in 4 days, but that won’t put Berlin on the map. We’re not a film or music festival. We’re a music video festival. It’s a unique feature with unique people. I want us to grow but not just as a number of people or the size of a place, but as a platform for Berlin music video awards. It’s important to keep things fresh in a new forum so that things are more interesting than last year.
The Berlin Music Video Awards was created last year (2013). What have you learnt ?
We’ve signed up a lot of teams. I’m learning a lot and we’re trying to learn from past mistakes. It’s human to make mistakes. We’re trying to make things better and more accessible. it’s happening. No matter what. We’re making things happen.
Describe the Berlin Music Video Awards in 1 word.
There you have it.
WHAT ABOUT THE FUN PART OF THE BERLIN MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS?
It’s music and art. Of course, there was fun!
Being that I am a corporate trainer and I had other engagements that week, I was only able to join the BMVA folk on the Friday and on the Saturday. There was an after-show party and live music and D.Jing featuring “Son of Kick” and hosted by an American friend of mine – Paul Salamone. I had a merry time drinking free shots and free cocktails. Time home: 02:30.
On Saturday, there was the red carpet event, but I was so knackered from the night before that “The Music Producer” and I decided to have a sensible romantic dinner before hitting the festival and joining in the BMVA fun and mayhem, at about midnight. In Berlin, midnight is for wimps!
In fact, so much fun and engagement went on, that one of the prize winners had broken his arm running down the street, and his arm was in a cast! My lips are sealed, as to the intimate details.
That’s rock and roll people! Rock and roll!
The Final Awards ceremony took place and was hosted by an acquaintance of mine who I always seem to bump into these days Drew Portnoy & BAM (aka Nathaniel Hall – former member of the Jungle Brothers) with a special musical performance by SMASH HIFI now consisting of Leroy Thornhill from The Prodigy and Marten Hørger from The Punks. The time that I got home was 04:30!
The after-party was still going fantastically strong, I missed my train ‘cos I fell asleep on the platform, and people were either skipping around, or vomitting in the early morning sunlight!
Thanks so much for letting me interview you jury panel, guests of honours, performers, prize winners, nominees, V.I.P’s, La Vern, Carmen, Deborah, Sasha, Pascale, Elizabeth, staff members, everyone and of course, Aviel.
See you next year!
This article is not sponsored and all opinions and the wonderful green shots of Jagermeister, are my very own! Every week for the months of May and June, I’ll be writing about summer time in Berlin, and what to do when you get here.
Next week, I will be writing about the the various outdoor summer festivals taking place very soon in, or near Berlin.
Berlin’s Mardi Gras the 36th CSD – Christopher Street Day Gay Pride festivity, will be on 21.06.14.
Are you coming?
Watch this space!
Have you been to a video music award? Are you an artist? Have you ever had Jaegermeister?
See you in Berlin.
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Great post and interview. Sounds like a cool and fun event. You have some sharp style lady!
It really was a great weekend Phil. One of the best. 🙂 I was worried that my post was a little long but it had to be said LOL. Thanks very much New York Guy!
Wow! you’re having the time of your life truly! :))
Thank you Astha. Berlin is soooo the place to be! Thanks for making comment dear. 🙂
You are just having way too much fun lady!!! Lol! It was so lovely meeting and hanging out with you guys in Berlin! The week went by too fast :0( but we had loads of fun, and the cheap beer..oh my!!!! Will keep you updated.
Thank you daaaarling! Indeed, the Berlin Music Video Awards was great. I loved meeting you and your husband too. You’re cool people. 🙂 Stay in touch!
Oh, so much fun! I can’t wait! 🙂 Must check out that walking tour you mentioned!
You’re going to love being in Berlin and the walking tour is brilliant! Give me a shout if you want to meet up for a drink or something. 🙂
I will do! Arriving tonight so will probably just try to get my bearings a bit tomorrow but maybe Wednesday or Thursday!
Let me be the first to say: Wilkommen in Berlin LOL! Meet up only if you want to and have the time. There’s so much to do here. Have fun and absolutely no pressure. 🙂
Ha ha, no, it would be great to meet up with a local! I’ll be in touch for sure!
I think I might be staying in your area actually! Did you say Prenzlauer?
Yep! prenzlauerberg. It’s a really lovely area and pretty hip, and very gentrified, even if I say so myself LOL!
I’m sure I’ll fit right in ha ha! My apartment appears to have some sort of sex swing – is this standard? I’m near Calgiariplatz – anywhere near you?
LOL! A sex swing? Standard? Er, No! But not surprising LOL. We’re pretty liberal around here! Calgiariplatz is about 20 minutes from me!
Ha, I could be across Riga in 20 minutes, here it’s not even one district 🙂 I like it! I’m sort of freaking out about the bin situation. I’ve put a couple of tea bags, a face wipe and a bit of plastic into one bag – that’s wrong, isn’t it!?
Ah, the bin situation. You and me both daaarling. Right! Plastics seperated. Paper seperated. Glass seperated into green, brown, and white. “Organic,” bio-gradeable stuff seperated. If you make a mistake, don’t worry. You’re a tourist. 🙂 We expats. We’re dead!
Oh good lord! Starting to rethink the Germany thing 😉
I am a television producer working on the US travel show ‘House Hunters International’. We are looking for English speaking expats who have moved to Berlin within the last 2 years or so… I wonder if you might like to share your story?
House Hunters International is a half-hour TV show currently airing on the Home and Garden Television Network (HGTV) in America. The series is designed to de-mystify the international home-buying / renting process, by going behind the scenes of a house hunt where expats and their real estate agents tour 3 homes. At its core, House Hunters International is a travel show concentrating on the idiosyncrasies of the locales and what makes them special and different.
Here are some links to show you what our show is all about!
Here are some examples of the show that you can watch on Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gY-JQWPJr8s – Charlottenlund Denmark
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eP2zqdunHo0 – Athens Greece
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qo8RevsW-DM – Marrakech Morocco
We would love to film in Berlin again so please get in touch if you might be interested in finding out more!
CASTING PRODUCER LEOPARD FILMS
1-3 St Peter’s Street, London N1 8JD – +44 20 7704 3300
I might indeed be interested although I’ve been here for much longer than 2 years LOL. Please send me an Email: email@example.com
Thanks so much!
What fun! Jaegermeister used to be my shot of choice… It’s the easiest 😉 especially when it’s ice cold. My favorite now though is fernet Branco.
Jaaaaaegermeister. The green devil! Fernot Branco. Nice! I love my alcoholic shots but I’m a champagne and vodka girl at heart LOL. 😉
I love my wine and whisky sours… Shots are very rare occasions
Give me a Cosmpolitan, and I’m good LOL!
We’re here to help. Not to worry. German people don’t bite LOL!
That’s definitely a great opportunity to meet some awesome people, have a drink and have fun!! I can’t wait to make it to Berlin next month. Wanna meet up? 🙂
Thanks Agness. It was a great opportunity and soooo much fun! Do I want to meet up? Absolutely! I can’t wait to meet ya!
Jaegermeister is the German equivalent of Marmite I think: you either love it or hate it. I hate it, but had plenty of it, strangely more so when living abroad. It seems much more popular abroad then it is in Germany.
Marmite. Yeah. So true! It has something to do with a bit of home I guess. It’s a bit like marmelade. I’m not an enormous fan but whenever I go “home”, I always buy a jar and “share” it with my friends. Same goes for medium white sliced bread. I want it more now because I can’t really have it in Germany. I mean the English stuff not the made-in-Germany-English-style-sliced bread. That’s awful!
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I have to say that thoroughly enjoyed rereading this post! I am so glad that you shared it on my post! So, are you planning on attending in the new year? I do have to say that I miss artistic events and especially good live music living in Phuket. There are some art galleries (mostly reproductions made for tourists, but some true artists sharing their art), but live music is usually cover bands. They are good cover bands, but I sure miss good indie and artistic shows. Okay enough complaining about Phuket, I am just living vicariously through you and your posts for the art and music I am missing here. 🙂
Thank you my sweet! I’m so glad that you asked. 🙂 Am I going to the Berlin Music Video Awards in 2015? Sure! It was amazing this year, and now we know each other. They were even generous enough to put my post on their press page! That was awfully nice of them, and I thoroughly enjoyed my first interview. I mean, I didn’t even know what I was doing, but it worked out in the end LOL!
Phuket is pretty much paradise in many people’s eyes but I can’t quite imagine indie artists rocking up LOL 🙂 Ah well, never mind, I’ll try my best to keep you entertained as there’s a lot of stuff coming up next year. 🙂
Sounds like a gpod plan to me! 😉
Thank you. 🙂 I’ll be laying out most of my confirmed plans, in the next post.
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