Last December, YouTube announced the launch of “Elton John: The Cut,” a global competition to look for the next video director who will create the official music videos for Elton John’s classics “Bennie and the Jets,” “Rocket Man” and “Tiny Dancer.”
Elton’s writing partner Bernie Taupin will be joining the English singer on the panel of judges for this competition, which is a celebration of their songwriting partnership’s 50th anniversary. In addition, it was announced on Tuesday that “Moonlight” writer/director Barry Jenkins will also be one of the judges.
“Music is core to my films and to my creative process,” said the 37-year-old filmmaker. “‘The Cut’ is so exciting to me because it combines a number of things I’m passionate about. As a filmmaker whose first film was made with the DIY tools of digital cinema, I love how the democratization of the filmmaking process and platforms like YouTube enables people to tell stories that in previous generations simply could not be told. I hope to see ideas for this competition that push boundaries and defy expectations.”
Melina Matsoukas (who has directed videos by Beyoncé and Rihanna) and Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg complete the list of judges.
Winning filmmakers will receive support from YouTube and Pulse Films to turn their idea into an official music video, in addition to a prize fund of $10,000 to help with future projects.
“We’re excited to partner with YouTube to bring together generations of artists and music lovers around a shared passion for storytelling,” said Elton when the news of the partnership was first announced. “YouTube is a rich tapestry of creativity, and I can’t wait to see how the breadth of talent from the dance, live-action and animation communities apply their vision to these cherished songs.”