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James Brown - A Music Video Challenge presented by Saatchi & Saatchi, in association with and BUG - now open for entries.

May 17, 2012

In an unprecedented collaboration between Saatchi & Saatchi,, BUG Music Videos and Universal Music Enterprises (UMe), the music of James Brown will be brought to the attention of a whole new generation through the art of filmmaking.

Saatchi & Saatchi is throwing down the gauntlet to the international filmmaking community by creating a challenge to bring to life some of the most significant tracks of the ‘Godfather of Soul’ in the form of a music video: Sex Machine, Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag, It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World, and Try Me. Following the success of last year’s Moby competition, Saatchi & Saatchi wanted to bring a new twist to this year’s competition by working with a legendary artist who has influenced and crossed many generations.

James Brown changed the course of popular music, and UMe and the James Brown Estate are making some of his finest work available for the first time for interpretation by a new generation of film directors. Other than live footage, none of the songs featured in the Music Video Challenge has a music video, so this is a great opportunity for young filmmakers to become the director of the official promo for one of these tracks. On June 1st, UMe will release 20 James Brown albums digitally for the first time. These classic releases are from his back catalogue from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, many of which have been long out of print.

The Grand Prize offered to the winning film director is to work on a project in a key office in the Saatchi & Saatchi global network. Entrants will be given the chance to revisit James Brown’s archive, and interpret it with fresh eyes. Deadline for entries is June 25th, 2012, 23:59 GMT. In addition, UMe is looking for official videos for each of the songs.

The judging panel responsible for selecting the finalists and overall winner will consist of members of the Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide Creative Board,, BUG and UMe. Also, directors selected for this year’s Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors’ Showcase will be invited on to the judging panel to help select the winner. The 12 finalists will be revealed mid-July and the winner announced on the competition page on July 30th, 2012.

Alongside the digital re-release, the record label will also be re-releasing the classic James Brown Live at the Apollo album this year. Significantly, the album was recorded half a century ago, on October 24th, 1962, at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked it as number 24 on their list of the Top 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In celebration of the album, one of the four tracks available for interpretation by entrants to the Music Video Challenge will be Try Me, one of its featured tracks.

Bruce Resnikoff, President/CEO of UMe said: “This competition will introduce a new generation of fans to the groundbreaking music of James Brown’s catalogue, and landmark 1962 album Live at the Apollo, and what better way to do this than by working with Saatchi & Saatchi’s global network, utilizing BUG’s expertise in the art of the music video, and accessing the filmmaking community through”

For the first time Saatchi & Saatchi will work with, who are based in Melbourne, Australia, and have more than 65,000 members spanning over 180 countries. Andrew Lane, Co-founder, commented: "We are very excited to offer our community such an incredible opportunity. Being able to work with iconic songs from the legendary James Brown, and to be offering an amazing prize from Saatchi & Saatchi makes this a not-to-be-missed challenge for our filmmaking community."

The winner of last year’s Music Video Challenge was Mexican Vancouver Film School graduate Alberto Gomez, whose prize was to travel to Los Angeles and direct a spot for Conill’s Miami Short Film Festival campaign. In addition, each finalist’s video was featured on Moby’s Destroyed Deluxe DVD. Saatchi & Saatchi’s aim again this year is to provide a platform for the most talented young directors to interpret the work of an iconic musician, and provide them with a global stage for their filmmaking talents.

This year the Music Video Challenge will have an even more international flavour, with the production team hailing from all over the world; UMe in LA; Saatchi & Saatchi in London and NYC; in Australia; and BUG in London. Add to this the phenomenal reach and influence of James Brown, with his international fan base and rich contribution to the tapestry of musical history, and you have a dream brief.

Tom Eslinger, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide Digital Creative Director, commented: "This is the third year that we’ve held a competition to find a truly new director. Having access to music from James Brown, one of the most influential performers of the 20th century, is inspiring for us and anyone who enters. Being part of creating the first music videos through a socially-powered platform like Genero is an honour.”

David Knight, BUG Creative Director added: “BUG is all about giving exposure to the most innovative and awe-inspiring new work in music videos. Our subheading is The Evolution of Music Video – and aspiring filmmakers are no longer limited to making new videos just for new music. They can be inspired by classic tracks too, and this Music Video Challenge is giving them the chance to prove it.”

For more information on the Music Video Challenge, including eligibility and how to enter go to:


For further details please contact:

Lee Sharrock
Global Creative PR Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide
M: +44 7814 862 834