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Alex de Vries and Team Win 2023 Unitec Bold Innovator Scholarship for Innovative Music Video Project

  • Bold Innovators 2023

From left to right, Kelsey Chapman, Lukas Faulkner, Saree Biddick, Hunter Challis and Alex de Vries.

Afro-Kiwi writer, director, and producer Alex De Vries has been awarded the 2023 Unitec Bold Innovator Scholarship. De Vries, a recent Master of Creative Practice graduate from Unitec's School of Creative Industries, and his team received the $15,000 scholarship for their groundbreaking music video project, "Trust Issues".

"Trust Issues" is an ambitious audio-visual album, including eight distinct music videos, all conceptualised and directed by De Vries and his team. This innovative project aims to elevate diverse perspectives and voices while prioritising artist care, relationship building, and having fun. Moreover, it seeks to provide valuable experience to screen and music practitioners from diverse backgrounds to help advance their careers.

De Vries, along with Kelsey Chapman, Saree Biddick, Lukas Faulkner, and Hunter Challis have formed a production company - Procrastination Productions. The members, all Unitec film study graduates, are working collaboratively to bring "Trust Issues" to life. The project is centred on inclusion, diversity, and nurturing creativity while fostering a network of practitioners involved in the project.

"Trust Issues" narrates the beauty found amidst the messiness of a decaying relationship. "It's vulnerable, visceral, and violent but evolves into a reflection on falling in and out of love and the growth that comes from that process," explains De Vries.

The Unitec Bold Innovator Scholarship is awarded annually to recent Unitec Master’s or Doctoral Graduates, facilitating them in developing innovative and enterprising projects based on their research.

On receiving the scholarship, De Vries says, "As a member of an underrepresented community, this award means a lot. These opportunities often don't come to us. It's encouraging that Unitec believes in me and the scope of our work."

Gregor Steinhorn, Research Partner – Enterprise, says the award underlined Unitec's support for the creative industries, saying, " “While the creative industries have built such economically successful sectors in New Zealand as the movie and game development industries, support is still limited. As the creative sector can create high-productivity employment and weightless exports, Unitec is excited to support this industry with our creative enterprise-focused courses.

Alex brings innovative approaches to the music and video production industry. The Bold Innovators Scholarship will help him and his team to make their mark in this exciting sector."

Watch the first single from the project here

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