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A chance for new filmmakers to create the official music videos for an Elton John classic.

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About the competition

About the competition

Elton’s music,
Bernie’s lyrics,
three new films.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of their songwriting partnership, Elton John and Bernie Taupin gave new filmmakers the chance to create the official music videos for three iconic Elton hits. A panel of industry renowned judges selected three winning filmmakers who went on to receive support from YouTube and top production studios to bring their ideas to life.

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1972 video style: animation
1972 video style: animation

Rocket Man

Iranian filmmaker Majid Adin reimagines Rocket Man to tell a thought-provoking story of adventure, loneliness and hope.

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1971 video style: Live Action
1971 video style: Live Action

Tiny Dancer

Inspired by Elton and Bernie’s love of California, Max Weiland captures the free-spirited characters of LA in this sun-soaked homage to the Golden State.

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1973 video style: Choreography
1973 video style: choreography

and the Jets

Jack Whiteley and Laura Brownhill’s music video tells the story of the formation of Bennie and her Jets.

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Meet the judges

  • Elton John
  • Bernie Taupin
  • Jeffrey Katzenberg
  • Melina Matsoukas
  • Barry Jenkins

YouTube Mentors

The shortlist will be chosen by three influential YouTube creators. They’ll also be providing tips and inspiration, and creating their own unique take on the briefs.

  • PES Animation mentor

    PES is an Oscar and Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and the creator of some of the most widely-viewed stop-motion films of all time.

    Watch intro video
  • Kurt Hugo Schneider Live Action mentor

    Kurt is a filmmaker and musician, who has been sharing his interpretation of popular songs on YouTube for over a decade with his 7.8 million fans.

    Watch intro video
  • Parris Goebel Choreography mentor

    Parris is the director and choreographer behind Justin Bieber’s ‘Sorry (PURPOSE: The Movement)’ video, with over 2 billion views on YouTube.

    Watch intro video

Stay up-to-date

The competition is now closed.
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Jeffrey Katzenberg

Jeffrey Katzenberg is the founder and CEO of DreamWorks Animation, with a film career that spans almost four decades. He is the creative force behind the studio’s biggest animated hits such as Shrek and Kung Fu Panda, as well as producing some of Disney’s most magical and iconic films, including The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King.

Melina Matsoukas

Melina Matsoukas is a Grammy-award winning music video director with a distinctive, bold and provocative style. She is one of the most in-demand directors in the industry, working with the likes of Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Snoop Dogg, Solange and Pharrell. In 2011, she became the Creative Director for Beyoncé’s album 4.

Barry Jenkins

Barry Jenkins is the writer director of critically acclaimed Moonlight, recipient of numerous awards and nominations including the 2017 Golden Globe for Best Picture (Drama). In addition to a WGA nomination for Best Screenplay the NYFCC, NBR and LAFCA amongst many others have awarded Jenkins Best Director for Moonlight. His feature film debut, Medicine for Melancholy, was hailed as one of the best films of 2009 and the recipient of Gotham and Independent Spirit Award nominations.