Given I wrote the media release for this story, I think there's no problem me running it verbatim...
After clocking up over 70 million views on YouTube, winning a range of awards and becoming a global pop culture touchstone, Gotye's globally acclaimed music video for "Somebody That I Used To Know" has achieved another milestone, by being invited to screen in competition at the 2012 South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival.
Conceived, directed and produced by Melbourne-based writer and director Natasha Pincus, and featuring mesmerising body art by Emma Hack and a compelling guest performance by New Zealand singer Kimbra, the video has become a global viral sensation since its release in July last year. It is currently averaging one million views per day on YouTube alone.
Combining mural art, body painting, stop-motion animation and live action, the music video has spawned dozens of homages and imitations, and helped bring Gotye's hit song to millions of new fans. The song hit #1 in the UK this weekend and is also rising up the US charts.
Gotye is the stage name of Wally De Backer, a Belgian-born Australian multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter who is making waves with his unique brand of sample-based music. "Somebody That I Used To Know" is the latest single from Gotye's acclaimed best-selling third album Making Mirrors.
Wally was ecstatic to hear "Somebody That I Used To Know" will be screened at a major US Film Festival, and praised Natasha's unwavering vision to create a work with artistic integrity that would embody the tale of heartbreak expressed in the song.
"I'd been a fan of Natasha's work for a long time. She had already made some brilliant film clips that combined stirring direct-to-camera performances with painting and in-camera trickery," Wally said.
"Her concept for 'Somebody' was completely realised, immediately compelling and the tenacity with which she pursued the end result she envisioned was inspiring," he added.
Natasha Pincus is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and film director who has created music videos for some of Australia's most iconic musicians, including Paul Kelly, Powderfinger, Kasey Chambers and Sarah Blasko. Natasha has found music videos to be a fertile playground in which to practice her craft while developing long-term feature film projects.
She is currently developing several feature films with successful Australian filmmakers John Maynard (Balibo, The Boys, Sweetie), Bridget Ikin (Look Both Ways, The Tracker), and Crystal Bear Award winner Kasimir Burgess. SXSW has invited Natasha to accompany the video to the festival in Austin, Texas in March, where she hopes to seize the career opportunities it presents.
"It has been surreal to sit at home and just watch the video spread everywhere," Natasha said. "The festival will be my first actual physical experience of the clip's popularity. I can't wait to watch it in a theater amongst an audience for the first time."
"A festival like SXSW is unique in that it brings creators of music videos and feature films together where we can meet each other, share ideas, and forge relationships that can launch new projects whether they are music videos or feature films," she added.
Held alongside the massive SXSW Music Festival, the SXSW Film Conference and Festival runs 9-17 March 2012 in Austin, Texas, and features a dynamic convergence of talent, smart audiences and industry leaders in a uniquely creative environment. The film festival program celebrates raw innovation and emerging talent, and is an annual hotbed of discovery and interactivity.
Watch the video below.