David Knight - 16th Oct 2014

Henry Scholfield's latest collaboration with Belgian hip-hop superstar Stromae is ingenious. The video for Ave Cesaria is, quite simply, a home movie, shot on VHS in one take, at a joyous family celebration.

Ave Cesaria is an ode to the Cape Verdean singer Cesaria Evora (it's the fourth single from Stromae's album success Racine Carrée), and Henry's video exudes the warmth, charm and rhythm of tropical island life. It's the pair's second collaboration, after the video for Tous Les Memes (nominated at this year's UKMVAs) and in its way, as precisely choreographed.

But this also genuinely feels like a real occasion, as Stromae performs with the band and the camera connects and moves through the crowd. Pretty much a delight from start to finish.


"It's strange when after every take an artist turns round and says; 'great, but I want to see less of me', but then knowing Stromae, he's anything but ordinary or predictable. 

"Making it feel real meant casting from real families and friends of friends we found in street casting. Basically our premise for the shoot was to enjoy it as much as if for real and our fantastic cast were really the ones who brought the vibe. 

"We were shooting in Ghent (Belgium), so we had a bit of styling and dressing to do to make it feel Cape Verdean, but often the less we did the realer it felt. 

"We planned it all as a single shot with the cast themselves handling the VHS cam. With no monitor and no camera operating to do Brecht (DOP) and I basically just ran around behind the camera trying not to get in the way. Then after each take we'd crowd round an old TV with Stromae, the band and all the cast to see what we'd got and come up with ideas/tweaks for the next one. 

"In the end we really didn't need to do that many, as it was often the little things that went wrong that felt just right."

PRO Credits


DirectorHenry Scholfield
ProducerRien Behaeghe
Production CompanyCaviar
Executive ProducerEva Van Riet
Director of PhotographyBrecht Goyvaerts
Art DirectorAn De Jonghe
Art DirectorSofie Noyen
WardrobeVanessa Evrard
WardrobeCoralie Barbier
LabelIsland Records
Other creditsSound Post-Production: Mosaert, Gregory Caron, Lionel Capouillez & Johan Millet

David Knight - 16th Oct 2014

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