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Rina Sawayama 'Hold The Girl' by Ali Kurr

Rob Ulitski - 10th Aug 2022

Ali Kurr and Rina Sawayama are back together for another high-concept promo - a cinematic sci-fi drama with a twist, for Hold The Girl.

This has Rina on a Westworld-type world - on a ranch in the Old Wild West. And her repeated attempts to escape the place are blocked by an unseen, magnetic force - she is caught mid-air after falling from the roof, or pulled 50 metres across the scorched grass - and brought back to her starting point in the house. 

But when the walls start to crack and the earth moves, she discovers an alternate universe: herself, dancing in a high-energy studio setup with fellow dancers, celebrating an unabashed freedom. This Dogville-style studio set-up eventually fuses with the strange period world, and Rina breaks free. But there is one more twist in the tale.

Filmed in Bulgaria, shot by Diego Rosenblatt, and with choreography by Josh Pillmore, the video is the latest and arguably the most successful example of a superbly creative collaboration between the artist and director, which has always tested boundaries. Once again they have gone for something new, and leave the viewer marvelling at Sawayama's virtuosity.

"It was all about capturing the feeling of having the strength to leave a situation and then when that initial adrenaline rush leaves you," says Kurr. "All you are left with is the memory that can often leave you feeling even more alone." 

This is the latest in a collaboration that goes back to the start of both Kurr and Sawayama's careers. "We've been making videos together for over a decade now," reveals the director. "I constantly pinch myself on set when I think about how far we have come. From making videos in our flats with £50 art budgets to now getting to play with zip lines and stunt coordinators... we push ourselves each time to make something that's even more exciting and unexpected for her fans."

This follows the acclaimed video for This Hell, the first video released from the forthcoming Sawayama album, also called Hold The Girl. Kurr adds: "This drive and love for what we create, alongside her insane artistry as a musician, has resulted in Hold The Girl being one of my favourites to date and I can't wait to get back on set and start shooting something nuts again soon."

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Rob Ulitski - 10th Aug 2022


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Ali Kurr
Mayling Wong
Lyubo Yonchev
Production Company
Production Company
Four Elements, Bulgaria
Service Co Exec Producer
Rosen Savkov
Executive Producer
Mayling Wong
Production Manager
Samuil Djoganov
Production Manager
Ayo Alli
1st AD
2nd AD
Yana Lekarska
Production Coordinator
Miglena Savkova
Production Assistant
Diko Boutchoukov
Transportation Captain
Ivan Nachev


Director of Photography
Diego Rosenblatt
Focus Puller
Dimitar Donchev
2nd AC
Antoni Stoev
Nikolay Kerezov
Camera Trainee
Dimitar Tsvetkov
Video Assist
Alexander Vassilev
Rosen Andonov


Manol Mitrev
Key Grip
Mario Popov


Production designer
Lyubika Georgieva


Stylist (Cast)
Grozdan Mihaylov
Stylist (Artist)
Jordan Kelsey
Hair (Artist)
Todor Sivov
Hair (Cast)
Greta Stefanova-Kandzhova
Make-up (Cast)
Maria Koleva
Make-up (Artist)
Mona Leanne
Make-up (Cast)
Krasimira Petrova


Joshua Pilmore


Lead Dancer
Victoria Yaneva
Lead Dancer
Shola B Riley


Jack Williams
Editing company
Assembly Rooms
Edit Producer
Joshua Gochez


Colour Producer
Angie Broomfield
Colour Producer
Chris Aliano
Myles Bevan
Colour grade company
Time Based Arts


VFX Vfx Studio
Post Producer
Natali Borte


Director's Representation


Tom Connick
Will Frost
Dirty Hit


DoP's representation
Plan B

Rob Ulitski - 10th Aug 2022

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