While it is still on the festival circuit, vocalist / multi-instrumentalist Gentry and songwriter / director Sarah Hanner’s “Alexandra” video has already won the following: Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema – “Vanguard Award for Best New Media”, Austin Revolution Film Festival – “Best Music Video”, Indie Short Fest – “Best Music Video”, CA International Women’s Film Festival – “Best Music Video”, Rome Music Video Awards – “Best Female Director”, “Best Original Song”, “Best Set Design”, AARF Barcelona – “Honorable Mention, Best Music Video”, CA Music Video Awards – “Best Performance, Audience Choice Award”.
Hanner’s first narrative short film, set to release this fall, was shot on location on a private island in the Swedish archipelago. Immediately inspired by the landscape, she set out to write a script where the island was a character in and of itself. Hanner also stars in the film, alongside heavy-weight Swedish actors Raphael Edholm, Susan Barklund and up and coming actor Magnus Af Sandeberg.
She wrote the lyrics and melody of “Alexandra” alongside synth wizard Gentry. He crafts inspired keyboard tracks by drawing twenty years of experience recording, performing, and touring with the best in the world, including Quincy Jones, Pete Tong, and Georgio Moroder.
Hanner said about the video, “Directing ‘Alexandra’ was such a blast because of the insane talent involved. From Gentry to the actors and the crew, there wasn’t a moment on set when these people didn’t inspire me. The other thing I loved about this particular shoot was the privilege of having co-written the song and then directing the video. I’ve written songs before, and I’ve directed music videos before, but this was the first time that I got to do both, and it was fun to witness the evolution of the original song idea from concept to song to video, and how inspired I was to take the concept and themes of the video to a darker place than I’d imagined when I wrote the lyrics.”
Hanner holds a master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology and uses her knowledge of human behavior and her skills as a storyteller to create across various mediums. Making a name for herself in the film world with her cinematic approach to music videos – she has been called the “Felini of music video directing” – Hanner treats each song the same way she treats a feature film treatment. She has gone as far as adding silent prologues to the videos as a way to enhance the three-act structure of the “music films.”