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Dawn Shadforth is a British music video and documentary director, as well as an editor and artist. Shadforth has directed and edited promotional music videos for artists such as Björk, Primal Scream, Goldfrapp, Tinie Tempah, Charli XCX, Metronomy, The Streets, All Seeing I, Peaches, Hurts, Florence and the Machine, Selena Gomez and Kylie Minogue. She has received numerous awards for her work in music video including; Best New Director at The 1998 CAD Awards, Best Director at the 2001 CAD Awards, Visionary Video at the VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards for Garbage’s "Special", and the Icon Award at the 2010 UK Music Video Awards. Her work is well known for its humor, sexuality and tightly choreographed performances and for liberating the movement of dancers rather than containing it.
Shadforth at an early age was interested in art and music. She studied at Sheffield Hallam University, gaining a 1st Class Hons Degree in Fine Art. While at art school, she won the Whitworth Young Contemporaries Award for the installation piece "Sweet Dreams".
In 1995, Shadforth directed The Friends Tale, a 10-minute documentary for Channel 4's controversial Battered Britain series. She then followed the documentary up with The Seven Year Glitch, a short film documenting the Warp Records 7 year anniversary Tour. The documentary was screened at onedotzero in London, United Kingdom and Sónar in Barcelona, Spain.
In 1996, Shadforth directed a music video for the track "Hush" by Kurtis Mantronik. The video was filmed in Brooklyn in New York City and Sheffield. It features cameos by Todd Terry, Róisín Murphy, Jason Buckle from the band Relaxed Muscle and DJ Winston Hazel amongst others. In 1997, Shadforth's music video for Sheffield band All Seeing I's single "Beat Goes On" won for Best Dance Video at the 1998 Muzik Video Awards and for Best New Director and Best Editing at the 1999 CAD Awards.
In 2001, Shadforth made her directing breakthrough with the Kylie Minogue video, "Can't Get You Out of My Head". The video features Minogue in a computer generated futuristic city, arriving in a space-age car, seductively and rhythmically shifting the gearstick as she drives, before eventually dancing in a clipped pulsating style in front of a group of male dancers all wearing bizarre red plastic headgear. The video is well known for its tight choreography as well as for featuring Minogue in a deceptively revealing white costume with a plunging neckline and wide open front. The video was quickly picked up by many music video channels and is credited with making the song a number one hit worldwide. The exposure from the video quickly made Shadforth a "must have" director, and the film has been widely mimicked and parodied.
She also directed the award-winning promo film for "The Importance of Being Idle", the acclaimed second single from 2005's comeback album by Oasis, Don't Believe the Truth. The film was a clever pastiche of 1960s black and white kitchen sink drama films, featuring a parade of high-kicking undertakers, led by the Welsh actor Rhys Ifans. (The name of the undertaking firm featured in the video is 'Shadforth and Sons'). The band themselves praised the video, and it was said by critics at the time to be the best video Oasis had ever made. It went on to win the award for Best Video of 2005 at the NME Awards in early 2006, and the song itself went to Number 1.
In 2016, "Lights" by Hurts and "Old Skool" by Metronomy, both directed by Dawn, were nominated for 6 awards collectively at the UKMVA's. "Lights" by Hurts also won Dawn a special achievement award at the 2015 1:4 Awards.