Perhaps the biggest surprises that night were presented by the other guests. Francis Lai got the Lifetime Achievement Award and was visibly moved by the long applause he got after the orchestra played a fine selection of his music and famous themes. Dan Romer joined the orchestra with his accordion and together they played Once There was a Hushpuppy, a crowd pleasing track to say the least. As usual, there’s also a Belgian side to promote. This year’s prestigious drama series In Flander’s Fields, composed by jazz pianist and composer Jeff Neve, got a live treatment and grand finale with a Mozart’s Requiem-inspired Anthem for Our Fathers.
Nino Rota took the centre stage at the Rota/Fellini concert on Thursday. While the first part focused on his classics like The Godfather or Romeo & Juliet, the second half brought to life many of Fellini’s oddities and circus acts. La Strada is a definite highlight, as well as Brossé briefly acting like the mad conductor of Prova d’Orchestra. The seminar this year focused on French cinema and the influence the Nouvelle Vague had on film music. Afterwards Bruno Coulais took the audience through a selection of film scenes while explaining some of his musical choices. Unfortunately Philippe Sarde had to cancel the seminary.
New this year were the four film music industry panels, where composers, publicists and a record label owner discussed various subjects, from social media to the future of symphonic film music. There was a glimpse of optimism about the latter.
Many more film music related events were scheduled, from the experimental concert movie Dance! Dance! Dance! with music by the Belgian band Arsenal or the live performance with movie of Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus. Definitely another interesting year in Gent. At IFMCA, we still remember that during the press conference in 2013 the artistic director invited Thomas Newman for a concert… Lets hope for his attendance in one of the next editions.