IFMCA members attend Film Fest Gent 2014, World Soundtrack Awards

film fest gent
Over the past 25 years, the film festival of Ghent has been focusing on film music, resulting in daring concert choices and creative programmes. They were the first to convince Hans Zimmer to perform his music on stage. A few years later, the film festival organized the first World Soundtrack Awards. What began as a small and cosy event, steadily grew into a big ceremony for film music. The tenth anniversary was celebrated with as many high profile composers as possible, each presenting a short selection of their music.Continuing their brave choices, a somewhat unexpected main guest was announced earlier this year. Cliff Martinez is not someone you immediately associate with a concert setting. But it certainly had the potential to be interesting. Remember the live performance of Inception some years ago which truly was a spectacle. At the press conference, conductor and music supervisor Dirk Brossé told us about his surprise and the challenge it offered him to bring Martinez’ often very effective electronic and ambient scoring to the stage. Brossé tried to focus on the orchestral side of the composer’s music. While this choice has its merits, the actual concert somehow missed a punch, and perhaps also a bit of Martinez’ very own voice. Live electronics or a performance by the composer himself would certainly have increased the experience. Still, the concert let the public discover some lesser know scores of which the Kafka suite was certainly the highlight.

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.

WSA press conference
WSA press conference (fltr: Francis Lai, Bruno Coulais, Variety journalist Steve Challogan, Dan Romer, Cliff Martinez, conductor Dirk Brossé and Jef Neve)
Francis Lai and IFMCA member Thor Joachim Haga.

Composer Francis Lai (Lifetime Achievement Award) with IFMCA member Thor Joachim Haga at the WSA press conference.
Cliff Martinez on stage before his concert part starts.
Cliff Martinez on stage before the concert starts.
IFMCA members Bregt De Lange, Thor Joachim Haga, Eleni Mitsiaki and Olivier Debrosses.
IFMCA members Bregt De Lange, Thor Joachim Haga, Eleni Mitsiaki and Olivier Debrosses.

 

IFMCA chooses Úbeda to present two awards

The IFMCA are proud to join forces with Úbeda’s 7th Film Music Festival with the inaugural Independent Press Jury Prize for an Unreleased Score, which will be presented during the closing night on 24th July. There will also be a special Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Bruno Coulais, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to film music.

The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) consists of some of the worlds most diverse members and has been awarding the best in film, tv and game music talent since 2004. We look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration with Úbeda’s Film Music Festival and BSO Spirit.

First Special IFMCA Jury Prize Awarded

At the Unheard Film Festival in Amsterdam a special IFMCA prize was handed out for the first time. For The Battle, the soundtrack competition of the Unheard Film Festival, 66 students of European art and music academies participated by composing a new sound score for (existing) short films. IFMCA-members Kees Hogenbirk and Paul Stevelmans formed the independent press jury that judged fourteen entries who made it to the finals of The Battle, on 25 March.

They bestowed the IFMCA jury prize to Matt Davies and Oliver Cadman of the Jazz Department of Leeds College of Music in Leeds, England, for their brilliant and captivating score to the short Cherry Picking, a black and white harvest reportage from the archives of the Netherlands Eye Film Institute in Amsterdam. The young men wrote modern-day music that strikingly accompanied the images of this old Dutch pastoral film. After the awards show in the Eye Film Institute Davies (20) and Cadman (22) appeared to be nicely surprised to be picked as winners by the IFMCA jury. They stated that they had written their minimal score with a classical structure within two weeks, playing only a handful of acoustic instruments such as guitar, cello, piano and double bass.

From the jury report: ʽThis score has a classic build-up: introduction, intermezzo, and finale. This structure has been applied masterfully by the choice of instruments. However, this music is not a composition in itself, but it is strongly connected with the content of the film. The contrast in the images, the exchange of light and shadow, is translated in the use of solo-instruments. Foremost it is the melodic development which makes the viewer part of the images. As for the sound effects, close listening showed us that at a subconscious level the noise took us back to the period when the film was shot. The winning score enhances the impression of summer, stillness, and labour in a pastoral setting. It is unmistakably modern-day music, which simultaneously does accompany the silent images of yesteryear. This score lends the rather repetitive editing of the images a cohesion, by creating a tension which completes the storyline.ʼ

The prize will undoubtedly encourage both aspiring students on their path of becoming promising film composers.

   

IFMCA announces its 2010 nominees for scoring excellence

ALEXANDRE DESPLAT RECEIVES 7 INTERNATIONAL FILM MUSIC CRITICS’ 2010 AWARD NOMINATIONS, INCLUDING TWO FOR FILM SCORE OF THE YEAR

The International Film Music Critics Association announces its list of nominations for excellence in musical scoring in 2010, with French composer Alexandre Desplat leading the field with 7 nods including THE KING’S SPEECH (3 nominations) and THE GHOST WRITER (4 nominations) for Film Score of the Year. Also nominated in this category are John Powell’s HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (5 nominations), Daft Punk’s score to TRON: LEGACY (3 nominations) and Hans Zimmer’s INCEPTION (3 nominations).

Desplat, who also wrote the nominated score to HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1, is short-listed for Composer of the Year along with John Powell (HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON); James Newton Howard (SALT, THE LAST AIRBENDER, NANNY MCPHEE RETURNS); Danny Elfman (ALICE IN WONDERLAND) and Hans Zimmer (INCEPTION).

Breakout Composer of the Year nominees include Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, better known as the French electronic/dance duo Daft Punk, for TRON: LEGACY; Spanish composer Oscar Araujo for the video game CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOW; Spanish composer Arnau Bataller for the mystery film LA HERENCIA VALDEMAR; German composer Herbert Grönemeyer for the George Clooney drama THE AMERICAN; and Portuguese composer Nuno Malo for AMÁLIA, about Portuguese fado singer Amália Rodrigues.

New this year is Best Archival Release category, which combines previous categories that celebrated the current renaissance of older movie scores being released either for the first time, as a re-release or as a re-recording. With so many worthy choices, the new category has been expanded to 10 nominees, which this year includes the 6-disc, premiere release of Alex North’s score to Stanley Kubrick’s SPARTACUS, two never-released John Williams scores (BLACK SUNDAY and FAMILY PLOT) and re-recordings of scores as diverse as Dimitri Tiomkin’s THE ALAMO and Basil Poledouris’ CONAN THE BARBARIAN among other impressive releases.

The International Film Music Critics will announce the winners of its Seventh Annual Awards on February 25, 2011.

2010 Film Categories

FILM SCORE OF THE YEAR

• THE GHOST WRITER, music by Alexandre Desplat
• HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, music by John Powell
• INCEPTION, music by Hans Zimmer
• THE KING’S SPEECH, music by Alexandre Desplat
• TRON: LEGACY, music by Daft Punk

FILM COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

• Alexandre Desplat
• Danny Elfman
• James Newton Howard
• John Powell
• Hans Zimmer

BREAKOUT COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

• Óscar Araujo
• Arnau Bataller
• Daft Punk
• Herbert Grönemeyer
• Nuno Malo

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DRAMA FILM

• AMÁLIA, music by Nuno Malo
• BLACK SWAN, music by Clint Mansell
• THE KARATE KID, music by James Horner
• THE KING’S SPEECH, music by Alexandre Desplat
• TRUE GRIT, music by Carter Burwell

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A COMEDY FILM

• THE LIGHTKEEPERS, music by Pinar Toprak
• LO, music by Scott Glasgow
• NANNY MCPHEE RETURNS, music by James Newton Howard
• POTICHE, music by Philippe Rombi
• VAMPIRES SUCK, music by Christopher Lennertz

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ACTION/ADVENTURE/THRILLER FILM

• BURIED, music by Víctor Reyes
• THE GHOST WRITER, music by Alexandre Desplat
• INCEPTION, music by Hans Zimmer
• ROBIN HOOD, music by Marc Streitenfeld
• SALT, music by James Newton Howard

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A FANTASY/SCIENCE FICTION/HORROR FILM

• ALICE IN WONDERLAND, music by Danny Elfman
• DAYBREAKERS, music by Christopher Gordon
• HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART I, music by Alexandre Desplat
• THE LAST AIRBENDER, music by James Newton Howard
• TRON: LEGACY, music by Daft Punk

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ANIMATED FEATURE

• HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, music by John Powell
• L’ILLUSIONNISTE [THE ILLUSIONIST], music by Sylvain Chomet
• LEGEND OF THE GUARDIANS: THE OWLS OF GA’HOOLE, music by David Hirschfelder
• TANGLED, music by Alan Menken
• TOY STORY 3, music by Randy Newman

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

• THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN, music by Miguel d’Oliveira
• BÉBÉS [BABIES], music by Bruno Coulais
• OCÉANS, music by Bruno Coulais
• WAITING FOR ‘SUPERMAN,’ music by Christophe Beck
• THE WILDEST DREAM: CONQUEST OF EVEREST, music by Joel Douek

FILM MUSIC COMPOSITION OF THE YEAR

• ALICE IN WONDERLAND – “Alice’s Theme” (Danny Elfman)
• THE GHOST WRITER – “The Truth About Ruth” (Alexandre Desplat)
• HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON – “Forbidden Friendship” (John Powell)
• HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON – “Test Drive” (John Powell)
• THE LAST AIRBENDER – “Flow Like Water” (James Newton Howard)

Other 2010 Categories

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A TELEVISION SERIES

• CZAS HONORU [TIME OF HONOR], music by Bartosz Chajdecki
• DOCTOR WHO, music by Murray Gold
• HUMAN TARGET, music by Bear McCreary
• LOST, music by Michael Giacchino
• ULL PER ULL [AN EYE FOR AN EYE], music by Marc Vaíllo

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A VIDEO GAME OR INTERACTIVE MEDIA

• CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOW, music by Óscar Araujo
• DARK VOID, music by Bear McCreary
• JAMES BOND 007: BLOOD STONE, music by Richard Jacques
• LEGEND OF THE GUARDIANS: THE OWLS OF GA’HOOLE, music by Winifred Phillips
• LEGO UNIVERSE, music by Brian Tyler

BEST ARCHIVAL RELEASE OF AN EXISTING SCORE

• THE ALAMO, music by Dimitri Tiomkin (Tadlow/Prometheus) – Conductor: Nic Raine; Album Producers: James Fitzpatrick, Luc Van de Ven; Liner Notes: Frank K. DeWald; Album Art Direction: GINKO DIGI

• BATMAN RETURNS, music by Danny Elfman (La-La Land) – Album Producers: Neil S. Bulk, Dan Goldwasser, MV Gerhard, Matt Verboys; Liner Notes: John Takis; Album Art Direction: David C. Fein

• BLACK SUNDAY, music by John Williams (Film Score Monthly) – Album Producers: Lukas Kendall, Mike Matessino; Liner Notes: Scott Bettencourt, Mike Matessino, Jeff Eldridge, Al Kaplan; Album Art Direction: Joe Sikoryak

• CONAN THE BARBARIAN, music by Basil Poledouris (Tadlow/Prometheus) – Conductor: Nic Raine; Album Producer: James Fitzpatrick; Liner Notes: Frank K. DeWald; Album Art Direction: GINKO DIGI

• FAMILY PLOT, music by John Williams (Varèse Sarabande) – Album Producers: Robert Townson, Mike Matessino; Liner Notes: Mike Matessino

• THE GOONIES, music by Dave Grusin (Varèse Sarabande) – Album Producers: Robert Townson, Mike Matessino; Liner Notes: Mike Matessino; Album Art Direction: John Alvin, Drew Struzan

• INDEPENDENCE DAY, music by David Arnold ( La-La Land ) – Album Producers: Nick Redman, Mike Matessino, Didier C. Deutsch, MV Gerhard, Matt Verboys; Liner Notes: Dan Goldwasser; Album Art Direction: Mark Banning

• LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, music by Maurice Jarre (Tadlow) – Conductor: Nic Raine; Album Producer: James Fitzpatrick; Liner Notes: Frank K. DeWald

• MIKLÓS RÓZSA TREASURY, music by Miklós Rózsa (Film Score Monthly) – Album Producer: Lukas Kendall; Liner Notes: Lukas Kendall, Al Kaplan, Frank K. DeWald, John Fitzpatrick; Album Art Direction: Joe Sikoryak

• SPARTACUS, music by Alex North (Varèse Sarabande) – Album Producer: Robert Townson; Liner Notes: Robert Townson; Album Art Direction: Robert Townson, Matthew Joseph Peak, Bill Pitzonka

FILM MUSIC RECORD LABEL OF THE YEAR

• Film Score Monthly
• Intrada
• La-La Land
• MovieScore Media
• Varèse Sarabande

The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) is an association of online, print and radio journalists who specialize in writing about original film and television music.

The IFMCA was originally formed in the late 1990s as the now-defunct “Film Music Critics Jury” by editor and journalist Mikael Carlsson, a former contributor to filmmusicradio.com and filmmusicmag.com, and currently the owner of the Swedish independent film music label MovieScore Media.

Since its inception, the IFMCA has grown to comprise over 50 members from countries as diverse as Australia, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Previous IFMCA Score of the Year Awards have been awarded to Michael Giacchino’s UP in 2009, Alexandre Desplat’s THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON in 2008, Dario Marianelli’s ATONEMENT in 2007, James Newton Howard’s LADY IN THE WATER in 2006, John Williams’ MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA in 2005 and Michael Giacchino’s THE INCREDIBLES in 2004.