World soundtrack awards
World Soundtrack Awards
World Soundtrack Awards
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The World Soundtrack Awards are the most important film music prizes in the world. The award ceremony takes place during the annual WSA Gala & Concert at Film Fest Gent. The 20th edition of the World Soundtrack Awards was an online edition. On the occasion of the 20th anniversary, Film Fest Ghent produced a documentary on the history of the WSA. The 21st edition of the World Soundtrack Awards will be held on 23 October 2021. The annual theme concert is planned for 21 October 2021.

World Soundtrack Awards

Film Fest Ghent is an important player in the international film world. The festival has gained this position in part because of its focus on film music. The individuals behind the film soundtrack often stay in the shadows. To put a spotlight on music in films and the film composer's role, the World Soundtrack Awards and the World Soundtrack Academy were founded in 2001. The Academy organises and oversees the educational, cultural and professional aspects of the art of film music, including the preservation of the history of the soundtrack and its worldwide promotion - the latter through the presentation of awards as well as through the development of several other promotional initiatives. 

The Academy actively contributes to film music education through organising seminars, workshops and master classes, as well as through developing an archive and publications.

The Awards are organised with the purpose of recognising the achievements of film composers. The awards ceremony and concert are the absolute highlight of the music programme during the festival. Special guests are acknowledged for their lifelong contributions to the film music industry and youngsters can win prizes that bring their career to the next level. 

An overview of the World Soundtrack Awards

  • SABAM Award for Best Original Composition by a Young Composer
  • Best Original Score for a Belgian Production
  • Discovery of the Year
  • Television Composer of the Year
  • Film Composer of the Year
  • Public Choice Award
  • Best Original Song
  • Lifetime Achievement Award

The winners of the World Soundtrack Awards are announced during a festive evening that also includes live film music in concert, performed by the Brussels Philharmonic and conducted by Dirk Brossé. The live performances are accompanied by film fragments on three big screens. As the cherry on the cake, the guests of honour often play parts of their composition together with the orchestra or conduct one of their pieces themselves. 


The online ceremony and concert WSA 2020, with music by Alexandre DesplatGabriel Yared and Michael Abels, could be followed worldwide. Rewatch the 20th anniversary edition here.

WSA Concerts Overview

  • Gabriel Yared and Elmer Bernstein Live in Ghent (2001)
  • Fenton-Delerue: A Film Music Celebration (2002)
  • Patrick Doyle meets Hooverphonic (2003)
  • Elmer Bernstein, David Raksin, Michael Kamen, Wim Mertens (2004)
  • Rachel Portman, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Raymond van het Groenewoud and Gustavo Santaolalla (2005)
  • John Powell, Michael Giacchino, Peer Raben, Piet Goddaer (Ozark Henry) (2006)
  • Mychael Danna, Evanthia Reboutsika, Harry Gregson-Williams (2007)
  • Angelo Badalamenti, Dario Marianelli, Daniel Tarrab, Andrés Goldstein (2008)
  • Brussels Philharmonic conducted by Alexandre Desplat, Marvin Hamlisch & Dirk Brossé (2009)
  • Howard Shore, Elliot Goldenthal, Gabriel Yared, Gustavo Santaolalla, Stephen Warbeck, Angelo Badalamenti, Craig Armstrong, Alberto Iglesias, Bruno Coulais, Frédéric Devreese, Nico Muhly (2010)
  • Elliot Goldenthal, Howard Shore, Hans Zimmer (2011)
  • James Newton Howard (2012)
  • Alexandre Desplat (2013)
  • Cliff Martinez (2014)
  • Alan Silvestri (2015)
  • Ryuichi Sakamoto, Jeff Beal, Jeff Russo, Sean Callery, Daniel Pemberton (2016)
  • David Shire, Terence Blanchard & Joe Kraemer (2017)
  • Carter Burwell, Philippe Sarde, Nicholas Britell (2018)
  • Marco Beltrami, Tamar-kali, Frédéric Devreese, Krzysztof Penderecki (2019)
  • Alexandre Desplat, Gabriel Yared, Michael Abels (2020)

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