Jonny Greenwood, Nicholas Britell and Billie Eilish among the winners at 22nd World Soundtrack Awards
As tradition dictates, the 49th edition of Film Fest Gent ended with the World Soundtrack Awards, one of the most important international film music prizes. After being nominated for multiple awards for his most recent scores - including an Oscar, a BAFTA and a Golden Globe - composer Jonny Greenwood finally gets to take an award home. The World Soundtrack Academy crowned him Film Composer of the Year for his scores for Power of the Dog and Spencer. It is the first time Jonny Greenwood has won a World Soundtrack Award, but he was previously nominated in 2008 for There Will Be Blood, in 2013 for The Master and in 2018 as Film Composer of the Year for Phantom Thread. His song “Magic Works” from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was nominated in 2006.
Nicholas Britell and his wonderful theme for Succession have become nearly invincible. Britell was named Television Composer of the Year 2022, thus receiving his fifth World Soundtrack Award. In 2020, he also won Television Composer of the Year for his music for Succession. In between the accolades for his work for television, he won Best Original Song for "Call Me Cruella" from Disney's Cruella. He has also won Film Composer of the Year 2019 and Discovery of the Year 2017 at the World Soundtrack Awards.
There were six songs in the running this year in the Best Original Song category, one of which - “Strange Game” from the series Slow Horses, written by Daniel Pemberton and Mick Jagger - is the first ever track from a TV series to be nominated for Best Original Song. However, the Academy chose “No Time to Die” from the James Bond film No Time to Die as the Best Original Song. Songwriters Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell could not be present but thanked the World Soundtrack Academy in a video message.
Eiko Ishibashi convinced the Academy with her mesmerising, jazzy music for the Oscar-winning Murakami adaptation Drive My Car and can now call herself Discovery of the Year 2022. Her music will be performed at next year’s World Soundtrack Awards. Drive My Car was one of Ishibashi’s first experiences scoring for film and she has already knocked it out of the park.
The Public Choice Award went to the score of The King’s Daughter composed by Joseph Metcalfe, John Coda and Grant Kirkhope. The score was well received by the audience and garnered the largest number of votes from film fans. Composer Giacomo Rita received the Sabam Award for Best Original Composition by a Young Composer. He convinced the jury with the score he wrote for a scene from Nosferatu, the film from 1922 by F.W. Murnau. The Parisian indie pop band The Penelopes composed the Best Original Score for a Belgian Production with their music for Olivier Pairoux’s charming family film SpaceBoy.
During the World Soundtrack Awards Ceremony & Concert the oeuvre of the French composer Bruno Coulais took centre stage. Coulais' film music ranges from scores for French blockbusters like Les rivières pourpres, through epic documentaries like Le peuple migrateur to folkloric animated films like Wolfwalkers. Brussels Philharmonic, conducted by Maestro Dirk Brossé, performed a selection of his music for films such as Océans, Microcosmos and Coraline. His distinctively lyrical and imaginative scores often give away his taste for opera and human voice. At the World Soundtrack Awards, all-male choir A Filetta and (mezzo)soprano Mélissa Zerbib accompanied Brussels Philharmonic to bring Coulais’ music to life. During the ceremony, Bruno Coulais received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
This year's WSA Industry Award goes to the Alliance for Women Film Composers. The AWFC is a community of composers that strives to support and celebrate the work of women composers. Catherine Joy, President of the Alliance for Women Film Composers, received the award personally on Friday 21 October. The WSA Industry Award is presented to an individual or organisation that makes a notable and significant contribution to the film music industry.
During the awards show, Brussels Philharmonic performed music by our three special guests. From Lifetime Achievement Award winner Bruno Coulais the orchestra performed a selection from his scores for films such as Océans, Microcosmos and Coraline. The audience enjoyed some wonderful pieces from the repertoire of composer and jazz artist Mark Isham, who also took the stage himself and played the trumpet for music from The Black Dahlia, The Moderns and Judas and the Black Messiah. Brussels Philharmonic also performed the music of last year’s Discovery of the Year winner, which was this year’s Public Choice Award nominee Nainita Desai. The audience listened to some pieces of music including from the award-winning documentary For Sama.