From Australian movies Jasper Jones and Don’t Tell, to international productions Alien: Covenant and The Get Down, some of the small and large screens’ most compelling stories of the past year have been set to a musical backdrop created by some of Australia’s finest screen composers.
Overnight, these screen composers were honoured as the winners in front of their peers at the 2017 Music Awards at the Recital Centre in Melbourne. The event paid tribute to composers across 12 categories who impressed a panel of judges with their work in the previous year, staged jointly by APRA AMCOS and the AGSC (Australian Guild of Screen Composers).
Screen composer Antony Partos (Animal Kingdom, The Rover, Redfern Now) has taken out the Feature Film Score of the Year award for his original score for the Australian feature film Jasper Jones. Following on from last year’s honour for 99 Homes, Antony is the winner in this category for the second consecutive year.
Next up, and winning her first ever Screen Music Award for Best Original Song Composed for the Screen was none other than the infamous Missy Higgins. She is recognised for her emotional song “Torchlight” from Don’t Tell, a touching story based on true events and the 2001 legal case that changed how Australia handles child abuse claims.
Fox League Super Saturday has been named Best Television Theme. A powerful track composed by Briggs, Justin Shave and Charlton Hill, Briggs said, “I created this track as the theme for the FOX LEAGUE channel – the song reflects the journey of the Indigenous players – who give so much excitement and leadership to the sport and community week in and week out, not just the specific Indigenous round.”
Jed Kurzel’s unsettling and affecting score for Alien: Covenant has taken out the award for Best Soundtrack Album, while the award for Best Music for a Mini-Series or Telemovie has gone to Bryony Marks for Barracuda, the four-part ABC television series based on the provocative novel by acclaimed writer Christos Tsiolkas.
Elliott Wheeler takes home the award for Best Music for a Television Series or Serial for his incredible work on none other than Baz Luhrmann‘s The Get Down. Wheeler previously teamed up with Luhrmann on the director’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.
Screen composer Ash Gibson Greig has received the award for Best Music for a Documentary for Whiteley, a visual journey into the life and legacy of one of Australia’s most celebrated artists, Brett Whiteley.
Composer Me-Lee Hay has won Best Music for a Short Film for Last Tree Standing, a dark fairy tale set against a dystopian backdrop that follows the story of a young girl named Lexie, who befriends a magical half man, half tree creature.
Bottersnikes & Gumbles: The Ugly Pageant has been named the Best Music for Children’s Television, composed by first time screen music winner Michael Szumowski. Co-composers Lindsay Jehan and Nathan Cavaleri have scored the award for Best Music for an Advertisement for Good Mood Water: The Bad Choice.
The award for Most Performed Screen Composer – Australia has gone to co-composers Adam Gock and Dinesh Wicks. Composer Neil Sutherland was named Most Performed Screen Composer for the tenth consecutive year in a row– Overseas, taking his overall tally of Screen Music Awards to an unmatched 12.
The 2017 Screen Music Awards were hosted by comedienne extraordinaire Denise Scott and featured presenters Burkhard Dallwitz, Elisa Argenzio, Rob Collins, Jenni Tosi, Martin Foley MP, Daina Reid and Margaret Pomeranz. APRA AMCOS Chief Executive Brett Cottle presented composer Martin Armiger with the inaugural Distinguished Services to the Australian Screen Award. The evening featured a special performance of Torchlight by Missy Higgins and her brother David Higgins. Performing the winning television theme was rapper Briggs, who was joined by singer Caiti Baker and fellow winner Justin Shave.
Operatic mezzo-soprano Jacqueline Dark and dual Helpmann Award-winning tenor James Egglestone performed and Jessica Wells made her debut as Musical Director, leading an orchestra that provided beautiful renditions of some of the nominated works throughout the ceremony.
2017 Screen Music Awards Winners
Distinguished Services to the Australian Screen Award
Feature Film Score of the Year
Composed By: Antony Partos
Best Music for a Television Series or Serial
The Get Down
Composed By: Elliot Wheeler
Published By: Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Best Music for a Mini-Series or Telemovie
Composed By: Bryony Marks
Published By: Cobalt Music Publishing boo Lillipilli IP
Best Television Theme
Fox League Super Saturday
Composed By: Briggs, Justin Shave and Charlton Hill
Published By: Sony/ ATV Music Publishing
Best Original Song Composed for the Screen
“Torchlight” from Don’t Tell
Composed By: Missy Higgins
Composed By: Ash Gibson Greig
Best Music for a Short Film
Last Tree Standing
Composed By: Me-Lee Hay
Best Soundtrack Album
Composed By: Jed Kurzel
Published By: Sony/ATV/FOX Music
Best Music for Children’s Television
Bottersnikes & Gumbles: The Ugly Pageant
Composed By: Michael Szumowski
Published By: BMG AM and Cheeky Little Media
Best Music for an Advertisement
Good Mood Water: The Bad Choice
Composed By: Lindsay Jehan and Nathan Cavaleri
Published By: Song Zu Publishing
Most Performed Screen Composer – Australia
Composers Adam Gock and Dinesh Wicks
Most Performed Screen Composers – Overseas
Composer Neil Sutherland