French composer Alexandre Desplat was a double winner at the World Soundtrack Awards, which took place last night at the 37th Ghent International Film Festival.
Desplat was named Film Composer of the Year for his work on Fantastic Mr Fox, Julia & Julia and The Ghost Writer as well as picking up the award for Best Original Film Score of the Year for the second year running for Fantastic Mr Fox. Last year Desplat’s winning score was The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button.
Accepting his awards at the glitzy ceremony in Ghent, Belgium last night, Desplat, who beat off competition from Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer and Carter Burwell, thanked Fantastic Mr Fox director Wes Anderson for “letting me play with his puppets”, adding that he was “very lucky to be the chosen one this year.”
Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett’s The Weary Kind, which featured in Crazy Heart with Jeff Bridges, was named the Best Original Song Written For Film. The film’s producer Judy Cairo picked up the award on their behalf.
Meanwhile Polish composer Abel Korzeniwoski scooped the Discovery of The Year Award for writing the music for Tom Ford’s A Single Man.
Korzeniwoski, who was also presented with the Public Choice Award told the packed auditorium: “Everyone said you can’t just become a film composer. Today this award tells me to go ahead and keep going and I thank you for this.”
To mark the 10th anniversary of the World Soundtrack Awards, the ceremony also included a concert featuring the film music of 10 world renowned composers including Stephen Warbeck who wrote the Oscar-winning score for Shakespeare In Love and three times Oscar-winning composer Howard Shore who wrote the music for The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy.
Shore confirmed to Screen before the awards that he would be teaming up with Peter Jackson again to write the music for the long-awaited film of TheHobbit.
Meanwhile Argentine composer Gustavo Santaollala gave a special performance on the guitar of his Oscar winning Brokeback Mountain score and last year’s Discovery Award recipient Nico Muhly performed his breakthrough score for The Reader on the piano accompanied by the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Awards were the closing event of the 37th Ghent Film Festival, which ran from Oct 12-23 and featured over 100 films including Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere and German Oscar contender Die Fremde, which won the festival’s best film prize.
Festival director Jacques Dubrulle told Screen that attendance levels for the festival were at a record high, with 135,000 tickets being sold this year, a 6% increase on the 2009 edition.
The festival attracted over 2m Euros in sponsorship, with highlights this year including a Jacques Tati exhibition and a concert celebrating the film music of John Barry.
Bourne director Paul Greengrass was also in town to pick up a career achievement award and to take part in a Q&A about his work.
Looking ahead to next year’s edition Dubrelle said that the festival would “continue to go in the same direction.”
“We keep going up each year. We have had a very good reaction to the programme and the last few days have been very important because of our emphasis on film music. Ghent is not a big city, so you can’t compare us with the big festivals like Cannes. But we have a special theme and that’s what makes us different from other festivals. And the composers must like it as they are all here!”