INTERNATIONAL FILM MUSIC CRITICS ASSOCIATION AWARD NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED

  • DANIEL PEMBERTON AND HANS ZIMMER RECEIVE FIVE NOMINATIONS EACH
  • COMEDY CATEGORY DOMINATED BY WOMEN COMPOSERS
  • FIRST EVER JAPANESE FILM NOMINATED FOR SCORE OF THE YEAR

FEBRUARY 4, 2021. The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) announces its list of nominees for excellence in musical scoring in 2020, for the 17th annual IFMCA Awards. British composer Daniel Pemberton and German composer Hans Zimmer lead the field with the most number of nominations, each receiving a total of five.

Pemberton’s nominations were for his work on three films: the literary adventure “Enola Holmes,” based on the popular young adult novels by Nancy Springer about the younger sister of the legendary sleuth Sherlock; the political drama “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” which looks at the real-life trial of a group of anti–Vietnam War protesters charged with inciting riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention; and “Rising Phoenix,” an acclaimed documentary following the stories of nine Paralympic athletes. “Enola Holmes” is nominated for Score of the Year, and Pemberton is nominated for Composer of the Year. IFMCA member James Southall called Enola Holmes “a great orchestral adventure romp, whose quirks only add to its great sense of fun … conventional by recent Pemberton standards but still features a number of quirks and it feels so continually fresh and energetic … one of the year’s strongest scores”.

Zimmer’s five nominations were all for his work on one film, “Wonder Woman 1984,” the blockbuster sequel to the 2017 DC superhero film directed by Patty Jenkins, and starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine. The score is nominated for Score of the Year and in its Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Horror genre, Zimmer is nominated for Composer of the Year, and two of Zimmer’s individual cues – “1984” and “Themyscira” – are nominated for Film Music Composition of the Year. IFMCA member Jon Broxton praised the score’s “upbeat attitude, its buoyant sense of fun and optimism, and the unashamed, un-ironic sincerity of its emotional content,” and said that “the depth and complexity of Zimmer’s thematic ideas makes the score satisfying from an intellectual point of view, meaning that the whole thing succeeds on every count.”

Also nominated for both Score of the Year and Composer of the Year is British composer Christopher Willis, the winner of the IFMCA’s Comedy Score award in 2017. Willis’s score for the Dickensian literary comedy “The Personal History of David Copperfield” was described by IFMCA member Florent Groult as a “luminous neo-romantic mini symphony,” while his colleague Olivier Desbrosses called it an “inspired score that in no way seeks to hide its many nods to the great masters of classical music,” and features “sensational orchestrations and constant elegance.”

The other nominees for Score of the Year are “The Call of the Wild” by British composer John Powell and “Fukushima 50” by Japanese composer Tarō Iwashiro. “The Call of the Wild” is a new adaptation of the classic Jack London adventure novel of the same name, starring Harrison Ford. IFMCA member Christian Clemmensen said that Powell’s score “transcends the stereotypes of Western film music, merging that genre with modern fantasy and adventure sensibilities to form one of the most uniquely satisfying soundtrack experiences of its era.”

Meanwhile, “Fukushima 50” tells the harrowing true story of what happened to the workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and how they risked their lives to stay at the plant and prevent its destruction in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan in 2011. The score by Tarō Iwashiro was described by IFMCA member Joep de Bruijn as being “full of strong orchestral and solo performances, a memorable theme, and a great dramatic scope”. Iwashiro’s nomination in this category represents the first time in IFMCA history that a score from a Japanese film has been included in the five choices for Score of the Year.

The other nominees for Composer of the Year are Federico Jusid and Bear McCreary. Argentine composer Jusid is nominated for his work on several scores across multiple genres, including the Spanish super-hero themed serial killer thriller “Orígenes Secretos” (also nominated in its genre), the romantic drama “El Verano Que Vivimos,” the thriller “No Matarás,” and TV series including “The Head”. American composer McCreary’s work in 2020 includes the animated film “Animal Crackers” (also nominated in its genre), the horror-thrillers “Fantasy Island” and “Freaky,” the espionage action movie “Ava,” and several prestigious continuing television dramas such as “Outlander,” “The Walking Dead,” “Snowpiercer,” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

Each year the IFMCA goes out of its way to recognize emerging talent in the film music world, and this year is no exception. The nominees in the Breakthrough Composer of the Year category are a diverse group, and the IFMCA is especially excited to reveal that again two of the five nominees are women. Israeli composer Nami Melumad co-wrote two outstanding scores alongside veteran Michael Giacchino, notably the comedy “An American Pickle” and the video game “Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond,” showcasing her excellence and diversity across multiple genres. Meanwhile, British composer Isobel Waller-Bridge wrote a quintessentially English period score for the latest version of Jane Austen’s “Emma,” combining whimsical orchestral music with bel canto opera and folk tunes. Waller-Bridge, who is also known for her score for the hit TV comedy “Fleabag” created by and starring her sister Phoebe, is nominated for this award alongside her Emma co-composer David Schweitzer.

The final three composers nominated for Breakthrough Composer begin with British composer Alex Baranowski, who wrote outstanding scores for films such as “The Windermere Children” and “A Christmas Carol” after working extensively and successfully in the theater. British filmmaker Thomas Clay wrote and directed an independent ‘Puritan western’ entitled “Fanny Lye Deliver’d,” and then decided to score the film himself after he was unable to secure a composer; the resulting score is a blend of 16th century period instruments and contemporary dramatic scoring that belies its low-budget status, and is all the more impressive considering the circumstances in which it was composed. Finally, American composer Philip Klein wrote a superb score for the war drama “The Last Full Measure,” the first credited work of his career after he spent several years writing additional music and orchestrating for many of Hollywood’s premier composers. Clay’s score for “Fanny Lye Deliver’d” is also nominated individually in the Drama category.

As it has in previous years, the IFMCA takes pride in honoring composers from across the film music world; in addition to the ones already mentioned, this year’s international nominees include French composer Bruno Coulais for the Irish animated film “Wolfwalkers,” and Cypriot composer George Kallis for the Turkish documentary film “Sadan Hanım”.

The IFMCA is also especially pleased to note that the majority of the nominees in the Comedy category were written by women – “An American Pickle” jointly by Nami Melumad with Michael Giacchino, “Emma” jointly by Isobel Waller-Bridge with David Schweitzer, “Godmothered” by Rachel Portman, and “Wild Mountain Thyme” by Amelia Warner. This is the first time in IFMCA history that a single score category has had a female-composer majority, and is testament to the work of organizations such as the Alliance for Women Film Composers (AFWC) and their efforts to redress the gender gap in film music.

Several composers are receiving their first ever IFMCA Award nominations this year in addition to the aforementioned newcomers; these are Terence Blanchard (“Da 5 Bloods,” Drama), Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, and Jon Batiste (“Soul,” Animation), Laura Karpman and Raphael Saadiq (“Lovecraft Country,” Television), and Shigeru Umebayashi (“Ghost of Tsushima,” Game).

The International Film Music Critics Association will announce the winners of the 17th IFMCA Awards on February 18, 2021.


The nominees are:

FILM SCORE OF THE YEAR

  • THE CALL OF THE WILD, music by John Powell
  • ENOLA HOLMES, music by Daniel Pemberton
  • FUKUSHIMA 50, music by Tarō Iwashiro
  • THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD, music by Christopher Willis
  • WONDER WOMAN 1984, music by Hans Zimmer

FILM COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

  • FEDERICO JUSID
  • BEAR MCCREARY
  • DANIEL PEMBERTON
  • CHRISTOPHER WILLIS
  • HANS ZIMMER

BREAKTHROUGH COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

  • ALEX BARANOWSKI
  • THOMAS CLAY
  • PHILIP KLEIN
  • NAMI MELUMAD
  • ISOBEL WALLER-BRIDGE AND DAVID SCHWEITZER

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DRAMA FILM

  • DA 5 BLOODS, music by Terence Blanchard
  • FANNY LYE DELIVER’D, music by Thomas Clay
  • FUKUSHIMA 50, music by Tarō Iwashiro
  • NEWS OF THE WORLD, music by James Newton Howard
  • THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7, music by Daniel Pemberton

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A COMEDY FILM

  • AN AMERICAN PICKLE, music by Michael Giacchino and Nami Melumad
  • EMMA, music by Isobel Waller-Bridge and David Schweitzer
  • GODMOTHERED, music by Rachel Portman
  • THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD, music by Christopher Willis
  • WILD MOUNTAIN THYME, music by Amelia Warner

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ACTION/ADVENTURE/THRILLER FILM

  • THE CALL OF THE WILD, music by John Powell
  • ENOLA HOLMES, music by Daniel Pemberton
  • MULAN, music by Harry Gregson-Williams
  • ORÍGENES SECRETOS [UNKNOWN ORIGINS], music by Federico Jusid
  • TENET, music by Ludwig Göransson

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

  • THE INVISIBLE MAN, music by Benjamin Wallfisch
  • THE MIDNIGHT SKY, music by Alexandre Desplat
  • WENDY, music by Dan Romer and Benh Zeitlin
  • THE WITCHES, music by Alan Silvestri
  • WONDER WOMAN 1984, music by Hans Zimmer

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ANIMATED FEATURE

  • ANIMAL CRACKERS, music by Bear McCreary
  • FEARLESS, music by Anne-Kathrin Dern
  • ONWARD, music by Mychael Danna and Jeff Danna
  • SOUL, music by Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, and Jon Batiste
  • WOLFWALKERS, music by Bruno Coulais

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DOCUMENTARY

  • DAVID ATTENBOROUGH: A LIFE ON OUR PLANET, music by Steven Price
  • ELEPHANT, music by Ramin Djawadi
  • HARBOR FROM THE HOLOCAUST, music by Chad Cannon
  • RISING PHOENIX, music by Daniel Pemberton
  • SADAN HANIM, music by George Kallis

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR TELEVISION

  • DRACULA, music by David Arnold and Michael Price
  • HIS DARK MATERIALS, music by Lorne Balfe
  • LOVECRAFT COUNTRY, music by Laura Karpman and Raphael Saadiq
  • THE MANDALORIAN, music by Ludwig Göransson
  • THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT, music by Carlos Rafael Rivera

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A VIDEO GAME OR INTERACTIVE MEDIA

  • GHOST OF TSUSHIMA, music by Ilan Eshkeri and Shigeru Umebayashi
  • MEDAL OF HONOR: ABOVE AND BEYOND, music by Michael Giacchino and Nami Melumad
  • ORI AND THE WILL OF THE WISPS, music by Gareth Coker
  • THE PATHLESS, music by Austin Wintory
  • STAR WARS: SQUADRONS, music by Gordy Haab

BEST NEW ARCHIVAL RELEASE – RE-RELEASE OR RE-RECORDING

  • ENDLESS NIGHT, music by Bernard Herrmann; the Basque National Orchestra, conducted by Fernando Velázquez; album produced by Edouard Dubois and José M. Benitez; liner notes by Frank K. DeWald; album art direction by Nacho B. Govantes (Quartet)
  • THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY, music by Ennio Morricone; album produced by Chris Malone and José M. Benitez; liner notes by Chris Malone and Tim Greiving; album art direction by Nacho B. Govantes (Quartet)
  • HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, music by John Powell; album produced by John Powell, Batu Sener, Bryon Davis, and Cary E. Mansfield; liner notes by Tim Greiving; album art direction by Bill Pitzonka (Varèse Sarabande/5 Cat Studios)
  • KING OF KINGS, music by Miklós Rózsa; the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Nic Raine; album produced by James Fitzpatick; liner notes by Frank K. DeWald and James Fitzpatrick; album art direction by Nic Finch and Gareth Bevan (Tadlow Music)
  • ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES, music by Michael Kamen; album produced by Douglass Fake and Roger Feigelson; liner notes by Frank K. DeWald; album art direction by Kay Marshall (Intrada)

BEST NEW ARCHIVAL RELEASE – COMPILATION

  • FRANZ WAXMAN: THE DOCUMENTARIES, music by Franz Waxman; album produced by Ford A. Thaxton and James Nelson; liner notes by Jon Burlingame; album art direction by Mark Banning (Dragon’s Domain)
  • JOHN WILLIAMS IN VIENNA, music by John Williams; the Wiener Philharmoniker and Anne-Sophie Mutter, conducted by John Williams; album produced by Bernhard Güttler; liner notes by Otta Biba; album art direction by Büro Dirk Rudolph (Deutsche Grammophon)
  • MORRICONE SEGRETO, music by Ennio Morricone; album produced by Pierpaolo De Sanctis; album art direction by Leonardo Pellegrino (Decca)
  • VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, music by Alexander Courage, Robert Drasnin, Jerry Goldsmith, Lennie Hayton, Joseph Mullendore, Nelson Riddle, Paul Sawtell, Herman Stein, and Leith Stevens; album produced by Jeff Bond and Neil S. Bulk; liner notes by Jeff Bond; album art direction by Mark Banning (La-La Land)
  • WORLD SOUNDTRACK AWARDS – TRIBUTE TO THE FILM COMPOSER, music by Various Composers; the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra and Vlaams Radiokoor, conducted by Dirk Brossé; album produced by Thomas Van Parys; liner notes by Thomas Van Parys; album art direction by Stuart Ford (Silva Screen/Film Fest Ghent)

FILM MUSIC RECORD LABEL OF THE YEAR

  • INTRADA RECORDS, Douglass Fake and Roger Feigelson
  • LA-LA LAND RECORDS, MV Gerhard and Matt Verboys
  • MOVIESCORE MEDIA, Mikael Carlsson
  • QUARTET RECORDS, José M. Benitez
  • TADLOW MUSIC, James Fitzpatrick

FILM MUSIC COMPOSITION OF THE YEAR

  • “1984” from WONDER WOMAN 1984, music by Hans Zimmer
  • “Buck Takes the Lead” from THE CALL OF THE WILD, music by John Powell
  • “Main Title” from THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT, music by Carlos Rafael Rivera
  • “Symphonic Suite F – 1st Chapter: All Life” from FUKUSHIMA 50, music by Tarō Iwashiro
  • “Themyscira” from WONDER WOMAN 1984, music by Hans Zimmer

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

Since its inception the IFMCA has grown to comprise over 65 members from countries such as Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iran, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Previous IFMCA Score of the Year Awards have been awarded to John Williams’s “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” in 2019, John Powell’s “Solo” in 2018, Jonny Greenwood’s “Phantom Thread” in 2017, Jóhann Jóhannsson’s “Arrival” in 2016, John Williams’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in 2015, Hans Zimmer’s “Interstellar” in 2014, Abel Korzeniowski’s “Romeo & Juliet” in 2013, Mychael Danna’s “Life of Pi” in 2012, John Williams’s “War Horse” in 2011, and John Powell’s “How to Train Your Dragon” in 2010.

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