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:: Spotlight :: 2009 Screen Music Awards

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) and the AGSC (Australian Guild of Screen Composers) are delighted to announce details of the presenters and performers who will take to the stage at the forthcoming 2009 Screen Music Awards. The black tie event, which honours the often-unsung heroes of screen composition, will be held at Sydney’s illustrious City Recital Hall on Monday November 2, 2009.

Legendary Australian film director Bruce Beresford (Breaker Morant, Tender Mercies, Driving Miss Daisy, Black Robe and many more) will appear at the event, hot on the heels of the success of his current box office success, and critics’ favourite, Mao’s Last Dancer.

High profile film producer/writer/director Chris Noonan will also join the line-up. Best-known as the director and co-writer of the international hit movie, Babe, Chris has also co-produced the popular Davida Allen telemovie Feeling Sexy (1999), directed Miss Potter (starring Renee Zellweger) and has most recently been working on a slate of projects including The Third Witch and Zebras, a powerful drama set in the dying days of apartheid South Africa.

The sassy star of the abovementioned Feeling Sexy, Susie Porter will also be in attendance. With an impressive list of film and television credits to her name, the incredibly versatile Porter has recently graced Australian TV screens in East of Everything and is currently starring in the SBS drama mini-series East West 101.

Also presenting awards on the night will be producer Steve Knapman and actor, writer, director and broadcaster Jonathan Biggins. As co-director of Knapman Wyld Television, Steve, along with partner Kris Wyld, produces popular, high quality and innovative television drama and is currently behind the success of East West 101. As for Mr Biggins, his long list of credits include performing in Three Men and a Baby Grand for ABC TV and hosting Critical Mass, the ABC’s weekly arts programme. This year he performed in the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Tom Stoppard’s play Travesties.

The Hon Peter Garrett, AM, MP, Labor Member for Kingsford Smith and Minister for Environment, Heritage and the Arts will lend his support to present at the Screen Music Awards. And SBS RockWiz host, Julia Zemiro, will also lend a hand.

Lisa Gerrard, arguably one of Australia’s most highly regarded composers, internationally, will bring her unforgettable and mesmerising voice to the ceremony. The enigmatic Gerrard will perform an excerpt from her score for Balibo (nominated in the category of Best Feature Film Score) backed by Paul Grabowsky and ensemble.

And last but not least, APRA and the AGSC are proud to announce that Screen Music Awards nominee Ego Lemos will deliver a very special performance of “Balibo” - his nominated composition in the category of Best Original Song Composed for the Screen. Ego Lemos is a remarkable man, with a remarkable voice. Regarded as a significant East Timorese community member, Ego has lived through some of his country’s most tumultuous periods. He has interpreted and modernised some of the most beautiful and heart-wrenching traditional melodies from his nation’s history, and produced a wealth of original songs in the nation’s lingua-franca, Tetum. He sings about issues such as the centrality of water to life, praises the nation’s peasant farmers in their unceasing toil and urges his people to remain positive and strive for unity. It was after reading the book Cover-Up: the Story of the Balibo Five, by Jill Jolliffe one evening, and going to sleep with the young men firmly on his mind, Ego awoke at 3am and by 7am had penned the haunting track, simply called “Balibo”. “I was reading Jill’s book on the Balibo Five before I went to sleep and literally tapped into their psyche at the time, I could inexplicably feel exactly what these young men felt as their lives were about to be taken away”, says Lemos.

Composer Paul Grabowsky will be conducting a live orchestra performing a selection of this year’s nominated compositions, and will also direct musical proceedings for the awards ceremony. Chris Taylor and Andrew Hansen from The Chaser’s War On Everything will host the event.

2009 SCREEN MUSIC AWARDS CATEGORIES

International Achievement Award
Most Performed Screen Composer – Australia*
Most Performed Screen Composer – Overseas*
Best Music for a Documentary
Best Music for a Short Film
Best Original Song Composed for the Screen
Best Music for a Mini-Series or Telemovie
Best Music for a Television Series or Serial
Best Television Theme
Best Music for Children’s Television
Best Feature Film Score
Best Music for an Advertisement
Best Soundtrack Album

*Determined by statistical analysis

*******************************************************************

**Winners announced**

At a glamorous black tie event presented by APRA and the AGSC, the music compositions for the critically acclaimed Australian feature film Balibo have come up trumps at the 2009 SCREEN MUSIC AWARDS. A number of first time winners have also received maiden nods at the SCREEN MUSIC AWARDS reflecting the healthy state of screen composition in Australia.

It was a wonderful night of celebration at the City Recital Hall, especially for the key composers of writer/director Robert Connolly’s film Balibo. In an emotional win, East Timorese-born composer Ego Lemos received the award for Best Original Song Composed for the Screen for the title-track “Balibo”. And world-renowned composer Lisa Gerrard has received the coveted Best Feature Film Score award for her musical contribution to Balibo.

Multiple Screen Music Award winner Cezary Skubiszewski has won the award in the category Best Soundtrack Album, for his work on the Gillian Armstrong feature film Death Defying Acts.

Amanda Brown, composer and former member of the much-loved Australian band The Go-Betweens, has taken out the award in the category of Best Music for a Documentary for the ABC Television feature Sidney Nolan: Mask and Memory. This is Amanda’s first Screen Music Award.

The winner in the category of Best Music for a Television Series or Serial is another first-time Screen Music Award recipient. Alastair Ford has received the award for his compositions for McLeod's Daughters - Episode 224 - The Long Paddock.

First time winners Cameron Giles-Webb and Colin Simkins have taken out the Screen Music Award in the category of Best Television Theme Showtime Australia’s Satisfaction, a series that delves into the secret world of sex workers.

The award for Best Music for a Short Film has gone to first-time winner, composer Brett Aplin for Lucy Wants to Kill Herself, a short film that has been described as “a flabbergastingly amazing animated surreal black comedy about a melodramatic suicidal writer and her pet cat Mishima”.

Acclaimed screen composer Roger Mason has received the Screen Music Award for Best Music for a Mini-Series or Telemovie for The Last Confession of Alexander Pearce, the ABC telemovie that follows the final days of Irish convict Alexander Pearce as he awaits execution.

Multiple Screen Music Award winner Bruce Heald has again proven himself to be a virtuoso in the field of composing for advertisements taking out the category of Best Music For an Advertisement for the composition “Whale Song” for Optus. This is his third Screen Music Award in this category.

Composer/writer/director Sean Peter has won the Screen Music Award (his first) in the category of Best Music for Children’s Television for The Adventures of Charlotte and Henry, a children’s movie based on the books by Australian author Bob Graham, which tells the story of two very different ten year olds and the trials and tribulations of their friendship.

Composer Jay Stewart was named the Most Performed Composer – Australia for the fourth year in a row. And for the second year in a row Neil Sutherland was given the award for Most Performed Composer - Overseas.

The prestigious International Achievement Award was presented to Sydney composer Guy Gross for his stellar achievements in screen composition abroad.

Special guest presenters on the evening were Bruce Beresford, Robert Connolly, Jonathan Biggins, Steve Knapman, Julia Zemiro, Peter Garrett, and Susie Porter. The awards were hosted by The Chaser’s Chris Taylor and Andrew Hansen and featured nominated compositions performed by a live ensemble conducted by Paul Grabowsky.

Screen Music Award nominee Ego Lemos performed the winning composition “Balibo” from the Australian feature film of the same title. And a live ensemble accompanied the ethereal Lisa Gerrard in a performance of an extract titled “The Invasion” from her musical score for Balibo.


2009 Screen Music Award Winners

International Achievement Award
Guy Gross

Best Music for an Advertisement
Title - Optus “Whale Song”
Composer - Bruce Heald
Publisher - Noise International Pty Ltd

Best Music for a Documentary
Title - Sidney Nolan: Mask and Memory
Composer - Amanda Brown
Publisher - Sandcastle Music Pty Ltd

Best Music for a Short Film
Title - Lucy Wants to Kill Herself
Composer - Brett Aplin

Best Soundtrack Album
Title - Death Defying Acts
Composer - Cezary Skubiszewski
Publisher - Albert Music

Best Original Song Composed for the Screen
Title - Balibo
Composer - Ego Lemos
Publishers - SFM Publishing administered by Sony/ATV Music Publishing Australia P/L

Best Music for Children’s Television
Title - The Adventures of Charlotte and Henry
Composer - Sean Peter

Best Television Theme
Title - Satisfaction
Composers - Cameron Giles-Webb / Colin Simkins
Publisher - Gusto Music Pty Ltd

Best Music for a Television Series or Serial
Title - McLeod's Daughters
Composer - Alastair Ford
Publisher - Nine Films & Television Pty Ltd

Best Music for a Mini-Series or Telemovie
Title - The Last Confession of Alexander Pearce
Composer - Roger Mason
Publisher - Sandcastle Music Pty Ltd

Best Feature Film Score
Title - Balibo
Composer - Lisa Gerrard
Publisher - Sony/ATV Music Publishing Australia P/L

Most Performed Screen Composer – Australia*
Composer - Jay Stewart

*Determined by statistical analysis

Most Performed Screen Composer – Overseas*
Composer - Neil Sutherland

*Determined by statistical analysis

For more information, visit

www.agsc.org.au