INTERNATIONAL FILM MUSIC CRITICS ASSOCIATION AWARD NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED; MULTIPLE NOMINATIONS FOR ALEXANDRE DESPLAT, MICHAEL GIACCHINO, DANIEL PEMBERTON, JOHN WILLIAMS

FEBRUARY 8, 2018. The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) announces its list of nominees for excellence in musical scoring in 2017, for the 14th annual IFMCA Awards. In a wide open field, the most nominated composers are Alexandre Desplat and Daniel Pemberton, who both received four nominations, Michael Giacchino, who received five nominations, and John Williams, who received six nominations for new work, plus an additional three for archival re-releases of some of his classic scores.

56-year old Frenchman Alexandre Desplat is nominated for his work on two scores – director Guillermo Del Toro’s critically acclaimed monster movie romance “The Shape of Water,” and director Luc Besson’s epic space fantasy “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” – and is one of the five nominees for Composer of the Year. IFMCA member James Southall said that “The Shape of Water” was “yet another from the top drawer of Desplat,” and went on to describe him as “one of the most consistently impressive film composers of the last couple of decades,” who has “managed to be so successful without having to water down his highly-distinctive musical voice at all”. Desplat previously received IFMCA Score of the Year honors in 2008 for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”. His other major scores in 2017 include director George Clooney’s satirical racial drama ‘”Suburbicon,” and the French-language comedy-drama “D”Après Une Histoire Vraie,” directed by Roman Polanski.

Daniel Pemberton, the 40-year-old English composer, impressed IFMCA members particularly with his scores for two films: Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World,” about the true-life kidnapping of the grandson of billionaire J. Paul Getty in 1973, and “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” an anarchic re-imagining of the early life of the mythical king growing up in Roman Britain, by director Guy Ritchie. Pemberton, who is also one of the five nominees for Composer of the Year, impressed IFMCA member Alan Rogers specifically, who heralded “King Arthur” as the “overall score of the year” and said that “the score is more rewarding with every listen”. Pemberton’s other significant works in 2017 include the political dramas “Molly’s Game” and “Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House,” and an episode of the sci-fi anthology series “Black Mirror” entitled “USS Callister”.

50-year-old New Jersey-born Michael Giacchino is lauded for two scores: Pixar’s lavish animated Mexican-themed fantasy “Coco,” and the third film in the blockbuster Planet of the Apes trilogy, “War for the Planet of the Apes”. IFMCA member Mihnea Manduteanu said that “Coco” had “effervescence and passion” and was “inspirational, emotional and fun at the same time,” while IFMCA member James Southall said that “War for the Planet of the Apes” was “not just the best film music [Giacchino has] ever written” but that “the manner of the score, the construction of the dramatic narrative, [and] the very deliberate emotional prods … make it stand out as a special achievement”. Giacchino previously received Score of the Year honors in 2004 for “The Incredibles,” and in 2009 for “Up”. He is also one of the five nominees for Composer of the Year this year, having also written the scores for the intimate drama “The Book of Henry,” and the super hero sequel “Spider-Man: Homecoming” in 2017.

Despite now being 86 years of age, John Williams continues to be a force in the world of film music. Both of Williams’s 2017 scores are nominated for Score of the Year: director Steven Spielberg’s “The Post,” a political drama about the Pentagon Papers scandal that rocked Washington in the early 1970s, and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” director Rian Johnson’s blockbuster second installment in the new space fantasy series which has smashed box office records around the world. IFMCA member Christian Clemmensen described “The Post” as “an exercise in Williams minimalism wholly appropriate for the context of the historical drama” with a finale full of “Williams’s typical French horn majesty, denoting the significance of the occasion”. Meanwhile, IFMCA member Jon Broxton said that “the two major new themes [in The Last Jedi] combine perfectly with the older material,” with Williams providing “more than enough variation on those themes for them to still feel fresh and exciting”. He went on to say that “the new action material, especially in the fathiers sequence, and during the final Crait battle, is wonderfully entertaining and musically creative” and that the entire score is “a nostalgia bomb of the highest order”. Williams – the fourth of the five nominees for Composer of the Year – previously received Score of the Year honors for “Memoirs of a Geisha” in 2005, “War Horse” in 2011, and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in 2015.

The fifth nominee for Score of the Year is Jonny Greenwood’s music for the controversial and avant-garde romantic period drama “Phantom Thread,” directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Daniel Day-Lewis. In describing the score, IFMCA member Jon Broxton wrote that it was a “quite masterful score from Greenwood, one which gets deeply under the skin of the damaged, potentially dangerous, but nevertheless mutually fulfilling relationship at the center of the story. The abstract, impressionistic, modernistic textures perfectly capture the torment that both characters at times feel, as well as their willful and often unpleasant personalities. Then, when he opens up his orchestra and performs the Phantom Thread theme with glorious melodrama, or when he writes elegant romantic music for what should be the dreadful finale, the whole thing simply soars”.

The fifth composer vying for the title of Composer of the Year is Benjamin Wallfisch, whose astonishing work in 2017 included writing the music for the horror sequel “Annabelle: Creation,” the sweeping historical drama “Bitter Harvest,” the atmospheric thriller “A Cure for Wellness,” the new adaptation of Stephen King’s “It,” and the optimistic and celebratory documentary “Mully,” as well as working with Hans Zimmer on “Blade Runner 2049” and “Dunkirk”. IFMCA member Kaya Savas called “It” “the backbone that makes us emotionally connect to our protagonists”. IFMCA member Ley Bricknell described “A Cure for Wellness” as “totally compelling” with “an overwhelming sense of fear and madness”. IFMCA member Peter Simons said that “Bitter Harvest” was a “rich orchestral score with lush themes … a wonderful pastoral tone to it, and a gorgeous main theme”.

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 and exciting group. American composer Michael Abels wrote the Swahili-inflected score for the racially charged cult horror hit “Get Out”. German composer Anne-Kathrin Dern wrote two vastly different but no less impressive scores – one for the sweeping Chinese drama “The Jade Pendant,” and one for the German children’s film “Hexe Lilli Rettet Weihnachten”. Cypriot composer George Kallis had three enormously impressive scores in 2017, including the children’s fantasy “Albion: The Enchanted Stallion,” the historical drama “The Black Prince,” and the Russian fantasy epic “Posledni Bogatyr/The Last Warrior”. Spanish composer Alejandro Vivas joined the ever-growing list of outstanding Iberian musicians with his score for the WWII drama “El Jugador de Ajedrez/The Chess Player,” while Brit Christopher Willis channeled Prokofiev and Shostakovich in his score for the satirical comedy “The Death of Stalin”.

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 Cyrille Aufort (“Knock,” Comedy), French composer Olivier Derivière (“Get Even,” Game), French composer Pascal Gaigne (“Plan de Fuga,” Action/Adventure/Thriller), Spanish composer David García Díaz (“Rime,” Game), Argentine composer Federico Jusid (“Tiempos de Guerra,” Television), and Japanese composers Yôko Kanno (“Onna Jôshu Naotora,” Television) and Yasunori Mitsuda (“Valkyria: Azure Revolution,” Game).

Also worth noting in 2017 is the larger number of women composers and film music professionals amongst the nominees; in addition to breakthrough composer nominee Anne-Kathrin Dern and television nominee Yôko Kanno, other female nominees include Rachel Portman (“Their Finest,” Comedy) and Debbie Wiseman (“Live at the Barbican,” Compilation), as well as writer Julie Kirgo, Sony Classical album producer Laura Zsank, and graphic designer Kay Marshall.

Several other composers are receiving their first ever IFMCA Award nominations this year, including Andrew Cottee (“The Orville,” Television), David Fleming (“Blue Planet II,” Documentary), Philip Glass (“Jane,” Documentary), and Steve Mazzaro (“The Boss Baby,” Composition).

The International Film Music Critics Association will announce the winners of the 14th IFMCA Awards on February 22, 2018.

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THE 2017 IFMCA AWARD NOMINEES

SCORE OF THE YEAR

  • PHANTOM THREAD, music by Jonny Greenwood
  • THE POST, music by John Williams
  • THE SHAPE OF WATER, music by Alexandre Desplat
  • STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, music by John Williams
  • WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, music by Michael Giacchino

COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

  • ALEXANDRE DESPLAT
  • MICHAEL GIACCHINO
  • DANIEL PEMBERTON
  • BENJAMIN WALLFISCH
  • JOHN WILLIAMS

BREAKTHROUGH COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

  • MICHAEL ABELS
  • ANNE-KATHRIN DERN
  • GEORGE KALLIS
  • ALEJANDRO VIVAS
  • CHRISTOPHER WILLIS

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DRAMA FILM

  • ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD, music by Daniel Pemberton
  • DARKEST HOUR, music by Dario Marianelli
  • MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, music by Patrick Doyle
  • PHANTOM THREAD, music by Jonny Greenwood
  • THE POST, music by John Williams

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A COMEDY FILM

  • THE DEATH OF STALIN, music by Christopher Willis
  • DOWNSIZING, music by Rolfe Kent
  • KNOCK, music by Cyrille Aufort
  • PADDINGTON 2, music by Dario Marianelli
  • THEIR FINEST, music by Rachel Portman

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ACTION/ADVENTURE/THRILLER FILM

  • A CURE FOR WELLNESS, music by Benjamin Wallfisch
  • JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE, music by Henry Jackman
  • KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD, music by Daniel Pemberton
  • PLAN DE FUGA, music by Pascal Gaigne
  • THE RENDEZVOUS, music by Austin Wintory

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

  • GET OUT, music by Michael Abels
  • THE SHAPE OF WATER, music by Alexandre Desplat
  • STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, music by John Williams
  • VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS, music by Alexandre Desplat
  • WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, music by Michael Giacchino

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ANIMATED FILM

  • CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE, music by Theodore Shapiro
  • COCO, music by Michael Giacchino
  • THE EMOJI MOVIE, music by Patrick Doyle
  • FERDINAND, music by John Powell
  • LOVING VINCENT, music by Clint Mansell

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DOCUMENTARY

  • BLUE PLANET II, music by Hans Zimmer, Jacob Shea, and David Fleming
  • BOSTON, music by Jeff Beal
  • EARTH: ONE AMAZING DAY, music by Alex Heffes
  • JANE, music by Philip Glass
  • MULLY, music by Benjamin Wallfisch

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR TELEVISION

  • ALIAS GRACE, music by Jeff Danna and Mychael Danna
  • GAME OF THRONES, music by Ramin Djawadi
  • ONNA JÔSHU NAOTORA, music by Yôko Kanno
  • THE ORVILLE, music by Bruce Broughton, John Debney, Joel McNeely, and Andrew Cottee
  • TIEMPOS DE GUERRA, music by Federico Jusid

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A VIDEO GAME OR INTERACTIVE MEDIA

  • DEFORMERS, music by Austin Wintory
  • DIVIDE, music by Chris Tilton
  • GET EVEN, music by Olivier Deriviére
  • RIME, music by David García Díaz
  • VALKYRIA: AZURE REVOLUTION, music by Yasunori Mitsuda

BEST NEW RELEASE, RE-RELEASE OR RE-RECORDING OF AN EXISTING SCORE

  • BEN-HUR, music by Miklós Rózsa; The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus conducted by Nic Raine; album produced by James Fitzpatrick; liner notes by Frank K. De Wald; album art direction by James Fitzpatrick, Gareth Bevan, and Nic Finch (Tadlow)
  • CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, music by John Williams; album produced by Mike Matessino; liner notes by Mike Matessino; album art direction by Jim Titus (La-La Land)
  • DAMNATION ALLEY, music by Jerry Goldsmith; album produced by Nick Redman and Mike Matessino; liner notes by Julie Kirgo; album art direction by Kay Marshall (Intrada)
  • DUEL IN THE SUN, music by Dimitri Tiomkin; The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus conducted by Nic Raine; album produced by James Fitzpatrick; liner notes by Frank K. De Wald; album art direction by Jim Titus (Tadlow/Prometheus)
  • E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, music by John Williams; album produced by Mike Matessino and Bruce Botnick; liner notes by Mike Matessino; album art direction by Jim Titus (La-La Land)

BEST FILM MUSIC COMPILATION ALBUM

  • CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS: THE FRANZ WAXMAN COLLECTION, music by Franz Waxman; album produced by Douglass Fake; liner notes by Frank K. De Wald; album art direction by Kay Marshall and Joe Sikoryak (Intrada)
  • DEBBIE WISEMAN: LIVE AT THE BARBICAN, music by Debbie Wiseman; The Orchestra of the Guildhall School conducted by Debbie Wiseman; album produced by Debbie Wiseman, Reynold Da Silva, David Stoner, and Pete Compton; liner notes by Debbie Wiseman; album art direction by Stuart Ford (Silva Screen)
  • JOHN WILLIAMS AND STEVEN SPIELBERG: THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION, music by John Williams; album produced by Laura Zsaka and Jamie Richardson; liner notes by Jon Burlingame; album art direction by Amelia Tubb (Sony Classical)
  • THRILLER, music by Jerry Goldsmith; The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Nic Raine; album produced by James Fitzpatrick and Leigh Phillips; liner notes by Jon Burlingame; album art direction by Matthew Wright and Nic Finch (Tadlow)
  • THE WILD WILD WEST, music by Various Composers; album produced by Jon Burlingame; liner notes by Jon Burlingame; album art direction by Jim Titus (La-La Land)

FILM MUSIC RECORD LABEL OF THE YEAR

  • CALDERA RECORDS, Stephan Eicke
  • INTRADA RECORDS, Douglass Fake and Roger Feigelson
  • LA-LA LAND RECORDS, MV Gerhard and Matt Verboys
  • QUARTET RECORDS, José M. Benitez
  • TADLOW MUSIC, James Fitzpatrick

FILM MUSIC COMPOSITION OF THE YEAR

  • “End Credits” from WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, music by Michael Giacchino
  • “Finale” from STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, music by John Williams
  • “Growing Up in Londinium” from KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD, music by Daniel Pemberton
  • “Justice” from MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, music by Patrick Doyle
  • “Love” from THE BOSS BABY, music by Hans Zimmer, Steve Mazzaro, and Conrad Pope

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, 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 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, John Powell’s “How to Train Your Dragon” in 2010, Michael Giacchino’s “Up” in 2009, Alexandre Desplat’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” in 2008, Dario Marianelli’s “Atonement” in 2007, James Newton Howard’s “Lady in the Water” in 2006, John Williams’s “Memoirs of a Geisha” in 2005, and Michael Giacchino’s “The Incredibles” in 2004.

For more information about the International Film Music Critics Association go to www.filmmusiccritics.org, visit the Facebook page, follow on Twitter @ifmca, or contact at press@filmmusiccritics.org.

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