Jed Kurzel wins screen music feature award

12 November, 2015 by Don Groves

Jed Kurzel’s string-based score for Scottish director John Maclean’s Slow West won the feature film prize at the 13th Screen Music Awards.

It was the composer's second win in the category; his first was for brother Justin Kurzel’s Snowtown in 2011. Jed also scored Justin's Macbeth and Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook.

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Via video link Kurzel thanked Maclean for suggesting “I write something that he could whistle.” He said he was incredibly surprised and very honoured to win the award, “particularly amongst such an amazing group of artists.”

David Hirschfelder took home the gongs for best music for a TV series or serial for BBC First’s Banished and best soundtrack album for The Water Diviner.

Antony Partos won best music for a documentary for Jen Peedom’s Sherpa and best TV theme went to Roger Mason for Playmaker Media’s The Code.

Ruby Entertainment’s ABC drama The Secret River saw awards for best original song composed for the screen (Shane Howard and Archie Roach) and best music for a mini-series or telemovie (Burkhard Dallwitz).

First-time winners were Damien Lane for best music for a short film for 1919, the saga of a soldier with amnesia, and Keith Moore’s Monster Beach for best music for children’s TV.

Bruce Heald took out best music for an advertisement for his piano-based score for Domain’s Good Move.

Long-time collaborators Adam Gock and Dinesh Wicks were named most performed screen composers – Australia.

Neil Sutherland collected the prize for most performed screen composer – overseas, for the eighth consecutive year, taking his tally of APRA Screen Music awards to a record ten.

Staged by Australasian Performing Right Association, the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society and the Australian Guild of Screen Composers, the awards were presented on Thursday night at the Melbourne Recital Centre, hosted by Rob Carlton.

Emmy-award-winning screen composer Ashley Irwin provided the musical direction with special tributes to Australian feature films celebrating 10, 20, 30 and 40- year anniversaries. Ashley and his orchestra performed excerpts of Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), Burke & Wills (1985), Babe (1995) and Wolf Creek (2005).

Jed Kurzel’s latest gig is scoring Benedict Andrews’ Una (previously Blackbird), a drama about a taboo relationship which stars Rooney Mara, Ben Mendelsohn, Riz Ahmed and Tara Fitzgerald.

He is set to make his directing debut on Ivan Lendl Never Learnt to Volley, which will star Denis Menochet (Inglourious Basterds) as a man with a fanatical desire to see his son become a tennis champion, for producers Anna McLeish and Sarah Shaw of Carver Films.

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