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Decoder Ring has won the peer-award for Best Film Score at the Screen Music Awards, for their composition for Somersault, and veteran composer Bruce Rowland was honoured with the APRA-AGSC International Achievement Award at the weekend during the stylish presentation ceremony held in Melbourne for the first time. Andrew L. Urban reports.

One of his most frequent collaborators, director George Miller with whom he worked on Gross Misconduct and 13 other films, presented Rowland the award at the BMW Edge Theatre in the Federation Square complex housing the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. Rowland’s first major success was with the score for the seminal Australian feature film, The Man from Snowy River, which he followed up with the score for Phar Lap a year later. His credits include scores for All the Rivers Run, Anzacs, Zeus & Roxanne, Badlands, Andre the Seal, and Lightning Jack, among many others.

The music for Somersault has also been voted Best Score last year’s IF and AFI Awards. (The Screen Music Awards recognises films released between July 1 and June 30 each year, which is why recently released Australian films are not eligible for this year’s awards.)

Special guests from the film and tv industry paid tribute to the work of Australia’s composers, including awards host James Valentine, Shane Simpson, Chair of the NSW Film & TV Office, presenters Lisa Hensley, Red Symons and Andrew L. Urban.

This is the fourth year that APRA and AGSC have joined forced to present the Screen Music Awards. APRA CEO Brett Cottle said: “Sound and music are no longer peripheral when it comes to film. They have become central to the viewing experience of audiences everywhere. Film soundtracks frequently enjoy great success and are celebrated for their existence – often independent of the films that spawned them in the first place.

“It’s no longer true to say that screen composers are the unsung heroes of the celluloid world. As film-makers and audiences, we’ve learnt to appreciate the collaborative and creative talents screen composers bring to each celluloid adventure. APRA is proud to partner with the AGSC in presenting the fourth annual Screen Music Awards.”

The event, organised by Peter Rix Management, made good use of Melbourne’s screen culture centre, the ACMI complex opposite Flinders Street Station. The BMW Edge theatre is a spectacular theatre with a glass backdrop facing parkland at the back of the complex. Guests enjoyed pre-awards drinks & fingerfood in the foyer (5.30 – 6.30), moved into the theatre for the presentations (6.45 – 8.15), where Paul Grabowski led a 12 piece orchestra playing excerpts from the nominated works, footage from which was projected onto a screen above the orchestra.

Following the awards, guests moved downstairs to Zinc, whose tables features elaborate, sculpture-like candelabras and whose food and beverage was outstanding. After dinner, guests walked across the plaza to Transport bar for drinks (9.45).

Feature Film Score of the Year:
Somersault: Ben Ely, Matthew Fitzgerald, Tom Schutzinger, Peter Kelly
The Crop: Chris Neal, Braedy Neal,
The Extra: Roger Mason
Three Dollars: Alan John

Best Music for a Documentary
Butterfly Man: Jessica Wells
Girl in a Mirror: Greg J Walker
Sex, Drugs & String Quartets : Carla Thackrah WINNER
Switch on the Night:Biddy Connor

Best Music for a Short Film

Incarnation: Jessica Wells
Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello: Bruce Rowland WINNER
The Saviour: Jessica Wells
The Writer: Ricky Edwards

Best Soundtrack Album
Anacondas – The Hunt for the Blood: Nerida Tyson-Chew
The Extra : Roger Mason WINNER
The Illustrated Family Doctor : Thomas Ellard
Undead : Cliff Bradley

Best Music for a Mini-Series or Telemovie
Hell has Harbour Views: Nigel Westlake WINNER
The Alice: David Bridie
The Brush Off: Cezary Skubiszewski
Through My Eyes: Mark Seymour , Cameron McKenzie

Best Original Song Composed for a Feature Film, Telemovie, TV Series or Mini-Series
Making Music: Chris Harriott, Leone Carey
The Alice – End Song: David Bridie, Frank Yamma WINNER
The Eggs – “Yeah, Yeah we’re the Eggs”: Tony Byrne, Brendon Byrne

Published Tuesday November 8, 2005

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Bruce Rowland accepting award from George Miller

Decoder Ring accepting Award for Feature Film Score
Somersault - Soundtrack

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