Canberra composer in double win at Screen Music Awards

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Film composer Antonio Gambale.

A BRILLIANT film composer from Canberra who never studied at a conservatorium was announced as a double winner at tonight’s (December 1) virtual Screen Music Awards.

Antonio Gambale won in the categories of Best Music for a Mini-Series or Telemovie and Best Television Theme for his score to the Netflix sensation “Unorthodox”, inspired by Deborah Feldman’s 2012 autobiography “Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots”.

The former Campbell High and Dickson College student who studied music at home and later went to Sydney’s Australian Film Television and Radio School to study film composition now lives in Paris, but had already come to the attention of Canberrans for his scores to “A Single Body”, named Best International Short Film at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014 and the 2016 Canberra-set feature “Joe Cinque’s Consolation”, both directed by his old classmate, Sotiris Dounoukos.

At the awards, hosted by Justine Clarke, Meyne Wyatt and Claudia Karvan for APRA AMCOS (Australasian Performing Right Association and Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society), the Feature Film Score of the Year category was taken out by Jed Kurzel for “True History of the Kelly Gang”, directed by his brother Justin Kurzel, while Amanda Brown won Best Music for a TV Series for the Network Ten series, “The Secrets She Keeps”.

Best Original Song Composed for the Screen went to David Bridie and co-writer Tom Murray for “Ballad of the Bridge Builders”, performed by Archie Roach in the film “The Skin of Others”, a story of modern Australia told through the extraordinary life of Aboriginal WWI soldier Douglas Grant.

Grammy Award-winning producer and screen composer François Tétaz won the title of Best Soundtrack Album for Australian feature film “Judy & Punch”, while first-time nominees Ned Beckley and Josh Hogan won Best Music for Children’s Television for “Thalu”, the five-part ABC Me series about a group of indigenous children who undertake a journey to save their country from the threat of a mysterious dust cloud and its inhabitants.

Luke Howard received Best Music for a Short Film for “The Sand That Ate the Sea” and Matteo Zingales won the Best Music for a Documentary for “Machine”, a film about artificial intelligence.

Composer Scott Langley won in the Best Music for an Advertisement category, while veteran composing duo Adam Gock and Dinesh Wicks won Most Performed Screen Composer – Australia for the seventh time and Neil Sutherland received the award for Most Performed Screen Composer – Overseas for the 13th consecutive year.

In the highlight of the evening, Nerida Tyson-Chew, one of the first female composers to score on productions in the US, was honoured for Distinguished Services to the Australian Screen by the APRA board of directors.

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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