The World Soundtrack Awards will have its 21st edition this week in Ghent (Belgium), celebrating the WSA Industry Days from 20-23, as a prelude to the two big concerts of the festival: Friday 22 (Great Greek Composers) and Saturday 23 (Awards Gala & Concert).
During the WSA Industry Days, students, young professionals and established names in the industry have the opportunity to debate, network, discover and be discovered. Through a mixture of seminars, composer talks, panel discussions and masterclasses, they get a glimpse behind the scenes while scrutinizing the current state of affairs in the film music industry.
Four days of seminars, talks, and panel discussions about film and game music, ending with a meet and greet with the composers, as the perfect conclusion to a varied and jam-packed Industry program. Guests include Max Richter, Journey composer Austin Wintory, Daniel Pemberton (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Nainita Desai (For Sama) and Natalie Holt (Loki), among many others.
Wednesday 20 October 2021
- 10:00 – Launch: Belgian Soundtracks on Vinyl
- In 2021 two brand-new record labels for homegrown film music entered the stage: Pool Needle and Sonhouse Records. Both labels will be launched during Film Fest Gent! At 10:00 there will be a panel talk and Q&A moment with the label owners and the composers of Bullhead, Cargo and Callboys, the director of Cargo and the creators of Albatros. DJ/producer Cellini will reveal a top-secret project. And new releases will be announced! At 15:00 you can get your vinyl signed at Music Mania (Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 19) and the official launch party will happen at Café VenTura (Vrijdagmarkt 35) at 21:00.
- 13:00 – Masterclass: Music and Sound Design in Games (with Alex Otterlei)
- Alex Otterlei pioneered the art of writing soundtracks for role-playing games, to international acclaim. As a composer and sound designer he worked on games such as Xyanide and the Divinity series from Larian Studios in Ghent. He is currently teaching Sound Design, Foley and Voice Directing for Games, as part of the Audio Major which he helped create at Digital Arts and Entertainment in Kortrijk. In this masterclass, he will delve deeper into the importance of composing music for games, the task of a sound designer in a game studio and what the requirements are to work as a sound designer in the games industry.
- 14:00 – Panel Talk: Rights & Royalties in Game Music
- Guests: Wim Coryn (Wild Cherry Consult), Pablo Schwilden Diaz (Demute), Olivier Maeterlinck & David Hutsebaut (Sabam), Alex Otterlei (DAE Howest), Austin Wintory. Moderated by Youri Loedts (VAF). The arrangement about remuneration and author’s rights between game developers and composers is often a point of contention. In this panel talk our guests will examine some current practices and search for a way to strengthen the ties between composes and developers.
- 15:30 – Composer’s Talk: Austin Wintory
- Moderated by Alex Otterlei. Austin Wintory’s career has straddled the worlds of concert music, film, and video games. In 2012, his soundtrack for the hit PlayStation3 game Journey became the first-ever Grammy-nominated videogame score, also winning many other awards. Excerpts from the score have been performed all over the world, including by such ensembles as the National Symphony, San Francisco Symphony and Pacific Symphony. His film work includes the Sundance-winning film Captain Abu Raed, along with over 40 other indie features. In this Composer’s Talk, Austin Wintory will go through his career as both game and film composer, and will zoom in on his latest video game The Pathless.
Thursday 21 October 2021
- 10:00 – Film Music Seminar: Natalie Holt
- Moderated by Ruben De Gheselle. Multi-award winning composer Natalie Holt is known equally for large orchestral arrangements and intimate, textural and at times experimental electro-acoustic compositions. Enriched by her experience as a classically trained violinist, Holt’s work exists in the liminal space between orchestral, electronic and contemporary. Some of Holt’s most recent significant works include Loki and Deadwater Fell (starring David Tennant). Her music can be heard on Wallander (starring Kenneth Branagh), the series Knightfall (starring Mark Hamill), and many more. She has also contributed additional music to Paul King’s Paddington. Holt’s distinction in her field was recognised by being made an Associate of the Royal Academy in 2017. Moderated by Ruben De Gheselle.
- 13:30 – Masterclass: Entering the Film Music Marketplace (with Lesley Jackson)
- Lesley Jackson established UK Film Music in 2019 following many years representing & managing prominent and award-winning composers from the UK and mainland Europe. Earlier this year Lesley was one of the judges of the prestigious Berlin International Film Scoring Competition (BIFSC) and in August will be a key contributor to ‘FUSION’, Thessaloniki Film Scoring workshops. In this masterclass she will share some tips and tricks on how to enter the film music market as a beginning film composer.
- 14:30 – InMICS Composers Lab Panel Talk
- Guests: Samya Papasoff, Filip Rathé, Görkem Ağar, Yi-Jia Chen, Sandro Manzon. Moderated by Michael Lyczek. At Film Fest Ghent, the InMICS students and teachers gather with professionals, press and film music fans. The students talk freely about their experiences during the Composers Lab, their work and their future in the industry. Through the InMICS Composers Lab these young composers challenge themselves to find their own voices and to reflect on the ever-evolving industry. For them, it’s an opportunity to network and to share their ideas on music for audio-visual productions.
- 15:30 – Masterclass: How a Business Frustrates Its Creative (with Stephan Eicke)
- As editor-in-chief of film music magazine Cinema Musica and producer for the record label Caldera Records Stephan Eicke has noticed how composers working in media have started to voice their concerns about their working conditions. Via exclusive interview excerpts with composers such as Mychael Danna and Marco Beltrami, he will discuss in his masterclass the increased pressure on creatives, decreasing payments, the stress that comes with digital editing, and the necessity to work with ghost writers in order to get a job done in time.
- 16:30 – Composer’s Talk: Daniel Pemberton
- Moderated by Tommy Pearson. Award-winning composer Daniel Pemberton is one of the most standout voices working in modern film scoring today. His recent work has included Enola Holmes, Birds of Prey, Motherless Brooklyn – for which his incredible jazz score was nominated for a Golden Globe -, Yesterday, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse and Ocean’s Eight. This year he has been nominated for no less than two World Soundtrack Awards: Film Composer of the Year and Best Original Song for the Oscar-nominated score for “Hear My Voice” (from The Trial of the Chicago 7). He was previously honoured as Discovery of The Year at the World Soundtrack Awards in 2014 and nominated as Film Composer Of The Year in 2016 and 2019.
Friday 22 October 2021
- 13:15 – Panel Talk: Clara Sola
- Guests: Ruben De Gheselle & Nathalie Álvarez Mesén. Moderated by Robin Broos. The Belgian Composer Ruben De Gheselle and Costa Rican-Swedish director Nathalie Alvarez Mesen discuss their latest gilm Clara Sola. A soundtrack is not made overnight and various, sometimes extreme, angles to a scene should be explored. For Clara Sola, too, a technique of rough, fast and focused sketching with music formed an important part of the working and dialogue process between the two artists. In this panel they discuss some of those scenes and how they came about from initial idea to final recorded form. Ruben De Gheselle is an upcoming composer who worked on several international projects and teaches at KASK & Conservatory. Nathalie Álvarez Mesén is a Costa Rican-Swedish writer and director who studied at Columbia University. Both are alumni of the famous Berlinale Talents program. Clara Sola was selected in Cannes earlier this year and will be screened at Film Fest Ghent.
- 14:00 – Composer’s Talk: Nainita Desai
- Moderated by Tommy Pearson. Nainita Desai impressed the world with her original music for the documentaries For Sama and Sundance favourite The Reason I Jump. As a sound designer she cooperated with Bernardo Bertolucci, Werner Herzog, Anthony Hopkins and Angelina Jolie. During the talk she will delve into her immersive, yet sometimes minimalist approach to scoring documentaries, her eclectic background as a sound designer, orchestra maestra and how world music, found sound, electronics and the human voice fuel her emotive scores.
- 15:30 – Composer’s Talk: Max Richter
- Moderated by Tommy Pearson. Max Richter stands as one of the most monumental figures on the contemporary music scene, with ground-breaking work as a composer, pianist, producer, and collaborator. Richter rose to prominence as a composer for film and TV in 2008 with his original score for Waltz with Bashir by Ari Folman. Since then, he has written scores for over thirty features, including James Gray’s sci-fi opus Ad Astra and the Oscar-nominated Werk ohne Autor by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. TV aficionados will have heard his music in the cult hit series The Leftovers, but also in Nosedive, the Black Mirror episode starring Bryce Dallas Howard, and BBC series Taboo for which Richter received an Emmy nomination.
Saturday 23 October 2021
- 12:30 – Meet & Greet with the WSA music guests and nominees
- Guests: Evanthia Reboutsika, Gavin Brivik, Nainita Desai, Susan DiBona & Salvatore Sangiovanni, Florencia Di Concilio, Natalie Holt, Benji Merrison, Emile Mosseri, Daniel Pemberton, Carlos Rafael Rivera, Amelia Warner, Ralf Wengenmayr & Marvin Miller, Anthony Willis, Austin Wintory. Meet the music guests at the festival during this exclusive Meet & Greet.
- 13:30 – Q&A with Dirk Brossé, Max Richter & Eleni Karaindrou
- Guests: Dirk Brossé, Eleni Karaindrou, Evanthia Reboutsika, Max Richter. Moderated by Tommy Pearson. Each year, the central guests gather for a Q&A. Press and film (music) aficionados have the chance to ask questions to FFG music director Dirk Brossé and the composers whose music will be performed at the two symphonic concerts.
- 14:30 – Panel Talks with the WSA nominees
- Moderated by Milena Fessmann & Matt Mueller. With WSA Nominees Susan DiBona & Salvatore Sangiovanni (Bad Habits Die Hard), Benji Merrison (SAS: Red Notice), Amelia Warner (Wild Mountain Thyme), Gavin Brivik (Wild Indian), Florencia Di Concilio (Calamity, une enfance de Martha Jane Cannary), Anthony Willis (Promising Young Woman), Carlos Rafael Rivera (The Queen’s Gambit), Emile Mosseri (Minari).
Tickets for the WSA Industry Days are: 5 € – mornings & 5 – € afternoons, each day. More information, full program and tickets: