Film music novices Alex Ebert, Arcade Fire and Pharrell Williams are among the first-time nominees competing at the 14th World Soundtrack Awards on Oct. 25, the culmination of Film Fest Ghent. The first-time nominees will be joined by WSA perennials Alexandre Desplat and Hans Zimmer at the annual event, the first of its kind, which takes place at Kuipke, a velodrome that’s converted into a concert hall for the occasion in Ghent, Belgium.
Not only will awards be handed out for composer of the year, original film score and original song written directly for film, but the evening will feature the Brussells Philharmionic, as is custom, during a program that will pay tribute to a couple of career honorees, including another pop artist-turned-film composer, Cliff Martinez (“Traffic,” “Only God Forgives”), and Lifetime Achievement Award winner Francis Lai (“A Man and a Woman,” “Love Story”).
Ebert (pictured above), also known as Edward Sharpe of the Magnetic Zeros, is nominated for score and best original song (“Amen”) for “All Is Lost,” his film music debut for which he won a Golden Globe in January. He’ll compete with Arcade Fire (“Her”), fellow first-time nominee Steven Price (“Gravity”), Desplat (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”) and Zimmer (“12 Years a Slave”).
The song category pairs Ebert with fellow pop performers U2, whose members teamed with Brian Burton, aka Danger Mouse of Broken Bells and Gnarls Barkley fame, on “Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom”; Karen O. of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, who co-wrote “The Moon Song” from “Her” with that film’s writer-director Spike Jonze; Williams, whose “Happy” from “Despicable Me 2” has become somewhat of a global anthem of empowerment; as well as recent Oscar winners Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, the team behind “Let It Go” from “Frozen.”
Desplat, Zimmer and Price will also vie for composer of the year, which accounts for a maestro’s body of work for the given year. The other two nominees in the field include Marco Beltrami and former Oscar winner Gabriel Yared. Each composer is represented by at least two films (Price) and as many as seven (Beltrami and Desplat).
Desplat touts 11 previous nominations and has won six times; Zimmer has logged 13 previous noms, with one win.
The Discovery of the Year nominees, won in the past by such future Oscar winners as Michael Giacchino and Gustavo Santaolalla, have yet to be announced.
The winners will be determined by members of the World Soundtrack Academy, comprised of more than 370 members worldwide whose ranks include composers, music producers, directors, agents and publicists.