Ten years after he won Discovery of the Year at the World Soundtrack Awards, Michael Giacchino took the film music ceremony’s top prize — Composer of the Year — at the event’s 15th annual edition in Gent, Belgium on Saturday. Giacchino faced some stiff competition, including reigning Oscar winner Alexandre Desplat, who has been nominated in the category nine consecutive years dating back to 2007, having won five times. Giacchino was recognized for his scores for the Pixar hit “Inside Out,” as well as “Jurassic World” and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.”
Other winners at the concert/ceremony, which acted as the grand finale of the 42nd Film Fest Gent, included Antonio Sanchez, the renowned jazz percussionist whose drum score for “Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance),” his film music debut, earned him both Score and Discovery of the Year honors, a decidedly unorthodox choice for the international body of film pros who decide on such matters. The distinctions must have been sweet for Sanchez, whose “Birdman” music was deemed ineligible for Oscar consideration.
The Best Original Song kudos went to “The Apology Song” from the animated feature “The Book of Life,” with music by Gustavo Santaolalla and lyrics by Paul Williams, while the Sabam Award for Best Young Composer was given to German maestro Peer Kleinschmidt, and the Public Choice Award went to John Paesano’s music for “The Maze Runner.”
As part of the festivities, the Brussels Philharmonic and the Flemish Radio Choir, conducted by Dirk Brosse, performed selections of film music by the event’s guest of honor Alan Silvestri, best know for his collaborations with Robert Zemeckis (the “Back to the Future” movies, “The Walk”), as well as the compositions of Lifetime Achievement Award winner Patrick Doyle (“Cinderella,” “Brave”) and last year’s Discovery of the Year, Daniel Pemberton (“The Counselor,” “Steve Jobs”).